Why I Won’t Settle

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I saw another relationship change on FB this morning. Another friend making it official that they were indeed “off-the-market” by linking their name with another’s on social media.

“Welp. I guess I will be breaking into my chocolate drawer before lunch again today,” I thought.

The stages of grief immediately taking effect.

The denial: This is some kind of internet prank to get everyone up in arms. People shouldn’t play those types of pranks. I didn’t even know they were talking?! No, I don’t believe it. I check the friends profile countless times throughout the day to see if anything has changed or if they decided to confess it was all just a joke. No such luck.

The anger: WHY NOT ME?! It’s usually about this time that I text my BFF. I let out this lengthy rant about how I’m pretty freakin’ amazing and yet I’m still single. I tell her it doesn’t make sense– in all caps for more emphasis. Like a good friend, she always responds the same way, “I know! I don’t get it either.” At least someone agrees with me.

The bargaining: Maybe I should text so-and-so and give that relationship another go. Things really weren’t that bad….I mean, why did we even stop talking in the first place? It could work. Ya, totally. And then, as if Fat Amy from Pitch Perfect is in my head I hear, “Umm…better not.” I put my phone back down with a heavy sigh.

The depression: I mentioned I’m eating chocolate already, right? There’s a small mound of chocolate wrappers sitting next to me as a monument to my sadness. Chocolate understands.

And then, the acceptance: Ok, I’m happy for them. Really. Good for them. They deserve to be happy. I’m glad they found one another.

Within the acceptance phase, I find a resolution building inside of me. I remind myself there have been opportunities for me to date. Each of them good guys in their own rights– kind, generous, encouraging. But I chose not to date them and it always boiled down to the same reason. Though they were good men, they weren’t the greatest.

I’m not talking about perfection or unattainable expectations. I’m NOT talking about Prince Charming. I’m talking about the man who will be the complementary color to my life. We won’t be the same (Can I get a “Hallelujer”?), but he’ll add to my life like I’ll add to his. We’ll be partners in the adventure– two imperfect people working on loving each other through the crazy and the mundane.

Like I said, I’ve been tempted to give in and settle. Oh, how I’ve wanted to–some days (and nights) the loneliness has been almost unbearable. I’ve gone stag to more than enough events for my liking. Or even worse yet, sitting around the table with my family. Each sibling with their spouse, my parents side by side and then single Holly.

The loneliness, the sadness, the grief cannot be reasons for me to fling myself into a relationship that isn’t a good fit because in the end it could end up leaving me even more lonely and sad. I’m not looking for more pain. I haven’t waited this long for just anyone that’ll do.

Waiting is hard. I’m impatient. I want to rush ahead on do things on my own and in my timing. I know my track record, though, and that’s what keeps me waiting. Everything I have done on my own and in my own strength has failed. Miserably. Yet, everything (yes, EVERYTHING) He has done for me and through me has prospered. There’s just no comparison and that gives me hope.

I may struggle with this single status, but I won’t settle.

What keeps (or has kept) you from settling? Tell me in the comments, I’d love to know.

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17 thoughts on “Why I Won’t Settle

  1. Knowing that if I settle, I will only end up more hurt. I would rather be single than married to someone who hurts me or is bad for me or just not the right person for me. Thats what keeps me from settling. Also, trusting that if I wait for God’s timing, it will work out way better than I ever imagined. Its hard, but Ive learned to trust him more.

    • Thank you for sharing that, Cassie! You are absolutely right– the wrong relationship will only get you hurt or just as bad…distracted. This is a great opportunity to grow in trust. Can’t deny that point, either.

  2. I totally relate to this post- as a 27 year old who has only ever dated once. Lol A friend of mine encouraged me once when I was going through this phase. She told me I was created for a higher calling. I rolled my eyes at first but this has settled in my heart for when I hit these stages.

    • I roll my eyes a lot, at the time. But it’s those kind of truths that help you in the hard(er) moments. It doesn’t hurt that your friend is right. 🙂 haha. Thanks for sharing!

    • I know break-ups are difficult, whether you knew it was for the best or not. May you find comfort in knowing there is GREATER out there for you! So glad I could be a voice of comfort at this time.

  3. What keeps me going and not just giving up is the peace I get when i lay my sorrows at the feet of the cross. Sometimes I will be in this deep grief about my singleness, and God is faithful and reminds me, in small ways, he does not forget about his daughters. I try to seek things that make me joyful in this season of my life. Also, a good happy movie and some great friends never hurt. And the reason I haven’t settled, well, I have seen too many friends force a relationship to the point of marriage, and in the end their heart is far more bruised and batterd than mine. Great article!

