I Remember What it Felt Like to be Single and Wishing For Love

Originally published in Her View From Home.

My husband and I take our seats at a table as our waiter welcomes us. Pleasantries are exchanged and our drinks ordered. Once the waiter leaves our table, I glance around the small, quiet café. I enjoy our occasional kid-free lunch dates where we can sit and talk without feeling rushed.

As I survey the few other occupied tables, those who also have chosen this quiet hour before the mid-day rush, I notice an elderly couple talking softly as they sit side-by-side. I see a young family with a sleeping baby in her car seat and a toddler happily coloring on a kid’s menu while mom and dad quickly scan their own menus.

And in the corner, toward the back of the restaurant, I see a woman in her late 20s or early 30s sitting by herself, sipping a cup of coffee as she casually looks up from her phone. I catch her eye and smile. She quickly smiles her reply and looks back down at her phone as if something urgent needed her full attention. I notice her bare ring finger as she swipes through her phone.

Hmm, I wonder what her story is . . . presumably unmarried . . . single, divorced, or widowed? Maybe she is actively dating in pursuit of her soul mate or perhaps she’s completely content and happily single? Most likely a combination . . . content yet hopeful. Yeah, I bet that’s it . . . I still remember those days . . . 

I shift my focus back onto my lunch date. It’s been six years since my husband and I got married, eight years since we first met, but I still remember what it felt like to be single. Not just “marital status: single”. I mean “dating life: single”. The type of single status that only goes out on a date every blue moon yet strongly desires someone to share life with. Hopeful it will happen someday, yet trying to be content in the present.

I’ll never forget what it was like to be single in a world that caters toward couples, marriages, and families. Probably because my husband was my first real boyfriend, and we didn’t meet until I was in my mid-twenties. Between my high standards and general distaste for the “dating scene” I never found anyone who was worth wasting kisses on.

In fact, my husband was my first kiss. I’ll never forget that kiss . . . it was at my apartment where we were lazily watching a movie one Sunday afternoon. At one point, my soon-to-be-fiancé covered me with a blanket as he leaned toward my face. His lips softly touched my cheek. He knew not to kiss me until I was ready, but that day, I was ready. I was 26 years old when I finally experienced my first kiss from my first and only boyfriend, and it was well worth the wait.

As my mind wanders down memory lane, I quickly reach across the table to grab my husband’s hand so I can kiss the freckle on his palm. We knowingly exchange appreciative smiles then return our attention back to our menus in front of us. When you’ve waited and prayed for your future spouse as long as I did, your gratitude only grows stronger when you recall all those special firsts with your one and only.

I glance back at the woman sipping her coffee and recall the days when I felt I had finally mastered the cool, casual dining-out-solo look. I remember there was a time when I finally had enough of sitting around and waiting for Mr. Right. If I wanted to go out to eat at my favorite restaurant and people-watch or see the latest chick flick in theatres, well, I could just go treat myself! So I did!

I remember what it’s like to be the third wheel, fifth wheel, and any other odd-numbered wheel on group outings. I know what it’s like to be single while all your friends are dating, getting married, and having kids. And I remember what it’s like to secretly dread the holidays and family reunions where someone inevitably always asked, “So, are you dating anyone?” Or “maybe I could set you up with so and so . . .” Urg!

I always felt like people saw me as less interesting of a person for not having a boyfriend. Like I wasn’t yet complete. Certainly, that’s the societal pressure that’s been placed on women and men alike, and I bought into that lie over and over again as a single lady in my teens and 20s.

Turning my attention to the present and back onto my husband again, we proceed to enjoy our kid-free lunch. We talk and laugh like our dating days before marriage. It’s so very refreshing to have these moments alone together without chasing after our toddler son.

We pay for our meal and get ready to head back to reality, but as we’re exiting the café, I remember the woman and glance back at her. She’s watching us as we exit the restaurant hand-in-hand. I smile and give a slight wave. There’s a hint of sadness in her eyes as she casually smiles and nods her goodbye before shifting her focus toward the waiter refilling her coffee.

