I would like to think that I don’t love someone so cautiously because I come from a broken family.

That my reasons for not mentioning my feelings to the person whom I’m in love with were because of my pride and the belief that I would only get in the way, or become a burden when something like love was not supposed to be there in the first place.

That my reasons for never believing in happily-ever-after were because such a concept was built for fairy tales, only to give closure to the people reading the story, and seeing an old couple still being sweet towards one another fascinates me.

And being so guarded with my feelings, not dropping hints or what not, is because I did not want to give the other party the pleasure of being so smug over the small things which he considers as steps to winning me over.

I would like to think that I chose these options; that I didn’t choose them because I have been emotionally scarred as a child.

But saying that I am in full control of it is simply lying.

As a child, I believed in seeing my parents reunited once more. I believed in the power of love, or so they say in songs, and the things they depict in movies. I sometimes wished I had a twin sister so that my brilliant plan of having them reunited would work. But I had to put that plan into a full stop. The sad reality had me admitting that it was better for them to go on separate ways.

Perhaps people would oppose my way of thinking, but they did not see what I saw; they did not feel what I felt. They would say that I am merely cynical and my views on romance are limited to what I have seen in my parents. It is for certain that not all relationships do last, but some kinds of love do, transcending time and space, or however they call it. But there was no love between them anymore; just hate, which makes me wonder why they even married each other in the first place. I even once thought that I must have been an accident or something.

Perhaps I would never understand the complexities of love, or the principles that govern it. Or maybe marriage in the first place. A lot of people do not marry for love, but rather for convenience. But is that what marriage is created for?

Maybe the reason why I never engaged in relationships, or even admitted my feelings for someone, was because I do not want to feel vulnerable, or that I did not believe in relationships because they ultimately fail. What is the point of starting something just to watch it burn down to ashes? The experience, Sab. The experience is what it is all about. Well, if that is the case, it is kind of like saying that I am currently pursuing a degree just to see myself fail. And what do I say to comfort myself if such a thing occurs? “It’s the experience, Sab. It’s better to have pursued for something and failed, rather than not pursuing it at all.”

Gee. Sure. That is comforting to hear. I still don’t have a degree with me, and I don’t know what to do with my life after. Perhaps some advice?

I would like to think that I am looking at this in a realistic manner and that I am not being cynical about this whatsoever, but even I am saying that I sound like a bitter prune (if prunes are bitter… they taste like raisins but you know…) Maybe I am not serious about this relationship thing because of what I had witnessed with my parents. Maybe my environment influenced me, no matter how much I tell myself that it did not. With every person I have ever liked, I never really imagined how my life would go with that person because such thoughts seemed so peculiar to me, and that I could see myself with other guys whom I am not seriously in love with, because I could see myself separating with that person. I could see some sort of finality to it, unlike when I do so with someone that I genuinely like. Maybe it is because I do not want to see how it all transpires, and that everything goes downhill from there.

Right now, all I could say is this. I am not in love, but I am surrounded by the love that I receive from my friends and family, and I am grateful for that. I am happy that I am in the program that I wanted right now, and I would do my best to keep myself in it. Although I am not enjoying my life to the fullest, as most of my time goes to studying, I appreciate the fact that I am still breathing, the fact that there is still a tomorrow, that there is a plan that lies beyond me, whatever my purpose in the world is.

I do think of marriage… I wonder if I would end up with the person I would grow old with, whose company I will never get tired of. But right now, something greater lies ahead of me; my studies, my identity stability, an existential crisis, my true purpose, my capacity to overthink things, the A Song of Ice and Fire series, etc. and love seems so miniscule compared to these things.

Maybe now’s not actually the time. Maybe I don’t really see its value now. Maybe I’m just treating it ever so lightly. But I hope to meet someone who could prove me otherwise—that this person could be worth my time, be so much more than I could’ve ever thought to be, and at the same time become someone whom I would actually treat seriously.

But for now, I’m enjoying my freedom more. There’s more to life than to simply love.