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A note for my single self on Valentine’s Day.



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It seems like every time I write about my singleness the floodgates open up.

People call me. People text me. They leave an absurd amount of comments on Instagram. For a long time I felt like God was poking me and pushing me to write about the topic but I always refused. For so long, singleness felt like a burden that was bestowed upon me and I didn’t want people to know I felt the weight of it… I didn’t want people to know I had a weakness and that weakness flared up any time a wedding invitation showed up in the mail.

The thing is, I’m not single. Not anymore, at least. For a while I thought God was going to keep me single until I finally wrote about it. I thought he was waiting to use me to be some single girl vessel to the masses and then, when I finally broke the silence about my lack of plus ones at weddings, he would bless me with some handsomely rugged man.

That’s a problem for a lot of us: we think God is some cruel scientist who has hid our cheese at the end of a maze. We think God is withholding until we learn “x” amount of lessons. We think he will eventually have good for us when we finally get our stuff together.

It’s Valentine’s Day this weekend. I used to have such a disdain and hatred for this holiday. I told my last boyfriend so many times how much I loathed February 14 that he took to an anti-Valentine’s Day screamo concert featuring angry feminists singing Alanis Morrisette on Valentine’s Day. We broke up the following day.

I don’t actually hate Valentine’s Day. I just didn’t like a holiday that seemed reserved for couples, no matter how much you emphasize the “love is for everyone” juju feelings. I know how hard that holiday can be for people. I know how lonely and not-chosen you can feel just from walking through a card aisle in Target.

It hurts.

Yes, it absolutely hurts to be single again this year. To feel like everyone around you is meeting their person. To be having yet another conversation on Tinder that is leading you nowhere fast.

Give yourself permission to hurt and feel the pain of loss over something you don’t have yet. That’s more than okay.

Singleness is a weird and hard thing to talk about when all you want is to be the opposite of single. I spent years trying to get to a place where I wanted the singleness, where I was grateful for exactly where I was despite not having a person to share it with. And then I had a realization:

It’s okay to miss someone you don’t know yet.

It’s okay to furiously fill your journal with prayers for a stranger.

It’s okay to wish you had a plus one to that wedding.

Just because you desire a different status in your relationship does not mean you are wrong or broken or not content with the present circumstances. It’s okay to mourn and miss and yearn and wait. It’s all okay.

The biggest thing I would circle back around and tell my single self: your life is not on pause because of your relationship status (or lack thereof).

Someone– no matter how good-looking they will be when they finally come along– is not going to step out and live your life for you. Your singleness ending won’t mean the improvement process will cease either. No, it will only get harder.

So if you want an adventure then you must pack the bag and go. Buy your own coffee. Make your own playlists. Plan your own road trips. See the things you want to see just for the simple fact that they matter enough to you. A match on Tinder will not live your dreams for you. Your singleness is not an accident. Your singleness is not God’s blindspot.

Before you can be sure of another person you must be sure of yourself. You must be willing to bet on yourself. This does not mean you have to be perfect or anywhere near it. But it does mean this: a partnership with someone else is not going to fix all the cravings inside of you to be better. You’ll still want to be better. You can always be better, but are you enough? There’s a difference between being better and being enough.

Don’t believe the lie that a person will complete you. A person can never complete you. They will add onto you. They will show you reality. They will push you out of your comfort zone but they will never complete you. If you are looking for completion in the form of two blue eyes, it isn’t waiting for you there.

You are allowed to be bitter. You are allowed to be sad. You are allowed to be all of these things but it does not necessarily mean that they’re the best feelings for you to harbor. Bitterness is an ugly thing. It makes time to root itself and even more time to pull up those roots. Even when someone walks into your life, that bitterness won’t completely go away. It will simply get placed somewhere else.

You’ll likely meet someone one day. You might meet several of them. You might fall in love and break up and fall in love and leave. It might be a few good tries before you find someone who makes you want to stay in the mess of your unity. That’s okay. Don’t let your heart freeze up. Don’t let your jadedness be the thing that makes you believe there are no good ones out there. Don’t give God every shred of you and neglect to give him this. Give him your hurt and give him your worry. You don’t need to sugarcoat the truth. He’s God, he can handle the moments when you feel like your life is the ongoing, never-ending sequel to 27 Dresses.

Just stay honest. Stay open to a love that might not be what you expected. Stay real with your people. Find new people if your people don’t let you be real.

Say yes to awkward first dates when they come along, even if you don’t know for certain if they’re “the one.” I don’t think “the one” is a feeling that tramples over you like a Pitbull. The one is just a person, like you. They will be imperfect and salty. They will let you down and forget important dates. They will burn the toast and they will sing out of tune sometimes. The one is just a person in your life who gets your extra portions of grace. The one is just a person who gets the majority of your texts, tears, and prayers. They pick you. You pick them. It’s like picking your kickball team every morning when you wake up: you pick them, even when they have a bum ankle.

“You are exactly where you need to be.”

I have a print with those words hanging in my house. Our friends Hoke and Dawn bought the print and gave it to us on the day we moved into our first house together.

I see the words often. I keep them in a place where I cannot help but see them.

Because aren’t those the hardest words to accept when you just want to be somewhere else?

Somewhere other than crying in the bathroom stall during the slow song. Somewhere other than ordering chicken nugget late at night and eating them in your bed while you watch Netflix. Somewhere other than getting alterations on yet another bridesmaid dress for yet another person who found their person before you.

I get it. And yet, I’d still have to put my hand on your shoulder and tell you the truth: you are exactly where you need to be. It’s not accidental. It’s not wasted time. And it’s certainly not punishment.

Being single does not mean you are benched or on the sidelines of life. You can still participate. You can still celebrate others through the pain. You can still pray earnest, scrappy prayers. You can still do so much with this time that feels like someone is missing from the storyline. It’s okay to feel that feeling but don’t let that feeling hold you hostage or keep you from all the beautiful moments that are still ahead for you.

Live into this day with everything you have. Feel all your feelings. You don’t have to discount the pain or shove it away. Let the pain pull up a chair and take a seat.

You are learning. You are growing. You are becoming someone new.

All of this counts. One day, I believe someone is going to see and notice all this hard work you put in to be ready for a union like marriage.

You are exactly where you need to be. Go all the way in and don’t hold back.


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Hi, I'm Hannah

I love writing about all things faith, mental health, discipline + and motherhood. Let's be penpals!


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