My friend wants to be in on this no man plan stuff but has no idea where to begin. During her inquiring, I realized that my last blog entry on this topic, "My 'No Man Plan'", I wrote about why I have the plan, and the intentions of my plan. I did not, however, write about how this kind of plan works.
As my friend asked me her questions, I realized...My plan isn't really about having a plan. It's more about having a realization.
One of the biggest lessons I have learned in life is that plans...well...They don't always go according to plan. It's good to have plans. They give a sense of direction, they give you a goal. However, in addition to having a plan - you also have to carry around a bit of flexibility.
Here's the thing. Yes, I have a "no man plan"...But just because I have this plan, if a guy were to pursue me and ask me on a date, it doesn't mean I'll instantly tell him no because of this plan. (It doesn't necessarily mean I'll tell the guy yes either...ha!) After all, God's plans for my life are always bigger than what I can think up myself. If a guy starts pursuing me, I have to be willing to be flexible…Otherwise I may miss out on one of God's blessings for my life.
For all I know, at the end of the five years of my "No Man Plan", I may meet a guy. Or...God may say, "Forget five years! There's a great guy who is going to start pursuing you next week!" Then again, God may instead say, "You can make a bigger impact on this world for Me by staying single than if you were to get married."
No matter how my life plays out, the point of my plan isn't necessarily to cut romance out of my life completely. Once again, if a guy pursues me sooner than later, I may say, "Ok. Let's give this a shot." However, if no guy pursues me in the near future - then I'm okay with that too!
Having a "No Man Plan" really means that I've come to a realization. I've realized and acknowledged that life isn't just about falling in love with Prince Charming and to marry him. Life is about living! I don't need to be married to live a life worth living. I don't need to be validated by a man like many women seem to do - as my worth is not in a single male human-being. My worth is found in Christ and who I am as a person.
Yes, I would LOVE to be married one day...I'd telling you a huge lie if I told you I wanted to be single for the rest of my life. Having this plan doesn't make this desire disappear. It just changes the way I look at the world, who I am as a person, and the decisions I make. It is my way of saying, "I don't need to be married to live."
Someone recently asked me, "What are you doing to do when your 'no man plan' expires in 5 years?" I told them, "Probably the same thing I'm doing now. I'll live life to the fullest, whether I am single, dating, or married." I'm not out looking for love. If love comes and finds me, then so be it.
It often saddens me when look at some friends who are literally always searching for love (as if it's their one and only life goal) and always asking, "When is this mystery man coming my way? When am I going to meet the one?" It sometimes seems as though they're just sitting, waiting…and waiting…and waiting…Not doing anything else but sitting in the waiting room of the love department of life.
I always want to tell those friends, "Don't you realize there is more to life than men??" Many of my friends who do this are unhappy in life and will tell you that they aren't happy. When someone is constantly searching for love…searching for something they want but don't have…I think they put a lot of unnecessary pressure on themselves. No matter how hard you search, no matter how hard you wish, dream, or pray…it won't make that perfect guy walk in front of you and have him ask you out. Plus, if you focus on what you don't have - sometimes you can forget about what you do have.
For those of you wanting tips on having a "No Man Plan"...Here you go:
- Realize the beauty in marriage, but also realize the beauty in being single!
- Realize life isn't about meeting somebody. Life's purpose is bigger than getting married.
- Find something to do. Get a hobby, go to school. Set some goals. Keep busy! Find something you're passionate about and strive towards the passion. If you keep busy doing the things you love, you have less time to think about what you don't have. By being involved in what you love, it brings the feeling of natural joy and happiness. It brings a sense of purpose. I love the job I currently have - and I absolutely love studying ASL. I have a goal to become an interpreter, hopefully for the medical field if I can become skilled enough. By keeping myself busy, I don't have much time to think about my singleness. Sometimes I find myself so busy and I struggle with the little time I have as a single gal. Had I been dating someone during these last few months, I'm pretty sure I would have felt too stretched and my attention would have been split - not being able to give my 100% towards anything.
- Surround yourself with likeminded people, and people who are an encouragement. It has been said that you become most like the 5 people you hang out with the most. Who are you hanging out with? People who complain about what they don't have and focus on what they wish they had? Or do you hang out with people who are happy and content? What kind of friend are you? If you're in somebody's top 5 people that they hang out with the most, how are you impacting the developing character of your friends? Find people you admire and look up to. Find people that are encouraging and that live life to live life to it's fullest!
- Get to know yourself before you put yourself into a relationship. How can you let someone else get to know you, if you don't even know who you are?? What are you passionate about? What do you love, and what do you dislike? What do you believe? What is your attitude on certain topics…So many people try to be who others want them to be so that they will feel accepted…Molding themselves to other people's desires and standards. Forget being accepted by others. Accept yourself for the way you are and be yourself! If you go into a relationship not knowing who you are alone, that's unfair to yourself and to the person you're trying to date. You need to know your identity alone, and just have an identity defined by who you're dating. If you were to date right now, and the relationship were to end in a few months…Would you still know who you are if it ended, or will you be devastated by not knowing who you are anymore? Have have you identified yourself by your love life circumstances? (I've heard many girls talk about not knowing who they are after their 3 or 6 month dating relationship ended. I really find that to be incredibly sad.)
- Realize that if you're not happy now single, you probably won't be happy dating. You have to learn to be happy as you are in all walks of life - single, dating, married…Be happy to just be you. Oh - and don't expect someone else to make you happy. That's not their job and that's not the point of dating. Dating isn't some instant "I'm happy pill". I mean, it's not their job to make you miserable either, and dating someone should bring you some happiness. I've just seen many people go into relationships unhappy, stay unhappy, and for the relationship to end with the person feeling even more miserable. Think of it this way, do you want to date an unhappy single guy (or if you're a guy reading this, then do you want to date an unhappy single girl) that expects you to make them happy? How much pressure would that add to the relationship alone? I just think it would be a lot more work if you go into it with someone, or both unhappy, verses if you were both content before entering into a relationship. (And actually, I think this one is tied to all the other numbers above in a big way. If you don't find your own identity, find something you love, surround yourself with great likeminded people…Of course you're going to be unhappy.)
- You have to be ready for a relationship. Many people want a relationship - which is natural. But you have to be ready for one. Are you sure you're ready? What are your current motivations for dating??
Maybe a "No Man Plan Realization" is just what you need. Maybe it's not. Sadly, many women (and men) validate themselves, and wait to live depending on their relationship status - and I don't want to be a part of that trend...Do you??
The Travelin' Chick,