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How to Handle Those Unexpected Single Years

By: Bethany Beal

Me: “Sooooo any new guy prospects in your life?”

Kelly: “Nope, none in mine. What about you?”

Me: “Are you kidding? I’m just as single as ever!”

Kelly: “Well, at least we have each other.”

Me: “No kidding. I’m glad I’m not the only single girl in town.”

That is a typical conversation between me and my friend Kelly. We are both in our mid twenties and *I don’t want to say this* still single.

Kelly and I have known each other for nearly our entire lives. Neither one of us would have ever guessed that we would both be in our mid twenties and still single. I always assumed I would get married by nineteen or twenty. The thought of being twenty-six and single never even occurred to me.

We aren’t the only ones.

Sometimes my friend Kelly and I feel like we are the only older single girls around. It feels like every time we get on social media, someone has just started a relationship, been recently engaged, or just had their wedding.

I think to myself, “How do they do that? It seems like getting into a relationship is nearly impossible!!!” Any of you girls feeling me on that one??

After reading through several of the comments in our recent blog posts, I’ve realized that Kelly and I aren’t the only single girls out there.

I’ve realized that there are a whole bunch of single girls, who are all asking the same question, “What am I supposed to do with these unexpected single years??”

I’ve asked myself that very same question. I’ve even had thoughts like, “what will I do if I never get married? What will I do if I’m single into my late thirties or forties?”

I’m sure you girls have had some of those very same thoughts yourselves.

With all that being said, I want to take the rest of this blog post to answer some questions I’m regularly asked about my singleness. I’m going to answer the questions from a personal perspective, sharing with you exactly what I do.

What are your favorite books that apply to your singleness?

I think I’ve read just about every book on the topic of relationships, singleness and the future. I’m going to give you my top 5 favorites. I’ll list each book and then give you a small explanation as to why I like that book.

1. The Sacred Search by: Gary Thomas

I wish I would have read this book about 6 years ago before I entered any relationships. It’s a must read for anyone hoping to be, has been or is currently in a relationship. He asks some really great questions and get’s you to think about romantic relationships from the right perspective.

2. Sacred Singleness by: Leslie Ludy

This book challenged me to view these single years in a totally new way. Instead of wasting these years on selfish pursuits, this book showed me how to use my time well. I can be used by God in mighty ways, as a single woman, if I am willing. If you want to use your single years well, this book will help you do that.

3. Get Married: What Women Can Do To Help It Happen by: Candice Watters

I really appreciate the practical advice that Candice offers in this book. It cleared up a lot of questions for me and was a very refreshing read. She is a huge proponent of marriage and reminds you that wanting to get married is a good thing. I think this book is the perfect balance to Sacred Singleness.

4. Idols of the Heart by: Elyse Fitzpatrick

Learning to find your complete satisfaction in Christ is key for the single girl. I can’t recommend this book enough. If you’ve ever struggled with with worry, fear, discontentment, etc., this book is for you. It’s packed with truth and simply amazing!!! I’m currently reading it for the second time and LOVE it.

5. Choosing Gratitude by: Nancy Leigh Demoss

This book was a life saver for me a few years ago. I was struggling with finding joy as a single girl and this book transformed my perspective. It’s totally possible to have complete joy in Christ, but, it will take work. I wish I could make every unmarried girl read this book.

What do you do with your time?

I’ve chosen not to use these single years as a “free pass” to live out my wildest dreams, but instead, to use them as an opportunity to invest in those around me. Here are the basics of my week; I work for my dad in our family owned business three days a week and then work with Kristen on ministry projects the other two days of the week. I also nanny for a few hours one afternoon a week.

I mentor my two younger sisters on a weekly basis. I co-direct the AWANA 3rd-6th grade girls program. I attend a weekly young adults Bible study through Bible Study Fellowship. I love people and love hosting parties, celebrations and get togethers. It seems like my family is always having someone over or planning a party on a regular basis.

If I don’t want to pursue a career, what can I do with my time?

I once heard a single girl in her late twenties say something similar to this, “If I had known I wasn’t going to get married until later in life, I would have used my single years more wisely.” I would encourage you to use your single years wisely. Don’t waste them away on selfish pleasures. Realize that you have an opportunity to work on projects, invest in others, take missions trips, lead Bible studies and grow spiritually in ways you probably won’t be able to if you get married.

Here are a few ideas on how you can use your time well:

  1. Mentor younger girls at your local public school.

  2. Volunteer as a leader with your Sunday School, youth group, AWANA program etc.

  3. Host a girls Bible study.

  4. Attend a “spiritual boot camp” like Ellerslie.

  5. Build a skill that will benefit you now and in the future. Learn an instrument. Learn how to cut hair. Learn how to highlight hair. Learn how to do a shellac or manicure. Learn a new language. Teach a language to younger children. Learn how to sew. Learn how to cook. Head up reading programs. Get medical training. Midwifery training. Create an online store. Start a business from your home. Work in the family business if you are able. Learn how to create websites. Learn web design. Learn how to code.

Don’t waste these years.

My final piece of advice would be this, don’t waste these years. God has given you these single years for a reason, so don’t squander them. Use them to point others to Christ.

If you are in need of more ideas and inspiration on how to live well as a single girl, check out these blog posts:

Why I’m Not Looking for JUST a Husband

Why Your Singleness is a Really Big Deal

Bored, Single and Still Living at Home

Will Marriage Turn Me Into Princess Perfect?

How have you handled your unexpected single years? Do you have any ideas on how single girls can use their time well?

Photo credit: www.flickr.com | vic xia

How to Handle Those Unexpected Single Years

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