4 Tips for Surviving Singleness & Valentine’s Day

Happy Friday, sisters! 

As I shared a few days ago, I am so excited to be a contributing writer for the amazing new women's magazine, Quite Magazine! And my first article has been published! And I'm sharing it with you here today - 4 Tips for Surviving Singleness and Valentine's Day. May you be inspired to embrace the season of life you are in! 

It’s nearly that time of the year…you know the one. The time of year when you go into Target to buy body wash and toothpaste, and suddenly you find yourself walking through a sea of pink and heart-shaped chocolates. Before you know it, you're walking out the door with not just the necessities you came for, but a bag full of candy, gold glittery nail polish, and a collection of random dollar section items (am I the only one who has a love/hate relationship with Target? Nevermind, it's mostly love.)
It’s that wonderful, “love is in the air” time of the year we call Valentine’s Day. Some of us look forward to it and embrace it fondly because it means bouquets of fragrant roses, little candy conversation hearts, and romantic hand-written cards. But others loathe it’s coming and anticipate it’s passing… because, you see, it can be a harsh reminder of singleness, loneliness, and longing. Being single can be lonely at any time of the year, but I have found that Valentine’s Day tends to “amp up” those feelings and can make a season of singleness more challenging to walk through. As an unmarried twenty-something woman, I understand the challenge  Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying being single is a bad thing. In fact, I have honestly found singleness to be a special blessing, a sacred time of life that is full of unique opportunities, personal growth, and a sweet season of being "just me & God." But it can also be a lonely road to walk, especially for those of us who have chosen to give our love lives over to God. For those of us who have said “no” to our culture’s idea of cheap romance and are choosing to wait for God’s best plan, who are holding out for a soulmate kind of love that will last a lifetime.

Maybe you understand what I mean…maybe you’re the only single one in your group of friends and you feel alone. Maybe you’ve recently been through a break-up and the thought of a solo Valentine’s Day scares you. Perhaps you’re married but someone in your life is struggling with singleness. Wherever you are in life and love, I would like to offer 4 tips for those who are facing Valentine’s Day alone this year – I hope you are encouraged or can encourage someone in your life with these simple but meaningful pieces of advice:  

1. Remember who is writing your love story. Your love life is a special thing, a sacred thing. I believe that all too often our culture and media portray relationships and marriage as meaningless, something that is simply there for our momentary pleasure. But that is so not true. Marriage was created by God to be lasting, to be a picture of Christ and the Church, and to be a special partnership of mutual love and care between two lives who have committed to one another “til death to us part.” If you have given God your love story, remember that He is the one who created love and romance in the first place; remind yourself that He is the God who placed the stars in the Heavens and calls the sun to rise each morning. Remember that He knows you are single. And that if you are single today, it is part of His grand plan for your life. (Jeremiah 29:11) He is writing your love story. And though things may not happen in the timing that you want or the way you would like, choose to trust God’s plan. And remember that He is writing your love story – a story much sweeter than you can imagine! If you have not given your love life to God, I encourage you to ask Him to take “the pen” and write your love story. He will not let you down! 

2. Don’t Just Sit Alone and Mope. Believe me, friend. I know the desire to want to eat an entire box of chocolate, turn on a tragic Chick Flick and cry your eyes out. But I encourage you – don’t wallow in self-pity. Do something fun, choose to redeem the time! You never know, this may be your last single Valentine’s Day ever! So dress up and go out with your girlfriends to a special dinner, invite friends over for a hot cocoa and game night, or offer to babysit a married couple’s little ones so they can enjoy a rare date night out. Choose to look outward instead of focusing on disappointment and loneliness. You might be surprised at how much fun you have!

3. Pray for your future husband. Every year on February 14th since I was a teenager, I write a love letter to my future husband. Whether I am dating someone or not, I always buy or make a card and spend some time on Valentine’s night before I go to sleep praying for my future husband, wherever he may be in this world, writing a few words telling him so. I always make sure I include the year. I hope that someday, when I finally marry “my man”, He is blessed & feels loved, knowing that I prayed for him before I met him. This can be a wonderful way to be purposeful in the “waiting” season. This Valentine’s Day, write a little note to your future husband. Tell him you are waiting for him, praying for him, saving yourself for him. Share with him how much you love him, even before you meet him. Take this time and make something beautiful out of it. And when your Prince Charming comes along, how amazing will it be for him to know that you thought of him before you've met him! Embrace this season of singleness and choose to grow and sow seeds that will someday be a blessing in your future marriage!

4. Know you are loved. It is so important to remember that you are loved immeasurably by God. Being single does not mean you are unloved or unwanted. It means that God does not want to share you yet! Seize this time and choose to open your heart to the love of God. He can fill your heart and complete you in a way no human ever can. See this time as sweet and sacred, spending time alone with Jesus. Don’t spend this time in the “waiting room” pacing around and worrying; spend it waiting on God, listening to Him, following Him. And believe that HE is the everlasting and most satisfying love there is!

“Often a Christian man or woman falls prey to that cruel and vexatious spirit, wondering how to find marriage, who, when, where?
 It is on God that we should wait, as a waiter waits--not for but on the customer--alert, watchful, attentive, with no agenda of his own, ready to do whatever is wanted. 
'My soul, wait only upon God; for my expectation is from Him.' (Ps. 62:5) In Him alone lie our security, our confidence, our trust. 
A spirit of restlessness and resistance can never wait, but one who believes he is loved with an everlasting love, and knows that underneath are the everlasting arms, will find strength and peace.” 
 Elisabeth Elliot, Quest for Love: True Stories of Passion and Purity

And remember, it is better to be single than to be with the wrong person. Being single is not the end of the world! You are precious, beautiful, and special whether you have a man in your life or not. Your identity and value does not lie in your relationships status. I encourage you to run to God, and to find your fulfillment in Him because He loves you. He loves you oh so much.

After all, He is the best Valentine there is.