Kate Wendell talks to us about what we should be doing while single. How it looks to work on improving yourself in your single season so that when the right relationship comes along, you’ll be able to recognize it and be ready. This ranges from having non-negotiables in future relationships to what gifts we learn from failed relationships.
Below is an overview of my interview with Kate. For the complete interview, listen to Episode 63 on Grace for Single Parents wherever you listen to podcasts.
Improving Ourselves While Single
Kate talks about how she met her husband, got married, and had two babies all over the age of forty. How she struggled to find the right guy and as a result ended up in a lot of toxic relationships and men who didn’t want to commit.
“I’m gonna find my Mr. Right. There’s a guy out there. I know some days were so dark and depressing and I could barely get myself out of bed, but I’m gonna hang onto that mustard seat of hope and know that there’s still a good guy out there for me.”
Be the right person for the right person. There’s a certain responsibility and ownership that we have to bring the best version of selves and then the right person will come into play.
Kate talks about how improving ourselves while we are single, leads to better parenting, relationships, and eventually a stronger marriage. But many don’t want to do the hard work, they’d rather skip directly into the next relationship.
But Kate says, “When you can heal wounds and you can move past things and learn how to do something a little differently that gets you a better result. It’s worth the work.”
Single-parent families are still a family. We shouldn’t feel like we aren’t whole. However, we need to own where we are.
As Kate says, “Here’s what I’m doing about how I’m going to improve my future because your past doesn’t have to dictate your future.”
The SINGLE Framework
Each of us has a story about what we believe. For example, “All men are jerks” or “I’m not good enough to date”. What are the stories that we’re telling ourselves? What are our beliefs about ourselves, about life, about men and women?
Our stories and our beliefs create an identity. You need to dig in and uncover what the root is to begin to heal those wounds.
What are the characteristics you must have in a future spouse?
These are gifts or lessons we get from other people, even out of a bad relationship.
L: Learning to love ourselves
Sometimes that’s the hardest thing because we beat ourselves up for the decisions and choices we’ve made in our lives. But how we can come into life with this place of love. Love never fails (2 Corinthians 13.)
As human beings, we’re all connected; in some way, we’re putting out energy that can attract or repel.
How Many Non-Negotiables Should We Have?
When considering non-negotiables, you don’t want too many but want enough to build a solid foundation of understanding between the two of you. Here are the buckets Kate boils them down to:
Communication: How do you communicate with each other when upset? Arguing, yelling, or do you both shut down? What does abuse look like? What are you going to tolerate?
Growth: Are you on a path to continue to better yourself?
Spiritual: How are you raising your kids? What’s the practice of the home?
Family: Are you going to have kids? Will you adopt? What does family look like? Do you want kids?
Finances: Talk about money. What are your rules and thoughts, and beliefs around money? How do you feel about debt?
Agreeing on these things won’t promise a relationship with no fighting, but the majority are things couples don’t talk about until there’s an issue. Look at those five as foundational and get clarity over picky.
Finding Him Challenge
Kate talks about the 5-day challenge she has for single women at https://www.findinghimchallenge.com/
There’s nothing wrong with you. You are beautifully created in the image and likeness of God. There is tremendous significance, beauty, and strength in knowing who you are.
The challenge is designed to get you to think, “Can I adjust something to get a different result?”
To the woman who still wants to try dating while working on herself?
First and foremost, prioritize yourself because you’ve got to be the right person for the right person. And if you are not in a good, healthy state and you’ve got some stuff to work on, so if you are not taking care of that, you bring it to the relationship.
Kate says she will never tell someone no to date while you are working on yourself. But she does suggest “at least to make yourself a priority, don’t put your needs second.”
Take care of yourself because if he’s supposed to be the guy, then at some point you’re going to get connected with him. But you are taking care of yourself first so that it will actually all align.
“Don’t ever lose hope. I had some days where I could barely get out of bed. I could not find anything good to think about. I struggled so much…and felt like I was falling apart on the inside. But don’t lose hope because when you lose hope then your dreams die.
“Give yourself grace and never lose hope. Even if it’s the tiniest bit that you can hang onto for that day, do it and keep fighting. Keep knowing that if you are doing something to improve your life, things will start to turn around. It may not always be in the timing that we want, but they will turn around.”
Where to find Kate: