If I were to ask you what the three most powerful words in this universe are, you will probably answer “I Love You.”
And I would disagree.
I Love You – They make any relationship special. They make any moment so important. They make you feel on top of the world.
I Love You – What if I told you there’s something better? That there’s something more important?
I recently stumbled upon the wedding video of Colleen and Joshua. For a very long time, I thought I was the only person who believed in those words. Who knew how they made every other sentence in this entire galaxy seem so irrelevant. And then I heard Joshua’s wedding vows.
Love. He can love you and still not be with you.
Love. She will love you and still marry him.
Love. They love you but still won’t want you.
Love. It’s not the most powerful word.
Love. It’s not enough.
They still have to Choose you.
On your worst day, when you’re stuck with the flu and your loved one has to be elsewhere, it is not love that keeps them by your side. It is the choice that you are more important than anyone else. Because there isn’t a sentence in this world that will matter as much as – I Choose You.
I Choose You. In sickness and in health.
I Choose You. For better or for worse.
I Choose You. Since the day you were born until forever.
I Choose You. Despite your flaws and your shortcomings.
I Choose You. You’re not my best friend, you’re my sister.
I Choose You. You were a parent when we had none.
I Choose You. No matter what the world comes up with.
I Choose You. Despite the rest of the human population.
Do you know what it’s like? When your toes curl? When your heart races? When your soul calms down? Do you know what it’s like to feel like you’re the purpose of another human being’s existence? Like nobody else in the room will ever matter more than you do? Like the luckiest being alive?
Have you read a Mills & Boon book? The rich and handsome Italian man falls in love with the almost-average girl that brings trouble where she goes? That was my story. Everyone involved in my life knows bits and pieces of this story. But nobody knows the truth. I never trusted anyone with the truth. This truth.
I was your typical teenager. Born into a dysfunctional family. I had no sense of permanent relationships. Terrified of commitment in my own way. I ran from things that mattered. I enjoyed the temporary. I enjoyed the boys that swore they’d never love me. There was a comfort in knowing that. Because I knew how to be prepared for the temporary. I knew to believe that people would leave. I didn’t have faith in the ones who promised to stay.
I was visiting my father in another country. A friend in that city introduced me to him. On another occasion, I would have flirted with the guy. But not him. Even I knew he was far too out of my league. He was handsome. Not the kind I was used to. Snobbish and cynical. Grudgingly atheist. He too came from parents that would have been happier apart but chose to be miserable together. He knew the fear of promises and forevers. We became MySpace friends.
22nd July 2010. I needed a lunch buddy. He said “Yes.” We got subway. He called it a date. I didn’t say No.
It’s summer romance. I’ll leave and he’ll forget about me. A guy like that is not interested in me. He just wants to have fun. Fun is good. Fun is safe. Fun it is.
I landed back home after the summer. I turned on my phone and there it was – “I hope you got home safe. Call me the moment you can. I’m counting days till I see you again. Yours truly, R.”
I still grin when I think about it. It was our inside joke. “Yours truly.” He was my Shakespeare in disguise. I had fallen in love with a man that was far too good for me. He was mine. And not just for the summer.
We did the long distance thing. For two months. I’d cry and he’d make me smile with stories of the adventures we’d go on when we were together again. If love could be a person, it’d be him. He introduced me to all his siblings and best friends. I was “the girl he’s going to marry.”
When I got insecure, he got on a flight to visit me. When I got upset, he stayed up all night talking to me. And the best part? When I missed him, he missed me.
Hand written love letters. 8-hour skype calls. I wasn’t just in a relationship. I was in THE relationship. I had something every girl dreamed of. I had a man nobody ever gets to meet. I felt something I’d read of. A feeling of floating on the clouds. I was excited yet calm. He was my storm. He was my warm cup of coffee and cozy book during the storm. He was everything I’d ever wanted. He was everything I’d never thought of. He became the one I wanted to hold on to forever.
And life, for the most part, was beautiful.
But Fate never did like it when that happened.
There is this moment we all go through in our lives. The moment we find ourselves unable to help as we watch the ones we love suffer. We can support them. We can stay on the phone for hours so they feel better. But we can’t fix the feeling that hits them the moment we hang up. We can’t fix their problem.
His father got very sick. He moved back to Italy. The long distance became longer. His emotions grew messier. And I was useless.
There are particular emotions you feel at certain moments that you’ll never forget.
I’ll never forget the inability to reach out and hold him as he cried for hours. I’ll never forget my heart break as I couldn’t help him when he needed me the most. I’ll never forget the regret of not being there with him when I should have.
He lost his father after a long struggle. As a result, he lost himself. An adrenaline junkie. He drank out of his mind. He slept with every woman that went his way. The man I loved became someone I would never consider being with.
