I am no love guru nor experienced ideal love journeys trekked by Instagram savvy couples posting and tagging #relationshipgoals in picturesque sunset beaches. In fact, my love life was filled with booty calls (if you can call that love), cheating partners (me included), mismatched destinies and mentally abusive boys.
It got to a point I stopped looking for The One and engaged myself in no-strings attached affections, flirtatious phone calls and dates; never passing that serious mark. I avoided commitments like the plague whenever a casual date turned serious and abruptly ended any point of contact, shutting off my own feelings if any care and concern materialized for the other party. Falling in love was just too messy, depressing, tedious and unnecessary, thus ending my dreams of migrating to a small modern home in a quiet town with a partner, a cat and a dog in tow. Single-hood became the new black and I felt powerful to stand on my own after years of desperately clinging on to the idea of needing someone to share my life with to survive the tumultuous world.
Four years of living the life made cheeky cupid decide that my single-hood should be marred by love. It was a simple setup and one filled with esoteric signs I could probably write a book on The Secret Teachings of All Ages. They say an ending marks a new beginning and indeed – many endings were concurrently happening at that point of time in my life. That day also marked the last gig I was performing for a now-disbanded group – one I shared many memories and fun times with – effectively distancing close bonds we developed over 10 years.
I was introduced to a guy by an ex-boyfriend right after a successful show (or rather, he was simply there tagging along with my ex-boyfriend and his group of friends) and got acquainted in the next couple of months. I wasn’t ready to jump into anything serious and made it clear right from the beginning that love is a complication I didn’t need in my life. I guess life had bigger things planned for my selfish outlook and after getting to know each others’ strengths and flaws, I abandoned a world of calculated risks and unbridled freedom and jumped into commitment. Since then, we’ve traversed an ocean of heated fights, wonderful discoveries, regretful disappointments and fantastic memories, all contributing to an intense love and appreciation for each others’ company.
I experience an insane amount of reflective thoughts, new ideas and re-evaluated goals at certain points in my life and listing things helps me organize them. I am listing what made our love worked this past year in the hopes that a future me would read this and see that small things fill up the big picture, in case I forget.
1 . Lay a good foundation for a sturdy home
I pride in building a good foundation for our relationship. Right from the get go when we started, we started sowing the seeds for a sturdy tree. We came clean with everything and stopped short of any expectations we expect out of each other. In turn, we laughed together, recognized and apologized for our own mistakes, trusted each others’ words, gave freedom to grow and did small things to show our love to build that home.
2. Change is the sunlight to our growth.
I’ve always believed that communication is key to all relationships, be it at work, with family, friends or love. We talk about our idea of love over small chats from time to time, what we expect to achieve with each other and come clean with what we cannot tolerate in life. As months pass, we re-visit these and adapt to how time changes us in character as we grow together.
3. Embrace the flaws to solve harder equations.
Two lives intertwining comes with its perks… and flaws. Life is one big classroom and love is just one subject we take. As much as how tessellation is fun and algebra is a bitch in Math, love takes the same form. The quicker we come to addressing flaws as something to understand, accept and conquer, other equations in our love life becomes easier to solve.
4. Fight the good fights
Every couple fights, and how we learn to come out of it brings character and progress to the relationship. Some fights are simply not worth pursuing but addressing them another day when both are in a less heated disposition. One thing my mother taught me from young was to never do or say things when angry for it clouds your judgement and speech. I hold this lesson dear and refrain from saying anything if a fight freezes hell over. Honestly, our arguments strengthen what we are today, it lets me get to know him further than what he brings to the table and if it is something unpleasant, refer to #3.
5. Control is not power.
My past relationships have taught me that controlling your partner has never worked out. Giving them space allows them to grow individually as a person and in turn, helps my growth and ours. We respect each others’ personal space and leave them be in areas they need to progress themselves, coming in to support and assist only as a cheerleader. We understand that some hurdles in life needs to be done as an individual and not a team.