It seems that everywhere you look, from television and movies to advertising, the message is constantly being sent that you need a boyfriend or girlfriend to be complete. This message is a lie. Just ten minutes listening to popular music and it’s obvious we are a society obsessed with romantic relationships.
“Don’t worry, if you don’t have a bf/gf, you won’t die.”
The “I’ve got to be in love” syndrome is the most popular topic people call my radio show about. Very few calls or comments I receive from teenagers and young adults ever speak to the benefits of not dating. I often have to tell people, “Don’t worry, if you don’t have a bf/gf right now, you won’t die.” While there are definitely some benefits of being in a relationship, there are certainly just as many, if not more, to not dating.
Delaney commented to me about being happy without a guy in her life: “I have great friends that are always there for me and always know how to make me happy, and I have a wonderful family that loves and cares for me as I do for them. Life isn't always about having a boyfriend or a girlfriend. I think life is about living your life to the fullest without having a guy or girl. When I tried dating, it brought a whole lot of drama in my life that I have never experienced and it made my life a lot harder than I think it needed to be. It seems to me like having a guy in your life makes everything else harder to accomplish. As of right now, I'm loving the single life and hanging with friends and not worrying about boys and drama!”
I have been thinking a lot lately about the benefits of not dating and the unnecessary drama and heartache a mixed-up dating relationship can cause. In comparison, singleness is a far better way to go. Here are just a couple of the many benefits a person can enjoy while being single.
A dating relationship is extremely time consuming. Right?
When you’re single you have more time to get to know yourself and God.
While this may sound well and good, it does take away from the time you may need to really get to know yourself, God and those around you. What do you like? What makes you happy? What makes you sad? What do you enjoy spending your time doing when no one is around? Being single gives you time to develop yourself. It will increase your confidence, which is considerably more attractive than always needing to have a bf/gf at your side. I think if more people would spend their time developing into the right person, instead of always looking to find the right person, they’d be much happier.
“If you are happy with yourself then you will be content if you don't have somebody…”
Riah commented to me just this week how she doesn’t have to have somebody say “I love you” for her to be happy: “If you are happy with yourself then you will be content if you don't have somebody and you will still hold your head up and walk with confidence. Some advantages are that you have a calm, peaceful life. It's a lot less worrysome, and you will probably have a lot more time on your hands to do something that can benefit you and your life.”
She’s right. When you are not dating, you have much more time on your hands to do the things you really want to do. If you want to do nothing, or read a book or watch a movie, or hang out with friends, you can do it. Take advantage of your singleness to get to know a lot of different kinds of people. Find ways to be the best friend you can to those you care about the most.
I think if more people would spend their time developing into the right person, instead of always looking to find the right person, they’d be much happier.
Have a lot of different kinds of experiences. This will help you in the long run know better what to look for in a career, or even a mate. But most importantly, when you’re single you have more time to get to know yourself and develop a meaningful relationship with God.
With all this being said, if you don’t feel like you’re very free or fulfilled in your dating relationship, get out. The sky will not fall. The sun will still rise in the morning. Relationships aren’t supposed to feel like you’re in prison.
Being single is something to cherish, not to be afraid of. Being in a relationship is something to value, as well. But don’t feel like you have to be in a relationship in order to be happy. Get to know yourself and God, and you can be happy, whether in a relationship with a bf/gf or not.
For next week, send me your comments and ideas about what to do if you fall in love with your best friend.