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Confessions-of-a-Single-Guy

Confessions of a Single Guy

Written By Aryanto Wijaya, originally in Bahasa Indonesia

“When I was a child, I saw adults dating. When I became an adult, I saw children dating.”

I laughed when I saw these words on a meme while scrolling through Instagram. I knew exactly what the meme was talking about. Many of my friends started dating in high school, but I have remained single throughout college and even after I’ve started working.

I was raised in a broken family, and had trouble with my self-confidence. I was not rich, could not play any musical instruments, or do sports. So I figured I was only an ordinary guy and would not be anyone’s ideal type. Though I had fallen in love with several different girls in the past, I was usually too nervous to tell them. I often thought that if I told a girl that I loved her, it would ruin our friendship. Instead, I kept my feelings to myself, and just remained friends.

Eventually, in college, I fell in love with my best friend. We went to the same Christian youth fellowship every Tuesday night. We prayed together, hung out, and shared burdens. I finally told her how I felt towards her a few months before graduation. But she said she didn’t want to date, and preferred to remain best friends. I respected her decision. We are still good friends today even though we have since gone our own separate ways after graduation.

Not having a girlfriend, however, does not mean that my life is any less worthwhile. In the same way, my life would not always be better if I had a girlfriend. I have often listened to brokenhearted friends share about their breakups.

I’m happy being single at the moment. Though there are times I feel lonely, I’m learning to channel my emotions and energy during such moments towards meaningful activities.

 

I travel and write a travel blog.

I love to travel. During my four years of college in Yogyakarta, an Indonesian city, I travelled perhaps half of Indonesia, from westernmost Sabang Island to the northern city of Manado. Once, I even spent 30 days travelling across the island of Sumatra with a German friend.

Travelling is a way for me to meet people. I make a lot of friends while travelling, especially through my couch surfing community. And when my new friends express curiosity about my faith, it becomes a great opportunity to share about Jesus with them.

Travelling also reminds me that God always provides. For example, I was working as a student staff at my university which gave me the opportunity to travel throughout Indonesia to promote our school to high school students. And when I travelled with other backpackers, they often paid for my accommodation.

I enjoy writing about my travels and sharing my thoughts and experiences with other people. I believe that God is using my skills and interests to enrich my life, and hopefully the lives of others. What has He been doing in your life?

 

I spend time and energy loving my family and friends first.

I believe that when I learn to love and be content with what God has already given me, He will give me new responsibilities in His own time. Jesus told us that “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” (Luke 16:10)

I believe God wants me to use this stage of singleness to love my friends and family—and He uses this to enrich my life and theirs. I’ve learned to empathize with the problems my loved ones face and be a better listener.

Twice a month, I go back to my hometown to visit my family. I recognize that my parents are getting older so I make it a point to let them know how special they are to me and buy them food. I also spend time keeping in touch with my friends through phone calls and weekend visits. Because I do not have to coordinate my schedule with a girlfriend or wife, I have time to listen to my loved ones’ problems, encourage them, pray with them, and hang out with them.

If you’re at the same stage life as me, why not consider how to use this time to be a blessing to those around you?

 

I often like to say that I don’t need a soul mate because God created my soul complete. If and when God decides that it’s time for me to leave my singleness, He will naturally provide someone. What I need to do in the meantime is to focus on how God wants me to live my life to the fullest and bless others.

The completeness of someone’s life is not determined by whether he has a mate or not. God has already created us complete. Regardless of our relationship status, God has a good plan that He wants to accomplish through us.

Are you living a fulfilling life now?

 

Read “5 Ways to Become the Most Eligible Bachelorette” here.

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When Will It Be My Turn?

Written By Jordan Lee, USA

You meet him—you know who I’m talking about. He’s the guy you’ve been dreaming of, the one you thought you’d never even talk to . . . and then he asks you on a date, a real date!

You hide the happy dance your heart is doing, fight back the squeal, and accept with pleasure. Within seconds, all your girls know and they’re offering their closets for you to peruse. You spend hours picking out the perfect outfit.

He picks you up at 7:00 a.m. sharp—not a minute early or a minute late, just like he promised. The date ends with a sweet kiss goodnight, a promise to call you tomorrow, and you dance to your room with a light heart and twinkle in your eye.

And then he actually calls the next day. The dates not only continue but soon he begins calling you the magic word. He begins calling you his—wait for it . . . girlfriend. Score! When you hear that word, it’s not scary or weird or uncomfortable like with the other guys. It sounds just right—fitting.

