Is your independence keeping you single?

20somethingPursuit[notice]Revivalist Shannon-Leigh Barry shares her wit and passion and the pursuits of her 20something heart in a monthly column that speaks to the desires of young adults in today’s Christian society. [/notice]

I was recently watching the movie “The Best Man Holiday” and if you loved “The Best Man” you would enjoy seeing the cast all grown up in the sequel. It’s the movie we fell in love with, featuring Taye Diggs and his big smile. There was one scene in the sequel where Jordan played by Nia Long is faced with a posing question from her boyfriend, Brian, played by the handsome Eddie Cibrain.

Brian asks Jordan, a successful business woman in her own right, whether she needs him. Her response to him was no. She didn’t need him. Brian then responds with, “you will need someone sometime!”

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Jordan’s character resembles what many single people hope to achieve in today’s world: Career success, financial stability and ultimately doing something we enjoy and are passionate about. She has made sacrifices in staying single to achieve career success. That many have done in order to grow faster with less pressure of relationships and responsibility. There’s really nothing wrong with it. We are different people. After all of this though or even in the process of building the life you want you find yourself still desiring to be in a relationship.

So what do you do with the desire inside you still saying: “I want to be a wife or a husband!” after doing you for a long while?

Think about this
You will need to start making adjustments in your single life that allows someone to come in and actually allows room for them to function in your life.

If you can do everything for yourself then you are not aware of your needs because having needs does not make you needy; it makes you human. Jordan needs love and to be adored and taken care of but because she has taken care of herself for so long it is unfamiliar to her. For her to depend on anyone feels foreign.

She is needing to move from a point of independence to interdependence. Interdependence basically means being mutually reliant on each other. That is ultimately the very nature of how God designed us: in family as well as a church body, to be part of a community and express need to each other. Need is not just physical needs and financial needs but also emotional needs.

When we are not aware of our emotional needs it could mean that we cut off emotion because trust was broken. Therefore we depend solely on ourselves because others might disappoint us. We make excuses for our controlling behavior but it is a defensive mechanism so we don’t allow our hearts to experience need. Relational need is a design from God and in our heart of hearts we all desire intimacy and to be fully known (flaws included).

Jordan isn’t aware of her emotional needs as evidenced by her saying “I don’t need you”. The truth is we do need people. For us to say “I want you but don’t need you” is believing a lie Ne Yo sang to us. No one wants to stay where they are not needed. Ultimately, you want to know that the person you are marrying really wants you and needs you and not in a needy dysfunctional way but in a way that without them you wouldn’t be able to be the best version of you. They add that much value to your life and even who you are as a person.

Ask yourself these four questions to help you see where you are at:

1. Can I receive from people?
My friend Kim and I were out for a lunch date to have some girl time. At the time there was someone pursuing me. I mentioned to him I was going out for lunch with Kim. When we wanted to pay our bill the waiter mentioned that our bill was settled. I said how was that possible. They said a gentlemen paid for it. We were both surprised. I thought it was interesting that he wanted to pay for lunch. He really didn’t need too. I mean he wasn’t even there. Kim however was furious. Her first response was, “tell that man I can pay for my own meals!” Kim and I can laugh about it now but we both admit receiving can be difficult when you can do things for yourself.

2. Can I express my needs to people?
It was interesting studying abroad. I had a car in South Africa and now I was a full time student in America without a vehicle. Merely asking for rides from other students was one of the hardest things for me. Lack of public transportation systems meant I had to swallow my pride and express need to my fellow students. It helped me see what living in community was and can be

3. Can I allow people to do things for me?
It could be small things or big things. My one friend couldn’t let someone make him a cup coffee if he wasn’t paying for it. His response was “I can make it myself”. The person who wanted to serve him and loved serving on people couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t let her do the smallest thing for him.

4. Can I ask when I need help?
Let’s face it we all have weaknesses and strengths. Part of asking for help with a need is saying I know my strengths and this is not one of them. My friend wanted to start writing so she asked my friend to help her with a blog. I think he enjoys the fact that she is writing more than her. It gives him joy to assist her because he loves her and the two writers now have blog parties.

It’s time to make room for someone to come in and love you…again.
We are at our best when we are connected deeply to God and to the people who matter the most. “Two are better than one” (Ecclesiastes 4:9)


  1. wow.
    its true

  2. So true Shannon,no man is an island. We are all in need of someone no matter what stage or phase of our lives. That companion just makes the journey so much more bearable and joyful.