(AUTHOR’S NOTE: This follows my earlier blog post published back in February 2014 – On Being And Living Single. I encourage you to read this one in its entirety, instead of simply browsing and leaving a general comment.)
One must not sulk too much after a breakup.
And this is exactly what I did when my first relationship fell apart. I had no excuse to say that I can’t meet other women anymore, now that I was single. I downloaded dating apps such as Tinder, Bumble, and TanTan — and accompanying messaging apps such as Telegram and Kik. I also signed up for Reddit and frequented the Philippine edition of the r4r subreddit. I also frequented Omegle aside from the steps I mentioned. All this — with the hope of meeting someone, talking to her, dating exclusively, until the relationship forms. I’ve read success stories about men who find their wives on dating apps and websites like Omegle and Reddit. Easy, right? I mean, I’m an introvert myself and I prefer a one-on-one approach than firing a shotgun loaded with bird shot.
Boy, I was dead wrong. Those things were the exception rather than the norm.
My height and brain were the only weapons I had. The attractive ones were usually picky and demanded a lot more from men. I did get some matches and talked to them for some time, but the conversations fell through and ended in radio silence. This went on for months with no apparent resolution whatsoever. These sites look at external factors such as face value and muscle structure, which I lack. I thought I’d stand a chance on dating apps, but let’s face it – extroverts will rule here!
Interestingly, I’ve read some articles about incels (involuntary celibates) whilst working on this post. These are men who cannot find romantic love, sex, or both despite their efforts to do so. Notorious mass killers such as Elliot Rodger and Alek Minassian have been linked to this movement, stemming from frustration brought about by failed romantic pursuits and things beyond their control. To borrow incel terminology, the girls fall for Chads. I’m no Chad; I lean more towards Kevin the accounting manager. I used to have disdain for incels, but now that I am in their shoes – that disdain has turned to a deeper understanding. You develop pity, compassion, even sympathy when you are chopped down and driven to the ground.
Until one day…the heartbreaks, disappointment, and frustration simply boiled over. I deleted my accounts in the dating apps I signed up for, deleted my Reddit account, and removed the apps on my phone. Concurrently, I also removed the messaging apps after deactivating my account. All my efforts do not pay off, so why waste further time? If I had bad luck when it came to meeting women offline, it sure followed me on cyberspace. For the first time, I understood how Elliot Rodger felt. It came full circle; I finally felt how to be under-appreciated for being who you are. Surely, revenge is but a tempting proposition, but I’m thankful that it never crossed my mind. The Lord decided to step in through this seminar, and I can also credit it for keeping me away from doing something bad.
I’m single again and I’ve returned to where I began. Now, permit me to continue my story and share what I have learned.
1. Learn to forgive.
It is tempting to lash out at the world when your heart has been hurt. Letting go of the hate and sadness in your heart fills it with compassion; you look at the world and your past circumstances with serenity. What you cannot change, you accept with passive yet merciful stoicism. In turn, you gain wisdom and realize that negative things that happen to other people are but products of their bad actions and worse choices to justify the latter. You feel pity instead of disgust, compassion instead of revulsion. The Buddha once said that anger is like holding a piece of white-hot coal in your hand with the intent of throwing it at an enemy. Instead of your enemy being hurt, it’s you.
I’ve been ghosted by women many times before, but none was so poignant as this encounter. I matched with this 20-year-old on Bumble, who happened to be a fellow Atenean and northerner. We talked for a few weeks and even planned out how our first date would go. This went on for a month, until that dreaded day arrived. She stopped replying altogether and blocked me on the chat app we were on. I checked my previous messages, wondering if something I said ticked her off. Obviously, I felt a strong emotion because I tried my best to reach out despite my introversion — and this is what I get in return. Now that some time has passed and I have the gift of hindsight, I felt sad for her. One must have been really broken inside to lead people into meaningful conversations and then pull off a fast one. If anything, this incident reflects who she really is more than who I am.
2. Do not repay evil for evil.
These words aren’t mine, as they belong to the late Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie (born Tafari Makonnen). Emperor Selassie gave this as a reminder during a speech he delivered upon his return to Abyssinia. During World War II, Fascist Italy (under Benito Mussolini) occupied Ethiopia from 1936 to 1941. However, Ethiopian forces backed by the British were able to reclaim the country and drive out the Italians, paving the way for Selassie’s return on May 5, 1941. Selassie, considered by the Rastafarian movement as the promised messiah, has a good point. Why? Life is too short to hold grudges. Repay evil with another vile act, and it makes you no different from the perpetrator. You simply went down to their level.
I distinctly remember a recent instance wherein this user from Reddit attacked me for “not being honest.” Instead of actively engaging this user and triggering a flame war, I replied cordially. I eventually stopped replying after this user insisted on arguing and using ad hominem attacks. Besides, is a victory in an internet argument worth celebrating? If anything, it’s a waste of time – time that could have been used for more productive endeavors. This reminds me of an image shared by a Facebook friend: “in a world where you can be anything, be kind.” A lot of women have outright rejected me on the r4r subreddit and the temptation to lash out was always present. In the end, I replied in a cordial manner thanking them for considering my message from square one.
