On Dating: You Don't Need A Boyfriend To Make You Happy

Photo: Benny Geypens, Creative Commons

[Guest Post by Julie] You don’t need a boyfriend (relationship) to make you happy. Or do you?

I never thought I’d still be single at 29 years old.

I remember at 17 having my life mapped out–when I’d have a boyfriend, get engaged, married, have children, and inevitably live happily ever after.

Needless to say, life hasn’t gone as planned. 

25 came and went and here I am four years later navigating through ‘what might have been’ with more fear and uncertainty than I’d care to admit. 

I’m single with no boyfriend in sight.

It’s even harder being single when a majority of the people around me are married. It seems like every day Facebook statuses change from “Single” to “Engaged” reminding me that I’m still spending another day alone. 

Sometimes I wonder if I’m meant to become one with a man or if I’m meant to be one alone.

At 23 I thought I had found him–the one–until the one I thought he was turned out to be gay.

At 25, I thought I had found my other ‘one’ until he turned out to be a liar and abuser.

Recently, I thought I had definitely found him, the real one until after two years he decided he wanted nothing to do with me and has since cut me out of his life completely.

Honestly, I thought God’s hand was in the last one. It felt right and all the pieces seemed to fit. I watched God work through me, change me, and shape me into the woman I am now. Only now, the woman I am is more lost and confused than ever before.

“Guard your heart.”

“God has that special someone for you. Be patient.”

“You don’t need a man to be happy. All you need is God.”

As a single, that’s advice I receive daily and admittedly, advice I have given too.

Honestly, those words make me cringe and sometimes they hurt worse than my singleness.

I don’t want to guard my heart. I want my heart to be exposed and open.

I want to know what it means to experience happiness and joy with another person with God at the center. I want to know what it means to intimately submit my life to someone else and know that God designed me to do life with that man. Yet, the feeling I will end up alone looms as I face the reality of who I am and who I’m not.

I wonder if God is punishing me.

Maybe I have sinned too much in my life and He is protecting my future boyfriend from my brokenness.

Maybe I’m too broken for a man and maybe I’m not ready for a relationship.

I find myself asking more questions about marriage and sex. Questions I never thought I’d ask to prepare for me for a life I may not have, considering my dating life is non existent. 

God knows my heart.

He knows my fears.

The reality I face each day as I struggle through my singleness–I wish I wasn’t so afraid. 

While being single has its perks and I embrace it, there is still a deep longing to be loved by someone else. I know God loves me. I know He has my best interests at heart. I know He’s preparing me for something I can’t see, and maybe that’s the point of my struggle as a single. 

Living by faith not by sight because God knows best.

And so, I wait.

Question: Are you still waiting for a boyfriend or girlfriend? What does your waiting look like?
Julie is a late 20 year old who is navigating through life trying to find her way. She is passionate about love, grace, and being there for others. She believes in the power of transparent community and meeting others where they are in their journey. She writes at http://www.incitefaith.com.

13 comments on “On Dating: You Don't Need A Boyfriend To Make You Happy”

  1. Great post Julie! Love your honesty and your style of writing 🙂

    1. InciteFaith says:

      Thank you Meredith!

  2. Tracy says:

    Julie-I too love your honesty. I can relate to experiencing the fear of being alone, mixed with the faith that God knows what He is doing. Waiting is just…tough. Continuing to walk with you my friend 🙂

    1. InciteFaith says:

      Thank you for your support and encouragement, Tracy. With strong women like you at my side being single isn’t that bad :). God has me where He wants me and that’s enough to get me through my single years!

      Love and appreciate you friend!

  3. Hi Julie,

    Yes, still waiting!
    I know that planning is correct. But it is odd how when we are younger we planned/hoped how our future is going to be. For some people things go exactly as planned, while for others not. And if it does not go as we wanted…? It is important how to deal with that. We sometimes really don’t know why things go/happen in a certain way in our lives. But God knows and has everything planned out. And as you said, “God knows my heart”. So He knows when we are ready for the next step.
    The last 2 years have definitely not gone as I had planned/hoped. So many things happened. But looking back, I am happy, glad, and thankful for everything. Just like: it was meant to go like that. I really don’t know how my future is going to be, but I know with whom I’m walking and I’m very aware that every plan goes with “if it is God’s will”.! Because changes can happen suddenly, unexpectedly.
    I don’t think I struggle with my singleness. Maybe because of everything that I have experienced/gone through, I think I have learned to accept to be content in the season of life that I am. Everything occurs at the right time. While waiting: working, busy with different activities in church/ministries, going on vacation with family, mission trips, playing piano. I want to marry some day; so I am quietly, but very EXCITED waiting.

    1. InciteFaith says:

      Wow! Incredible words of wisdom here. Everything you’ve said is spot ON. I understand the feeling completely of life not going as planned even without my singleness thrown in there. It just added to it.

      You’re so right about things to be involved in while waiting. I try and keep my focus off my singleness and focus on things that bring fulfillment to my life. Being content in the season of life we are in are some wise and encouraging words.

      Thank you for this reminder and thank you for your encouraging comment!

  4. Shannon Pray says:

    Julie,

    It’s like you took these words right out of my own head and heart. Thank you for writing the best, most real, most moving article on singleness I’ve read. Thanks for being completely honest and making me feel not so abnormal and terrible for being 29, single, and afraid. I’ve re-read this many times, it came at a perfect time.

    1. InciteFaith says:

      Shannon,

      Thank YOU so much for your kind words. You’re definitely NOT abnormal or terrible for being single. These feelings still come and go and sometimes they come on really strongly.

      It’s a process and it helps knowing there are others out there who are going through the same thing.

      Thank you again for your kind words. If you would like to connect further, please don’t hesitate to contact me! 🙂

      God bless you!

  5. Amy Long says:

    Thank you so much for this. I’ve (kind of) lost God over the years and I’m trying to come back. Its so hard understanding that even though I think I’m so broken… God loves me anyway and that this was his plan for me all along. Honestly, I came across this because its 2 am and I’m up crying about a broken heart from someone i thought was ‘the one’. We broke up a long time ago, but the pain is still there. And trying to move on, being single, is rough. So I’m trying to remind myself to go to God and pray like crazy and that i don’t need a boyfriend if somebody (God, of course) already loves me as i am. <3 But yeah, i was google searching a quote of something along those lines to post as my phone background when i came across this post. Usually i wouldn't comment (or tell you my whole life story- haha) but when i saw this was posted less than a month ago, i knew it was meant to be and i figured id share my thoughts. :). So thank you for writing exactly what i needed to hear. MUCH love and support. -Amy

    1. InciteFaith says:

      Amy,

      Thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m not going to be cliche’ because I’ve been where you are and even now I still feel the sting of broken relationships from my past (and recently present). When I wrote this post it was in a time of transition and healing. It was also in a season of learning and learning to lean into God when I was hurting.

      In this season, I am learning to lean into others’ story and share their pain. Because pain in any form is real. You’re not alone and you ARE loved.

      Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you need anything.

      Prayers and love to you, Amy!

Comments are closed.