I’ve been single ever since I learned that love does exist. Am I happy? Of course I am. I’m happy, but in a very sad way.

Oprah Winfrey once said that “You can have it all, but you can’t have it all, all at once”. I guess that’s one reason why I’m still single right now; I always choose career over love because love, as they say, can wait unlike opportunities that come knocking on your door every once in a while. But no matter how hard I try to disregard it, there is an emptiness in me that often bothers me with questions like: “What if love can’t wait? What if I end up growing old alone? What if there’s no love waiting for me after all?”. And above all this is the ultimate question where love and life meet in a crossroad: “Do I really need to love for me to live?”

I remember the day when I had a brief conversation with Mr. Love while walking in a sunny seashore. By the look of his face, you can really assume that this man knows everything and anything about love. You can feel happiness and contentment exuding from his smile and I was left wondering what it is about love that makes people keep asking for more.

“I know a lot of people who have ruined their dreams, cried buckets of tears, suffered emotional and physical traumas, experienced heartbreaking separations, and , yet, still don’t give up on finding their one true love. I don’t want to love if that will be the case.”, I said with a clear anticipation of what he would say next.

“True love founded on trust and mutual respect will never hurt anyone. People are not perfect and mistakes are part of the learning process.”

“Do people really need to love for them to learn? I can’t figure out why people fall in love, get married, have their own family, and then forget how to love each other in the end. If that will be the case, I’d be better off alone or with a kid but not with a partner. Love is just a pain in the ass.

“Marriage is a work of art and by saying ‘art’, you have to know that this kind of relationship takes a lifetime of dedication, resiliency, and passion before it can achieve its own perfection.”

“But why do people hurt one another and suddenly fall out of love? Do I need to love just to feel and learn what PAIN is all about?”, I cried my heart out, releasing all the pessimism and anger I had towards him.

“Love is not all about pain but people need to know that human love is just as imperfect as they are and that the love from the ‘One’ above is the ultimate remedy for the ‘holes” they feel inside them. People, unless they learn about this ultimate love, will never achieve contentment and will jump endlessly from one relationship to the other, giving their ‘whole world’ to the person they care for with a false expectation that it will be returned back.”

His words were so overwhelming that I struggled a lot to absorb every single lesson he wanted me to learn. I had never fell in love and my idea about love being just a “pain in the ass” seemed to be as indestructible as before. I had seen a lot of people who suffered because of love and that was more than enough for me to lose my faith and stop waiting for love to come. Being a bachelor for life won’t hurt if taking a risk to love will just take me to my lowest point.

Suddenly, in the middle of our conversation, Ms. Life arrived and kissed Mr. Love with so much passion and affection, a perfect portrait of a couple who both know what true love is all about. Ms. Life told me that it’s about time for them to leave and they wished me all the best in life.But as the two of them slowly walked away from me, the most important question I had for Mr. Love suddenly dawned on me. Without thinking twice, I shouted with all my might:

“Hey Mr. Love, Do I really need to love for me to live?!!”

No one heard my question and no one even bothered to look back. But as my eyes followed these two people deeply in love with each other as they make their own footsteps in the sand, I had noticed that loneliness still crept within me despite the effort to make myself believe that I can be happy without love and that love itself is just a state of mind…..

I woke up from my dreams but those images of Mr. Love and Ms. Life are still as clear to me as it was yesterday. Though they didn’t answer my question, I know now that an epiphany has destroyed all my doubts about love:

You can never learn how to LIVE if you do not know how to LOVE..and just like LIFE, LOVE is also about taking risks and learning from our own mistakes. LOVE and LIFE coexists and the connection between them is a bond that will continue until eternity.

I’ve been single ever since I learned that love does exist. Am I happy? Of course I am. I’m happy because I now know that true love is just waiting around the corner.