When I was single, one of my closest friends, who was already married, shared with me that she looked back on the years when she was single as one of the most fruitful times of her life. She said she felt very close to God because she was able to spend hours a day in silence, reading the bible, doing bible studies, and praying. Her comment helped me to look upon my time as a single person, as a temporary situation, one I could choose to relish. 

Often when we are single, the ache of loneliness clouds our judgment, and we are unable to relish in solitude. I want to invite you, if you are single, to make the most of your “singleness.” We will discuss some practical ways to take advantage of your single state, to enrich your life.

Silence

First, let’s talk about silence. St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta said, “We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.”. As a single person, your home can be a place of silence, if you let it. If you keep the TV off, if you set your phone down at times, if you turn the music off for a while, your home can be like a small monastery, a place of encounter with God. Once we marry, once we begin to have a family, it is harder to find times and places of silence because we share our living spaces with other people. This is just reality. Married people have to seek out times and places of silence. They have to carve out five or ten minutes to connect with God in silence, but single people have the advantage of being able to make their homes places of silence. Do you already have this silence in your home? If you don’t, how can you create it? If you do, what might you do to silence the inner noise to take advantage of the peace and quiet?

Prayer

Talking about silence brings us to the next advantage of the single state of life, which is fewer obstacles to finding time to pray. For the single person, the option of praying in the morning before you head off to work or school is much less complicated. Think about it, for a mom of young children, prayer looks very different. She probably doesn’t have too many moments alone, and even fewer moments when it is quiet. Think about the father of young children, who must get up hours before he leaves for work if he wants a few minutes alone with God. Let’s consider prayer at the end of the day. For a single person, you can sit in your favorite chair, grab a warm beverage and your journal and pray without interruptions for as long as you like. If you want to go to the nearest adoration chapel; you can jump in your car and go to adoration for as long as you like, whenever you want. For the married person, prayer in the evening can be a little more difficult to come by. They have never ending duties around the house, and oftentimes, even if your spouse supports your life of prayer, they are not likely to leave you alone for more than thirty minutes. Seldom does it happen that two married people feel called to the exact same level of piety, and even if the level of piety is close, the forms of prayer that a person prefers usually differs. Some enjoy reciting prayers, some enjoy mental prayer, and others prefer contemplative prayer. As a single person, you are free to follow the Holy Spirit’s inspiration to pray at all times in a very real way. 

Hobbies

When you are single, you are able to engage in your hobbies whenever you want for as long as you want, and you do not have to feel guilty about it. Married people give up this privilege. What do you like to do? If you are not sure, now is the time to explore different hobbies. To be ready to commit to another person, a person must first know who they are. If you are not sure of what helps you to relax, ponder what you like to do to chill out, take some time to explore different options. Do you like to watch sports? Do you like to play sports? Do you enjoy painting or drawing, or creative writing? Maybe you enjoy crafts or working on cars? Maybe you enjoy reading or working in the garden? Do you play a musical instrument? As a single person, you have a little more time for hobbies than  married couples, take advantage of this opportunity, and enjoy it. 

Friendships

Single people are able to connect with their friends more easily than are married couples. When you are single, you can stop in to visit a friend, and it isn’t a big deal. The visit can be very casual, but once you start bringing your significant other to the visit, everything gets a little more formal. Add to that, the deep one on one conversations you are able to have, shift a bit when your spouse is present. When you are single, you can pick which friends you spend time with, but once you are married, you end up spending some time with your spouse’s friends, whether or not you really care for them. Of course when you are married, you can also go hang out with your friends by yourself, while your spouse does the same, but such arrangements are probably the exception, especially once children are in the picture. As a single person, enjoy the freedom you have to spend time with your friends as you like. Keep your social calendar as busy as you like it, knowing that at some point you will probably not have the same flexibility. 

We have reflected on some of the benefits of single life and to bring out some of the positive aspects of being single. These suggestions are in no way trying to minimize the loneliness and difficulties that come with being single, but instead to encourage the reader to stop and shift their perspective to value the benefits of being single. These suggestions are  also not meant to discourage anyone with regards to marriage, but instead to offer a realistic look at some of the sacrifices people make when they are married. Let your single life be enriched by how well you seek silence, enter into prayer, engage in your hobbies and cultivate great friendships. If you are still struggling with making the most of your singleness, we invite you to reach out to one of our counselors for support.