Be Inspired Journal

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before

on
April 4, 2018

“You only like guys you don’t have a chance with, because you’re scared.” – Jenny Han, [To All the Boys I’ve loved before]

Yes, I know this title is probably not as original, but there is no better title that seemed fitting for this. You see, I try to be a good writer- I may not be as good as Jenny Han, Jane Austen or Alice Walker but my blog has always served to be one of the pillars of my strength. Writing allowed me to surpass some really tough times and it helped me cope in a lot more ways than I could ever imagine. It also connected me with some pretty awesome readers who experienced the same struggles or adventures as I did.

The reason I am writing this is that, ever since my brother announced his engagement, I felt that everyone else around me started to pressure me to find my own better half. In the Philippines, 25 is the age where you should be leaning towards your own “marcher dans l’allée” or “walk down the aisle”. So, you can only imagine how dreadfully alarming it was to find your own daughter, at the age of “25”, single, and has absolutely no plans of settling down any time soon. What annoys me even more, is that society, even if they don’t admit it – society assumes that a woman who is not in any form of “serious relationship” by the age of 25, signifies that there is something absolutely wrong with them.

Museum of Ethnology - Tour, Things To Do and Travel Guide to Hanoi, Vietnam | Catching Carla

me, playing with these old pots

Are you too picky?“, “you need to get out more!”, “you have such high standards!” or simply “is there something the matter with you?” – NO. If I wanted to be in a relationship, just for the sake of having one, I probably would have one by now, but Marriage is not a race, and settling down is not something that I want to take lightly. Sometimes, maybe, we just haven’t met anyone who can make us give up our freedom, or anyone worthy enough to make us pause and say “I really REALLY REALLY like this dude.” In other instances, maybe the guys that we think are amazing aren’t interested in us, or in a more simpler excuse: perhaps there is just no “chemistry”. In any case, you can’t really force something that is obviously not meant for you.

But hey! this post is not about how exhausting dating is in the modern world – but rather, a post to help you and me to reflect on all the relationships we have had in the past, that lead us to be who and what we are today. Single – or not single. I believe these experiences made me so critical in finding “the one”.

1. To the first guy I  loved. Okay – my first love will always be my dad, but that kind of love is different. This one – wow, how do we explain this one? This is the first guy to ever make me say “I love you” and truly mean it. He was the first one who has ever had the privilege to be introduced to my parents, and my friends. He was and he still is, one of the most beautiful people I have ever met, and his eyes could definitely melt the world, well at least my world. His voice is soft, and his embrace is warm – and for the first time, I understood what it is to love someone so much that you are willing to endure whatever adversity or pain he has caused you – because well, “Love Conquers All” right? Until it doesn’t anymore. Until one day, the only thing you remember when you see this person – is all the sleepless nights you had to endure, crying over the things you wish you can change. Because in reality, loving someone so much, will not change a person who doesn’t want to change, and that’s probably one of the lessons that will create a huge impact on your life.To all the boys I've Loved Before | Catching Carla

2. To the one that got away. This one is the one we try so hard to love after our first big “romance”. Some people call them the “rebound”, but it my case, he was the one who got away. He was the guy who made me regain all the things I have lost in my past relationship – my self-respect, my dignity and my value. He treated me the best way he can, in whatever ways he could, but somehow, I just couldn’t see myself spending the rest of my life with him. On paper, he was everything a girl could ever want – Smart, Gorgeous, Successful, Loving, Caring and Passionate. Any girl he would date would probably swoon at his feet, but my walls are too high, and my heart is too weak. Soon, you will realize, that not because someone is perfect on paper, doesn’t magically make him someone you can love. You can’t force chemistry – even with someone as perfect as him.

3. The One that made me give up on the idea of “love”. Yes, there is always going to be that one, who just have to ruin everything. This one is the one that has been in my posts constantly (read about it here, here and here) because honestly – after him, I went just a little bit jaded. This was a short stint, and if anything – I really thought this was going to be the “one”, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. But – the only thing I will always be thankful for him is that, he made me grow up. After him, I realized that every relationship I will ever have will never work out because  I was always going to be too scared. Too scared to follow my own dreams, too scared to be alone, too scared to fail, too scared to stand on my own two feet – too scared to live the life I have always wanted. It’s funny how we have to have a certain traumatizing experience before we finally wake up and realize that, all this time – I was so indulged in finding the “right one” that I forgot the one person who needed to be found was me. So thanks to this one, I learned that sometimes, the only person we really need to love is ourselves.

To all the boys I've Loved Before | Catching Carla

So now what? Now that I have turned myself back on love three times, will you still judge me if I’m single? Actually, that is all up to you. I am single not because nobody wants me, or I have become bitter (maybe in the slightest, I did) – but I know deep inside, that I still want to find THE ONE who will make me understand why everyone else didn’t work out. I may have had my faults, but my past shaped me to be who I am today, and I will never be ashamed of it. The good, will always come with the bad – just like any relationships.

Yes, I know dating can be exhausting: you dress up, you present yourself, you endure excruciating coffee conversations with people you don’t really click with – and wake up the next day, to do exactly the same thing. You will meet a dozen other people in your life, and all of them will leave an impact – whether big or small. I found a great guy in Vietnam, whom I would consider giving a chance, but I know now that distance is something I am not yet willing to compromise. I met a guy recently whom I know every girl would die to date, and yet I broke his heart – not because I don’t like him, but because right now – I know what I want, and I know what I deserve.

Life is different for everyone, and just because you didn’t find someone today- doesn’t mean that you’re undesirable, hey- even SHREK can be loved too, and trust me, I can be a Shrek when I’m on my period. (lol)

Perhaps, or maybe, just maybe, there is really someone waiting for you out there, who will love you so much that you won’t even remember why you cried so much over all the boys you have ever loved before…

Until then, just do whatever you can to be the best version of you.


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