by Laurita P. Arca
I did not plan to stay single for life. Just like other women, I also dreamed of walking down the aisle. I also wanted to have kids and a family of my own.
Let me tell you a few stories of mine in my search for THE ONE.
I was twenty-three when I had a love story with a guy whom I thought was already my THE ONE. He gave me a picture with I Love You dedication at the back; asked me “Tayo na ba?” to which I answered “Game.” When I borrowed his scientific calculator, he typed the sentence I Love You using a set of numbers. He visited me at home almost every day whenever he was in our place. We strolled a lot together too. We even watched a movie in a theater. His interest in me was very evident in many ways. Despite all these, I tried not to assume that he was pursuing me. I was afraid to be labeled as someone so assuming. I wanted assurance. I waited for him to verbalize his feelings for me, but he didn’t. Because of this, I had to deny among those who were asking that he was my boyfriend though I know how hurtful it was for him every time I was doing that. I was already sure about my feelings for him, but I was unsure about the real status between us. Honestly, I am still not confident until now to claim that I had a boyfriend… that he became my boyfriend. In the third year of our assumed relationship, while we were in their house due to his birthday, he told me in front of his sister-in-law that he was about to marry already while pointing his finger at me, but I answered “No, no, no, no! I’m not yet ready to get married.” I reacted that way because I was caught off guard by that seemingly…. marriage proposal. He became very quiet after that. I suddenly felt there was a distance between us. He never showed himself for about eight months and when he showed up again, he was already married, and his wife was already three-month pregnant. That was really heartbreaking for me. It seemed that a part of me died. That heartbreak was intensified by the fact that I got no right to become heartbroken because, in the first place, I did not acknowledge him as my boyfriend. So, I still ask myself until now if it was my fault that we didn’t have a happy ending. I still want confirmation too if there had been an us so that I can at least have the pride to claim I also have an ex.
The next story in my search for THE ONE was when I was thirty. The adventure took place in the dorm we named “TMB (Tahanan ng mga Magagandang Babae.” My dormmate gave me the number of her friend. I texted the guy and we became textmates for almost a year. In our exchange of messages, there sprouted my interest in him. He seemed to be very sincere in befriending me as evidenced in his stories confirmed true by my dormmate. However, I was the one who became untrue. I hid behind the name Tricksy to avoid being stalked. I got a big problem when he was already insisting to meet me personally. I had that feeling of insecurity because I lied about my looks. I told him that I was Kristine Hermosa’s lookalike. I thus made a lot of excuses just to avoid the eyeball. It was good that there were no social media yet at that time. I begged my dormmate not to reveal the address of our dorm. The exchange of messages stopped for weeks then for months. Our story finally ended when I knew from my dormmate that my textmate was already getting married. Somehow, I felt a pinch in my heart and during his wedding day, within me was a sad feeling I could not explain. So sad. I was heartbroken again but again, I had no right to claim I was.
Already feeling hopeless to find “THE ONE,” I invited my dormmate to join me in a soul-searching activity at “Bahay ni Maria,” a retreat place. While the reason why my dormmate went there was that she had a breakup with her boyfriend, mine was because I was already losing hope that there is really someone meant for me. Being a nun thus crossed my mind. We knocked at the gate and when the gate opened, what showed before us was a very handsome face. That handsome face made us giggle to the max like teenage girls with our feet jumping. That ended our soul-searching very fast. Right there at the gate of “Bahay ni Maria,” me and my dormmate realized that we could not be nuns. Despite this realization, we still stayed in the place as planned and just enjoyed the beautiful sight of that handsome face who happened to be one of the resident priests in the area.
I still have more stories to tell but I must stop here already to give way for the things I find very important to say before I end this article.
I’m still single at 54; and still in love with the wonderful feeling of being in love. Age is indeed just a number. The feeling never gets old. I am still open to the possibility of finding my THE ONE despite my age. I just hope…. not in my 60’s. For now, I just enjoy going anywhere I want, going out with family and friends, driving my car while listening to my favorite music, singing I Will Survive, having the haircut I like, eating the cakes I crave, sipping my favorite Café Latte, paying for the best foot and nail spa ever, giving pieces of advice to my beautiful nieces, shopping for new wardrobes, and doing anything that lightens my heart and eases my mind. In case no one comes along, I never mind. I fully trust the will of my Creator. If He will ask me to stay single forever, I will not resist. Instead, I will be very joyful to say that “Yes Lord! I’m staying single…… definitely, without regrets!”