Hey there lonely girl… (Please don’t respond!)

36 years, 10 months and 12 days…

On November 2nd I’ll be 37 and most likely STILL VERY single!

I’m intelligent, a pretty good mom, family oriented, sort of domestic, an entrepreneur, sincere, fashionable, a great friend, gainfully employed, I’m funny as ever, a joy to be around, I love to encourage people and the list goes on and on.

Hold it….

This sort of sounds like a synopsis for an online dating profile doesn’t it? We all know I’ll never try online dating again. Funny stuff right?

If you haven’t read my dating story yet, check it out, it’s a HOT mess.

I am usually okay with being single but as of late it’s been a struggle.

I guess it’s because I am getting closer to the big 4 0 and there are no prospects around, not one.

Most of the time I’m not bothered by being alone but sometimes loneliness tries to grip me and it’s never good.

Loneliness can cause huge problems if we respond to it improperly.

Loneliness is a liar, a threat to self-esteem, an attention seeker and one of the culprits of wasted time.

It can rob you of your common sense and logic if you allow it to do so.

In the distant past I suffered physical pain due to the sting of loneliness.

I remember it as if it were yesterday. I like to keep the experience in the forefront of my mind because I responded to loneliness incorrectly, it resulted in pain on my end and confusion for the other party.

I was home alone one night and I began to long for male attention. I wanted attention from a specific person. He was my ex and he was in a relationship at the time, living with a woman. I was playing with fire. We both still loved each other very much but I knew we weren’t going to work out, it wasn’t meant to be. We considered getting married while we were together, I’m so glad we didn’t make that huge mistake. Anyway, he answered my call as he did so many times. Did I mention I had been drinking A LOT of wine? Yup, so you know in that moment I was like the wino who cries over the memories of yesteryear.

At that time alcohol was my lonely juice I would drink to “ease the pain” I felt. We know that was a horrible idea! Let me help you friend, NOTHING outside of dealing with issues head on will help and heal you. You can’t numb it with drugs, you’ll end up an addict. You can’t fix it with sex, you’ll end up empty. You can’t drown them in alcohol, you’ll end up an alcoholic. I know it’s scary and painful but we have to confront our struggles and seek help when needed.

So he notices my intoxicated state and asked me, “why are you drunk?”

I became offended by his question and told him I am an adult and I can drink if I want to.

We tried to engage in sexual activity but we couldn’t because we knew it was not the right thing to do. I started to cry and began to express to him my battle with loneliness, he just held me. He said, “Tia what do you want from me?” I wanted to feel desired.

I was aching that night, in literal physical pain because of loneliness. I let it get the best of me and I regretted it for so long, but today I don’t regret it because I use this moment to teach me what not to do moving forward.

Loneliness will cause you to drag other people into your vortex of foolishness if you feed into it.

Loneliness isn’t a bad thing. It’s normal to feel lonely when you’re single but if we don’t address this elephant in the room and deal with it properly it can cause issues.

I know I am attractive, smart and all of the attributes I opened this post with.

I am completely cognizant of my worth, I know who my Father is.

I am sort of clear on my purpose in life and I am actively working toward achieving it.

Even with all of this knowledge of self I desire to hear from the lips of one of Gods sons how beautiful I am.

How nice I smell, how much he appreciates my intellect and how much he loves my hair.

It’s not a constant battle for me, it’s more like a quarterly one. A quarterly battle that I am no longer ashamed of. I used to be so ashamed of desiring a mate, I thought it was a sign of weakness.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to be in a relationship or desiring to date someone. The issue arises when this is your chief focus in life.

I used to have a group of friends who thrived off of the desire to have a husband, it was their raison d’etre. I almost fell in the same pit with them, but I quickly shook that off.

Each time I responded to loneliness it resulted in pain, loss of time and shame.

One day I subjected myself to a guy I would not even think twice about had I not been lonely. That was the last time I had a “knee jerk” response to loneliness. The way he spoke to me suggested I was just a “number in the running”. He dealt with me in a manner I have NEVER experienced in my life.

This is when I knew I had enough!

I can go on for days telling you about my loneliness induced escapades, but I respect your time so I’ll help you instead.

How do I respond to the urges of loneliness now?

I remind myself of what happens to me when I have a “knee jerk” response to the urge. It harms more than it helps. Honestly I have not encountered one person in my quest to fill the “void” who was actually worth my time.

I don’t beat myself up about desiring male attention, it’s totally normal.

I leave the house and go for a walk to the local shopping center and purchase a few VERY adorable items from the sales rack, retail therapy is ALWAYS a plus when you can afford it.

Please don’t go on a Michael Kors frenzy shopping spree, spending ALL of your bill money! BALANCE!

I call my best friend, whine in her ear for a few moments and allow her to make me laugh, she’s amazing!

I call my sister and she gives me a wake up call if I am feeling as if something “has to be wrong” with me.

I realize anything worth having is worth waiting for and I am waiting to meet someone amazing.

I override the thoughts of entertaining a “Mr. Right Now”.

The MOST important thing I do is pray for contentment.

I know it sounds “cliche” and some people will lie to you and tell you that prayer does not help them concerning this matter, but it REALLY does help.

When you take anything to God in prayer He can and WILL help you.

The bible says in 1st Corinthians 10:13, the temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.

Look at the promises of God here in this scripture.

The first thing I see here is I am NOT the only one going through, that brings comfort.

Second I see God is faithful, that brings me tremendous comfort.

Third I see God will not allow me to be tempted beyond what I can stand, WOW look at that. I am already equipped to handle ALL life throws at me, look at how amazing our Father is!

Fourth I see a promise that says God will SHOW me an ESCAPE route, amazing!

So in this one scripture I have four promises!

I am not alone, God is constantly faithful to me, I will not be tempted beyond what I am able to handle and God will show me an escape route!

When God shows you the escape route please take it!

What we need to do in prayer is remind ourselves of what the word says to us about our situations, all of the answers are in the book! If you need clarity on the book, ask someone you can trust and most importantly ask God to help you understand.

In Philippians 10: 11–13 Paul talks about his ability to be content in any situation he finds himself in.

But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Through Christ I can do ALL things, even exercise self-control as it relates to my desire to be desired by a man.

Through Christ I can ask God to help me to respond to loneliness in a healthy way that pleases Him, not with drinking myself into an emotional frenzy or entertaining my thoughts of a “Mr. Right Now”.

Through Christ I can keep myself focused on what matters to me the most and that is becoming more like Him.

Friend if you find yourself slipping into a loneliness induced situation, slow down and think about what you’re about to do.

Is it worth the heartache it’s going to cause?

Is this person someone you would even entertain if you were in your right mind?

Will you tarnish your integrity if you do what you are pondering?

Does this match what you are trying to do in your life right now?

Why them?

Remember lonely only lasts for a few moments at a time and it’s not worth the response.

Think about some positive reinforcements that can combat the urge to have a “knee jerk” response.

I am not sure how long we will have to wait for the right person to come along but I am sure they are coming.

I am also confident in the plan God has for your life and I know if you allow the wrong person in your life it can cause more damage than you need right now.

I know for a fact prayer works and I encourage you to pray.

Meditate on the scriptures I shared with you and see that God wants you whole.

God wants you healed.

God wants you to be cognizant of your time, your space and your value.

Friend, I am praying for us!