Eventually, he pops the question. You call your girls and inform the world with the perfect Instagram post and finally create that Pinterest wedding board. You ever so creatively ask your girls to be your maids, which they make known on Instagram, and they help you prep every detail of the big day like you’ve done for them.

Isn’t this how we want it to go? Isn’t this how we envision it as a little girl? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that this is an ideal but less than likely scenario.

Maybe you haven’t met your match. Maybe you’ve never had a boyfriend that sticks around. Maybe you’re frustrated because you’ve never even been asked on a date and all your friends are getting married and having the cutest babies ever. And maybe you believe that your life is a bummer. Maybe you’re sick of seeing everyone else fall in love. Maybe you’re wondering what’s wrong with you and when it’ll be your turn.

If that’s you, cool. I’d love to tell you that it’s going to happen for you soon. I’d love to tell you Mr. Right just got caught in traffic. I’d love to say the clichéd little phrase, “to find the right person, you have to become the right person.”

But I can’t.

I don’t know the future of your love life any more than you do. I don’t know the purpose of your current relationship status any more than you do. Only God knows if you’re supposed to meet Mr. Right and only He knows when it’ll be your turn.

But this isn’t about taking turns. Life and relationships aren’t a game and God isn’t skipping your turn when you feel like He is. The cold, hard truth is that there’s no cookie-cutter answer for your situation, and I think sometimes we like to put blanket statements on it because we all know being alone is hard.

But I’m not going to give you a magic solution or throw clichéd phrases on your life. Because as you step into yet another bridesmaid dress or fake a smile for another one of your friends in love whom you’re really trying to be happy for, I’d be willing to bet that those statements don’t help at all.

I’d rather remind you that there’s a reason God has you right where you are, that you’re appreciated, and that your current role is needed in big and mighty ways. You are needed as you are, right now, flying solo, individual, and independent.

I know it’s tempting and normal to step into a lonely pity party, but I dare you to own your loneliness instead of letting it own you. Don’t throw your heart walls up in protection or your hands up in surrender. Both are isolating and discouraging and you’re better than that.

When you feel like you’re losing hope, take a step back. Are you placing your hope in the ring or in the King?

Your character, your strengths, and your exact blend of humor, wit, and beauty are needed for something a lot bigger than Pinterest boards and wedding bells.

And maybe you just need to be reminded that the Prince of Peace sees that—even if a Prince Charming never does.

You are beloved by God and needed in this big world—with or without a plus one.

 

This article was originally posted on the writer’s blog here. This version has been edited by YMI.

The-Waiting-Room-Called-Singleness (1)

The Waiting Room Called “Singleness”

Written By Emily Burrill, USA

There’s a raging party that is sweeping across the world.

It’s exciting. It’s trendy. It has confetti and sparkly dresses and loud music. It’s desired by many. And it makes for some really swell Instagram photos.

There is also a waiting room to get into the party. The waiting room is dull. Its walls are bland and colorless. It’s crowded but full of empty people that desperately want to get invited to the party.

This is the sad reality of singleness in college. It is viewed as lonely, depressing, and weak. It’s a waiting room. All of these girls are waiting. Waiting for a chance for a cute boy with a hipster haircut and mad long boarding skills to ask them out on a date so they can finally take part in that raging party of being in a couple.

The more they wait, the more hopeless they become. They see more and more people being invited to the party. They see more and more marriage engagements on Facebook. They see more and more cute couple videos on YouTube. And while they wait, they deteriorate.

The waiting room destroys. It destroys self-esteem. It destroys confidence. It destroys body image. It destroys self-image.  It destroys from the inside out.

Soon, they start thinking they are not good enough to be loved. They are not pretty enough. They are not smart enough. They are not interesting enough. They are fat and ugly. They are not attractive to any man. It is their fault they are single.

Before long, they are completely hopeless. The only thing they have left is a lifeless shell of their exterior with nothing but self-loathing on the inside.

Ladies, the waiting room is a lie.

It is a lie that is handed to us directly from the hand of the devil. This lie is meant to empty us from the inside out. To leave us hopeless, depressed, anxious, broken and left with nothing.

The devil has lured us into the waiting room and made us obsessed with one goal: to get the guy, to date him, to get engaged to him, and to marry him. While that desire is valid and something I want as well, we may have unwittingly made this the most important goal in our life.

So this is my question: When did the guy become the goal instead of God?

Matthew 6:21 states, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” In other words, what you place as your goal is where your heart truly is. We have treasured a boy above God. We have desired a relationship with a man above a relationship with our Creator. We have destined ourselves to an end goal of marriage rather than a goal of everlasting life with our Father.

