Learn how to handle comparison during your singleness.
Many of us know that comparison is the thief of our joy. However, we all engage in comparison one way or another. We compare our careers, finances, personalities, bodies, and even our relationships. In singleness, this is one of the most tempting things to do as you are trying to figure out what this season should look like.
When looking up the definition of comparison, it states that “comparison is the act of considering something similar or of equal quality to something else.” Now, I can understand why comparison would be helpful if you are comparing foods you like, two different job offers, or anything that you need to compare to make a wise, well-informed decision.
Where it gets dangerous is when we start comparing our friendships, our relationships, our marriages, our kids, our careers, and our identities to someone else.
Why? Well, because comparing yourself to someone else usually only has one outcome: self-destruction or self-doubt.
It is less likely for folks to compare themselves and come out feeling inspired and motivated, though that is a viable outcome as well. Most people compare because they feel they are lacking something someone else may have.
In singleness, I have found myself comparing:
My timeline to other people's timelines
My old relationships to new potential suitors
My relationship to my friend’s relationships
None of these are healthy but it’s true. Questions like “why doesn’t this person do this like the other person” or “why am i still single yet she got into a relationship or engaged so quickly” would spiral out of control to the point where I found myself not only doubting my life, but also doubting God too. This clouds our relationship with God because our faith may begin to waver as all the comparison questions join the scene.
Another perspective I’ve developed is the idea that comparison indicates an area we need to grow in personally. Usually there is one or maybe two things you constantly compare yourself to. For me, it was relationships primarily and secondary, social media content (for the sake of this blog, i’ll focus on relationships).
When we are comparing, we have to ask ourselves, what do we feel we are missing, that leads us to compare ourselves to what we perceive might be better? (read that again)
If I am comparing my relationship or even my singleness to someone else, that means there’s something in their grass that I perceive is better than mine. That means I’m not certain, secure, or sure of what I got going on over here… therefore, I feel the urge to look at someone else’s life.
Truth is, when you’re sure and certain, you won’t need to look long at other people’s grasses. Heavy on the “long” because if you think you will never find yourself looking or comparing…YOU’RE LYING TO YOURSELF. Comparing is a part of human nature… but it shouldn’t control the process. Comparing is always going to rear its ugly head, but how we respond is what makes the difference.
I have sabotaged so many relationships because I was comparing them to what my friends had, so no one really ended up being good enough for me. But that showed less about what my friends had and more about the insecurities I had.
Yep, comparing yourself is an indication of insecurity.
I was insecure in relationships and even insecure in my singleness to the point that I chose comparison as a means to validate or affirm myself. I wanted to compete because in some weird way, I thought that would fix it and affirm something I really shouldn’t have been in.
Once I found security in myself as a person (without attachments, relationships, etc), I was able to then identify what I wanted for myself. Comparing your singleness with someone else’s journey will have you rushing the process and soon & very soon, you will end up with someone out of insecurity and not out of God’s plan. Once you are secure within yourself, you can then make secure decisions. So, even when comparison creeps in, you can stand firm in what you want, where you are (singleness), and also who you decide to be with or what you decide to do . If you’re secure, why would you need to compare? And why would you need constant validation or affirmation from others?
I challenge you to ask yourself why you compare to identify the root issue and the root insecurity.
Comparison can easily make things that aren’t good for us seem enticing. You know the saying… everything that glitters ain’t gold.
Comparing yourself can be used as a distraction, deflection, and gives room for self-doubt to seep in. It will literally cost you. It can cost you time, energy, money (especially how we buy things because other people have it), and even your heart. It’s mad expensive foreal.
And definitely don’t feel any shame because trust me, we all do it. Comparison is a process we will have to continue to work through all the time. But, I encourage you to use comparison as a signal to something wrong within yourself and work through that piece first, rather than giving into what others have going on. A lot of people end up depressed because they are constantly comparing.
And to keep it real, we see people’s lives on social media…but what are we really comparing here? The glow-up? You may not know half of that person’s story, relationship, or journey… So are you fairly comparing yourself? If you knew the journey a lot of people walked, you may not even still want it.
Now, let me offer a different perspective. We focused on why comparison is bad for us, but here's how it can help us:
Honestly, comparison may save your life. I know that sounds weird but it can. Though my intentions were wrong when I was comparing, it actually helped me determine what wasn't good for me at that time. I could’ve ended up forcing things only to achieve what I thought someone else had. So, sometimes, comparing can be a reminder of the standard in which you want to live…
Comparison does not always have to have a negative impact. It’s all in how we think and handle it. Because to keep it real, while you are comparing yourself to others, others are comparing themselves to you. You have more going for you than you realize. So, the work is not to just stop comparing, because that is not always realistic. The true work is to start fixing the insecurity you have that causes you to do that and use comparison as a guide to possibly get you out of a situation you shouldn’t be in. Perhaps, it’ll help you accept the fact that you’re single.
All I know is, once I started using comparison in a positive, healthy way, I was able to determine what I really wanted my grass to look like. And then I watered it by addressing the insecurities that were strongholds in my life.
So I encourage you, change your perspective, do the work, and find security in God and within yourself. Then, you won’t need to look over at someone else so much. No one's life is ever made equal to another person's life. We all have different stories, journeys, skills, relationships, and styles for a reason. Don't allow comparison to rob you of your authenticity.
And I leave you with this:
I will no longer allow comparison to steal my joy. I am open to figuring out why self-doubt and insecurities exist in me. I do the work to make myself whole and secure. God didn't create me to constantly compare it to someone else. He created me to be me.
"For I am fearfully and wonderfully made"
Share with me below: How have you struggled with comparison??