Single but not alone

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I’ve been wanting to write this post for awhile now but life has a way of creeping in and stealing ALL my motivation. However, I think this weekend is the perfect time to get these feelings out. Around this same time last year, I wrote a post entitled “4 months, 4 holidays, 4 ever alone” It’s funny how things can change over the course of a year. I remember thinking last year how crappy it is to be alone during four of my favorite holidays, two of which are very romantic, in my opinion. I was also sick last year during Thanksgiving so it’s possible that contributed to my sulking, as well:p.

I feel like God has been ridding me of anyone and anything lately. I’m not the type of girl who always has to be in a relationship but I am the type who always has to have a potential. A prospect. Someone that could be “the one.” This year is different though. I wish I could put into words how I feel. For the first time, in a long time, there is no one. And it’s a strange feeling. I keep getting these reminders, these quotes, these scriptures. Reminders there is something bigger than my future husband. It seems so silly when you write it or say it out loud. But isn’t that how we live? Pinterest boards. “Dear future husband” letters. Going out. Staying in. Dating sites. If we were honest with ourselves, if we took a good long look at our lives, I think we’d be surprised how much of our time, how much of our lives are centered around a person we have yet to meet.

It’s funny how we hold onto to the hope of at least one. Because then our hope is justified. At least there is a possibility. I’ve lived a majority of my life like that. “Well, if it really comes down to it, I could always marry <insert name-of-guy-who-has-been-friend-zoned here>.” Why do we do that? Because the unknown is terrifying. We like to plan, we want to feel we are in control of our lives. So we make up stories in our heads to comfort ourselves. Sounds crazy when you write it down but it’s scary how true it is.

But this year, I have no one. No one as a back-up. No guy I could make it work with. No guy worth settling for. I’ve let go of them all. I don’t think my circumstances have changed too much. I think I’m just better at accepting reality. Actually not just accepting but embracing reality. Coming to terms with what I really want and desire most. I’ve seen a lot of relationships and marriages that have made me appreciate my singleness more. I think all too often we take our singleness for granted, as if its sole goal is to search for someone. But this time has allowed me to grow closer in my relationship with God. I’m reminded of when Paul is talking to the Corinthians about having an undivided heart. And I now understand. There is such a peace and freedom just in having Christ. I never feel “alone.” God’s love has filled me in ways I can’t begin to describe.

Sometimes I miss the good morning and good night texts. I miss knowing there is a guy thinking about me. I miss not having a date to certain functions. Instead I get awkward conversations. I’ve gotten everything from the “don’t worry, he’s out there” to “enjoy it” with the look of ‘I’m miserable in my marriage so please enjoy your singleness for the both of us.’ So many people say singleness is a gift but it doesn’t feel that way when you desire to be loved and have kids. I know it’s hard at times. And sometimes you start to lose faith, start to lose hope because you can’t see. You can’t see your future with anyone you know. So it freaks you out. You start to doubt and start to wonder if you’ll be forever alone. But do you know what hope and faith mean? They reach beyond what we can see and they trust. They trust God. And it is in those moments I’m reminded of the things I love. Things that make me not miss it all. Do I still hope to someday get married? Absolutely. But hope is not hope if you have a plan of how to make it happen. Hope is waiting for the unseen, the unknown, with excitement because you know that whatever God has planned for you is far greater than you could ever plan for yourself. Hope is letting go and trusting in something greater than you. There is no need to justify being single because while you may be single, you are certainly not alone.

photo credit: ‘Letting Go’, United States, New York, Montauk via photopin (license)

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Sam’s (from Tinder) side of the story

I did several posts on Sam (Sam & the FamSam is back!Sam & more fam) and I thought it would be interesting to hear his version of events. So I asked him to write his side of things back in March for our “anniversary.” He was late. As usual. So here it is:

Where to begin? Chatting on an app with someone can be freeing or terrifying depending on your personality. LUCKILY I can (and have) talked to a wall. Finding a nice young lady with morals was a surprise amidst the forward crowd of progressive youth. It didn’t take long for Sarah to click with my viewpoints and sense of humor. So we are chatting for what seems to be “a long time”, 2 days maybe. We talked about nothing, or everything, or really just nothing. Politics came up, religion and ideology, corny jokes, food, sports and while on these subjects to no surprise there were many arguments. Sarah likes arguments. Sarah likes to be difficult. End of story.

I may like to be childish with other like-minded people. What better way to do that than at DISNEY!!!! Ice cream, family, rides, children. Disney has what it takes for children of all ages to let loose. I know my family well enough that I would get more than half the afternoon and evening alone enjoying the parks as the rest of them tend to the young children or rest. I would like to say I am a good judge of character.   It could have been 1 hour and I still would have invited Sarah to come with us to the park. It was an easy decision. My family is very open and inviting to individuals who are respectful and modest. I might not have gone through with the idea if Sarah was not outgoing and spontaneous so she deserves as much credit for the friendship as I do. I don’t think it took 5 minutes for her to get crowded by all 4 of my nephews & nieces who were mobile at that point. My siblings were also brutally forward about “how did you meet” and those interesting questions that pop up with … prying family members. Did I mention I haven’t really dated since a certain bad relationship experience a little over a year prior to this event? So people were interested to say the least.

