Theme song from ‘Living Single’ tv show
“We are living single, Ooo in a 90’s kinda world, I’m glad I got my girls.
Keep ya head up, what?
Keep ya head up, that’s right!
Whenevea this life gets tough, you gotta fight”
Disclaimer: We are not professionals or experienced at all, we are only giving our opinions and sharing our thoughts. We feel unqualified to talk about this subject, but since you clicked on this post, I guess you are comfortable with unqualified individuals giving you our unsolicited advice on how to navigate your singlehood. Jk, We are also learning.
Welcome to the month of February! I am sure we are all excited to continue achieving great things and stop procrastinating (Check out the previous post for further encouragement!). Apart from the excitement of the great things we hope to accomplish, if you live in the Northern hemisphere of the globe, specifically, Canada, I’m sure you’ve been experiencing the bitter cold that the rest of us have been struggling through. Now, as this is the month of self-proclaimed ‘love’, what does it truly mean to love? And how does one love authentically as a single person? Hopefully this blog will help us stop struggling and help us start surviving the single blues.
I am pleased to have one of my very first ever collaborations on Musings with Mo, yayy! I decided to ask a few of my friends to collaborate with me in in this discussion. Note: As a twist we decided to use nicknames/alias to mix things up a bit.
So ladies and gents, first of all what does love mean to you?
Mo: Love to me means commitment and dedication. Whether that is to God, a group of people which can be family and friends, to a particular individual which would be your life partner and then to a thing, which is the hobbies and passions we have.
Mr P: Love is a feeling you have for others whereby you care deeply about their health and well-being. Therefore you do things to improve those aspects.
Jabu: To me there is no better meaning of love than that found in 1 Corinthians 13: 4 – 8. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. In a relationship for instance, if a man was to call me names such as ‘you’re a loser/saddo/never amount to anything’ that’s not love…because that’s not kind.
Dawn: To me, love is sacrifice. It is putting somebody else’s welfare above your own.
ThatGymDude: In a relationship, love is about intimacy, you accept their flaws despite coming up with every reason not to. It is unconditional.
Next Level: Love in simple terms means to be like Christ. Love was the very foundation of our creation on this earth (For God so loved the world…) and our ultimate purpose is to love a.k.a. to be conformed to the image of Jesus. Love means loving a person with full knowledge of their numerous flaws. It is almost human nature to “love” a person who does everything pleasing in your eyes. A person with no faults of their own some people will say. It takes a special type of person to hate a person even though they are seemingly perfect. Those people’s craze don pass the normal level. I mean, what does it take to love a person who appears perfect? Is that really love? The true test of love, however, is loving a person despite their faults. Loving a person past the unveiling of the person’s true character. The good, the bad, and the ugly. To me, love is loving the unveiled me. Are you sure you’re ready for that future boo? Hehe. Jokes, please. I’m not like secretly mad or anything like that haha but I’m sure you get the gist.
ManLikeEmman: Love means trusting someone’s intentions.
What do you think is the purpose for singleness and what is its importance in helping us to love each other better?
Mo: I think singleness is useful for preparing us to love God first. We work on our shortcomings and allow the love of God to cleanse us and transform us into the image of Christ. Then, we can begin to love ourselves and the image of Christ that we are being transformed into. The older I get I realize that self-love is actually so important, beyond having the ability to love somebody else you have to be able to love yourself first.It is in the season of singleness that you learn self-love. That means loving your soul, spirit, mind and body. Anything that is toxic to that and doesn’t edify those areas, needs to go. #CutOutTheToxic. Moreover, singleness could equal uniqueness which means a time to be set apart. When someone is singled out they are set apart from the crowd, therefore why do we see it as a negative thing? It is a season where we must deal with ourselves, study ourselves through the lens of the word and fellowship with God and friends in order to fully develop into the individual and hopefully partner someday, that God has made us to be.
Mr P: The purpose of singleness is self development and self care. If you’re not healthy you can’t love properly.
Jabu: The purpose of singleness is to find yourself. To explore. To connect with our inner selves, with the God in us. To find strength and confidence within ourselves so that we are individuals who reflect singleness, a lone personality. That is an important trait to have even when in a relationship. To know one’s self allows us to love ourselves in such a way that we understand who we are and who we belong to. This brings about our identity. It is this identity which goes on to create room for us to love others.
