Many marriage-minded single women who receive my Get Unstuck Get Married newsletter shared their heart, their struggles, and questions with me.
This is a sample of some of their letters. I changed their real names out of respect for their privacy.
From Jenna who read the first chapter of my book:
“I’ve only read the first chapter and wow. I needed that action step about refusing to look at coincidences as signs of God’s will! I just had a similar situation that you described. I have to be better at guarding my heart as I step out in the dating world at the age of 45.”
One way to guard one’s heart is to stop thinking “it means he’s The One!” based on random coincidences and get overly excited over them, which increase the pain unnecessarily when he doesn’t turn out to the “The One.” Easier said than done, I know :).
If you want to receive my Get Unstuck Get Married newsletter and free chapters of “From Stuck in Singleness to Marrying Mr. Right,” get them here.
In the first chapter I show that when we have a crush on a guy (and therefore obsess a bit about him) it’s a common mistake to take any random coincidence as a divine sign that we’re meant to be with this man, that he’s The One, even when he’s not.
“What did you do when you had the really hard lonely days. How were you able to encourage yourself through that.”
When I had lonely days I would get together with my Christian friends 🙂 . God provides us the blessing of the church and of our brothers and sisters in Christ.
I was part of several ministries so I knew a lot of people in the church community.
Activities I did with friends that really helped dispel the blues and make me feel loved and happy were: movies and popcorn nights, going out to eat at Applebees or any inexpensive restaurants, singing praise and worship songs at the beach or around a bonfire in a friend’s backyard while a friend or two would accompany us with the guitar, having lunch and a heart-to-heart talk with a friend, doing evangelism outreach as a group.
Activities I did alone that cheered me up: journaling my hopes and frustrations to God or to my future self, singing along to YouTube worship songs by myself at home. Reading uplifting faith-filled books about the lives of great Christians such as Keith Green, Gladys Aylward, David Wilkerson etc.
Reading stories of heroic Christians in The Voice of the Martyrs’ books and newsletters really helped me put things in perspective, and gave me a deep, fresh appreciation for the life I had, even if I had no “love life” in the romance area.
Get the The Voice of the Martyrs’ free newsletter here. Their ministry completely deepened my walk with God when I was single and it will tremendously bless you too by giving you a fresh perspective on what it really means to live for the Lord.
Friends, ministries, wholesome social activities, hobbies, worship music, uplifting Christian books, the convicting Voice of the Martyrs newsletter, and my own relationship with God made my prolonged singleness easier and happier, but none of that, nothing completely took away the ache of missing my “other half.” That’s one way I knew that I was wired for marriage and not for lifelong singleness.
So if in spite of having a full, happy, godly life rich with friends and ministries you still feel that your special someone is missing and you hurt over it from time to time, don’t beat yourself up over it. It means that you’re normal and that you’re emotionally wired for marriage.
“I’m hopeful that I will meet someone great someday, but there are the really hard days when I’m not not so sure.”
Like Katrina, there were moments where I thought I would never experience love of the romantic kind, the love I longed for. But those moments didn’t last long because I chose to not believe these negative thoughts and I considered them lies.
Of course I couldn’t be 100% sure since I didn’t know the future, but I chose to believe that I would fall in love with an amazing godly man someday and that we would have a very loving marriage.
I prayed to the Lord. I told myself that I would eventually experience my own God-glorifying love story.
Something for you to do right now: Encourage yourself right this very moment, by telling yourself aloud if you’re alone, or in your mind if you’re in public (so people don’t think you’re nuts), that you will eventually experience your own God-glorifying love story with an amazing man who faithfully obeys God and respects you, that you will have a very loving marriage where Jesus Christ is central.
“I will eventually experience my own God-glorifying love story with an amazing man who faithfully obeys God and respects me. I will have a very loving marriage where Jesus Christ is central.”
I’m not going to make unbiblical promises like a lot of people who tell singles, “You’ll eventually meet the perfect man for you, just wait.”
Like me when I was in your shoes, you cannot be 100% sure it will happen since you don’t know the future. Throw your mental crystal ball away. But choose to believe it, hold on to that beautiful vision so that you have the motivation to work toward it. Because without vision you’re more likely to lose heart and compromise.
Inspirational visions are okay. Unbiblical promises are not. Amen?
“The older you get, it’s potentially more difficult to meet single men. Is that fact or fiction? I can sometimes be riddled with feelings that I’ve left it to late. I’m 54.”
It’s a fact that the older you get, it’s potentially more difficult to meet single men IF a woman is passive. But if a woman is proactive, she easily beats the odds!
