God doesn’t want you to be lonely. However, God wastes nothing. Even though God wants you to be satisfied in him, in a healthy community, and thriving in a godly relationship (if that’s his will), there’s often a process God will put you through rather than just magically ending your loneliness.
Therefore, here are 4 signs God is about to take away your loneliness.
1. If You Are Losing Your Fear of Being Alone
Ironically, those who fear being alone are at the greatest risk of never getting into a fulfilling, mutually edifying relationship. This is true for at least two reasons.
First, when you are afraid of being alone, this can make you want a relationship too badly, which actually hurts you from being able to connect with other people in the natural way God intended. Relationships form naturally when two people sense a genuine desire to connect with each other and enjoy one another in a mutual way. When there is a mismatch in desire, meaning one person wants more than the other person, the relationship stops progressing naturally.
Even in friendship, when one friend is too excited, too eager, or wants to hangout more than the other friend, it pushes the other friend away. Friendships grow when there is parity between the two friends. If they both want to hangout out every day, this can work. If they both want to hang out once a month, this can work too. The friendship is strained and eventually ends when one person wants more or less than the other.
I say all of this because when you are afraid of being alone, you put too much pressure on other people. They feel this fear, even if it’s just subconsciously, and they distance themselves from you and choose to spend time with people who have a more mutual desire for their relationship expectations.
Notice the equality seen throughout the Bible verses mentioning healthy relationships (Philippians 2:4, Romans 12:10, 2 Corinthians 6:14, Colossians 3:13-14). The more balanced a relationship is, the healthier it is. When there is imbalance, the relationship becomes strained.
Think of a salesman. The ones who want the sale too badly are the ones who sell the least. But when you meet a salesman who is not pushy and is just there to help you make the best decision for you, oftentimes this is the person that gets your business.
While friendship and romance are not sales, this principles of wanting a relationship too bad does prevent you from succeeding just like pushy salesmen fail more than the helpful salesman.
2. If You Are Gaining the Strength to Choose Being Alone Rather than Being with the Wrong Person
As I mentioned in point 1, there are two reasons the fear of being alone will actually increase the odds of you being lonely. The first reason was that you will push people away because you are putting too much pressure on them. The second reason the fear of being alone will keep you lonely is because you will never let people go that you should remove from your life.
When we think of loneliness, we often think of being by ourselves. But there is a worse form of loneliness – the type that occurs because you are with the wrong person. Sadly, people who fear being alone get caught in a vicious cycle that increases the amount of people in their life but decreases the amount of relationship satisfaction in their life.
Their fear of being alone causes them to stay in relationships that they don’t really enjoy or that are hurtful. Because they are so afraid of eating dinner alone, going to the parties alone, learning to do things they don’t know how to do on their own, they choose to stay with a toxic partner or in a friend group they don’t really belong in.
Only when you accept the reality that being alone is not as bad as being with the wrong person or in the wrong group can you find the courage to cut people loose who are actually increasing the loneliness in your life.
Through a deep dependence on the presence of God, you can lose an unhealthy dependence on people God does not want for you. As Isaiah 41:10 states, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
3. If You Are Beginning to See that Most of the Joy from a Relationship Comes from Giving Rather than Receiving
No one is coming into your life that can erase the loneliness in your heart. There is no person out there that will complete you. No one can make you happy. You have to be happy without someone to be happy with someone. You have to realize that the true joy of relationship is being able to share your life with them and serve them.
Many people think that you serve the people that you love. But I believe it’s just as true that you end up loving the people that you serve. This is one of the reasons parents love their children so much. As soon as they come out of the womb, this little human is completely, 100% dependent on the parents for everything. Night and day, the parents keep the child alive through relentless serving. It usually takes 18 years or so before this child is even capable of giving anything back to the parent beside needing to be served. And yet parents love their children more than anyone else in the world. Why? Perhaps it’s not just the filial love created through bloodlines. Perhaps it’s the fact that through the years of serving this child, the parents’ love was being fed through the service that they gave their child.
I believe this is the key to having a healthy relationship with another adult too. Your love for this person will increase some as this person loves you. But the biggest increases of love you will gain for this person over the years will actually occur because of your service to them and not because of their service to you. And when both partners are serving each other, this causes both of their love to increase for each other. As Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).
Who gets more joy when you give to another? The most joy through your service to another comes to you. Yes, Jesus sacrifice on the cross was done solely for our need, for Jesus himself was already perfect. But notice the joy this brought to Jesus, “who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2). Jesus’ joy increased when he gave his life for us.
Loneliness will be erased from your life not when someone decides to serve and love you; rather, your loneliness will end when you find someone you want to serve and love. Yes, their love and service to you is needed too for the relationship to be healthy. But only when you begin to lose yourself for another are you actually living in love like Christ (John 15:13).
Of course only a relationship with God can truly erase our loneliness. But as we are filled with God’s love, God wants to increase our joy by empowering us to give his love to others through our service to them (1 John 1:4).
4. If You Are Finally Ready to Say “Enough” to the Fears Keeping You from Even Trying to Be in a Relationship
There are many barriers blocking love. Many fear ending up in a dysfunctional marriage like their parents. Many fear getting abandoned, so they would rather not get into a relationship at all. Many fear rejection, so they never take any needed risks to find love. And still others have such a low view of themselves that they feel no one could ever love them, so they push away people in fear that others might see how unworthy they really are if they were ever truly known by another.
All of these types of barriers are increasing your loneliness. And all of these barriers will remain until you finally say, “Enough!” Barriers don’t get removed themselves. Barriers need to be removed. When there’s a mountain in your way as you build a road, the mountain is not going to move. You either have to build your road around it, over it, or make a tunnel right through it.
Likewise, the barriers keeping you from making efforts in your life to be in a healthy relationship are not going to remove themselves. You have to do something about them. Of course God must ultimately remove these barriers, but he will do this through your efforts empowered by his grace.
As David said in 1 Chronicles 14:11, “God has broken through my enemies by my hand, like a bursting flood.” God broke through the barriers, but he did it through David’s hands. And God will break through the barriers keeping you lonely, but he will do it through your hands.