3 Ways to Make the Most of Your Single Life
Photo by Eric Ward
Don’t let your single life go to waste! In today’s culture, especially for us Catholic singles, the temptation is real to spend our days doing nothing to help us be who God created us to be. The single life is full of opportunities to help us prepare for heaven and also for marriage if we’re called to it.
We should be intentional about how we spend our time as single Catholics. That’s why I want to share with you three ways to make the most of your single life.
Here they are:
- Pursue the Lord
- Live a life of virtue and generosity
- Be part of a community
Pursue the Lord
How would I describe my relationship to the Lord? Is it complicated? Are we BFF’s? Is He over there, and I’m awkwardly over here? Do we even talk?
The simplest way to pursue Him is to simply spend time with Him.
We can do this most obviously through Adoration. Because Jesus Christ is truly present in the Eucharist, getting that face time with Him is literally spending time in His presence. This is my favorite way of spending time with Him. I’m currently trying to rebuild a habit of going to Adoration weekly because there’s now a perpetual Adoration chapel near my work.
Of course, prayer is another obvious way to pursue the Lord. Through prayer, we open up a line of communication to God in order to talk to Him and to allow Him to talk to us. What’s important is that we take time out of our day to pursue Him in prayer. Personally, I like praying the Liturgy of the Hours, especially Morning Prayer, as a way to pray praises of God in psalm and verse to kickstart the day.
Lastly, we can also pursue God through reading Scripture. God has already revealed Himself through Scripture so we just need to spend time thumbing and scrolling through Scripture to encounter Him. My favorite way of reading Scripture is to do Lectio Divina, or sacred reading, in order to savor and reflect on His Word.
Live a life of virtue and generosity
Matthew Kelly, of Dynamic Catholic fame, has a Lighthouse Catholic CD of a talk he gave. The entire point of his talk was (and you have to say it with an Australian accent), “Be the best version of yourself!” Why? Because God desires you to be the best version of yourself, and we can do that by living a life of virtue and generosity. Being single isn’t an excuse to live a life of sin and self-centeredness.
What is virtue? Simply put, it’s a good and holy habit, and we can grow in virtue by developing those good and holy habits. In order to be the best versions of ourselves, we can’t be bogged down by sin. Therefore, we should strive to free ourselves from our sin and vices, and learn to be better at choosing the way, the truth, and the life in Christ.
Growing in virtue doesn’t happen overnight. I think it’s useful to focus on developing one good habit at a time. You can only change what you can measure. Use a habit tracking app or use pen and paper to track habits. Ask yourself, “Did I do (this good habit) today? Yes or no?”
One way to battle your vices is to identify your triggers. As an example, if you get super angry when someone cuts you off on the highway, formally acknowledge it by saying, “triggered”. Write these triggers down somewhere. That way, you can review them and think about how you can better respond to those triggers the next time they happen.
When we’re the best version of ourselves, we’re better able to live a life of generosity. When you’ve got holy habits going for you, you’re better able to present your genuine, good self to others. Be generous and share your gifts!
My favorite and primary way to share my gifts is to volunteer at my parish. The Mass and youth ministry are the main ways I serve at my parish. Just through those ministries, I can utilize my various skills that God has gifted me with. Mixed up in all those skills are many opportunities to be virtuous, especially in regards to being held accountable to live out a virtuous life.
I’m sure your parish has opportunities for you to live a generous single life, but if not, certainly your local community does! Take some time to seek those out, and if you can’t find something that you’re interested in, start it!
Be part of a community
Part of our human nature is to be social. We’re not meant to be one-man (or one-woman) wolf packs no matter how cool that sounds. God Himself is a community of love as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We’re made in His image and likeness. And as such, it’s important to be part of a community just as He is a community.
Our family is the first community we encounter. Even as a young adult living on my own, I still make an effort to spend time with my parents, brother, and some of my extended family since they all live nearby. For me, it’s really tempting to get caught up in doing my own thing so I try to be intentional about spending time with them.
Of course, I have friends as well, and my friends are another sort of community. With friends, I also try to be intentional about spending time growing in friendship and hanging onto the friends that help me be the best version of myself. Having a community means that I am not really ever alone.
Being part of a community isn’t too hard. The key is to actively engage in one and pursue it. Commit to spending every Sunday with family, if you can. Join clubs or organizations that have a shared interest with you. And similar to the previous point on living a life of generosity, go be active and involved at your parish.
For me, I’m active in my parish’s young adult group. We do Lectio Divina weekly on the previous Sunday’s Gospel as a way to have fellowship and build community while also pursuing the Lord.
Living a single life in today’s secularized culture poses many temptations. It’s easy to live life with an “it’s all about me” attitude. But we’re called to more. Living a life of holiness is how we can live a single life of abundance, and not a single life wasted away.
Why is that important? Because if we have hopes to be married one day, should we be called to it, marriage still requires pursuing a relationship with the Lord, a life of virtue and generosity, and being part of a greater community. Being single is a good time to work on these things while we discern the next vocation.
Please pray for me, and know that I’m praying for you. And remember–don’t let your single life go to waste!