🎵 All the single ladies, Now put your hands up! 🎵 🙋🏼
(I can’t type this title without hearing that song. Sorry in advance for getting it stuck in your head!)
So I’ve been single quite a few years now. About 30, to be exact.
I’ve always been a reader, but it wasn’t until I entered the world of dating and things didn’t go as hoped (read: failed) that I really started reading anything other than fiction. I hated anything nonfiction, struggled to plow through any required reading for school, and had very little patience when it came to books that weren’t stories. I wanted to like them. I just couldn’t.
One day in the middle of my lowest season, I picked up a book about personality (This one, if you’re curious) that left me feeling great about myself and my strengths. Wow! I thought. I’m sure this book is just an exception to the rule, but it was so good! It literally changed my life.
I dared to read another one. And another. And, sure, there were a few mixed in there that really weren’t worth reading. But for the most part, when I picked books on topics that interested me, they kept me riveted. I also started highlighting – even though I’m Type A and I’ve always hated to mark up my books – because it helps me stay more focused when I’m reading.
Naturally, a lot of the books that piled up on my shelves
happened to be about relationships. I was determined to avoid Mr. Wrong, learn
from my mistakes and others’, and date wisely. Some of these books had been
circulating for years, and I kicked myself for not reading them earlier.
I’ve accumulated a ton of books over the past several years, and I’ve found a ton of relationship gems. Here are a few especially impactful ones:
Praying for Your Future Husband: Preparing Your Heart for His by Robin Jones Gunn and Tricia Goyer. A tool that has served me well for several years, especially the 52 prayers that are included – one to focus on for each week of the year. I’m a firm believer that God answers prayer and that my prayers today affect my future husband both now and in the future, so I see both this book and my prayers as worthy investments. (The Kindle version is on sale right now, so snatch this one up!)
Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul by John and Stasi Eldredge. Everyone used to ooh and ahh over this one, and I was totally skeptical. It sounded too flowery for my taste. But I should have read it in high school with everyone else, because it’s just as good as they all say! It really helps in understanding how male and female minds work, both separately and in their interactions with one another.
Boundaries in Dating by Henry Cloud and John Townsend. I’m a huge fan of all the Boundaries books. Start with the original one, follow its advice, and watch your life transform! And then implement those same concepts in dating. (The Kindle edition of this one is also really cheap right now!)
Dateable: Are You? Are They? by Justin Lookadoo and Hayley DiMarco. And its companion, Marriable. These books are great for helping you pinpoint what you need to work on yourself in addition to highlighting the qualities you should look for in a partner. I think they’re targeted to teens, but I read them after college and took a lot away from both books.
How to Pick a Spouse by Dan Chun. Exactly as described. Great advice from a former singles/young adult pastor.
No Sex in the City by Lindsey Isham. Again, pretty much what you’d expect from the title, with a sassy delivery. A great book for those who want to save themselves for marriage.
BONUS: 11. The Sacred Search: What If It’s Not About Who You Marry, But Why? by Gary Thomas. I can’t say that I agree with everything in this book (and I’ve had some great debates/conversations with friends on some of its concepts), but there are so many good and thought-provoking points within its pages that I can’t help but include it on my list. It really challenges you to think long and hard about what kind of person you want to marry and to consider your motivations from a realistic perspective.
Ladies, you may feel alone sometimes as a single, but you’re not alone. Let these books encourage you as you navigate this season – this beautiful, one-of-a-kind season – and grow you as you prepare for the next one.
Hey! I'm Brianna and I'm a millennial. I'm also a reader, writer, God-lover, introvert, and recovering perfectionist. ☺️
I want to inspire millennials to retain their morality, hope, and faith as they transition into adulthood and full-fledged "adult."