It was probably the most honest question I’ve been asked by anyone lately. And I tried to answer it with the same vulnerable honesty. Why was I single? Why have I been single for the longest time? Was it, as my guy friend asked me last night, because I “choose to be single?” or “nagkataon lang?”, like he pointed out. He said this was bothering him because I was an amazing girl whose status in Facebook remains “single”.
The thing is, this isn’t the first time somebody’s asked me that. Another guy friend, after a long conversation on life and relationships, asked me plainly, “you almost have everything. Boyfriend nalang.”
I don’t really know whether I was happy to hear that. For many reasons. One, it feels to me that people equate completeness or happiness in life to being in a relationship. The argument seems to tell me that after graduating or achieving a certain status in life, the next logical step is to be someone’s girl friend and that having a boyfriend makes you the total package. Second, it annoys me every time I hear people say, “sa ganda mong yan, wala ka pang boyfriend?” All that tells me is that beauty merits being in a relationship. It’s as if you don’t even have a right to be single if you’re pretty! OR, you can only be single if you’re ugly! That is just cruel, considering I’ve been single for most of my life. Now if being beautiful means having a boyfriend, ladies and gentlemen please fall in line now! That just kills me. I have so many beautiful girl friends out there that are single and yet they don’t feel lacking at all. Third, there seems to be a prevalent interest in my relationship status that people make it such a big deal and feel there must be something wrong with it. Or with me. Is there?
But I will be honest with you today. I will tell you exactly how I feel after I heard those questions, and I will tell you plainly that if some people have given such a considerable amount of effort to understand this, well guess what, I’ve spent my whole single life wondering the same thing.
My friend was partly right when he said that maybe I chose to be single. There was a time in my life that I did. I was in college then and had just come from a premature dating scene that totally left my naïve heart broken for the first time. I made a decision to NOT be in a relationship while in college because I really honestly just wanted to focus on my studies and not have distractions. That does not mean I did not encounter suitors in college; I did. And that does not also mean I was consistent in my convictions; I wasn’t. But I kept the covenant and graduated without a boyfriend.
After graduation, suddenly the whole world seemed like a big dating arena. There were many opportunities to meet many different people. I was selective to a fault, that has always been my criticism. People tell me I have such high standards and to tell you frankly, I do and I have no intentions of lowering them. But there was an exception to that, a compromise with a guy who I thought was worth giving up my singlehood for. I felt ready to be in a relationship then. And when he came, I had such reckless abandon to all those standards and convictions that I’ve built my whole life. But the relationship did not work as I had hoped it would. Two years of pain and tears. In the end, I realized why it was important to NOT compromise because one would pay for it dearly.
It’s been a year and a half since then and I’ve remained single. Why? Not for a lack of men, no, they’re everywhere. Especially now that I’m pursuing my hobby and left and right I get invitations from people I don’t know, personal and online. Just last night, a guy invited me in Facebook through common connections and I had no idea who he was. I asked him whether I know him and he said, “pasensya na po, ang ganda mo lang kasi.”
I’ve made my stand on this very, very clear. I don’t like it when people add me in Facebook because they think I’m pretty. I told a guy friend once that I feel people are losing the decency to even introduce themselves or say those basic Hi’s and Hello’s. Facebook aside, that is still the accepted social practice, right? My friend told me, “men don’t even think about that anymore when they see a beautiful girl.” Exactly the reason I hold on to my principles so strongly. I don’t want guys who think women are an easy catch. And I don’t like guys who think women are easily swayed by compliments. While I appreciate your sweet compliments, I prefer courtesies that go with them.
My point is: I do not lack admirers and if I wanted to have a boyfriend, it’d be such an easy job to just select from among the available guys within my circle.
So we go back to that one question.
“You’re so amazing, bakit ang taong katulad mo eh “single” pa din ang status sa facebook?” His words reverberate in my ears. When he asked that, I was really unsettled. I’ve been trying NOT to articulate that to myself because I know I’m only going to feel sorry for myself, and then suddenly I feel as though someone has read my journals because this whole time I’ve been asking that quietly to myself. And he just put it plainly.
But I refuse to let my insecurities and fears consume me. There’s a deeper reason to why I’m single and I can’t make people understand it. But at least I can make myself understand it.
So let’s break it down. Have I been too selective? No. Despite the throngs of available men within my circle, the plain truth is that I’ve just never met that one guy. The guy who would make me fall in love and the guy who would risk it with me. God hasn’t given him to me yet, it’s that simple. And if you’re looking for another answer, I don’t have it.
I’m not perfect and I know no one is, so I’m definitely not looking for a perfect guy. But I’m definitely waiting for a certain guy, one that just fits right into who I am as a person. That’s why when men are intimidated by me, I shrug it off. That guy won’t be. I’m waiting on a guy who is deeply in love with Jesus. A real man, a man who knows His God and who follows him to the ends of the Earth. A man willing to “swim against the tide”, as Elisabeth Eliot puts it. I’m waiting on a guy who shares the same passions with me, who is as adventurous as I am, crazy, spontaneous, humorous and compassionate and has a heart for missions. Sometimes, it’s hard not to play the pity game when people keep telling me that I’m this and that. If I’m what they say I am, then why am I single and why won’t men pursue me? It can be disheartening to know that people have certain expectations of you and yet you’ve just never lived up to it. But when I consider the past mistakes I’ve done in my life with regard to relationships, and when I realize how I was redeemed from those mistakes, I have a strong sense of being in the right.
I am waiting, and have been waiting for a while now. I’m 25 and I know life passes by so quickly. But I would rather wait for God’s perfect timing for me and for that one guy He will bless me with, than decide to have a boyfriend now just because I’m pressured or I’m lonely or I’m “missing out”. I dread to think what heartbreak awaits those who are not patient enough to wait on God’s best. The last thing I want is to settle for a mediocre guy, because I’m not mediocre and I’m pretty sure God is well aware of that. He just has that perfect match for me. And when I do get into a relationship, I want it to be my last. Heartbreaks are such a waste of passion, time, energy. Who wants that? I’m in it for the long haul. I don’t like dating around and testing the waters.
Now waiting is another part of this journey. Sometimes, it really just sucks to wait, not knowing when he will come or when I would be ready. But one thing I learned is that women are NOT to wait passively. They have to make the most of their life, be a godly woman who will serve Jesus with their whole hearts. And when one serves Jesus, the satisfaction that comes with it pale in comparison to the satisfaction I might get from doing anything else. God knows my desires, He will give them to me. But our duty is to delight in Him first, find satisfaction, serve Him.
Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Psalm 37:4
So yes, to put it plainly: I’m a beautiful, extraordinary single girl waiting on a handsome, godly, extraordinary man. I’ve never met him and he’s never met me, that’s why I’m still single. :-) But God, I can’t wait to change that Facebook status! :-)