I have been single for almost three years.
It used to not bother me, but as old age is creeping in, I am beginning to notice the signs of depressive singledom. It used to be little; I would miss having someone listen to me even if he didn’t want to, someone I could confide my murderous thoughts, and of course, the regular sex. Then it just became an unrelenting sense of loneliness and jealousy as Valentine’s came knocking.
Valentine’s. It’s funny how as a poster child for promiscuity, I’ve never had an actual Valentine. Sure, I’ve received flowers and expensive gifts on regular days and going out on dates is very frequent. People assume I score guys because of my terrific personality (which I don’t contest), but I believe it’s because I have a steady supply of chloroform and silk scarves. But for some reason, I always found myself alone on the wretched day of hearts and this year won’t be different.
It used to not bother me, but my growing melancholia has magnified the universe’s attempt to make me suffer as the people around me go on dates and eat each other alive in public. It sounds very narcissistic to assume that the universe would focus its attention to torturing me, but it’s depressing the shit out of me.
I have been single for almost three years. That’s roughly around the time I graduated from school. I had this theory that once I get out of college, I’d be single for a long while. I would be too busy with my career to focus on a boyfriend, who I felt would just drag me down. I thought of the world as my oyster, and I intended to make the most out of it.
My career flourished and I slowly lost interest in having a relationship. I think I even lost the ability to have actual emotions because I could not relate to any of those tragic films/songs/books/TV shows. I couldn’t understand what Adele was singing and though I got what she was trying to say, I couldn’t relate. At all. I was happy. I had a stable career. I had an active social life. I did not deny myself anything, I bought everything the hell I wanted.
Chalk it up to quarter-life crisis, but I became unsatisfied with my life. Suddenly I had no idea what I was doing or where I was headed. Even while I was surrounded by so many people, I felt so alone. I began questioning my decisions and my very existence. Was I really happy? What is happening to my life? Then my “depression” began.
It’s not really depression, but I knew I was heading there if I didn’t do something. To be quite honest, I’ve had this feeling for quite some time. And by some time, I mean years. I don’t want to call it suicidal tendencies, but I felt very tired of life and all its complexities. I have so many insecurities that I was certain I would either die of stress…. or suicide. Fortunately, I’ve gotten rid of those disturbing thoughts but those feelings of loneliness are still there.
And then I realized that this choice is a conscious one. Or an unconscious one. Either way, it is a choice. I’ve lost the ability to trust people, and while I can clearly remember who did this and why it happened, I chose to distance myself from people and live in voluntary seclusion.
I have it all. Except human connection. I realized that to be truly happy, I needed to connect emotionally to my friends and family. I realized that financial stability and a successful career does not equate a happy life. What’s the point of being on top if you have no one to share it with? And more importantly, who do you drink with when you’re at the lowest point?
One night, I decided to invite Nikko and Jan to my house for dinner. There, I began the daunting task of sharing my feelings, and happily, they weren’t overwhelmed with three years worth of pent-up emotions. It felt really good, and I felt lighter. More importantly, I felt happier.
I promised myself that I will open up more, take more risks, and start trusting people. The only reason I’ve been successful is because I’ve been playing it safe. It’s about time that I put myself out there to experience hurt, pain, and rejection. A life half-lived is as bad as a life not lived at all, and I want to feel everything life has to offer, from the good to the bad.
Some people may say that you don’t need relationships. They say that you can be your single, fabulous self and lead a successful career and have girlfriends and you will never be unhappy. I agree. I have some of the best friends in the world who get me and can tolerate all my political and sexual incorrectness. Same goes with my family, who accept me and love me even if I haven’t showered in days. But friendship and familial ties can only go so far, what with their own personal relationships and awkwardness in discussing your sex life with your mother. There is a deeper security and intimacy, not necessarily sexual, that you can get from a boyfriend.
Like all my past Valentine’s, I didn’t have a date, but I did spend the night with someone. Not someone I particularly cared for, but a guy whose face was enough for me to forget my neuroses. It was a one-night stand and the feeling of being wanted, lusted after, made me feel infinitely better.
I feel that I am now ready for a relationship. I’ve done my experimentation and while I’m not closing off the idea of one-night stands, I’m ready to face life with a partner. I hope this doesn’t come off as desperate. I wouldn’t be one of those guys who would literally pounce at the next guy who shows interest, liking the idea of having a boyfriend more than the boyfriend. Just because I’m depressed doesn’t mean my milkshake stopped bringing the boys to the yard, honey.