Dawn: Honestly, I had never thought much about the purpose for singleness until I watched the first installment of Pastor Michael Todd of Transformation Church’s series, called “Relationship Goals,” on YouTube just this past weekend. The first part of the series was “Before the Person.” His teaching spoke to me, and after listening to it, I realized that before the person comes (i.e. during my singleness), I need to be founded first on the truth that only God suffices. This means that whatever situation I am in now, I should learn to see, appreciate, and enjoy Him in it. Pastor Michael said, “If God isn’t enough, no person will ever be.” So, to me the purpose of singleness is to learn how to be truly founded in God, so that when I finally meet him, if God wills that I do, I won’t be disappointed. The ability to love another human being doesn’t happen only when we enter a romantic relationship. Different “roles” or “duties” exist depending on the kind of love and/or relationship we’re involved in (e.g., friends, relatives, romantic); nevertheless, the essence of love, which to me is sacrifice, doesn’t change regardless of the type of relationship. Therefore, I would say that each season or stage of life, with singleness being one of them, has its own unique way of teaching human beings how to love each other better.
ThatGymDude: This is very difficult to explain. I think before getting into a relationship, you get to understand yourself better and figure out what you can bring to the table. Before this you should be rooted in yourself and your lifestyle. In my opinion without self love you cannot potentially love someone else. In terms of helping us love each other communication is number one.
Next Level: God said it wasn’t good for man to be alone. God also gave us the Holy Spirit whom Jesus referred to as another comforter. Jesus was our comforter on earth. This shows that God places a huge emphasis on communion. Man cannot be ‘alone’. The only choice we have is who we choose to couple ourselves with. Before I go any further, let me put a disclaimer that life is a constant learning process and as a result, I might say a few things that I will need to grow from or improve my perspective on. Back to our talk – I do not think anyone has a void that can only be filled by another person a.k.a. significant other a.k.a. the sugar in my tea, the groundnut in my garri, the palm oil in my ofada stew. I believe the only void each and every human on this earth has is a God-void. Unfortunately, quite a number of people go in desperate search seeking only after momentary pleasures. That being said, the word from God clearly states that two is better than one. The purpose for singleness is to get you prepared for the war. Two soldiers train for days on, weeks even, and then appear on the battle day to fight the war together. However, if one trains really hard, and the other is not prepared, the latter will likely be a liability to the former in achieving the goal which is to win the war. Even worse, if both soldiers come unprepared for the battle. Well, that’s a disaster waiting to happen. That is how I look at singleness versus married-ness lol. You both (i.e. you and your boo) need to be prepared to fight the “war” together. You need to condition your mind, spirit, and body before entangling with someone else. The purpose of singleness is that preparation period for what is to come. To me, the “war” is fulfilling purpose. You are both striving to fulfill God’s purpose for your lives, and you can do that better together. For two is indeed better that one. However, you need to be prepared. Don’t go to the battleground without training. That’s a recipe for disaster
ManLikeEmman: I don’t really understand the question but I don’t think there is any purpose to singleness. It’s just life. Not everyone gets married or in a relationship.
What do you think is the purpose for relationships in our understanding of love?
Mo: I think relationships are built to challenge and grow us.
Mr P: The purpose for relationships is to focus on that love and to understand behaviors that show love towards one another.
Jabu: The purpose for relationships (friendshipwise/romantic) is to empower us as individuals to stand a little taller; to help us grow, to challenge us so that we can aspire to be better human beings. To create an environment where we feel safe. The list is quite extensive.
Dawn: Relationships, regardless of what kind, are actual spaces for people to bring love into action. I believe that we only truly understand love when we experience it, and by “experience,” I mean through actions and not just words.
ThatGymDude: I think the point of being in a relationship is to share your life with someone. It helps us fill a void we may think is missing. It’s very similar to most friendships except the keyword here is intimacy. It’s a way to help one another grow and be a support system for each other. In my opinion, a relationship is about inter-dependency, knowing that someone will always be by your side through thick and thin.
Next Level: For love to exist, there must be at least two parties. Relationships allow love to exist and shows us how to practically love.
ManLikeEmman: I honestly don’t know. Might be a better question for someone currently in a relationship
What ways do you maximize and best utilize your singleness?
