It happened again.
I sighed and stared down at the little heart displaying a new relationship status on Facebook. Yep, another girl down.
One after the other, the girls my sister and I grew up with were dating and getting married, while we watched— still single, and not a Christian young man in sight.
First, one “in a relationship” status popped up on Facebook. Then another. An engagement announcement, another relationship update, a wedding, more engagement pictures. The jewelry stores were surely running out of rings by now, right?
My sister and I felt like the last single girls standing.
With everyone else pairing up two by two, like a replay of Noah’s ark, the whirlwind of romance blowing through town seemed to have left us behind.
We were discouraged. Lonely. Wondering, “Will it ever be me?”
Can you relate? Take heart, single gal, you’re not the only one. Here are four things to keep in mind.
1. There’s nothing wrong with you.
When we’re single, it’s easy to allow our minds to be inundated with thoughts like, “What does she have that I haven’t got?” or “What did he see in her that he didn’t see in me?” and even, “Is there something wrong with me?”
Been there, done that.
The short answer is no.
Once, during a particular disheartening day, my sister asked me, “Do we exude something that repels guys?” My trite reply, “Yes, it’s called class.”
All jokes aside, there’s nothing wrong with you.
You don’t have a neon sign above your head flashing “Stay away!” and you don’t exude single man repellent either. You just haven’t met the right one yet.
However, this doesn’t mean we’re exempt from perfecting our character and seeking God to refine us and help us be the women He’s created us to be. I have issues; you have issues. We’re each a work in progress, made more beautiful by the gentle correction and remolding of our Father.
2. Keep your standards high.
Desperation has a way of clawing itself into our hearts when we see everyone else getting what we long for. And a desperate heart can make unwise decisions.
No matter how desperate you feel, please don’t try to force a relationship to happen by lowering your standards. Many girls think they’ve just been too picky, and that’s why they’re still single. For some, maybe that’s true. Honestly evaluate yourself, and what you’ve been looking for in a spouse, but don’t compromise on what’s really important.
Maybe “dark, curly hair” and “plays the guitar” can be scratched off your list, but “strong Christian,” “humble,” and “kind and respectful,” cannot.
It’s better to be single than to be in a relationship or marriage that makes you long for singleness.
Don’t make a permanent mistake to satisfy a momentary longing. Don’t settle for second best or “Mr. Right Now.” Hold out for the man who leads you spiritually, cherishes you, pursues you, and treats you like the prize you are.
3. Avoid comparison—and social media (if necessary).
This goes back to those questions we asked earlier, “What did he see in her, that he didn’t see in me?”
Comparison is an ugly and destructive thing, but something we all struggle with. What makes it so harmful is that it seeks to degrade someone. Either it degrades the other person, as we compare and find ourselves on top, or it degrades us, as we compare and find ourselves lacking. Neither outcome, however, is truth.
When God first formed us, He didn’t give one all the admirable qualities and forgot about someone else. He made us differently, but equally, and a guy’s attention—or lack thereof—doesn’t equate worth.
One of the biggest and deadliest weapons comparison wields is social media.
For me, if I hadn’t been on Facebook, I wouldn’t have found out about all those relationship updates and engagements, at least not for a much longer time, I didn’t need to know about my friend’s (and a few strangers thrown in too!) new boyfriend. It was harmful, not helpful, and by having a social media account, I was opening the door and inviting those negative emotions in.
Social media, in and off itself, isn’t necessarily harmful, but when used incorrectly, it takes our focus off Jesus, turns our attention to the lives and opinions of other people, and invites comparison into our hearts.
If you find yourself discouraged and insecure, comparison whispering lies, after a few minutes of your Facebook timeline or Instagram feed, then don’t be afraid to be a little radical and get off social media.
4. Your single years can be full of romance.
Singleness is often made out as a deadly disease to be avoided at all cost, when in actuality; it’s just a different stage of life. Granted, a stage of life difficult for a girl longing for marriage, but one that shouldn’t be rejected as useless, or condemned as poison.
My prayer for my own single years, is that they would be time of a special love with Jesus—my true husband and Lover of my heart.
I know He has every ability to fulfill my deepest longings and desires, and I seek Him to daily satisfy my heart. His is a love no man’s can compare to. His is a love that never gives up, never grows dim. And I want, more than I want a temporary boyfriend, to be so utterly lost in His love, a man will have to pursue Him to find me.
Dear single girl, please listen and remember this. I know you’re longing for love— I do too. Turn to the Lover.
I know you ache to be held, loved, and known. Look to the One who aches to hold, love, and know you.
I know every time you see a friend in a relationship, your heart bleeds and breaks a little more. Rest in the Healer, Satisfier, and Comforter.
I know you’re lonely, hurting. I know you’re weary, but take heart; He will give you the strength you need to face each day of singleness. He won’t give you strength today to last all year, all month, or even all week, because He wants you to turn to Him daily. He will be faithful to provide strength for today, as you lean into His promises for tomorrow.
Take heart, single girl. You are dearly loved and never forgotten.
-Have you ever felt like “the last single girl standing”? How did you deal with it?
-Which point is hardest for you to apply? Which spoke to you the most?
-How can you personally begin to focus on Jesus in your single years?
Meet the Author: Sara Barratt is a regular contributor for The Rebelution and Top Christian Books and has been published on numerous other blogs including Lies Young Women Believe, Know Your Value and The Overflow. Connect with her on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/sarabarrattauthor/ ) and at www.sarabarratt.com