“Wow! Were you freaking out because you were still single in your 30s?” exclaimed a shocked 24-year-old gal I had just met. I had just mentioned to her that I didn’t get married until I was 32. And to answer her question, No, I wasn’t freaking out at all.
Sure, there were times I was lonely and wanted to meet my “other half” but overall I really enjoyed my single years and you can do the same! Here are my Top 5 Tips on how to be intentional about making the most of your single years and how they can help prepare you for a great marriage.
Tip #1: Become the Best Version of Yourself
I always encourage people to become the type of person they would actually want to date and marry themselves. As a single woman pursuing God, working full-time in my chosen arena, and having solid character, the last person I would have wanted to date was a wishy-washy guy who couldn’t make a commitment and shirked responsibility.
When you take time to work toward becoming the best version of yourself, it’s not only a win for you, but you attract a similar quality of person.
Tip #2: Take Time to Pursue Your Passions
Now is a great time to begin pursuing the hobbies and interests that make your heart sing. When I was single I made goals to keep me on track with pursuing hobbies I loved to do, like writing, reading for fun, and spending time at the beach.
One of things I found so attractive about my husband when we started dating were all the interests he had and pursued as a single man. He wasn’t sitting around feeling sorry for himself because he was single, quite the opposite; he was restoring classic cars, going to wine tastings and enjoying time with his friends. He and I both had our own well-formed interests and identities, and still do.
Tip #3: Learn About Healthy Relationships & Marriages
Being single is a great time to learn about marriage. When I was single I read some very insightful marriage books and also books about how God has wired men and women. I attended a marriage conference (that was open to singles as well). I also observed the relationships around me and noticed what characteristics made for a good marriage.
I made a decision to become more emotionally healthy myself and to marry someone who was the same in that regard. So, I encourage you to listen to podcasts, read books, ask lots of questions to married friends. Start to figure out what makes for a great marriage before it arrives.
Tip #4: Grow Your Character
The dictionary defines character as “the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual”. As I shared in Flirting with Disaster, there have been specific times in my life when I made a decision to break with certain unhealthy behaviors because they did not jive with the person I wanted to become.
While we continue to grow in character throughout our lives, being single is the best time to begin. I encourage you to become intentional about stopping behaviors that don’t line up with the best version of yourself.
Tip #5: Become Financially Healthy
Especially when we’re single, we have the opportunity to begin to make wise decisions with our money. Being able to provide for yourself when you’re single and aiming to be able to provide for a family when married are great goals. Another great goal is paying off any debt as quickly as you are able.
No, money isn’t everything, but the #1 stress in marriage is usually finances. There are times when illness or tragedy throws a person or family into the financial weeds, but more often it happens as a result of our own poor choices. Make a decision today to get healthy in the area of finances.
If you’re single today, enjoy this time and make the most of it for yourself and for your future!
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