Being Single/Dating/My Relationships I Didn’t Date in High School and Here’s Why by Laurie Medina Maybe it’s because I went to an all-girls Catholic school and there were slim pickings anyways. Maybe it’s because I was socially awkward and didn’t know how to talk to boys. Maybe it’s because I was too busy with involvements and friends and everything else. Sure. While those reasons are all part of the answer, there’s a better reason (actually a few better reasons) why I didn’t date in high school… and why maybe you should do the same. Don’t get me wrong — I’m not saying that dating in high school is a bad thing. Sometimes dating in high school is a good learning experience. Sometimes — rarely, I’m afraid — high school sweethearts can turn into long-lasting relationships and marriages. But typically, when we’re in high school, we’re not ready for serious relationships. In high school, we’re trying to figure out who we are and have so much to learn about ourselves before they can really share life with another person. When I discovered this, I decided that the most valuable thing I could do with my time in high school was to invest in myself and in my friends, and let me tell ya sisters — I do not regret a single thing. Put Your Girlfriends First I am here to tell you that being single and being young is a gift. Instead of spending your time pining over a boy or wishing you weren’t single, take advantage of your single years to invest in building a community of empowered and holy women. While my guy friends are some of the absolute best people in my life, there is simply nothing like having a good group of gal pals. It is so important, especially now, to build virtuous friendships with women who will consistently lead you to Christ, share their hearts with you, accept you in your messiness, sing at the top of their lungs with you, who know all the best quotes from your favorite cheesy film, who will comfort you and listen to you, and who know how to love you very well… Did I just describe your ideal boyfriend? See! Who needs one? (Tehe. Only kind of kidding.) But trust me — there’s nothing like the solidarity, encouragement, and steadfast love of a good band of gal pals. Being a young, single woman is a perfect opportunity to build up community with other amazing women and abide together with the Lord. Invest in Yourself If you’ve ever watched the cheesy safety videos on an airplane before take off, you’ll know what I am talking about when I say you gotta put your own oxygen mask on before you can assist others. It sounds selfish on the surface but it actually is selfless in the long run, because you can’t be free to help the person next to you put their oxygen mask on if you can’t breathe yourself. What I’m trying to say is… How can you love someone else, be a life-giving friend, or foster fruitful relationships if you’re not taking care of yourself first? By building up your character, resting in your identity, and investing in yourself, you become more of the person God created you to be, and you will be more free to love another person more fully in the future. Volunteer at a homeless shelter or pregnancy crisis center. Learn to knit. Read a good book. Follow the lives of the saints. Learn how to play an instrument. Go to an art class. Learn a new language. Take a workout class with your friends. Babysit the children of your favorite married couple. Get involved in your youth group. Run for class president. Work on the school newspaper. Do the things that make you happy. Be authentically you. Work hard, find your passions, develop your talents, and learn more. Most importantly, spend time in prayer everyday with the Lord. It is time for you to rise and live a full, joyous life. Being single doesn’t mean you cease to be interesting, or valuable, or fun. In fact, it just means you have all the more time to thrive. Know Your Worth “Ladies, demand that men live first in purity and in virtue before you let them have your heart or your attention.” Your relationship status does not have anything to do with your worth. If you find yourself looking around at all the couples and desiring to be seen by boys, remember this: you are set apart for a great purpose. When it comes to relationships, you have been created for love with Christ, so you were made for relationship with a man who leads you closer to Him in word and deed. A man who desires to know your heart and guards it, who cherishes you, uplifts you, protects you. Keep your standards high, and never settle for less than what you deserve as a beloved daughter of the King. Trust in His Promise My sisters, if there’s anything at all you remember from this post let it be this: our God is faithful. He never goes back on His promises. If you are called to marriage someday, your future spouse is out there and is getting to you as fast as he can. There is no need for you to worry. There is no need for you to try and rush God’s plan for your life. At the end of the day, your high school experience should be centered on building a relationship with Christ and surrounding yourself with like-minded women who will walk with you towards Heaven. Whether you choose to date or not, give thanks for all He has done for you, all He has given you, and always remember that He will not abandon you. As you navigate the single season of your life, it will be tempting to default to dating to “fix your loneliness” or to fit in. But trust me: if you are single in high school, that’s OK. you are exactly where you are meant to be. The Lord has called you higher, and He is not outdone in generosity. Sisters, if you spend your time investing in yourself, in your relationship with the Lord, and in building up a community of Kingdom seekers, there is nothing you will lack.