Things fit: a note to those “flying solo”


Lane texted me last week from a shoe store in Utah. The store sold primarily Nike products. A picture popped up on my screen of an awesome pair of grey Nike sneakers.

“7.5 please,” I texted back, not actually thinking he would buy the shoes for me.

A few minutes went by before he responded, “The smallest size they have is a size 8!”

It wasn’t until recently that I figured out my natural shoe size is a 7.5 and not a 8 but I’ve been wearing shoes in size 8 for years so I knew I could wear these too. However, if Lane had texted me with the news that they only had a size 6 or a size 7, I would have been out of luck. The shoes wouldn’t have fit me.

 

I think when it comes to relationships, we want things to fit as seamlessly as shoes. We date with the anticipation that things will work out. We work hard to make things fit with the person across the table. And sadly, not because it’s anyone’s fault, sometimes things just don’t fit. Two people don’t click. One person has more work to do. You both don’t see the same future. It’s okay to be different. It’s okay to realize you two want different things.

The wicked step sisters in the story of Cinderella were notable for trying to wedge their too-big feet into the tiny glass slipper. The original fairy tale actually illustrates the step-sisters cutting off portions of their feet so they could fit into the shoe. Bloodied up, they still didn’t get the happy ending they wanted. It simply wasn’t their story to live. This wasn’t their person.

Throughout my dating years, I knew myself to be guilty of trying to wedge myself into a box just so a guy would choose me. I thought that was the most important thing, to be chosen by someone. Being chosen is beautiful but making a choice because you know it’s the right one is an even better feeling. If dating leads to marriage and marriage leads to the long haul, you’ll want to be sure of the investment your making. You will want to be sure of that person’s character, ambitions, capacity and how they respect you.

 

People have asked me to write about marriage and I honestly don’t have words yet. I think I should wait another 20 or 30 years before I ever try to claim I have wisdom on this topic. However, I know one thing to be true: Lane and I entered under the contract of marriage because we knew we were a fit. We asked the tough questions. We investigated any red flags. We held the relationship loosely, knowing if things were meant to crumble before marriage became an option then things would definitely crumble.

We wanted to the relationship– our unique partnership– to be more important than our own personal needs to be chosen for an ego boost. I can confidently say that if Lane or I knew things weren’t fitting then we would have walked away. It would have broken our hearts but we vowed to never wedge ourselves into a space where a love story wasn’t meant to happen.

 

If you’re impatient, it’s okay. I wish people would stop saying “when you learn to be content with your singleness, then the right person will come along.” That’s garbage. I honestly don’t think half of the people who say that even mean to phrase it that way– that’s just how we’ve packaged it in the last few years.

I hope what people are trying to say is that it’s okay if you don’t like being single. You don’t have to like it but you have to be careful not to hinge your life, your joy, or your completion to a relationship status. You were fine yesterday. You are fine today. You will be fine tomorrow.

Waiting for the day when you enjoy singleness actually may never happen. I can’t honestly say I ever looked at my singleness and thought, “I am absolutely loving this right now. Bring on more nights where the only spooning I do involves the one I am shoving into this huge vat of ice cream by myself.”

I never once became okay with being single. I learned to be independent, yes, but I never liked the solo life. I remember crying to my mom through the phone after a breakup two summers ago. This was the guy I dated before I met Lane.

“I’m not even upset about the person so much as I don’t want to have to go back into the game,” I cried. “I don’t want to have to play the dating game anymore.” I didn’t want to resign myself to a chair again and wait for more glass slippers to come along.

 

Lane came along shortly after and I remember being so impressed with how easy we were with one another. It wasn’t forced. I wasn’t trying to wedge myself into a place where I didn’t fit. When it’s the right person, there won’t be all this grey area, fog or confusion. That doesn’t mean it will always be easy or you two will never fight. Fighting– healthy fighting where the two of you learn how to communicate– is vital to a relationship. A relationship is two people who’ve lived a separate life coming together to build new territory together. That’s a heavy and light mission. When you find the right person, they’ll carry your heavy and you’ll handle their light.

 

I’ve been writing about fear so much lately because I am realizing just how much I allowed it to narrate my stories for me. If you allow fear to narrate your “flying solo” story, it will try to convince you your person isn’t out there. This isn’t a forever sentence. I can’t tell you when it will end or when that person will walk in. I can’t tell you how you’ll meet or what it will feel like for the first time. But I pray you’ll give someone a decent chance to create a new story with you.

Don’t try to wedge someone into an old story. Don’t be constantly checking to see if they measure up to stories you’ve lived before. This is something new. Something golden and new. Treat it like its sacred (because it is).

All of this happening right now– the lonely nights and the days you cry for no reason except for the fact that you thought you should have met that person by now– is all part of the story. It won’t be discounted when you two meet. It will only help you treasure the person more.

Stop thinking you’re in the wrong place. Stop thinking you’re getting off the wrong exit. Stop thinking they’re in another city or at a different coffee shop. Just stop and live the life you want to live. Be the person you imagined you would be before fear gave you other agendas. That person is going to love you when they find you in your element.

They will love you. You’ll breathe out relief. You won’t be striving or pushing. The two of you will just fit. Don’t worry, things fit.

