I’m one of those NBSB girls. Not because I am ugly, maybe a little bit conservative, but mostly because I had my priorities set straight. I stuck to "books before boys" and true enough, finished school with flying colors.

Like a normal girl, I had some crushes, a few flings, but never anything serious. So I guess even before it was always MU, "magulong usapan" for me. Back then it had never been an issue because I was simply enjoying my youth and taking my time.

Years passed and I turned 23, I finally told myself to give dating a shot. I mean, why not? I had successfully graduated college and was already starting to get by on my own working as an account manager for a public relations firm. With the advent of online dating and apps, it was actually quite easier than I thought it would be. I was being asked on dates every three days or so, and it even came to a point when I was juggling six men at a time (not that I wasn’t allowed to). You can probably say it was all just part of a game—a way for me to meet people and an opportunity to explore and get to know myself more in terms of what I’m really looking for in a man. No expectations.

And then I met him.

He was an average guy and not my usual type. On our first date, I was sipping on coffee while he went on venting and ranting about his previous relationship. I listened and comforted him like a friend would. I thought, "Great. I’m not really attracted to him. Maybe we can be friends."

To cut the long story short, it didn’t go according to plan. To MY plan at least. We’ve been dating for more than a year now. We spend time with each other every day, do errands together, I cook for him, he picks me upthe usual things couples do.

Thing is, we still haven’t figured out what we are. We aren’t a couple. He hasn’t even asked me to be his girlfriend yet.

I tried to discuss the matter with him but he would always say, "I don’t know. I need more time." He says he isn’t ready given his issues from the past (especially rejection from his first love). To be fair, he mentioned it right from the start. I knew what I was getting into.

Unfortunately, I guess a year is enough time for me to develop the strong feelings I have for him nowso strong (and foolish) to a point that I try my best to understand his reasons and agree to this MU or malabong usapan.

Out of curiosity, people often ask how long we have been together and I would always get that awkward feeling and turn to him for an answer. Deep down, I know he is a good man.

On the up side, he doesn’t hide our "relationship" or whatever you want to call it. I am invited to dinners with his family and we hang out with his friends. He even introduces me as "his girl." We also have plans of attending self-improvement classes, starting a business, and going on different adventures together.

Pero hindi kami. Sobrang labo, diba?

I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt that maybe, he just really needs more time to heal and be convinced that there is a second chance at love.

I have been told many times that I deserve better. That I need someone who will man up and have the courage to formally ask me to be his girl and tell the world about it.

Good news is, as a grown woman, I have the choice. I can choose to take the risk and let this "MU" go on, or I can decide to walk away. Today, I may be a soldier of love but at any point when I start to feel unhappy and mistreated, I will think twice.

I am wise, independent, loving, generous, and beautiful.

I deserve clarity and so does anyone brave enough to take a risk for love.

PHOTO: Pavel Badrtdinov

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