Monday, February 14, 2011

On Singleness & Loneliness

It’s Valentine’s Day. And appropriately, I’m writing a post on love. I’m quite original, yes.

I don’t feel as if I talk too much about my singleness on this blog. I write letters to my future husband and have talked about my stance on premarital sex and cohabitation. But not about the here and now. Not about living day in and day out, wondering what’s wrong with me. Cringing every time a formerly single friend finds love. Aching at the thought I may never wear a silver band on my left hand or a beautiful, white dress on my body.

I’m single. I’ve chosen to be single, but I desperately want to find love. I even went so far as to join a dating site, only to delete my profile the next day. Not that I necessarily think there’s anything wrong with dating sites, but it’s just not the path I want to take right now. I’m growing impatient and it scares me. I don’t think I’ll ever settle for Mr. Right Now, but there are moments when I think I could.

I hate to use the term because it is so overused, but it rings true for Valentine’s Day. Commercialized. Valentine’s Day is the single most commercialized holiday there is. Way more than Christmas. It’s all about jewelry and chocolate and teddy bears and flowers and cards. Love, love, love. On this day, if you don’t give me anything, you don’t really love me. I mean, really? That’s what this day has come to? This scramble to buy the one you love the perfect gift to signify your love. I’m also not on the “Valentine’s Day should be every day” camp, because let’s face it, can we really treat every day like we love the person we’re with to bits and pieces? Are we really that loveable 365 days a year? I think not. I’m never going to put that kind of pressure on my guy, that he needs to buy me some extravagant gift or take me out to an extravagant dinner just because it happens to be the Day of Love. So, future husband, if you’re reading, just know you’re off the hook when it comes to V-Day.

The truth is, I’m lonely. And not just because today is Valentine’s Day, but because there’s not a day that passes where I don’t wonder if I’ll ever spend this day with my future husband. Will I ever meet him? As single girl after single girl get paired up and swoony (I’m growing to hate that word, by the way), I’m still stuck in my pattern of singleness and loneliness. I want to stop waiting for him. I want him to be in my life right now. I read love stories that give my hope for the future, but also simultaneously make nervous that I won’t have the same serendipitous chance meeting. That I’ll be too afraid to even attempt a relationship, that my own fears and anxiety will take center stage and leave me alone once more.

I’m willing to sit back and let God control my love life, but I would be lying if I said I’m content with the way he’s conducting it right now. I know He has a plan, a bigger and better one than I could ever imagine, but it’s hard to not be at the controls. I just want to jump in and take it over, but I know it would only result in a mess. Right now, I’m just searching for peace. Peace in my singleness, peace in my loneliness. Peace that I will someday find him.


  1. My fiance and I usually only celebrate V-day with dinner, we skip presents and all that red/pink hoopla but this year he decided he wanted to exchange gifts so we'll see what it turns out. You'll find the one you're supposed to be with when you least expect it - that's how I met Keith :)

  2. I'm so with you on this. I've always been single & although I'm often quite alright with it, I sometimes just get this feeling of dread that it'll never happen for me. A bunch of my friends found someone special recently and it's just leaving me really down, no matter how hard I try not to be. It just sucks to always be that girl. Screw V-day! We'll find someone, someday :)

  3. I know it's hard waiting. Believe me, I know. Unlike you, I sought out boyfriends simply to have one, hoping that one of them would be Mr. Right.

    Finally, after the ex before my husband and I broke up I told myself I was done and I was going to be single. Little did I know, Dustin, who was my friend at the time, was just waiting for me to get over my ex.

    However, I know your pain and I think you're better than me for not just settling. I settled a lot and sometimes I wish I'd really waited rather than just dating around for the heck of it. Yes, I learned from each guy and I believe they lead me to Dustin. But I regret some of them.

    Anyway. What I mean in all this is that you WILL find him when you're meant to. And when you do, you won't look back and regret your Mr. Right Nows. Be patient. I know it's hard but it'll pay off.

  4. I could have written this exact post hundreds of times, seriously. I know that we just started reading each other's blogs but before Knight? I was single for over a year. And before that? I was dealing with a rough break-up. Before that dude, it was three years of singledom. I took breaks from dating. Tried online dating. Was bitter at times and hated the whole entire dating process. So many feelings, thoughts, emotions have gone through my brain about love and marriage, dating and society. I was lonely. A lot. However, I always fell back into my hopeless romantic "he's out there" attitude. I think somedays that's all that kept me going (on the love front, anyway). I won't keep writing a book here on your post, but if you want to talk about this, email me. I understand where you're coming from. All I could do was trust that it would all workout, whatever that meant/means... and I still do.

