A Letter to a friend: To Commit or Not To Commit.

I wanted to share with you a letter i wrote to a friend on August 3, 2008. It was written in a moment of confusion, in my moment of naivete. I’ve learnt a lot of lessons in these past three years. If there is one lesson that resonated with the me today while rereading this letter three years down the road, it’s that of listening to the self, listening to your heart. It is true what they say, your heart will never deceive you, it will lead you to your destiny.


P.S the letter has been edited for the sake of clarity.

“My Dearest Friend,

How wonderful it is to be single! What a relief it is to have nothing to lose, to not be responsible for another individual, to simply live for yourself, being the best person you know how, and just be. You know that feeling where you have everything under your control, to wake up every morning and know what you’re going to be doing for the rest of the day, to know that you are the one and only individual who can harm yourself, thereby decreasing to the minimum the risk of pain and disappointment? You have everything and everyone at a distance and you can be your fabulous self, and – not care. Period.

I know, of course, there are those nights when you crave for another humans touch, where loneliness creeps up and makes you question that very fabulous self that has always been on ‘the straight path.’ Loneliness is a difficult emotion to get use to, yagerochachen sewoch endemilut – meches men yemayelemed neger ale, i doubt applies to it. Can anyone of us really ever get use to the feelings… our bodies screaming for affection, our emotions seeking deep understanding, without having it be fulfilled? Aren’t there moments where for a few scary minutes, nothing matters under the sun except having a significant other next to you? And you want it so bad that nothing, absolutely nothing else matter… making you forget the blissfulness of single-hood?

So which path to take? Are we to be so terrified of loneliness so much that we bring in so many complication in our lives just to avoid it? If i chose to be single, am i risking too much? Will i be one of those women my mom talks about – “rasachewen semay seklew komew yehew keru!” – yemibaluten. Will i regret that decision i’ve made of going only after my career in a couple years and realize that it was simply not be worth it? Should I just give up on a human beings’ ability to stand up just on its own?

If i choose to be two, who and what is the other individual suppose to be? Is that touch i crave for each night expected to come from a specific kind of individual? Or are relationships much more than the touch, the security, the simple beautiful moments of bliss you share with that one person? Should i be satisfied if he satisfies me and only me, or should i make sure that he goes beyond that and satisfies my – mom, uncles, aunts, brother, friends, my friends families, professors, my fellow workers, financial advisor, that man my dad was close friends with, and that other lady I’ll meet while having coffee at…Why am i not so certain, why do i think of everyone’s opinion except my own?

Of course there is that incident where i find that ‘Mr. Perfect,’ the right guy on paper. Wouldn’t it be easy to just commit to him? I know such a guy might most likely fail to get up in the middle of the night to go get you cold water because he has that research to work on first thing in the morning, he lacks to understand that him showing his vulnerability does not mean he’s showing his weakness, he lacks to impress you even when he has himself placed within the creme de la creme. With such a man, you might go to sleep each night being thankful for the life God has given you, because such a life mostly comes with security and predictability, but that same night you will probably wonder if that true love they write about, in fact, exists. If you are lucky, you’ll be given the ability to brush such thoughts out of your head and live your ‘good’ life, if you’re not so lucky you’ll have convinced yourself that true love is only a fairy tale created for the entertainment of the mind, nothing really- only fantasy – and you will have lived the life lived by millions – void of pure love, real intimacy, dedication and inner joy. The sad thing is, no matter how bad I’ve attempted to make this sound unattractive – how easy this path is! you receive approval from your surrounding, you deny your naive self and convince yourself of the truth contrary to your initial ‘idealistic’ beliefs. Really, what more would you want if you’re successful when it comes to your financial stability, if you have the handsome and “educated” husband, your Mercedes and a house with a backyard…. Isn’t this what I should want? Isn’t this what I want? Is it? I don’t know. What is it that’s going to matter 20 years from now?

Oh yeah and also, what’s that bullshit that people talk about – ” you’ll just know when you meet the right person, that he is in fact the right person. Really?!? I’ve never heard of anything so ridiculous!!! what the heck happens to those of us who haven’t been able to ‘just know’. Are we somehow deprived of an instinct that the few lucky ones have been given? Are we suppose to feel somehow inadequate? If your logical self hasn’t made you get to a certain conclusion, are you suppose to wait for some sort of a sign that will tell you what your next action should be? By the way, does it come in a whisper in the night or some sort of a loud God-sounding voice telling you – He’s the one? really, what should we expect? This would be a good tip to have. I mean we wouldn’t want to not be alert enough to miss the sign, do we? So please why don’t these – ‘you just know’ communities share their wisdom? Bullshit! – that’s what i think it is, you just don’t know. you live and you see, you work hard on relationships and you become honest about what it is you really want in your life, you stop being a hypocrite and embrace the ideas you’ve been preaching all your life. There is no way you just know. You take time and then you know… after that, maybe, you pray to the all mighty that you’re done your best to find the perfect mate (if there is even such a thing), after that point, he will hopefully take over…

I hope i’m not sounding bitter, because i’m really not. I am confused – i can’t deny that and i wish i could just crawl under my bed and stay there for the next six month… well i guess that’s not reality and that doesn’t show the strength i claim to have. so i’ll pray and i’ll just wait and see…

Awaiting your reply,

P.S uffff, it sure does feel good to vent!”

Tena Yistelegn.

3 thoughts on “A Letter to a friend: To Commit or Not To Commit.

  1. Hi Rihanna,
    Thanks for sharing. I stumbled across your post as I was trying write same/similar letter to my GF. We are as confused, if not more. She doesn’t feel ready to commit or not sure if I am “the one.” I am ready to marry her…I feel like she is “the IT.” But at the same time we both are scared of letting go. We are scared of seeing the other person with someone else. We don’t want to make a regrettable mistake. We want to seek counseling but can’t afford it.

    Since you have learned lessons since you wrote this letter. Can you impart some wisdom on us? What have you decided? How did you decide? How did it feel? Any regrets? Or how did you avoid having them? Do you still think “we should just know” or did the “you should just know” community ever get back to you? Please write back as soon as you can! It is a decision time for us and your advice would mean much.

    Your confused reader. Amesaginalew!

  2. Fellow Confused,

    I’m happy you’re able to relate to my post. You’ve made me glad that i decided to share it.

    The way i reached my decision( which was to commit btw) was by looking at what it was i valued most in my life, what it was i wanted in a partner ( I completely took everyone’s opinion out of the equation). For me, character, trustworthiness and compatibility where the three top factors. Do i respect the kind of human being he is? Do i trust him, even with my life? Do I enjoy his company? ( Yes, was the simple answer to all) But most importantly can i picture my life without him?… I really couldn’t. So i finally plunged in… with a lot of faith in hand.

    I must say, once i made the decision, everything started going great. It was most likely because i stopped analyzing everything and i just started…living. And No, i have no regrets. One, because i believe i went with my gut instinct and two, i believe once you make a decision, you should just move on and make the best out of your situation ( i never torture myself with What if this, or what if that… in any situation – i believe we all have our destinies).

    And No still don’t believe in the ‘you just know’ philosophy. I think once you make your decision, you’ll become more comfortable with it, which is how you know you’ve made the right decision for yourself… after that you have to work hard at making your relationship work… continuously.

    At the end of the day, you can only analyze so much, we’re only human after all. After a certain point you have to let go, and let God, as they say.

    I wish you all the best of luck with everything, and thanks for dropping by 🙂


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