Here are some ways to make the most of this time in your life, which has opportunities and blessings all its own.
Just one verse each day.
If you’re single, you’re probably meant for marriage — God calls most people to the married life. So that’s the good news (if you want to be married, of course). The bad news is that finding someone can be difficult. And it’s extra challenging in a culture that promotes personal happiness and instant gratification as the highest goals.
Marriage will only make you truly happy when you delay your own happiness and gratification–over and over again, day in and day out. And our culture doesn’t train any of us to be ready for that reality.
That said, you CAN find someone. And it might be this year. But for today, you are single. And God asks us to be faithful in the present moment. So the way for you to be holy is to live generously in your current situation. There are no guarantees about tomorrow and today is all any of us have.
Here are some ways to make the most of this moment in your life, based on my own experience.
Devote one hour a week to an activity that brings you joy and restores you.
One way to be most prepared for marriage when it happens is to know yourself. The more fully “you” that you are, the more you can be ready to give yourself in a happy, healthy relationship. In order to do that, figure out what brings you joy. Whether it’s reading, painting, skiing, or refurbishing old furniture, find an activity that revitalizes you, and leaves you feeling whole. Then devote an hour a week to that activity. (A great day for this would be Sunday).
Make a commitment to your parish.
All people are called to contribute to family life in the human family in some way, even if we never marry (check out the Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 2231). It is easy when you are married to learn to give of yourself, as you have your spouse right there to learn how to love. It is not so easy to learn to give and love if you are single, simply because you have to make an extra effort to find people to give of yourself to.
One way to love while single is to make a commitment to your parish. Is there a ministry you can join or even start at your church? Contribute to the common good of your parish family, and learn to love generously the quirks and flaws of everyone who does ministry with you, as well as the people you serve.
Check out content for singles who love the Church.
Not a lot of priests preach with single people in mind. Not many parish functions are geared towards single Catholics, especially if you are no longer a “young adult.” It can be hard to remember that there are lots of Catholics like you.
To fight the feeling of isolation, make sure you are checking out content written for you. Relate 2023, a free conference for single Catholics, is coming up soon. Also, Catholic dating sites often offer good blog articles and videos and other resources with single Catholics in mind.
Spend 10 minutes a day in silent prayer.
This advice should really be first in this list. At the end of the day, no matter what you do, spending time with God in prayer is the most important. Start a habit of sitting in silence with Him now, and then it will be established no matter what happens in your vocational journey going forward. A spouse won’t fulfill you. Neither will 10 more minutes of scrolling. Or even 10 more minutes of volunteer work. God, who made you, and keeps you, will fulfill you. Get to know Jesus a little more every day.
Take care of your body by getting better sleep.
Choose a time to put your phone away every night, and stick to that time. Sleep better, live better. If you need to be able to answer texts from friends, or have your phone next to you as an alarm, here are some ideas about how to let your phone help you sleep rather than preventing you from slumber. Or if sleep is something you have already figured out, choose another way to protect your temple of the Holy Spirit. Maybe that’s eating better or moving more or going to the doctor for a physical this year. Whatever it is, do something proactive this year for your health.
Patron saints of singleness — St. Raphael, St. Joseph, St. Anne, Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati, to name a few — pray for us!