All my friends are married… what now?

Finally! You are in a relationship. You’re no longer the single one. You proudly hold the title of girlfriend/boyfriend. You’re not the third wheel. You have someone to do life with hopefully forever, however, all you’re friends are married now. They can do married things and while you’re just getting used to holding hands with who you believe will be your spouse someday, you don’t want to rush things. You want to enjoy the dating season, but how can you when everyone else is married and enjoying the wonders of married life? Your friends are going on couples trips and attending marriage classes and seminars while you’re new to the dating scene. Wonderful isn’t it? You got your answered prayer only for everyone else to keep moving on with their lives while you’re just starting yours (dating life that is). 

When Jarrod and I started dating I had to pinch myself often. It felt like a dream. Having a boyfriend was a big deal. For those of you who know our story, you understand. Getting into my family is no walk in the park. There was lots of waiting and lots of trying again and again until Dad and three brothers said yes. Pretty intense, but Jarrod was the guy to push through. He didn’t give up when the criticism came. He didn’t give up when dad said “not yet.” He didn’t give up when my very protective brothers drilled him. He also didn’t give up when I gave him a hard time or times for that matter. Jarrods persistence along with the Lord’s leading, subtle nudge, and peace made everything align just perfectly. I couldn’t be more excited for what the future held, but I also wasn’t ready to be a wife. Looking back, had Jarrod and I dated when he first asked my dad for permission we would have failed to represent the heart of God in more ways than one. We just weren’t ready yet. When we started dating I felt a shift in my heart and God began to stir new areas of growth that could only be done in the walk of dating. 

The first 6 months of dating were amazing. All the new things and the new adventures. We talked a bunch. There was just so much to learn about each other. As our friends started getting married, however, I started feeling that maybe we should get married too. Silly me. We were in no place to get married. I had to remind myself something my grandma use to tell my siblings and me while growing up, “Paciencia, nene…” From a child I was impatient. Impatient waiting for food. Impatient while I ate and impatient to move on to the next activity of the day. I haven’t changed much honestly. My husband often tells me I am the worst at being patient. I don’t get wild fuming, I just get whatever needs to be done, done rather than waiting for him. I really don’t recommend doing that, but if you’re like me, you’re not alone. I am working on it, and can proudly say my husband has noticed I’ve gotten a TAD BIT better at it. Now back to me wanting to get married 6 months into dating. Yes, I was eager.

Poor reasons to get married:

  • Because everyone else is married
  • In order to please your significant other
  • For selfish reasons

Everyone else was married and in my juvenile and immature mind, I thought that if we got married then I wouldn’t feel so left out or behind. I thought this whole love thing was a race and I needed to be in the first place. I didn’t vocalize this to Jarrod. I wouldn’t dare. I would have probably scared him, after all, he went through trying to get a “yes” from my family to even date me. He needed time to recoup before he asked permission for the marriage.

I think he knew I was wrestling because he would often remind me to enjoy where we were at. At a year in I realized how fun it was to be dating and at a year and a half, we discovered new things and boy did things get even sweeter. We slowly introduced holding hands and sweet kisses. Jarrod had my heart and I was beginning to understand what love is. As we approached the two-year mark there was a shift in my heart that longed to serve Jarrod. I longed to submit under him and I knew I was ready to be married. But I couldn’t rush things. Even though Jarrod and I had the talk about marriage, I had to keep waiting. I didn’t dare rush. I knew it was coming soon and I ensured every day I was his girlfriend I enjoyed every moment of it because until then I realized that seasons do shift pretty quickly and if our focus is solely on getting to the next, we miss what’s happening right before us. 

Things to do while dating: 

  • Get to know each other (ask the tough questions, share the good and, not so good and ugly)
  • Branch out of your circle of friends and don’t neglect your single ones
  • Travel with your married friends and have them keep you accountable
  • Travel with your girlfriends and guy friends 
  • Serve together and serve individually 
  • Become a better you

If you are in the dating season, don’t rush it. I’d even loup the engagement season in that too. It’s a wonderful season that goes before your eyes as fast as you can blink. Judah and the Lion wrote the song Landslide which perfectly illustrates how quickly life can transition from one season to another. 

“I climbed a mountain, then I turned around

And I saw my reflection in the snow-covered hills

‘Til the landslide brought me down”

Before you know it your reflection is a part of history. A history we can either choose to be a part of or only have vague memories of. The writer King Solomon knew this all too well. He advises readers in Proverbs 19:2

“Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way.”

