I’ve been putting a lot of thought into identity lately.
Particularly, how your relationship status affects it.
It’s tempting for me to picture having a boyfriend—or a whole family—and think things like:
- I just want to have someone to belong to
- I won’t really feel like a grown-up till I’m in a serious relationship
- I can’t wait to have someone to introduce to my family.
And well-meaning people can reinforce this. At Aunty Fay’s funeral last week, I had someone make about three or four comments about my singleness. It didn’t matter to them that I have a good job, a budding writing career, and am building my first home. No, they just wanted to know when I’d be getting married.
That can really make you feel like you’re not a whole person until you’ve ‘checked that box’.
But I am more convinced than ever that our identities MUST stand secure, completely separate from our relationship status, career progress, financial situation and anything else that affects how we see ourselves.
Because even if I get the things I want, if I allow them to affect my identity, I open myself up to a whole range of insecurities.
If my identity is affected by my writing, on a day that my sales drop, I’m going to feel like a failure. If my identity is affected by my relationship status, on the day my relationship hits a rocky patch, I’m going to feel like a failure.
The truth is, for me to be the fullest version of myself, I do not need to be a girlfriend or a wife. I don’t need to be a published writer. I don’t need to have financial security.
I just need to remember that I’m a lost person saved by God’s incredible love. The other things will come and go, but that will never change.