“I never had a boyfriend.”
People are on a wide array of wild reactions whenever they discover I never had a boyfriend – raised eyebrows, judgmental looks and the classic high-pitched “Really?” I am not embarrassed by being an NBSB (No Boyfriend Since Birth). I have long realized it is a not a flaw. It is my current situation that may or may not change. Yet it has not always been this way.
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When I started in high school, it didn’t matter to me. I only wanted to make good grades, make friends and have some fun. It changed when I liked a guy who didn’t like me back. I became more conscious of my competence. It didn’t help me that he was courting girls who are prettier, richer, and smarter than me. Being single started to bug me.
That is when I wished to gain admirers to compensate for the confidence I lost. I thought cheesy compliments and lovestruck stares from boys will give me the validation I need. Aren’t suitors designed to make girls feel better about themselves?
I looked for the subtle love signs. I hoped for roses and chocolates on Valentine’s Day. I waited for someone to make me feel special. No one did. “Am I ugly? Am I dumb? Why don’t they like me?” were all I could think of.
That is why despite having great family and friends, I was not completely contented. I was blinded by the need to prove to him and to everyone else I am good enough. Call me vain and narcissistic but it was what I thought the only way for me to have a sense of purpose.
Being single is a curse.
There goes college. Equipped with my high school vanity, I decided to make a better version of myself. I dressed better. I had braces. I studied more. I thought by doing these things, guys would fight to get my attention. They didn’t. My life was not the romantic movie I grew up watching. I got angry with my situation – turning to less attractive women who have boyfriends. I had the nasty instinct to throw in harsh judgments at them. I got sour during Valentine’s Day, shouting to random couples, “Magbebreak din kayo!” (Even though I still think some did).
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One day, for some unknown reasons, I was at peace with my single status. It was a refreshing feeling. I felt happier and lighter as if a heavy baggage was lifted off me. I have a better insight into my situation. I am fine with supposed less attractive women having boyfriends. It is not physical beauty nor a smart mind – but a good heart, I realized. I see sweet couples on Valentine’s Day in a more civil way. (Even though the nagging feeling that the couples I unintentionally cursed broke up for good.)
Regardless of my contentment with being single, I can’t avoid sticky situations. Well-meaning elders and nosy colleagues don’t think the same way. Some pity me as if I have an incurable disease. Others say I am too high-maintenance and cold towards others and should take it easy. Mothers and aunties would try to pair me up with their sons and nephews. Those awkward moments give me and my friends a good laugh and my future grandchildren good stories to tell.
Being single also provided me with perks I know I won’t have if I have a boyfriend. I focus on what matters to me – my family, my friends, my studies, and myself. I put in time and effort to those memorable moments and my personal growth that is otherwise lost if I insist on having a partner.
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This experience taught me that I don’t need another person to make me feel important because I am. I have something valuable to share in this world. It is also only me who needs to validate my own worth. If I can’t do it, I shouldn’t expect it from other people.
I am 23 and still single. But I am happy, independent and contented.
Being single is a blessing.
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