"You're lucky to have dated good boyfriends who love you.", my good friend C tells me, her eyes narrowing as she sips at her cup of black coffee.
"You can't expect anyone to wait forever to marry you."
There it was. The awkward truth that no girl right smack in the middle of an existential crisis wants to hear.
"But ... I don't know, maybe I don't want to be loved or be proposed to. Maybe I just want to love myself", I sheepishly say, knowing how many soon-to-be married women out there are rolling their eyes at me right now.
It feels strange to me that in this day and age, we still place so much importance on finding the right man and settling down. Have we not evolved past that now? Women have equally successful careers, divorce rates are sky-rocketing and there are at least 5 dating apps to download on Play Store.
'Is settling down the only way we can be truly happy?', I ponder out loud.
"I don't know, but you really have to be growing up.", she tells me, her voice kind and genuine, and I knew it was because she does love me that she wanted me to know The Truth.
... And then I realized what she - and maybe many people thought of me.
I am clumsy as hell, play video games, have a genuine love of alcohol, get bored easily, definitely crazy enough to dance on tables and have the carefree recklessness of a 19-year-old (what are consequences? bah, who cares!). Add my age into the equation and ...
I am Certified Undateable.
(a.k.a Non Marriage Material a.k.a the girl you don't wanna bring home to your parents)
But I am also ambitious, adventurous, kind to animals, generous and awesome at first dates - true story, bruh. So why are my flaws so glaring just because I don't fit into the mould of a conventional woman?
I feel like us women have been put under microscopic observation all our lives - by men, peers or even other women. She has a stable job and yet not too successful cause, you know, that's intimidating? Ok, good.
Good in bed but still has an innocent quality about her? Check. Doesn't have more than 3 boyfriends? Great! She doesn't drink? Good, you don't wanna date an alcoholic. Does she sleep around? Yes? Oh, that's not someone I wanna marry. She goes to church every Sunday? Good, religious girls are less likely to be sluts.
She's too fat, too thin, too muscular, too old, too loud.
Why are we going through this? It would be painstakingly different if we were born men - at least on a biological level, noone's gonna tell you that you risk being infertile in your 30s.
Social media shows you pictures of happy relationships, fairytale engagements, flawless marriages and cute-as-heck babies ... but never forget that it can be very deceptive, and very harmful if we make choices based purely on the desire to fit in.
"I'm annoyed, brave but I'm also scared. What if everyone is right and I should just settle?", I whine to R, a good guy friend of mine who has been the unfortunate recipient of my rants for the past month.
He rolls his eyes and laughs. "You are still fucking young! Older men will date you, younger men will date you, and whatever it is you should not be listening to what other people tell you to do anyway."
So ladies, if there is anything I've learned in the past month, it is that if you're feeling Certified Undateable, girl friends are great but (sometimes) guy friends are even more awesome.