DO YOU NEED TO BE IN A RELATIONSHIP?
Okay, need may be a strong word, because technically what we need is food, water, and shelter…so obviously, no, we don’t need to be in a relationship. But, you probably know someone who seems like they really need to always be dating someone…like, being single is the most unimaginable punishment for them. This person is dating someone new within hours of their last relationship ending, and you think, “wow, how did you get over that breakup so quickly?” The truth is they didn’t get over it, but they couldn’t wait around to heal from their broken heart because being single was worse to them than the pain of the breakup. Do you know this person? Tougher question: are you this person?
I’ve known both guys and girls who struggled with this, and it’s just so difficult to watch from the outside. Usually, they end up in bad or unhealthy relationships, and after a breakup they either move very quickly to a new unhealthy relationship, or (the more frustrating option) they get back together with the person they just broke up with convincing themselves things will be different this time. They won’t…they never are. If this sounds at all like you, please know I’m not trying to pick on you…I want you to be set free from this cycle, from feeling trapped, from this compulsive need to always be in a relationship.
Being single can be a gift (the Apostle Paul said so – and we'll read his reasoning in just a minute), and even though you probably want to be in a relationship someday, and you want to be married and have a family and all these amazing things for your future…right now, it’s okay to be single. In fact, there's a lot that God can teach you in your singleness. All of that “know who you are” stuff from Day 1…that is a lot harder to figure out while in a relationship. It’s not that relationships are bad, it’s just tough to have the time and energy to work out the deep mysteries of who you are in relation to God when so much of your emotional energy is also going to this other person.
So, here is the mental shift I would propose: think of being single as a blessing from God. It’s like God is giving you a break, a little me-time, a season of less pressure to be able to spend some extra time with Him. If you are currently single, try to stop desperately yearning to find a significant other, and start focusing on what God is trying to show you in this season. If you’re currently dating, I’m not saying you have to break up. But, if for whatever reason your relationship comes to an end, try to resist the urge to jump right into a new one. Take some time to heal and rest, and spend all the time and energy you used to spend on your relationship with God, reconnecting with friends and family (who, let’s face it, you’ve probably been neglecting a little bit). You are whole and complete all on your own – you are God’s masterpiece by yourself. You do not need to be in a relationship, so find ways to enjoy the gift of singleness whenever God places you in that situation.