1: BELIEVE in Yourself
My first problem was my inability to believe that I was pretty enough and interesting enough to attract an amazing husband who would possess all the values and characteristics I sought. I had many (inaccurate) negative opinions about myself after multiple painful losses and I often struggled with feeling like a failure (insert looser).
You too may feel like nothing is going right in your world and that it never will. You may feel like it is impossible to improve your job, marital status, friendships, health ... you name it. The good news is that ALL those situations CAN dramatically improve and your dreams CAN come true with some simple shifts in understanding who God says you are and by correcting your mindset.
Even though I spent years in counseling unpacking the layers of where my mistaken beliefs came from, I was never able to shift my mindset and fully believe that I was loveable. What helped most was this devotional I wrote. When you believe in yourself and know how loveable you are, you feel more confident and enjoy meeting new friends and potential mates, so you are no longer lonely.
HOT TIP: Once I STARTED CORRECTING MY BELIEFS, my perfect spouse showed up!
Grab my free devotional for learning how to believe in yourself.
2: FIND FRIENDS, who give you hope
Easier said than done I understand. Most “friends” were too busy to sit with me through the tears, the hopeless moments, the disappointing dates, and crying over the unhealthy men I still attracted. These friendships lasted 2.5 seconds before the gals lost patience or simply had other priorities. However, one thing I had going for me is I am extremely perseverant. So, with each friendship disappointment, I put on my big girl panties and sought new friends in new places; church services, choir practice, women’s retreats, singles groups, coffee dates, divorce support groups, online support groups, volunteering (and I hate volunteering), bible studies, etc.
I think at one point I had joined EVERY ACTIVITY at a FEW different churches. I could barely even sing, yet I gave it my best shot by joining the choir! The point here is that I had to persevere to find 3 gems (among the hundreds of women I met) willing to sit with me through all the crap. I felt unlovable and undesirable as a friend from the years of abandonment by loved ones in my life, but God still sent Cindy, Betty, & Abby to teach me how to hope and believe in myself. Here's the secret to this tip: It’s a numbers game. Just like dating. Too many people give up at this stage feeling like, “I’m the odd man out, I will never find a friend who truly cares to invest their time and energy in me, someone who truly gets me”, BUT hear me loudy! Perseverance and REPEATED invitations lead to lifelong friendships. Spending time with others IN PERSON is crucial at this point to feel the energy and caring of another human. My suggestion... find true friends that will pray over you and speak LIFE into you. If you need some suggestions of places to meet friends use my free list here.
3: TRUST, the good friends you do find
When they offer hope that you will find connection and a healthy mate, use their faith until you believe it. Fake it till you make it if you have to. Remember this, God brings new people into our lives at just the right time. It may be a lifelong friend with whom you discover new depths, or it may just be a one-time coffee date. Either way, God chooses to put women in our lives to enrich us, both to challenge and encourage us. Without taking that risk, we may miss some sweet fellowship. Trust that God will do work in your life by supplying just the right person, or people, in his perfect timing to walk with you on this journey.
4: PRAY and READ
I had work to do on my spiritual self before I was ready for a healthy mate. I spent hours in the Bible learning, healing, and reconnecting with God. The Father hears you and knows what you need. I cried out to him for 5 years. I was honestly never content being single and I told God that daily. (Like he needed my input!) I was raw in my honesty with Him. And He listened. Really really well. One day I was fully healed spiritually and ready for a healthy companion.
5: SEEK COUNSELING
Although I was a licensed psychologist, I was blind to the reasons that caused me to make repeated errors in relationships. I had years of trauma to overcome after the effects of my parent’s divorce, 2 failed marriages, failed friendships, and high school bullying. Feel like you cannot afford it? I found free counseling services at my church that were life-saving. After months of seeking their spiritual counseling, my heart was fully healed emotionally and ready to open myself up for a healthy companionship.