Stoping your comparison game will enable you to live the life of your dreams.
That fear of missing out on things makes you miss out on everything.— Etty Hillesum
The other day, I discovered I might have missed an opportunity for a romantic relationship. A good friend said, “We all tried so hard to hook you up with Julie. She told us she really liked you, and we all thought you would have been such a great couple.”
I was shocked.
It never occurred to me that Julie was interested in me romantically, not even for a single minute. We were friends — nothing more. I enjoyed her company, and I realized we shared many common traits and values, but it did not occur to me there could be anything more with her.
As the years advanced, Julie has married and started a family.
I realized I could possibly have been the one she had the family with.
I wondered why I had missed that chance. A blend of regret, frustration, and confusion hit me.
Could it be that I’ll miss out again?
What about you?
In this article, I will show you why the fear of missing out is a dangerous place to dwell in. You’ll find nine compelling reasons showing why you are not missing out as a single.
If you are desperate or, in other words fearing to miss out, you dwell in a dangerous place. The fear of missing out makes us miserable. Carrying it for too long, you may become inclined to make stupid decisions.
Let’s look at one of the most famous stories of history for a moment.
Adam and Eve lived in the most beautiful place that ever existed on planet earth. They enjoyed a plethora of delicious fruits at their reach. Any fruit they could imagine could end up in their plate the next moment if they wanted. Among that abundance, they walked by a beautiful tree every day.
God told them, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden — except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”
What is one tree among many hundreds, maybe even thousands of trees? And yet, the snake managed to turn their eyes towards what they are lacking.
“Oh yeah, why can’t we eat that amazing fruit, Eve?” Adam may have said when taking her for a walk one cold evening.
“They look so yummy! I want to try them — NOW!” Eve insisted.
And the next second, the world saw the first human beings having a fear of missing out.
This fear has become an integral part of our human nature. Hence, I am not surprised that we single get that virus too.
“If I don’t get married soon, I will miss the best part of my life!” You may say.
Because Adam and Eve kept their eyes on what they lacked, they did miss out believing the lie the snake was telling.
And that’s the worst human tragedy. They had to leave the garden, and a sad downward spiral began.
“You’ll wait. You’ll pray. You’ll get frustrated. You’ll question everything. But you’ll continue to be patient. You’ll keep waiting. And you’ll keep praying. And one day, when you least expect it, it’ll finally happen. So don’t ever stop believing. Don’t ever stop trusting. And don’t ever stop hoping. God is so ready to give you everything you’ve ever dreamed of.”— Mandy Hale
Anna experienced a tragic twist in her life. Her husband died after only seven years of marriage. From that day on, she made the temple her home, serving as a prophetess.
One morning she got up as usual, without having the slightest idea that day that she would have an extraordinary encounter. According to her habit, she would spend the entire day worshipping and praying. In the presence of God, she found comfort and joy.
She noticed a couple approaching with their baby. “Let’s prepare to bless that new-born child,” she said to the temple assistant, walking over to the place they would do the ceremony.
But then she stopped, looking back at her colleagues. “That baby looks unique. Let’s find out why!” Getting closer, she realized that the day she was waiting for had come. The Messiah all Jews had been expecting came into this world. Anna lost her voice, not knowing what to say. An immense joy overcame her.
Luke says: “Coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.”
Anna began to jump around, shouting: “the Messiah is here! Look at him. The Savior of this world!” Everybody seeing her that day could tell here how happy she was.
Anna missed out on her initial dream. And yet, Luke presents us with a joyful old lady with no signs of regret, disappointment, nor regret. She did not think anymore that she had been missing out. Instead, she had lived an abundant life filled with plenty of blessings.
How is this possible?
I encourage you to turn your eyes away from what you are looking at. You cannot change your circumstances. You can change, however, your focus. Look at the One who has your future in His hand. God believes in you. His plan is perfect.
Even if you feel overlooked, remember God’s promise. Your Father in Heaven weaves together every detail of your life, including your dream to live in a romantic relationship, to bring forth the most incredible result into your life.
I’m not advocating that you lay your dream aside. We should cultivate our desire to get married, but we should never let it become our idol. Our ultimate goal in life is to serve God. We can do it when we are single, divorced, widowed, and when we are married.
Abraham had the impression of missing out. When he did receive what he wanted — a son — at age 100, the answer to his prayers became his idol.
One day, God asked Abraham to let him go: “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him.” Abraham succeeded in the daunting test and was now ready for God’s blessings.
By myself I have sworn, declares the Lord, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring. — Genesis 22:16–17
If we do not let go of our dream to get married, we will miss out.
And here is the paradox:
If we let go — which means to risk to miss out — we will not miss out because we embrace what God, who can do far more than all that we ask or think, set out before us.
When we put God first, the miracle happens. Which is to say in the words of the psalmist:
Give God the right to direct your life, and as you trust him along the way you’ll find he pulled it off perfectly! — Psalm 37:5
To be clear, you and I cannot change our relationship status. We cannot go out and find Mr. or Mrs. Right.
Nonetheless, finding someone is not the key to overcoming the fear of missing out. The only way is turning your back from the lack and towards the One who gives abundances.