  5. There's nothing wrong with finding a boy (or boys) you like to hang out with right now. But if you're longing for a man, it's not the right time. You'll fall too easily.

    Instead, take time to do exactly what it is you want to do in life. Do things for yourself. Make it all about you. Because this is the only time in your life it's okay to be selfish. And if you don't, you might regret it later.

    Boys will come and go, but you have you forever. Make sure you're happy first.

  6. <3 Jen's comment!!! And in reply to that:
    For that matter at 21 I'm still a "girl" I don't think i'm the woman I need to be for said man just yet.
    Great well thought out post Stephany!

  7. For what it's worth, we don't celebrate Valentines at all and think it's kind of ridiculous. I used to be a waitress and I LOVED working on Valentines Day though because the tips were fantastic. Lol

    I think you have the right attitude/approach about all of this. It will happen, promise. And when it does, it won't feel like it took forever. In the meantime, you could maybe try putting yourself out there a bit more to meet more people? Maybe that will help you feel less like you're standing still.

    Happy Valentines to you love, you're beautiful and fabulous! XO

  8. OK. I have three things to say, a fact, a family story and a parable (well, not a Jesus parable, but whatever):

    1. Valentine's Day is probably not the most commercialized day of the year, considering Christmas reaches many more people than Valentine's Day and it's celebrated in more countries. And did you know that Mother's Day is actually the day more people buy flowers. True story. I used to work for 1-800-FLOWERS.COM's PR agency and that was their highest selling day.

    Which brings me to:

    2. My grandmother doesn't celebrate Mother's Day for this very reason! She says, "If you're going to wait around for one day a year to show your love, to hell with you." Well, she didn't exactly say those words, my dad did, but I'm sure if you asked her, that's what she'd say.

    And finally the parable:

    3. There once was a man who lived in a town that had a hurricane heading straight toward it. Everyone in the town had evacuated, but the man stayed, secure in the knowledge that the Lord would protect him. A police car came by the house, offering to take him away, but he said, "No, no, the Lord will protect me."

    Later the rain caused flooding, so he had to climb to the 2nd floor of his house. Two men on a boat saw him and offered him a ride. But he said, "No, no, the Lord will protect me from harm." So the hunters left.

    The water continued to rise, and the man climbed to his roof. The National Guard helicopter spotted him and came to rescue him. But the man said, "No, no, the Lord will protect me." So the National Guard left.

    Eventually the man was blown off his roof and drowned. When he got to heaven, he asked God, "After all my years of faithful praying and service, why did you not answer my prayers and save my life?” And God said, "I sent you a car, a boat, and a helicopter. What else did you expect me to do."

    The point is: God may already be sending you your car, boat and helicopter, but you also need to participate. Prince Charming is not going to arrive with a sign that says "Hello, I'm Prince Charming." And God has various ways of introducing people and they are not all going to be the same. How do you know that the man you think is "Mr Right Now" isn't God's "Mr Right"? Obviously, don't go for the scumbags and people who don't meet certain standards, but you can't expect love to happen without a certain amount of effort on your part.

  9. Before I met my husband I felt exactly the same way. My aunt would always tell me that she didn't get married until she was 35 but she was so glad she waited for my uncle. That's definitely true, but the waiting part sucks. I felt the same when I was waiting to get pregnant. Words of encouragement like, "It'll happen in the right time" sound empty because you honestly don't know what God's plan is. It might NOT happen. I don't mean to be a downer, I just want you to know I understand how it feels to be waiting. I always just tried to feel secure knowing that God would give me whatever I need for each day.

  10. Aww, thank you for linking to my story! (Which reminds me, I have to continue on with it...)

    My two cents would probably fall somewhere in between what Jen and Allison said. I really think that God has someone out there for you, but when and how he'll come into your life is a complete mystery. You just have to be open to meeting people and take chances every opportunity you can. I think you'll know when you meet someone with the potential to be "the one," and when you feel that way, don't let shyness or anything else hold you back from seeing what's there between the two of you. And in the meantime, don't let it bring you down. Focus on YOU, as this is such an exciting time for you, graduating from college soon! Focus on your career and doing things you really enjoy, because this may be the only time in your life that it really gets to be ALL about you!

