In celebration of the month of love, let me narrate one of my greatest frustrations in the twenty something years I’ve lived on this earth: the expectation that I should have at least been in one romantic relationship at this point in my life.

This issue gets even more frustrating when people give me that look of pity when I say I’ve never been asked out either. Then frustration hits a premium upgrade when they proceed to scrutinize my lifestyle to determine what I’ve been doing wrong.

I don’t see why it’s such a big deal. I know what I’m doing and I’m fairly satisfied with how my love life (or the lack thereof) has been going. What’s wrong with not following the supposed due date for a first relationship?

Let me put it this way.

Say, the dating pool is a bowl of M&Ms and Life is the one offering it. Some people would just dive in and grab a handful; some would pick out their preferred colors; while, others would simply pass because they don’t like M&Ms.

I used to think I would belong to the first group; the idea of a big bowl of M&Ms was exciting to young me and I couldn’t wait till I was ready to put my hand in that bowl. I thought that reaching into it would change my life; make me happier, get rid of my insecurities. Then I turned thirteen and I overheard adults talking about how when you reach into the bowl, you can only get one and you have to make sure that THAT is the one M&M you want to enjoy your whole life. I took a step back and thought maybe the bowl of M&Ms wasn’t for me. I continued to just observe the bowl for a couple more years.

When I turned sixteen, I realized that the bowl of M&Ms can also contain Skittles or Reese Pieces or Smarties even.

Then, halfway to turning seventeen, Life took away three quarters of the contents of the bowl and showed me that it was going to add another bag of M&Ms- except, this time, they’re poisoned. Those M&Ms would inflict pain in the most horrendous ways. I decided that I’d rather not eat anything from that bowl.

Your bowl may not be the same as mine and you might not react to the bowl the way I did but that’s how it’s supposed to be. Everyone’s view of the bowl varies, may it be in content or in size and there’s no shame in that. You do not need to follow the way other people view their bowls or what they do with it. Forcing this on yourself will just cause complications and will make you unhappy. Imagine being with someone only because you think it’s about time to do so? It’ll just disappoint you in the long run. If you’re going to settle, might as well be with someone you’re happy with, doesn’t matter how long it takes before you meet them.

Stop the belief that you have to be in a relationship to be happy. Sometimes you don’t need a bowl of sweets, sometimes you’re better off with a bottle of wine and a platter of four cheese pizza.

By: Kreena Labay