His sisters told me he’d gone off the edge and I should give up. But I couldn’t. Because you don’t give up on a relationship because it got difficult. You don’t give up on someone you love because they’ve gone off the edge. I fought for who we were. And this is the moment where the world will begin to disagree with my choices.
After being unreachable for four weeks, he drunk dialled me. At 2:37am on a rainy night.
“Hey babyyy. Guess what? I was just with three women at the same time! Aren’t I the coolest?” I saw a man struggling to fill a void while running away from it. I smiled and asked him to get home safe.
After fighting with me for days, he told me he was too drunk to know where his home is. He’d forgotten his address and was unable to identify which of the cards in his wallet had his address. I had him hand the phone to someone standing next to him and requested them to guide him home. The woman who loved him but never got the opportunity to be with him became my helpline. She showered him. Had him change clothes. Put him to bed. And waited for him to sleep. I still find myself owing her one for that.
We were in the same city again. We had a fight. We went back to his place and his anger got the better of him. It was a fraction of a second. I told him he was overreacting. The next moment I had my palm on my cheek. It was the first of many times.
A date after forever turned into the beginning of the end.
10th September, 2011. 12:45am his time.
“I need to be without you. You’re holding me back. I can’t go through this with you anymore. I can’t be tied down to someone like you. I need to be with me. And lots of other people. It’s time for me to be with other people. This is what I want for my birthday.”
I hung up after telling him something he’d told me a little over a year ago. Something he told me right before he said the words I never thought I’d hear, for the first time.
“If you ever have a wish, I want you to know, I’ll do anything to make it come true. Because I love you. And there’s no changing that.” I gave him his wish. He was no longer tied to me.
I didn’t cry.
I met him a few months later. He was sober. He was dating the one who wanted him. The one who rescued him when I was in another country. The one I owe. He called me that night. It was like old times. He asked me to say Yes. Said he’d give up everything and come back to me. But that was his guilt talking. Not his heart.
I’ve heard people dissect my relationship. Call me weak for staying when he got abusive. Some said I was an idiot for leaving someone so wealthy and handsome.
A few months ago, I met a friend. We talked about dating. We talked about him. She made a comment.
“He broke you. He became a monster. I don’t know why you can’t see that.”
I thought about that days after the conversation.
I fell in love with someone nice. Someone kindhearted. Someone caring. He believed in me. He believed in us. He worked for the greater good of so many. He took over his younger brother’s tuition because he could. He gave away money every month for the elderly and the adopted. He was made of something most people don’t understand. He loved so freely. He didn’t have expectations. He didn’t expect you to love him back. He never hurt people. He was careful with emotions.
He made me ambitious. He gave me a reason to work harder. He made me comfortable in my own skin. Everything I am today is because he walked in to my life when he did. Everything I will ever be, I will owe to him. He was my pillar of strength.
But life caught up to him. It threw him a curveball he didn’t know how to tackle. He gave in to the pressure. It didn’t make him an abuser. It didn’t make him an alcoholic. It didn’t make him a cheater.
It made him human.
He didn’t break me. He made me better when I was at my worst.
And I only wish I could have done the same for him.
The glamour industry is known more for its divorces than blockbusters. Two of my favorite A-list couples just recently filed for divorce – Ben & Jen and Gwen & Gavin. The tabloid article had an image of Gwen in her wedding dress, looking absolutely happy and it got me wondering..
What if divorces didn’t exist?
What if the moment you get married, there’s no out? If there is a problem, the two of you have to discuss it and sort it out. You have to find a way to work through your issues. And no, I’m not talking about marriages with physically or emotionally abusive spouses or serial cheaters. I’m talking about the normal couples who reach a point where they simply think “We have too many differences. I want out.”
I’m terribly afraid of marriage. Not because I don’t want to be married but because I’m afraid that someday it will end. I’ve said it before several times, the end of me will not be the moment my career comes crashing down or when I lose a loved one. The end of me will be the moment I hold divorce papers in my hand.
But what if that was impossible? I’ve seen so many people in my life rush to get married. My best friend got married after only knowing her husband for 3 months and I know that when in love the person doesn’t think of ever getting divorced but should there be a law that would never allow divorces, do you think the person would think twice before making their decision?
And very honestly, what is it about signing a paper that kills a relationship that has been built over the years? Through various struggles that have been overcome?
Several years ago, when my mother was holding divorce papers, my dad’s mother walked up to her, hugged her and said, “You are not my daughter-in-law because you signed a piece of paper. Our relationship will not end because you sign a paper again.”
That divorce never happened and there has been nothing to worry about on that scale since but my grandmother’s words never left me.
Am I someone’s wife because we sat in front of one hundred guests and got married? Am I someone’s wife because I signed an official paper that states “You are now husband and wife” ?
And does my relationship with this man just end because I sign another paper that says we are no longer united by marriage?
