I knew it would happen (again) eventually.. I am physically just wiped out. It’s Friday night here and my body can’t take any more of this schedule I put myself through. So.. I am just now waking up from a 3-hour unplanned nap that made me skip dinner. All this running to and fro, little sleep, forgotten meals and more ‘exercise’ than I’m accustomed to have taken their toll.
On the one hand there are some darn good financial and emotional reasons to get serious about winning the heart of one of these lovely, young Filipinas to settle in for marriage the rest of my life. The ‘normal’ sleep-schedule alone is a great benefit, and she’d probably succeed in keeping me off the streets at 2 or 3 in the morning. Regular meal-times too. However.. despite having met some completely, wonderful and I do mean ‘most amazing‘ Filipinas that could easily melt my heart since arriving here… I am coming to the slow acceptance of the fact that if I want to achieve my goals here in the Philippines I really do need to stay Single. For at least another 3 to 5 years if at all possible.
The reason I say ‘slow acceptance’ is because of my usual mindset regarding relationships. I know this makes me sound immodest but, I have learned a lot from the 3 major romances I’ve had in my life. I’ve known and dated many women, but I’ve only been in love three times. And even the first one, I’d say it was more like wild, unbridled passion than love so.. technically, I guess it would be more accurate to say I’ve only loved two women in my life. And so, being here in the Philippines I almost have this sense of ‘obligation’, for lack of a better word, to give the love I have to a single woman and make her the happiest woman on the island. So that she knows love well beyond anything she’d ever imagined. And I’m not speaking in mere reference to ‘making love’.. I’m talking about giving her the sort of support, faithfulness, protection, future and love that every woman dreams of.. no matter what continent they are from. In short, I know I have a lot I can give and I almost feel kinda selfish by delaying some woman’s happiness. Yes, I know.. sounds egotistical as hell, but that’s how I honestly feel at times. It’s like gravity pulling me constantly in one direction.. towards marriage.
But.. as I said, I will have to make a conscious and repeated effort to determine myself to remain Single if I intend to accomplish my goals here. Besides, marriage is a huge step, especially in a land where there is no divorce on the books. If I am going to spend the REST of my life with one woman.. I really want it to be someone that I just can’t live without. And that takes time. Thank goodness I have Kristine to continually remind me, “Don’t rush.. it will come. Enjoy being single.” In the meanwhile, companionship with a variety of women on a sporadic, spontaneous mode will just have to suffice.
Now, those who live here know that the list is a short one of men who have managed to remain single for any length of time here. But I’ve learned that having a girlfriend here is pretty much the same as being half-way down the aisle. That’s just how it works here. None of this “date for a year or so and then make a commitment“. No. These girls want commitment on the 2nd date. Heck, last week, with one girl I had to meet her parents on the FIRST date just to have a second date. I kid you not, true story. For an American like me, even in my insanely romantic (brainless) era during my 30’s.. even then I didn’t move as fast as the ladies here do. And if you drag your feet on the marriage thing, living together is the next bullet in their arsenal. In just two weeks.. TWO weeks mind you, I’ve already had THREE women offer to live with me to prove they could be a good wife, hoping I would marry them. But ‘living together’ here is not like living-together in the States. I know that much. In the States, if it doesn’t work out then either peacefully (or not so peacefully) each person goes their own way. But I try to imagine getting a Filipina to move out after it’s not working out and all I see is drama on an incredibly massive-scale. It would not be pretty. Having a woman here move in is pretty much putting a ring on her finger.. I’m already hip to that move. So, if I’m gonna stay single for any length of time I’m gonna have to maneuver through the Sea of Love with great caution and forethought.
Now.. on the positive end, it’s not like it is back home. Back home finding a great mate can take a while.. years. And in the meanwhile getting a fun date lined up for the weekend is almost a full-time job.. at least it was for me unless you count “female buddies” who are not-a-date, but more like hanging-out with a friend. Here however, the last two weeks has convinced me that there are simply more Filipinas for me to easily spend time with than my body can handle. Seriously. I just don’t have enough time in the day, or night, to run my business.. write articles, write my novel, travel around locally and keep my life somewhat in order AND entertain the constant flood of wonderful ladies here. It’s too much for one Single guy to do. And do I get any help from the other Single Foreigners? No. Because they all got married after being here six months. I’m on my own. I practically gotta keep under the radar (good luck with that) around here just to get my groceries without being noticed. I cannot so much as say, “I kinda feel like getting out for the night.” in the presence of a cute girl without her offering to keep me company. It’s great that I can have some female company at any time of the week, but it can get a bit addicting as well.
