One night while walking home from dinner at Greenbelt I blurted out to my former roommate, “Ate Mai, gusto ko na ng boyfriend.”
She laughed, thought I was joking. When I said I wasn’t she answered me, “Ipag-pray mo.”
How do I pray for a partner? I couldn’t even pray for myself without drifting into deep slumber almost every night.
Several months later I was still complaining to her about my love life. Or the lack of it. I sighed, “Ate Mai, wala pa rin akong boyfriend.” Like I can easily pick one in the airport during one of my flights to and from Bacolod.
“Nagdadasal ka ba kasi?” she snapped.
I grinned at her. Again, I was struck by her answer, by how simple the solution to my dilemma sounded.
Maybe I haven’t been praying hard enough. Or maybe I haven’t really made it clear what I wanted to happen to my life.
I have been dreaming of a beautiful wedding since I was in high school, preparing my side of the entourage, thinking of the wedding’s motif or theme. As I got older themes went from being a lavish traditional Catholic wedding to a beach wedding to civil wedding with 10 guests. Fourteen years later and roughly a dozen weddings I have gone to, my wedding dress remains a fabric waiting to be bought from Divisoria. Even the boyfriend who would ask me to marry him is still out of range.
I finally gave up on THE DREAM of getting married when I went to Bali last April. It was exhilarating going off to a foreign land and exploring it without worrying if your partner is allergic to peanut sauce or if he’s cool with shopping for penis key chains and bottle openers. I would be untruthful if I said I didn’t wish I had a boyfriend or a husband I can hold hands with while walking along the streets of Ubud but I felt a different kind of freedom and satisfaction that only solo travelers can understand while I was there. I couldn’t be more thankful I didn’t have toddlers trailing me as I café-hopped during my Bali afternoons.
That strong positive feeling sustained me for almost two months for when I had another anxiety-panic-depression episode I begged the universe for a boyfriend or at least a suitor who I can pester during my sleepless nights and days of meaningless worrying. Boyfriend during the bad times, just-me during fun times. Now, that didn’t seem fair of me.
A boyfriend cannot fix my anxiety disorder. He may only make it worse. Well, maybe not. But, seriously, I need to fix my mind-control issues first before taking the plunge into something as life-changing as having a boyfriend. A steady, Facebook post-worthy boyfriend.
Then came Pastor Peter Tan Chi’s message several Sundays ago. It was just like hearing Ate Mai telling me to pray for that perfect match. They both made looking for the right partner seem so easy—pray for the right person to come (and be specific about what you want!), be the person you are praying for, trust and be faithful.
I decided to heed Pastor Peter’s advice. I don’t expect the boyfriend-fiance-husband will be delivered in 4-5 days like an Amazon package on free shipping. But I cannot, even if I don’t pray regularly, underestimate the power of prayer. And so I started drafting the prayer I intend to say every morning before reading my devotional.
For the first time I am optimistic about this whole finding a new relationship mission.