I am 30 years old, and currently single. In fact, I’ve been single my whole life.
One of the reasons that I have been single for so long is because my life has constantly been in transition. When I was in high school, I was waiting until college to date (I also didn’t like myself very much and didn’t expect that others would like me, but that’s a separate issue). In college, I was waiting for graduation. After graduation, I didn’t know where I was going in life, and wanted to get that figured out. When I was in law school, I was waiting for after graduation (plus, I had hardly enough time in law school for myself, much less someone else). Now I’ve graduated and moved back to the Bay Area, but my life still feels very much in flux. And after years of moving on from one thing to another, I’m having a hard time settling down in one place.
I wanted to settle down before I started pursuing a relationship because I didn’t want to disrupt another person’s life. I thought that it was selfish to start a relationship with someone, only to have her change her plans on my account. That struck me as self-serving and tactless.
But then I remember what happened with my parents. When my mom met my dad in South Korea, she had no intention of moving to the US. My dad was coming here to study, and told her that she would have to leave her family, her culture, and her home to be with him. She said yes. Even though she didn’t know the future, she knew that she wanted to be with him.
I think about other friends who have had similar experiences, who have changed their plans to be with the ones that they love. While the sacrifice is real, the love makes the sacrifice so sweet.
And I realize that I haven’t really changed that much from high school. What I took to be thoughtfulness for others is rooted in a lack of value for myself. I thought that it would be too much to ask someone else to change her future plans for me.
I don’t know if my parents’ story will happen for me. I don’t know if I will ever get married. I’m glad that I can say that if I were to stay single, I would be grateful for life. But I’m embracing this truth about myself: I am worth changing your plans.