A young Chinoy named Spencer was celebrating his angkong’s 90th birthday. Held in this large Chinese restaurant in Greenhills, the celebration marked a milestone: angkong has lived long enough to see his grandchildren AND great grandchildren, one of whom was just born. Kionghee, angkong!
And so, everyone wore their most festive red clothes, including Spencer. Relatives from literally everywhere came.
An unfamiliar aunt sat next to Spencer’s family; she lives in Vancouver and came over for the celebrations. Introducing herself, the aunt said, “Hi! Gua si Aunty Cherry. What are your names?” And so, the conversations started, and they were great… almost.
Turning to Spencer, Aunty Cherry asked, “So Spencer! I heard you’re in college! I also heard you’re taking Management Engineering, naks! You’re also an officer for your org and an honors student! Pero… Di u howe na ba?” And so ended that very-familiar-to-single-Chinoys conversation.
So.. singleness. It’s something everyone goes through. Even in this time of pandemic, the ever-existential thought of singleness and love has been ever alive. Here, we think of “quaranflings”, an “online dating encounter that begins during quarantine, used as a means to fill the dating void, and ends before quarantine is over”, according to Urban Dictionary.
But is being single really as negative as we may at times think? This opinion piece argues a resounding no. Here are some reasons why:
A greater sense of freedom exists for singles
Don’t get this wrong, this isn’t saying married people and people in relationships don’t have freedom.
However, it’s a fact that singles don’t have that responsibility that is required in a relationship, especially in marriage. Those responsibilities do get hefty, and being in a relationship requires committing to those. Singles need not think about all those yet!
Singles have the ability to focus on their own development first
Again, this doesn’t imply that people in relationships don’t grow. But wouldn’t it be wise to first be extra prepared before getting into a serious relationship?
Of course, being “100% prepared for everything” is impossible, but particularly in Chinoy culture, financial stability and strong moral character mark good relationships, and rightly so. Singles have the ability to develop those so that when they do get into relationships, things might just be way smoother.
There’s joy and excitement in uncertainty
A lot of singles are young people, no question. And of course, at this time of being young, we always ask ourselves, “What is my life going to look like 20 years from now? Who will I be with? What am I really called to do?”
That young singles ask those questions is the amazing part. Uncertainty exists, yes, but the joy of uncertainty lies in the hope for a bright and amazing future. There will come a time when singles will feel hopeless. Many feel that right now. But may that sense of uncertainty be transformed to the hope that who may come will be worth the wait.
“You cannot give what you don’t have”
This is a line used by some Catholic missionaries who believe that to be able to spread the word of God successfully, one must first be united with God. One must first have God in the first place.
It works the same in relationships. Do learn to love yourself first. By love, “What is truly and integrally good for me? How can I pursue that?” Why is loving oneself important? Simply put, you cannot give what you don’t have. By willing what is good for yourself first, by loving yourself first, you learn to will the good of others, and it is in goodness where we find ourselves at our best.
So singles, do be comforted with the fact that your singleness can indeed be a blessed time. Ghosted by a quaranfling or not, let not the fact that you’re single ever make you think of yourself as inferior. May we be single with a sense of hope that whatever the future may look like, it’ll be worth the wait.
The author of this article:
An accomplished young Chinese Filipino writer and media personality, Aaron S. Medina is associated with the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the Ateneo de Manila University Chinese Studies Program, the Philippine Association for Chinese Studies, and CHiNOY TV. He has a passion for truth, justice, and Pokémon, too! Follow him on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aaron.joseph.s.medina/