I remember throughout high school I would dream about my life and what it would look like as an adult. I imagined myself getting engaged senior year of college and shortly after be married to the man of my dreams. I would look at adults and think to myself how easy their life looked and that I couldn’t wait for that to be me. Fast forward to currently being on the verge of turning 24 and all I can do is just smile at my sweet 16 year old self. Boy, did I have it all wrong.
Now that I am officially an adult, let’s just be honest… it can be rough. Unlike the vision of my 16 year old self, I graduated college single, and was blessed with an incredible opportunity to start working right away. However, I had the biggest reality check of my life being thrown into adulthood alone. Through the tears, exhaustion, and anxiety of moving to a new city, starting a career, and attending a new church; a relationship was the last thing on my mind and dating was even farther out of the picture because let’s be real… dating post-college is AWKWARD.
Today, there is so much worldly pressure on dating. Our generation is filled with social media and dating apps that it seems almost impossible to start dating someone by merely meeting them in a public place! Not only is that discouraging, it seems even more hopeless to find or date a Godly guy. Through out my time of singleness, I would think to myself, if I’m meant to start dating someone, God will literally bring them into my life, or I am going to wait until I am at this point spiritually before I start dating. But if I’m being honest… is this how God really wants us to view dating? Is waiting around just an excuse to be lazy and not trust God with this area in our lives? I think the root of those thoughts were I wasn’t enjoying dating and always felt lost when it came to what God wanted for my life in finding someone I could potentially marry one day. If you are currently feeling this way, here are a few ways I have learned to take authority over my dating life and enjoy a season of singleness.
Know your purpose.
You were created in the beautiful image of God, and your life is meant to be lived for your first love, God, while loving his people and pushing back darkness. If you are feeling lost in the dating world, take it back to why you are here and your purpose. Pursue this mission with your whole heart and who knows… maybe you might meet someone along the way who is pursuing that same mission and has been right beside you this whole time?
Let God know your heart and how you feel about dating. If you are frustrated, tell Him. If you are interested in a guy, tell Him. If you think dating is awkward like me, tell Him. If you are struggling through moving on from your past relationship, TELL HIM. Instead of constantly talking about your dating life with friends and family, try to talking to God first, because he knows your thoughts and feelings before you can even process or communicate them to others. Your season of singleness is a blessing and use this time wisely. Pray for your past relationships and your past heart break so that you feel at peace when your next relationship comes. Pray for your current dating situation and that you feel content in your singleness and to trust God with this area. Pray for your future relationship and future husband and that he is bold enough to pursue you when the timing is right and that he meets the qualities that you desire for a Christ-centered marriage. Praying is one of the most powerful tools we as woman can do for ourselves and one another. Pray.
Drop the pressure.
Dating is unpredictable. Everyone’s story is different and you shouldn’t compare your love story to someone else’s. It isn’t healthy. So drop the pressure, and when a guy asks you on a date have no expectations. Take it slow, and enjoy the dating process. Dating can teach you about what you like in someone and you learn more about yourself and what is important to you in a relationship. Respect who you are dating and be honest about your intentions moving forward. Give the dating process some grace, and the guy who asked you out, because let’s be honest they are more nervous than us. Know that you’ll experience some losses and some victories, even while seeking to honor God and keeping your standards high in dating. As we lose the pressure and view dating in this way, we can rest in the hope that God is leading us along the way and is molding us into the best version of ourselves through this process. Don’t be afraid to fall in love and don’t be too stubborn to trust God.
Featured image by Sarah Libby Photography