Monday, September 18, 2017

The Single Series: To The Dating/Engaged/Married Friends

Hello friends! I'm continuing The Single Series! If you don't know what this series is about, check out this post first, then come back here. Or search Single Series in the search bar on the right side.

Now that's we're all caught up, I want to dedicate this post to the friends that are dating, engaged, or married. One thing I always struggled with as a single gal was relating to my friends who weren't single. They possessed this thing that I craved so bad. And it seemed like they forgot how it felt being single. The loneliness, the inappropriate questions and comments from family members, the struggle of not feeling worthy. #thestruggleisreal

I wanted to give some advice to those girls who have the guy. Sweet friend, I first want to tell you how happy I am for you! Dating is so much fun! And if you're engaged or married, even more congrats! I pray for so many blessings on your marriage and that the Lord would move through the both of you for His kingdom. But if you have single friends, can I give you some advice?
  1. Spend time with just the two of you. Leave your guy at home and spend time with your friend. No one likes being the third wheel all the time. It's so important to continue feeding this friendship. But don't say things like "well I can only hang out this weekend because [insert your man's name] is out of town." This can make your single friend feel like she's just your back-up plan. Plus, if you're only spending time with other couples, it can send a message that you only think other couples are worth spending time with. I know the older we get the busier we get. But take the time to grab coffee with her, get a manicure, or just go for a walk. 
  2. Don't just talk about your relationship. As a single girl, I truly did love hearing about my friends' wedding planning but there always came a time when I wanted to talk about something else. When the only thing you know to talk about is your boyfriend/fiance/husband, it can really wear on a single friend that struggles with wanting a relationship. And I'll admit I've been there! You're so excited so it's what you want to talk about. But you both talked about other things before you started dating, right? On the flip side, don't just complain about the negatives in your relationship. I know I ended up resenting my friends when they did this because I would always think "you aren't even appreciating your relationship!" And then I would be angry because I would feel like she wasn't cherishing what the Lord had given her. Definitely an unhealthy place to be!
  3. Unless she explicitly asks you to set her up, don't assume she wants you to play Cupid. When you're single and you have a friend who is constantly trying to suggest guys, dating apps, whatever to you, it can really make you feel like you're lacking something. And as a single gal, I want to tell you that you are not lacking anything!
  4. Please stop saying "this is your time to date the Lord." If you're in a relationship, were you perfectly pursuing God before you started dating? I know I wasn't! And I would bet a lot of people would say the same thing too. Telling your single friends that this is their time to really get to know the Lord is well-meaning because they do have more flexibility with their time, but it can cause them to believe the lie that they must have a perfect relationship with God before he'll bring a man into their life.
  5. And don't say "it'll happen when you stop looking." Trust me. I have stopped looking so many times and still nothing happened. I specifically remember looking back on an entire semester in grad school where I realized I didn't stress about being single. And I wasn't thinking about meeting my future husband either. I was truly not looking. Did I find him? Nope. Sure didn't. In fact, I met Jake when I was purposefully looking for someone. That's kinda what happens when you meet online. Saying this can make your friend feel like it's wrong to be intentional about looking for a guy.
We always want what's best for our friends. So while this concern is usually genuine, it can come off as insensitive and can quickly send your single friend into a unhealthy place. And the last thing we want is to be the thing that sets our friend into a terrible cycle of doubting the Lord's plan for her life, to doubting her worth, to struggling with self-esteem, and so on.

So to all the dating/engaged/married friends, your single friends still love you. And they still need their friend! They're excited for you, but don't get so consumed in your relationship that you forget about your friends. If you're a single gal struggling with your relationship-ed friends, pray for grace first of all. Then lovingly approach them about what's bothering you about the shift in your relationship. If you're relationship-ed up, remember that your single friends might be struggling with their single-ness. Show them grace and cover them in love!

In His hands,

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