If you're single, you're lonely. If you're single and lonely, you're jealous. If you're single, lonely and jealous, then you're desperate. That's how it works, right? Lonely for love. Jealous of your friends who have love. Desperate to fill your void.
Oh, I forgot one more. If you're single, lonely, jealous and desperate, you're also very UN-DATE-ABLE. I don't know if that's a word, but it is now. UNDATEABLE.
Here's the thing. I was once single, alone, often jealous and sometimes deeply desperate. And I was VERY undateable when I was all of those things at once. Honestly, I was a mess. And anyone who is like that IS A CERTIFIED, UNDATEABLE MESS.
Thankfully, I learned how to be content with my singleness, which freed me from a lot of misery. But every time I hear or see a friend who's in that much of a mess, my heart crumples up into a wad of frustration. It shouldn't be like this. Why is it like this? Why do women freak out when our lives aren't where we think they should be? Why do we lower our standards or compare ourselves to others or yearn for relationships that we probably aren't even ready for?
Recently my good friend Bethany Weaver wrote a fantastic article calling for single women to WOMAN UP. I agreed with everything she wrote, and I found myself getting pumped up about one thought she had in-particular. That thought was this, taken directly from her blog post:
Set your standards higher. That's right, HIGHER.
Look, I TOTALLY get that the idea that being single forever is scary. UMM. HELLO. SINGLE FOR DECADES OVER HERE. But you know what’s even more frightening? Marrying a man who is not at all someone you SHOULD be marrying. THEN YOU ARE MARRIED TO THEM. Which is pretty damn PERMANENT, though perhaps not as permanent as it should be nowadays. My fellow women, we HAVE to stop dating guys that aren’t ready to commit, that are emotionally unhealthy, that aren’t Christians or that have no standards for purity. (I could go on, but I’ll spare you the rest of the TIRADE.) It’s not that men who fall into those categories are TERRIBLE PEOPLE who don’t DESERVE LOVE. But they’re DEFINITELY not ready for us, dating OR MARRIAGE. I think the real issue is that we have to STOP BEING SO AFRAID OF SINGLENESS. Listen, friend, if God wants you to get married, you’ll get married. And if singleness is where you need to be, God will equip you for it. Stop trying to FORCE relationships with men who aren’t in any position to be a good or healthy partner for you. Pursue God, be open and it’ll work out as it should. REAL TALK: If I’m not scared of singleness even though my “when I grow-up” dream as a kid (yup, as a KID) was to be a wife and a mother, than you don’t have to be scared of it, either. God’s got this, dear friend!
Click here to read this post in full (Do it, because SHE WRITES WONDERFULLY).
This is what's on my heart. When your find yourself alone, jealous and desperate, you're mostly likely going to date a loser. Like Bethany said, it's not that he's a terrible person who doesn't deserve love, but he's most likely not where he needs to be with God, which makes him not what you need, either. See, I think when you're desperate to find love, you're going to make extremely poor choices. Your judgment is impaired. What you think is love, isn't.
You need to get right with YOU. You have to work on yourself first. I know you hate hearing it, but it's truth.
Ask yourself this: Would you want to date you? Would you want to marry you? A lonely, jealous, desperate woman?
Look, I'm married now, so I'm just going to pull from experience and say it: A man will not make you less lonely. A man will not make your jealousy vanish. A man will not make you less desperate.
Listen. The struggle is real, and it will continue even if you fall in love with the RIGHT MAN.
For instance, when I got married, it's like somewhere, somehow, somebody flipped a magic switch and now my single girlfriends are harder to hang out with. They're more distant, and I don't know why. I was told this would happen, but I didn't think it would be so abrupt. Don't get me wrong, it's great talking to my husband. He's a great listener, and he can generally keep up with my ridiculous rantings. But sometimes a girl just need to talk to a girl. And when my girlfriends who are single don't seem to care or understand my life problems anymore, THAT IS SUPER LONELY.
Now let's talk about jealousy and how that won't go away either. Sure, it might morph into a different breed of jealousy, but it's still jealously. I used to be jealous when friends got married. Now, as a married lady, I'm still jealous when friends get married. See the difference? (I think I'm a terrible person.) IT'S LIKE I DON'T WANT OTHER PEOPLE TO BE HAPPY OR SOMETHING. *Deep breath.* Sometimes, when a friend gets married and moves into a big house, I'm jealous. Sometimes when a friend gets married and has more bridesmaids than I did at her wedding, I'm jealous. Sometimes when a friend gets married and posts gorgeous pictures of her wedding, I'm jealous. And I don't know why! I LOVE MY LIFE. I love my small house. I wouldn't want anything bigger. My bridesmaids were my best friends, and I wouldn't have changed the line-up at all. And my wedding pictures are and will forever be flawless to me and my husband, thanks to T&C Photographie.
Yet, the jealousy bubbles within, and I have to fight back, lest it overtake me.
And then there's desperation. I have moments when I'm still very desperate. Desperate to cook my husband a yummy meal. Desperate for him to show his affection in public so that others know I'm his woman, and he's totally into me. (There's that streak of terribleness again.) Seriously, though. As single ladies, we're desperate for a man's approval (even though we should only be desperate for God), and when we're married, we're still desperate for a man's approval (again, even though we should still only be desperate for God). I might be the only wife who feels this way, but it's the truth. I'm just as desperate for Mack to tell me I'm beautiful now as much as I was when we were courting.
Set crazy-high standards.
Before I got married, I had to learn to stop letting my craziness control my actions. I reigned in my desperation and set crazy-high standards so I wouldn't choose a loser and get my heart broken--or disobey God. I reminded myself and thanked God every day for what He's given me and what He's spared me from--so that jealousy wouldn't rule my mind. And I worked hard to strengthen my relationships with friends who mattered the most--so that I was never truly alone. It wasn't easy, but it was a path that lead away from destruction and being UNDATEABLE.
Now that I'm married, I still struggle with a lot of the same issues I had when I was single--because I'm human. The catch is, now I'm sharing my life and all my crazy, nonsensical, dramatic loneliness, jealousy and desperation with my husband. He sees all of it. He hears all of it. Somehow, THANKFULLY, he loves me through it.
I don't expect you to turn yourself around overnight. Heck, it may take a lifetime for you to get the crazy under semi-control. But I ask you to try. Change your mindset. Re-think your choices. Set your standards higher. And check your emotions and thoughts with God's Word constantly.
Your future Self will thank you.
Check out more of Bethany Weaver's blog posts at https://bjweaver.wordpress.com/.