Friday, June 3, 2016

The Best Years: Dating Yourself & Making the Best of Your Singleness

Hey Fam!

So about a good two weeks ago, I was on Le Snapchat, and I had shared some advice relating to not being afraid to take yourself out on a date by yourself. Honestly y'all, I was low-key venting to encourage myself and just had faith that someone else would be going through the same. Long and behold, I got some feedback about it and one of my friends actually followed through with the advice and took himself on a date. I thought that was pretty cool and since I know a lot of us may be struggling with discontentment in our singleness, I figured why not write about dating yourself and making your single years your BEST YEARS.

Before we get into the "How to Date Yourself" codebook, let's first talk about the reality of our lives:

From the time we're born to about 22/23 on average, our lives are really our parents'. They take care of us, tell us what to do, and pretty much shape us into who we are up to that point. It's not until after our college graduation that some of us get to experience real freedom for the first time. By that time, you've probably moved out of your parents' house, or got a new job to kickstart your career. In theory, you've given 23 years of your life to your parents, family, and maybe even your friends—you've barely had the time to really know yourself and determine who you want to be for yourself.

Your single years are just that—the time for you to get to know who you really are and who you want to be. We often times rob ourselves of that opportunity, rushing into relationships and sometimes even marriage. Sorry to break it to you, but marriage at 22/23 may not be for you shawty, maybe not even at 25, 35, 45, or maybe not at all! And if it's not, will you still be content with Christ alone? If Adam or your Rib never comes—if marriage is not what God has called you to, will you still say, "Yes," to Him?

A lot of times, we allow marriage and the idea of it to become an idol in our lives. Whether it be to fill a void we hold from our upbringing, or an idea that we were told we're supposed because of some movie we saw, and because society told us it's what "we're supposed to do," marriage should never be the end goal—glorifying Jesus should be.

If we could take our eyes off of marriage for just a second, and get to know ourselves as singles, first, we avail ourselves to the opportunity not just to experience ourselves, but to also experience God in a relational way. We experience Him as a companion, a friend, and a love. In that experience, He reveals to you your true self in His image.

For me, it wasn't until I started spending quality time with myself, alone—no friends, no boyfriend, no family—just me and Jesus, that I realized who Nic really was. I was able to figure out why certain relationships didn't work for me, why my favorite color is what it is, what qualities of myself I like and need to change. Y'all I even learned how to cook and liked it! Anyone who knows me personally knows that I've always hated cooking. I was convinced that my husband would just have to get over it and learn for himself. Clearly, God thought it would be cool to have me move out my mom's and either live or starve. So another check for Proverbs 31 checklist!

I started dating myself and the day I made up in my mind that my single years would be my BEST YEARS yet, discontentment in my singleness became less of a thing. I began to focus more on my purpose and actually enjoy my singleness.

"How To Date Yourself 101:"

1. Get that butt to work!

Being single doesn't mean you wait around for Mr. or Ms. Right. Your Adam isn't going to come while you're sitting there looking pretty, or your Eve, fellas, while you're not getting a home ready for her.

Look at both stories of Adam (Genesis 2:4-25) and Ruth (Ruth 2:1-23)—both Adam and Ruth were minding their own business, doing the Lord's work before they were introduced to their spouses. Adam was in the garden when God made the decision that it was not good for man to be alone. Ruth was working in the field when Boaz noticed her work ethic and became intrigued by her. Both servants of the Lord were working, fulfilling their purpose, completing their work.

So get to work, bro!

2. Be confident!

That night two weeks ago, I took myself out to one of my favorite spots, requested a booth, picked up a book and really sat there, minding my business, ordered something different and I looked great doing so. I dress up for my dates with myself—makeup, heels, the whole nine! The same I would if I was going out on a date if I was in a relationship. I looked good and I felt good. I didn't need a man or woman to tell me I was beautiful because I already knew; God told me so (Psalm 139:14).

A man had come up to me that night and said, "Are you by yourself?" I simply replied, "Yes, I am." He went on to ask me why I was having dinner alone; no beautiful woman should ever be having dinner alone. I blushed and slightly cracked up at first, then I told him that there's nothing wrong with a beautiful woman having dinner alone and enjoying herself. I was treating myself and didn't need anyone else to do it for me. He applauded me for that. Weeks before that, another man had asked me if I had ever been told I was beautiful. Quickly I replied and said, "Yep! Sure have." When he asked who told me, I said, "My daddy!" LOL! My curve game is hilarious and so sarcastic, but it's also on point!

Knowing who I am in Christ and growing in Him has allotted me the freedom to grow past my insecurities and into confidence. I no longer need the affirmation of people, especially men to tell me things I already know about myself. Now, ladies, don't be rude! Some men are genuinely looking to compliment you as a way of encouraging you and applauding you for being put together. Say "thank you" and don't be afraid to compliment them back. A safe-zone response for me is "Thank you, King. Have a great day, okay;" gets them every time with the smile.

3. Enjoy it!

Saying that being single is boring is a lie—a lie someone told you and you believed it silly! It can be fun if you allow it to be. Do different things, travel, create a bucket list of "Firsts" and actually do all the things you've never done for the first time.

God hasn't called us to live these dreaded lives; He's called us to live in abundance. When we seek Him first, He said that all things shall be added unto us (Matthew 6:33)...ALL things!!! You know what ALL things is? It's ALL things—an abundance! You'll never lack if you get your butt to work, remain confident in who He has called you to be, and enjoy the journey!

Make the best of of your singleness and don't waste them away thinking your life will magically become this fairy tale once you reach marriage. I'm telling you, matter of fact, I BEG YOU LINDA, LISTEN TO ME!!! You'll want to enjoy these years now because once they're gone, THEY AINT COMING BACK! Once that spouse comes, and them little snot nosers are crawling all over your house and them terrible-twos hit, you'll be wishing you had two seconds of silence!

Your single years are your BEST Years yet. Enjoy them!

Stay encouraged fam. This is a community thing so feel free to hit me with the questions or shoot me an email even if it's for encouragement. We're in this together!

God loves you immensely and I love you too!

Praying with you,
xo Nic.