Hi, I’m Zsaris, age 20-something and a certified NBSB. Yes, I said it. I’ve had no boyfriend since birth. I am a rare breed in this age of hookups, breakups, and young—and I mean young—love. Most of my peers are very much taken, with some already engaged to be married. Yet, here I am, still trying to pass Dating 101. Being single has become a part of my identity (I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing) and it hasn’t been easy to give other people reasons why, after all these years, I still haven’t changed my relationship status. In an earnest attempt to help my fellow members of the NBSB movement, here is a list of things I’ve learned about not having a boyfriend and what I do to enjoy singlehood!
1. “Strict” parents mean well.
My dad was my mom’s first boyfriend. They became BF-GF when she was 27 and she got married at 29. When I was growing up, she kept reminding me that love was a distraction to what was more important: school. As a college professor, she’s all too familiar about students flunking class because of boys. I’m an obedient kid, so I got through my formative years following my mom’s advice—and I must say that I’m thankful because it saved me from cramming for an exam and dealing with a broken heart at the same time. All of my friends have had those moments, and I just couldn’t imagine what they’ve been through.
The lesson: It may seem that your parents are hindering you from the possibilities of true love, but remember that they were once teens, too. Their reason is simple: they don’t want you to regret something that you did just to fit in. Value their opinion. Listen to their stories. Your parents mean well.
2. Be patient, no matter what.
Being involved in church activities from high school to college has taught me to seek the right one and wait for the right time. Growing up, I pictured the perfect scenario of meeting that special person—as if he were gift wrapped and sent to me from heaven. I’ve heard of many successful Christ-centered couple stories, especially the bit about how they saved their first kiss for the altar. I aspire to be like them and pray for it too. However, it’s way different than asking for a new pair of shoes. It takes more than faith, more than service, and more than commitment to will for that someone to find you.
The lesson: It’s admirable to patiently pray and wait for that one true love. There are many ways to break this sacred promise and it gets challenging to keep it sometimes. Always remember that your faith is bigger than temptation.
3. Maintain your standards.
“Ang choosy mo naman!” I get this every time I decide to not even try pursuing a “pwede na” guy. I don’t consider myself picky, but when I list down all the things I look for in a potential boyfriend, I’m surprised that I actually am. There have been a few moments when I let go of these so-called standards just to get to know someone. As expected, though, these dates fizzled out pretty fast.
The lesson: Use your time to get to know yourself. The first thing you have to do is to decide what you’re looking for in a relationship. It’ll take even more time, but you deserve it. Find that guy who will make you stop looking!
4. Doll up, not dull up.
I once got asked out for a date after I went to a party with a bit of foundation, blush, and lipstick. I’m normally a t-shirt, jeans, and sneakers kind of girl—very boyish, with absolutely no care about how I look—but, when something finally worked, it completely changed my point of view about looking a bit more feminine.
The lesson: I’ve always believed that I’ll find my match someday who will love me and accept me as I am. A little polishing still helps, though. Think about dressing up and putting on makeup as a way not to lure guys in, but as a declaration to all the men, as well as other women, that you’re a confident, proud woman. You’ll feel empowered knowing and believing that you are beautiful. Boys will be more interested in you, not just because of your beauty, but because they’ll also want to get to know you more. Bring out your red lipstick, wear that dress you’ve been saving for a special occasion, and flash your brightest smile. You’ll never know who you’re going to meet!
5. Dare to cross the friendzone.
When I was younger, I used to spend more time with boys than girls. I’ve listened to all their problems, hung out with them, got drunk with them, and put my two cents in about love. I learned a lot about their perspective on relationships that I’ve set my mind to not be some of their exes. In turn, I’ve become one of the guys—one of their friends, but just friends.
The lesson: I admit that I clicked with some of these guy friends on a deeper level, but there is an unwritten rule to not date your bros, even if your “bro” is a girl. It’s inevitable, especially if you’ve fallen in love with one of your guy friends. The best thing to do is to just tell him how you feel. You may lose the friendship, but, hopefully, for something more intimate and more special. If he’s really true, you won’t lose him. That’s still a win-win.
6. Stop feeling insecure.
This is probably the hardest lesson I needed to face while enduring almost two decades of being single. I was too insecure growing up that I shied away from strangers, even my friends, thinking that I wasn’t good enough to be with anyone and that sharing love with others would leave me empty. It took me years to understand, through the help of my family and friends, that I could love and be loved in return.
The lesson: It’s never your fault that you’re single. It’s not because you’re too skinny, too fat, too simple, too loud, too shy, or whatever reason you may have in your head right now. You have to dig deep into yourself to discover what makes you happy. Everything that you desire in life will be much clearer. Once you get to that point, everyone will notice. With a heart empty of doubts, you’ll have space for more love from the person meant for you. In turn, you can reciprocate it wholeheartedly.
7. Be brave.
The best thing I’ve learned from my experiences is this. If you think you’re ready to take the leap, do it. Never be scared of rejection or the great unknown. Express your feelings. If it doesn’t work out, then that guy is not for you. Move on to the next!
The lesson: Don’t be afraid of being alone. Always be excited. It’s more inspiring to discover a big world full of endless possibilities. Never be frightened to kiss lots of frogs, too. You’ll never know when your prince will come. Get ready!
This story was published in Chalk magazine February 2015 issue originally titled "7 Lessons From an NBSB" and authored by Zsaris Mendioro. Like Chalk on Facebook (www.facebook.com/chalkmagazine) and follow them on Twitter (@chalkmagazine).