Thursday, March 23, 2023

Astrid was on the stage telling this story

My name is Astrid, I’m a 24 years old woman.

I believe there are two types of stories. The one where you are still in the journey, and the one where you  have finished the journey, and this is my journey of finding connection. But sstt, please don’t tell my mom!

It has been 7 years that I’m on dating apps. I have tried every kind of dating app that exist on the internet. I learn about every culture from it. But what exactly am I looking for? A connection? What kind of connection? Well, I just want to have a friend, and I don’t know what men are like. I could say that I’m trying to find the one while having fun.

I met a lot of men which I will divide into 3 categories.

But please, don’t tell my mom! My mom and my dad shouldn’t know about this. Let’s keep it secret.

  1. Bad Boy

Who doesn’t like bad boy? We’ve all been there. Badboy is the most popular male category in the fiction world. For example, Draco Malfoy, the bad boy of Hogwarts. Even JK Rowling said, “Why do people like Malfoy? He’s awful” Well, Mrs. Rowling, I believe it’s because Tom Felton. Another one, it’s Nate Jacobs from the series Euphoria. Nate is a popular student and the star quarterback of East Highland High School. He dates the popular girl in school and still manages to cheat with her best friend. That’s the ultimate bad boy. The last one, that we all can agree, is COKI PARDEDE, the Famous Indonesian Comedian. He was once hunted by community organizations, he had been arrested by the National Narcotics Agency, and mostly he is a public enemy. Coki Pardede is the OG of bad boy. Bad boys are fun and cool. I admit they have a really fantastic skill of flirting, manipulating, and hurting. There’s only one thing about bad boys, they don’t and WON’T care about us. But it’s not a problem for me cause I also don’t care.


  1. Nice Guy

Personally, I don’t like romantic stuff. I don’t like the pickup on the first date, I don’t like texting or phone calls, I don’t like good morning and good night texts, most of it, I guess? Cause I had multiples bad experiences from it which made me feel unsafe and in danger. There was one time a man from dating app offered me to pick me up and drive with him to our first date place. I don’t want to; I want us to meet at the place by ourselves. He kept asking even though I refused, and I had to say yes so, he would stop asking. It truly made me uncomfortable. You guys know what I mean right? These are the guys who didn’t want to understand that no means no just because they are nice. I’m sorry for the nice guys, I don't like being picked up, I like being left out.


  1. Loving Man

I believe if there is loving man here in dating apps, they must have entered a higher level of life. Of course! An adult man with emotional intelligence, self-esteem, responsibility and good self-confidence can't possibly be here. Do you want to know why? Cause dating apps are for broken people ONLY (Like me)


I really enjoy my time in dating apps and get to know a lot of people. My life in dating apps is like a series of opening doors and peeling the onion layers of a stranger. Can I say that there are a lot of lonely people here? Listening to the men on dating apps is my favorite activity. My listening skills have improved, my responding skills have also improved, my knowledge of men’s emotions, dreams, and lifestyles has broadened.

Everything was fun, until I fell in love. With 2 men I met in dating apps, in different timeline. I’ll tell you, but please do not tell my mom!

The First Guy. We were friends. We like to spend time talking and have pancake dates. He likes to buy me sweets cause he knows I like them. I felt warm with him, like the warmth of my mother when I was a little. I ever said to him, “You’re like my mom, can I get close to you?” he said I’m weird, but he also said yes. It was comfortable until it was unsafe. We broke up. I wrote him a letter, I wrote “I love you, but I don’t want to disturb you. So, it’s better if I’m gone” Yes guys, I have mommy issues.

The Second Guy. We were also friends. We like to spend time talking, gossiping, brainstorming and have ice cream dates. He likes to listens to my problems and gives me advices. I felt safe with him, like the security of a father when I was little. But the same thing happened. We got separated. I also wrote him a letter, I said “I think I love you, but I don’t want to disturb you and I would be really glad if you would just dump me.” - Yes guys, I also have daddy issues.

Since then I feel so broken. It feels like I'm not normal and failed. What is wrong with me? Why am I running away? What am I really looking for?

Finally, I decided to go to on therapy and join a support group. I joined the Reconciliation School from the Initiative of Change, with my life coach Teh Nenden, Mba Haya and Teh Nisa. I remember that it was during a one-on-one session, I told her about my problem and Teh Nenden explained. Actually, what I was looking for in these guys and could never find was my parents.

Kids, they remember everything.

They remember what people said to them. They remember happiness as well as pain, until they grow up and that feeling will walk with them into adulthood.

I remember, I stopped talking to my mom when I was 7 years old. I remember somebody told me “Leave your mother alone. Do not disturb her. She’s tired working all day and she will feel burdened if she has to take care of you.” From that day, I avoided my mom. That’s why I always say, do not tell my mom. Cause I don’t want to be her burden. If you ask, where’s my dad? He was there in my life. But I remember someone told me to never love my dad. Therefore, I didn't know what men are like.

A 7-year-old child was told not to be close to her own parents for no reason she understands.

My name is Astrid, I'm a 7 year old girl who needs her parents and it's been 17 years that I feel empty and lonely, I need connection from my parents.

On the stage of the Hall of Storytellers by HMNS in Jakarta, with the mic and speakers at Theater 1 Studio, also a picture of me when I was little. I told my parents that I miss them, I love them, I want to be with them and I want to reconcile with them.

Astrid got the second place for the Story telling competition


Writer: Astrid Allisha Pulubuhu, a student of School of Reconciliatiion, she has completed the "Learning to Love Yourself" class.