• aftergrace16

The Importance of Embracing Your Singleness

I have been single for 22 years and 2 months of my life.

I was in a relationship my sophomore year of high school that lasted a month, and am currently in the 4th month of a relationship (hey heyyyy). Logically, I am 22 years and 7 months old. Subtract those 5 months of relationships. Single 22 years and 2 months. Math.

I am going to be honest with you all; I love love. My favorite conversations that I will have with you are probably going to be the ones about love and relationships and marriage and the gushy details about all of it. I love the intricacy behind relationships, and they have always fascinated me. Growing up, I believe that I always enjoyed the idea of being in a relationship, but it wasn’t my sole focus in life. Don’t get me wrong now, I had my eyes out, and I had a deep conviction that one day, Zac Efron would spot me across the street and we would fall madly and deeply in love with each other and share tacos. I legit thought that it was going to be me and him; that somehow, God would hear my plea and make that happen.

But, no Efron for me…Someone even better to share my tacos with (hey heyyy).

Anyways, I grew up falling in love. When I liked someone, I didn’t just like them, I went all in. I wear my heart on my sleeve, and my heart would truly commit to people when I had feelings for them. This isn’t me saying that I was obsessed with anyone, that was never the case, I just knew I had so much love to give, that I was willing to give it my all. Yet, at the same time, I wasn’t seeking anything. I just figured if it was supposed to happen, it would.

Lol, but if you followed along from the beginning, I’ve basically been single all my life. I was ALWAYS the single friend. No, I didn’t see anything wrong with that. Yes, it did get momentarily lonely, as most do. But, heck, I was the queen of third wheeling. The cool extra friend. I was like a bogo; you got me, too. Just hitching along for fun. I think when I was in high school, I wanted to be in a relationship because my other friends always were, but at the same time, I’m not sure it was actually ever my deepest desire to be in a relationship. I was just floating along.

But fast forward to college.

I. Wanted. To. Love. Somebody.

So badly.

I had formed myself a little more in my faith, I had gone through some personal growth, and I found myself bored a lot. I knew that people usually found their spouses in a college atmosphere, so I was READAY.

All in all, you guys, college was just confusing. I was confused about who I was, about what I wanted in life, about what I wanted to do for my career, about what my values were, and about who I should be loving. I would say my first semester of college was hecka hard. I spent a lot of time trying to commit to prior formations in my faith, while also enjoying my experiences, while also battling the crap out of my self-confidence, while also trying to accomplish scholarly things.

I’d say after the first semester, I was in a weird spot. I was very confused about a lot of things in life and I spent A LOT of time crying. Yay emotions and weird feelings. I will admit to you that I had very strong feelings for a very good friend of mine through that first semester, and after admitting my feelings to him and receiving a kind rejection, I was a bit broken. In the middle of my mess of life, I believed that the one good thing I had going for me was this stable relationship. I had loved really hard, but evidently, it just wasn’t right. And it hurt and I hurt and it was gross and I was confused; mainly because it was a good relationship. And I thought, “God, don’t you want me to have a good relationship?”

God’s response was very, very clear to me:

“Kat, do you know yourself well enough to be in a good relationship? Are you capable of being a good spouse right now?”

I remember those words ringing through my mind, as I slowly but surely responded: “I wouldn’t want to date this version of me right now; why would someone else? When I meet my spouse, I want to be a better version of Kat. I need to embrace where I am right now in life, and grow into something better”

Conviction is a beautiful thing.

From that point on, my sole focus was to embrace my singleness. I began to want to take advantage of this ample amount of time that I had to be me and discover me and grow into me. I’m going to admit something to you, though, that I wish I would have done differently; this conviction didn’t stop me from seeking out guys in my life. I didn’t throw myself around, but my radar was still on. Except, this point and beyond was different: I had a censor. I knew what I wanted in a spouse, I knew what I deserved, and I knew that I had the right mind to not ever settle for anyone. So, as I hung out with guys or went on casual dates, I could pinpoint things about them and think “hmmm, not for me.” This was not a picky mentality, this was a “long haul” mentality. My mom really did not understand this, as she would say, “just give them a longer shot, you never know.” But I knew; because why would I want to waste my time and someone else’s. If I didn’t have an initial spark and I didn’t see myself with them, then why the heck would I even continue talking to them? Nuh-uh, not my style. But, one thing that I did with these guys I was interacting with was find small things I did enjoy, and remember that. I would pray to God about those characteristics: “I like this small aspect of this person, and I pray my husband may have qualities like this.” Stuff like a good dancer, a funny personality, someone who likes adventure, a faithful mindset, and someone who likes tacos, too.

But this is absolutely not the point of this blog.

