"Huh, you no bf meh, I don't believe leh. Your standard too high is it?"
"You seem like the relationship kind of girl, I'm surprised you are single."
"All your friends are married or planning to get married leh, why are you not in a relationship?"
Welcome to the list of the few questions I get asked the most. While I do attempt to come up with an answer, I find that I do not know how to answer them. Do I even know why? But today, as I sit alone in front of this laptop, I'll attempt to answer it for once.
Where do I begin?
Maybe I can tell you the typical tale of love and lost.
You see, once upon a time, I wasn't the girl who was always alone. I was the girl who was always in a relationship, until life happened: I broke up with the first love, entered a new environment, and my best friends started to get busy and eventually got married. Don't get me wrong, I was extremely happy that she found her happiness. But surely, that transition was the period of time when life handed me a mission: to learn how to be in solitude.
From those days onwards, I learnt to accept being alone, of course not before much inner conflict with myself. Initially, of course I felt weird, as though there were many pairs of eyes staring at me while I went about looking for clothes. Asking for a table for one always equated to weird stares and sometimes, rude TSK or glares from the waitresses. That was the period of time I absolutely abhorred, but later grew to learn that people do not necessarily choose solitude, but solitude grew to become entwined with them as one. After a few years, I actually preferred to shop alone, watch a movie alone and even recently, traveled alone. Solitude grew, and slowly, sprouted to become wings of freedom.
While I definitely met another guy after my first love, it did not work out as we have hoped, and that was the relationship that left a scar in the last year of my polytechnic life. We burnt too fast, too soon, and you could almost equate it to the unhealthy interaction between Joker and Harley Quinn. As with all failed relationships, we made our mistakes and we let go. Through the process of recovery, I grew. In these three years, I have matured and learnt more about myself: how to be there for myself when no one else was around, how to disallow emotions to overrule logic and how to be my own best friend. Years of independence have thickened like forts around me, to the extend that even when I lost my vision once, I went down to, and checked into the hospital by myself (Thankfully, it was nothing serious and I recovered). I knew that while I became tough on my own, I also became a difficult person to love.
People often ask, in these three years, do I get lonely sometimes? Yes, for sure I do. But I always knew that I would never use another human as a crutch. I had to be fine on my own.
Do I sometimes wished that I had someone to hold in these three years? Yes, I definitely do. But I knew that I would never treat another unfairly, to seek companionship by using feelings as a reason to trap someone, so as to get them to stay. If at any point one feels the need to leave, by all means, please do.
People also asked, do I miss the person I was before I learnt to distrust my heart? Yes, because it would be easier for me; but that answer would be followed by a resounding No, because to be stuck in the stage of romanticizing is the most dangerous of all things you can ever do to your well being; I used to think of love as slot machines.
People are social animals. While everyone could do with some companionship and a stable relationship, I feel that at this age, I am still a work in progress. I am still learning about the things I can bring onto the table into a relationship, if I get into one. I am single because I am still discovering how to be independent not only alone, but with someone in the picture. I am not in a relationship because I know I have my goals to chase, and hope to meet someone that would encourage and support me in my dreams, as I would have to one day learn to do the same (which can be really, really tough). I am not in a relationship perhaps because I am not ready for commitment, perhaps because I have yet to discover my own capabilities, my confidence, my assertiveness and the courage that I need to let go of the illusion of control; every relationship is but a dice roll. I am not in a relationship because I respect other's time as I would hope that they respect my own, because I know what I am worth, because I definitely do not think of relationship as a game. I am not in a relationship because I am still learning how to be patient, to identify friendship and partnership as basis for relationship, to wait for the right kind of love to find me, and hopefully by then, I would be strong enough to be able to do the same.
For now, I am unafraid to be alone.
there are worse things than being alone but
it often takes decades to realize this
and most often when you do it's
too late and there's nothing worse than