    • Great thoughts, Hannah. I’ve shared similar thoughts in another post a few months back. Grateful that God continue to encourage our hearts in this season–even to just be reminded its only a season. Longer than I had ever wanted, but a season none the less. Thankful for friends and the many moments that I get to enjoy regardless of my relationship status. Thank you for commenting!

  4. I have been single a looooong time. I could have been married but if I had I would have been so miserable. I have done several things I’m not proud of but I have learned to be proud of God. He has kept me from the wrong men so many times. I know He only has good planned for me I only have to let Him take care of me. He will do that for you.

    • Thank you so much for your comment and insight. You are right on– God keeps us from the wrong men because He’s got better in mind. 🙂 Thankful that He knows so much better than I do!

  5. Love this post! Recently I’ve been having to answer the question from friends who ask “So-and-so was such a nice guy..but you weren’t interested. What is wrong with you?!” I’ve been asked this so much and never could put my finger on the answer until recently. As a Christian, I desire a marriage that is pleasing to God, and a relationship that follows biblical mandates. If I am to be a wife who gladly submits to my husband, I need to be sure I have a husband I feel comfortable submitting to! And that has been the issue! Sure, the guys are nice, sweet, and many other good things, but if he’s not the man I can follow for the rest of my life and trust his leadership, he’s not the one for me.
    Just my two-cent’s worth 🙂

    • That’s great insight, Kaytlyn! Thank you for sharing that– a good point for sure. I’m grateful that you’ve been mindful to wait even when your friends thought you were nuts. That’s ok, cause it’s not your friends marrying the dude, but YOU. 🙂

  6. I’m just not willing to take on another person’s life and it’s issues (we all got ’em) unless I know Jesus is his Source. Source for rest, peace, guidance, councel, friendship. Unless I see that a man fears God and also walks with Him in friendship, I just can’t trade in my singleness for a “fix”. As much as I might not want to be alone at 34! Thanks for the post, Holly. Well done. 🙂 and- I love chocolate tooooo. 😀

  7. You said it so well. I see God work in the little things and big things, and I so clearly see how He uses me, so I know I’m not forgotten or set aside. He’s in the midst of using me. Thus I take hope that He sill have a love story for me that is more than I can imagine or make happen. I too could have settled, but I didn’t, and am so glad. I can be single if that’s what God has for me this very minute. It’s not easy being single – having to do everything for yourself (repairs, shopping, errands) – but before I get too low about it (on occasion), God gives me these little things that make me stop and say “Thank you! I feel so taken care of!” Naturally I have the thoughts of “why not me?” when I heard this week that a friend who just starting dating someone not long ago will probably be married to this guy soon… And in my low moments, I think “Why am I set apart? Different from others?” but then I look around at those who have been through painful divorces and realize I was protected from that. That sums it up. I may not have settled but it’s because God has protected me from the wrong people. And for that, I’m truly grateful. (On down days I pray for hope for my future….and God always grants me that hope.)

    • In one of my next blog posts here, I want to discuss all the ways I saw God’s provision for me this year. I had often times told Him, “If you’re going to keep me single for now, I need you to provide for me.” And from little to the big things He did that and it floored me every time. He’s a good God and He will make sure we are taken care of. Thanks for your thoughtful and thought provoking comments, Sunny! Very much appreciate them!

  8. PS: I was at a youth conference recently (I’m a youth leader) and was invited last minute to be a chaperone. I went because God had told me in a dream to go to the conference. So I go and the first night of teaching *WHAM* I get why I was to be there. The speaker was talking on Samuel visiting David’s family to anoint the next king, and all of David’s brothers were brought before Samuel, but not David. Then Samuel asked if there was another, and of course there was. David is called in from the fields and it turns out he’s the chosen one to be anointed and be king. Then the speaker pointed out something I’d never noticed before: David did not become king immediately. He returned to the fields, and it was four years later that he took the throne. FOUR YEARS. So even David had a waiting period for something amazing that was in God’s plan for him. Can you imagine the moment of him returning to the fields, telling the animals, “GUESS WHAT? I’m going to be KING!” 🙂 In light of that, I know I’m in a time of waiting, and it’s okay. God will make things happen when they’re supposed to happen. 🙂

    • Exactly! There are lots of stories like that in the Bible (as I’m sure you know)– Moses, Joseph, Noah. It’s so encouraging to be reminded of them and know that this waiting is NOT wasted time, but time that is preparing us for what is to come. And it’s GOOD things!

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