It was 4pm --- barely four hours since we slept after an all-night-all-morning devouring of beer, chardonnay, spirits and subjects to talk about. We were on his bed. He stroked my face as my head lay on his chest and asked, "So why are you single? Too picky?"
"Nobody likes me", I answered quickly. After so many times of being asked that same thing over and over again, I've learned that "nobody likes me" was the easiest answer. It implied that being single was not a choice that I have consciously made and it blocked off the subsequent why's that usually follow questions of such nature. If there ever is a why, then I just say, "Don't ask me. Ask them."
But as if he didn't hear me reply, he continued his multiple choice, "Or afraid of commitment?"
That's when I had an epiphany. All it took was that question for the realization, that I've been working on for weeks now, to surface.
I am not afraid of commitment. I don't think there is any reason why I should be. After 8 years of constantly being attached, I know deep in my heart that I am a better lover now than I was when I was with C. I am better-equipped with tools and ammunitions to know well enough the kind of man I would like to have as a partner; and to make my next relationship work to its maximum potential.
I am not afraid of commitment. What I am afraid of is giving up the freedom that I am enjoying now for a commitment that will, in the future, turn out to be unworthy of my time and energies.
This is the first time that I am experiencing what it's really like to be single, since I first got into a romantic relationship in 1999. I was 19 then, and was just starting to blossom. Over the past 8 years, I've had 3 major relationships --- the shortest lasted for 1 year, and the longest for 3 years. In the gaps, I dated tirelessly. I am now just starting to enjoy the freedom that my friends enjoyed in our younger years --- when they'd all party, and flirt and sleep around, while I boxed myself in parameters I and my exes set for me, which I followed religiously. Without questions.
I'm the type of person that doesn't see the need to explain my choices to other people: what I do, when and where I do it, the people that I see and the extent of my intimacy with them. So I seldom did, even with my then-partners. But it's only now that I am able to have the contentment brought about by being totally devoid of guilt that someone --- someone I am involved with and/or committed to --- may be hurting because of my "selfish" choices.
This is not to say though that I am asking Love to look away from me. I am not. I'm just saying it would take someone very special for me to bid my happy singlehood farewell. Of course I miss all the fun and joy and challenge of being in a relationship. But I will not jump into one until I am hideously sure I want it so bad. What I need now, more than commitmet, is a deep connection with someone. And there's more than one person that fulfills that need of mine to feel that deep connection. Choosing to commit to one of them MIGHT just complicate things and leave me feeling sorry that I didn't hold on to my principles hard enough. Maybe the next man is one of them. Or maybe he's just around the corner, still waiting to be hit by Cupid. Or maybe he hasn't arrived. Who knows?
Someday my prince will come. And one Sunday morning after we've decided to commit, I will wake up to find that he's not in bed with me. I will hear the shower running and see that he has left the door half-open again. I will join him in. There, under the running water, he will kiss my nape and say "I am so lucky to have you." And in a bashful manner but with an assured tone, I will say to him, "I am lucky to have waited. There's nothing more I could ask for right now." Until that man comes along and presents himself as The One, I will be content with the wonderful associations I have with the men who give me joy at the momen. The best associations that the dating and relationship industry could ever offer --- profound, moving, non-imposing, noncommittal, expectation- and drama-free!
That's what this boy really wants.