I try to not talk about this topic, mainly because I do not want to partake in the already prevalent discussions online & offline on this thing called love. But I guess it’s inevitable, no matter how meticulously I’ve tried to skirt around the topic.
So here’s my two cents… (Brace yourselves for a looong ramble).
Believe it or not, I talk about stuff like this all the time with with my friends. Well not all the time but it’s a conversation filler which almost always finds it way into our tête-à-têtes especially after not meeting for a long time. It’s a topic that warrants a discussion I suppose because like it or not, we are at that age.
Yes I am at that age where wedding invitations start choking up my mailbox, every other weekend is wedding weekend, and the dynamics of conversations start shifting from “Have you done this assignment?” to “What brand of diapers does your baby wear?” Yes I am aware. The ball has started rolling. Friends are getting married, settling down, having babies, sending their children to school… I never thought I’d reach this age to be honest. How did I get here?! Sometimes I forget that I’m already past the “early twenties” stage (what?). Random surveys which require us to tick the box beside our age range is a proverbial slap in the face. I no longer fall in the 18-24 group, unwillingly shoved into the late twenties club. Not cool.
Anyway, as it is, I have accomplished none of the above, but I LOVE where I am right now. It’s just that where I am right now does not fit the general society’s expectations of where a 26-year old woman should be. Still studying and figuring things out. I have learnt along the way that things work out in His time, not in our time. So it’s all good. I’m totally alright and super cool with it so it is bewildering if other people find it not okay. You get me? Trust me, you’ll feel so much at ease if you just let go and let God. Stop worrying about things beyond your control. Just put in the effort in doing what He has entrusted unto you to do now and tirelessly make du’a to Him to grant what’s best for you and to remember to express your gratitude for sufficing you always. That’s it. Really. If you find yourself on the receiving end of all negative or unnecessary comments, just smile, excuse yourself from the conversation, say “make du’a for me”, and move along. It may be harder for you whose parents and relatives might be more ‘concerned’ than you are, but you need to try to overcome this. Sometimes, all it takes is a little change of perspective. Often, we can be unknowingly caught up in the quagmire that is the whole process of seeking the right one that we forget to remove ourselves from the whole stifling picture and look at it objectively. Why the unnecessary pressure on yourself when you know Allah is the Planner of all planners, the Writer of all writers, the One you ultimately go back to, at the end of the day?
I believe it helps to be surrounded by people who are going through what you are going through. It is important to be reminded that you are not alone. Remember, there’s a community of us out there, just like you! I guess I am blessed enough that He had me cross paths with individuals in the exact situation as I am and who have grown to become my best friends. Single, ambitious, never been in relationships (I wish people won’t be so surprised, it makes us feel like aliens– but then again, I don’t mind being an alien, or a unicorn, in this day an age, I feel like a rare breed of species lol), independent, goal-driven. As Michael Buble says, “I just haven’t met you yet~“. See? It’s as simple as that! And even if we have, perhaps it’s just not the right time. It all happens in His time, remember?
You know. I used to get puzzled whenever I’m confronted with the question, “Do you have a boyfriend?”. To which I always wonder why is there an interest to know, to talk about, let alone to have one. I mean, I never took to finding out what this boyfriend/girlfriend thing the other kids around me were getting into, neither was I completely unaware of what’s going on around me. I knew what it was. But I guess you could say that I preferred keeping my distance from such things. A friend who was quite the observer once told me that I was always carefree and relaxed when it comes to this. Well, truth is, I didn’t really know what to feel about it. So whenever I’m asked the inevitable ‘so are you in a relationship’ sort of question and I had to answer with an honest ‘no’, in the most favourable of situations I would get an understanding nod and an ensuing silence, or in the least favourable of situations, a further probing investigation – “But why?”. See, my linguistically analytical tendencies would then lead me to discern the choice of words used. Firstly, the “But“. In a big capital B as if to say, “What? Never? How absurd!” It could get worse – sometimes said person would make matters even more complicated by following it with a “But you’re (insert preferred compliment). I’m sure guys have asked you out before!” I would love to take it as a compliment, but I couldn’t and it almost always triggered an averse reaction. I’d get even more annoyed, but I’d like to think I’ve mastered the art of being proactive, and not reactive.
