Okay, I’m not going to lie. There is no way that I would ever say (based on my own experience) that being single is better than being married. I realize that both are a gift from God and God gives different gifts to different people. I’m not here to bash singleness (I was single for quite some time, thank you very much). I want to encourage my single friends out there. I’m very happy I’ve received the gift of a spouse, my wonderful husband Zach.. However, each season of life does have its pros as well as its cons. There are a few things that I miss from my single days. Here they are presented countdown style:
#5: Unique relationships with other single friends
What I didn’t realize before I got married is that the mutual experience of singleness gives your friendship with your other single friends some kind of extra oomph. There’s some sort of special camaraderie there. It’s hard to describe, but it’s something I miss a little bit. It’s not been a huge change, but I do think I’ve felt a little bit of a change with my best girl friends who are not yet married. We’re not in the same club anymore. We’re still great friends, but we don’t have our relationship status in common anymore, which I think in some ways brought us closer together or helped us to understand one another better.
#4 Being the sole owner of your time
Before I got married, I always thought this was a silly thing that married people complained about. What do you mean your time is no longer your own? What are you, super whipped? Your husband or wife can’t let you come out and play with your other friends every once in a while? There are some people out there who are super whipped and may be in an unhealthy relationship that’s super controlling of their partner’s time, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I didn’t realize how much time and communication is actually takes to be married and to be in sync (and not the Justin Timberlake kind). It’s not that Zach is controlling my time and telling me what I can and cannot do, it’s that I want to spend time with Zach and I want to make time with him a priority over all other things (besides Jesus). I don’t think that’s bad. I think it’s healthy, but it does mean that you always have to consider your spouse when making your own plans. This leaves less room for those random, late night meet ups with friends or a last minute road trip.
#3 Not taking a relationship for granted
This might have been my biggest pet peeve when I was single. I would look at married people and think, “You don’t even seem to realize how lucky you are! I would give almost anything to have a partner for life. How can you treat your relationship so nonchalantly?” It’s hard after you’ve been in a relationship for awhile to remember what it was like to be single. With familiarity comes contempt, or at least indifference. It is easy to take your marriage for granted and to forget what a blessing it really is. I’m trying really hard in my own life to not fall into this trap. One of the things I’ve realized though is that my marriage is not permanent. Not that I’m expecting Zach to walk out on me or anything, that’s not what I mean. What I mean is that we don’t know what life is going to bring our way. My husband could die in a car wreck today. I could be diagnosed with a terminal disease. My marriage/relationship is not a guarantee now any more than it was when I was single. I don’t think these kinds of thoughts to be pessimistic or morose, I think them to remind me of the blessing I have and to keep myself from taking that blessing for granted. I want to try to keep up that value for relationship I had when I was single.
#2 Constant hope for big change
I have always had a good imagination. I didn’t realize until after I got married how much I was using my imagination to hope and think about my future marriage. In some ways, I was almost disappointed after my wedding was over and after Zach proposed to me because I could no longer imagine what those things would be like. These were big things I had been hoping for my entire life and now I couldn’t hope for them anymore. It’s weird, I know, but it’s true that I mourned a little bit over not being able to daydream about these sorts of things. Don’t get me wrong, there are still plenty of things that I hope for and daydream about, but these were longstanding daydreams and once they had actually happened, I kind of missed dreaming about them. There is something beautiful and exciting about having your love story not yet written. You can still fantasize about how it will all happen. It’s (hopefully) a once in a lifetime story and after it’s written, it’s written. Sure, there will be additional chapters that are yet to be added, but that initial story of girl meets boy is done. The constant hoping and excitement about the future and what kind of major changes it could bring hasn’t completely gone, but it’s definitely changed and perhaps lessened.
#1 Deep Dependence on God
This is by far the thing I miss the most about being single. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t want to go back to the hard times where I didn’t think I could go on anymore. However, there was a shift in my relationship with God once things between Zach and I were pretty much settled. I gained a new sense of gratitude to God for the gift he had given me. I lost the deep sense of desperation and need for God to intervene in my life. I’m glad he did intervene and I wouldn’t want to go back to those days, but in retrospect, I treasure the times where I would cry out to God and feel his presence. I covet the nights where I would cry as if my heart was broken (because it was) and I would just have this sense that God was there with me. I lost a sense of desperation and deep need. Yes, I realize that ultimately I am still desperate and in deep need of God and his grace. However, I don’t have the same urgency in my desperation now that one of the deepest desires of my heart has been fulfilled. I’m definitely more content in life, which I think is a good thing, but I miss the way my discontent constantly led me before God’s throne.