There's a friend of mine that purports to be able to read the future off your palm. Together with another friend, who collects tarot cards, the two of them enjoy frightening guests at house parties and friendly gatherings. As their curious "clients" usually request declarations regarding their love life, they've used their party trick to proclaim a variety of announcements—"Your relationship will be just the way you want it to be," "Your ex really does love you still," "Just wait- that dream to settle down with The One is just around the corner," to the insatiable delight of men and women alike. Whatever the proclamation may be (and however made-up-in-the-spur-of-the-moment it is), people are delighted to ask, “Can you tell me about my love life?"
Simply put, my “love life” (or lack thereof) has always been a bit of a disaster—friends who have charted my adventures alongside me will tell you the same—but yet, the curiosity remains, no matter how flippant I may feel about it generally. As peers started getting into more serious relationships, moving in with each other, and getting engaged, the more encouragement I received to “see what’s out there.” So, over a 3-day weekend in the summer of 2016, my Tinder profile was set up with the help of some over enthusiastic male friends. After three days of swiping, typing, and accidentally super-liking, I finally realised that it wasn’t indifference about love that I suffered from—it was the reluctance and indifference to try.
At this point in my life, the pressure to date is truly on—aunties and friends from across the world are dying to hear me answer affirmatively when they ask about eligible bachelors. But aside from downloading an app, dating online and actually meeting someone is something that requires effort that I am simply not ready to put in, and am reluctant to. I have neither time nor headspace to devote the energy to anyone who may be interested, and to pretend to do so would do them a disservice. Put simply, I can’t be bothered. I understand the inherent rudeness and impoliteness that implies, and I admit that I may have subconsciously made an effort to not engage in anything romantically to spare myself of an awkward “it’s not you, it’s me” conversation.
But alas, dear aunties, that isn’t to say that I’m moving to a convent. Like most women today, I don’t expect to settle down until my late 20s, and as a result of my cultural upbringing, I may be well settled into career and family by my 30s. I have enjoyed spending the bulk of my time at university and in the UK forging relationships with friends and classmates, and I don’t regret the time I spent exploring London alone. But as my university career draws into a close and I slowly creep up the unrelenting ladder of adulthood, I suppose I am becoming more and more ready to make that effort.
My fortune telling friends are always keen to tell me about my love life; one of them even going so far as to declare that I will find my one true love in the next year and a half, two years ago. But whenever I ask, the tarot cards always tell me one thing: eventually, I will have to make that choice for myself. Regardless of whether you want to believe in the credibility of the fate of the cards, one thing does hold true—that nothing can be set in motion until I put in the effort to start the machine. Only then, perhaps, does a love life actually exist.