But the conclusion that I’ve arrived at, the only reason I could give to the burning mystery of “Why has Humairah never had a boyfriend for the past 25 years of her existence?” is this: I never really wanted to. Why have I never really wanted to? I’ve said it earlier and I’ll say it again – because I have not met the one I’m destined for. Why do I not feel like I’m missing out on anything? Because, personally, I don’t feel like I do. I guess growing up a bookworm gives me enough drama in my head and ya know, #booksbeforeboys #shelfiesoverselfies and all that (plus I’d like to think I’m special and limited edition, okay? lol). But seriously though, I believe that it also stems from my dearest mama’s assurance, who nurtured in me the feeling of love as I was growing up – for her, for dad, for Allah – which made finding love with a boy at an early age much less… appropriate. Less desirable. I grew up with constant reminders that my self-worth and validation must be built from the inside. Internalised, then realised. No amount of relationships can give one that.
I’ve heard of a friend who exclaimed, “We are young! We need to try getting into relationships with different guys so we know who’s best for us.” I’m sorry girlfriend but unfortunately I do not share the same life philosophy as you do, thank you very much. I don’t wish to ‘test out’ and taste relationships after relationships like food; too sweet, too bland, souring…? That’s a ridiculous concept to me. I’ve pondered on this for quite some time, and I realise that there is a beautiful reason behind why I’ve always been the way I’ve been – He is protecting me, till today, from something undesirable. Allah Azzawajal, the All-Knowing, knows what I do not. All these articles about bgr, all the songs, the movies, the stories that talk about ‘infatuation’, not real Love, are a waste of time and brain space. I have grown to eventually realise this.
Yes, as much as I love my ‘perpetual’ solitude, of course I’d be lying if I said that I have never once had the thought that a certain event or activity would be more fun or meaningful if I did it with a significant other. But it’s just a passing thought I don’t dwell on. I embrace being alone and living in the present. I wish more people would embrace this and be more confident with their aloneness. It’s a gift from God to have the luxury to spend time with Him only. Use the time to strengthen your relationship with God and have more conversations with Him. See, this is how I see it. I have always held the opinion that I have a whole lifetime (insyaAllah) ahead of me to spend with the person I’m meant to spend with, so I need to enjoy at least a third of my life being a single, because God knows I’ll miss this feeling and everything that comes with it, and how much I enjoy doing things on my own, with just Him looking after me, before I get a worthy him by my side. In the meantime, I’ll take this gift of time to focus on being better. I want to strive to be deserving of a love deserving of me. Not just any ‘boy’ who looks ‘cute’ or is ‘decent enough to try to love’. Women like us know our worth, and we’ll wait till someone comes around one day and proves he is deserving of it; with the help of His guidance. I remember asking my mom, “Ma, what if I don’t get married? What if I can’t find the guy that I’d like to build a home and spend the rest of my life with?” She simply replied, “Then you’ll find him in Jannah. Remember, the goal in this life isn’t to marry, the goal is to please Him.”
Mothers.. they know what they’re talking about. And so the issue of whether I have a boyfriend or not seems far from significant or worthy of my attention. And so will the case of whether I will get married or not. That’s not up to me to decide. The mightier author knows what He’s doing. I’ll let Him surprise me with His story written specially for me. He knows what’s good for me. He always does. I’ll just live my life working towards my goals and be the flow, so what comes, comes, what doesn’t, goes.
Isn’t this whole wide world so darn fascinating that there are so many things to do and knowledge to gain and thoughts to think and issues to worry about that worrying about not having a partner by your side becomes such a trivial matter? So my point in saying all of this is… don’t let ‘being single’ be the biggest concern in your life that it hinders you from all the goals you are meant to achieve while you are still young and free with lesser responsibilities, yes?
Till we meet the one whose name He has written beside ours, get out of your couch of pointless worries and max out every singleton’s ultimate gift of time and opportunity to be a blessing to family, friends, community, and relish in the abundance of ME time to accomplish all you’re set to do!
May He suffice us all with His love 🙂