Victoria: Hi, Singlestalk. Looks like DJ is going to be single for life. Pardon me if I sound intruding but is that by choice or because of circumstance? I’m in my 30s, an entrepreneur. Of course, there are cold days when I wish there was someone to warm it up as coffee would on a rainy morning but I’m pretty much settled. Is this a good thing or a bad thing?
DJ: You’re absolutely not nosey, Victoria. Part of the job I signed up for is writing this column. I’m no stranger to being asked such a question though I never asked those who are wedded why they’re still married. I do ask whether I was a squirrel in my past life. Why am I attracted to nuts? Seriously, I am single by circumstance and by choice. I still welcome the possibility of one day getting married. But it’s not something I hang on to like my whole life depends on it. It is what it is and I’m making the most of it. I believe the same holds true for being married, for those taking a religious vow or whatever major life decisions we make. We think, process, decide then live with it. No life or path is perfect. Almost everything is a work in progress so long as we’re breathing. Thus, I don’t dwell anymore on why being single is a bad thing. And since we’re treading on the same path, let me tell you instead how and why it works.
There are many celebrations associated with relationships—engagement dinners, weddings, bridal showers, bachelor’s parties, Valentine’s Day—but being single is not necessarily a sad status. It offers a lot of possibilities and I suggest you embrace and appreciate them instead.
In 2018, the US Census Bureau reported the highest median age for first marriage — 30 years for men and 28 years for women. Being single allows more room to assess who you are and where you want to be in life. In my case, I have room to pursue my career, my being part of the Naval Reserve Force, in engaging in humanitarian projects like bringing water to mountainous and remote schools through Rotary while finishing my doctorate in management.
What classes, associations, breakthroughs do you want to develop? I value my freedom to make decisions for myself and be accountable for my choices so much that I will have to think very hard if ever the time will come when I have to let go more of these, if ever I’ll decide to share my life with someone else.
Being single is not like a purgatory people are forced to endure until they find a soulmate. This is a great time to take risks, have adventures and explore for more novelty in our journey. Can someone be creative and focused while in a relationship? Of course. But it’s a tough balance too, as one no longer just think for himself or herself.
There is a price as well for having someone to love and to hold. When you’re unattached, there’s harmony as long as you consider yourself as good company. It’s a cool time actually to figure out who you are, what you stand for and to be true to whatever these may be. While movies often portray our status like we’re incomplete until we have a significant other, these stereotypes are far from the truth. I’ve seen miserable marriages and blissful singles, and wretched singles and joyful married couples. Happiness is not about a relationship status as much as the person who is in it.
While I’m enjoying the single life, I am not prescribing this to everyone. I also have happily married friends who are not prescribing such a state of life just because it works for them. Just live the life you want to live. I’m not in favor of people being pressured to be in a relationship. And I feel for those who stay even if their dating relationships are no longer making them happy just because they feel the need to be paired up. Being single or married has advantages and drawbacks. It boils down to one’s priorities, values and choices. Besides, I also think finding and being the right person starts with learning how to be happy being single. Loving others is only possible when we have so much love inside that we’re willing and able to give it away. Love yourself in a manner that makes you believe that indeed you’re the one.