I remember that look . . . admiration and envy combined. She wants what we have, a relationship, someone to do life with. I ache for her because I remember that feeling all too well. You can’t live most your young adult years single and just forget as soon as you get married.

As we make our way to the car, I ponder on the blessing of marriage. I have a wonderful man to share my life and grow old with, and for that, I am forever grateful. But my single years will always be etched in my memory. Not everyone can say they remember or even know what it’s like to be single for very long; the good, the bad, the ups and downs, but I will never forget.

So as we make our way back home and before my mind starts wandering toward family matters, I consider the single woman in the café. I ponder my girlfriends and family members who are currently single. And I allow myself to be taken back to the times I cried myself to sleep when the loneliness was more than I could bear. Recalling that pain, I say a prayer for the single lady in the café:

Lord, I don’t know her story, and I don’t know what you have planned for her life, but please help her to know how loved she is by You. Help her to feel complete, whole, enough, lacking nothing at all. Help her to truly know she is so deeply and passionately loved by You. And if it’s what her heart desires, please bring her someone to share life with because I know firsthand how sweet life is when it’s shared with someone you love. Amen.

So to all the single ladies and men (whether you’re widowed, divorced with children or never been married) please know that I see you. I truly see you. And I haven’t forgotten.

May you know you are complete, whole, enough, lacking nothing at all. May you know how deeply and passionately loved you are by the One who created Love itself.

3 thoughts on “I Remember What it Felt Like to be Single and Wishing For Love

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  1. Hi Alaina!
    Just wanted to say I’ve enjoyed exploring your page and getting to know you through some posts and pictures! I think we would be great friends 🙂 I am from the East coast, but actually moved out to Kansas City a year and a half ago! I LOVE going on walks and enjoyed all of your gorgeous pictures of nature! I am an ENTJ, so almost the exact opposite of you, but I have such a high appreciation for all types and LOVE learning about other types so that I can better understand the people in world around me. I think understanding each other (how and why we think, feel, act, speak, etc.) leads to the truest love for one another 🙂
    I am a single, Christian woman who is turning 25 this summer and I have truly appreciated your post on remembering single life! It was actually really comforting to say that you don’t forget those days and you think of them often. In a way, it made me feel that I was not forgotten (sometimes it feels that I am forgotten in a world that focuses on having a life partner). Singlehood is so overlooked much of the time and it’s easy to think your life is not significant to your family or to your married friends, especially when all people ever ask is “do you have a boyfriend?!”…instead of a simple “how are you?” Or “what are you enjoying in your singlehood?” I’d say there’s a lot I enjoy about singlehood, but not many people seem to care about that aspect of your life. There are days when I’m that girl in the coffee shop or restaurant just people watching and smiling at others who have found love (not in a creepy way lol). I do long for a godly man to marry someday, yes, but that’s not all there is to life when you are single. And it’s tough to get people to understand that.
    I’m curious about the prayers you prayed in your singlehood. You mentioned praying for a future spouse, and I’ll admit I don’t think to pray for that faithfully. But I do see the importance of it and would love to begin!

    Thanks again for sharing!
    Charis

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Charissa,

      Thank you for your sweet & thoughtful message! You touched my heart through your kind words & self-reflection. I completely agree with you! It takes ALL different personalities to do God’s work and the more we seek to learn about others’ unique wiring, the better equipped we are to truly love one another. I love that you have that wisdom at your young age! I’m not sure I had fully grasped that concept until my late 20s. I was still trying to understand my OWN personality at your age! Haha!! 😂

      Thank you for sharing part of your story with me! I love encouraging other women who are currently living the single life. I truly believe God has called me to help minister to women like you so thank you, my friend, for reaching out to me. I hope I can help encourage you!