Mo: #LiveYourBestLife Don’t hold off and wait for Mr. Right to sweep you off your feet because you may be waiting for a while. Instead, live out Ecclesiastes 9:10 and continue to work on yourself, walk with God, develop your relationship with God. But, also keep your eyes out, shine your eyes oo, brothers and sisters. Lol. As you are working for and with God, let him guide you and lead you. Observe people around you, observe yourself. What are your strengths and weaknesses?In your family dynamics, within your friendship circles and other relationships? Be selective in the people you have around you and the people you allow feed into your spirit. The will and purpose of God for your life is too important for you to waste your love. Since we don’t fall into true love with God, we grow in our love for God and develop true and deep love for God through a discovery of who He is to us. That is the approach we should also take. But ultimately,we must learn to live our lives to the glory of God. Soli Deo Gloria.
Mr P: Learning to be myself and not bothering people until I am comfortable enough by myself and ready for someone else.
Jabu: As mentioned in q2, I personally become more single even in my singleness. Recently, I have been doing a lot of things alone. Like going to a coffee shop alone to drink coffee. I do little things which I know will boost my self confidence and build my character. I am not waiting for my friends and family to be free to join me. I have me, I go alone where possible. I think we should all do this, it is liberating!
Dawn: I realize that being single means I have more time to spend personal and intimate quality time with God than if I was, say, dating. (Though I hope and pray to God that my quality time with Him doesn’t go away when I’m finally with someone, because it should NOT.) So, one of the ways that I maximize and best utilize my singleness is to get to know my Father, His will for me, and my purpose and identity in Him. And I do this by trying to spend quiet time with Him everyday, alone in my room, praying to Him and reading His Word. Another way that I am making the most of my singleness is by participating as much as possible in activities that can provide personal growth and development, like swimming lessons. (I don’t know how to swim yet! Lol) Basically, there’s still a lot that I need to learn and discover about myself, and singleness is one of the best seasons to do just that. 😊
ThatGymDude: Personal hobbies and soul searching. Concentrating on myself and my goals
Next Level: Understanding the purpose of singleness will enable a person to maximize that period. As earlier mentioned, the singleness period is a time to prepare one’s self and lay a strong foundation for that purpose which God has predetermined. Maximizing one’s singleness involves developing one’s self spiritually, physically, mentally. Learning new skills, learning to play instruments, sports, etc. Utilizing this period requires actively working to be the best version of yourself in all areas possible. This is a period where a person can focus entirely on God. There are no “distractions” or other serious commitments. It’s a really good time to begin to grow in knowledge of God and to seek His face. During singleness, we can spend hours, even days focusing entirely on God. It is a period to be cherished and to be used to its full extent. Just remember that once you get married, you’re “stuck” with that person till death does you guys part lol… so enjoy your solitude while you still have it.
ManLikeEmman: I think it’s best not to think about singleness like a stage and more like it’s just life. At the end of the day singleness just means being only responsible for your own welfare. The better you get at that the better you will be when you add someone else’s affairs on to yours.
Mo: In the midst of celebrating love and our relationships, it is always important to understand what it means to be single. We were born as individuals into this world and when we leave the world as well, we will leave by ourselves. I believe the ultimate goal is that we are conformed to the image of Christ as individuals, so the relationships are just a means to an end if that makes sense. As they say no condition is permanent rather we are all in our stages of becoming. (Shout out to Michelle Obama & ‘The Roommates’ podcast)
Mr P: Don’t rush it. Whether single or in a relationship enjoy it. And always work hard to sustain love in your relationships
Jabu: We shouldn’t be afraid or ashamed to live single lives. For those like me, that are aspiring for marriage one day, this is the best time to get to know yourself. Knowing this will help you know someone else in a more intimate way. It will help you to demand more where necessary. It’s all because you’ll get to explore who you are in such close matter, you get to understand your value. Check out her blog here!
Dawn: Thank you for making me think deeply about this subject!
It’s official! I have the most amazing friends! Huge thanks to everyone that contributed and shared their ideas on such short notice may I add. Y’all are amazing and reading your responses has been so insightful and I hope it has been useful for the readers as well! Have a great month ahead and remember whatever season you may be in right now, always strive to practice and nurture love in every relationship!
In continuing the theme of 90’s music and friendship, let’s end this blog with a classic!
What About Your Friends by TLC
“What about your friends
Will they stand their ground
Will they let you down again
What about your friends
Are they gonna be low down
Will they ever be around
Or will they turn their backs on you”