by Patty Laurel
I was a bit SHY (shy matalino, shy maganda, shy mayaman! wenk wenk wenk) at first to write a post on LOVE for BALENTAYMS, it just seems so painfully redundant to do so. And honestly, I think I need to hold back on the cheesiness that has corrupted this blog in the past few weeks. So if you are sick of all my mushy posts, please do me a favor and click the X button on your screen. Save yourselves, pleaaaase!!! Hehehe 🙂 But after reading all your honest, heartfelt letters.. I simply had to write a post for all my wonderful readers who took the time to open up to me. So I opened a bag of chocolates to fuel the romance in me! Naks! I’m just as clueless as you guys, but I’ll try my best! So today, I’ve decided to dedicate this post to all the single ladies (and boys, too!). Valentines is always the day for couples to broadcast their lovey-doveyness (and yes, kasama kami dun! SORRY) and sadly, being SINGLE is not equally celebrated on this day. In my opinion, LOVE IS FOR ALL..whether you’re single, taken, or in a complicated relationship..you should be able to celebrate LOVE!
Just like most of you, there was a time when I was happily single and not too excited to mingle. Well-intentioned friends were setting me up with all their eligible bachelor buds, guys were sending me gifts and asking me out. Politely I declined all of their requests. Not because I was a Valentine scrooge or because I thought too highly of myself, it was just not the right time for me. Syempre sa simula, it was so flattering for me. It was like getting an “EXCELLENT” stamp from your teacher when all your other classmates had to settle for the “SATISFACTORY” stamp! For any single girl, this would be a dream scenario. To suddenly feel so in-demand and wanted..it’s such a big ego boost and completely understandable why some girls bask in the glory and attention. From the outside, it looked like such a enviable position to be in..but truthfully, it wasn’t really a happy place. So, I chose to wait and not to date. It was a decision of self-preservation, to keep myself worthy of the person I would finally choose one day. It didn’t feel right to be in a relationship “just because” and so I didn’t want to waste my time or any other person’s time as well. Most of the guys who asked me out were quality dudes, real fine gentlemen and I thought I would be doing them a disservice by dating them knowing that it would be headed nowhere. I wanted time to be with me, myself and I.. and most of all, I needed time to be with God.
Being single, my dear friends, is a true gift. It is an opportunity to align your needs and desires, it’s a time to define your self-worth, to understand what kind of person you are and the person you want to become, and it is also the perfect time to prep yourself for that person God has set aside for you! If in your singleness, you find fulfillment, security, and peace..then that’s a blessing. But if you find yourself filled with angst, hatred, and riddled with envy towards others..then obviously, being this kind of single is a curse. The same formula goes for those who are in relationships too. It’s always better to choose the first path.
I remember sitting in a restaurant and listening to Bob Dylan’s To Make You Feel My Love one rainy evening. Instead of feeling sad that I had no one to sing that song to, I actually felt excited!!! My heart leaped knowing that there will be a man professing all these things to me one day! Someone will love me fiercely and bravely too. I claimed it, I asked for that from God. I didn’t care how long it would take..I knew a love like that was worth the wait. This song also reminded me of the kind of love God wants for you and me.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
1 Corinthians 13:4–8
This was the love that intrigued me! This was the kind of love that made me believe in the good that could come my way. After the feelings of hurt, betrayal, and abandonment from my past..I craved for all these promises in the Bible! I didn’t have to look for a boyfriend, I knew that this kind of love was already all around me..I saw it in PEOPLE each and every day. I saw it in my parents, my best friends, my little students, my coworkers, our household help! I was loved and I had an opportunity to give this kind of love back! One thing I appreciated most about my friends and family is that they never made me feel inadequate in my singleness. Instead of pushing me to settle down like any other girl my age, they supported my “waiting” and encouraged me to never settle for “pwede na”. Because of this, I never felt pressured to get hitched just because it was never really forced upon me. I was in such a loving and accepting environment. Swerte talaga ako.
In my blessed singleness, when I was happy and fulfilled on my own, this was the time I re-met my husband-to-be. The time that I was no longer looking for love, love somehow found me. We knew of each other since I was in the first grade. We went to the same small school, had the same circle of friends, hung out at the same canteen..but never ever got the chance to really become chummy-chummy. Just thinking of the many times we passed each other across the hallway, the thousands of flag ceremonies we stood about a meter apart, all those field trips to Nayong Pilipino, CCP, and Luneta on the same school bus..just two regular kids completely oblivious to the beautiful life we would be sharing together in the future. It’s almost as if God was playing with us, keeping us so close together for all those years, causing us to live parallel to each other even if we chose separate paths in life. The last time I saw Patrick was when I was a chubby 12 year old and he was a tiny, awkward 13 year old. In my mom’s own words “Ayyy..Patrick was the cutest and whitest boy! He was the most mabango kid in the whole ICA!” HAHAHA! After 15 years, we RE-MET each other at a friend’s birthday. I remember seeing him again for the first time and telling myself “How come I didn’t get the memo?!?! Since when did Patrick Filart become such a hottie?!?!” I was 50-50. HAPPY that I met a really wonderful guy and BUMMED that I met a really wonderful guy. I wanted to kick myself in the butt, “There goes your brilliant no dating plan, Ms Smarty Pants!”. But I just knew in my heart he was different because after a string of justifiable and convincing NO, NO, NOs to others..saying YES to Patrick seemed like the easiest thing to do! My heart was ready for him. It didn’t feel like a gamble, it felt like a wise investment. Our first date was on Valentine’s Day of 2011. Not only did I get re-acquainted with an old friend, I also got re-acquainted with God through Patrick. My love for Christ was rekindled thanks to Patrick’s influence and encouragement, and that to me is his greatest gift.
So to all my single friends, believe in the kind of love that God has destined for you. It doesn’t have to happen now or tomorrow..it will happen when you are ready for it. If your heart has been broken into a million pieces, God won’t just piece it back together..HE will actually reward you with a brand new heart! A fresh start to love again! 🙂 So this early on, I urge you to pray for the person you will choose to give that new heart to. If you feel numb, jaded, and tired of love..then pray for God to give you that burning desire back. I apologize for ra-ra-ra-ring you all to LOVE, I sound like a loved-up crazy cheerleader! Hahaha! But just as my parents and friends prayed unceasingly for my happiness, never grew tired of giving me words of encouragement, and always managed to make me feel special and loved..I would like to do the same for all of you. I may not know you all personally, but I do wish each of you the joy of finding God’s love 🙂