Recently I had coffee with some new acquaintances where I mentioned that I didn’t get married until I was 32 years old. One of the gals in her early 20s stared at me in disbelief. She said she was freaking out that she wasn’t married yet so she couldn’t imagine how I felt waiting till I was 32.

To be honest, I really wasn’t freaking out at all. Yes, during my single years there were times I was lonely and wanted to meet my future husband but overall I really enjoyed my single years and you can do the same! In fact it’s important to spend your single years wisely, becoming a whole and healthy person who can join with another whole and healthy person in marriage.

Here are five ways to be intentional about making the most of your single years and how they can help prepare you for a great marriage.

#1: Become the Best Version of Yourself
I always encourage people to become the type of person they would actually want to date and marry themselves. As a single woman pursuing God, working full-time in my chosen arena, and having solid character, the last person I would have wanted to date was a wishy-washy guy who couldn’t make a commitment and shirked responsibility.

When you take time to work toward becoming the best version of yourself, it’s not only a win for you, but you attract a similar quality of person.

#2: Take Time to Pursue Your Passions
Now is a great time to begin pursuing the hobbies and interests that make your heart sing. When I was single I made goals to keep me on track with pursuing hobbies I loved to do; like writing, reading for fun, and spending time at the beach.

One of things I found so attractive about my husband when we started dating were all the interests he had and pursued as a single man. He wasn’t sitting around feeling sorry for himself because he was single, quite the opposite; he was restoring classic cars, going to wine tastings and enjoying time with his friends. As singles, he and I both had our own well-formed interests and identities, and still do.

#3: Learn About Healthy Relationships & Marriages
Being single is a great time to learn about marriage. When I was single I read some very insightful marriage books and also books about how God has wired men and women. I attended a marriage conference (that was open to singles). I also observed the relationships around me and noticed which characteristics made for a great marriage.

I made a decision to be intentional about becoming more emotionally healthy myself and to marry someone who was the same in that regard. So, I encourage you to listen to podcasts, read books, and ask lots of questions to married friends. Start to figure out what makes for a great relationship before it arrives.

#4: Grow Your Character
The dictionary defines character as “the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual”. There have been specific times in my life when I made a decision to break with unhealthy behaviors because they did not jive with the person I wanted to become.

While we continue to grow in character throughout our lives, being single is the best time to begin being intentional about it. I encourage you to become intentional about stopping behaviors that don’t line up with who God created you to be.

#5: Become Financially Healthy
Being single is a great time to learn to make wise decisions with your money. Being able to provide for yourself when you’re single and aiming to be able to provide for a family when married are great goals. Another great goal is paying off any debt as quickly as you are able.

No, money isn’t everything, but the #1 stress in marriage is usually finances. There are times when illness or tragedy throws a person or family into the financial weeds, but more often it happens as a result of our own poor choices. Make a decision today to get healthy in the area of finances.

Enjoying and making the most of your single years is a great way to launch into a healthy future. What are you waiting for?

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