Maybe you’ve heard the popular Christian singles cliche. “Once you’re okay being alone then God will bring someone into your life.”

For the record, this is bullshit.

And I’m sorry if this was the thoughtless word of wisdom you received in response to reaching out and sharing that maybe, just maybe, you were struggling in the midst of your singleness. Though I bet your friend, mother, or grandmother had good intentions, I would venture to say this isn’t exactly what you needed to hear at the time. In fact, it’s not what you need to hear ever.

I want you to know you don’t have to play games with God.

This whole idea of settling into a faux singleness peace just so that God will snap his fingers and have us magically bump into “the one” on the street is actually pretty manipulative. It’s as though we think we can twist the will of God by pretending we’re okay. How many times had I written in my journal that I was okay with being single? All the while, I was secretly hoping I could offer it up as a sacrifice and earn God’s good favor.

At the end of the day pretending we’re okay when we’re not is actually the opposite of worship. Worship is coming before God in spirit AND in truth. Anything less is a lie and a fleeting attempt to manipulate the God who desires for you to approach him in full vulnerability.

God has the best for you.

At the end of the day do we all rest in this truth deep down in our bones? Do we actually believe that our current situation is helping us to be the best versions of ourselves? God, being infinite in love and goodness, has our best in mind. By his nature, he is primarily concerned with you and what is best for you. If he were preoccupied with anything else, then he would actually cease to be God. Chew on that for a while.

As C.S. Lewis writes in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, “Safe […] Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”

There’s nothing safe about God and our a season of singleness. They’re both incredibly risky. But they’re good; they’re so very good. They’re both wild and full of adventure and part of our becoming if we would just allow the necessary space.

I won’t say singleness is a gift. I know that’s the last thing you want to hear right now. It may feel like a gift in the sense that you didn’t ask for it, and you would love to return it for some cash or an in-store credit.

But I will say singleness is an opportunity to learn to date yourself.

When it’s all said and done, you get this one life to live. Right now that life happens to be in the context of singleness. It would be a shame, so contrary to the best God has for you, to press pause or fast forward when you could simply play.

Singleness is a great time to learn the art of play and to learn the art of dating yourself. My friend Ally Fallon talks about treating herself the way she would want a spouse to treat her. We can’t wait for our future significant others to tell us the things we want to hear or ascribe us value and worth. Instead, we can start now in small quiet ways.

Start small by reminding yourself of who you really are. Take good care of yourself. Join that club, start taking those classes, book the ticket. We desperately want to be known. So, what would it look like to commit to knowing ourselves?

You are worth knowing not so you can get what you want but because of who you are. I hope that you discover yourself if for no other reason than because you’re incredible.