Archive for the ‘christian living’ Category
Here’s a post I’ve been meaning to write for a while. I’m 34 and I’m single. And I’m happy. I have a lot of single friends who are not happy to be single. Some of them are very unhappy to be single. So here are my top tips for contentment in singleness. This is not particularly a theological discussion of singleness, though if anyone’s interested I can give you that too. These are practical things that have helped me to be content, and even happy, in my single state.
- Don’t wallow. Being single is not the most important thing about you. So don’t waste your life worrying about being single. Don’t read bridal magazines or browse the windows of jewellery shops eyeing up the rings. Clearly there will be times where you can’t help but feel single – when friends get engaged or married, for instance. But you still get to choose how to respond to those times. Focus on the other person, be happy for your friends. Don’t make it about you.
- Don’t wallow with your other single friends. When you hang out with other single girls, don’t let the conversation always turn to how miserable it is to be single. You have a whole life going on now, you must be able to find something else to talk about between you.
- Don’t feed yourself a diet of happy ever afters. Romcoms and chicklit sell you a line. And if that’s all you watch and all you read, that’s what you’ll start to believe. Real life is not about the happy ever after. There are a whole lot of films and books out there that are about much more interesting things than just the romantic dream. Listen to Radio 4, read Russian tragedies, go to the opera.
- This is really my top, top tip so I don’t know why I’ve buried it here at number 4. Oh well. I’ll just have to put it in pink. Hang out with married friends a lot. This will help with numbers 1, 2 and 3. It’s genius. You don’t get to wallow in your own singleness and you certainly don’t get someone else commiserating with you in your misery. And you get to see that the happy ever after isn’t always quite so happy. And, brilliantly, it also leads to number 5.
- Hang out with friends and their children. Don’t use this as an opportunity to get broody and start wallowing. Just enjoy building up relationships with these children. You get to be the mad auntie and the fun friend. This is a thing I’ve really loved over the last 5 or 10 years. There are children I’ve bathed and put to bed, children I’ve read stories to, children who’ve crawled over me, children who’ve read their Santa letters to me. And, wonderfully, I don’t have to be the one who deals with their nappies, their tantrums, or their teenage angst.
- And actually, what all of this boils down to is, start living your life now. Don’t fall into the trap of feeling like you’re waiting for life to start. Work out what sort of person you are and enjoy the life that you have.
And, I know I said this wasn’t my theological post, but I do think it helps to remember that this is an issue of godliness. Learning to be content is an important part of Christian life whether you’re single or married.