In my family, love is never in short supply.
Hugs and kisses abound, I see my mother cook food after she gets home from work, regardless of how tired she is. I hear my father’s stories and lectures for the nth time in an attempt for me to learn the lessons of life. I get annoyed when my sister tries to do one thing or another trying to get to do one thing or another.
But this concoction of respect and affection form a home in which everyone is welcome.
There were days when I would isolate myself from my family because I had to do homework during my spare time. Yet, at the end of the day, I knew they would always be by me. That was love—committing to making other people happy and, at the same time, having fun.
In contrast, I have never been in a romantic relationship.
I’ve had many friends in the past; I would get along with them through game, conversations, and banter. In middle school, when some students saw me getting close to a couple of boys, they assumed I “liked them”.
Of course, in this case, “liking them” was different from liking them in a friendly way. “Liking them” meant wanting to fall in love with them. The conversational and emotional warmth became physical. It starts with hand-holding, then proceeds to cuddling and kissing.
This was as far as one would imagine teenage romance back in the eighth grade. While I did enjoy having company with them, it didn’t extend to having a romantic relationship.
Back then, love was being able to spend hours with a person on end, without regret to where the time went. It was always feeling warm and excited when the one you love even passes by.
Yet in this time, as well as now, it was more infatuation. It was seeing the future with them without the trials and tribulations real love had to offer.
Because I’ve never been in a romantic relationship, I don't know what it means to struggle to make time for someone. I don't know what it means to be disloyal to them and to confront the consequences of deceit. I wouldn't know about the little things that didn't show up in movies.
Instead, it’s more like seeing my parents every day when they eat, talk, and watch TV together.
In other words, I have yet to experience the joy and stability which comes with a caring, romantic relationship. And that’s okay.
While several of my classmates have either gotten engaged or married, I’m busy focusing on my life through education and other pursuits. I want to cultivate myself so I would love myself and love somebody else the way my parents and relatives love me.