Sarah excelled in the important aspects of social awkwardness. She didn’t mind the harassment. She played along with the kids. She didn’t share ice cream. 2/3 is not bad. We had fun. That was the point. Evening rolls around and we have been in the park all day. The family inevitably goes back to the rooms for a good nights rest. We have at least 3 hours of after hours park time to roam free on the adult rides we want. I think we ended up on Space Mountain 4 times. Meeting people in line or anywhere and everywhere we go. I am still snapchat friends with one guy from Brazil we played games with in line*. Great evening. I found out Sarah is the best dancer EVER. Ask to see her skills or send me a message to get this WOBBLE video starring our special friend.

The trip with the first Columbia experience is not how she portrays it. She was a terrible brat. Again, she needs to learn to share. #sangria? But, when you have a full chocolate cake you should share. Sharing is caring. We played this awesome game for most of the evening where we don’t speak to each other. Not out of anger or anything, more of a competition. I’m not sure who was the winner ;D. So after she broke both mentally and physically, we went on to enjoy our evening. Did I mention she is both a competitive person and a cheater? She cheats at minigolf. So do I. I let her win although impressively I didn’t have to tank too hard. #sangria?

Night of lights. Thanks for the worst idea of food ever. Hot chocolate is great. I think it was very romantic and intimate. She was wanting me to kiss her somewhere in there.** I didn’t. You’re welcome. 10/10 I would do it again. Just with better food choices. Did I mention Sarah is headstrong? I mean really woman, do you need to argue all the time?

Sarah blew me off a few times for boys and “not boyfriends.” I wonder if she will ever listen to me. I can hear it in her voice when she knows the boys aren’t for her. I try not to rub it in.

STAN!!!! Birthday day. She is late. We ended up having a blast celebrating Mr. Stan and his life. This man is amazing. He is family to me. What a giving person with stories and experiences that will put you in AWE. Sarah liked the chocolate cake the most. So we went to the boardwalk. SHE IS DIFFICULT. I tried telling her to be cutthroat when parking here. I was pretty much done with it after 5 minutes and a few parking opportunities missed. Did we get towed? NO. Thanks. I am cheap when it comes to wasting my time in lines. I hate poor service and lines/crowds. I would rather get a 10$ beer at a sit down than a 5$ water in an unnecessary line. First place we went didn’t take AMEX. I don’t carry cash. The bar took my card though. Might have watched some football there as well. No ulterior motives, BACK OFF. The evening finally went the way I wanted it to when we enjoyed the beach sunset. Pictures were had. People were jealous of us. Nothing new. I should have been a little more decisive to protect her from herself. I am driving from now on.

Overall, we have had a great connection. It is very rare and I know that it was not just chance. I enjoy our friendship thoroughly. I love this girl. I know she will do great things. I hope I can give her sound advice and support for as long as I can.

Dictated not read.

SAM THE MAN

*Me toooo! This dude’s snaps are the best!

**Not true at alllll

Taking a break or breaking up

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Breaks breaks breaks. There are many types. Your partner is off in the military and you are forced to take a break, one person isn’t sure of the relationship and requests a break, the actual break-up, and the break needed after the break-up. Whew. That’s exhausting just talking about it. But I’m only going to make two points in this post:

Taking a break? Break-up.

If you or the other person feels the need to take a break, the relationship is probably already over. You don’t take a break from your family. You don’t stop being a parent, a sibling, a son, or a daughter for a period of time. You don’t take a break to decide if you still want to be a part of the family. You may get mad but you know you’ll always be related. And in that, there is a sense of security. Commitment regardless.

What makes a relationship so amazing, so stable, and so secure is knowing that no matter what, you and the other person will never leave. Taking a break pulls that level of trust from right underneath you. You aren’t yourself. You wonder if you are good enough. You wonder if this will happen again. If you are not willing to work through it with your partner, it already shows where your real desire lies. When you really love someone, when you really know that you are with the person you want to spend forever with, you’ll fight. And this isn’t fighting.

I think this happens a lot with couples that haven’t first figured out who they are on their own and they get frustrated. Unfortunately, their partner is the one who ends up suffering. Don’t look for your identity in another. You can’t. And it can cost you a good relationship down the road if you think you can.

In short, there’s no sense in being in a relationship if one person already wants out.

Breaking up? Take a break.

And if you do break-up, take a break. I don’t care if you feel like you don’t need one or you both agreed to be friends, take a break. There are too many emotions that are still so raw. You have to learn to be single again. Otherwise, one or both of you are going to hold onto the hope of the relationship. Not necessarily because you love each other, but because you don’t know how to function on your own anymore. That’s dependency. That’s comfort. That’s safety. But it isn’t love. The only time I’ve seen people be able to be friends directly after a break-up is if both people never really cared about one another in the first place.

I think this is one of the hardest, yet best things you can do for yourself. You miss the daily texts, you miss the venting sessions, and you miss the sharing of corny jokes and dumb articles. It’s like you have to retrain your body. And it’s funny how you’ll think of any and every excuse to try to talk to your ex. “I know they had an important test today, I just want to say good luck.” “Their mom had to go to the hospital, I should probably make sure she’s okay.” Anything and everything in between.

Don’t prolong your pain and don’t cause pain for someone else. Be honest. And communicate. Our hearts and emotions are a tricky thing. I’ve seen myself hold onto someone I knew I didn’t care about simply because I wanted to feel loved. But being loved and feeling loved are two different things. You can’t move forward if you don’t let go of the past. It’s amazing to see what God does to your heart as you trust Him and do the best you can.

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photo credit: Thinking Of You. via photopin (license)