Not married and want to be? The world proposed a solution of having a backup plan: making a pact of marrying your best mate at the age of 30, just in case you haven’t found the Mr Right.

But according to a secondyear Psychology student in the University of Melbourne, “backup plan is not the answer”.

The 19-year-old grows up with fairy tale in mind, that someday every woman will meet their own Mr. Right, and they will grow old together. It might not be easy, but she emphasised that it’s the risk that every woman should be ready to take.

Marcella Purnama said that women shouldn’t be settling down with their ‘last options’ in marriage, but should be settling down with the right one.

“I think it’s a sad situation that we live in,” she said. “The ugly truth is, if you’re not finding someone by the age of 30, it is possible that you might not find someone after all. And the social stigma says ‘that woman will never get married’. Yet having a backup plan with marrying someone you don’t love is not the answer.”

A believer in the philosophy of “Eve is created for Adam, so there will be one right Adam for every Eve in the world“, she said having a back-up plan simply means that women are settling down with the guys they don’t even love. She argued when lovers find it hard to sustain their relationships, those who don’t even love each other will find it even harder.

“Humans only have one life,” she said. “A life partner is not for gamble if you only have one life. Call me a perfectionist, but it’s the only life that we all will be able to have. Choosing a life partner is not ‘I can settle with B if I don’t get an A’. It’s either A or not A at all.”

While people say that there is a second chance of making it right, which is through divorce and re-marriage if the situation demands, Miss Purnama is against the idea. She said that the oath taken is “for better, for worse”, and people should be taking that seriously.

“If a person is getting married and thinking of divorce as his emergency exit, then he is a very good liar. Having these ‘backup plans’ prevent people from truly trying to work out their relationships, as they believe that ‘if all else fails, I can get away with it’. This is what lacking from the generation nowadays: respect for own relationship, and commitment.”

Miss Purnama disagreed that women should not wait for Mr Right and settling for Mr Not-Too-Bad instead. Yet she stressed the point that it is not for the intention of having a 1395 checklist for the perfect guy, but with the intention of choosing wisely.

“I believe that we cannot be picky in choosing a partner. Oh, he’s too tall, too fat, too skinny, too quiet, too talkative, and yada yada yada. No, but I believe we can afford to be choosy. It’s not waiting for Mr Perfect, but waiting for Mr Right. Besides if we give up, there are always those ‘what if’ questions.”

When asked about the important checklist to choose the right partner, she told that the key is the 4Cs.

“There is this 4Cs that I grab dearly in choosing a partner. The first C is his Character. What about his self-esteem? His personal growth? How does he deal with success and failure? Can he take care of himself? If he can’t take care of himself, how can he take care of you?”

“The second C is Chemistry. Yes, you hear that right, chemistry. You name it: your heart suddenly beats faster, time slows down… that kind of stuff.”

“The third one will be Compatibility. Do you share the same hobbies and interests? How about your values and his values? Spiritual convictions?”

“And the last one is Commitment. Why commit? Commitment gives security and assurance of where the relationship is leading, instead of just playing with fire. Commitment makes all the effort you put in a relationship to be ‘worth it’.”

Upon parting, Miss Purnama said that her intention is not to convert others’ believes into hers. She simply wants to share her believes in what a relationship should be like.

“Well, guess what? I’m not the expert in relationship, but I believe in what I believe in. I believe that yes, relationship is not a bed of roses. It needs a lot of compromising, a lot of learning, and a lot of trying to tolerate each other – of trying not to kill each other, but to love each other.”

“And this is the oath that I’ll be taking when I walk down the aisle one day, and that oath will be the same oath that I’ll be holding for the rest of my life:

“I, Marcella Purnama take you, [insert the name of future husband here] to be my husband. To have and to hold, from this day forward. For better, for worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health. To love and to cherish, till death us do part. According to God’s holy law, and this is my solemn vow.”