You’ve been “in it” more than once, I gather. You’re at a family event, and all the aunts and uncles ask you the same question, in different versions: “You’re still single?”, “Where’s your boyfriend?”, “Why aren’t you married yet?”, and my personal favorite, “When are you getting married?” Maddening, isn’t it?
Hot and Bothered?
Why does it bother you if someone asks your civil status? It bothers me because it assumes being single is supremely bad, like being sentenced to watch “Eat Bulaga” until you die. Although, I’m attached, and happily so because he’s my soul mate, the “singlehood” years before were a series of repetitive inquiries into my personal life.
I happen to believe it’s no one else’s business if you’re in a relationship or not, so I take issue with anyone — relative or not — asking. And before you say, “they’re just asking,” no Pinoy is “just asking”; some preconceived idea will always drive a seemingly innocent question.
It should bother you when someone asks because, a.) The “You’re still single” question assumes something’s wrong with you that you still haven’t found someone, and b.) You’re awesome whether you’re with someone or not. It’s especially annoying when relatives badger you about being single, and not care you’ve, for example, just invented a cool eco-friendly lamp and impressed the world’s most powerful leader.
Somehow, when a woman is successful and still unattached, something’s not right with her and society looks at her queer. But when a man is in the same boat, he’s a unicorn: fantastically elusive. We may have come a long way as human beings, but we’re still backwards when it comes to viewing women.
Break out the Champagne
When you’re single, you’re not exactly lonely. You can be with someone and still feel alone, which means you’re with the wrong person. To use this argument with relatives is futile, so let science tell your inquisitive relatives why you should celebrate as a single person.
You socialize more
A New York Times study reveals couples stay indoors (although, cuddling indoors with mad traffic going on sounds awfully good), while single people socialize more.
Single people are happier
Yes, being married can make you happy, too. But it means staying married. Also, researchers have found that most happiness wanes for most couples after two years, on average, of being married.
Kissing and holding hands leave all sorts of bacteria
Kissing transfers 250 colonies of bacteria while holding hands leaves more; hands can have 4,737 unique strands of bacteria. Lovely.
Be the Heroine
Your happiness should not depend on anyone. You’re no less worthy as a person than your married or attached friends. I’m not saying being part of a couple isn’t what it’s cracked up to be; if you’re with the right person, it’s like Christmas morning every day (with a few penitent Holy Weeks thrown in for reality). I’m saying don’t feel like you have to live up to everybody else’s standard of living a fulfilled life. If that means staying single, so be it.
Jane Fonda once said, “The challenge is not to be perfect … it’s to be whole.” Forget the whole “You complete me” bit. It’s sappy romantic lines like this that can mess up your idea about love and relationships. Find fulfillment with yourself. Be “whole.” Celebrate being single. And you’ll know when you’re ready to share your life with someone else. Not someone who’ll keep the relatives busy at gatherings, but someone worthy of you.
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Joy has been a vegan for over 20 years. She's done a wide range of stories for magazines, from music and movies to business and culture matters. She continues to write professionally to this day — like, right this very minute.