Looking for Nobody



Sometimes when I get bored with the same conversations, I’ll ask my friends questions like “How difficult is it to find someone you like?” or “Do people have a shelf life for romance?”

Very. Especially so at your age, I can hear my friends thinking.

But invariably they will say something nice like “You never know, someone may come into your life when you least expected”.

Well that’s selling hope but I don’t mind. It’s interesting to hear what people have to say about such things.

Actually my friends are divided in this subject of finding a life partner. One group thinks getting attached at this stage in life is asking for trouble. Why trade freedom for a roller coaster ride? Why get in when so many people want to get out?

Another group thinks this is the best time to be involved in a mature meaningful relationship. You don’t have to worry about raising kids and paying mortgages. Just realize delayed goals with another person and enjoy each day together.

Everyone has reasons for their opinions and I know they only meant well. So far, the most interesting discussion happened last week at a lunch with three of my friends.

For whatever obscure reason, I explained to them that as one gets older, finding a partner is like looking for nobody.

You see, nobody’s perfect and that’s the problem when you think you’re so well read, well-travelled, been there done that, you know, those egotistic ideas in the head. One tends to look for all the desirable attributes in a single person and of course, nobody fits the perfect model.

“Hey, wait a minute!” one friend said. “I’m not done yet. Whatever you know of me now is not the final version. I’m still evolving to be a better person. The perfect me is yet to come.”

Now that’s worth a thought. I certainly like myself more today than 5 years ago. We do get better with age and eventually become a perfect person to another. So this concept of personal evolution does hold some ground.

“Ah but people change”

“Yes so people can change for better or worst. Evolution by nature is always about change for the better.”

At this point, I hope my learned friends won’t dwell into Darwin and how we came from apes to drinking latte in this café with Christmas songs playing in the background. Thank goodness the conversation quickly moved to holidays and trivial matters like shopping. So much for evolution. Our attention span was as long as the next jingle.

Later when I was alone, I pondered that snippet of the lunch conversation.

It is evident that in any good relationship, those involved will become better people. Better is of course relative but people in a successful relationship learn to cope, adjust and adapt to evolve into the best versions of themselves under the circumstances they are in.

And I suppose there’s no point looking for nobody and I can also forget about end-of-shelf-life because we’ll all not done yet.

There’s a better me and you out there in the future because I’m convinced evolution does happen. Now that’s real hope.

Joan Yap




4 thoughts on “Looking for Nobody

  1. Alright! A few things to digest here!

    The old chestnut that the longer you stay single, the longer you get used to your own company and also become set in your ways.

    The adjustment to sharing your life/personal space would seem confronting for many, after making the best of the circumstances one is in, or has been in, for so long.

    But the concept of ‘still evolving’ Yes! And what would be the point of going on if you were going to live on your memories alone and try not one thing that is different, including getting out of your comfort zone and considering sharing it with another.

    The thought uppermost in the mind might be; I would be incredibly fortunate if I could replicate a state of ‘comfort’ that I’ve been basking in alone for so long,; sharing that with someone new. They’d be sure to ‘not understand’ where I’m coming from, or be intolerant of my quirks and passions.

    So, the matter comes down more to remaining open and adventurous, if only on a, perhaps brief, experimental basis .

    After all, if the ideal person has not materialised after all this time, there’s every likelihood that they won’t now, either, you may well be thinking.

    So, go forth, but without any overblown expectations, try that dreadful cliche of aiming for a ‘fit’ that’s as close to 100 % as your’e ever likely to find (say 25%!) and just enjoy what you can from the experience and don’t, whatever you do, treat the idea as a project, that needs to be worked through to a natural conclusion, or anything as rigid as that. Flexibility and openness will be critical to anything coming of it

    I hope you don’t settle for less than you really want, but I also hope that you settle for more than you might, if you didn’t take the risk and try at all!

    1. Hi Paul,
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. You’ve hit the nail on the head with this one – So, the matter comes down more to remaining open and adventurous, if only on a, perhaps brief, experimental basis .
      That’s probably what is the difference between the young and the not-so. As we collect experiences in life, including learning from mistakes, we tend to stay within our comfort zone as you rightly said.
      There was a time when I did a full analysis of a person even before we became friends. The problem with that is you get too judgmental and often recede into your comfort zone.
      One of the benefits from the Camino is to force oneself out of the comfort zone, walk the unknown, sleep with strangers, be prepared for adventure every day, be delighted by simple things.
      Feeling young is not about age, but about being courageous (or foolhardy) to take a chance with another person. Even if you tried and failed, it’s better than not knowing love at all. Life is an adventure. Carpe diem.
      Have a good week ahead!

  2. Joan,

    Thoughtful blog.

    The wonderful thing about relationship and hope is something will always turn up – it may be brief, it may be slow burning, it may be nobody, it will be somebody.

    Sometimes it comes and go and sometimes it sticks like superglue.

    The mystery of it all is that you cannot plan or chart a path towards looking for it but you can enjoy the ride by keeping an open mind, as you do, and live


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