I’ve been single my entire life so far. And while there are difficult days, there are definitely upsides to being single that can be overlooked. There’s no reason to sit around, waiting for the dream guy or girl to come along.
As for me, I’m learning to live life, no matter my relationship status. And whether or not you ever get married, singleness is simply better suited to some activities and bits than marriage is.
After polling my married friends and reflecting over my life, here are the top things to do while you’re still single:
1. Travel As Much As Possible.
You have the time now and no one else’s schedule to work around! Go for it.
I’ve been fortunate enough to fly to visit college friends in Seattle and South Carolina, stand in my friend’s wedding in Texas, go on summer camping trips and spontaneous day road trips, and even live in three different states in the past few years.
Traveling gives you a chance to experience new things, expand your worldview and gives you a sense of pride (the good kind) in your abilities to handle things on your own. Plus, it’s just fun!
2. Save Money.
I’ll admit, this is one I am still working on. Adjusting to marriage can be difficult enough without the added stress of financial burdens. Many of my married friends recommend building up your savings and paying off as many loans as possible now as opposed to later. Also, practice budgeting now (I’m preaching to the choir here)—it’ll be one less thing to adjust to in married life eventually.
3. Enjoy Time With Friends
Use this precious time with friends to the fullest—don’t let it slip by.
This one goes for time with both married and single friends. I treasure my relationships with my friends in both categories. Since I only have my schedule to consider right now, setting up times to grab coffee or go on weekend excursions is rather simple. Use this precious time with friends to the fullest—don’t let it slip by.
4. Get Involved With Church
Along with the time with friends, connecting at church is much easier to commit to when you’re single. I’m currently helping out with my church’s children’s ministry and love that I can dedicate as much time to it as I do. I’m usually free for the extracurricular events outside of Sunday mornings, too, so I try to help out with those as often as possible.
It can be easy to feel down about how open your schedule may seem without weekly romantic dates to go on, but it’s so fulfilling to use this season of life to invest in others.
5. Live With Friends
Once you marry your future spouse, that’s the last roommate you’ll ever choose to live with. Kind of crazy to think about, huh? So if you’ve always thought it would be fun to be the Rachel to your friend’s Monica or the Chandler to your friend’s Joey (sorry, I couldn’t resist a Friends TV show reference), what better time than now? I had a roommate who became a friend during my time living in Texas, and now my sister and I share a place, which is great. We both know that we might not be roommates forever — although we do have a backup plan to become crazy cat ladies together if necessary (just kidding…we like dogs better) — so we’re enjoying all the Netflix marathons, meals together, and general silliness we’re having while living together currently.
6. Go For Any Academic Dreams You Have.
When I entered college, my plan was to find a guy there, get engaged, graduate and get married.
Well, thankfully God had different plans, because what I didn’t realize about myself back then was that I can be very easily distracted from a goal. Had I had a boyfriend, maybe I would have been too preoccupied to fully go after a dream I’d had since I was 8 years old: to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree. I ended up graduating with my BA in four years.
It’s never too late to go back, get another degree, go for a Master’s, etc, but it gets much more difficult once you’re married or thinking about starting a family. So if you have an education dream, now is the time.
7. Go On Mission Trips
This one goes along with the travel point. I am going on my first mission trip as an adult this summer (I’ve previously gone on two when I was still in high school) and I’m very excited about taking such a big step in faith. Yes, it takes a lot of commitment now, but it’s something I wanted to do during my time of singleness because I’ve had several friends, most of whom are married with young kids, who tell me they’d love to go on one too but it’s not the right time in life for them currently. For me, it is, and it’s something I don’t want to waste.
If you have something you’ve always wanted to pursue, be it a new hobby, sport, dream, so on, work toward it now.
8. Establish Routines For Whatever You’re Passionate About.
If you have something you’ve always wanted to pursue, be it a new hobby, sport, dream, so on, work toward it now. Don’t let it be that mystical thing that you’ll get around to “eventually.” Sure, you’re busy, but you still have more free time now than you will later in life, so be brave and try something new!
9. Spend time with God
This one may seem obvious, but it’s interesting how easily it can be overlooked, at least in my own life. I have tons of time to do all the things I mentioned above, but most important of all is to spend quality time with my Savior.
Make it a part of your daily life now to read your Bible, pray, journal and go to a Bible study. Don’t forget the One who loves you most of all. It’s a great, important thing to try to accomplish everything listed above, but if we miss this last point, our time without a significant other will have been without a real purpose.
So, go ahead, embrace this thing we call singleness, achieve your goals, and follow God above all. Because life doesn’t start when you’re married—life is happening now.