Why Your Parents Are On Your Case About Being Single

Yesterday I called my dad about something mundane, then the following conversation occurred.

Dad: “How’s work?”
Me: “It’s fine.”
Dad: “Good. Then you can work on something else now. Like getting a boyfriend.”
Me: “EXCUSE ME?!…Oh wait, today’s April Fool’s Day! Good one, Dad! Haha.”
Dad: “Oh, is it? I didn’t realize. No, I’m serious about this.”

For those of you thinking that he is just really into the prank, nope, he went on to explain all the various reasons why I need a man in my life. I tuned out after a while.

This is not the first time he has pressured me. A few months ago, I took him out to fancy dinner for his birthday-

Me: “So how old are you turning, Dad? 59?”
Dad: “No, I’m 60 years old now.”
Me: “Oh really? Oops, sorry!”
Dad: “Yea I’m really old now, so you should really start getting serious about settling down and having kids.”

While I sat there literally with my mouth hanging open in shock, my dad continued with a lengthy description of this “very nice Chinese boy” who is his friend’s nephew or something like that. Yep, my dad tried to play matchmaker for his daughter. Did I mention that I’m only 24 years old?!

My father is also not the only person in my family who has less than gently nudged me about landing a beau. Au contraire, almost every older relative has mentioned something about it at family gatherings. Thank god my mom is the only child because I already have 5 aunts and 2 uncles to nag me.

I assure you that this is not just a phenomenon common with Asian parents’ or in immigrant households. Yes, they might be clinging to more conservative traditional values, but plenty of my friends have experienced similar harassment (And for the last time, not all my friends are cute tiny Asian girls like me, so stop asking me to hook you up).

I used to be incredibly offended and annoyed every single time it happens. I still have the urge to end the conversation or roll my eyes, but recently I had a two-part epiphany.

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Amazing Life Advice from Older and Wiser Ladies

I am trying to take a peek at a store that has not opened yet. This pretty much sums up my attitude in life.

Last week thanks to my job, I had the chance to hang out with twenty women who are mostly mothers for a whole day. I know, don’t be too jealous of me. They were bloggers we invited to an event for Method who makes green cleaning products. These ladies were inspiring with how much they do and how well they do it. As more wine started flowing, I think I actually told some of them that they were role models. How embarrassing!

Anyway, over this course of time, many of them bestowed some valuable life lessons upon me, which I happily and gratefully accepted. I also heard some stories about being pregnant and giving birth, but you can Google those.

This couldn’t have come at a better time since I just turned the age of 24, AND found a strand of grey hair on myself for the first time ever a few weeks ago. Almost everyone’s reaction when they found out how young I am is “Wow, 24! That’s a wonderful age!” But many women slightly older than me have said that quarter life crisis, just like midlife crisis, comes in waves and may last for years. Needless to say, I’m a bit freaked out and scared.

Overall, the ladies told me to not worry so much. I am a Type A person who tries to plan everything in her life, from miniscule things like working out on which weekdays to far away schemes like where I plan to live when I’m 30. Of course, the majority of my meticulous plans fall through, but I can’t help making to do lists, both on paper and in my head.

Many of these smart women admitted that they had similar perspective when they were my age, but gradually came to realize that there’s no point in trying to plan something before the situation arises because you can’t predict the future. Life has turned out SO differently than what they imagined years ago, but they wouldn’t want it any other way. So just deal with making decisions as the choices appear, and not get stressed about them beforehand.

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The Real Girl’s Guide’s to Getting Through And Over A Break Up (Part 2 of 2)

I did it before, and so did a lot of other people...and so can you!

So now that you’ve gone through the worst part of the process (if the breakup just happened recently and you feel horrible pretty damn often, please refer to Part 1), it’s time to get ready for full recovery. YAY!

This phase is more about repositioning your thinking. There are still plenty of physical actions you can take, but mostly I think it’s important to try different perspectives.

Do NOT doubt that the breakup was for the best. Put in an oversimplied way, it happened for only 3 possible situations:

(1) You broke up with him/her, so you know the reason why OR (2) She/he broke up with you, so you two are just not compatible OR (3) Both of you agreed to break up together for a reason

In all likely circumstances, the decision to break up is always executed with a rationale. I’m a big fan of “listening to your heart” usually but in this case, stick to this logic because otherwise, your heart will just suffer more for no reason.

Believe that what is meant to happen always do no matter what. It does not make a difference if there was more time, or if more efforts were made, etc. As with anything else in life, if you cannot change something, accept it as a non-issue and move on. It is not your fault (well, unless you did something objectively horrible like cheated on someone, but then again I doubt someone unfaithful would read this).

Do NOT dwell in the past. Every time you miss your ex, try this trick: stop remembering the positives and recount every negative quality about that person and every bad action he or she has ever done. If you’re short on time, focus on the few that piss you off the most. Seriously! And when you get lonely and start reminiscing about your ex, recognize that you most likely just miss having a boy/girlfriend and being in a relationship in general; you don’t miss your ex as a person in particular. SPECIAL ADDED NOTE: One of my best friends Ashley pointed out that this part sounds really harsh, so I wanted to clarify: I’m not telling you to hate your ex (but if you want to, go ahead). Rather it’s important to realistically examine both the negative side and the positive side of things. Usually when you can recall what was good about your last relationship and ex without wanting to get back to that, that’s a sign that you have truly moved on.

Disassociate everything from him and what happened. Chances are that a lot of things will remind you of him, but just try to see them in a different light: If you pass by a place that you used to go with your ex, instead of I wish I can go there again with ______, how about I really like that place and I will go there soon with somebody else? As for objects, in this day and age, there are thousands of duplicates of pretty much anything; therefore, items are not unique and should not be connected with any undesirable memories. Use that same logic for everything: activities, people, etc.

Overall, look ahead and think forward, but stay in the present and do NOT fantasize about the future. Consider making a list of attributes you would like your next boyfriend or relationship to have. Do not hope for your ex to come back crawling for your forgiveness. Nor is anyone suddenly going to change for the better and ask you to get back together. You might argue that this could totally happen. My counterargument is that if it’s going to happen, then it will regardless of what you’re thinking in your head. By holding on to someone old, you’re cockblocking yourself from all other new and better candidates.

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The Real Girl’s Guide to Getting Through And Over A Break Up (Part 1 of 2)

(If I have a choice, I would prefer to use the phrase “not a girl, not yet a woman” from the brilliant Britney Spears song to describe myself here, but alas, it is too long)

As reminded by all the marketing efforts, Valentine’s Day is just a few days away. As a single person, I’m mildly irritated at most (Um, no, saleslady. I am not buying these red heels for a romantic dinner with my boyfriend, geez! Can’t I just like ‘em?), but then I started thinking about how horrible it would be to go through a breakup around this holiday.

I remember Googling “how to get over a breakup” when I had my first one ever, but couldn’t find anything that helped me that much. I wanted concrete, practical advice from preferably someone similar to me, but mostly only came across vague guidelines. That was quite some years ago, so I’m sure better articles have been published now, but I still want to write this.

I am by no means an expert, and I am only turning 24 in a few days. I am also not a very saintly person, either. Yet it is precisely because I’m an imperfect regular young person that I wanted to share. Have you never wondered about how other “real girls” around your age deal with situations that you’re going through? Aha!

I know that everyone’s different, everyone’s situation is different, and people deal with things differently, but even if I help just one person (who thinks a lot like me, probably) a tiny bit, then this is totally worth it.

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