More than any other year, this Valentine’s Day season I have felt accosted by the concept of finding completeness in my significant other.
All around me I hear the reasons someone’s spouse or boyfriend is just divine perfection. I even found myself nodding understandingly. I reminded myself how lucky I am to have such an incredible man that is all mine on this hyped-up-on-chocolate holiday. Then, for just one brief second, as I stared down at my red-sprinkled, heart-shaped cookie, I realized…what is this load of junk? And I was not referring to the glittering dessert in my hand. Why is my luckiness, my blessed life, my happiness derived from having a significant other?
This is probably incredibly confusing to hear from Grace, the newlywed, who is experiencing her first married Valentine’s Day tomorrow. Let me clarify. I love my husband. He truly is one of the best parts of my life. I could not be more happy I married him. And, cliche or not, he is my best friend. But, you see, as I reflected on the wonderful husband I have, I realized that this silly holiday, while building my relationship up, was tearing down something a little over a year ago I found so incredibly important. Singleness. And, really, it’s getting old.
This Valentine’s Day Season, in an ode to the beauty that is singleness, here are 5 Reasons I Miss Being Single.
1. Freedom to Explore.
Last autumn, I packed up and headed to the Middle East. No one decided that for me. I decided for myself. I had studied Arabic for three years and wanted nothing more than to experience something new, something life-changing, something adventurous. The only thing that could hold me back were my own fears. Having the freedom to go, meant I would face my fears, and go. Freedom is something to fight for and not something to give up lightly. It is a huge decision. One I would have only ever have given up because I met the love of my life. Now our exploring is a team effort, an amazing race, but one that certainly runs up against more obstacles. And so, I miss being single because I miss the uninhibited freedom to explore.
2. Personal Hobbies.
As anyone who has ever acted in a play with me knows, I love to colour. It is so entertaining to me. I would colour as I waited backstage for my cue. I would do it while I watched a tv show. Shoot, I’d colour when I had much better things to be doing. When I got married, I realized, while hobbies that involve only one person are still good to have, they aren’t always as practical. Mind you, I still read and colour plenty, but I also know having hobbies with my husband are important. When you spend all your time with one person, it can be hard to remember to continue your previous entertainments and passions. I miss being single because I miss the ease in which I could pursue my hobbies.
3. Strength Gained through Independence.
I used to hate calling strangers. It made me so incredibly nervous. I would beg my mum not to make me call the doctor, the dentist, the pizza guy. Over and over again though, she would make me. Oh, how I hated her for it. After awhile, I got over it. When I went to college, I would march all over the place figuring out forms, tackling meetings, and resolving issues. When I began applying for a government internship, I suddenly realized my mum had taught me how to get this internship. She had taught me to be independent, and it was time for me to go after what I was capable of getting. All on my own. I have never felt more confident than when I walked into my first day of that internship. Entirely because I had received that honor all on my own. The final realization of “I am a capable human being.” I miss being single because there is a great strength gained through independence.
4. Personal Identity.
It has been a long road to discovering who I am as an individual. I’ve been tossed this way and that throughout life. Death of a mother, constant moving, new friends, new school, and, well, new life. Through all that, I just wanted to figure out who I was and where I was headed. That’s all of our stories, at least a little bit, right? I believe singleness is needed to figure out who we are. We need time to explore our interests, our dislikes, our passions, our desires. If they are blocked, hindered, or even over-powered by the passions of another, how will we ever find ours? Before I agreed to marry Leif, I thought long and hard about who I was and what I was offering to our relationship. I wanted to be able to give him 100% Grace. Not 60% Grace and 40% confusion. I run across so many single individuals who feel the need to be content in their singleness. I feel there should be so much more than contentedness. There should be excitement, enthusiasm, and love for what God’s plan is for them in the here and now. They have the ability to explore who they are in order to prepare for whatever is coming next. I miss being single because I miss that luxury of analyzing my personal identity.
5. Availability and Flexibility.
An amazingly passionate friend of mine, during college, would often ask me to help her in her organization, hobbies, and events. There was nothing more I loved doing. I would run over and help her set up. I would go with her to a big convention about something I didn’t have a clue about. It was my joy as a friend to see her light up in her area of expertise. My roommate, junior year, was a nursing major. She would, sometimes, talk late into the night about some sort of dreadful disease that would have given me nightmares if I had understood a word she was saying. And, yet, being available for these talks, having the flexibility to be able to be there for these people made those some of the best days of my life. I miss being single because I miss the availability and flexibility for the other relationships in my life.
I hope you don’t finish reading this and think, wow, that girl wishes she didn’t get married. That is far, far from true. I just want you to know, that even though I’m married, I think singleness is an amazing, beautiful, wonderful part of life. I just wanted to reflect on the good that is so often forgotten on Valentine’s Day.
Do you miss anything about being single? Leave a comment below.