Does one piece of thin paper hold enough strength to turn every fight, every argument, every struggle, every moment, every kiss and all the love insignificant?
If not, then what is it about a divorce? I know I’ll hear a lot of people telling me that marriage is complicated, you have to think of your happiness and a divorce is unavoidable at times. But why?
If there didn’t exist that piece of paper, what would you have done?
Would you have simply walked out? If you knew that that particular piece of paper did not change your relationship, would you find a way to fix the problem? Would you have stayed?
Or would you have still packed and walked away?
I’m not experienced. I can barely hold a relationship together. But I’ve been raised believing that the concept of signing a paper mutually for the beginning and end of a partnership belonged in the corporate world for business deals and not for emotions.
Not for a marriage. Not for a relationship. And definitely not for love.
In a world where dating is fast and speed dating is lightning, I feel out of depth as I wish for the 70’s and the idea of courting someone special.
Relationships are work. I realized a few years ago that finding someone so perfect that everyday feels like a dream is like finding the perfect drop of water in the ocean. It may exist for all you know, but doesn’t it sound funny and unrealistic when said out loud?
I want him, forever. I love the sound of that sentence. I cannot wait to look at someone and feel that way. But do you know how complicated those beautiful words are?
I often wondered why people parted ways. Why someone looks at the other person and says, “I love you so much, but this isn’t working.” How can it not work if there is love? I am also the person that sat across my best friend and said, “I know you love him. But is that enough to take you through a lifetime?”
Valentine’s Day is the day I dread every year. The big day of love. I don’t have someone buying me roses 365 days of the year. But somehow it stings only once. I had a million ideas about what to post. I considered the power of being single as a very realistic topic but in all honesty, I would have been writing a bucket load of crap, even according to me.
So I looked around trying to find inspiration to write something. Anything. I was going through Pinterest, WeHeartIt and had finally gotten on to Tumblr when this feeling hit me. After three hours of scrolling through images, I turned to my left. The view put an unknowing smile on my face and I cannot begin to explain the number of times I’ve felt this way.
Love. It’s what I feel every time I look at him. It’s what he feels when I walk through the door after a long day of work. It’s the smile on my face at the sight of him curled up near me.
I almost hate him at times. He drives me so crazy. I am a cleanliness freak and he has a way of messing up everything. He puts a stink in my room that I can never get rid of. He fights with me over the simplest of things. He irritates me by never striking a pose as I try to take a picture with him. He has so much energy one day and refuses to get out of bed the next.
And yet, when I’m at work, I find myself wondering what he’s doing at that very moment. I feel the need to come home and tell him I missed him like a crazy person. I’m sure he doesn’t understand the words. He doesn’t understand what I’m trying to tell him. But he knows I’m there and I’m going to stay there.
It’s not always easy. It’s not always kisses and hugs. But that’s what makes this so amazingly perfect. The fact that I could screw up and he will not judge me. The fact that he can create a completely ridiculous mess and I will still love him.
I lived my entire life believing this is how relationships are made.
They’re not easy. They’re delicate and dainty. You have to handle them with care. You have to treat it with importance and patience. You have to believe that everything can be worked out.
Because the world will never stop rushing to find the next BIG thing. But you have to remind yourself to stop. Breathe. And take in the moment. Because these moments are the ones we forget easily. These are the ones we won’t remember when sitting around a crowd and laughing it off years later.
But this moment, when I turned left and I saw him curled up next to me, this is the moment I will miss when I’m sitting by myself on a warm Sunday afternoon.
This is the moment I will wish for on my worst day.
Because this is the secret to the perfect relationship. This is what gets us through a difficult phase. This moment when you realize that the world can run if it wants, but you just want to plant your feet on the ground and take the view in.
The best time of your relationship isn’t the one on the video or the photo. It’s not the one you remember by a ring or a souvenir. It’s not the one where you’re surrounded by a flashmob.
The best moment of your relationships is the one that only you’ll know. That only you’ll see..
I remember the first conversation. I was my awkward self and your charming way with words made me smile. I called you two days later. I was upset. I wanted you to make me smile. You made me giggle like a child. It was a surprising sound in a rather dull moment of life.
You told me about the girl you were in love with. The one who broke your heart. I found myself grimacing. Wishing I could hold you close and tell you she didn’t deserve you. I wanted to tell you I’d gotten through it and you will too. But I didn’t. I didn’t want you to know about the guy who broke my heart. The guy who made me feel like I didn’t matter. I didn’t want you to ever think of me with someone else.
I’d spent two years learning to find comfort in being myself. But you made me want to be better. I wanted to be someone that was worthy of someone like you. I watched what I did. Who I spoke to. How I behaved. I didn’t understand why, but the most important part of my day was the moment you answered your phone. My days were a blur as I counted down hours until I could talk to you.
