I have spent a significant portion of my life focusing a great deal of energy on dating a man, pining over a man, getting over a man, crying over a man or wishing for a man. Blame it on daddy issues, the media or simply a lack of personal identity that resulted in me believing I'd feel significant only when classified as someone's 'significant other.'
Currently, I am single. I am content. And I have to say, it feels pretty damn empowering. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure my ovaries are impatiently on stand-by, wondering if they'll ever fulfill their mission of procreation. And don't think I'm exempt from fantasizing if I'll ever have my own "you had me at hello" moment. I am still a dreamer. I am still the girl who hopes to create a love so powerful and magnificent that it can change the world.
My faith in love has not changed, however my urgency to find it has. I'm quite satisfied focusing my energy on my own personal growth, my passions, my work and my friends and family. Yet although I am comfortable in my single status, I find that often, its others that have an issue with it. I'm sure many of you can relate to the experience of hanging around couples who are constantly strategizing on how to get you out of your "single" condition. Instead of singledom being regarded as a rite of passage, it is perceived as a temporary phase one should be so lucky to get out of.
I've heard it all -- my clock is ticking and I need to do this and that in order to secure a partner. But what if right now, I'm happy with where I am? Who is to say that I need to do anything except be open and let life flow organically?
So why is finding love no longer a priority? First, I feel that I've reached a place in my life where I'm a lot more comfortable with who I am, and don't feel the need to have anyone or anything "complete" me. I understand that when a person doesn't feel whole, the immediate reaction is to try and find someone else to fulfill that emptiness. This usually leads to an unhealthy long-term connection. I don't need to chase the high of lust, or fill an addiction of feeling wanted. I understand that love comes when you love yourself first and foremost, and I'd rather love "when I'm ready, not when I'm lonely."
Second, I feel a strong sense of faith. No, not that of the religious kind. But the kind of faith you develop when you've been through some really bad stuff only to get back up stronger and wiser. It's the belief that I am exactly where I should be -- in every aspect of my life. It's the trust in knowing that everything has its time and place -- and that the more you try to control things, the more the best parts of life resist you.
It's believing that the people I've loved and lost, the ones that broke my heart and the ones that nourished it, the relationships that came together with ease and the ones that fell apart with neglect -- it's trusting that all of these experiences are a part of the journey to love. A love that must first exist within yourself, and only then can it be truly shared with another.
If you are single and can relate to feeling the pressure of partnering up, both from society and from ourselves, I'll leave you with this:
Trust the process. Know that every heartache is just preparing you for the person you are meant to be with. Have faith that sometimes, things don't work out with someone in the present because they are meant to work with somebody else in the future.
And remember, the most important love is the love you have for yourself. Once you've mastered that, the rest will come. All the pieces will fall into place exactly the way they are supposed to. The journey of love is not a destination, rather, it's one that is brewing inside of you every minute of your life. And one day, when it is time, it will connect with another force of love - whether that love be a person, a passion or a calling. Enjoy the journey. =)
Amy Chan is a relationship and lifestyle columnist.