Weddings can be wonderful, fun celebrations, of course. But if you’re single, it can be difficult to watch someone else get exactly what you want while feeling like you have to put on a happy face when you’re hurting inside. The worst part for me was being dragged up to the front by well-meaning friends to participate in the bouquet toss. I felt like they put a flashing sign on me that said “single” so everyone would know.
The Good and the Hard
To be honest, some days I really enjoyed being single. There is a real sense of freedom that comes with being single, like freedom to spend my money the way I wanted and do what I wanted.
However, there were days when being single was really hard. I struggled with feeling lonely, and not just for a romantic relationship. Sometimes I just wanted someone there—someone to help make difficult decisions, to understand me, to know the best in me even on my terrible days. I wanted someone to do life with—the good and bad. My longing wasn’t always a huge dramatic hurt; sometimes it was a dull ache that just didn’t seem to go away.
The Truth and the Lies
During the hard times of singleness it can be really easy to start believing things about yourself that aren’t true. So here are a few truths to counter the lies you might be feeling or thinking.
1. There is nothing wrong with you.
There’s a very real temptation to think our prolonged singlehood is because there’s something wrong with us as people. I remember believing that I was deeply flawed and needed to be fixed in order for someone to love me.
This is not true.
The truth is that we are all deeply flawed, which is why we need Jesus—not someone else. And God thought you were so worthy of love that he sent Jesus to die for you so that you could be with him! God also lovingly created you in his own image—which gives you deep, inherent value, just as you are today.
2. You aren’t alone.
Feeling alone, or feeling like you’re the only one who feels lonely, is one of the hardest parts of singleness. Maybe you feel like the ninth wheel when you go out with friends. Or you might find yourself sitting in a circle of friends who are planning their romantic weekend getaways, which makes you feel like you’re the only one without a significant other. But you are not alone.
Make a change that helps you see beyond your circumstances. Find at least one other single person who can help you feel less alone. Take time to remind yourself about the good things in your life. Gain new perspective by taking a trip, changing your scenery, and getting out of the usual. Sometimes a little shift in what we see can drastically change the way we think.
3. God hasn’t forgotten you.
When you wait for something for long periods of time, you can start to question God’s motives, and to think he’s forgotten you. Or that you’ve done something wrong.
Neither of those are true. God doesn’t forget us. We can’t always know the exact motives of God, but we can know his character. He is described as a good father who gives good gifts to his children (see Matthew 7:9-11). So tell the Lord how you feel on good days and bad days, and trust in his character—that he is good and has good things for you.
Hopefully these truths will bring perspective when singleness feels challenging. So when the next wedding invitation comes, remind yourself that you are exactly who God created you to be and that you are not the only single person out there. Spend time doing something you love to do to bring yourself life and peace.
And when you attend the wedding, feel free to take a restroom break during the bouquet toss.
Andrea is the Executive Assistant for Collegiate Ministries at InterVarsity, as well as a graduate student at Dallas Baptist University. She loves to experience new cultures and learn new things. Her most recent endeavor is learning to play the ukulele. You can find her random thoughts at http://lamatimes.blogspot.com/.