  11. Oh girlfriend, do I know how you feel. I've written variations of this post over and over again, trust me. I know that we became blog friends after I was in a relationship, but before that, I was a lonely single girl wondering what was wrong with me. My first relationship (and first kiss!) didn't happen until I was 21 and up until that point, it made me miserable at times.

    I remember constantly thinking that there must be something unappealing about myself that nobody was telling me about, like I wasn't pretty or was socially awkward. It was so hard because, as time went forward, all of my close friends got into relationships, even the ones who had been in the same boat as me.

    I know from experience that it's hard to listen to the people who've found love when they say "just wait," "it will show up when you don't expect it," and "your time will come." But it's the truth. Right now, you're busy finishing college and getting healthy - you're working a lot on you. And that's the most important thing right now.

    Sending lots of love and hugs your way.

  12. FYI-Matt is no longer my "in case of emergency." He never answers his phone, so the responsibility has been reverted back to my sister! LOL Another FYI-no way would I have wanted to been married/dating/in love at your age, I lived my life, learned my lessons and waited until my Mattie came along. It happens when it's supposed to so until then, enjoy life and learn everything you can!

  13. I've been single for a LONG time. Actually the only "relationship" I had only lasted 2 months and it is difficult to even consider it a relationship because we never saw each other nor talked. :/

    Anyway, I know it's rough, especially when you feel ready. And it may sound stupid to say this, but I've stopped waiting for someone. I know that God will put that "special person" into my life when He feels that I am ready. Right now, I know that I am mentally and emotionally ready for a boyfriend, but at the same time, I have so much other stuff going on in my life. Finishing up school, looking into grad schools, running (when I'm not injured ;)), on campus activities, etc, that it just would not work.

    I'm trying to remember where I was going with this...uhhh, oh yeah. Just know that you are not alone and I know that it is tough to keep waiting. Just trust in God that the person you are supposed to be with will come into your life at the right time. For some people, it's sooner than others, but we get there.

    Keep your head up!!! :D

  14. Love is something so special because its so different for everyone. Even with all the relationships, and "stuff" I've experienced, I've never really, truly been in love, and I, like you, am growing impatient. we're both young, though, and you are beautiful, smart, and funny... you have a good head on your shoulders, and you have strength in your convictions. I have absolutely no doubt that you will find a partner who is worthy of all that you have to offer, and when you do, you will understand what all this waiting was for.

    Just remember that God is wonderful, and His plan for you can take you a lot of places, but sometimes, God needs us to take the imitative and seek what we need, as well. Don't let love pass you by because it wasn't easy, or presented to you. Sometimes, you do have to put yourself out there a little bit. At least, that's my opinion.

    Best of luck!

  15. I don't personally know how you feel, because I haven't really been single since I was 16... but I have a few friends who are still looking for "the one".... it's frustrating and exhausting, but I believe that there is somebody out there!!

  16. I agree with San... I haven't been single since I was 16 too but I see my friends going through the same thing as you are. Some of them gave up looking and found the right one when they were least expecting it. So I believe that it happens when you least expect it. Your guy's out there! :)

  17. I've been there. I went to a University known for their MRS degrees and got asked out once in 4 years. I was the only one of my friends to graduate sans boyfriend, much less fiance or husband.

    From the time I was 16 until I was 22 I was asked out once. From 22-24 I had 3 three invites to go out - and they all ended horribly and lasted only briefly.

    A few months after my 24th birthday I met a guy and he broke my heart by cheating on me with at least two other girls. I told him no sex and instead of breaking up with me, he kept dating me and sleeping with the other girls. I was convinced that it wasn't worth it.

    Fast-forward to Thanksgiving of that year (2009) and a friend of mine wanted to go out dancing. I'll never forget telling God, while getting ready to go, that I didn't want to go and it wasn't like I would meet my future husband there that night. Except that I did. In a dancehall/bar the last place I had ever planned on giving a guy my number. But we clicked and married within 9 months. I've now been his wife for 6 months, and I promise you, he was worth the wait.

    (PS, we don't celebrate V-day as he hates it due to the way an ex of his acted around/on the day)

  18. I am sorry you are lonely Stephany. I will say that he will show up, but that doesn't make it happen any faster. Spend this time becoming the awesome person you are and learning even more things that you love about you.

    We didn't do anything for V-Day. I got my husband a funny card and he sent me an e-card. I like more thoughtful things too - don't want forced gifts!


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