I feel like every girl knows that feeling.
The feeling of scrolling through Instagram and seeing the onslaught of pictures of other girls our age in happy relationships.
The ones that sting the most are the ones where girls pose happily with their significant other, often with either a beautiful ring on their left ring finger or them wearing a beautiful, long white dress. These post often grow more and more frequent in the spring and summer time, if you know what I mean.
Obviously, you are excited and happy for your friends that they found their person, maybe even found their forever. You go into the comment section hyping your friend up, talking about how amazing a couple they make or wish congratulations for two people getting married. But then, the mind starts to wander.
Why isn’t my relationship perfect and easy like theirs?
Will I ever be able to find a guy that cares for me in the way that guy cares for my friend?
Am I doing anything wrong?
How can I fix myself?
Am I unlovable?
I would be lying to you if I said that these thoughts never cross my mind. I would be lying if I told you if I rarely asked these questions or sometimes ask these questions. But, the truth of the matter is, I ask these questions all the time.
You may think, “Oh, it’s easy not to ask these questions, just do not think about them.”
Well, it is pretty hard when you go to a Christian university that heavily emphasizes biblical relationships like marriage. It is difficult to escape that thinking when the opening ceremony speaker hints at the fact that you will find your spouse in college.
Not to mention, it is a widely accepted fact that the amount of female students on campus majorly outweighs the amount of male students on campus.
The odds are, more likely than not, you will leave college single. But who knows, you might meet your soulmate in college.
They might be the guy you have known since your freshman year and becomes one of your closest friends, or the guy that you talked to all summer that mentions how you should go out on a date when you get back, or the fraternity guy that you start getting along with super well or literally your dream guy.
But probably not. You are probably not going to meet your forever person in college, and that’s okay.
Then come those who say, “Hey it’s okay. You just need to work on being content in your singleness,” or they say, “Whenever I finally grew content in my singleness, that’s when I met my dream guy. You just need to be content, and it will all work out.”
Are the people who say these things wrong? No, it’s good advice. But does it encourage the person who feels alone? Also no, it sometimes make them feel worse.
It can make them feel that the longing that they have to be loved in a romantic way is wrong. As one who has struggled being “content in my singleness” words like those often harm and hurt then help.
So, how do you help your friends who are struggling with singleness and the feeling of being alone?
Come alongside them, tell them how loved they are by you and remind them of their value, which no matter what is priceless. Do not bash this idea of them needing to be content where they are. They already know that. Be a support for them, be a listening ear and if they ask for your advice, give your advice.
In the end, college is not about the unspoken west Texas Christian university standard finding a significant other during your last free days before adulthood.
Rather, more importantly, college is about finding and growing yourself. It is about growing yourself in your studies, your career, your spiritual life or your friendships. And hey, if a relationship comes along, good for you.
Your value is not determined by whether you leave college in a relationship, with a ring on your finger or in a committed marriage. Even if that is what seems to matter in a culture that introduces you to be trapped in ‘ring by spring’ thinking.
So, if you ever get trapped in the ever-winding spiral of ‘ring by spring’ thinking when you see that Instagram post, remember this.
You are beautiful. You are intelligent. You are priceless. You are loved.