      First, I want to commend you for knowing your purpose and hope is in Christ! That is, by far, the most important foundation to have throughout life. Second, kudos to you for having such deep, self-reflection. That will serve you well throughout your journey of singlehood and on into marriage one day! When I met my hubby at age 25, I was still trying to understand my own unique personality (which is pretty common for INFPs I have since learned). 😉 Because I still had a lot of growth & development to do on my own, I dealt with some insecurities that bled into my relationship with my future spouse.

      Therefore, keep being self-reflective & seeking to understand your personality & why God created you the uniquely beautiful way he did! That will give you a Godly confidence that will not be shaken by relationship woes. Those 2 things will give you a firm foundation so you’re ready to begin a healthy relationship with your future spouse.

      As far as prayers for your future husband, here are the things I prayed for when praying for my hubby (& prayers I still pray today):

      1.) A strong relationship with Christ – and if he didn’t know Jesus as his Lord & Savior yet, I prayed that he would come to Christ before meeting me.
      *Fun fact: my hubby grew up going to church, but surrendered his life fully to Christ just a few weeks prior to us meeting at a church picnic. ❤️ I helped him in his journey with Jesus while he helped encourage me in my self-reflection & gaining confidence.

      2.) A confident man – someone who knows who he is & what he wants to pursue in life. (As someone who was prone to shyness & insecurities, I knew I needed someone who was more self-assured than myself. Thankfully, God also used my hubby to help me build a Godly confidence as well! God works EVERYTHING for GOOD!) 😉

      3.) A spiritual leader – someone who will lead his family in prayer & discussions about God & His Word.

      4.) A provider – someone who is a hard worker & willing to be the main provider for his family. (I knew I would want to be a stay-at-home mom while our kids are young.) Someone who has favor at work! Blessed with work he enjoys where he is respected & finds promotion.

      5.) A financially responsible person – (I knew I would need someone who is smart with money because I don’t have that natural gift.) 😉

      6.) A romantic person – someone who has a soft heart for building romance into our relationship. ❤️

      7.) A physical attraction to him! Obviously, I want my man to be handsome to me! 😍

      8.) A funny guy ‘cause I ❤️ to laugh! Humor always seems to bring people closer together!

      9.) A love for sports because I grew up in a family where we’d rally around our favorite teams each season. Personally, I’m not a big sports fan, but I wanted a man who could talk sports with my dad and brothers.

      10.) A great communicator who is willing to talk through issues in our relationship.

      11.) A kind, gentle man who gets along well with others (family, friends, etc). Loves his family of origin & has very little “drama” or baggage in his life. A man who forgives easily & loves all people! ❤️

      12.) A man who won’t give up on me no matter what. A man who doesn’t believe in divorce as an option.

      13.) An encourager – a man who reminds me of my strengths often & inspires me to continue growing & living life to the fullest. And that I’d be able to do the same for him! 🥰

      14.) A great Daddy to our kids! Fun & encouraging, wise in discipline & character growth. Guides our children to Jesus!

      I’m sure there were other things I prayed, but these are the main ones I thought of as making this list for you. I hope this helps!

      If you want to continue our conversation, you may e-mail me at alainafletcher@thelivinglovedmovement.com or direct message me on FB or IG by following my pages & sending me a DM (links above).

      Thanks again for your heartfelt message! Enjoyed this conversation, my friend! I hope I have encouraged you! 💜💕

      Alaina

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Hi Charissa,

      I wrote a piece about my love story with my hubby that was published by @HerViewFromHome yesterday. It made me think of you when I reread it & posted to my FB page. Here’s the link:

      If that link doesn’t work, try this one that will take you directly to the HVFH website:

      https://herviewfromhome.com/alaina-fletcher-dear-husband-you-loved-me-first/

      I hope you are doing well! Praying God leads you & your future hubby together at the most perfect time! ❤️

      Blessings,

      Alaina

      Like

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