For example it’s easier for a 25-year-old woman to be around single men her age. If she goes to a big church she might know 50 Christian single men her age. It’s near impossible for a 54-year-old woman to go to a church that has 50 single men her age.
BUT if the older woman is very proactive, sign up to several dating sites and goes to Christian fellowships from 7 different churches in and around her town, then she will be exposed to, not 50 but to 1000’s of single men her age, completely beating the odds of the much younger woman! I did all this and it was such a joy-filled time in my life meeting so many new brothers and sisters in Christ, and being exposed to churches other than my own.
So if you’re willing to be hard working and massively proactive, your odds of getting married in the near future as an older woman is much greater than those of a passive 25-year-old woman who is not doing anything to get married except wait for years and years like I did before I took responsibility for my love life.
Odds exist in every situation. That’s why you do your best to beat the odds and win. Such a winning attitude will help you in your love life, and in all areas of life too.
From Careen again:
“For someone like myself who has experienced extreme prolonged singleness, it’s essential to have myths debunked. Now it’s time to do the work and, like you say, if I take massive action I’m more likely to get what I really want. It sometimes feels like a very daunting task. I swing between being very hopeful and sometimes feeling despair and feeling quite down.”
It’s 100% normal to swing between being very hopeful and having doubts to the point of despair when one experience very prolonged singleness, especially if a woman is over 30 and there aren’t many years left to be able to safely bear children.
During my search for a future husband I was hopeful 90% of the time and despairing 10% of the time. I despaired for a little while each time I didn’t get the results I hoped for, then I’d pray and give myself a pep talk and I kept proactively searching for the right Christian man.
In my post Return the Gift of Singleness: How a Christian Single Woman Found Mr. Right in 4 Months by Making This One Change to Her Mindset I explain how some of the courtship-inspired hyper-legalist stuff going on in my mind prevented me from having normal romantic interactions with men.
My prolonged singleness was 100% a mindset problem created by bad teachings. Once I got rid of bad teachings and beliefs, and boldly acted on my desire for marriage, finding The One was a natural outcome.
“I’ve been passively waiting for 10 years. I’m now in my early 30’s. I’ve received several comments about why I’m single which were ‘God doesn’t want you to be married,’ ‘He’s preparing you,’ ‘you aren’t ready,’ ‘you need to be content in God first and in your singleness,’ ‘you need to put God first in your life.’ ”
Take courage. God is not waiting for you to be more content to get married: there’s no Bible verses that teach that, so it’s a false teaching that unnecessarily make singles feel bad.
What the comments above imply is the lie that married people are spiritually superior to single people. They imply that people who got married were more prepared, more ready, more content, and more devoted to God, and as a reward God gave them marriage. This is a lie, and it’s nowhere to be found in the Bible.
God doesn’t grant marriage only to spiritually superior people. Your singleness doesn’t mean that your relationship with God is not good enough to “earn” marriage.
Amy Carmichael was a selfless missionary devoted to God to a degree that most of us will never attain in this life. She wanted to be married.
Yet Amy Carmichael remained single for life. That debunks the false teaching that marriage is earned by spiritual superiority. If this was true, then Amy Carmichael would have certainly “earned” marriage.
Pay no mind to offensive people who insinuate that you’re spiritually inferior because you’re single.
God is on your side, and He’s on the side of marriage. As you take steps of faith toward marriage, He will guide you if you follow His moral standard and honor Him with your life.
“In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”
Isn’t that amazing? God’s promises in the Bible can be relied on completely.
In a letter to me, Nicole also mentioned a nice Christian guy that she went on a date with, but she felt no chemistry at all.
Now about guys with no chemistry. I didn’t feel any chemistry with my husband until four days later, seeing him everyday. Then I saw a side of his character that made my chemistry spark like crazy.
So unless a man is outright physically repulsive to you, if it’s just that you don’t feel attraction and he’s a godly courteous man, I’d recommend that you go out with him at least 5 times before you stop dating him. True long-lasting chemistry comes from someone’s character, not from their looks or first impressions.
Also if a man is godly, even if you feel no chemistry with him after 5 dates, you can still help each other get married. Introduce him to your single girlfriends. For example go out to a movie as a group. He surely has guy friends who are godly like him, so ask him to introduce you to them in a no-pressure group setting. Maybe go to the Bible studies he attends and meet his friends there. Your social life will be more fun and varied that way.
Read what other single women wrote at Christian Single Women Share about Singleness and Their Desire for Marriage Part 2
With love and encouragements to all my single sisters in Christ,