Come on guys, it’s 2018—and we’re still shaming people for being single, as if it were such an unnatural state to be in, you’d think we hadn’t all been born into the world, like, single.
We spoke to 12 single Pinoy men who tell us how they’ve been single-shamed, why they haven’t let the naysayers bring them down, and why being single actually rules, so maybe stop feeling sorry for them? Read on for their reasons, and try not to break up with your girlfriend afterward, LOL!
One word: FREEDOM.
Jan, 33, IT consultant: Put simply, the best thing about being single is: I can do whatever shit I want, whenever I want. I absolutely love this freedom, this flexibility, this spontaneity. I enjoy doing stuff on my own. I don’t understand why this concept is so hard to explain to most people, a majority of whom believe that you have to be in a relationship in order to be happy. At the end of the day, I choose to do shit that makes me happy. It’s really that simple.
Hubert, 31, photographer: The best thing about being single is the perpetual freedom that I enjoy. I love to travel alone and it’s so much easier to make bookings for just yourself. I don’t have to be mindful of someone not liking modest accommodations or be worried about someone not being into museums I fancy checking out. I don’t have to wait up for anyone when I walk around while traveling. I basically can do whatever I want without the fear of being checked up on. With perpetual freedom also comes unlimited spending power.
Marky, 36, travel writer: Since I love traveling, being single doesn’t hold me back when it comes to scheduling my travels. I could be gone for five days to two weeks or even a month and best of all, I could meet new people and even fall for someone and have one of those short romances on the road. Not that I long for that kind of setup, but it kind of gives me more freedom to express my feelings when I meet a very interesting woman. I am not saying it is better to travel as a single man, since being a coupled-up guy, you get to travel and share experiences with your girlfriend, which is awesome as well. But as a single person right now, I appreciate more the freedom that it brings me.
Bo, 33, ESL teacher and freelance digital marketer: A married friend tried to convince me that married life is better. I would have believed him that moment. It’s as if finding a spouse meant fulfilling life’s innermost call to you. But then I thought, “This guy doesn’t have the options that I have.” Yes, being married opens up a whole level of possibilities that ultimately gives you a legacy. But it stops you from using the options and freedom that a single person has. I love the freedom that the single life has to offer. There’s so much room to breathe and explore. There are so many possibilities that you can do. There is so much that you can do and enjoy.
Imagine all that free time—just oodles and oodles of it.
Jay, 29, digital implementation supervisor: I have more time for myself and for the other people in my life. I can do more things. There were instances when I felt like I could be more productive, but I couldn’t because I was with my girlfriend. This is not to say that I do not enjoy being with someone. It’s just that sometimes it’s much better in small doses. Imagine days when you would accompany someone the whole day throughout different malls and tiangges just so they could get their shopping fix. And that is considering the fact that I come from the east, I pick her up from the north, then drive all the way to the south just to go to her preferred places to shop, and at the end of the day, I have to do that all over again. Imagine that sometimes I even cancel family time just to be able to accompany her.
Kentoy, 29, emergency medicine resident: I’d usually get single-shamed during gatherings with my relatives and especially during the weddings of my batchmates. At first, I’d feel sad and lonely but later on, I’d just smile at them, thinking of the perks of being single in my mind, like no babies to attend to, fewer bills to pay, and responsibilities, especially now that I’m on my residency training.
Vladz, 30, physician: I had been in a six-year-long distance relationship and there were always instances when I’d choose to FaceTime instead of hitting the gym or running, which are my greatest stress-relievers. Single dudes are able to do everything they like without limitation.
There’s nothing like being single to help you know and—corndog alert!—love yourself better.
N, 32, business consultant: You find time to learn about yourself intimately. For me, being single is key to get to know who you are, what makes you tick, what you like about yourself, what you don’t like about yourself, what are your areas for growth and improvement. And with all this knowledge about yourself, you would know what kind of partner fits. Personally, when I’m in a relationship, I’m always focused on neglecting myself and making my partner priority above all, so being single works for when I need to find myself and get to know myself. I’m not saying you don’t have the chance to get to know yourself while in a relationship, but the focus you can have on getting to know yourself when you’re single is intense.
Kentoy: Being single gives me the solitude to find peace, joy, and purpose in my life. I think, overall, singleness is an avenue for me to evaluate, discover, and improve myself to bring out the best version of me and be ready for what will happen next.
All those maddening LQs they used to have? So yesterday.
Jan: Ever since I’ve been single, I could go on out-of-town trips on a whim or go out at 2 a.m. to grab a few beers with my friends. Back when I was still in a relationship, that shit just ain’t possible without an argument afterward.
Kevin, 29, accountant: I don’t have to think of somebody else first before I can do anything I want. I can go out all night every night and not have to come up with reasons or excuses for why I was out the next day. And of course, I can sleep around a little bit. Obviously, I wasn’t able to do these when I had a girlfriend. The fighting and psychological warfare were crazy. My brain can only take so much. Now that I’ve been single for a while, I have a clearer mind.
And if those maddening LQs of relationships past were partly their fault (hey, tao lang), they can work out the kinks within themselves and come out even better.
David, 24, student: After being in a relationship for the first time, I could say that I’m quite happy to be single. First of all, it makes you reflect on your mistakes in your last relationship. Second, it gives you more time to upgrade yourself by loving yourself. Third, you still need the time to prepare yourself before you can commit to another relationship because you don’t want those mistakes coming back in your new relationship. Fourth, no more arguments; you get to cool down yourself and create strategies on how to handle new situations in case you’re going to be in a new relationship. Fifth, it’s refreshing, because you took off the weight that was your previous relationship and that makes you fly to find another one for yourself.
Just because they’re single now doesn’t mean they’re never going to partner up later on, anyway!
Vladz: At my age, I feel like I have to look for the right girl already, get married, have kids, etc., and for now, I’m married to my bike. But I always believe that love will pass by anytime soon. Maybe I am just preparing myself for it.
And what if they never do? It’s not like shacking up with someone is the only end in life to aspire to.
Bo: I remember people looking down on me because I am single. Telling me that I’m only a complete man when I have married, fathered children, and started a family. As if the whole point of masculinity were to have a better half. But you just have to laugh. It’s also as if they think it’s a race that you have to do and getting tied down is the finish line.
Besides, you yap away so damn much about them being single, they don’t care what you think anymore.
Jan: Early on, most people who questioned my singleness were older than me, you know, the standard uncles, aunts, family friends, neighbors, etc. And I’ve always thought it was normal for them to ask “Why are you still single?” because their generation married young, and that’s what’s “normal” for them, so in a way, I made an effort to understand them. But whenever someone single-shames me, I basically just shrug it off. I normally find a way to end the topic right away, like if someone asks me “When are you getting married?” I’d reply in jest, verbatim, “I’m too young for that shit.” Most people would get that I’m not taking their question seriously, so they’d drop the subject right away. It’s a pretty effective riposte.
Cris, 37, app designer: In family gatherings, relatives always ask the same question when they see me: “When are you getting married?” I just usually laugh and joke, “I’m only 21; that’s the last thing on my mind right now.” It doesn’t annoy me, but it gets tiring answering the same darn question, most especially if five of them ask the same question on the same day.
Zeno, 30, physician: At my age, most of my friends are married or getting married. So yes, I have been single-shamed. They even say that I might end up being a sugar daddy to young girls. Every time they do this, I usually just smile and say at least I’m not tied to a ball and chain.