I was 23 and still without a boyfriend. A few times I have started to wonder what was wrong with me. Am I that ugly to not have someone approach me? Am I really just the type of girl that guys want to be friends with and nothing more? Valentine’s day usually was the day I’d think I was not a girlfriend material but in any other day I was usually happy to be single and spending my own money on me.
In family gatherings, my relatives would ask me if I have a special someone or am I not sad about not having a boyfriend which pisses me off sometimes coz it wasn’t really something to be sad about, right? Well, at one point it pissed me off that I was still single, so sorry relatives if I huff at you and roll my eyes when you ask me those things. I wasn’t really annoyed at you but annoyed at myself that I let your questions affect me.
Anyway, I met this guy one day at Psychology class. He sat beside me, asked if he could borrow a pen (I know right? Coming to class without a pen) and we started talking. We hit it off. We were both from the same town, both graduating in a few months, we liked the same music, played the same games on the computer, Playstation and Xbox, loved the same series and have the same taste in food. We continued to hang out after classes and he would walk me to work sometimes which was near the campus. This continued and a month before our graduation day we became official.
We both met each other’s parents for the first time on our graduation day and our parents hit it off quickly. They were already very friendly with each other.
We went back to our hometown, Brad (my SO) and I got an apartment together and got separate jobs. Since our parents lived nearby we would usually stop by their houses before going home.
Back to the title of this article, our parents had recently battered us with questions of marriage and kids. Well, mainly me because both our mothers had talked to me about talking Brad in to getting pregnant and having kids. They didn’t want to talk to Brad about it because it might scare him of the responsibility and “obligation” of being a man of the house. At first I didn’t let it bother me that much since most of our friends who are the same age as us are still bachelors and bachelorettes so I just smile at them and start a different topic.
This went on every time we would go see our parents, our mothers would be at my tail about their unborn grandchildren. At one point they had me thinking if I was in my late stages of being a mother already and if we really should start a family already but there are a few factors to think about and not just jump at it because our parents are more than willing to help us financially, especially his mother.
Factor 1: Our relationship. It hasn’t even been a year yet, we still do not know if we really are suitable to live together forever as husband and wife, or dad and mom.
Factor 2: Money. We have a joint account but we still have separate savings accounts. Only 20% of each of our salaries go to that joint account. Because, come on, we’re being realistic here if things don’t work out, we don’t want to be fighting over money.
Factor 3: Brad being my first boyfriend, I would like to enjoy our moments together as boyfriend and girlfriend for the longest of time. We enjoy having sex, playing games together and with our friends, going on dates after work. I’m not saying that a kid would ruin that, but we’re just really not in a rush to have kids yet.
Factor 4: We know that time will come and NOW is not that time. We’ve talked about it and we know eventually it will come.
A year later, Brad and I had planned to start a small business in town. We wanted to build a small convenient store near our neighbourhood. My dad advised us to study it well before jumping on to anything while his mom was more than excited to lend us some money to start the business. I didn’t want to take money from other people except from our own pockets. Call it pride but I just want the first business venture I’ll be in is from my own hard work. Since we were not that in much of a hurry, we took our time looking for suppliers and a place to rent for our upcoming business.
Then there was this one day where we went to my parents’ house first. There my dad told us to be careful in choosing a place and suppliers. Although at first we will spend a lot of money, we should not splurge a lot in it. I know my dad knows what he’s talking about. He owns a car wash and laundry and he didn’t really have much of a problem. After that we went to Brad’s parents’ house. I was in their living room when I overheard him and his mother talking. Brad told his mother about what my dad told us earlier. I was shocked at what his mother had said, though.
“Why would you listen to them? They have no right to tell you what to do on that business because they won’t be lending you money. I’ll be the one lending you money for your business.”
Well that was disappointing. Here I thought they were getting on very well and I hear this from his mother. How can my parents have no right to “advise” us what to do and she has all the say?
I kept quiet about it. I didn’t want Brad to think I had a problem with his mother (which I think I already do). If we will be living in between my parents who let us be and his parents who had a lot to say in our relationship, I’d rather live a long way from town.
The next time I saw his mother I kept quiet and tried as much as possible not to talk to her about anything. Call me judgemental but I think, from the way she spit out those words about my parents, she is close-minded. Well, she went on again about us having kids, where she wants us to marry and that we should live close to her. Not gonna happen, woman. Nope. Never. And she opened the business topic again. She was hurrying us and telling us that it should start right away. Brad and I just looked at each other and moments later went on our way.
In the car, on the way home, Brad asked me how I’d feel if we move to another town or state. Well that made my ears clap! I told him it won’t be a problem and that my parents would understand it, I just don’t know how his mother would take it.
Later at home I asked him why the sudden interest in moving to another state. He told me he didn’t want much of our family interfering with what we have since he knows we’re both being realistic with our relationship. There’s no rush, he said. Let’s enjoy what we have right now.
Anyway, the point of all this is do not let other people rush you. Others, especially parents will always try to make you do things that they want to see you succeed in. They’re your parents and all they want is what’s best for you. But it doesn’t mean that you do what they tell you to do. If you think you’re on the right track, then you just thank them for their concern and do your own thing. If they’re advice is thought provoking, maybe it’s time to rethink things.
The same goes with your partner. If you truly love them, don’t rush them into having a family especially if their career is just starting out. Let them grow. Let yourself grow. It takes grown-ups to make a relationship work.