It’s Valentine’s Day or as my friends and I like to call it “Go to Nordy’s and buy a new pair of shoes Day!”
I work with college students, specifically Fraternities and Sororities, and I get the pleasure of being an advisor for our governing council for all of our sororities. This includes the opportunity to get to know them personally and helping to develop these ladies as leaders on campus.
I was at an executive board meeting last week, when I started talking to Becca about her Valentine’s Day plans in which she responded in disgust “I have nobody!” She asked if I would like to join her on Valentine’s Day to watch movies, eat Ben & Jerry’s, and sulk in our sweats. Tempting, for sure…And then she blurted out what was really bothering her about not having a significant other on Valentine’s Day, “Brittany, my biggest fear is that I will die alone. No, seriously! I’m 20 and have no prospects.” Then she asked, “What is the age that I should start worrying if I’m not married?” I laughed lightheartedly and told her not to worry, that she was still young and had plenty of time, so enjoy her single life now.
It got me thinking though…How often do we live in fear that we will be alone for the rest our lives and won’t ever find the Holy Grail aka “the one.” So what do we do in response? We try to control our relationships and make things happen for ourselves instead of trusting in God and allowing connections to form naturally and in God’s timing.
Getting to a place where we are confident and love ourselves comes from a place of trust and knowing that God is in control and loves us dearly which gives us confidence in knowing that we are never alone. We need to let go of what I like to call the “alone syndrome” – the fear of being alone in public whether going to a movie alone, or eating lunch alone, or running without music – because we afraid to be alone with our thoughts – alone.
The element that sustains this fear is the thought that we are being judged by others when we are alone. We fear of what others think and if they think less of us when we are by ourselves.
I used to feel the need to be surrounded by people all the time. I think it was because I was afraid that if I was alone that hanging out with myself wouldn’t be good enough. You will discover like I did that you are actually pretty cool to hang out with…hence why your friends enjoy spending time with you. I enjoy relationships and being surrounded by people, but I also value and look for opportunities to spend time by myself to recharge, reflect, and invest in myself so I can pour out to others.
Challenge yourself this week by finding ways to be alone in public – go see that movie you’ve been wishing to see, but no one will go with you…ahem…The Vow; read that book alone at Starbucks; and a call for all women for the love of humanity, try going to the bathroom by yourself. We really need to get rid of that stereotype! My hope is that you will find that being alone in public isn’t all that bad, that you enjoy the time alone, it will build your confidence, and realize that people aren’t judging you when you are alone.
And for Valentine’s Day whether you are in a relationship or not, take the time to let your loved ones know how much they mean to you and that you love them. After all, that is what the day is all about, not just to remind us of our relationship status.
Do you have fears of being alone? Why?
So glad there are other women out there that share this fear with me! I have had this fear for most of my life. My sister got married at 20. She married her high school sweet heart and for a long time I wondered why I didn’t have that. I was mad at God for not giving me that. I didn’t get why at 20 had had never even had any prospects. I was scared that I just wasn’t loved, when that was no where close to being true. God loves me, my family loves me, and I have found that I appreciate me for who I am more now than I did then. I love who God has made me and if I was married or close to being married at the same age as my sister was I wouldn’t be who I am today. There was a plan for my sister to get married at that age and there is a plan for me to get married at whatever age I am going to get married at. I know that when I find “the one” I will appreciate the journey God has taken me on much more now than I ever would have at 20.
PS- I recently read a book which really helped me gain perspective. The title might sound cheesy, but I actually really liked it. “What to do until Love Finds You” I highly recommend it!
Alyssa, I really appreciate you sharing your journey and for providing such a great reminder to appreciate the individualized journey that God has us all on. Thanks for the book recommendation! I will definitely check it out! Loyally, Blaynejohn
I am 23 & not married. I live alone at a Methodist camp in the woods of north Idaho and find that when I do go ‘into town’, I spend most of my time alone. This is a big transition from my very social college experience, but I sincerely believe that it is a healthy practice for extreme extroverts such as myself.
Luckily life is a journey with many different experiences to shape how we view the world and how we encounter God. Thanks for the blog of inspiration!
On a separate note, Blue Like Jazz the book gave me insight into this & i hope the movie does the same! Can’t wait for it to come out…