While I was not actively seeking a relationship, I took time to myself; and you guys, this is the biggest and most bountiful blessing that I’ve ever given myself. I am going to say this loud and clear, right here and now, so listen closely:

If you are single right now, I urge you to embrace that.

If you are not in a relationship, I urge you to be in a relationship with yourself.

If you are craving to love somebody in this moment, I urge you to learn to love yourself.

If you have spent a majority of your life feeling lonely and seeking out a relationship, I urge you to stop seeking someone else and figure out how satisfying it is to keep yourself company.

If you have not taken the time to find yourself and truly figure out your own identity as a person without the input of someone else, I urge you to drop everything today and focus on who you are.

After I had this heart to heart with myself, I realized I had spent way too much of my time focusing on others. I had focused majority of my life on their opinions and their needs, and had never taken time to myself to figure out what I like and what I didn’t like and where I needed to grow and what my goals in life were and what my heart desired and what my hobbies were and what my personality was like. Gosh, I didn’t know myself. No wonder I was so confused about life, and no wonder I was having such a difficult few years handling myself. I had never, not once, taken time to myself to learn who I was. And I, along with that, had never embraced her enough to not have this constant desire to please someone else in a relationship.

I started going places by myself. Coffee shops and church functions and cafes. I started to dive into things I actually liked. Photography and calligraphy and reading and baking. I answered my life’s curiosities through tons of research. I read so many self-help books while sitting in a hammock on my balcony. I discovered a passion for interior design through my own apartment room. I studied healthy habits. I took long baths with lots of wine and I blared music that I liked. I set goals for myself, including reading all the way through the Bible for the first time, and I pushed myself. I was able to go to parties without questioning my personality or if I fit in or if I should have worn something different. I got a job that I loved. I was able to say no to a night out without feeling guilty. I learned about my mind and my thoughts. I learned about things that bothered me and prayed into them and figured out why they did. I made it a priority to open my window every morning when I woke up because I loved the way the sun looked shining through my window. I tried out a variety of drinks at Starbucks to see which one was my favorite. I watched The Great British Baking Show every night because I realized how much joy it brought me. I evaluated my past and figured out why things triggered me. I pieced through my self-confidence struggles and made myself stronger. I grew in my faith. I grew in self-awareness. I was simply just learning things about myself, and enjoying her. Getting to know her and getting to love her.

This was the biggest transformation that I’ve ever experienced: the one where I selfishly discovered myself and became unapologetically me. I can sit here and tell you this was the biggest blessing of my life. I taught myself what it meant to embrace my singleness, because I finally was able to just simply enjoy myself and enjoy the time that I got to learn about myself. What a beautiful blessing.

If you don’t see your singleness as a blessing, I urge you to take a moment and try to figure out why the heck not. If you believe it is in your future to be in a relationship, and you desire that wholeheartedly, why wouldn’t you want to take time to understand yourself and grow in yourself before you meet someone to spend the rest of your life with? Do you want to be lost in yourself while trying to figure out another person? It’s going to be a lot easier for you to know yourself before you enter a relationship than after you do, and it will simply be more enjoyable for you to figure yourself out on your own. Guaranteed, you will learn A LOT about yourself when you enter into a relationship, but why not dive deep right now, begin now, and grow as you go.

This is my story.

It’s going to be different for you and for the next person who reads this.

Please, please put no expectations on yourself because of my own experiences and the way things turned out. It will be different for you because you’ve lived a different life than I have.

But I truly prayed that I may grow through my insecurities and grow in my self-awareness before I find the person I want to spend the rest of my life with. And I hope you may do the same.

If you’re wondering how it worked out for me…

I took time to understand myself better, and decided to love her. I knew I was ready to be in a relationship after such a huge transformation of self, BUT I had no intention of finding one. Lo and behold, about a year later, I have entered the most beautiful relationship with a guy who I’m planning on spending quite a long time with (hey heyyy). He is a goofy dancer. He’s hilarious. He loves adventures and we go on many. He is one of the most faithful men I’ve ever met and pushes me every day to grow deeper. And he loves tacos.

This is the person I’ve prayed for. And I can guarantee you, if he had met college-aged Kat, he would have been very turned off by the idea of a relationship with her. If I had not taken the time to get to know myself like I did, I would not be as confident in this relationship about myself as I am right now. I would not have been ready for this commitment if I had met him any earlier. I allowed myself to enjoy my singleness and prepare my heart for where I am now. I was able to get to know myself, so that I could focus on getting to know him and not have to focus on trying to understand myself.

It is so important that you embrace being single. Enjoy it. Enjoy the blessing that it is. Enjoy yourself. How rare it is for you to simply enjoy where you are instead of constantly striving a different season of life.

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