When you laughed at something I said, my heart would melt. I made you laugh. That was such a high to me. I liked the sound of your laugh. I liked that I could make you happy. I wanted to. The moment you said, “I wanted to do something else with my life,” I couldn’t stop thinking if it was too late. I wanted you to live your dreams. For at least a day.
We fought. All the time. I know we did. We didn’t agree on very many things. We didn’t want the same things out of life. You were everything I never wanted in someone. But I could’ve done anything for you.
I remember the phone call. The one where you cried about how difficult your relationship felt. I remember silently crying with you. When we hung up, I slammed my head on my bed. I knew it. I knew this feeling. It had trouble written all over it. This was never going to work. But I hadn’t wanted anything more in my entire life.
Maybe.. What if.. Somehow.. you could feel this way too?
A part of me always knew you didn’t. But it didn’t stop me from hoping. Wishing on every star. Believing that it will change with every phone call. My friends thought I was an idiot.
When I told you, you already knew. When you replied, it felt like a thousand waves came crashing over me. I almost hated you for the way you made me feel right then. Almost.
It’s been more than a year since that day. Everything feels so different. I remember spending the 14th of February last year looking out the door every ten minutes. Hoping you would walk in at any moment to tell me what you hadn’t all those days. It was a hope I held on to every time I yelled, every time I cried, every time I dreamt.
Maybe you’ll wake up one day and feel what I do. What an incredible life that would be. I would fight the world to keep you close. To keep you happy.
I was talking to someone today. Someone who didn’t have the strength you did. Someone that said yes knowing he couldn’t give her his everything. And I felt glad.
Because at my weakest moment, when I was a crying mess, I forgot that I deserve someone that feels for me the fierceness of what I feel for that person. But you didn’t. You stuck with your decision. You stayed sane when I lost my mind. You stayed strong when I was vulnerable. It would’ve been so easy to nod your head, but you never did. Not once. And it felt so difficult then.
But I didn’t see what you were doing. I didn’t see the big picture. I didn’t care enough for my emotions. You did.
It was last year, around this time, that I became close to a guy who was two years my senior in high school. Let’s call him Mr. Almost. We had been acquaintances for a long time and as we began to talk more, we became very good friends. We began to share stupid jokes and he was just so nice. In my so depressed state, he made me laugh. He made me giggle like a child. And I fell for him. The head over heels, I have no idea what to do with my life if I don’t spend it with him every waking minute kind of emotions.
He always hinted at a liking but there were never any promises or sure signs. He knew though. He knew how I felt about him and he always kept me on the fence. I have had days when someone would ask me out and I wouldn’t know if I should say yes because he made me feel like I didn’t have the permission to date someone else. Like I had to wait for him. So I did. For almost an entire year I did.
Have you been through a tough break-up? Where you believed that person was The One and your search had ended, only to have the relationship turn sour eventually? That affects you a lot and it takes a very long time to move on from something that strong. To say, “Yes. I’m ready to date someone new now.” I was healing from a bad break up when I met someone in university that I thought was a good person to be with. Somehow, I was very happy but it always felt like he was incredibly troubled the entire time we were together. It only lasted a few weeks.
I always wondered why he was so frustrated. I figured it out recently. He was my rebound.
For all you hopeless romantics out there that believe in rescuing a person from their heartbreak and saying, “Oh. You’re going through a break up? Let me help you. I’ll be perfect for you.” I’d like to give you a heads-up on being someone’s rebound.
Here’s the thing about a rebound relationship – The person going through the rebound always rises by drowning the other person. You are helping someone get rid of their hurt by letting them lay it all on you. And I can promise you, there are less than 10% rebound relationships that actually work once the person stops hurting.
I never knew what I did to the poor guy when I went through rebound until I was on the receiving end. Today, I have drowned. I get to watch my Mr. Almost laugh and be happy in pictures and so much of me is so happy for him but I cannot erase or push away that tiny voice that wishes I was in the pictures with him laughing it away than watching it from the outside.
It’s been almost two months since I talked to him. I’d like to believe that it is getting easier with time. I don’t blame him. It was my call put a stop to it. He was better, he was seeing things clearly and I could feel him pull away and I am definitely one of those people that would rather end it than be ended with. But I still have days when all I want to do is pick up the phone and call. I have to stop myself every time and remind myself why it is a bad idea. I have to remind myself of all the emotional turmoil I will go through if I make that call.
I honestly wish I could have come up with a better blog post today but my mind is just so occupied with him. I promise to have a better post next week. It’s difficult to come up with incredible posts when you feel like you’re being pulled down by an anchor of some sort.
When you’re going through a break up, you feel the need to be validated. You need to know that you’re worth loving and caring for. That’s why the rebound relationships happen. The other person gushes over you, loves you and cares for you and it is why they end up hurting in the end. Like the old saying..
“Nothing so easy as catching a heart on the rebound.”