Singleness is not fashionable in our culture. It’s not something most people pursue. But here’s a bigger problem: it is often seen as a character flaw. We have sub-conciously allowed a culture and mindset that puts marriage on a pedestal and singles in the accusation box.
Nobody EVER asks a married person: Why are you married?
But it’s TOTALLY normal to go ahead and ask a co-worker, a colleague or a friend:
Why are you NOT married?
I used to think I am the only one who found this question odd and sometimes even offensive. The question asker was often not one of those people I counted as well-wishers. So the question was often posed to prod or hurt.
I looked for empathy. And finally found an amazing group on Facebook The Single Infuencer that echoed what I had been feeling for so many years.
The admin of the group David Bruehlmann introduced me to a whole universe: a group of thriving singles who were unapologetic about being single and were challenging norms around them. Meanwhile, David was also on the verge of releasing his book to help singles thrive. His book “Single for a Season” moved me in many ways.
In the beginning of the book, David has called out the typical myths that society believes about singleness. One of the myths that he pointed out was –
“I am single because I have too high standards.”
I could relate with this and so many other myths that I had sub-conciously believed. And the book, in a way, liberated me.
You, my reader, therefore, must not only get a copy of Single for a Season on Amazon, but also get to the know the thoughts of the writer behind it.
I interviewed David recently and posed some questions I had in mind for quite sometime.
1] At what point in your life you felt like you need to break the standard notions of singleness that society has imposed?
David: I had a clear goal when I was younger: getting married before I turn thirty. But then, in my thirties, I realized that my singleness might last longer than I had anticipated. Growing up in church, I believed the myth that getting married was the ultimate goal of every reasonable human being and that being in a relationship was superior. It dawned on me: the guy who wrote two thirds of the New Testament, the Apostle Paul, had a different view. Singleness and being married are good things. Don’t compare. That’s when I began this process of transformation, understanding that singleness is not a disease to be treated. Instead, I began to maximize this beautiful season of my life, leveraging my time, talents, finances, and freedom to live for a higher purpose.
2] What did you do at first when you realized the reality of being single, and how did you deal with it?
David: For many years I struggled with my singleness. I desperately wanted to find someone to marry. I felt like the odd guy that’s leftover while everyone else around me got lucky. My dating attempts failed and left me with even more questions. And yet, today, I’m thankful for these learning experiences. I knew I had issues to resolve. And that’s when I began to do counseling, which enabled me to undergo a wonderful process of inner healing. My counselors helped me sort out my questions and discover that I’m not weird just because I’m single. Over time, I learned to see the good things, and I found the keys to live with the remaining challenges, including loneliness and the lack of understanding of friends.
3] You are an influencer for single people around the world. What do you hear most often in terms of the challenges singles face around the world?
David: Many singles feel lonely. This challenge has always been around. But now, the worldwide pandemic and the resulting lockdowns and travel bans affect single people even more. We do have social media and videoconferencing to connect, and yet, it does not replace physical contact. I hear singles often saying something along the lines like, “I feel emotionally empty,” “I lack intimacy,” and “I’m living in isolation.” As singles, we need community, which means spending life together. Due to closed churches, many have not experienced fulfilling community for a long time. Last year, I wondered what I could do to respond to that need. I started an online hangout for singles, having the desire to provide a platform where singles could plug in. I wanted them to give them a chance to connect with other singles and, importantly, express their challenges.
4] Tell me about your book. What made you write it? What are some highlights of this book?
David: It’s quite a funny story. At the Hillsong Europe Conference in 2018, one of the speakers challenged us to write a bucket list. That’s when the idea of writing a book appeared. But I had no clue what topic to write about. After a few weeks of reflection, I had a revelation: “Write about your singleness.” I felt I had much to share and the credibility and authority to do so. The more I thought about it, the more the conviction grew that I should write a book to cast a new, fresh vision for single people.
At the beginning of the book, I grab the elephant in the room by addressing some common myths about the single life that confuse us. You will find keys enabling you to overcome loneliness and happiness. I know that unresolved issues and wounds of past relationships may still make our lives miserable. The key is to understand that falling down and failing is not your biggest concern. Staying down is. When you begin to see failure as a learning opportunity, you’ll be ready to move forward.
Furthermore, I encourage and inspire the readers to discover a new passion for their life. While reading, they will find a life of satisfaction and purpose regardless of relationship status. I’m casting a compelling vision to get you out of survival mode. Such a vision will set you on the path to fulfillment. I dream of a generation of singles maximizing this extraordinary season of life. If we manage to detach ourselves from our concerns about our singleness and start thriving, we will live our lives to their fullest.
5] How do you think this book may help singles thrive?
David: Single for a Season helps the reader in various ways:
- Dispel myths about the single life—and why they’re still single
- Experience true joy, satisfaction, and contentment in being single
- Find their God-given purpose as a single
- Deepen their relationship with Him
- Take key action steps to change their life right now
Singles, including myself, need a compelling vision for their singlehood. Once you find a purpose and meaning in this sometimes challenging season, you set yourself up on a path to happiness and fulfillment. Through stories, my personal experiences, and the wisdom found in Scripture, the reader will find the keys they need to begin to pivot, stopping to focus on what’s lacking and beginning to recognize the many benefits of being single. That’s when you’ll be able to thrive.
6] What’s your next project?
David: While living in Cambodia, I want to evaluate a few business ideas. My goal is to bring prosperity to underdeveloped countries through business development, innovation, and high-quality education. I believe that the gospel combined with education and fair-pay workplaces will bring sustainable transformation to communities in need. Furthermore, I’m brainstorming ideas for my second book.
7] Anything you wish to convey to single people?
David: God is proud of you. You are amazing, and I don’t think that you’re strange just because of your relationship status. I encourage you to seek a life-giving community. I know it’s tempting to stay alone – in particular in these crazy pandemic times. Reach out, call your friends, join an online singles’ group to spend time with other like-minded people. In the words of Bob Goff, “God always does his best work in community.” Ask yourself how you can make the best out of your singleness, living for something greater than yourself. You’ll see that you’ll become happy and fulfilled when you stop focusing on your lack and began serving others. Embrace the gift of singleness God gave you during this season. Once (and if) this season draws to an end, please make space and time for love.
If you are a single and struggling to find meaning and purpose in life, you are not alone. You can find that and more in David’s book Single for a Season. Grab your copy from Amazon now.