Salvaging whatever was left of me after my Gay Online Dating: A Tell-All for the Hopeless and Introverted, I took a 6-month break away from the dating apps to focus on feeling better about myself again and navigating a path towards fulfilling my passion instead. It's been a productive few months and I felt proud of the changes I made in my life. I felt more comfortable with myself and by myself. You can appreciate the silence and the alone time, especially when you just have so much to do.
It was a good feeling, the rush of accomplishment and the excitement of the many things ahead. I was happy, but just busy all the time. The feeling of loneliness sneaks in every now and then, and it does make me wonder if I was ready to go back? How can you say that you won't end up desperate, crazy, or pathetically hurt again? How can you trust yourself again? Instead of answering these questions, I ignored them with distractions, problems to solve and work to get done .
Patawarin ang Sarili't Muling Bigyan ng Pagkakataon (Forgive Yourself and Try Again)
Stop the blame and just forgive yourself. It does take time and little by little, you'll begin to heal. Acknowledge the mistakes you made in the past and learn what you can do to become better in the future. That's the key for you to trust yourself again. You're never going to be perfect, but you should still give yourself a chance. Believe that this time, you can do better because you know better.
They say that we shouldn't go looking for love, it will come to us in the right time. Don't be in a rush and just trust that your true love will come. I knew this all too well, and still kept this in mind when I decided to come right back into the world of online dating. I was at a better place and it was going to be different this time. I loved and valued myself so much, and I thought I would never lose myself again in the vast sea of boys.
Ang Aking Pagbabalik (My Return)
With zero expectations and my heart locked up in a storage center in Cubao, I put myself out there again, open for anything to happen. It was going to be fine. The plan wasn't to search for love or go after any type of relationship or commitment with anyone. There wasn't an agenda. Being there just meant that I wanted to be available. I'm still a skeptic on finding love in dating apps, but I was open to getting to know new people and making friends .
Everyone has their own story and may currently be facing their own struggles in life, and I'm really thankful to those guys who felt comfortable to share their stories to a stranger like me. I recognized pieces of myself in people and related to a lot of their worries, because I've also had them at some point in my life. I hope that my advice helped or made them feel better even for just a few minutes. And if I understood your pain and then, I'm just here.
Masyado Kang Mabait (You're Too Nice)
It didn't hurt to be kind. Even when you won't necessarily end up in a relationship with a guy, that doesn't mean that you should close yourself up entirely, ignore them or just toss them aside for a different one. That was too easy. It was alright for me to give myself away to other people, share my stories and still wish the best for them even when I suddenly find myself on the other side of the wall, blocked. I still meant what I said and I was happy to help. I had my life, my friends and I was always going to be fine.
Talking to strangers is fun and you can tell a them a lot of things you would never share even to the people around your life that you hold dear. I may have been a bit guilty of oversharing or unloading a ton of my daily dilemma to random strangers. Haha. I do appreciate that they took a chance of spontaneity, listened or laughed at my well-timed jokes even when they would forget about me the next day.
Going along with the flow and generously giving more than was being given back to me, I carried on. I may have changed, but the environment and culture of ghosting was still prevalent. I knew the way around though and stood strong. I always kept my integrity and fought myself away from the feeling of desperation and hopelessness.
Maraming Nagsisimula pero Walang Nagpapatuloy (Many Start, but None Continue)
People are busy and maybe I just had so much time on my hands to spend on those apps, but it was tiring to always have to start over and prevent yourself from seeing beyond the words they're saying. You can match with a guy, talk for a while and even hang out, and it would still mean nothing. That was fine, completely acceptable because I knew how hope was forbidden. And at the end of every single one, I was always right to not give my trust to them.
Everything just rolled off my back, the rejection and the endless disappointments of always ending up without a reply. I tried to keep my optimism, my energy and my welcoming smile to anyone who was nice enough to answer back. You can't judge someone based on their pictures or even how they talk to you in the chat. You don't even know how they are in person. Everybody is different and it does take time and a bit of effort to really get to know someone. The thing is, nobody was willing to give that time or effort. They'd rather find someone else, someone new.
Sa Isang Taong Wala ng Buhay (To Someone Already Dead)
Staying in dating apps can get you trapped in a cycle. And you can get used to the feeling of being left behind to the point where you just feel numb. Do you even have enough of yourself left or are you all used up?
My life is written up entirely by words. My words used to carry life, but is it even worth it to talk when the words they say carry no meaning at all? You're talking to the undead. That's what I've become. I've been hit too many times and not all my limbs are intact, but I was still standing. Without a heart and a spirit that has died down, I opened my mouth and spoke of nothing. My words were gone. I lost my interest and in some way felt like I deliberately shutting down and pulling away before I gave anyone a chance.
Wala pa ding Napala (Went Nowhere)
I may think that I played it right this round of dating, but you'll always be wrong to the wrong person. Yes, we're not all perfect people. We're not all at the same stages in our lives right now either. We can try to understand each other as much as we like, but if it's not right and then, there's no use. We're young and we've got still got a lot to learn. I may have yet to realize the things I'm doing wrong, even if I am willing to be better.
The clear answer may be to give online dating apps up entirely. Maybe, I can have a chance at love in the real world without the swipes, matches and online chats. Maybe, having access to guys at the palm of your hands is as toxic as it is exciting. But, you know what? I'm choosing to take a break instead, to regain the life that was drained out of me. Things take time and you can have some time off, even in dating, even in love.
Jowang-Jowa na Ko (I'm Ready, So Ready)
Again, I wasn't looking for love in those apps, but in my mind, I feel like I was ready. I'm ready to be in a relationship, to give someone all the love that I have. Even if it won't be forever and he'll just end up hurting me, it'll be okay. And, I'll be thankful for the time that I was loved.
At the same time, I also know my worth and what I deserve. I won't be giving that love away to just anyone, especially to people in those apps who run away at the sight of the word. We have to be patient and go about our own lives because there's so much more ahead. There's so much more to life and I honestly miss appreciating them, being filled with them. Even the little things are better than a person's constant attention.
Di Rom-Com Ang Life (Your Life isn't a Romantic Comedy, okay?)
But for now, I'm casting love to the side first. It only takes one person. When you find the one person, the right person and then, none of it will even matter. It's just hard to find the one who you'll love and will love you back like how you deserve. He will come though, in time.
I guess we can try not think of our lives as Romantic Comedies. Let's pick any other genre, where love can just take a back-seat. My story will continue. It's not going to be a love story though, but a story of success and maybe just a possibility of love in between. Let's see.
Let's make other things happen instead, okay? I wonder how our stories will turn out this time. Aren't you excited? Just can't wait to find out!
Share this post to Facebook or Twitter and
Tag your wonderful friends!