By: Joan Icotanim
Why are you still single?
When are you getting married?
Your standards are so high.
You might have missed the last ride already.
As a single woman in my thirties, I would always hear such remarks in family gatherings and class reunions. Sometimes, I would just brush it aside. Most of the time, I’d answer in sweet sarcasm.
I want to have a family of my own and I do pray God’s promises will be fulfilled soon. However, I also don’t mind being single at this time of my life or even being single for the rest of my life. I am secured on my own and I am happy pursuing my dreams, while I wait for the “dream job” (of becoming a housewife) to happen. As I think of my time of waiting, I’d like to share what makes this season of my life less tedious and more life-giving.
Define your identity
It’s easy to fall into insecurity when you’re thirty and still single, especially when your friends and batchmates are all getting married and building their own families. What keeps me grounded is my conviction that my identity is not defined by my relationship or civil status. Know your worth as a woman and remember that you are precious in the eyes of your Maker. Personally, I am secured with my identity as a daughter of God and that my value is not measured by my dating status.
List down your essentials
Do not listen when they tell you your standards are high. Those are your standards. Identifying your non-negotiables will help you focus your gaze on what really matters and sift the options. You have waited this long, why lower down the bar now? Just make sure that list is realistic and not too ideal as describing a perfect man (he doesn’t exist). It would help to set aside quiet time to really ponder on the essential qualities you cannot live without. I, for example, am very particular with religious practice so it is part of my non-negotiables to have a Catholic upbringing. Things like good grammar and a nice car fall under nice-to-haves.
This is totally different from being flirty. Social quotient comes in handy when meeting new people, or even good old friends. I must be honest that striking a conversation or sustaining small talks is not exactly my thing. But to be genuinely interested on other people is not just helpful but also polite. Listen when people talk, ask sincere questions, and share your thoughts. It is also good to remember what they said so the next time you meet or continue your exchange online, you can ask updates about it. Next time you attend a reunion or a professional gathering, get off your phone, smile warmly, and start a conversation.
Pursue your passion
Waiting is tedious; nobody likes it. As one waits longer, the impatience also grows stronger. Make the most out of your waiting time and go do something worthwhile that really interests you – like learning to cook (you will have to do this as a homemaker most probably), starting a new hobby (gardening, guitar, sports), attending workshops, or joining a club. In this way, you can already be with people who have the same interests and wavelength as yours. Isn’t it awesome bumping into someone cute in the same isle in the bookstore?
Do what waiters do: Serve
I have many friends who found “the one” while serving – either in a volunteer work, some church-led activity, or in humanitarian organizations. Joining service-oriented groups is a natural way to get to know people – their motivations, background, lifestyle, etc. When you are in a group that addresses a social concern, you get to see people without their best foot forward – you find them at their best and at their worst. Besides, isn’t it amazing hitting two birds with one stone – forwarding an advocacy and finally finding love?
For whatever it takes to catch the last ride, what is important is living a life of contentment and discontentment at the same time. Like what one saint said, “Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.” But come to think of it, there is really no last ride to catch after all. Each one has her or his own timeline and role in life to fulfill and we should not be pressured by the standards and stereotypes set by society. We should be happy and fulfilled whenever and wherever we are in our journey.
And don’t mind those remarks from your reunions. Just in case, don’t invite them to your wedding. 🙂
Featured photo from Shutterstock