What we often desire we know nothing of. We desire to love and know not how to love. We desire companionship and have been poor friends to those around us. We desire grand things when we’ve been a slob at living (ouch). Take some time, clear your mind, and truly evaluate why you desire what you’re desiring. If it’s simply to gratify want and flesh, run. Run far from it. The best source for wisdom and understanding is the book that is founded on it. That’s the Bible. Don’t rush the season you’re in. Enjoy where you are at and truly live a life with no regrets. 


All my friends are dating… what now?

Oh, the joys of singlehood. I truly mean that. Singlehood was one of my favorite seasons. Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed dating and I am thriving in all things married life, but there’s just some special about singlehood. 

I remember when my friends started dating it seemed as if everyone got the memo but me. I was in college. I had not dated before and I really wasn’t planning on dating. I was convinced that I would be single for the rest of my life and in my late 20s I would eventually adopt all the babies that didn’t have a home. While my heart longed to love and be loved, dating just didn’t seem to be a part of the cards. I also saw many friends go through heartaches from one relationship to another which aided in my disinterest in dating. I can also give credit to Robin Jones Gunn. If you’ve ever read the Christy Miller Series you’d understand. I prayed for my Todd. I even wrote letters to my future husband. In my heart, however, I just felt that being in a relationship was just too far out of reach. 

I eventually became the only single girl in my friend group. It felt pretty pathetic honestly. I was always the third wheel, the last to be invited, and often felt as if the invite was mostly out of pity than want. I wasn’t upset. I understood entirely. I applaud my friends who had the courage to invite me in my singleness. It was probably awkward knowing I would show up without a plus one. Nonetheless, the single era was one of my absolute favorites. Honestly, as each season transitioned into another they became my favorite, but singlehood was something special. As I am reflecting I can see the tremendous beauty in it. I was able to grow, form deep and meaningful relationships, branch out of my circle of friends, travel, and try new things. I was even able to heal in areas that I dared not venture to explore and become “the me” and I wanted to marry someday. 

Did I long to be in a relationship? Absolutely. I experienced many lonely days. However, whenever that longing to be in a relationship crept in I truly had to examine myself. Why did I want to be in a relationship? I knew I wasn’t ready and I knew my desire to be in a relationship was simply rooted in my need to fit in with the rest of my friends. Those are both poor reasons to be in a relationship.

Poor reasons to be in a relationship:

  • Because you’re lonely
  • Feeling left out
  • Someone is convenient 

The idea of having a boyfriend sounded great, but I knew deep down it just wasn’t time. Had I been in a relationship because someone was convenient and wanted to take the title of boyfriend, I could have done plenty of damage. I would have ended up hurting the person and myself. That desperation does no one any good. Too often we become focused on having the title of being in a relationship than actually pursuing someone with the right intentions. In singleness, I learned what was important during that time of my life. 

Things to do in singlehood: 

  • Form deep and meaningful relationships
  • Branch out of my circle of friends
  • Travel
  • Try new things
  • Become a better you

While singleness can be lonely, I’d dare to say that it is only lonely if we choose to make it lonely. Rather than depending on your friends who are in a relationship to find time for you, put yourself out there. Find new friend groups, new circles, and new communities. Find a friend who also is the only single one in their friend group. Form your own P.O. Box Club. That’s P for Pals and O for Only (another Christy Miller Series reference). Be friends with guys, and form bonds and relationships with people you wouldn’t have. Travel the world with your girlfriends. Try new things and explore all of God’s wonder. Most of all, become the person you want to marry. If you’re not great at money management, become great. If you’re not great at listening, giving support, fitness, healthy eating, volunteering, investing, being dependable, trustworthy, clean and the list goes on, become great at those things. Those are not just great traits to have, but they are a part of Christian living. I am sure your plan is not to settle, correct? Well, don’t give others the ability to say that whoever you end up dating settled by dating you. 

All in all, have fun while you are single. Watch cheesy Hallmark romantic movies and cry if you have to, but don’t dwell in the rut of singlehood. Get up, get out there and live. You are in your prime. Believe me, singlehood is wonderful. Everything about it is great. Pray for your future spouse. Write letters to them and ask God to not rush this season you are in, but in His timing, open the door wide and big!

“Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way.”

Proverbs 19:2

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