Profiles in the Gap
Tom Kinsella is a 24-year-old professional, working in London, UK. – AMDG
Did you expect this time of singleness?
Up until 10 months ago, I was in a four-and-a-half-year relationship. The relationship had had a detrimental effect on my relationship with God, to the point that I was only going to church when it was convenient and was barely praying. I should have seen the relationship coming to an end, but I refused to address it. She eventually broke it off for good.
I knew that the relationship was missing something. And over the subsequent few months I realised that, simply, God wasn’t part of that relationship. In the main, I was ignoring the lack of God in my life, but when singleness came knocking, I made a commitment to embrace singleness and use that time to reconnect with God.
Through no fault of my ex-girlfriend, I had blamed the relationship and used it as an excuse for not being religious. So I knew that before I could enter another relationship, I had to create a firm relationship with God and understand what it is to be a true Christian man. A friend, aware of my situation, sent me a book – “Wild at heart” by John Eldredge – I read it and it helped me to understand the natural desires of a man’s heart, and how God can be part of the relationship I have with women. The book has many great points and I recommend it – but one of the unexpected joys of reading it was that it raised many points on how I should respect all women, in a completely different (and better) way than I had before.
Has the change been exciting or disappointing?
I made a commitment in the summer (5/6 months after becoming single) to be single for a set period of time. This initial period will take me up until the 1 year mark of singleness. In this time, I have been trying not to let my heart get caught up thinking about women too much, not pursuing a romantic relationship with women and generally learning how to not lead a woman on (as well as not get lead on myself). Having open and honest friends has helped me further – holding me accountable to my words and actions in a lovable way.
I also offered up this period in my life to God. Committing to singleness created more time to God, more headspace to God and by deepening my relationship with God – I could become content and joyful that ultimately God’s got a plan for me far greater than mine.
How does faith play a role in your actions and your outlook on your life as a single young adult?
My outlook on life has changed considerably since recommitting to God. Trusting in His will makes me less anxious about the future. Having a crush on a woman, or getting hung up about a woman is natural – but I’ve learned my next step is to lean on God and offer him all my thoughts and anxieties. God hasn’t shown me his big plan for me, but he meets me where I am and leads me.
It’s obvious to say that I’m not perfect. The commitment is difficult to act on. I’m okay on not pursuing a relationship currently, however I was challenged about this only last night.
Talking to my housemates, I was asked – “…but are you acting single?” My response, somewhat defensive, was “Yes I am!”
They challenged me and suggested that maybe this personal commitment should actually be about acting as if I was in relationship; talking to women as if I was not a single man. Therefore, not spending too much time or getting too close to a woman in a conversation or an environment where it could be romantic.
It’s likely that I will extend this time pursuing singleness. This free time I have had – not so focused on women – has allowed me space to actually work out how I want the relationship with my future wife to be. It has also allowed me space to work out how I want to be as a future husband. I don’t have strict rules – but I want God to be the centre of it. I’m still working on it…