Celebrating Love: Self Love + Happily Single.
Ryan has been in long term relationships for most of his life. 19 years of relationships in the past 21 years. He has spent the past recent years learning to love and accept himself more.
He had to overcome the massive fear of coming out to his parents and the fear of being alone.
It has not always been smooth sailing, but he cherishes the journey because he fully believes that that is where growth happens.
It has brought him to a place today where he can proudly say that he fully accepts and loves himself completely. Happily Single.
Question & Answer:
1. Where are you from and where do you live now?
My parents are from Pampanga. I was born and raised in London, I moved to NL when I was 22 years old for a Dutch guy who I met in London. I live in Amsterdam. I am single. Actually, I’m in a relationship with myself.
2. How long have you been single?
In the past 22 years, I have been in relationships for 19 of those years. My last relationship ended 10 months ago.
I have given so much of myself to others in relationships for so long. A few years ago I realised that I owed it to myself; to give myself the love that I so freely gave to others.
Now I am happily single and really embrace it.
That does not mean that I don’t want to be in a relationship. I love being in relationships too. But learning how to be ‘happily single’ means that I don’t have to remain in a relationship, because of fear of being alone.
3. When and why did you start working on yourself to be happy as a single person? Has it been easy?
I suffered from the fear of being alone for many years. I was never really independent growing up because my parents were very strict and overly protective and I met my first boyfriend when I was 19 years old. We were together for 14 years, so I didn’t really know how to be alone because I had never needed to be alone before.
I used to always believe that I needed another person to ‘complete me’. This message was always in the stories and love songs when I was growing up.
But this belief made me believe that I was not enough to complete myself. This belief made me feel like I was not worthy of the beautiful things I had in my life.
It was the realisation that these beliefs were wrong and holding me back, that I chose to start working on myself. Whilst on this journey I learnt that I was complete and that I did not need someone else to complete me. If I truly loved and accepted myself.
4. What do you love most about being single?
I have time. An opportunity to invest in myself, to be better. Rather than just temporarily feel better. I have time to learn, study and grow. I have time to focus, discover and enjoy my hobbies.I have time to take care of myself. To meditate.
Being single gives me the space to be more authentic. I don’t have to compromise who I am. I am a firm believer that authenticity is where our true power derives from.
Another big benefit is that I now sleep in the middle of the bed. And I LOVE it!
5. What do you believe are your most attractive features?
Since showing more self love and care towards myself;
Firstly, I have more self compassion and my mind is kinder to myself. Before I used to have a lot of limiting beliefs and thoughts that would say “Ryan you’re not lovable”. “Ryan no one will love you”. “Ryan you’re not attractive and no one would want you”. But I have found ways to manage those thoughts. They still appear sometimes, but I don’t allow them to affect me as much anymore.
Secondly, my positivity and I love to grow and learn. I believe I’m a caring person so I am really passionate about learning what I can do to help myself and inspire others to be inspired to chase their life goals.
6. How do you express love to yourself?
I give myself time and space. I set boundaries by learning to say no to others and give myself the time to switch off from distractions.
This may sound weird and was difficult to do at the beginning but every morning I look at myself in the mirror and say: “I love you. I really love you. And I am never going to leave you. You are enough. Have a great day!”
7. What is your definition of love?
Love begins with self-love. RuPaul Charles: “If you don’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?”
My definition of love is unconditional acceptance.
This does not mean unconditional acceptance of bad behaviour. It means to love yourself enough to know your true value and what you deserve in a partner.
Celebrating LOVE is a feature mini series in celebration of the third year founding anniversary of the Filipino LGBT Europe foundation on 8th March 2021. Join us celebrate our founding anniversary by celebrating ALL FORMS of LOVE.
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