“Single by 30” is a new YouTube Red series produced by Wong Fu Productions starring Harry Shum Jr. and Kina Grannis.
Two friends, Peter and Joanna (played by Harry Shum Jr. and Kina Grannis), create a pact in which if they both find themselves single by 30, they would be each other’s backup plan and marry each other.
Okay. I’m not a great writer and I am especially un-specialized in writing reviews… so this is the part where I revert to writing about how I relate. Possible spoilers ahead.
For the whole 25 minutes I was watching this first free episode, I was relating to nearly every moment. In the first scene, it’s a throwback to Peter and Joanna’s senior year. Peter had highlights in his hair and was wearing a long-sleeve woven sweater – a phase I too ACTUALLY went through during high school.
Peter is sort of troubled in relationships, comes off not quite firm on his intentions and also seems to let opportunities slip through his hands due to his lack of speaking up. I am very much inexperienced in relationships, and though I do have my deeply felt wants and intentions, I have trouble speaking up about them.
For Peter’s 30th birthday, his initial idea is going with his friend Mark to a taco food truck because he just wants something “chill”. This is a word that comes up a few times. This is very similar to how my past 8 birthdays have been. If you’re doing the math, my last big birthday was my 21st… in Vegas no less. After that it has been “chill”.
In the bar scene, Chloe is so caught up on her phone that she only really is attentive to Peter’s friend Mark after she discovers him on the Happn app. I have experience in trying to use Happn. This is the only thing I can relate to about Chloe… and it’s not something I’m proud of.
At one point, Peter and Joanna are discussing the dilemma of being their respective genders trying to find a relationship at a bar. There is a mention of how crazy dating is nowadays. Both things I completely agree with.
It is August 28th, a little under 2 months from my 30th birthday – 58 days to be a little more precise. I have had numerous conversations with different people about my lacking in a relationship in the past few… since high school really. Recently though, I have had a few. Every one of those conversations came to some agreement that I’m a “great guy”. A nice, generous, talented, smart guy… but everyone feels that I should be less hesitant about it all. An obvious point – I should admit when I am interested.
I have been the most honest I have ever been in the past year through my blogs and through conversations.
Earlier this year, I asked a female if they wanted to meet up and discuss music. I didn’t want it to be a “date” necessarily, just a pre-determined time to converse. It came off as asking on a date.
I learned a few things in that action: 1) I felt really bad because it was a direct rejection that I have never experienced before. I felt so bad, I felt compelled to apologize. Thinking of it as a date or not, whatever I was asking, it was the first time I have ever done that. 2) Even though this all took place over FB Messenger (which probably isn’t the best way), I definitely realized my still occasionally awkward conversation skills when overthinking it… 3) …which is why this was a moment I began to be even more honest with myself and others.
I have been trying to calm the battle between confidence as a mask and vulnerability for being honest in thinking of how I should better approach women for conversation. In that way of thinking, somebody recently pointed out “Well, how come you can’t come confident as yourself?”.
My honest response was along the lines of: “I have been exposed to the idea that you can’t fall in love ‘broken’ and that you must be ‘whole’ already. With the way that I have been feeling romantically inept and romantically lonely, this seems to be the ‘wrong’ way to start.”
I got the response along the lines of: “You might be reading too much into words other people have said/typed.”
The internet is known for being the best place to find something you want to reaffirm no matter what the topic is. It’s so “good” at it that some words meant for someone else’s life may start to pretend like they apply to your life.
Especially after typing up a blog titled “Relationships Any Way“, why would I seem to believe there is a “right” and “wrong” way suddenly?
Certain internet-shared philosophies have been getting to me. I have been taking these generalized ideas into deep thought and carrying my certain realities to be categorized as universal faults. I was reminded in that same recent conversation that nobody is ever perfect, people will have some broken pieces, and that yes, even as I am, a relationship can blossom… and this is provable from the reality of the phrase “Better has happened from ‘worse’ cases!”.
For most of my life, I have explained that the reason I haven’t jumped into relationships is because I have been just watching and learning from others first. Another excuse was that I was waiting for the ‘right feeling’ person. I have always had a standard in personality of females that I am attracted to. To be honest, it is a personality every heterosexual guy would love… and they do. I’m no psychic but I saw this problem coming when I was younger. C’est la vie. I am not going to lower my standard because of that.
Honestly, I haven’t gotten into a relationship because I’m scared of judgment and being misunderstood.
I admit I have had an interesting life. I have emotionally been on one hell of a rollercoaster. I try just as everybody else to put on a “strong” face and push through, especially as a male (that “strong” expectation, ya know?) intending to get into a relationship at some point. I want to trust that being a male and able to be vulnerable and honest about myself won’t take away admiration for a general idea of “strength”.
I think that’s where my insecurity lies. Though it may not be apparent, I am continuously working on myself and just as life is, there will be setbacks. I mean, who really wants to be seen as someone who is not “complete” and therefore judged un-lovable and unable to love? (Obvious rhetorical question is obvious. Sarcasm = heavy.)
If I can say anything about myself regarding being able to love, I’d like to say that I have learned from the world and relationships of couples that I was close to – that love, empathy, understanding is the only way that relationships can work. I cannot ultimately prove my own understanding of this through any typing of a blog or even vlogs. I can only say that I have experienced enough pain and that it taught me I cannot let it harden me or make me bitter in thinking how love works. I have learned how I withdrew in times of darkness and with that, I learned quickly that no relationship can come of that.
So as freeing as it feels to be honest with and about myself and to others, it is the one thing I of course feel nervous about being judged. That part of internet-shared philosophies is something I can understand to be universally beneficial – deciding not to let (certain) opinions affect you.
Back to “Single by 30”. At age 29, having not been in a relationship, went through a lot of family drama, I can relate to when Peter’s friend Mark said “Your 30s are (in my case ‘going to be’) awesome. If anything, your 20s sucked.”
And directly relating to a line that Peter responded with: “Yeah, I just feel like I haven’t accomplished anything I thought I was supposed to do.”
And even more, something Peter said that I have been saying often: “I may be 30, but I feel like a teenager.”
With that said, I guess there is a silver-lining in that I continue to maintain in not letting the world harden me and make me bitter in thinking how love works. I still am hopeful. I am wanting to love. I am trying… and as a human being on this planet, there’s really nothing better to be.
Well, perhaps maybe being all of that and not being single by 30.
Like Joanna suggests to Peter, and other very intelligent fish-minded teachers have told me, I am going to try to just “Go with the flow.” =)
Bonus Thought: I previously had a known lighweight judgment of Kina Grannis as being “too sweet” and “saccharine” but in reality, it was a judgment reflecting on my own thinking of “too good to be true”. Now I definitely know better that such a good thing can be true. It’s a breath of fresh air in the often suffocating pollution of misplaced, unnecessary aggression and hostility. It would be nice… and in fact may be just what I need =)