One only understands the things that one tames….Men have no more time to understand anything. They buy things all ready made at the shops. But there is no shop anywhere where one can buy friendship, and so men have no friends any more.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Why are you single? Where is your boyfriend? Are you married? These questions I hear often and it is getting worse the older I get. I am certain it will only get much worse by December because my younger sister is getting married! Living in a country where most women are expected to marry by 24, I am far beyond the deadline. At one point in time, I did say I would get married by 26. Well, deadlines are flexible so now I have moved it to 35. While on a casual chat with my German friend Yasha about love life and men, he told me that I was just a fox waiting to be tamed. It then hit me, perhaps he is right.
I thought that it would be fitting to write about my relationship status and dating while we are still in the Love month even it is technically the last day of it. I had my first attempt at a relationship when I was 17 years old and it did not end well, in fact, it gave me a period of post-traumatic stress disorder but I will leave this story in the air as I do not think it can be good for me or the ones reading my blog and I know, now you want to know about it.
Anyhow, I dated a couple of men and for the past five years, I have been more inclined to dating foreign ones. Do not get me wrong, I am not one of those for lack of a better word ”AFAM hunters”. Now back to the fox. What about the fox? Well, anyone who has heard of The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, which is also one of my favourite books of all time, would know much about the fox. Although the fox was just one of the characters in the story, he played an important role. He reminded the prince about what is essential and about responsibilities in relationships.
When Looks Get In The Way
It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
This is quite relatable as for me, I have gotten a lot of interests from men based on how I look. I cannot count the times I have been told how my skin colour looks nice, how pretty or cute I am and how nice it is that I am tall. Sure, I am not a hypocrite, I do agree that one of the first things we notice is how good a person looks like but it should not be what they are only about. I find this quite frustrating when meeting men as most of them, in my opinion, are only motivated to get in my pants. Having a past in pageantry and modelling does not make things easier. Often than not, people can easily like someone based on their physical traits. I find this too common with most travellers I meet and of course, I do understand them, the whole idea of a taller tanned Asian girl is something just not to be missed thanks to the whole exoticism concept. This is quite evident when you try out Tinder, Bumble and all the other dating apps. I did a social experiment where I put out my modelling photo as the main profile photo and without a doubt, men are visual creatures but I also found out that I found more interesting people with the Darth Vader photo.
It is not just with dating that looks get in the way even in work. There are several times I wished that people would take me seriously but because of the whole beauty queen branding they do not take you seriously or worse they do not think you have a brain. Beyond the face, people should seek more what is in the soul. I wished that people saw me as more than just a face or a taller Filipina.
Just A Different Mindset
One only understands the things that one tames…. Men have no more time to understand anything. They buy things all ready made at the shops. But there is no shop anywhere where one can buy friendship, and so men have no friends any more.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
I do not have preference over foreign men, however, I found that they understand my Western mind far easier than most Filipinos. I did date a couple of Filipinos but I found them stuck in the patriarchal and not so ambitious mindset. Again, perhaps it is just me. I remember dating one who was from an almost traditional Filipino-Chinese family and I did my best to adapt to his lifestyle but in the end. it almost drove me nuts as well and when we were in our third year into the relationship, I decided to move to Manila to pursue my interest in business and startups. I think some men are bothered by the whole independent thinking that I have. I still do try to let them pull the chair, open the door and pay for the bill for me at times but again I prefer not to always.
I do not share the typical ideal most Filipinos are accustomed to, the whole get a good degree, find a good job, get married and have kids. Though do not take it differently I do still want to have kids but I think the whole concept of what most Filipinos think of marriage is too overrated.
I do not need much formality or lavish celebrations to celebrate love and the relationship. Heck, if I got married, I would save the money more for decent flat and more flights to see the world. When it comes to who has more say in the relationship, I am all for equality but in the Philippines or in the world in general, more emphasis has been put on letting men have the final say which is unfair because to me relationships mean both have equal rights. The problem is that some men never bother to understand my mindset and I also may be guilty of the same thing.
Complexity Can Kill Interest
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
To be sure, an ordinary passerby would think that my rose looked just like you….But in herself alone she is more important than all the hundreds of you other roses: because it is she that I have watered;…because it is she that I have listened to when she grumbled, or boasted, or even sometimes when she said nothing. Because she is my rose.”
I have dated a couple of men who thought my life was too random and unstructured but for a late bloomer like me, I am just in the phase of getting to know which interests pursue and a part of me believes in multipotentiality. So yeah perhaps I am too complex for some who have their whole lives too planned out. I just think that there is a huge world out there beyond the typical work and desk jobs. It also does not help now that I am a digital nomad, having the freedom to be anywhere requires that I should also date someone with the same flexibility. I could be surfing in Siargao on one day and be in the jungles the next week that it would kill people who thrive with structure and predictability.
Again, I am not opposed to having structure, I do work in the field of project management so I know why it is necessary, however, I do think that in order to grow, you need new experiences and challenges. If you have never tried something and just keep it like that for the rest of your life, perhaps you are missing out on something that you could be great at. It is human nature to seek security and go for things that can be controlled, however, this does not necessarily help you grow as much. It is in unfamiliarity that one learns and discovers. Some people love reading adventures while I prefer to be the one writing about it. No one is wrong in this, just different strokes for different folks.
Again with the taming part, I am open to working with people who are not as crazy as I am with multiple interests but first I just need to know if it is worth giving up certain freedoms. I have done this before, I can adapt to another person but again it has to be equal otherwise, it will just feel like a fox having her tail or a foot cut-off.
So What Now Fox?
I do not worry that no one has tamed me despite my family and friends worry that I will waste good genes and join the crazy cat lady organisation even though cats are cute (I love dogs more.). My aunt tried to set me up with a guy in the US and this was with my mom’s approval. In fact, she even suggested that I should perhaps consider. Just recently the trip in Siargao where I ran into a former colleague who also ended up thinking which guy friend would fit me. Again, I do not have problems meeting people, I organise events, travel places and use dating apps. I am just not focused on the whole romanticism of finding the one. I am currently busy loving life and improving myself or at least that is what I think I am doing but it could also be escapism and having the Peter Pan complex. I do not worry much even if I end up as a single cougar. I already have arranged sperm donations from men I have met along the way who seemed to have good genes so I could have a baby if I still do not meet someone who is worth marrying or getting serious by the time I hit 35. Kidding!
I can always adopt too, there are a lot of forsaken kids that need all the love in the world. Lastly, I am still in the process of loving myself more. Coming from some life-changing relationships, I know the responsibility and time you need to be committed. Maybe I just need to find the right fit or it is just not the right time. Maybe I will be single forever or maybe I will settle down. Either way, I am not closing myself off to possibilities but I am also not in a rush and just enjoying the single life. So just let me be! But I appreciate that my family and friends worry, despite that a part of my plan is to make my marriage a surprise, I will invite you when the time comes and I will post in social media to make it official.
It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry