searching in all the wrong places

valentina citra
3 min readSep 19, 2023


source: pinterest

I’m bound to random talk with my friends. Sometimes the lame jokes fill. So that the talk about mundane things or existential crisis does not drain our energy.

One day, I had that random talk with my friend. We talked about the usual; our favorite series, discussing what series I should watch next, him mocking the singleness out of me, and in return, I mocked his too. Just like any other day prior to this day, our conversation goes back to a certain topic: love.

Maybe this is such a fate for single people in their 20s; the talk about love is a must-have topic at least once or twice a week. Because let’s face it, adulthood is lonely. Even though let’s say, we have good friends and/or loving family, we’re still longing for someone who’s called a partner, the dearest.

It’s okay, that’s normal. And it’s not like we aren’t grateful for the family or the friends, but I believe that everyone holds their own share or part in our lives.

Back to the conversation I had with my friend, we talked about how we yearn for love but at the same time, we think we aren’t ready yet for a commitment. For introverts like us, having a relationship means a long process, especially the talking stage. Ah, let’s skip the talking stage, even we find a hard time to know more people. Our circle is small and we’re not the extrovert-social butterfly, we realized that our frequency is kind of different. Also, since we’re in our 20s that means we already have a lot of things to consider before we officially date someone. Damn, nowadays dating gets harder, don’t you think?

“Living as a hopeless romantic in this era is HARD,” I told him in the text. And yeah, I’m trying to make peace with the fact that actually I’m quite a hopeless romantic person and try to drive it in a good way that won’t harm myself or others.

“It is, especially with the people these days.” He agreed.

Well, thanks for reminding me, buddy, about how people nowadays treat commitment like something replaceable and has no meaning, like a joke of the century.

“Anyway, you’re searching in the wrong places.” What he said later got me to pause for a moment and think. Wrong places??? I asked him to elaborate more and he replied, “Well, you said that you want romance. But you’ve been searching in all the wrong places.

He told me about my love-life saga, and also told me to avoid looking for someone on social media or any dating app (again). I’m not (we’re not) saying that dating apps or trying to get a partner from social media is a bad thing. Yes, sometimes that works. But the gap in the percentage of the successful ones versus the unsuccessful ones is way too big. Let’s admit that most people on dating apps just looking for a hookup. And some of them are discreet about their identity which makes me suspicious.

Yeah, he’s right. And I hate it. It’ll boost his ego and I’m sure he has this smug smile all over his face and will act like a brat, feeling all superior while in fact, he’s just a year younger than me.

But again, he’s right. Maybe I’ve been searching in the wrong places all this time. If I want a romance that is sweet, tender, nurturing, safe, affectionate, passionate, gentle yet strong, calm, flaming, and respectful of each other, or the one that is like all of those romance movies with happy endings, then I have to look for it in another place, the right places.

But where is that right place? I don’t know yet. I’ll find it along the way, I’m sure.



valentina citra

a living mayhem with wandering mind | write in ina / eng | @aleviannt_