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22 thoughts on “Things fit: a note to those “flying solo”

  1. That is just beautifully written, every bit of it. I have lived such experiences of trying to fit in with people (who are so wrong for you) as has probably every odd individual out there. One day it just fell away by the wayside as did the memories that do not even bother me now because of my husband. So yes, things do fit.

  2. I think this is everything I wanted to hear today. It’s like, the single life is hard but only because you keep telling yourself it’s hard. Sometimes it’s nice to be reminded that it’s okay to not be okay, and it’s even better to have the exact things you’re thinking solidified by someone else. Just a little confidence boost on this Tuesday. Thank you, Hannah!

    1. Kara,
      “…. it’s okay to not be okay…”
      This was a difficult truth for me when I was growing and learning more about who I am. I was reminded of some wise words I heard from a dear friend when I read your comment, “You can feel “joy” and “loss” in the exact same moment.” The context of this was my upcoming wedding and my heart was bouncing around with different emotions. It was a relief to hear that I wasn’t crazy, and that life can make the heart feel different things in the same moment in time. I had to learn exactly what you said, “it’s okay to not be okay”
      – Vivian

  3. hb, you are wise beyond your years.
    God has blessed you with such wisdom and insight. Thank you. ❤

  4. This is just what I needed to hear today. I love reading your blogs and posts. Wishing you a happy Tuesday!!

  5. Every Monday I get this incredible feeling when I open my inbox and there it is; your email. I smile (even if I look crazy) and open it, regardless of where I am or what I’m doing. These past few emails have made me to cry and to feel like flying all at the same time. It almost scares me how much I love your emails. I am still working on reading and taking in your email on rejection and this one about flying solo. I am recovering from a broken heart that still looks at him whenever we are in a room and feels a stab of pain all over again. But God has stayed so close through your emails Hannah and my incredible friends. I just wanted you to know your words are pushing me and teaching me in the most amazing ways. It is true, I do not enjoy being single. I miss having someone chose me and take me on dates. I miss turning on begin again and not being able to suppress my smile. Thank you so much for saying that is real. Thank you so much for this email.

    Sent from my car

    >

    1. Jess,
      I just signed up for Hannah’s “Monday Email Club” – at least, I feel like I’m in a club.
      I’m pumped to receive this email on the 20th and your sweet comment just made me about pop out of my seat with anticipation!

      – Vivian

  6. Ah Dear Hannah, Just what I needed to hear. My boyfriend is moving in at the end of this month and things feel so very right. It took a while to get to this place. I kept picking men who I thought I could try to fit with. Sometimes you lose yourself trying to be someone else. It’s so sweet to be yourself and have someone else who fits nicely. Thank you for your kind words and know they are true for many of us.

  7. Dear Hannah, thank you for this reminder! Since my boyfriend and I only broke up two months ago, I am not really searching at the moment, but there have been those moments when I just really wanted to be in a relationship with THE person. I want to go on developping and some time then I will meet that person and it will fit, we will fit, without all the complicated stuff. I am so looking forward to that! Until then I try to enjoy my life as much as I can.
    Love from the Netherlands, Merle

  8. I am sure this is not the first time someone has told you this has come at perfect of all timings. This has happened before but this was first time that it has been “knock me over the head” clear. Dear Hannah, these words come the day after of setting boundaries that I didn’t want to make but I did. Please email, I would love to chat more

  9. Great perspective. Thank you for sharing. While you dont have to love being single, you do have to love yourself enough to find enjoyment in life regardless of relationship status. That is what will attract the right fit, in my experience. Love how you put that holding a new relationahip loose enough to crumble if it needs to. Thats the hardest and best thing to do.

  10. Hannah, thank you so much for your honest and true words. I feel certain that your words are God-inspired; I had asked Him for a sign just tonight, to know how to proceed in my current situation, and then read your post. Thank you for allowing your light to shine so brightly in this world. Blessings.

  11. Though you claim no wisdom, you indeed are a very wise person in this topic. I can relate to every facet. When two people are happy together, it’s most likely because they share a vision of life or have common values and complement each other. I wish you all the best for your future and hope to read more.

  12. Congratulations on your marriage and finding the ONE. I know I have found the perfect man for me so foe that I am grateful, happy and satisfied. I feel like one of the lucky ones. And we have an interesting story where we had to re-connect with each other after a ten year span of being apart. But we always were in love with each other. If you would follow me or check out my blog I would greatly appreciate it. Either way thank you for your inspirational writings. -bel

  13. True!

    ——

    ♡ // Rachel Marie Kang

    On Tue, Mar 14, 2017 at 9:48 AM, HANNAH BRENCHER wrote:

    > hb. posted: ” Lane texted me last week from a shoe store in Utah. The > store sold primarily Nike products. A picture popped up on my screen of an > awesome pair of grey Nike sneakers. “7.5 please,” I texted back, not > actually thinking he would buy the shoes for me.” >

  14. This is great. I have been flying solo for over 4 years. I love it and have embraced it fully.
    I have many people tell me they feel sorry for me; yet I also have many married friends tell me they envy my life.
    At this point in time I am way too happy and content with being “safe” in my own bubble to try anything else different. And for now, I am okay with that. Maybe some day it will change. Maybe not. But I have had great loves along the way and I would not trade those moments for anything now.

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