I recently had someone ask me if I was married (again) yet and much to my chagrin, this made me think. I really don’t need to be married. I’m not waiting for a knight in shining armor to rescue me from some horrible existence as a single person. I have a king who rescues me daily and that’s all I need. After years and years of failed relationships, I feel that I have finally found peace and happiness on my own and at this point I’m not sure I’m ever going to be willing to give that up. Things are so crazy in the world these days that it would be difficult to find someone whose beliefs and values match up well enough for me to share my space with them or my time.
The thing is, I spent most of my life thinking that in order to be worthy of being on the earth that I had to be part of a couple; that I somehow wasn’t enough on my own. And so, I always felt like I needed to be talking to someone or dating someone or married to someone in order for my life to matter. I think it’s sad that so many people go through this and are basically being shamed for being single. Our society likes to push for people to couple up and be in relationships all the time, but living in this society is not necessarily conducive to being in a solid relationship.
I’m sure there are some who would beg to differ with me on this, but this has been my experience. I was married for 10 years, in a relationship with that man for 11 years total. And I absolutely loved being part of a couple for much of our marriage. What I didn’t love was being part of a couple and thinking that someone cared about me and wanted to be with me only to find out that he didn’t love me nearly as much as he claimed to. I’m not sure what hits you worse than that aside from physically losing a loved one.
I’m not saying that I would never get into a relationship again. I’m saying that it is not a priority for me at this point in my life. I’ve been there, I’ve done that, bought the T-shirt, was disappointed with the fit, so I returned it. Or something like that. I have been divorced since 2010 and in that time I’ve had a few not-so-serious relationships and one that I had hoped would be forever. But as it turns out, it wasn’t even for right then. It was just another in a string of manipulations by someone who had been a longstanding waste of my time. I left that relationship brokenhearted and basically unwilling to go through any of that again. As time passed we tried to remain friends but even that fell short because he was too busy playing games and I was tired of being hurt. That’s a story for another time.
I haven’t dated anyone since early 2020 and these last two years have actually been very good for me. And I realize now that I can be happy alone. I can live a fulfilling life without a partner. No matter what society tries to tell me, I don’t need another person to make me feel like a whole individual. How does that even work? You need two people to make one individual? That doesn’t even make sense.
I’m not discounting the many benefits of marriage. When I was married I was very happy for a time and very much enjoyed being part of that relationship. And while we were both feeling the same way, the relationship was great. Or at least it seemed to be. But when we went through a few rough patches with health and finances, everything started to fall apart. And what had appeared to be a good marriage quickly disintegrated into or something I didn’t recognize. It was hurtful to think that someone who had claimed to love me as much as my ex-husband did at the beginning of our relationship could feel so much hatred toward me at the end. I can’t imagine how bad it would have been had I actually given him a reason to hate me. But that’s also a story for another time. Partly because it still doesn’t make sense, and partly because it’s just too sad. And this post is meant to empower you, not to make you sad.
Back to the main idea. In the years since my divorce, I struggled to figure out who I was. I struggled to figure out what I needed to be. I struggled to even like myself. So being in a relationship after divorce was probably never going to be a good idea. I was just too broken and I hadn’t really healed from the damage done by that failed marriage. You can’t build anything solid with another person until you know who you are. By the time I had that much figured out, the relationship I had wanted wasn’t looking as attractive to me as it had before. So, I decided that I liked my life much more when I didn’t have to worry that I was being lied to or cheated on, When I didn’t have to try so hard to entertain someone, and when I could make decisions on simple things such as what to eat or where to go after work without having to consult someone whose energy wasn’t the same as mine. I had gotten so used to hiding myself in an effort to do what my significant other wanted or what I thought would keep my significant other interested in me that I forgot how to enjoy my life. And I’m not willing to go back to that after having experienced the freedom of being allowed to be myself at all times.
I wanted to write this blog to lift up some of the single people out there who are struggling with loneliness. And for those who still are clinging to the belief that they have to be part of a couple in order to be important in this world. God creates some of us for relationships. He creates others to do work that may not quite fit into the relationship mold. If He has put you in a season where you are not part of a couple, think about what it is that He may want you to do. There is a purpose for each person that He created and He doesn’t intend for us to spend our lives doggedly running after coupledom. If He feels we are ready for a relationship and He has prepared someone for us, He will present them to us at the right time. Sure, if we go out looking, we’re likely to find someone to spend time with. But that will also likely come with a lot of problems that will keep us from following our true purpose. Whenever we go after something that He hasn’t ordained for us, it may work out that we obtain it, but that doesn’t mean it will be good for us or that it will allow us to be what He created us to be.
You can live your whole life being involved in things that God didn’t mean for you to be involved in and not realize it until it’s too late to do anything about it. I’m not discouraging you from seeking out relationships; I’m just saying get to know yourself and understand your relationship with Him before you go running after that wedding ring and the house with the white picket fence. Don’t get so wrapped up in others’ expectations for you that you forget about His. If you’re meant to be part of a couple, He will bring that to you and it will be unmistakable. And if you’re meant to be single, He will show you the purpose of that as well.
Read more about Rebecca Benston’s journey through failed relationships to a place of peace. Single, Sober & Serious is available in the HGBM Shop.
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My name is Rebecca Benston. I’m a Christian. I’m a woman. I’m a mother. I’m a writer. I’m a thinker. When I write fiction, I am usually writing a mystery series called The Rona Shively Stories. My P.I. character, Rona Shively is feisty, fearless and fabulous and is usually caught up in something she doesn’t want to be caught up in. In addition to this series, I also have a blog called Higher Ground for Life. Through this blog, I’m hoping to reach women or anyone who is seeking to develop a relationship with God and give them inspiration to get out there and follow His path for their lives!
I also have a blog called Leading the Follower. This one is my favorite. I write about religion, faith, spirituality and all that goes along with it. What we believe, what we don’t believe, what we are told to believe and how society feels about believing in general. I do a lot of testifying here and some of what I say may make you angry. Most of it will make you think. Some of it will make you cry. Any of it could make you laugh. It’s really up to you.
If you are looking for practical advice, honest conversation, and no nonsense observations about living in today’s world, check out my blogs at http://highergroundbooksandmedia.com and http://www.ronashively.wordpress.com and http://www.highergroundforlife.wordpress.com and http://www.leadingthefollower.wordpress.com. And if you’re so inclined, you can purchase my books and some other great, inspirational works from Higher Ground Books & Media at http://highergroundbooksandmedia.com.