Building Community

campfire

As a single person, one of the things that I hated the most was the loneliness of it.  In looking for a husband, I wanted a lover, but more than that – I wanted a companion.  Someone who was going to be there on the Friday nights that I couldn’t fill.  I didn’t need five star romance – I would look at happy couples on TV and would want someone to be there just to chill.

When you’re stuck in the single cycle, it involves a lot of patience.  No amount of wishing brought my husband any quicker; I still had to wait for him.  But in the meantime, I had to meet my own needs to build a community around me.

Join a church small group

I am amazed at the number of singles who are not involved in a church small group.  If you’re not in one, find one today!  It’s the best way to deepen your faith, surrounded by similar believers.  They will encourage you and challenge you.  You’ll find yourself eager to go to church on Sundays not just to commune with God, but also to commune with your friends!  And when you need help, your church small group will be the first one to be there for you.

Join Meetup.com

I am a big believer in Meetup.com.  If you’re not already familiar with it, it is a site where people can create groups for just about anything.  You type in your interest and, depending on the size of your city, you will be immediately connected with people who share that interest!  For me, I love hiking but I was too much of a scaredy-cat to go hiking by myself, so it offered a way for me to join with a group.  Everyone was super nice and welcoming and over time I got to know the regulars.

Start volunteering

Several of the communities that I have been a part of have involved volunteer work.  At my local food pantry, I started volunteering consistently and got to know both the other regular volunteers as well as the patrons.  It feels good when you show up on an evening and it’s the place where “everybody knows your name.”

Reconnect with old friends

We all get busy and lose touch with people.  Sometimes the very connections that we should make are the ones that we’ve already made!  If you’ve been out of college for several years, I guarantee that there are people in your Facebook feed who live right there in the same city with you, but whom you never see in person.  Time to arrange for a brunch date!

These are just a few ideas, but the most important thing about any of them is consistency.  Friendship grows over time and over shared experiences.  The first time that you show up to a new group – whether it’s a church small group, a Meetup group, or a new volunteering opportunity – it’s going to feel awkward.  But just keep showing up.  After just a few times, you will be one of the regulars!

Join the conversation!  How have you built community as a single person?

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