3. Stop pursuing altogether.
Do not blame yourself for the lack of love that comes your way. You do not and are not obliged to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders. Who are you, Atlas the titan of Greek mythology? Some things happen just because! The world turns on its axis, the river flows downstream and empties into the sea, the leaves turn red and fall off the tree during autumn. Blaming elements such as your skull shape, wrist size, height, bone structure and what-have-you is a exercise in futility. The French painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec only stood 4’8″, but he left an indelible legacy in the work of art.
The ideal is what it is: an ideal, an intangible and perfect concept that does not exist in the imperfect world. It is a fool’s errand to continue pursuing that which you cannot obtain, all possibilities considered. I have an ideal woman that I dream of marrying: tall, short boyish hair, and slim. If not all qualities, maybe two of these will do – which my first relationship had. But sadly “forever” isn’t forever and this one didn’t work out. There are times that I feel jealous of men and women in a relationship, both in real life and online. I would also ask myself whenever a woman of my standards would pass by or I would see this female user’s posts on social media: would she give me the time of day? Eventually, good reason would prevail – if no one gives you the time of day, what more these types of people?
Here’s one to conclude. Years ago, I complained about the lack of a love life – and God took pity on me. I could say I definitely screwed up four years later, but things just happen. I do not know if God will give me another chance at love after seeing how I failed or this will be my last one. But all I know is this: I’ve had my shot at love and I’m thankful for it despite not ending happily. I am lucky to have experienced romantic love, something that most would wait a lifetime for. Now that it’s gone, it’s back to reality for me. Experience is the best teacher, and the tuition it imparts is worth more than its weight in gold.
God compensates with understanding that which is lacking in your heart. Such is the price to be paid for wisdom!
30 thoughts on “220 – On Going My Own Way”
I can’t claim to understand how you feel because everyone has different experiences. What I do believe in is that while you might not have a partner right now (not discounting you might have one in the future), don’t let anything stop you from being happy – and especially never let society tell you what you need to be happy ie girlfriend > marriage > kids > grandkids > etc. – happiness is found within yourself. It’s good that you have found solace with god, and if that is what works for you by all means don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
The Buddha teaches that “Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional.” That doesn’t mean that you have to be positive and perky all the time because we are all human and its human to be sad and down at times. All I’m saying is that the important thing is to not let yourself be brought down by self-pity. You have people who love you for who you are.
Thank you, Eris. I’ve been wanting to share this entry for the longest time now, but only got the impetus to do so because of work-related stress. As I mentioned, I usually channel the frustrations into writing instead of acting it out violently – thus, you have this entry.
Regardless, thank you for understanding. I know that it’s not the best thing for a 28-year-old to rant like a college student, but at least no one gets physically hurt with blog entries such as this.
No of course not. We all need an avenue to express our thoughts and frustrations. I think society has this preconceived notion that men need to be stoic and not let their emotions show and all that – but that just means there are more people suffering in silence. Good that writing is cathartic for you.
Good things come to those who trust. ❤ From what I learned in life, just enjoy the process and let God make you ready for that special someone He created just for you. God bless you brother. 😊
Thank you! I just hope the good Lord takes pity on me again, though. While it’s my fault that my first relationship fell apart, I’d appreciate it if I got a sign – whether to try it once more or give up entirely (I’m currently in the latter phase.)
I remember reading your previous post and wishing you hope and happiness. It must’ve took courage to publish this post. I’m happy you tried again and that you found yourself grounded through your faith.
Happy you mentioned stoicism albeit in passing. Learning about and practicing its concepts has been helping me a lot. I’ve gotten a lot more chill over the years.
Thank you! Yes, it did take some courage from my part, but it’s more of the “I-have-nothing-to-lose-anyway” type rather than “I-really-need-to-say-this-despite-the-consequences”.
Indeed, the years temper and mellow us down from the intensity of youth. The energy, rashness, and vivacity of our younger days have been replaced by wisdom and learnings from life experiences. Exactly why wine is aged in oak barrels — to develop the flavor and tone down the strong notes. 🙂
I will not say nor claim i know how you feel about everything that happened to you and i will not also give you a “homily” here…what i can say is; i enjoyed and love your honesty and yes i also agree with you when you said: I am lucky to have experienced romantic love, something that most would wait a lifetime for. this is true for so many, i knew a lot…and having lost it doesnt mean you wont have it again..be well Monch and enjoy your trip to SG with your bro soon.
Thank you; I really appreciate the comment. 🙂
Hey Monch, great post; there are certainly some things I can relate to.
I think it’s all to easy to find our lives revolving around someone; this is what love can do. It is therefore important to focus on, develop, and enjoy our hobbies and interests, or career perhaps, while keeping an eye open for people we might share our lives with (in various ways; they don’t have to be love interests).
