Updated: Jan 6, 2022
Singleness can be lonely.
Sooooo, this is not an ideal subject to write about. I want women to thrive in their singleness and so I am dropping words that remind me of my own singleness, hoping it relates to yours. The truth is, singleness is lonely.
I used to (and at times I still do) wrestle so much with this. I hated feeling lonely and I hated the uncertainty of my future. Questions like “when will he come?”, “who is he?”, “is it him?” would run across my mind on a daily basis and the urge to find that out myself led to tons of situationships (a later blog post)
But then it dawned on me that being lonely is a healthy part of the singleness journey. If it were all butterflies, it actually wouldn't even be a journey.
The word journey means to travel from one place to another, which implies that there is a change in the state of our hearts, our minds, and who we overall are as a person. The idea is not to leave out of this season the same.
I repeat.... the idea or perhaps goal, is not to leave out of this season the same.
So when it comes to the journey, it's important to remember we're traveling through a process. We have to be okay with that process and expect that there will be many stopping points along the way.One of which is loneliness.
The first two things that I want to make clear are:
It is okay to be lonely. It is normal. Most women stray away from the idea of being lonely and I get it. But when we do not normalize that this is okay, we go do things to make it feel okay. You start to second-guess and perhaps go out of bounds of a season you should be in honestly. That's what I call getting yourself in a red zone...only to end up right back in singleness again.
Singleness DOES NOT have to equal loneliness but it is a part of the package. I think we need to redefine what loneliness looks like and not shame it with sadness & depression all of the time (not saying that doesn't occur), but it's possible to be lonely and thrive too.
One way the word lonely is defined, is as “remote”. Which means it’s a time of solitude, distance, and unfrequented. It is quite different from being alone. Alone would just mean you literally have no one present, which most times isn’t true. I'm sure most of us can "phone in a friend" if we have to.
The truth is, at times we don't want to be around the same people or we can be around a ton of people and still feel lonely. Ever been there? I know I have.
What this tells me is, at some point during our singleness, we have to be to ourselves. We have to know what it’s like to feel lonely and make something of it. What you do with your loneliness determines a lot about who you become in this process. Are you wasting time on social media? Are you busy gossiping? Are you just staying idle? Are you busy sulking and wishing you were like your friends in relationships?
PAUSE. Comparison will always be the top thief of joy in your season. You need to protect where you are and water your own grass. Plus, half the friends you may see in relationships have issues they aren’t sharing and it’s definitely not displayed on social media (I had to squeeze this in right quick).
Are you taking this time to grow quality friendships? Are you traveling? Are you developing a new hobby? Are you in therapy, working on things you do not want to repeat in your future relationship?
What exactly are you doing in this time of being “remote”.
It’s naive to think that singleness is to crowd yourself with company all the time. There has to be room for you to be by yourself; even if it’s uncomfortable. Loneliness may be the feeling, but to be lonely AND secure is a part of the journey.
Think about COVID-19 (unfortunate circumstance) and how its caused most jobs to become remote. Many businesses had to learn how to adapt and accommodate their employees. They also had to trust that what their employees did with their remote time will be of quality and the work will still get done. Working remotely has given tons of opportunity to do other things while having a full-time job. Again- due to an unfortunate circumstance.
But it’s similar to singleness. We are able to do whatever we want to do foreal, but if our goal is to have sex, be lazy, and remain the same throughout this journey, we may end up here again. God gave this time to develop ourselves. Yes, singleness can be dry and hard, but there are also some pros to it. He wants us alone because that is where we are our most sober selves. We're not being influenced by culture, society, friends, or rose-colored glasses. This is the time to really find ourselves with Him along the way.
I loved how the word “unfrequented” was paired with "remote". It reminds me of sex to keep it real- meaning, this is not the time to be touched and loved on by everyone just because you can (yes, i said it). What good is that to the person that may be around the corner and how much more complicated would that make you and your heart.
You can live your best single life, date and get to know people, without getting to know their sheets.
The same way we expect quality from someone entering our lives is the same way we need to provide quality back. You will only understand what quality looks like to you by being alone to figure it out. Otherwise, you'll always be influenced by someone else.
So yes, I agree singleness can be lonely and it can suck at times to keep it real. Who doesn’t want to be wined and dined? Uhh, I do! and there were times that loneliness was so suffocating, I was willing to settle and was willing to search for someone to fill out that space. But the truth is, when that relationship, sex, date, or situationship was over... I was still left alone to figure it out.
Loneliness can have you ending up in places you normally wouldn't want to be in. It's often a feeling that only directs poor decisions because of how it makes us feel- sad, angry, desolate, tearful, and at times depressed. This is why I want to normalize that it is a healthy part of the journey.
Friends will be there, but they too cannot fill this empty space. I got myself a calendar and set tasks for myself each week. I got busy with books, a life coach, therapy, my business, working out, and actually looking forward to spending time with myself. It was finally then that I figured out what & who I really wanted.
So I encourage you, take this “remote” time to invest in the right things. I'm not saying to be a nun, but be intentional with how to deal with loneliness; which is really how you deal with yourself.
Like I said, singleness is a journey and at some point & time, you will hopefully transition out of it. You can transition beautifully, taking all this season has to offer. Or, you can transition painfully and someone else may have to pay for it. Don’t look back and regret the time you didn’t get to use, because you used it unwisely.
Have fun, be around the right people, and do things you probably wouldn’t be able to do once you transition out of this season, because once someone comes into your life, it changes everything.
And most importantly, You are never alone. God is always present and wants this remote time to be time spent with Him.
And I leave you with this…
Being by myself doesn’t equate to something being wrong with me. I am comfortable with being with myself before someone else is. I am dedicated to learning and unlearning myself here, so that I can be the best version of me.
"I will never leave you nor forsake you"