Introduction to While You Are Single

This book was first published 12 years ago—while I was single. While I was updating this book I was engaged to a one-of-a-kind, rare gem of a lady. Before this revision was published, I married her. Thanks to God’s grace, I have practiced the guidelines I present in this book. My wife and I are still practicing them.

I have learned a great deal these past 12 years. I have included them in this update. Therefore, you have a more concise guide that will help you in your search for your mate. This revision reinforces the truths I discussed in the first edition. It also includes information that addresses new trends in the search for love, as well as insights that expose lingering issues that often hinder relationships from moving forward.

The idea for this book was conceived in my heart close to 14 years ago. I was asked to speak in a True Love Waits, Bible study event hosted at Virginia Commonwealth University by VISION, a student organization. I sought God to direct me on what to speak about and I believe He inspired me to discuss what I learned from my failed attempt at establishing a relationship with a certain damsel whom I had cherished. It became clear that my disappointment was actually the trigger that propelled me to seriously evaluate my readiness to be in a relationship. It was also a blessing that gave rise to the lessons for my discussion in the event and this book.

This work started after I was infected by what I considered to be the love bug. The infection didn’t invade me rapidly; rather, it gradually inched its way through my heart and weakened me. The source of the infection was a lovely young woman whose body was gracefully sculpted and glossed with a buttermilk complexion. This lady had the kind of smile that sold toothpaste and real estate; the kind of smile that landed million dollar accounts; the kind of smile that companies placed on the cover of their brochures and the front pages of their websites.

The love pathogen’s progress on my heart was reinforced each time the image of the lady rested on my retina and floated in my thoughts. I considered asking God to give me another dose of breath as I fantasized that she took my initial supply away. In essence, this “mama” was h-h-h-ot! Perhaps that explains why my heart burned so for her.

Unfortunately, my excitement and anticipation in establishing a relationship with her was dealt a hard blow when she tactfully declined my feelings. I was distraught. My affection for her, which I had conserved for a few months before unveiling them to her, seemed to be flushed down the toilet in a single instance. I felt as if I had been knocked out of a boxing bout before the bell rang for the first round. That notwithstanding, its effect was not a rude awakening but a good awakening for me. I couldn’t have asked for a better position sprawled, with my back on the canvas like the alphabet, “X.” In that stance, and at that point, I had nowhere else to look but up. Moreover, “up” was my source of help. I reached out to God who pulled me up and sustained me through that emotional distress.

Although she understandably turned me down because her feelings were not congruent with mine, she inadvertently turned me on, and I’ve not been able to locate the “off switch”—not that I tried looking for it. I was impassioned to write about my frustration and disappointment regarding the unrealized relationship, and in doing so, I channeled the energy she inspired in me.
In all fairness, I realized that the issue wasn’t whether she was the right one for me; it was whether I was the right one for her. Was I good enough for her—or for anyone else? If I was not, what should I do to make myself a prime candidate for the description, “The right one”? Whatever I needed to do, I had better start doing it now while I’m single rather than later, when I’m married.

Scripture and other sources helped me identify appropriate guidelines helpful for finding the right person with whom to share a lifetime. I first discussed some of these guidelines in the true love event. While discussing them with my peers, truths were unveiled that effectively addressed major issues that singles, at large, were wrestling with. Several months later, after much deliberation I concluded that the information disclosed in that Bible study was too important to be confined within the walls of the red-bricked, Baptist Student Union building where the program was hosted. I felt charged with the responsibility to spread the word.

Therefore, the guidelines are presented in their entirety as the chapter titles of this writing. This book’s title was coined from the realization that preparation for a mate should take place before marriage. This will help save an individual from the consequences of ending up in a relationship, ill-prepared, with wrong expectations—and with the wrong person. With this in mind, this was written to help you avoid unfruitful relationships and the heartache that goes along with them. It was written to help you learn from mistakes that, perhaps you, and others, have made in relationships, and to prevent you from repeating them. It was written to help you maximize your singleness by conserving the time and energy you’d have otherwise exhausted in such relationships.

This was also written to forewarn you while you are single to forearm you when you are married. It assists you with taking advantage of your life now as a single person, to help prepare you for your life ahead as a married person. It helps you learn what you can know now about marriage before you get married, to help you handle what you might not know later when you do get married.

In a nutshell, this book will help you make the most of your singleness, prepare you for holy matrimony, and guide you in finding the right person to share it with—an outstanding mate for you. This will facilitate a relationship that will emulate in reality, the idea of a marriage made in heaven. Having and applying all the information relevant for securing and cultivating a healthy relationship prior to wedlock will go a long way in helping you maneuver your upcoming marriage in the sea of life without it hitting the rocks.

Oftentimes in the search for a mate, people place most of their emphasis on finding someone who looks right for them. If you have tried this and discovered that your incessant efforts proved to no avail, perhaps, you might need to have a paradigm shift by changing your focus from the other person to yourself. Have you ever thought of being the right one for someone else? Maybe you should not be trying to find the right person; but rather, be the right person to be found.

Before you can become right for someone else, it is sensible for you to find out what makes a person right for any other person. Learn how you can become that right person. After you have done this, and developed yourself to be suitable for someone else, you will put yourself in a better position to find the right person—since you will now know who to be on the lookout for. Someone like you. Someone who will emanate qualities that you developed in yourself. Qualities that will complement and be compatible with yours. Qualities that characterize the right mate for your life.

While you are single, the investments that you make in yourself pertaining to matrimony will determine the returns you will get in marriage. Your lifestyle as a single person is a seed that will determine the harvest you will reap as a married person. It is important for you to see that your singleness is an opportunity for you to train for marriage. Your singleness is an excellent time for you to work on yourself so that when you meet and marry the love of your life, you will have something of value to contribute to the relationship. Although people have survived and still survive marriages on the brink of destruction, you do not have to go through a divorce or have a disastrous relationship, before you learn what you can do to avoid being in one.

It is with great pleasure that I re-present this book to you. Rest assured that this book will be especially helpful to those who desire to tie the knot—and perhaps, to those who desire to retie theirs, to those who desire not to untie theirs, as well as to those who desire to keep theirs taut. Come with me and let us journey through the pages of this writing. While I drive as the designated chauffeur, relax, buckle your seat belt, and open your heart to receive the information that will take you on the quest of what it takes to obtain and retain God’s best—the right mate for your life.

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