And being on an Asian Dating site when you are practically the only Single Foreigner who actually is already in the Philippines?.. fuggettaboutit. When I tried a popular singles-dating site in the U.S., here’s what happened in a nutshell; I contacted over 40.. 40 different women and only two emails came in over a three month period. And neither of those two were from any of the women I’d sent an ‘interest’ email to. Instead, as I soon found out in person, they were from two women who looked nothing like their photo.. at all. But here, I have to turn off my profile for days at a time because I’ve got ‘interested’ and emails coming in from every island in a 100 mile radius. I finally just wrote a basic “thanks for your interest but I am looking for someone local, best wishes in your search” form-letter and just copy/paste it to the many ladies who are hoping to actually meet a foreigner in person rather than just penpal with one from far away. And locally, in person, there is no shortage of interest either.. and not just from the women as it turns out.
Take today for example. All I needed to do was get a few things at the mall nearby. I was in there perhaps two minutes and ran into one of the cuties that works there, a lovely young lady named Michelle. I’ve gone out with her and her friends before so it would have been rude to not stop and chat a bit. Besides, she’s a sweet girl and has the prettiest eyes. From there I almost made it to the grocery store before this ladyboy (a fairly attractive one, I have to admit) snuck up behind me in a red evening gown and started following me around the mall. It’s Friday night here so I’m assuming he/she had plans for the night to go ‘out’. I had spoken with him/her about a week ago as I passed the barber shop on my way home. ‘Her’ roommate works with my barber and next thing I knew I was getting the 20 questions about my life story right there on the street. I try to be nice to everyone. Old people, homely girls, old men, pretty girls, ladyboys, gays.. I know they’re simply people just like me trying to find their way in life. So I’m not harsh with anybody. But, here in the Philippines.. a few minutes of conversation is enough reason for them to chase you down in the mall a week later, as has happened to me many times here.
Yesterday I had a lunch date with a beautiful young lady who is becoming a good friend of mine. We had spent the whole day in Cebu together earlier in the week and decided to meet up for lunch at my place. I met her at the mall since it was easy for the taxi to locate it and the two of us walked the two blocks to my place from there. The next morning I wake up to a text, “Who’s the girl? Seems that you and her are together?” I pretty much can’t make a move around here without word getting around, quick. But I figure eventually there will be so many conflicting stories and conjecture going on about me that maybe they’ll just write some folk songs about me and give up on trying to figure out if I’m single or not. Already they must think I have 3 or 4 wives and a couple mistresses by now.
So.. the challenge here is to stay Single despite it being so incredibly easy to meet beautiful women on a daily basis. Two are already breaking my heart. Another two are just so fantastic but I’m thinking it may not work out since one has a kid and the other may travel out of the Philippines soon. And you just never know who you’re gonna meet around the corner on any given day. They’re comin’ at me from all sides.. so 3 to 5 years of hanging on to my bachelor card may just be shooting for the moon. Only time will tell.
But it’s what I will have to do in order to build up my business and continue with my writing. My whole life I’ve wanted a schedule and environment to write and now I finally have it. It would be unfair, unloving even, to ignore a girlfriend or wife to the degree I want to spend time writing and adventuring to kick up the imagination. So it’s best I have my priorities in line and ‘attempt’ to make it clear to any Filipina I meet or date that I have no intention of walking down the aisle for quite some time.
About Me.. In 2011 I made the decision to move to the Philippines within a year. Since 2012 I’ve been traveling through various islands of the Philippines as a full-time Expat. (Mactan, Bohol, Panglao, Moalboal, Dumaguete, Bacong, Boracay, Cebu) I recently spent the year living in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Share with me here my ongoing adventures of life in the Philippines. Dating, vlogging, cooking, traveling and sharing the information with you needed to make your own plans for living as a full-time expat in Southeast Asia.