Singlehood at Quarterlife

Aah, yes. Being single at a time when you’re supposed to be anything but.

Maybe this is a disaster and I’m supposed to be panicking, especially in relation to the fate of my egg cells. But oddly enough, I’m not.

When people ask me about my love life nowadays (and it’s really sweet they think I have one, haha), I don’t know what to say, because there really is nothing to tell. At 27, I have been single all my life, which is part of the reason why when I hear pre-pubescent kids and teens whine about how they don’t have anyone in their life and how maybe they’ll die alone and things like such, I try my hardest not to laugh in their face. My darlings, please. You ain’t been through nothing yet.

But then again, I am a peculiar nut, and I may have experienced life (and love) differently from others. It is no secret to many of my friends that my experience of brokenness in the family has led me to be especially guarded when it comes to who I let into my life, much more my heart. I mean, I really don’t want to live the broken-family victim script, but it is how it is and there is no point denying it. Some experiences—especially ones you go through as a child—really do shape you, at your core, and it is very difficult (if not impossible) to weed out that thread from your past and just live without it, because it’s part and parcel of the very fabric of you.

“They fuck you up, your mum and dad. They may not mean to, but they do.”—Philip Larkin

Now add to that the fact that I really am a lover of solitude and a fierce protector of my freedom, and here you have someone who has almost made it a life goal to cruise through life alone because it’s what comes as second nature, because it is comfortable.

I have heard all the romantic clichés, of course, about how maybe I just haven’t met “the right person,” or how maybe it isn’t “the right time” yet. I have also heard the less dreamy ones, about how maybe I have standards too high for any earthling to meet, or how maybe my calling really is Single Blessedness, if not religious life. But my favorite of all is when someone attempts to explain to me, in psychological terms and often condescendingly, how I might’ve been messed up so bad by my parents’ separation that I now have these intimacy and commitment issues to contend with, as if I haven’t already run through the dynamics of it all in my head.

Now some, all, or none of these explanations may be true. I admit it bothers me at times, but it is beyond me to know at this point exactly why things are the way they are. Sometimes I get tired hearing all the clichés or trying to explain to people that I am essentially Okay being single, especially to those who insist that women stick to the cultural timetable of getting married and settling down a certain age. News flash: The world is not as cut-and-dried as that. People find and lose love for a number of reasons, or maybe for no reason. People also get married for reasons other than love, and people can and do settle down even without marriage.

It is all very fluid, how things are in this world, and all I can say is that I’m just trying to ride it out like everybody else is. Currently, I am working for causes that matter to me, in a field that I love, and that’s all there is in my life for now. If you ask me why I still haven’t found anyone or settled down at this point in my life, I don’t really have an answer to that. I have a lot of speculations, yes, but at best I could maybe just give you a wan smile, and say, “I don’t know.”

And it’ll be closer to the truth than any other answer I could give you. ♦

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