If I would rewind all the previous conversations I had with people, I am certain that I heard the same question over a hundred times. “How can you even have a boyfriend if you’re always keeping your parents close?” Well, it’s not a bad thing for me, folks. It’s also nobody’s role to worry about this kind of trivial matters for me. I already have exuberant joy and love which come from myself, my family, and my friends. What else could be better than that?
When I was about 13 years younger than what I am today, I got into a few brawls with boys. Some parents would tell my Dad, “Sus! Arman, daw hindi tana babayi nang bata mo nga na.” which means, “Gosh! Arman, your child doesn’t appropriately act like a girl.” Since when did protecting oneself from bullies and insensitive boys became a tint on someone’s femininity? Since then, I have observed lots of biased judgments in relation to gender. The recent one is the recognizable admiration of people towards bachelors which is contrary to their pity and ridicule over single women. In the Philippines, a handsome man who plays it cool while having a single life turns out to be more attractive and masculine in the eyes of many. However, if it is a beautiful woman who’s been left out by time and who hasn’t found her Mr. Right even after years of searching, people will say, “Ay, kasayang”. It means, “Oh, poor thing.” Well, I don’t think that it is a problem if a woman chooses to stay single. Many have always thought that the standard path for a woman to follow is to get a degree, then, get a stable job, then, finally marry a guy who can make a living for her and their children. Hell no! It’s not supposed to be like that. A woman can freely choose whether she has to get a permanent job where she may become a rewarding employee. It’s also her choice if she would want to start up her own business where she can fully express her creativity without being chained by strict company policies. It’s also her right to choose whether she would have to marry. She doesn’t need to listen to your cliches such as, “Oh, you have to marry at the age of 27 or else you’re going to have a hard time.”, “Give your parents some grandchildren because it’d be lonely for them to grow old without carrying these little beautiful creatures.” or “You have to give birth to a child who’s supposed to take care of you once you become a frail old woman.”. We all have our different paths. It’s unnecessary to always follow the standards set by this society. It’s your life, it’s not for the society to decide what’s good for you. In your life, you are the ruler. Don’t believe them when they say, “being single is a curse” because it is a blessing. I, Arlin Grace, a 23-year old career-oriented single lady, who can shockingly be bad ass sometimes, can prove it.
Some people pity their own selves because they are still single at their 20’s while most of their friends are already getting married and some are starting to build a family. If you are one of these lonely single persons, you have to read this. Remember that you always have to look at the brighter side of things or else you will just end up wasting your one and only life with tears and remorse. Try asking yourself, “what are the perks of being single?”. Maybe you’ll find the answers if you just know how to appreciate even the smallest of the small matters around you. When I asked myself on what are the perks of being single for a long period of time, I have three answers.
The first thing I love about being single is having more freedom. There’s no one to tell me what to wear, what to drink, where to go or who I should go with. I can wear that cute cropped top I’m comfortable with, without someone to tell me that it’s way too revealing and I better cover up my skin. I can drink a few more bottles of beer before I sleep tonight without someone telling me that it’s way too bad for a lady to drink alcohol because it’s not ladylike. I can go solo travelling whenever I want without someone so overprotective and over-possessive psycho to tell me, “Don’t do that because you might realize that you’re at your best when you’re alone and that you don’t actually need me in your life. So, you’re going to leave me eventually”. I can hang out with anyone I want without some jealous prick to restrict me in making friends. There are no promises to break, no commitments to forget.
The second thing I like the most about being single is having more “ME” time. For 8 long years of being single, I have learned to love myself even more each day. I know how to put myself first. I know how to make myself happy without seeking happiness from another human being. I know how to encourage myself with a soft tap on my shoulder as I whisper, “Self, you are doing this for your own good. You’re not here to please anyone or everyone.” I know how to shout out bravely, “me first”. I am chasing that dream and no one has the right to stop me.
The last thing I like the most about being single is that I get the chance to patiently wait for that one true love. You deserve a kind of love that’s worth a million risks. It’s just that you haven’t found that yet. Don’t give in to all the pressure caused by the society’s coercive voices that say, “You’re getting old. It’s a shame if you’re still single.” If you listen to these self-proclaimed virtuosi, you could end up choosing the wrong person. Do you remember the day when you’ve put on a wrong pair of socks because you were in a hurry? Don’t do that again this time. Don’t be in a rush because love is not a race, it is a grace. Know that grace is given to people at the right place and at a right time. Stay single until you find the one who will not take away most of your freedom. It’s a sign that he/she respects you as a human being knowing that it is your right to be free. Also, stay single until you find someone who will not hinder you from achieving your goals. It’s a sign that he unselfishly wants the best for you. If there is no respect and sacrifice, love is just a mere facade of whatever his true intentions are.
You are single for now because God has a purpose. I am single right now because it is my responsibility to tell you that it’s a hundred percent okay to be single. What’s not okay is to put people down with hurtful words that you cannot take back like, “maybe you’re not as attractive as anyone else, that’s why you’ll never ever be noticed and you’ll stay single forever”.