When you get married at 22, you go from being a member of a family to being a member of a family. When you get married at 29, you have 7 years of not being a member of a family unit -- true you are still a part of a family, but you likely aren't living with them, spending weeknights with your parents, celebrating every promotion or mourning bad days with your family. you may even live a long ways from them.
There are a lot of pluses to having some years where your "at home" family unit is just you -- you learn to take care of yourself, learn to value family more, gain some independence, etc. But, you also have a lot of days where the good and bad go unnoticed, where you aren't poured into and cared for and you aren't doing that to anyone else. There aren't family meals and discussions of days. There's no one to make heart shaped pancakes or pizza with on valentines day or to watch Christmas movies with all month in December. You still have a family to go home to for major holidays, but every other special or hard day is lived alone...and sometimes thats great (less pressure) and sometimes it stinks!
So, create a family of friends. I know I've discussed this before (but this is my summary week on singleness so listen again!!!) -- but when you are single, you're friends and roomies are your family. You fight with them, learn to compromise with them (all good marriage training), cry with them, celebrate holidays with them, cook dinners and discuss your day with them, celebrate promotions, mourn breakups, bring soup when they are sick, etc. You're friends- particularly your single friends- are your family away from home.
The best thing I did in my 20s was make good friends....such good friends, in fact, that I tear up when I think about moving. We truly did live life together which is how community ought to be. I think that is a plus to singleness. We get it, we understand Christian fellowship and its importance in a believer's life, we know that community is so important! Being married can only fill some of my need for fellowship, Dave can't meet every single fellowship need I have or vice versa. I still need good friends and a church family! I sometimes see married friends slip into "husband and children" world which I understand, but it makes me sad--- sad because no one likes to be dumped and sad because they are missing out on great community!
So, while you're single -- make friends. Make lots of single friends- guys and gals because you need community who is in the same stage of life and free for last minute dinners, wine nights, etc. You need guy friends who can help you change tires and move and they need girl friends who will bring the food to the parties! (clearly thats stereotypical but its how my friendships worked!)
Work hard to stay in touch with married friends. You need them and they need you. And do your best to encourage an mixing of both worlds...no need to have a singles club and a married club, just a young Christian club. Make friends with older people and younger people.
You have the time and the real need for friendship at this stage of life...so enjoy those friendships to the fullest. They really are some of the deepest friendships you will have!
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