The psalmist said, “make God the utmost delight.” That is how we overcome it. Understand who God is because he wants the best for our lives.
His intention is never to hold off anything to harm us. God sometimes does not give what we wish to because the time is not right or because He wants us to grow more or because God wants us to give something better than we imagined.
If we put God’s things first, we will not miss out. It does not mean that we get
Jesus urges us to stop this comparison game that makes us desperate.
Instead, focus on the relationship with your perfect Father in Heaven, who knows us better than we do. That’s when “he will provide for you what you desire the most.” — Psalm 37:4
David said that his cup overflowed. That is his way of saying that he is not missing out. Likewise, James — the half brother of Jesus — made a compelling point in his epistle, saying:
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. — James 1:17
I want to receive excellent gifts in all areas of my life — and in particular in my singleness.
Sometimes I wonder, “Why do I not believe that God has a perfect plan for my life?”
It struck me that I did not grasp His goodness.
Our enemy is trying to make us think that we lack something as a single. His tactic is nothing new. Because of his shrewdness, Adam and Eve forgot the perfect nature of God, they ate the forbidden fruit.
The Apostle Paul’s attitude impresses me. He could have brought forth many good reasons saying that he was missing out.
And yet, there is no record of complaining. He lived a fulfilled life, knowing that he could not have lived a better life.
His awareness of God’s goodness filled his heart with joy. While enduring a prison sentence, Paul said to the believers in Philippi.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. — Philippians 4:7
God is more interested in my relationship with him than whether I will marry one day or not.
And here is another paradox. It is in this space of uncertainty we have supernatural encounters with the God of the universe. That is where he changes our hearts, and I realize that I live my life to the full.
If I look at what I desire, I feel the lack, but when I keep fixing my eyes on God, I manage to see the spiritual reality, which is much more bountiful.
My singleness forced me to draw near to him. When God draws near to me, I never miss out. Not one single time. His goodness exceeds anything I can imagine.
And it took me a long time to get this life-changing revelation. When I’m committed to trusting him, he opens the gates of heaven and pours out his blessings over me.
Often, they differ from what I was hoping to see.
Nevertheless, his affection fills me.
Enjoy the LORD, and he will give what your heart asks. — Psalm 37:4
In the process of enjoying God, something unexpected will take place.
Our desires will change.
As we spend more time with him, we understand what he wants for us. That’s the best remedy to decrease our frustration.
The more we want His desires, the more we get we want.
If our desires diverge, he may say no to protect us. He will give it to us if what we want is aligned with his plan, knowing that this is the best for us.
“God can take what Satan meant for shame and use it for His glory. Just when we think we’ve messed up so badly that our lives are nothing but heaps of ashes, God pours His living water over us and mixes the ashes into clay. He then takes this clay and molds it into a vessel of beauty. After He fills us with His overflowing love, He can use us to pour His love into the hurting lives of others.”— Lysa TerKeurst
A few years ago, my roommate invited me to a single night at his church. I hesitated to accept his offer because I found such events awkward.
The evening was great and not long after my arrival I found myself talking to girl. As we were carrying on the conversation, she said that she was going home after a while. “That early?” I wondered.
A few days later, I asked her out on a date. I left with mixed feelings. I, however, desperately wanted a girlfriend I thus ignored my feelings. Fearing I would miss this opportunity, I moved forward.
Long story short, my first impression did not evolve towards a better.
Breaking up and healing my wounds was a challenge. I did miss out on many blessings because of my unmature decision. I could have avoided countless painful moments. But I came out better of this failure than I entered because I have learned my lessons.
Even though I am single again, I don’t feel like missing out. Instead, I use my learnings to help other singles thrive.
Acknowledge that you are different, as a single. It may be a gift God gives you for this special season of your life.
And if it’s a gift, you are not missing out. You are getting more than you are expecting.
God is good all the time.
He is our caring father.
Think about your own experience. Did you see God doing great things in your life? Remind yourself of what he was doing. It helps you to stand firm when the going gets tough, which means when your missing-out-lie kicks in.
One day a guy was talking with his pastor, saying: “You are so lucky! You have been married for years, and now you have children. What do you want more?”
After that, the pastor replied, a bit annoyed: “No, you are lucky!”
“You enjoy much freedom! You can decide to have a spontaneous drink with your friends after work. I have to go home to take care of my children.”
There are countless advantages you enjoy being single.
You’re not missing out.
Embrace your advantages.
And when your season comes to a close, move on to the next, embracing the advantages of being in a relationship.
In a recent single hangout, one of the participants asked a great question: “How would your life change if you could lay aside your desire to get married?”
I’m sure it would prevent us from feeling that we are missing out.
It’s tempting to keep thinking you’re missing out. Don’t stay at that place because of the fear, grieve, anger, or confusion; you may experience your energy will drain. And over time, you may make stupid decisions.
Instead, change your focus, reminding you that you’re not missing out just because you think the things look dire. All nine compelling reasons I described boil down to this:
Stop comparing yourself with others. Start enjoying your present life.
Or according to Mandy Hale’s advice, change the way you’re looking at your circumstances:
So don’t ever stop believing. Don’t ever stop trusting. And don’t ever stop hoping. God is so ready to give you everything you’ve ever dreamed of.