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Intimacy and Singleness (Yes, You Can Have Both!)

The scene is familiar to many of us singles: sitting in church on a Sunday, hearing more about the wonderful gift of marriage and the intimate connection it offers. It’s easy to feel deprived or lesser than, like we’re waiting for the day God will finally give us a taste of that intimacy we see married couples experience. We long for that intimacy, we hunger for it–yet it can seem so desperately out of reach.

Why do we long for intimacy as singles? Does God want us to be forever frustrated, perpetually unfulfilled? If not, where does that leave us, and what do we do with this desire for intimacy?

It’s important that we recognize the desire for intimacy is universal. That means everybody wants it, whether you’re to be married or remain single. It’s a desire based in relational wholeness: a need to be known by God and by others, deeply and wholly. God designed us for relationship; in fact, God-centered relationships are one of the ways we can experience Jesus! God commands us to be in community because He knows community is how we can all experience intimacy.

What is intimacy, then? How do we define the type of intimacy God wants us to experience in community as singles? First, we must recognize that intimacy is much more than just sexuality. Our concept of intimacy, as Christians, must come from the word eros. Eros is all about passion, a love for life, appreciation of beauty, and erotic desire. All of these were one at the beginning of creation but got separated at the Fall, and that’s where lust entered the picture. 

This is good news! It means our desire for intimacy is not a bad desire, nor is it meant to go unfulfilled if you’re single. Being part of a God-centered community and having a few close friendships will allow you to experience intimacy even outside of marriage. 

Find people you can trust to share your heart with, and allow them to know you deeply. These people should be people of substance, who talk about the impact they want to have on the Kingdom, are givers, are walking in integrity, and will hold you accountable. Engage in communities where you can express your God-given gifts! Maybe you have a gift of hospitality or serving. You could engage in this by hosting dinner parties or other gatherings or making your home a safe place for people to come in and talk about what’s on their hearts. If you have an administrative gift, you could help plan community events.

Singleness is not a deficit or just a time of preparation for marriage; rather, it is something to be celebrated! 1 Corinthians 7 reminds us that while a married man or woman is devoted primarily to the affairs of their spouse, a single person can be fully devoted to the Lord. Be aware of loneliness that could drive you toward false intimacy, and combat it by engaging in God-centered community and relationships. Lean into these opportunities when you’re single–not only will they allow you to experience intimacy, but you’ll bless others with that intimacy as well.

Question: As a single, can you honor your desire for intimacy? What are the ways you nurture the need for intimacy in your life? 

Warmly,
Kyle

6 thoughts on “Intimacy and Singleness (Yes, You Can Have Both!)”

  1. “Be aware of loneliness that could drive you toward false intimacy, and combat it by engaging in God-centered community and relationships”
    but how do we avoid loneliness ?

    Speaking from experience (I’m a 24 year old single Christian man, been in a rough season with faith and mental health), even with intimacy in a group setting, that is only a small part of my life that doesn’t account for much of my life . And group intimacy will never be as deep as intimacy with one person for the simple reason that you aren’t doing life together in all areas and are more spread out across multiple relationships.

    I’ve been struggling recently with feeling burned out trying to establish relationships and intimacy with people in the church, and feeling like I’m not on the same page or level of vulnerability (I’ve been trying to be extremely vulnerable with everyone in my life even in my day job) and don’t feel it reciprocated by people in the church which has left me feeling burned out of seeking deep relationships .

    trying to force connections hasn’t been working for me , and I’ve seriously considered looking elsewhere for close relationships .

    1. Thanks so much for sharing your heart Wes! It’s so important to be honest about where you are in your singleness. As a single woman, I get where you’re coming from. Praying we can rest on God’s grace as we continue to work toward having authentic relationships.

      Kyle

  2. have so many thoughts about this….
    full Intimacy and singlesness – syntax error, does not compute, page 404 not found
    as a single who also struggles with SSA, i sometimes think perspectives like this are a cop-out by the church who doesn’t want to talk about the crazy-uncomfortableness of this subject.
    I also know that I can’t obtain the level of intimacy from broken relationships.
    I would like churches to support singles as much as they do the married family.
    I can’t help but feel blessed in many regards to have the freedom of not worrying about a spouse.
    I can’t help but feel stressed about I’m missing out on some significant component of life.
    Will singleness truly be worth it?
    The tension of feeling incomplete does not resolve itself, because people quote and point scriptures.
    The tension of feeling incomplete will always be apart of an earthly life, this side of heaven

    1. You’re asking valid questions Matt. I agree that churches should support singles as they support those who are married. Not just trying to get us to move toward marriage but helping us to see our value as singles in the body of Christ. Thanks for your comment!

      Kyle

  3. I have been very convicted in this area, because it is exasperating always worrying about me! I understand the need to be known and to know someone, but I can go over board with my wants. So as I press into knowing God I do start to find fulfillment in the lack of intimacy. I can hear what others will say ,that is a church person cop op to press into God. But really it really works, and God starts leading you to assignments in people lives that you can serve. Now all of them wont be a person you are to develop a deep relationship but it does become more of a training ground for when the right relationships come around. I believe that I have to accept what the bible says that God cares about me and will meet everyone of my needs. Or in other words I had to ask myself the question, if I never marry is God enough? My answer is YES HE IS!

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