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No Next Time

“To say it was horrible would be an understatement. And maybe a little bit mean.”

I was never the one to go on dates–I only ever entertain someone I genuinely like. Or at least, I was that kind of person, up until a couple of months ago when I decided, “why not give dating a try?” What’s the worst thing that could happen, right? Well I recently learned what that is–worst first date.

I met this guy at the bar my friends and I went to, and we talked for at least a week before I finally agreed to go out with him. I didn’t really have an expectation for first dates aside from enjoying some good food and good conversation. At the time, I was going out on casual lunches and dinners with another guy friend of mine, so I thought, it should just be the same. (Stupid me, of course it would be different because I’m already friends with the other guy for a long time now, while I barely know the guy from the bar.) When on dates, I would normally pay for my own meals and what not, unless they insist otherwise. However with this guy, I got the impression that he’s the type to pay for everything on the first date because of the following actions: insisting on picking me up, that we watch the movie on an IMAX theatre, and to go to a fine dining restaurant, not to mention the TOWER–that’s right, the Tower–on our first date. (After much debacle, mostly on my part, we ended up getting dinner at a more casual diner, thank God.) I got the impression that the guy was a traditional, a gentleman-pays-on-the-first-date kind of guy, although I would later learn that I was wrong.

The night could be simplified as this: movie was boring, conversations were dull, lots of awkward silences, and for the most part, he just stared at me, like really really long, weird staring-contest kind of thing, where he would try and say something and then cut himself short, and then he will, again, just stare, and not in a make-you-feel-good-and-beautiful kind of way.To say it was horrible would be an understatement. And maybe a little bit mean. I tried to lighten the mood and dropped some jokes here and there, shared some funny stories, and asked him some questions just to get the conversation going and hopefully salvage the night. But in the end, I was met with stares, and more stares, and if not those, then some weird, irrelevant, and even random questions that lead to nothing but even more prolonged dead and awkward silence–and stares.

The last straw for me was that it felt a little bit shallow and superficial, like he didn’t try to get to know me, the person, and instead just score a date with someone like me. Now that may seem a little self-conceited, but I am in no way suggesting that I’m so great and mighty. After all, I took advantage of the night by basically getting a movie and dinner for free, not to mention that, towards the end of the night, I was basically very straight up to the point of being arrogant or even rude just so he’d get turned off and maybe get the hint that there would be no second date. I’m not defending my actions, but it just felt like he only saw the surface, and to put it bluntly, the beauty, and had no real interest to get to know me, the actual me.

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“it just felt like he only saw the surface, and to put it bluntly, the beauty.”

In the end, I realized two things: one, there’s a first for everything, even first worst date. And two, you shouldn’t agree on a date when you’re not really interested with the person; it saves both of you the time and the effort. And it could save you from awkward prolonged stares too.

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Truth Forum

The Thing About Being Single

Following a breakup, you go from having a significant other to having no one special in particular; from looking forward to seeing someone to dreading the next time you’ll cross paths; from being in a relationship and happily in love to being single and lonely on your own (at least for a little while). The sudden change in your circumstance can at times make you feel empty and helpless, as if every single thing leads you back to the memories of your past. But all these sad, miserable, and utterly melancholic stages are all but that–a stage, a phase, that will soon pass and go away.

The thing about being single, is that, just like pain, it demands to be felt (the fault in our stars, anyone?) During the first few weeks, at least in my experience, there was a feeling of liberation, as if I have broken free from a chain that has been holding me back. Like the song says, I literally felt like I was “young and wild and free.” I would try and convince the people around me, and myself included, that I was fine and that I was having the time of my life.

When that phase was over, reality settled in and that’s when the second wave of sadness started rolling in (first wave occurs pre-breakup: events that lead to the breakup). It was a period of “crying-yourself-to-sleep-at-night,” “making-wobbly-tables-for-no-reason” kind of days,”why-did-i-breakup-with-him” moments and “i’m-never-going-to-love-again” episodes. It was like riding a rollercoaster that never goes up and instead, just keeps on sinking down.

After my tear glands dried up from all the crying, my body fatigued from all the sleep deprivation, and my mind stressed to the core from all the thinking and what not, acceptance, gradually, came crawling in, and over a little more time, found its niche in me and very soon established itself as my source of stability. I have learned to accept how, as cliche as it sounds, “some things are meant to happen, just not meant to be. Some things are meant to come into your life, just not meant to stay.”

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All these stages and phases are like bridges, connecting you from one point to another.

I thought I was the kind of person who would prefer to be in a relationship than not–who would enjoy constantly having a special someone. But right now, I realized that I’m in the point in my life where I just don’t see or feel or think that having one is even an option. The thing about being single that I have learned to love and actually enjoy is the sense of just me. It’s that independence, of having no responsibility or commitment with someone whatsoever; it’s the feeling of being in control of my own time, and being able to make plans just for myself, and not having to think of someone else’s perspective (aside from family and close friends, of course). Maybe most single people think and feel this way; maybe I only enjoy it right now because it’s a fairly new experience; maybe, like everything else, this, too, is just a stage and a phase. Nonetheless, if this indeed is just a phase, that this too will pass, I plan to enjoy this moment for as long as I can, and hopefully, the next phase is just as enjoyable and as personally edifying as this one.