4 Life Lessons I have learned from being Single

I am 26, I am single, and I am here to tell you…Being single is NOT cool, especially when you’re over 25.

I know there will be a lot of people that disagree with that statement and their typical argument is:

  1. You need time to enjoy your twenties
  2. You don’t know what you want until you’re 30
  3. I am focusing on my career and I’ll start when I get to where I need to be

The scary thing is, most of us are using similar excuses when approaching our life goals.

Please don’t be alarmed this isn’t an article about dating or finding love but I hope to share at least one thing from my journey as a single man that could help you achieve a breakthrough in your life or future relationship.

This post is for married and single folk alike so please don’t let the title scare you. I also want feedback from the married folk specifically to my Point #4.

 


4 things I have learned from Being Single

  1. Get Crystal Clear On What You Want

My Story: For the last few years I have been on numerous dates. Half of those dates were doomed from the start because I felt no connection with the person and honestly didn’t know how to say “no”. The other quarter had outrageous red flags.

Red Flag Examples:

  • Replies hours and sometimes days after you contact them (with read receipts!)
  • Consistently lead you to behavior that is not typical of who you are (Drinking, Gossiping, Feeling inadequate)
  • You want a girl who is active in the church, yet this girl rarely studies or attends worship

All of which, I ignored because of what my “feelings” told me. The other 25% were great people that I just wasn’t ready for or they just weren’t my type (we will get to that later).

BINGO

I never clearly defined what my “type” was. So after talking with my life coach I wrote a Wife Qualities list.

Wife

*They don’t have to possess all of these but it does help quantify what I am looking for. To download the full list click here (Revamped Wife Qualities List)

Translation to Life: You will not reach your goal until you get CRYSTAL CLEAR on what you want or at least the next step and eliminate everything that is not in line with the goal. If you don’t know what you want you will never receive what you want.

  1. You Cannot Be Passive or they will play that ish BACK TO BACK

*Note: One moment of passiveness can end a career

My Story: I grew up a very shy kid. I never had Jordan’s, Fubu clothing, or the things cool kids in grade school had. I got by because I was always tall for my age and I was pretty funny. I didn’t get my first girlfriend let alone a kiss until 11th grade (They only love you after the braces, and dark skin was not “In” until high school). Being that I was a late bloomer I never naturally developed the confidence to approach women and I fear rejection. 90% of my life I only dated women that came on to me. And that’s scary. I know if I keep this up I could probably miss out on someone who really could change my life.

Translation to Life: You have to GO after what YOU want. Period. Or accept what life gives you.

Imagine you were an actor: Which mindset do you think would aid you in your career?

Actor: Man nobody is giving me a shot, I have been auditioning for 3 years and haven’t broken through

What if you shifted your mindset to..?

Actor: Every week outside of my auditioning schedule I will shoot a short film with my friend and upload it to my website. After 3 years he would have over 150 videos showcasing my ability, my growth, and creativity which would probably create some more traction for my career than 3 years of “Just auditioning and complaining”. Think creatively about how you can get what you want.

Your dreams can’t run off of thoughts and ideas. Its only fuel is Action- Unknown

 

  1. Expose the Truth

My Story: I admit to once being the worst type of guy; one who dates for years without making any commitments. Sadly the bad habit stemmed because I truly was not “all in” with the person from the beginning. As soon as I realize that I don’t see them that way, I need to be clear. The same token can be used with communicating your dreams, needs, and desires to your future mate.

Translation to Life: We all truly know what is in the way of us achieving our goals. You know why you are not losing weight, or why you are not hustling enough to get your dream job, or why you are not getting the grades you deserve. The longer you ignore the truth, the longer and farther your goals and dreams slip away. It’s time to expose the lie, friend, or habit for what it is and work to claim your destiny.

  1. Acknowledge & Embrace YOUR Season

My Story: Last month I thought I really turned the corner. I told myself that now is the time for me to get into a serious relationship. I started planning dates, planned on being consistent, and I was going to show the world and my future wife the new and improved Greg. Only problem is that I have a full time job, studying full time for the GMAT, prepping for a Podcast Launch, and actively committed to the youth department in my church. I also go to bed at 10pm. My heart is in the right place but this is not the season for a relationship just yet.

Note: That doesn’t mean I am not open to it, but would have to develop a strong friendship for now

Translation to Life:  Every season of your life is not going to be remarkable. Your job might not be your dream job. You might not generate the excitement OR sales you thought from your first business. You may not get the promotion or the grade you thought you deserved. Do not waste time discouraged, embrace the season and know that the things you are learning are preparing you to get the dream job, create a million dollar business, or graduate from school. I know its common advice but your team can’t go undefeated each year.

Example:

Golden State Then

GWrecord

Golden State was the laughing stock of the NBA finishing near the bottom of the western conference.

Which allowed them to get… Steph Curry in 2009.

Golden State Now

warriors2

NBA Champion and  Currently 18-0


Big Takeaway

Everyone started with 0 followers.

Repeat.

Everyone started with 0 followers.

You’ve got to EMBRACE the floor because without it you will never reach the ceiling- Greg E. Hill

 

Question for my single people: What is one thing being single has taught you about life?

Question for my people in a relationship: What is one thing being in a relationship has taught you about life?

Question for my married people: What is your BEST advice for finding the right person?

 {Answer Below in the comments by clicking here.}

 

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Malcolm Miller

    Great points, I can definitely agree with all of them.

    Single life has taught me that you have to be fearless. Hesitating because you don’t know how someone else feels or you’re afraid it won’t go how you want can easily lead to missing out on “your season”.
    Also taught me that sometimes you need to take initiative. There are times when you can let things flow but when you know you want something more, initiating that phase can be more beneficial than waiting for someone else to bestow that value to you.

    • Amen. Your are right about that my brother. @disqus_kEW8X6msMh:disqus. As always thanks for sharing and being vulnerable

  • Kyara

    The most important thing that I have taken away from being single is that I know who I am without the influence of a significant other. Whether good or bad, a sig other can alter a person’s growth or lack there of.

    • That’s deep. Have not really thought about it like that. Thanks for sharing @disqus_xRLWaVLhv1:disqus

  • Desiree

    Being single has taught me what I like and don’t like, how to develop real friendships, how to rely on the Lord for comfort and companionship, how to remain indifferent and not waste energy on situations I can’t/shouldn’t try to control, and to not let a great opportunity or potential relationship pass me by because it didn’t shine or glitter at first sight….often times you find the diamond in the rough and you’re not even searching for it.

    • Where is my diamond!!!! @disqus_tQQeiI0lNY:disqus. I am looking for her #Futurevoice. But Seek ye first the kingdom as you said. Thanks for sharing Des. Your right about glitter. I often get lost looking for it :(.

  • Ashley

    Being single has taught me many things in life, especially as a single mother which has magnified the amount of things I have learned and who I am today. I know being single is for a season and I have faith that in due time my season will change. In this I have learned to be content in the Lord, surrendering to Him because I learned I am nothing without Him. The one thing I will always carry in my heart is that my desires will never be truky fulfilled until ny first desire is Chrsit alone. I wouldn’t happy or able to fulfill my position as a wife if it wasn’t in Gods plans. Plenty of times we settle without Gods best for us. In this time in my life and for the first time I know what it is like to love and to be loved without condition because I have relationship with Christ, before this time I was unaware of a love like this and from that point forward I have refused to settle for less than Gods best, my identity has been found in Christ in this season. You can’t truly love until you know what it’s like to be truly loved without condition. 🙂 Being single ain’t always easy but I’m sure it’s worth the wait! 😉

    • Wow. That is all so true. Thankyou for putting it in that perspective. Also thanks for being open and transparent. @AshMRo88:disqus. Cant seek to interrupt God’s divine plan.

  • Kirtisha

    Profound as always, Greg. I truly appreciate your transparency. To answer the question posed to the singles: Being single has given me more than a few reality checks and has taught me numerous lessons, but the most important is that no matter what I must be me. I choose not to conform and I choose not to settle. Though the time line has yet to follow the script which I played out for myself, but there’s something I know; I’ve seen a great example of love in my life; my father buried the absolute love of his life and best friend at the age of 38, and didn’t remarry again until 20 years later. I’m sure that didn’t play out according to his plans, but would he change for one moment what he had with my mom…never. Merely getting somebody to have isn’t my goal. Knowing my worth and what I want is key, and not compromising.

    • Amen Sista Jones. I find myself sometimes getting caught int he worlds timelines instead of Gods. And you know when Man steps in front of God bad things happen. I appreciate your transparency in this post and taking the time to read and comment @missj1913:disqus

  • Tyree Hearn

    Great point brother hill. I know many things being single taught me but I believe that having a great faith (in the goods & bad). keep yourself in mind the you’re worth something.

    • Amen Brother @tyreehearn:disqus. As always thanks for sharing

  • Jessica Ann Ingram

    Single lady; Age 24: being single has taught me…”me”! Though I’ve always prided myself on being self-aware and driven/ambitious regardless of whatever “joe-shmoe” was incubating my space at any given time…there’s never been anything like being. by. my. damn. self! I’ve learned new ways to love myself and the woman I am becoming! I’ve learned more about what makes me happy and what feeds/fuels me! (Perhaps because my time and I weren’t consumed with the “why hasn’t he texted me back yet” worries) Lol!

