A Letter to My Formerly Single Self

red hair girlDear Formerly Single Self,

You think that God actually doesn’t super care about the fact that you care about a relationship. Most of the time, you wonder if you even care either.

But you can tell you do care, because most of the time you also can’t stop thinking about it, wishing for it, being angry and confused and mad about it in ways that are embarrassing for their frequency and whininess.

You are looking at long-term couples or married people and thinking, “What did they do right that they were chosen for this? What area of their life do they have together that someone relatively awesome chose them and they are having the best and easy time being blissful in a relationship?”

You will think long-term couples and married people are generally snobs who don’t appreciate your singleness and who also don’t appreciate the enormous benefits they are reaping from being loved and being in love and feeling safe.

You’re wrong. They probably do.

You will resent the romantic happiness of other people because they have it so easy. What you will resent on top of your resentfulness is your own jealousy and bitterness, and you will panic because you will frantically realize, more than once, that people who have their life together will not find jealousy and bitterness attractive. Like, at all.

You will pray for a relationship, over and over again. While you are praying, you will find that you are weirdly angry with yourself (God?) for praying about this. You will hate praying about this and yet you will not be able to stop because you have to keep praying, even though you go in and out of feeling fairly pathetic because you are becoming a grown-ass woman who only needs God and only needs herself and maybe some close girlfriends.

You will be above love while craving it on a relatively daily basis.

You will date people you think will be the last person you will kiss. They aren’t. And you will be seriously, down-on-you-knees thankful for that, in probably less time than you think.

You will be confused when you have this inner feeling that couldn’t possibly be anything but divine understanding that so-and-so is the one, despite so-and-so not actually wanting you that much, ever. And you will be peacefully shocked at how quickly so-and-so, and that guy, and this guy, is removed from your life and yourself and anything you even think about. You will realize that time actually does heal wounds.

You will think that when you meet The Guy, you will have your heart together and your dreams mostly together and your ability to navigate a relationship with no questions together. You will not.

You won’t even have this together a little less than a year later when he proposes on a mountaintop and you instantly forget every sweet word he just said because you were living, breathing, experiencing the reality of a moment you had dreamt about for most of your life.

You will still wonder if you know how to do anything right. You will not receive an epiphany from God that this man is The One. In fact, you are already realizing that The One is not a thing, but rather a choice. And you will be surprised at how much better this actually is.

Instead, you will be in awe that you received something more, and that was moments upon moments of certainty that felt settled in your soul. You will see God not through perfection but through imperfection.

You will find that the moments that resonate in your soul are not the ones of dates and flowers but when he washes your dishes or laughs at something you said or sweeps up the glass you broke after too many gin and tonics.

When you fall in love, and even when you get engaged, you will not feel like you have “arrived.” You will not feel more together than your single friends. You will not feel like you have something figured out no one else does. You will realize that this magic is not something you made happen. In many ways it will feel like a fluke anyone can stumble into and discover insane happiness.

You will realize that married people have no idea how to be married. They don’t know more than you. They just happened to go first. And this will comfort both of you.

You have a deep fear that you will never be okay with feeling like you are part of a unit. You are afraid that no matter what, you will always feel generally separate and alone, that you cannot be “one” with someone and don’t want to be “one.”

You will be wrong about this too.

You also have a deep fear that you are not capable of real love. You are. And even as you are literally in real love, you will marvel at what real love actually looks like and how it defied what you had imagined in your head.

And you will realize that most people are afraid at failing at real love and go forward into it with courage anyway, with what is probably more desire and confidence than you they thought themselves capable of.

And you will too.

If you’re married or in a relationship, what would you say to your formerly single self? If you’re single, where have you found perspective in where you’re at?

4 replies »

  1. Hey!

    I absolutely love this piece and I’m loving your blog (followed!) but I would also like to invite you to submit a short piece to my own. I think your perspective and style of writing would be a perfect piece for my project.

    It’d also be a great way to get your blog/writing out there.

    Please feel free to email me (jennifer@youngandtwenty) with more questions, or take a look at the ‘BEING Young & Twenty’ page on my blog.

    I hope I’ll hear from you 🙂



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