Tuesday, April 14, 2015

My unexpected kind of love and what you can learn from it

When it comes to romantic relationships, I was very idealistic. I believe we all do until reality suddenly smacks us on the face and then we turn away from the world of fantasies we put ourselves in.

Anyway, if I were to post an ad of the qualities and my requirements of an ideal boyfriend, it would look like this:

Looking for a boyfriend. The candidate must be/shoud have:
* Moreno (Brown skinned)
* Tall - at least 5'7 in height
* Athletic (should play at least one sport, preferably Basketball)
* GREAT sense of humour
* HANDSOME (could not stress this enough)
* Sweet, specifics:

   - should shower me with LOTS of gifts (yes, a CAR can do since I'm not really into jewelry) in EVERY OCCASION i can think of
   - should take me on a fancy date
   - should be fond of surprising me
   - should be proud of me enough to introduce me to ALL of his friends and family

Note: All are non negotiable

There are still a lot of things I set that I can hardly remember.

You see, I saw men as someone who SHOULD chase women, who SHOULD put us on a pedestal EVERY SINGLE TIME, and who SHOULD do ANYTHING for us. In short, they SHOULD be doing all those crazy and superhuman efforts just to have us.

And because of this, I fell into a trap of setting high expectations and then finding myself greatly disappointed, in deep pain and crying buckets of tears.

But, this was the younger me. When this amazing man and God's gift to me came into my life, he turned it all around. Unexpectedly. 

So, how was my view in love changed and what did my relationship with him teach me?

Fate is stubborn. It will really find its way
I first saw him during college enrollment. That time, for me he was just a typical guy and he didn't really catch my attention. I thought that would be the only time I would see him. But I was surprised on the first day of classes when I saw him again and we eventually shared the same group for a project. As we took up the same course, we were again on the same group for our thesis in our final year in school.

When we started our relationship, we never really planned on going to the next level. We were not really serious about it then and had an on-off relationship. But fate took its course and we just woke up one day realizing we are each other's answered prayers. 

This was not how I imagined I would meet the man I want to spend the rest of my life with. Nonetheless I found my greatest love, in the most unlikely circumstance and in the most unlikely person. If it's God's answers to your prayers, He will find a way to bring the kind of love you asked for to you.

during our thesis group's team building when we still have no idea that we're destined to be partners for life. the group where it all started

Love can be right under your nose!
When we met, there was no "spark". We were just genuinely friends with no malice at all. We’re friends for almost 2 years, hanging out together in group dates, sharing some good laughs with old jokes, spending break times together just talking about anything under the sun, and going on barkada road trips. I also used to ask him to accompany me to the supermarket for my regular supply shopping so that I could have someone carry what I bought in exchange for a good and hearty food treat.

I have never, even in my wildest dreams, thought that he could be the one. You could be like me who never paid attention to that person who was there all this time because you were too busy looking for "Mr. Right". But, as they say, you never have to look that far to find the greatest love of your life. That was the case for me.

one of those moments when we like to make fun of ourselves.
still had no idea we're going to hold those hands for life!

Reality is far better than your expectations
My husband met all those qualities listed above (that's what you call love!) except for these things: he's not really fond of showering me gifts, in taking me on fancy dates, and in surprising me.

One day he just asked me if I can be his girlfriend (i can’t really remember how I said yes!). No roses. No chocolates. No house visits. No fancy date nights. He just asked me.

This was not how I pictured myself to be pursued. But with all the challenges our relationship had been through, I realized that those things are just icing on the cake. It's more fulfilling when he takes care of you when you're sick, when he supports you to reach your maximum potential, when he cries with you when you're hurt, when he makes you laugh and dries your tears when you're down, and when he doesn't let go of your hand even if everything seems hard and shaky.

Great relationships can start from tested and strong friendship
Before, I only see men as romantic partners. I didn't realize that they can potentially be great friends! When I started opening up myself to being friends with guys, that's when the door to a great love opened. I learned that the love you have longed for can sometimes be found in a friendship that you have carefully built.

Me and my husband started as “frenemies” as we fought over a peso change. Then we moved on to be getting-along-just-fine friends. When we got to know each other longer and better, I found out he was such a funny guy he made such a great friend and company. 

We went out together with some friends occasionally. He’s one of my guy friends I can confide anything under the sun - family, school, love, and few trivial things. We can sit in one corner and talk about anything for hours!

Good thing we have developed that kind of friendship before getting to the next level. Starting out as friends helped us know and understand each other better and reach a certain kind of comfort. It made caring and talking to each other easier especially in times of uncertainties.

one of the gang's adventures

"It takes two to tango"
You have to stop thinking that to achieve a great relationship, men should only be the ones doing the chase. Men are humans too. They should also feel validated. They should also feel important. They should also feel loved and cared for.

Both of you should make a lot of hard work and sacrifices in a relationship. Therefore, it wouldn't hurt if you make surprises for your partner. In fact, you should! I remember I once surprised my husband (when he was still my boyfriend) with a cake and a one stemmed flower and gave him love notes for valentines. Those little things count. Trust me.

In love, don't put it all in the hands of men. In order to get what you asked for, you have to work for it. Don't wait for love to find you. Don't go hiding and waiting for the knight in shining armour to rescue you. Interact, socialize, and show genuine interest in getting to know other people (even if it would not start out as having romantic feelings).

with my hubby and our baby boy

You see, he crushed all my dreams and my shallow idea of love. But together, we found an unconditional love built by our faith and worship in God. 

So, if you find yourself still wondering why you haven't found "the one", PAUSE. PRAY and be specific with your prayers in what you really wanted for in a lifetime partner. Most importantly, ACT: go out there, meet new people, and interact. It's the best way to find the person God wants you to spend the rest of your life with.