As a single person, there have been times when it’s been really difficult to watch most of my friends fall in love, get married, and have children. I’ve wanted to be excited for them and share their joy, but that hasn’t always been my natural reaction. I’ve grown to realize that my response to other people’s happiness wasn’t always the healthiest, and I refuse to keep living that way. I’m learning to accept and appreciate my life for what it is right now.
Here are 3 things I keep in mind as I work to better love myself and others:
- Learn from my friends’ relationships. I’ve learned a ton from my married friends (about the joys and sorrows of marriage and family life), and I want to continue to support them. However, I’ve also tried to take more time to appreciate this time of singlehood because one day the freedoms I have now may no longer be there. I want to have fun with my friends who still share this freedom with me.
- Married people still need friends. When my sister first got married and later had her daughter, I thought she would just want time with her husband and daughter. It was only later that I found out she was very lonely (especially while she was home alone with the baby). Even if “spending time with her” meant holding my niece while she took a shower, I wish I had been there for her more. I may only have a few minutes to give someone a call or write a letter, but I’m keeping in better touch with the people who have been such blessings in my life.
- Regardless of my state in life, I need to be grateful. Since moving to a new city, I’ve reflected on my friendships and can honestly say that I am incredibly blessed. Although the past few years have certainly not been “rainbows and butterflies,” I have developed friendships that will last the rest of my life. And regardless of my state in life, I want these friendships to grow.
My friendships are helping me prepare for the love I hope to give and receive in marriage. I’ve learned love cannot be planned or predicted; it is not something that can be controlled. When love is given, we need to be fully open to responding to whatever form it takes.