Call it whatever you want: no boyfriend since birth, single since birth, 30-year virgin. I am one–and I’m completely fine with it.
Don’t get me wrong, I had fallen in love so many times. I’ve had crushes since I discovered that boys could actually be cute and cool (around the time I was 11), so I’m not oblivious to the crazy part of falling in love: hormones, stupidity, and all. I had so many close brushes wit “what ifs”? and my fair share of unrequited love.
There were times when I would question my taste in boys. “Am I just unlucky in love?” I can’t help but wonder: “Is there something wrong with me? Why is it that the guys I like somehow don’t like me back–am I some sort of man repeller?” “Am I just ‘best friend’ material and nothing more?” The questions would go on for days.
I’ve seen my friends go steady (do kids even use that term nowadays?), get hitched, get married, and have children. At what point, I felt left behind. And yes, I spent a huge chunk of my life asking what the hell is wrong with me.
It bothered me for years. I felt pathetic at times. I felt sorry for myself for being such a loser. Believe me, I had zero self-esteem. I wondered if I deserve to be loved. I hated myself for being a 5 and not a 10. I’m your average 30-year-old Pinay, and I felt bitter that I don’t attract guys like the supermodels of this world do.
And boy, did that thinking got me into a lot of trouble. At one point, I was so desperate for love that I nearly went to bed with a man whose only interest was just getting into my pants because I am a virgin. I made seriously questionable choices because feeling sorry for myself.
And then, one day, I woke up and realized that I was none of those things, and I shouldn’t let blissful singlehood bother me. I remember it was my 28th birthday. It was my first time on my own, and I decided to travel alone for a change (Palawan is such a wonderful place–and it was the perfect backdrop for some serious reflection). I woke up in a hotel room all by myself, where I could hear the distant waves from the beach, and it felt good. Life was good–it still is, by the way–and I don’t need to be one-half of a relationship to prove that. I have a job that sucks on most days but pays the bills, I have friends whom I can rely on, I get to discover places that I’ve never been to, and I get to treat and cultivate myself from time to time. I am living the life I want, and it’s too short to dwell on FOMO, at least relationship-wise.
Trust me, it’s not easy, but changing your perspective could really affect you in a big way. It was then I started investing on myself. I enrolled in French classes, baking lessons, calligraphy workshops, financial seminars–anything that caught my fancy. I started spending time with friends more often (instead of sulking on my own and wondering what is wrong with me) and even reconnected with the ones I haven’t seen since grade school! I gave hiking a try, I read more books, and I even attempted to make small talk with strangers (something that I was deathly afraid of). I feel more confident than ever. After all, this is the time for me to try out new things and to cultivate myself–and it feels great. For the first time, I felt that I am truly at peace with myself.
And you know what, it showed! I am happier and I am more game to take on challenges because I stopped doubting myself. Of course, it’s not like I’m on an eternal high all the time; there would be days when I’d screw up at work or just feel generally off. But they don’t bother me anymore as much as they used to, and what a huge difference that makes!
Am I missing out on something big? Maybe. Do I want family someday? Sure. But I’m not in a hurry to get there because I’m too busy loving myself at the moment (and that’s just one perk of being single). Right now, I’m just open to whatever life throws at me instead of worrying about Mr. Right.
There’s nothing wrong with being single–and being a virgin–when you’re in your 20s, 30s, 40s, even 50s. Trust me, these are the years that you should invest on yourself, to love yourself. Don’t waste them on doubts or second guesses. I spent a good deal of my life wondering what’s wrong with me and feeling sorry for myself when I should’ve spent my time on more worthwhile endeavors. Don’t make the same mistake as I did. Live your life to the fullest.