You probably don’t want to hear this, but being a Catholic single can be really great!
Not because you’re not tied down yet and can do whatever you want. Although you can, I suppose.
Instead, the time you spend single is a unique time in your life where you can learn and grow in ways that will help prepare you for your vocation.
Want to know how? Read on for fourteen ideas!
1. Sign up for a holy hour in the middle of the night
Once you’re married and have kids, going to a holy hour in the middle of the night becomes hard logistically. You’ll have other people to think about then! Your actions will affect them!
So sign up for an adoration hour now. Someone has to accompany Jesus in those wee dark hours. It might as well be you.
2. Learn how to budget
Getting a handle on your finances will help you in so many ways!
You may not need much of a budget while you’re single, but learning how to track your money and spending will instill good habits in you that will carry on the rest of your life.
Regardless of our season in life, we’re all supposed to be good stewards, after all.
3. Go to therapy
Therapy isn’t just for people struggling with mental illnesses. Therapy can be good for everyone!
It is always helpful to have an unbiased third party help you see and make sense of your life, emotions, and past events.
We all have issues. Working these things out now (while you only have you to look after!) will help you be healthier and more able to give of yourself in a relationship and to a future family.
Going to therapy can also make you more empathetic towards the issues and thought processes of others. This is a life skill that will come in handy if God is calling you to raise a family!
4. Pay down debt
Debt tends to only compound upon itself, so the less you can bring into a marriage and family, the better.
Financial stress is one of the top three reasons couples in America divorce. It doesn’t have to be that way!
Get rid of as much financial stress as possible while you’re single and develop good spending habits and you’re helping to ensure a healthy relationship and marriage in your future.
5. Invest in friendship
You might be alone but you don’t have to be lonely. Community is a huge deal at every stage of our lives– even in Heaven!
Take this time to meet all kinds of people, make friends, be a friend, and strength your bonds of community.
By doing this now, you won’t insulate yourself in a marriage when things get tough. Instead, you’ll have a community to turn to.
6. Try something you’ve never tried before (every month!)
Try a new food! Pick up a new hobby! Go skydiving! You have time, so use it!
Enriching and stretching ourselves is good and gives us a broader base to connect with ourselves, others, and the world at large.
Why every month? So you actually do it without overwhelming yourself. For instance, it’s fairly easy to try one new food every month.
It will never be easier or cheaper for you to travel than it is right now. Go see different places!
You don’t have to travel internationally to make traveling worth it. There are plenty of national and state parks right within driving distance of you (or maybe a short plane ride).
There are beaches and mountains, forests and deserts. You can explore old towns, colonial sites, and amusement parks. Get out there and see it.
Make sure to keep a list of your favorites that you’ll want to take your family to someday!
8. Become an expert at your hobbies
No time like the present, and no more time than you have right now.
Having a hobby you enjoy will be good once you are married, too. You’ll have a relaxing skill that you can fall back on whenever you need some time to yourself.
9. Get comfortable with extroversion and introversion
Marriage and family life throws us into all kinds of different situations. We need to be well-rounded enough to deal with them.
If you’re an introvert and you end up having quite a few kids, you won’t be alone all that often. So learn how to still be you while running a house full of people. Discover what you need to keep yourself sane and energized while that’s happening.
Likewise, if you’re an extrovert, there will likely be times when you won’t be around many people (at least adults or rational children). You’ll need to learn how to adjust, also.
10. Learn how to cook for one, two, and twenty people
Cooking for one is infamously difficult. But learning to cook for yourself is helpful, so that you’re not always going out or creating a lot of food waste.
On the flip side, cooking food for twenty people of all of different sizes or appetites is also difficult! It’s always better to learn what we can ahead of time rather than on the fly.
This skill will also help you develop good habits for the rest of your life.
11. Join a local young adults group
Ahem, make friends.
Join a group in or out of your local parish (and it doesn’t have to be Catholic).
Being part of community is essential! Being plugged into the community right around you is vital to this season of life and the seasons to come.
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, just find a group that interests you (there are plenty of local jogging groups, bible studies, etc.) and go for it.
12. Pray twice as long as you think you need to everyday
Saint Francis de Sales is quoted as saying, “Every one of us needs half an hour of prayer a day, except when we are busy –then we need an hour.”
That advice applies to the single life, too.
Once you’re married and have children, setting aside a dedicated hour of prayer daily is really really tough. Not just because you have more to attend to (you will) but because your family will need you in ways you aren’t needed right now.
So spend some quality alone time with the Lord.
13. Take on a difficult spiritual practice
Once you’re married, and especially once you have children, everything you do to or for yourself affects everyone else in your family.
If you decide to live off of only locusts and honey for forty days, other people have to directly put up with you and whatever mood that leaves you in.
If you decide to give up TV for Lent, even though that’s the primary way you and your spouse unwind, that decision affects someone else.
Doing hard things is really good for us! So go big while you have the opportunity to do so without needing to take anyone else primarily into account.
Looking for some ideas?
- Go on a forty day silent retreat
- Pray a full rosary (that’s 20 decades) every day.
- Fast for all forty days of Lent.
Do something that challenges you in this season of singleness!
14. Go on a discernment retreat
You can go on retreat either the local diocese or a religious order. Maybe you can do both! You could also go on retreats with multiple orders! O
Is the Lord calling you to marriage? Take time to discern that now.
Then, you’ll be able to go into your vocation (whatever that ends up being) with full knowledge.
Or maybe you’ll be like me and decide which discernment retreat to go on , only to meet your future spouse thanks to online dating. You never know!