Why I’m still single

God knows how many times I’ve been asked this question. From answering “I’m just too busy” to “I still haven’t found the right guy yet”, I’ve eventually found the courage to brush off the question, ignore the person, and move on.

Does that make me rude? I don’t think so. I don’t know I owe someone an explanation as to why I’m still single as if being single is a crime or a sin. But just to put an end to that question, let me tell you my story:

When I was younger, I wasn’t allowed to date. My mom has this strict “no dating, no boyfriend” rule until I finish college and I can do whatever I want – move out of the house, get married, or have kids.

As the eldest among three girls, I was expected a lot – be a good role model to my younger sisters, have straight A’s at school, be obedient and I was given an exact baon just so I couldn’t hang out with friends after school, but enough to pay for my two-way transpo and meals.

My dad was an Overseas Filipino Worker in Saudi Arabia then so I was left with no choice as well. And whenever I would ask for extra money, my mom would always remind me that she still has tuition fees and bills to pay, and that I still have two younger sisters who are also studying.

I became this ‘home-school-church-home-school-church’ type of girl, whom I know most people would find really boring, but in time, I’ve learned to appreciate. Though I do admit there were times I envy couples holding hands or sitting together at school, wishing I also had someone who could walk me to school, fetch me at home, go to dinner or see movies with, or just hang out with.

Not even once had I thought of leaving the house or going against my mom’s rules, because at that time, finishing college was my top priority. Right after college, it took me another two years to finally have a boyfriend. But it lasted only for 20 days. My second relationship lasted about a year and a half, which was an accomplishment on my part considering how short-lived my first relationship was.

Thought I’d finally end up with this guy as he already asked me to marry him. But I was a 23-year-old college graduate then, not yet ready to settle so I refused him.

I would have been married by now with three or four kids. But you see there are people whom you think you’re in love with but don’t really see a future with.

My last and most recent relationship was something I didn’t see coming. Only a few close friends knew about it because we didn’t officially become a couple.

I’ve known him since we were 18 years old and became the best of friends. He was someone I knew who will always be there for me so I took him for granted. He was always invisible to me. Not knowing that one day, I will see him on a different light, which was after 20 years of friendship.

I tried my best to hide my feelings by convincing myself he was only a friend, but all the more, I started noticing his good qualities, how good he smelled, how brilliant he spoke or acted, or how confident he was becoming every single day.

We started seeing each other every month and going out on dinner. But when I couldn’t fight my feelings anymore, I told him I was beginning to fall in love with him, but it was too late.

No matter how much we wanted to be together, we both knew it wasn’t going to work. He had already decided his path, a path he has seen traversing since he was a kid, and that doesn’t include me or anyone else. So I had to respect that.

I was so heartbroken, but I have to move on and focus all my energies into my family, career, church work, and friends and before I knew it, it’s been years and I haven’t been in a relationship again.

In time, I’ve learned to ignore all comments and negative criticisms as to why I’m still single, but I do admit I still get hurt sometimes. Am I really that ugly, picky, or intimidating to be single for a very long time now?

But as you can see I’ve tried! Tried dating, online dating, meeting up, but it’s just that I can’t force someone into my life or myself to love someone again if I don’t really mean it no matter how hard I try. Love just happens.

I know in time, that relationship, that husband, that marriage, and those kids I’ve been longing for will come, I just don’t really know when and how.

For now, I will just be content and happy with what I have. People spend so much time thinking about what they lack in life that they take for granted what they already have.

And if one day after all the waiting is done and I still end up single, I have to accept my fate because I know, I know God knows better than I am. He knows what’s best for me. Besides, not all married couples are happy and not all single people are sad. It’s how we lived our lives that will matter the most.

Published by Mylene Orillo

Mylene Orillo is a contributing writer at My Pope Philippines. Prior to that, she contributed to the Health & Lifestyle magazine.  She's a former correspondent at The Manila Times; former editor-in-chief of TravelPlus magazine; and former assistant editor of Health & Lifestyle, Zen Health, and DiabetEASE magazines by FAME Publishing, Inc., a company owned by cardiologist Dr. Rafael Castillo who has given her the much-needed break and opportunity in the health industry and medical field.  Her previous job as a Media Consultant at the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office and Writer-Researcher at the Headquarters Philippine Army ignited her passions for charity, volunteering, selfless service, and love of country. As a young girl, she loved reading her mom's collection of Mills & Boons pocketbooks, which started her passion to write romance stories.  She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Sto. Tomas in España, Manila. She is now working towards earning her master's degree hopefully this year. She loves traveling, long-distance running, reading romance and non-fiction books, watching Korean Drama series, feel-good rom coms, military movies, and documentaries during her spare time. Someday, she wants to meet Prince William and Pope Francis, settle down with the love of her life and have a family and kids of her own; and become a bestselling romance author.

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