Season of Solitude- What Happens Before You’re Single
From songs like “Single Ladies” and “Miss Independent” to shows like “Sex in the City”, “Insecure”, or “Being Mary Jane”, the adventures of the single woman are always being chronicled in some way. While I am totally down with this I can’t help but notice that there is a side to being bae-less that is not discussed or portrayed as often. Not all of us have these plentiful dating options lined up to fall back on when we supposedly move “on to the next” or this non- stop social life filled with excitement and drama. Some of us actually have none of that going on. Instead, there is a tribe of us who are not experiencing the perks or woes of singleness exactly but are in a season of solitude.
So shout out to my solo ladies! There aren’t many anthems or t.v. heroines for us but know that I see you, I am with you, and there are others in the same space as you!
For my entire adult life I was in a serious relationship, engaged, then married. Therefore you can imagine the culture shock I endured after my divorce. The world looked and felt so different. I had to learn to do this thing called life all over again only this time by myself. Once I stopped trying to count the ways that this phase sucked, I began to realize that I had entered a beautiful, transformative period that would propel me into the best days of my life. Solo ladies let me encourage you, this time should be embraced and celebrated because it is filled with so much purpose.
Now before I get into the good stuff let me clarify for those who are wondering if they are in a solo season.
This post could be about you if…
Your phone is bone dry and your calendar is empty. It seems like no one is checking for you and you really don’t have anyone in sight that you’d even want to entertain. Your dating life has been reduced to crickets and you may be wondering if you’ll ever meet someone.
I know that description sounded a little depressing but don’t check out on me just yet because there’s good news to all of this. There’s a reason for the season!
This alone time is not an indication or forecast for the rest of your life. More than likely you are in a season of solitude because some very important preparation is happening. In other words, it’s not you….but it’s you (hope y’all caught that).
It could be that you need to:
- Get ready for singleness, dating, courtship, and meeting your forever love.
- Remain hidden/protected until you are armored spiritually and strong enough to bear the elements of dating which may include meeting several counterfeits.
- Come closer to God and away from the influences of the world for a while so He can get you right.
Basically, the season of solitude is a sign that there is work to do and you need to go on this mission alone.
Here are some tasks you may have to complete during this time:
Rekindle your relationship with God– First and foremost! Every now and then we go astray, especially when we meet someone. It is so easy to get consumed by that new exciting flame. When you are in a relationship your attention is divided and there may be times when you are giving your man on earth a little more focus than the man upstairs. No need to condemn yourself, as we’ve all been there but at some point you need to refocus and get God back at the center of it all. For those hoping to be married someday, putting God first is not just some piece of advice that is given to brides and grooms, it is literally a life practice that you need to establish during singleness. This also includes allowing God to write your love story and taking your hand off the pen.
Clear the noise– Dating can become a distraction mentally and emotionally. Add sex to the mix and chances are your judgement will be clouded. Solitude allows you to reset your intuition and practice hearing God’s voice. Sometimes he needs to get you alone so that you can hear Him better. When your discernment is intact, you make better decisions and you are more aligned with God’s plan for you.
Break bad habits and patterns– You keep dating the same type of people, falling for the same game, getting your heart broken in very similar ways. You need to get to the root of your decisions and figure out how to do things differently. You can’t really accomplish this soul work when you’re entertaining various people. It requires taking a step back, reviewing the replay of your experiences while pausing, and stopping when you need to catch the lessons.
Stop running– Sometimes we hide behind a relationship when we are running away from ourselves and our unresolved traumas. Once you start exploring your patterns chances are you will trace some things back to deeply rooted issues that you may have been avoiding. Childhood experiences, mommy/daddy issues, or current baggage could be getting in the way of you finding love. Unfortunately this is never easy but you have to address some of those hurtful feelings you’ve been harboring so that you can be your best, healthiest self.
Figure out what you really want– There are standards, preferences, and non-negotiables. Your season of solitude helps you get clear on what you want and prioritize your needs. If you don’t know what you want then how will you know when you’ve met the right one? Submit your list to God and let Him make some revisions. Then once you’re back out there you will have more of a framework to aid you in dating with a purpose.
Focus on your purpose– The calling on your life is more important than anything and often leads you to your partner. Your greatest assignment is to figure out your “why” and you should be actively pursuing this regardless of your relationship status. Sometimes there are pieces of your purpose that must be revealed to you before someone else enters your life. Being alone allows you to freely and wholeheartedly enter a period of discovery.
Stop making a relationship/marriage an idol– When you are not seeing someone, you’re wishing you were or fantasizing about the next time you will be. You can’t see past your overwhelming at times obsessive desire to be a wife. If you’re guilty of this then the season of solitude can help you to see the beauty in being alone. Learn to enjoy time with yourself while fostering a sense of self-sufficiency. This way when your future arrives he will not be expected to complete you and you will choose a mate to fulfill your destiny not your desperation.
Get to know YOU again (or for the 1st time) – Who are you outside of a relationship? If you have only seen yourself through the lens of a mate, then there is a whole other aspect of your being that you have yet to experience. When in a long term relationship chances are you assumed many of your ex’s influences. For my divorcees, remember that you spent years building a life with someone and now you are essentially starting from scratch. It takes time (and solitude) to untangle yourself from the one you were once joined with. Therefore you have to become acquainted and familiar with the new, improved version of yourself!
Okay so I’ve narrowed down some of the tasks now let’s talk about the dos and don’ts while navigating through your solitude.
Try new things and adventures
Call on your tribe
Pour yourself into your purpose
Set and accomplish some personal goals
Volunteer and/or join a cause
Go out by yourself and with others
Get ready to start dating again when it’s time
Turn away from God
Rush into a relationship or settle for a situationship
Prolong this season by not doing your work
Get discouraged or give up
Let go of your desire to love and be loved
Indulge in bad habits that will set you back
Moment of reflection: Are you in a season of solitude or remember a time when you were? What did you/will you do to get through it and remain positive? What did you or hope to learn about yourself?