Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Boiling Waters PH.

I am KL, and there must be a reason why at this age (31 as of this writing), I am still NBSB: No Boyfriend Since Birth, if I even have to explain that. I am a late bloomer. I never dated in high school, rarely went out with guys. At a stage when you’re supposed to be dating and knowing how to relate with the opposite sex, I was at an exclusive school, and going almost exclusively back and forth from home and school…home and school…home and school. In college, the male species were alien to me. I did not know how to relate with them, how to talk to them, how to act around them, especially when I liked a guy. I was afraid that casually talking to a guy I liked would reveal my feelings for him. There wasn’t any significant improvement in Med school and the years after that. I went out on some dates, but none, until now, have progressed to a second date.

At one time or another, it came to mind that maybe there was a problem with me. But now I realize that it is what society is making me think. Labels, such as NBSB, tag people unfairly, and just by putting a label on us, we are already judged wrongly, without even knowing what we went through or are going through. “Maybe you have very high standards.” “Maybe you are too old-fashioned.” “Maybe you are intimidating.” “Maybe your personality is too strong.” It’s almost as if the problem was solely on me. They say it easily without knowing my side of the story. What is the basis for my standards? Why am I old-fashioned and uptight? Did I even try not to beold-fashioned? Why is my personality strong? Couldn’t it be that men just have so much ego? Society treats being NBSB like a disease. Being single is not a sickness. Yes, it can get unbearably lonely at times, but society need not have to rub salt to the wound, nor does it have to look down on us with pity, because believe it or not, I enjoy the company of myself and the peace I keep with myself.

I am now just beginning to understand God’s wisdom. He has previously proved to me the concept of perfect time, but my human weakness would make me impatient, and God would have to put me in a situation that would remind me of it. Linear time exists only in the realm of humanity. But ultimately, we live in the realm of God’s time, and in here, there is no linear time, only perfect time.  

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The reason why I am still NBSB now, is probably because I have just begun to know myself and what I want when I turned thirty. I do not know if it was a magic number or something, but there was a maturity that came with age. If I had dated and been in a relationship before that, I would have lost myself. I would have let myself be swept away by what society expects me to be. I had my insecurities. I wasn’t beautiful enough. I wasn’t sexy enough. I did not know how to relate with men. I would have doubted my beliefs. Before turning thirty, I just wanted to have a boyfriend because it is what society dictates. I never really realized what I was looking for. Now, I do not want to have a boyfriend just because it’s supposed to be the norm. I defy the rules and I defy the norm. I want a lifetime partner. I want a long-term relationship. I want a family, and I don’t think there is anything wrong in setting standards to know if a man is worthy enough of my forever.

When I turned thirty, I learned to value my worth, to understand myself and to love myself with all my imperfections and my inner demons. Every experience molded me to be who I am now. Every experience taught me something about myself. Every experience and every first date made me realize what I want in a relationship: respect, honesty, effort, consistency, love. But not the love that is based solely on feeling, but a love that chooses you in spite of the imperfections.  Because that is how I love myself. That is how I love the important people in my life. And that is how I would love that person who could pass these standards, because these standards are the ones I keep for myself too and can give to that person in return. Society can judge my standards to be high, but every standard has its roots on something.  And for each person it is different, because we have different experiences in the realms of our own world.

Society may not be completely wrong though, and the label placed upon us NBSB’s may be viewed as a constructive criticism. A way to improve ourselves without forgetting our core. Over time, I have come to realize that my problem was that I had my walls. I did not let anyone in. I am now learning to lower my walls down, and instead set my boundaries based on my standards, and to let the right people in. So let society label me as NBSB all they want. They are not hurting me; they are making me a better person. Part of knowing myself is knowing what I want from a lifetime partner, and what I want from a long-term relationship. The Law of Attraction says that: What you seek is seeking you. If it holds true, then may we seek until we find each other, not in linear time, but in perfect time.

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