    Most importantly being single has helped me to learn GOD! I love my Heavenly Father & Christ! While being single…I never truly feel “single”. Christ’s presence sustains me is so fulfilling when there isn’t another love obstructing my gaze. My spiritual maturation has challenged my old perceptions of single-hood, and allowed me to focus on the woman who I am bringing into my next relationship (myself), instead of focusing on what kind of man is coming into my next relationship/my life. Overall I truly believe that you have to BE the kind of person you want to enter your life; and also the more you focus on YOU becoming the best “you”, the more secure you become in yourself, and the more you will begin to divinely draw in/ attract the love of your life.

    • That is big. Not truly feeling single because you ALWAYS have God. Never thought about it like that, WOW. Thanks for that @jessicaanningram:disqus

  • Kam E

    This was deep..very well written.. And that Golden State example was awesome, really affirming. For the question, hmmm. One vital thing that being single has taught me is God’s love. When you’re by yourself, it’s you, God, and your demons. Its like a consecration without the glitz and glam that distractions or the comforts of a “boo” (ha) can bring.. I’ve had to face myself, all of me… and sometimes that seems like such a scary thing to do. It reminds me of how great God’s love is..to love someone like me <3. Being single has shown me that in those weak moments, when I'm not strong enough, there's a deeper love living inside me to compensate for all of my shortcomings.. in my mistakes, in my weaknesses, and in my times of loneliness, I Am loved..

    • Great theme in these comments of the love of God. Walk by Faith not by site. Love ya @disqus_bn5jnCvC0v:disqus. Keep shining diamond 🙂

  • Kimberlee Jones

    Well said! Before I married my husband, or even dated him, I told myself that I would not settle for less. I pray specifically for what I wanted in a man and for God to send him when he is really. In the meantime, I asked for him to prepare me for my future husband. When I wasn’t paying attention, the Lord sent him my way. So my advice would be to prepare yourself for what God has in store for you and don’t force anything. My husband and I were friends for a while before we fell for each other so you never know, your future could be in front of you getting ready for you.

    • How long were you to friends? @disqus_4CB0dVU1ZT:disqus. ANd thanks for sharing and the advice.

  • C Millz

    Single life definitely has its ups and downs, however, I’ve embraced single life for the past three to four years. The number one lesson single life has taught me is reflection. I’ve used these years to not necessarily figure out why it didn’t work out with “so & so”, but to reflect on my weaknesses that I’ve contributed to past failed relationships. I’m not perfect and I plan to continually work on myself.

  • Jasmine Johnston

    Phenomenal. Your honesty & realness bring a truth to the topic of dating from a man’s (recognizing it’s 1 man’s) perspective so eloquently…even if it’s not pretty! As for your question…so many things I’ve learned. By far the greatest would have to be patience, acting in spite of fear & relying on God. You’re right in that every season in your life most likely won’t be exciting & may not be feasibly for dating either. So learning where & how to appropriately center my focus, defining what should be a focus & something I’m still in the process of…learning consistency, how to stay with that focus, all help me. Being single really does allow you to focus on you, whether it be the good or bad. While it may sound selfish, it’s far better you get yourself together with as much focus as possible, BEFORE you enter a relationship, than once you’re in one because at that point time will be less available. Not to mention, you may not be putting your best foot forward which could ultimately jeopardize the relationship you wanted so badly. Know thyself.

    • I like the emphasis on getting yourself together first. Doesnt mean we have to come in perfect. But at least to the point where outside things dont drastically affect a relationship. Thanks as always for sharing and I appreciate your sentiments @disqus_XFpnZaz8zp:disqus 🙂

  • Kiara

    I have been single since 2012 and have acquired great patience, but I have also learned life lessons! Like learning who I am, and also learning to love myself fully! A lot of times in relationships we conform to what our partner wants us to be (myself included); but being single has strengthened me so that if I do have a relationship that ends I won’t leave broken and having to rebuild myself! Great read Greg!

    • Thanks @kiara for sharing. How would you suggest someone deal with a broken relationship?

  • Caroline EB

    Greg! Let me start off by saying awesome read. I love the honesty and your scrupulousness.

    My life in a relationship has taught me soooo much about myself. To learn that no person is perfect but to grow and teach each other things that you thought were good become great! Sometimes God sends people into your life for self awareness. There’s a quote to sum up what my relationship has taught me 🙂

    “Sometimes people come into your life & you know right away that they were meant to be there, to serve some sort of purpose, teach you a lesson, or help you figure out who you are & or who you want to become. You never know who these people may be (possibly your roommate, neighbor, professor, long lost friend, lover, or even a complete stranger), but when you lock eyes with them, you know at the very moment that they will affect your life in some profound way.”