In response to the final three points you raise; forgiveness and moving on can certainly take time; getting out of the mindset that our life revolves around that person – cutting ties seems like the best way until we can behave with dignity and respect, and also avoiding the other person if they can’t manage that.
Thanks for stopping by, mate!
Well, to be honest with you, I’m pretty much jaded with everything else. Funny thing is, all of this happened whilst I am nearing 30 – at that age when I’ve decided to settle down.
But at the end of the day, you’ll eventually realize: it’s useless to look for love when the game is rigged against you.
Hey Monch! I like #3 the most. 😉
I also downloaded dating apps but realized within the span of a month that it wasn’t for me. I think that we’re all a little lonely in a sense and that sometimes we feel like we need to connect with someone to ease that loneliness (hello Tinder & Bumble lol). But I realized that I already enjoy my own company, and if I’m going to pursue another relationship, it should be with someone whose company I enjoy more than being on my own.
“Now that it’s gone, it’s back to reality for me.” – I feel like in my case, now that it’s gone, it’s more of finding my new normal. One of the things I’m thankful for is that while the relationship was a huge part of my life, it really wasn’t what my life revolved around. So when it was gone, my life basically stayed the same (minus having someone to date). So everything feels like it’s the reality. I do hope that one day you will find the kind of love you need and is hoping to get, regardless of who or where it may come from. 🙂
Yeah, I sincerely hope to find that love — but at this point in time, I’ve given up on that. As I mentioned in an earlier reply: why continue playing when the game is clearly rigged against you?
Aww it sucks that you see it that way. I personally don’t think it’s rigged against anyone. Life is weird, shit just happens. One day it’s gonna happen for you. 🙂
Hello, Monchy. I have always been a fan of your blogs ever since I met you on one of the apps you mentioned. Some descriptions you wrote may have perfectly fitted me. LOL. It’s okay *wink. I always enjoy reading your posts and regularly checks for your blog entries from time to time. Some of your words, I have incorporated into my personal philosophy.
Also, I’m glad you have come to these realizations. I know you’re a strong person. Hang in there. I know it’s frustrating, but it gets better.
To tell you the truth, I’m surprised that you still found my blog after some time. What made you stop by, if I may ask?
I would have appreciated it more if you told me outright that you weren’t interested in the first place, instead of blocking me on Telegram.
Oh well, too late for that now; I guess this is why we can’t have nice things.
You have an interesting blog, I should say. I also appreciate your skill in writing. That’s why.
Great advice! Forgive those who trespass against you always…
Can I share this, Mon?
Feel free to do so.
unfortunately, kasama ito sa paglaki. lol. darating rin yung time na mare-reveal sa iyo ang reason why did it happen. 🙂
I guess so. Baka nga siguro nauwi talaga sa wala, kasi may matinding dahilan si Lord. Out of His infinite wisdom, ipinahiwatig lang sa akin na yung katulad kong walang itsura ay kaalaman lang ang iiwan sa mundo.
Sabagay, mga tisoy lang naman ang gusto ng kababaihan ngayon at naisip siguro ni Lord na hindi ko dapat maranasan yung ganoon. (Though, I’d understand na madaling sabihin iyan in your case kasi nagtagumpay ka sa ganiyan – seeing na may asawa’t pamilya ka and all.)
Lol. May ganyang attitude din ako before. Yung .. pucha di ko maalala yung term. Na feeling mo panget ka and wala magkakagusto sa iyo. Pero I somehow understood na hindi naman yung talaga ang nagpapatagal or nakakabuo ng relationship. Remember, yung beauty and all, nagwi-wither yan. I guess nakita mo din yung meme or quote post ni Michael V sa Facebook.’
Wala sa panget or gwapo yan, kasi kung ganun, paano pa dumadami ang tao sa pinas at hindi naman lahat gwapo haha.
Konting self esteem lang sir. Marami akong kakilala na hindi rin kagwapuhan pero may partner naman. Tapos meron ding gwapo pero lalaki ang partner haha.
yan di ko ni like comment mo to make you get up on your feet.
potek nawala yung nauna kong comment na mas mahaba.
No worries, I’ve checked the Spam folder and true enough – na-trap nga doon. Approved it now.
And for the record, I generally like comments on my posts that are sensible, whether they agree with my points or not. 🙂
Hi Monch. I know I am not supposed to laugh but there I was, when I encountered this line:
“I would also ask myself whenever a woman of my standards would pass by…”
Anwyay, holding on to your standards is important but not too much when it has gotten to the point of shallow (yung puro physical requirements ba). The other advice I could give, just date and date ’til you meet that person. MERON YAN! OK!
This caught my attention. Some of your statement really hits me hard. I also tried those dating apps but if I don’t like that person I will also ignore them.
There are things na talagang di natin mapipilit if it’s not meant to be and you’re right na experience is the best teacher. As time pass by, marerealize din natin na those standards are useless ’cause once we meet that one of a kind person, kahit anong flawss na meron sila, will accept them and love him/her.
We should enjoy being being single. 🙂
Thank you for dropping by! (No worries about the typo, inayos ko na kanina.) 🙂