Needless to say, the New Year is always an exciting time – a time of bright anticipation, as we look forward to all that’s ahead. But what if you’re facing another year single? What if you’re welcoming the New Year with no proposals and no dates? Although being single during another new year can sound discouraging and disheartening, here are 5 ways you can view your single status in 2019 in a more positive light.
It’s a Time for Growth
It’s safe to say that sometimes, when a righteous plea to the Lord for a much-awaited eternal companion isn’t automatically granted, it is natural to feel within ourselves, “But I just can’t wait to get married and have an eternal family of my own.” The desire to be married is a righteous one, and one that should be a priority. But, if the proposals and the dates don’t come when you want, you should not get too consumed by your lack of a romantic relationship to the point of losing joy in your other blessings.
In President Uchtdorf’s talk “Your Potential, Your Privilege,” he told a story about a man who missed out on his dream cruise’s food and fun activities simply because he didn’t understand the privileges that were available to him.. Praying for your dream wedding to your dream companion shouldn’t mean you miss out on some of life’s most wonderful offerings. Your singlehood is a perfect time for growth and improvement. With guidance from the Lord, you’ll find opportunities that will hone your talents, and harness your skills. As a son or daughter of God, the Lord has prepared wonderful things for you – not just being married! – and being single is a time to discover these opportunities freely.
It’s a Great Time to Better Prepare for Marriage
During your single years, you can avoid discouragement and disappointments by learning to wait actively. Active waiting is “staying with something and doing all that we can—working, hoping, and exercising faith; bearing hardship with fortitude, even when the desires of our hearts are delayed.” Actively waiting with patience doesn’t mean settling and losing hope – it’s about learning to prepare better for the blessings that are to come. The single years are a great time to learn how to become a better parent, and a better eternal companion. Your singlehood gives you chances to better prepare yourself for marriage and other future opportunities – don’t miss them, and don’t forget to take them.
You Can Start to Be Happy Now
In September 2011, Sister Kirsten Oaks, shared powerful stories from her 53 years of singleness. She also shared a powerful lesson:
“On one occasion, full of worry and frustration about my single situation and my advancing years, I went to a priesthood leader for a blessing to strengthen me. The words spoken in that blessing stay with me to this day and ring truer to me as time passes. I can still quote them: “If you cannot bear the difficulties and challenges of single life, you will never be able to bear the difficulties and challenges of married life.” I sat a bit stunned. Those words were a call to action for me to make my life wonderful regardless of any situation or difficulty I faced. If I made a happy single life for myself, it would determine the happiness I would have as a married woman, and I wanted a happy future. I realized I had the capacity not only to bear difficult things but to look for the best in every situation. My attitude became much more positive. Life is a challenge, but it will always be a challenge—single or married—and I wanted to be equal to that challenge. I testify from hard-earned experience that the Lord is always preparing us for greater happiness and blessings.”
Your single years offer chances for you to learn to be happy now. Elder Dallin H. Oaks said “Don’t wait for happiness to be thrust upon you. Seek it out in service and learning.” In your single years, look for sources of lasting happiness – serving others, extending a hand to those in need, volunteering, learning a new craft and sharing it with others – for it can help you disperse the negative feelings that can inevitably come from singlehood.
You Have More Opportunities to Serve
Yes, it’s true – the best antidote to negative feelings is service. President Ezra Taft Benson reminded the single adults, “Rather than turning inward, forget self and really serve others in your Church callings, in personal deeds of compassionate service, in unknown, unheralded personal acts of kindness. If you really want to receive joy and happiness, then serve others with all your heart. Lift their burden, and your own burden will be lighter.” It is so easy to look at your single status with a sad heart and to be consumed by impatience and worry. However, your singlehood can mean so much more as you embark in service – you have more freedom to reach out to others, and be there when they need you most. Think of this time as a time to help more, reach out more, and love more.
It Can Draw You Closer to the Lord
Learning to be patient is a lifelong process – it’s especially hard to be patient when you’re talking about matters of the heart. In this time of questions and deep longing, always turn to the Lord for comfort. He knows you, He loves you, and because you are His child, He has great things in store for you, both in this life and the life to come. Draw near to Him, become a better disciple, and always sustain the goal of celestial marriage. When you are tempted to question His timetable, remember to be grateful – for “He who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more.”
Your single years are a time to develop love, appreciation, and gratitude towards the Lord. Immense yourself daily in the scriptures and develop a testimony that the Lord has your eternal perspective in mind.
Your single years can help you prepare for eternal marriage. In these times when the promised eternal companion’s arrival is taking longer than you expected, take comfort that in the Lord’s time, your righteous goals will be granted, whether in this life, or in the life to come. Don’t spend your days fretting because you are single. Set goals and achieve them, serve and find happiness, and learn to become a true disciple of the Lord.