    • BIG WORDS @caroline_eb:disqus #scrupulousness. Wow. never thought about the self awareness aspect. That is deep. Thanks for sharing and reading

  • Somebody had allot on there chest. I sincerely appreciate the transparency and vulnerability in this post. @daviamccorkle:disqus . Allot of my wants are kind of earthly. At the end of the day I need to be open and aware and making sure I am seeking God first. I sincerely appreciate this. VERY deep

  • Chonté

    I had a couple mediocre relationships with guys who approached me but, like you said, “I wasn’t all in.” I wasn’t ready to be in a relationship and I was just hurting people. My last relationship was in 2010 and I’ve spent the last five years growing… 2010- Summer 2011 and 2013- Spring 2015 were intentional, but after completing Grad school, I was ready to get back out there (I almost had a boo in Chicago but it’s good that we didn’t get too involved because I now live in Philly).

    My biggest takeaways from my 5 year hiatus were:

    1. I don’t care what everyone else is doing.
    I’m not interested in this generation’s ideas of dating. Being single has taught me how to be content with me and I found that I can easily get lost in my own little world. I have a decent group of friends that bring me out for fresh air, but I’m a homebody.

    2. Letting go of the idea that I had to find a man.
    A good man is hard to find because he is not meant to be found. The bible says that “HE who finds a wife, finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.” So I chill. At the core, I’m looking for a life partner that will believe in me and support my dreams, as I do the same.

    As I grow older and my friends are getting married and starting families there’s a part of me that’s like “come on already” but I just continue to be patient and avoid people with red flags.

    • WOW. I def overlooked this reply. Thanks so much for sharing. Looking like I may need to have someone do a guest post!!! @disqus_yZAQ4HJm4j:disqus. As always thanks for being a consistent contributer and sharer int eh dialogue. It doesnt go unnoticed.

  • Elviria Valdaz

    Awesome post Greg! My relationship has taught me how to compromise and be patient in life. I’ve learned over the past few years that relationships are hard work and takes dedication from both parties.

    • Amen!!!! @elviria_valdaz:disqus. Compromise is so hard when you think youre right like I do most of the time. 🙂

  • angela edwards

    AMAZING POST GREG! Keep up the great work, consistency and dedication to your calling. Singleness has taught me to APPRECIATE the seasons that God has taken me through and to be CONTENT in each of them. Five years ago I was engaged and 1 month before my wedding date my ex told me that he wasn’t ready to get married (Wait what?!..Remember when you got down on 1 knee w/ a ring and asked me to marry you?) Looking back I could see the signs that he wasn’t ready (and later realized neither was I, honestly) and to this day I THANK GOD I didn’t marry him (God closed that door to protect me!). So for the following year I intentionally took a break from dating in order for time and God to heal my heart. Since then I have completed grad school (AGGIE PRIDE!), started a career, and am moving in a POSITIVE direction! During this single season I will continue to enjoy life, laugh, serve in my church/community, pray, grow closer to God and follow His will for my life. I hold on tight to my PEACE/JOY and know that God will continue to develop me into the woman I need to be, and when the time is right everything will fall into place! P.S- I think I ALMOST met you at last year’s runGHOE event. If you’re still running keep that up too! Take care.

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  • this is late, but because of a recent experience i want to share. and since you asked…. I’ve been married and divorced, in a relationship, and now single. what I’ve learned being single is that it’s important to wait. it’s important to seize opportunities. It’s important to heal. I’ve learned what the single noun I means. One with God, One with self, One with creation. …from this place I can express and be. Not for attention, but from sheer force of being who i am. i like being single, but i prefer being with someone for impact and purpose. i still believe in true love and that if you’re with the right someone there will be unity and oneness that’s not commercial or tradition… authenticity and purity. …lol, i think my favorite number is 1. 🙂 …thanks for the opportunity and platform to share and express this.

  • Rashonda

    I’m extremely late on reading this post as well as many others but your words have been so inspiring and uplifting. I didn’t know that this existed until the other day so excuse the many likes and comments. I play many roles in my life and this category has been the most challenging. Not many men have the courage to approach and I’m always being told that I’m too intimidating. So I’ve had a lot of time to reflect and think about what type of man I desire and what I can do to prepare myself for him. I’ve learned to embrace this season because I know that God is preparing me for something and someone greater.

    Continue to speak truth and encourage others because your voice can change the world. Really enjoyed reading this post!