“Nice meeting you last week,” she texted me. “Glad you had a safe trip back. I had a good time with my family and my boyfriend this weekend.” My heart nearly fainted. Boyfriend? I thought she was single. She was so nice and we seemed to hit it off so well. In my mind I was already planning the first date, but now my hopes had suffered a major blow.
Sometimes being single is really hard.
Many of us singles live in great hope and great uncertainty. Many of us would like to be married. We desire a close, constant friendship. We desire intimacy and family, and we want to share our hopes, dreams, successes, and failures with another. Romantic relationships seem to have so much to offer, and it is easy to place great hopes in them.
However, we know that our hopes might not be fulfilled. Many of us have heard someone tell us, “Don’t worry, you’ll find the right person to marry eventually.” But the truth is, there are no guarantees. Some people never find the right person to marry, and they stay single their whole lives. That could be any of us singles; it could be me or you. Without a crystal ball to gaze into the future, none of us can be sure that we will find a suitable life partner. That can be a tough pill to swallow, because singleness can be lonely and marriage has so many benefits.
But on the other hand, sometimes being single rocks. I can spend my free time however I want. Job opportunity in a new city? No problem, there’s nothing to tie me down. Work all day and all night to achieve personal goals? No problem, my time is my own. Sometimes we may wonder if it’s even worth it to invest in a relationship, especially when we think about the associated challenges.
All of this can result in a strange in-between waiting place, where we don’t really like being single but we don’t really see a good path towards marriage either. And sometimes this waiting place can be sad and deeply unsatisfying.
I think there are two main sources of hope for us singles. The first hope is a possibility and the second is a certainty. The first hope for us is that we will eventually find the right person to date and marry: someone who gets us, supports us, and loves us. Sometimes couples meet in unlikely places and who knows, maybe you’ll meet your future spouse tomorrow. No guarantee, but good possibility.
The second hope for us singles is based on a certainty. We’re never alone because according to Jesus, God loves us and He is present in our lives. When we feel like no one understands us, God understands us. When we feel like no one cares for us, God cares for us. God knows what we’re going through and He has a purpose for us. The Bible says “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
I’m not writing this article because I have relationships all figured out; obviously I don’t. But I do know this: God is with us in our singleness. Sometimes being single makes me feel anxious and lonely, but this is my ultimate hope beyond singleness: God loves me and cares for me. I am not alone.