Sunday, March 17, 2013

Hook, line, and single

I recently attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony that welcomed me back to the single life. Being in a steady relationship for almost three years, I've definitely had a lengthy rest from the game. It seems as though Spring is always a tough time on long term relationships, so to those of you still in one, hang in there babes. And if you're not, or haven't been in quite some time (or ever), then this is the blog for you, because you're about to learn how to be cool while single. And for those of you who are married or in that process, then just pass this info along to all your single friends (and maybe my number if they're not creepy or desperate).

Numero Uno: Do something you've always wanted to do. Relationships can definitely affect decision making and hold you back from pursuing dreams you've always had. Want to take an internship in California or Europe? Well, now only the fact that you're a super broke college student is holding you back. Want to learn how to swing dance? Grab some friends and hit the local dance hall, just be sure to steer clear of the guys old enough to be your grandfather. They like to dance a bit too close. Want to be an astronaut? Well, that's too bad because in case you haven't heard, Obama shut NASA down, and Pluto isn't even a planet anymore, so what's the point?

Numero Dos: Treat yo self. All of you know that I am an absolute stickler for looking good, but there's just something about dressing amazing simply because you can. You may say, "Alyson, I have little to no money, and that's a problem." My response will be sheltering you under my fashionable arm-wing and showing you the ropes of Goodwill, Rugged Warehouse, and a few other places only an elite few have ever heard of. If clothes aren't really your thing, which is a bit unfortunate and disturbing, then take yourself out for a nice steak or glass of Delirium. Grab your best friend and take a road trip to see your favorite band. Buy yourself the new Taylor Swift CD, we all know you want it. On second thought, spare yourself, you don't want it. 

Numero Tres: Get stuff done. A great way to keep your mind off being single is to not allow yourself time to think. By no means am I saying work yourself to death, but what's the harm in picking up an extra shift when date night used to be, or trying some new hobbies. Simply be proactive. Creating art is the coolest thing to do when single. Tapping into your creative side can be incredibly fulfilling and teaches you a lot about yourself. Sometimes you simply find out you don't have a creative side. If you're in college, please listen to me right now. Stop procrastinating and go do your homework. You definitely won't be cool if you flunk out of college, but you can secure a spot in the single kingdom.

Numero Cuatro: Get in shape. Yeah, you heard me, love handles. Go for a run every evening when the weather's nice. Organize some local pick-up games. Learn how to Zumba or belly dance (this will probably come in handy when you aren't single anymore.) Being single is the best time to shape up and it's a great way to meet someone if you happen to be ready for a new relationship. Let's be honest, what's the worst thing that could happen if you get ten times sexier?

Numero Cinco: Be okay alone. Independence is a good thing. Sometimes society makes us believe we always have to be in a relationship or constantly hanging out with friends. While both of these situations are wonderful additions to life, taking time to reflect on who we are as individuals is equally as important. In case you haven't heard, we only get one life to live, so we better steward it as best we can. Also, if you know who you are, what you like, and where you want to go in life, you're setting yourself up to be a solid friend, significant other, and person in general. My mom says that you certainly can't be a significant other if you're a lousy self. Confidence is worth striving for.

Numero Seis: Don't stress about being single and have faith. As a woman, I can't tell you how many times I've idolized relationships and questioned myself because no one seemed to be interested in me. Let me give you all a tip to relieve some misconceptions: unlike many people tell you, you're probably not going to find a boyfriend or girlfriend the first week, month, or year of college. Particularly if you go to an overgrown high school that calls itself a university, like me. Sure, there are a lot of new fish in your pond now, but a lot of the fish are already taken or not your type of fish. My parents didn't meet each other until they were in their late thirties, and that was okay with them because it's clear they were meant for each other. I can assuredly say that they agree it was well worth the wait.

For you girls, don't be afraid to wait for the man that will pursue you, and that will gladly work hard just to hold your hand. (And don't hesitate to make him work for it.) You are a treasure to be fought for; one with a heart of gold, so stop selling yourself for the price of cheap fashion jewelry. He may not gallop in on a white stallion with a dozen roses, or be in the running for Calvin Klein's next underwear model, but I promise he'll show up in just the right time and he'll be the best thing for you.

For you guys, stop chasing after girls that care more about where they can get a tan than whether or not you're alive. A sleezy, air-headed, or high maintenance girl is not going to give you any sort of fulfilling relationship. A woman should inspire you to be a better man, be able to hold good conversations with you, respect your ability and calling to lead, make you laugh, and be willing to make you a sandwich or bring you a cold beer because she has a heart ready to serve others. You know you're on the right track if you're excited to get out of bed every morning because you simply can't wait to talk to her and you have the desire to do anything to make her happy. One day she'll be your best friend if she isn't already.

So, for those of you that are in the single party alongside me, I know the wait can be discouraging and lonely, but don't lose hope. Remember that there is a Savior that has laid down His life for you, and loves you more than any boyfriend, girlfriend, or family member ever could. If you want to have the best friend or lover, you need to meet Jesus Christ, because nothing else can even compare.

If you really want to be cool while single, or cool period, let Jesus be your role model and friend. And I promise you, you will know true love for the rest of your life.