I remember when I penned these thoughts on my singleness:
In moments of loneliness, I feel the ache of singleness the most. I ended a relationship recently, and it was the right thing to do but very difficult. I knew the end of that relationship meant the feelings of loneliness would come sweeping back in. Growing up in church, they told us to kiss dating goodbye and “wait” because our husband would appear just when we “least expect it.” There is no formula for meeting the person you decide to spend forever with. Every story is unique. While marriage isn’t the ultimate fulfillment goal for my life, I am keenly aware of my desire to love and be loved by a significant other. We are all wired for connection. And even though I desire companionship, I can confidently say, “My relationship status does not define me.”
I had journaled, seen my therapist, cultivated friendships with other single friends… I did the internal work necessary to be okay with the engagement announcements and to celebrate the pregnancies. I learned to enjoy my own company and to sit in silence. I taught myself how to make room for my grief and longing while creating a life I loved. It took a lot of work and honesty to get to that point.
Imagine finally getting to a place of mental stability and settled-ness and then, suddenly, you meet someone who may finally be worth your time. I don’t know about you, but I was surprised when this happened to me. I feared losing all the ground I had gained from working on myself and finding my voice. Did I want to open my heart to love? It was a risky decision.
When my matchmaker introduced me to my husband, Marcel, it took me a while to let my walls down. My heart had been broken a few times, and I worked hard to keep it safe. I found myself waiting for him to fail or mess up so I could say, “You are just like the rest of them.” Not only was this unhealthy, but I was pushing away the type of person I’d prayed for. Relationships take trust and vulnerability. I had to trust myself and give love another chance. I had to trust that my internal work would guide me as I opened my heart once more.
I took the risk and began to grow in love with this man. It was a beautiful process—at times it was hard, but I began to let him in. I’d never met someone so kind and compassionate before. I wondered if this was too good to be true. I would ask him, “How do I know you aren’t doing this for show?”
He would reply, “I will show you over time with consistency that I am who I say I am.”
That is exactly what he did. He was patient. He showed me how much he cared. I spoke to the loneliest part of me and reminded her that my heart was safe in his hands.
All the internal work was worth it because it gave me the courage to love when my fears said run. It gave me the ability to hope when I felt pessimistic. The work—and even the pain—shaped me. I learned to trust myself again and, in doing so, my heart opened up to the best love I’ve ever known. It was all worth the risk.
We’ve all been through painful experiences, but those moments don’t have to define or hinder us from the love we desire. Maybe you have been in a failed relationship and don’t want to make the same mistake. You might find yourself afraid to open your heart again. Some fool might have broken your heart and your trust, and that has taken you back to square one. Not everyone wants romantic love, but if you do, I hope you find what you’re looking for.
What would it look like to trust yourself again—to open your heart to love?Leave a Comment