Let me get this out of the way, I am in a 12-year relationship with my boyfriend. He is my first boyfriend, and I pray that he would also be my last. Every time I tell anybody about our long-term relationship, I get two reactions: amazement and wonder. People would start asking questions about how we met, how we are able to keep our relationship going, and all those usual boring relationship questions. Then as if on cue, they would ask the most important question, why we are not yet married.

They do have a reason to question our current status. We are of the right age, we have good and stable jobs, and it seems that we have accepted each other's flaws. From other people’s perspectives, we should be married. In this country, being a 30-year-old woman who is not yet married without children is the equivalent of having the scarlet letter. Lolas would lecture you about your biological clock. Titas would preach about having a generation gap with your future children and the difficulty that you might have to face just to reach out to them. Believe me, every family reunion is a replay of the last reunion, and it was not an easy time for me.

That was around five years ago. And I also asked the same question everybody else was asking. Five years ago, I was so pressured by the people around asking and by my own life plans that our relationship almost ended. The boyfriend, at that time, couldn't give firm timelines. And I was also so insistent that we make plans. We were at different pages, and we both had our own reasons for not getting on the same page. I fondly call that time, our dark ages. Why did I stay then? Because I chose to stay. It's not a question of how long I should wait nor is it whether it's worth the wait.

The reason that I wait because I want to wait. Because everything or anyone important is worth the wait. Because waiting is not so bad when you are with someone that can make you laugh even when you have those nasty mood swings, or just let you be your grumpy self because you are not your usual Ms. Sunshine or Ms. Positivity. Or would just let you cry because you just feel like crying. Somebody who knows that you also have your own personal issues and that not everything is peachy. Somebody who knows your weaknesses and does not use that against you. Somebody who celebrates your little successes, even if you feel they are irrelevant. Somebody who would just be there to listen. Somebody whom, when you are in his arms, makes you feel that you are where you are exactly where you need to be.

Five years after our dark ages, we are still together. I still get the lectures about my biological clock. I still get reminded about the generation gap. Do I still get pressured? I won’t be a hypocrite and say no. I still have those days where I hate seeing people getting married or hearing about wedding proposals as they only remind me of what I do not have. But I still choose to stay and wait. Because if there is one thing I learned from our 12-year relationship, it is loving someone is an everyday decision to love not only the good parts but also the ugly, hidden parts. Besides, I have a gut feel that I won't have to wait that much longer (Hint, hint!).

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