Last year, during the extent of the quarantine days, I found myself gushing over rom-coms and love stories (I’m blaming it all on Netflix LOL). It has been a couple of years since I’ve been single, and I’m kinda used to it. But for some reason, the pandemic had me emotional and contemplative of my singlehood again.
I remember chatting my married friends and told them ‘you’re lucky to have someone you can share your problems with’. And while I can say I have moved on from my failed married life, I must admit that I felt a pang of envy.
Since it was recently the Day of Hearts, let’s talk about love and relationships. All over social media, pictures of flowers/ bears/ chocolates/ balloons/ dinner dates flooded our news feeds along with hashtags like #sanaall and #relationshipgoals. For the singles like me, people call it S.A.D. or Single Awareness Day. It’s like out of the 365 days in the year, February 14 is THE day to rub singlehood in our faces.
In my 30-some years of existence, I’ve had my fair share of boring and exciting Valentine’s Days. I was one of those nerd-looking high schoolers with a list of crushes and a desperate need for attention. I didn’t have my first boyfriend until I was 19, and from there I’ve had my “long list of ex-lovers” (Tay-tay singing in the background ♫). I’ve played the role of different characters in a story – the victim, the protagonist, the abused, the villain, the desperate, the heartbreaker, the innocent, the seductress. I can say I have an array of love stories and adventures which I’m not all proud of but not regretful either.
When we come from wider spectrums in life, we are able to view things from different perspectives.
So which is better – going solo or sailing with someone’s ship? Hmm.. in case you don’t know yet, let me lay it out for you.
On my blog “How to know you’ve moved on“, I’ve listed some ways to know that we have finally moved on from a heartbreak. There I shared how I like the term “single-blessedness”. It took me years of tears and happiness and maturity to understand it fully. And I think even if I get into a romantic relationship soon, “single-blessedness” is still one of the most wonderful things that I’ve learned and that everyone must experience in their lifetime.
I’m sure all of us have stories to tell about the pros and cons of being single. Justine said, “Pros – you have time to discover yourself and to know what you really want. Cons – sharing of problem is limited. Family and friends are not always there to listen to you, but there’s always that special someone that make problems feel less burdensome.” When I shared my sentiments to Nica on how building a family is easier with a partner than on one’s own, she said, “single people have more freedom as they’re able to make a decision on their own. We may have partners but the level of hard work is just the same. For now, Mars, your sole responsibility as a single parent is Juneau. Take advantage of that liberty”.
And I agree wholeheartedly to both friends’ points.
When I was younger, I used to have the “collect, collect, then select” mentality. LOL. I know you’ll say “what a narcissist!” IKR? Ah, the power of youth! And I can say that’s another advantage of being single. The idea of mingling without commitments and expectations sounds exciting! This becomes even more appealing to the younger generation, especially that we are dealing with a Netflix and Chill phenomenon. It is this era of dating that celebrates casual coitus over traditional courtship.
But what we have to understand is that Love and Belonging is important, the way our basic needs are. Marlow’s Hierarchy of Needs have this on the third tier. And in my experience, the Netflix and Chill or “collect, collect, then select” lifestyle can really be exhilarating (it sure is!) but after a certain period of time, it can eat up such a hole in our being that makes us feel empty inside.
Such experiences result to us building walls. I’ve been in that situation countless times, to the point that I am not used to having anyone around anymore – even a family member. On the bright side, I personally felt stronger and bolder. But sometimes we mistaken being strong to overdependence that we tend to outweigh the benefits and risks of being single and in a relationship. Because no matter how liberating singlehood can be, at the end of the day, it’s still nice to have someone to come home to.
The thing with being single is, we are not single at all – if we are stuck with our anxieties and fears about getting into relationships. Being single can be best enjoyed once we embrace single-blessedness: when we realize how much we love and value ourselves without bitterness, jealousy, and regrets.
Our apprehensions in getting into relationships lead us to come up with our lists and standards. I often see “find a person who” posts but for me, this is a sort of a counterblow which mars the beauty of falling in love. We have our guidelines of what we want our potential partners to be, but are we exerting efforts to be that person on our list? Being single gives us that power and opportunity to be our ideal person, and this can attract us the same person instead – that person who will make falling in love as easy as staying in love. That’s when we don’t need to keep track of our “find a person who” checklist anymore, because that person was right in the beginning and has been right all along.
So which is better – going solo or sailing with someone’s ship? I would say both are equally beautiful. But if you choose to sail with someone, make sure to sail on that ship and that ship alone, and cruise it with pure affection and dedication. Now if you choose to go solo, make sure you are the shining one (Jennie Kim dancing it out this time♪)!
Whether we are in a relationship or not, let’s enjoy it because love is fleeting. Love, like life, is effervescent and within a blink of an eye, can either depart or be taken away from us. Being single and being in a relationship both have benefits, and at the same time, both of them have downsides. So let’s not think too much. Focus on the now. And whichever side we are on – whether we are all on our own or with pets or plants or kids; or committed to a romantic relationship with a significant other – let’s always choose to #lovemore. ♥