Ok, so first of all, I’m married. It’s been a while since I’ve been single, yet I wonder sometimes how it would have been different had Tinder, Instagram, Plenty of Fish, and Gym selfies been around during that time. Facebook messages were a thing back then and that was enough to make me say “Gross”.
The one element that hasn’t changed is the desire we have to not be alone. The desire to have a movie partner even if they’re kind of a creep, even if they’re clearly not that into us, and even if we’re clearly not that into them. We just want someone along for the ride. Someone to have dinner with. Someone to hug. Someone to be on our side.
When I was single I allowed my desire for a partner to take over my world. I let go of my “non-negotiables” and overlooked the warning signs. My priorities significantly suffered; School, Theater, Work, Integrity, Values, Friendships, Family. The things that I would have said were important to me at the time were forgotten and cast into the shadows. I gave away who I was for someone else.
The Bible has a lot to say about priorities. Seriously, you can google “Bible verses about priorities” and an enormous amount of links will pop up, but the thing that caught my eye is something Jesus said.
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” -Luke 12:34
In my desire to not be alone I was sacrificing my treasure, the things I held dear, and losing myself in the process. My treasure became the guys I was dating and in turn, they started to shape who I was and my behavior.
What is your treasure? Where is your heart? Are you a single parent whose treasure is your children? Are you a Christian whose treasure is Jesus? Are you a 20-something whose treasure is defined by who you’re dating? Is your treasure found when you get the notification that someone swiped right?
Christian or not, we all have something in our lives that we say is important and shapes who we are. Are you willing to sacrifice that part of yourself?
So how to be single in a Tinder world? Know what’s important to you. Really sit down and think about it. What is your treasure? Are you willing to sacrifice it? Would the right person for you make you give up your treasure and change who you are?
As I write this I know that it seems easier to say these things than to live them out. It’s easier to write about loneliness than to actually live it. Can I say something though? Forcing an unhealthy relationship, one that makes you change who you are, will cause more loneliness than being single! In the book of Mark, Jesus says, “If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. (verse 25)” Have you ever tried to be two different types of people? One type at work and another with your friends? One type of person with your girlfriend and another with your kids? It can’t last. Sooner or later you begin to crumble and even when surrounded by people, loneliness creeps itself back into your life. Why? Because it doesn’t feel like anyone really knows who you truly are.
In a Tinder world surround yourself with those who treasure the same things you do. Remind yourself daily about what it is you hold close to your heart. Invest time in seeing what the Bible says about relationships. Did you know that God sees great value in you? That you are worthy of so much more than a garbage relationship that should be thrown away?