Ladies, he’s not the goal. He’s the goal.

So to all my single friends, don’t wait in the waiting room. The devil created it in a desperate attempt to weaken our self-identity and to distract us from the truth. We have been blinded to think that waiting for a man is like waiting for a party. A party that is too cool and too rad for us. The party is a lie. Ask anyone in a relationship. The reality of coupling isn’t as great as they portray on Instagram. Yes, it is a gift. But it is not the goal.

We have got to stop seeing relationships as the goal and singleness as a period of mundane waiting. We can partake in the greatest party in the history of humanity—a relationship with God. Growing closer to Him, loving Him, being with Him, all while investing in relationships with your girl friends, your guy friends, and your family. You can be unattached. You can go places. You can do things. You can empower. You can grow. You can have strength.

The waiting room is a place of destruction. It’s time to step out and live. Ladies, we are strong. We are influential. We have the power to do things that couples can’t do. We are undistracted. We have more time. We can empower.

Singleness is strength. And that is the truth.

So, my encouragement to you: Stand up, leave that waiting room, and live.

While you live, remember the truth; he’s not the goal. He’s the goal.

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Why Am I Still Single?

Written By Krysti Wilkinson, USA

I was sitting in church, listening to our pastor, when my eyes fell on the couple a few rows in front of me. They did something cute—maybe she leaned her head on his shoulder or he kissed her forehead—that caught my attention.

I knew the girl, and knew some of her current situation. To me, she wasn’t necessarily in the healthiest place to be in a new relationship or making the best choices in life at the moment. And yet, here she was at church being cute with her cute new boyfriend.

I sighed. I shifted in my seat, and looked up and down the row I was sitting in. There were seven or eight of us girls, all with our journals out and pens poised. Some of us had even brought our Bibles (extra holy points!). We were Christian. We were cute. And we were all single.

I remember thinking, “We’re doing everything right. We’re following all the rules. We’re going above and beyond over here—where are our cute boyfriends?”

It felt like a slap in the face when I heard God come back with, “. . . when was that ever part of the deal?”

That was the day I realized I had been viewing my dating life, and my faith, as a merit-based system. If you go to church every week, maybe you would get asked out. If you’re involved in a weekly Bible study, you might get a boyfriend. And the holiest of holy people? They earn enough points for marriage. Apparently, I was not playing the Christian game correctly, for I was still single.

Written out, I know how ridiculous it sounds. But I also know how real it felt for so many years and how easy it is to fall into these lies. When a relationship feels like something you need to earn, finding yourself single feels like you’ve somehow messed up.

Here’s the thing: dating is not an accomplishment, and marriage is not a merit badge. We were never promised 2.5 kids and a perfect spouse to live happily ever after with behind a white picket fence. God never, ever promised that faithfulness will bring happiness, prosperity, or a blissful life (often it brings the opposite). Yet, when we see our friends seemingly living out the picture-perfect life, we find ourselves questioning: Why not me? Why not my life? Why am I single?

It’s okay to ask those questions. It’s okay to be honest. It’s okay to feel whatever it is you’re feeling. I think the problem is getting stuck in those questions.

Maybe you’re wondering why you’re single, and it causes you to do some self-reflection—are you open to a new relationship? Are you in a healthy place? Have you been caught up in some bad habits that are affecting your relationships? Those are good questions to ask.

Maybe you’re wondering why you’re single, and it causes you to spiral into a dark place— dwelling on all the mistakes you made in your last relationship, obsessing over every interaction with the opposite sex, and pouring all your energy into getting someone’s attention.

May I suggest that instead of asking yourself why you’re single, ask God what He wants you to do with your singleness. I don’t like the church cliché of “singleness is such a gift!” because I know to some it can feel like a prison sentence. But God uses gifts and prison sentences alike.

You don’t have to necessarily love being single or cherish every second of it—but you can invite God into every second of it. Ask Him what He’s doing in your life, where He’s leading you, and what He wants for you next. It might be a relationship, or it might be the exact opposite of a relationship. I don’t know what He wants for you, but I do know that He is good and so are His plans.

That day, a few years ago, asking God why I was single caused me to realize the unhealthy way I had been viewing my faith. It also helped me check my intentions of doing all this church stuff— am I doing it to earn a man, or out of love for my Father?

At various other times I’ve asked Him the same question, I’ve realized that there are ministry opportunities, areas of growth, friendships that needed nurturing, and even a few guys I would have never considered dating.

God has a way of surprising us. Sometimes we just have to ask the question.