B.A.E (Before Anyone Else)

B.A.E (Before Anyone Else)

Alternatively, ‘poop’. In Danish. I’m sorry, but knowing is crucial, for I would like to avoid using unglamorous vocabulary while roaming in the streets of a foreign land I’d be dwelling in for 5 months. Singaporeans aren’t supposed to exude ignorance.

Back to the point: the topic of this post sprung out from a youth panel discussion at church. It’s a pity I did not get invited to speak, because the concept of BGR is one close to my heart, literally. I’m letting the cat(s) out of the bag, because self-actualization begins with making mistakes, documenting them, then effecting improvements. Here’s something I have to address: Am I truly enjoying singlehood, or do I sometimes wish I had a significant other to share my life with? What is my take on dating in today’s society? Am I facing pressure to date? Regardless of whether I answer them adequately or not, I hope that these penned thoughts will serve as a timeless anchor.

First things first. I’m single and I enjoy singlehood very much. I would not attribute my enjoyment of singlehood to the copious amount of ‘freedom’ to check off the items in my ‘singles’ bucket list, nor would I say that it is the lack of accountability I have to give to another person.

But because I hold the heart of the one who never turns away in disappointment, the one who always send his angels to protect me as I tread on darkened paths, the one who grants me the desires of my heart, who waits for me because I take time to be able to confront my problems or even vocalise them, who never leaves me for another; and because I am so dearly loved by my amazing family members and eternal friends; I have no capacity to feel discontented with where I am at.

When I finally get to meet my pastor-charming (HAHA), I would like to share my wonderful life experiences with him – how I’d lived through societal judgment with centre parting and thick bushy eyebrows, how I’ve slept at a gas station along the streets of Venice, and how God’s footprints in my life had been so evident yet I’ve missed them (but thankfully not him). This is the time to nurture myself into Christlikeness. It’s the time to pray the same for my partner.

So, will I ever confess to a guy if I am attracted to him (assuming he is of good character and scores high on the compatibility scale)? I guess not. I blame it on my fear of failure (of both being rejected and losing an established friendship), or otherwise, plain unwillingness to put my pride on the line.  To my comfort, the manner of pursuit should originate from the guy. This is actually rooted in biblical doctrine:

The God-given role to man is to initiate, as it is the woman’s God-given role to respond. Single men need to learn how to lead (whether they like it or not), single women need to learn what it is to let a man assume spiritual leadership in the relationship — and to respond to that leadership. Ultimately, this means learning to trust God’s goodness and sovereignty.

I hope that addresses your curiosity. Note that this does not contradict the whole concept of ‘gender equality’. I am not suggesting that women are, in any way, subservient and inferior, or that they can never be vocal about their feelings (speak now or let silence end your game). But instead of consulting the other party directly, consult the people around you or even, the people around him! Sometimes they offer perspectives that you miss out on, simply because you’re caught up with your own feelings and thoughts. I personally prefer the ‘prim and proper’ way of courtship. Hah. Hopeless romantic?

But then again, I always ask myself if I am truly ready. Or am I truly wanting? My answer is always inconclusive – I don’t think I’ll ever be ready for anything like that. I’m scared, because the arena of relationships is like unchartered waters: mysteries lurking about in murky waters, unguaranteed safety, rocky stretches and unwarranted seasickness. But the rewards are tenfold: sun dipping in the horizon, exploration of inhabited islands and feeling the breeze flowing over your face… Ok I think I better stop the poetic inspiration. But yeah, I’m not ready, but I hope you realise that this realisation, in itself, is merely indicative of my ‘true’ readiness. Is this confusing? If yes, you’re not suited for a career in taxation. 哈哈!

To end on a convincing note, my advice to all singles (who are ready to commit themselves to a relationship) is to put yourself out there, put away presumptions and date with the intention to know the other person better. Remain accountable to your mentors, but always, guard your heart (to an appropriate level) (not paranoia) and set proper boundaries for yourself. Don’t let societal pressure become your dreaded timer – enjoy the season. Quote me on this: the pursuit of man’s heart is bound to end up in failure, while the pursuit of God’s heart will lead you to the path of unending joy.

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