Relationships

A young man’s journey with being single

Daniel Tan // November 7, 2018, 3:32 pm

Journey-with-singlehood

I’m someone who would probably be deemed “evergreen” by society as I have zero experience with dating.

I received Christ when I was secondary one, and since then, I grew up in an environment which somewhat discouraged boy-girl relationships.

It’s funny because when I was new to the church, a guy approached me and asked if I was keen to make a covenant together. The deal was that both of us wouldn’t get into relationships until we graduated from secondary school. Impulsive as I was, I easily agreed.

It was only years later that I found out he was from a boys’ school.

And as I grew older, a combination of not having ever met the right person, or meeting people at the wrong time ruined any chance of romance for me.

I used to get asked a lot by peers why I wasn’t eager to get attached.

Let me try and explain my logic: Assuming that I have 80 years left before I meet the Lord – and get attached when I’m around 20 – there are some 60 years of dating and married life yet.

I believe guys really only begin to mature past adolescence, which is around 19. Growth can happen really quickly from then on. Even now, I find myself rapidly maturing from how I was years or even months ago.

Being single in this time gave me the motivation to focus and work on my own character as well as my walk with God before even thinking about getting into a relationship.

I want my spouse to have the best possible version of myself, because she deserves God’s best and God deserves our best.

So if I got into a relationship early on, my time would be divided. I’d wrongly be invested in a relationship during a time that should be a period of self-discovery and maturing.

So I am dating to marry.

It would be great if my first girlfriend would be my eventual wife, but of course, I also recognise the possibility that might not be the case.

Many of my peers would say that dating at a younger age helps with figuring out what you want in your spouse, in terms of appearance, personality, character, calling and also spiritual maturity.

But you could learn those things in a group setting as well. And the odds of succumbing to sexual temptation is much higher when one has a long runway to marriage.

I’ve seen couples get together and end up leaving the church and even God for good. And I’ve seen couples cross boundaries and get hurt. I’ve also seen younger couples argue about things that simply don’t matter.

To me, these problems boil down to an adolescent’s lack of emotional and spiritual maturity, which is still developing in those early years.

My journey with singlehood is not a sad thing: It has brought me great delight as I walk with God and perceive myself more and more as His child.

I used to compare myself to my peers who are attached. Loneliness, comparison and a fear of missing out crept in from time to time.

But 22 years into my life, I can safely say that I’m grateful for the gift of singlehood thus far, as God has given me time to discover myself.

He has made me secure in my identity as His child – whether single or attached.