A letter to my single self

A letter to my single self
PHOTO: Pixabay

If you are married or in a relationship, is there anything you wished your single self knew or did before you got your life entwined with another person's? Material World's contributing writer Wilma Chang says, "Where do I even begin?"

Dear Single Wilma,

I know it gets terribly painful - this being "single" thing. There are times you feel so alone you tell yourself, "Any man that wants me can have me."

You swing between moments of indignation and those of absolute desolation.

It's tough being single and, it gets worse when you are amongst a group of friends and everybody is happily coupled up.

What do they have that I don't? Why is no one interested in me? you ask yourself.

I won't lie and say that being in a relationship is overrated. It's wonderful, it plants a happy song in your heart, it makes every day feel like the most perfect day, ever.

But as with many things in life, there are two sides to the story.

Just as being in a relationship isn't all that amazing, being single is not all that bad.

Love when you are ready. Not when you are lonely It's easy to think that a relationship will make everything better, that it will make the loneliness go away.

Don't make that mistake I made. That heady rush of being in a new relationship is not love.

There is a difference between being with someone and being in a relationship. When that initial exhilaration has run its course, and the routine of life has set in, everything will look sharper, harsher, and uglier.

So, are you ready to be in a relationship?

It's only natural that we make excuses for the people we love. However, there will come the time when you need to make a decision if you want to accept the person for who he is or if you are still hoping that he will change.

Acceptance is part and parcel of being in a loving relationship with someone.

Nobody will tick all the boxes so you need to ask yourself which ones you're willing to pass up on.

Clinging onto the hope that your partner will change completely is foolhardy, immature, and a surefire way to get disappointed.

A relationship is two imperfect beings meeting each other halfway - neither should expect the other person to go further than what himself/herself is willing to go.

It's a marriage certificate, not an insurance policy As we grow older, our need for companionship will at times overshadow our need for love.

It's only natural because many of us are terribly afraid of dying alone. That is why so many of us get married, and stay married whether or not we have a need for it.

Remember to ask yourself why you want to get married. For me, I was motivated by the fear that if I didn't "tie him down", I would eventually lose him.

I think you can already see the flaw in that line of thought: if your husband stops loving you, a marriage certificate isn't going to insure you from the inevitable.

Before you both make the decision to spend your lives building a life together, ask yourself if just being in a committed, monogamous relationship is enough.

What is it that you both want to achieve that makes marriage a necessity? Being co-owners of an HDB flat is not #marriagegoals.

Realise that life does not have to go down a certain route The thought of being "unspoken for" in your 30s is daunting.

Even with the benefit of hindsight, I wouldn't say, "Don't be afraid! It's fine!!" I can still see why it's scary, why it's unsettling.

If I were to get a divorce today, I would definitely be apprehensive about being back in the market.

Ha! Is there even a market for a woman on the wrong side of 35?

This is a lesson I believe we both are still learning: life doesn't have go a certain way and love can happen at any age.

It wasn't easy for me to find someone but eventually I did.

And today, even though I have found someone, I am painfully aware that I may also lose him.

Love - whether you're single or in a relationship - is never going to be easy, and making it work is perhaps the most unromantic thing you'll ever do. So if it's heart-wrenching romance, spinning head-rushes, giggly moments, and grand gestures that you want, don't love a person; just keep falling in love.

Love always, Married Wilma

Material World is a women’s lifestyle website started by four former magazine editors specialising in beauty, lifestyle, and self-improvement.

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