It seems like just yesterday that I was single. Years that passed by like the slow-ticking off a clock, are now behind me like faint memory of a very-real dream.

But through my ministry at truelovedates.com, I have the awesome opportunity of interacting with singles of all ages as I write about topics of love, dating, relationships and singleness.

Interacting with them has taught me one thing: that across the span of age, color, nationality and religion- there are times when it’s really hard to be single in a world that seems to cater to couples and families. I empathize with that reality, and I appreciate the struggle, because it’s a struggle that reminds us that we were made for relationships.

Yet no matter who you are or what you’ve been through, the struggles of singleness don’t have to take center-stage. I am challenged by the men and women I hear from everyday, and excited to see how they are using their time of singleness for great things. Here are some things to consider doing while you’re still single: 

Find Your Passion: Passion is the launching pad of life. It will propel you forward and shape you into the person God has called you to be. There’s no better time to invest in yourself than when you are standing alone. Ask God to shape your passions, and then begin to take the necessary next steps. 

Travel Often: Consider the cost, inconvenience, and difficulty of seeing the world as a family of four and you’ll quickly believe that traveling becomes a rare luxury after a certain stage of life. I am so glad I had the opportunity to see many parts of the world while I had the time, energy, and resources during my years of being single. Use this time to experience new things, visit new places, and meet new people. 

Pursue Your Career and Dreams: I love hearing from men and women who are pursuing their life, careers, and dreams rather than simply waiting around for the right person. As I talk about in True Love Dates, the process of finding the right person involves knowing who you are and what kind of person will fit into your life. Start creating the life you want now, and you’ll easily recognize who fits into it when the time comes.

Invest in Family: After graduate school, I spent an entire year living at home. To be honest, I had to fight the stigma that often comes being an adult child living with the parents. But I look back at that time as a valuable commodity, and a time I wouldn’t trade for the world. I had the chance of spending quality time with my parents, and being in close proximity to my extended family. It’s so much harder to carve out that quality time as life progresses. Take advantage and invest in those you love. 

Plug into Community: Singleness can often be a hard stage because we were made for relationships, by a God who created us that way. We need people, and one way to begin quenching that need is by connecting with the people God has placed in our life through Christian community. I am so thankful for the mentors, friends, pastors, and leaders who have poured into me and helped shape the course of my life. Be deliberate about reaching out, but more so, be deliberate about letting people in. 

Prepare for the Future Financially: I regret not thinking more about this part of my life during my time as a single. But for those who take the time to do so, preparing for the future now saves so much time and energy later on. Learn to budget, manage your debt, and give to God and those in need. It will be so much less you’ll have to learn later!