Finding our "end game" A.K.A. "The One" A.K.A. the person you can bring home to your parents and hopefully last beyond the foreseeable future can be exciting and daunting at the same time. Perhaps this is the person you'd marry or at least imagine yourself marrying. And while marriage may not be a top priority and ridiculous to think about when we're in our late teens or early twenties, the subject isn't something that doesn't cross our minds.
Whether you have a long-time sweetheart that you met in highschool or you're currently hopelessly loveless, there are many factors around us that make us question our status and, to an extent, pressure us to find a serious, lasting relationship and move on to a more mature chapter in our life.
From our relatives' taunting questions of "Kailan ka ba magkaka-boyfriend?" to trending engagement news from young celebrities, the thought of finding our own "end game" stat has bothered us at some points in our daily millennial grind. Here, we list the ways we feel pressured to settle down and how to shake it off when we know it in our hearts that we're simply not there yet.
1. Young celebrity couples getting engaged
From Ariana Grande to Justin Bieber, celebrity engagement news seems to pop left and right these days. Not to mention, it comes from young ones who we practically grew up with as we followed their popstar careers since we were teens. Considering their success at practically everything, it even leads us to ask ourselves, "What the heck am I doing with my life?"
But while celebrities appear all shiny and perfect, we have to keep in mind that we'd never know what goes on in their actual daily lives. And if we do, there's a huge chance that we'd feel much luckier and more blessed than them. So chin up, sweetie–nothing is always as it seems, and you're still doing great on your own.
2. Real people's romantic lives
Scrolling through our social media feeds isn't complete without seeing cheesy posts from our friends and their significant others. Perhaps your cousin just celebrated her nth anniversary with her long-time boyfie or *worse* your ex just found a *serious* relationship worthy to plaster all over the internet. And if you're not satisfied with your current status, chances are that these things can frustrate you one way or another.
The pressure to keep up with everyone and display a seemingly happy life online is something that we can't really escape from. Though it may seem petty, we all go through it, and there's no judgement in that. However, constantly comparing your life to others is obviously not healthy. So what if it feels like you're the only single person left on the internet? Your worth and happiness shouldn't be measured by your relationship status on Facebook. The only thing you need to focus on right now is being emotionally independent and hitting the more important goals you have for yourself. The right people will come along at a time when you're most ready, so just keep doing your thing!
3. Pressure from our family
Whether you're single or not, we all dread going to family gatherings because an aunt will always ask how your love life is going or an uncle will beg you to give him an apo already. And mustering all the patience and politeness you have in your body, you'd simply smile and give them a safe answer. Sometimes, it's your own parents who will tell you something that starts along the lines of, "'Nung nasa edad mo ako..."
Well, times have changed, Susan. And while all the women in your family found "The One" at 18 and all the men moved out to start a family of their own at 21, that's not exactly your pacing. To be honest, the dating scene is a whole lot more different than it was 20 years ago and, these days, everyone is out to chase dreams and passions, not an instant shot at marriage. So don't give in to those taunting remarks. You don't have to feel less just because you're not bringing a plus one to the next Christmas reunion.
4. Our own expectations
When we were pubescent teens, we thought that our early twenties would be the adult stage where we've already figured everything out. But now that we're here, we realize that it's not as easy as it seemed. In short, we don't feel like the adults we thought we'd be.
This includes not being in a serious, marriage-worthy relationship. We thought we'd have found the right person at this time, and we could get married five years later. But the reality is that we're still on dating apps, hoping that the next swipe would be a match. Or perhaps, we're still in a complicated relationship that's already exhausting us even before we could call it an official one.
Whatever pickle you're in that doesn't add up to your expectations of adult life, you simply have to adjust and not think that you're a hopeless case. Perhaps, you're just not ready. And while you're working things out on your own, know that the pieces of the life that you want are already falling into place–you just don't feel it yet.
Considering all the things mentioned above, there comes a point when the pressure and frustration become a gnawing loneliness within. You start wishing to have someone in your life to introduce to your relatives, to take photos with and post about on Instagram, to spend meaningful time with, and to make you feel like all the games are over for good. Call it being lovesick, but this kind of longing can convince you to tirelessly search for another soul.
But know that love isn't meant to be searched for. As cliche as it may sound, it will simply come. And while you haven't crossed paths with it yet, fill yourself up with other positive feelings. Give your love to the ones around you. Hype your friends up. Tell sweet nothings to your family. Shower yourself with all the loving energy you wished to give to someone else. This way, the loneliness wouldn't take so much space in your heart. Remember that we will get there sooner or later, and you'll be more than ready to welcome the love of your life with open arms by then.
Being loveless at our age could feel like a crisis. But it shouldn't be. As in anything in life, respect your process. Years from now, you could look back and know exactly why things are the way they are right now. Big things are in store for you, and the best days of your life are yet to come. You just have to trust. Meghan Markle married her prince mid-thirties, so no rush. *wink*
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