This will be special.
A few years ago, I swore never to write about this topic, because I learnt that nothing lasts forever (or rather, a few months) in a relationship. Everyone I’ve dated had proved to me that feelings and effort only lasts as long till they’ve wooed you. Then effort and any sense of romanticism ends completely because (so it seems,) the hardest and most ‘crucial’ part is done.
Also, effort is effort. And it becomes tiring to keep up after a while, amirite?
For someone who grew up watching my grandparents stay so in love with each other all these years, I had my expectations. (My grandparents are both in their eighties, and my grandad is paralysed from the waist down. My grandmother takes care of him every single day, day in and day out. My grandad constantly tells everyone how he wouldn’t still be alive if it wasn’t for the constant dedicated care from my grandmother.)
For someone who reads books about chivalry and other gentlemany habits, my idea of an ideal (gentle)man was planted early on in my head.
So imagine the wake up call I got when I found out that these gentlemen species are as rare as male calicos. At least here in Malaysia. When I finally came to terms that it would be impractical to expect the fairytale romance I’d always dreamed about, I began to compromise on my values.
It’s no surprise then, that I was compromised. To put it simply, I discounted my worth; therefore, I never got my full price.
Although, of course, I found it hard to confess to the people I had been dating about my ideals. Because obviously, they always told me that I was being unrealistic – that I would never settle down and have a family if I were that choosy.
I began to understand that there’s no point in writing love declarations, because the nice, romantic gestures almost always came to an end; sometimes as early on as only a month into the relationship.
I still dreamed, though.
Oh how I would dream.
You know how they say that things tend to happen to you when you least expect it? I did believe in it. Only my version had been: things never turn up when you’re looking for them, but they tend to turn up when you aren’t. (Because finding things my room had always been similar to ‘hidden object’ games.)
When I first laid eyes on him, it wasn’t exactly the cliched love-at-first-sight. I acknowledged that he was attractive, but I never thought of a possibility further than friends. I had come to terms that attractive guys just don’t tend to fall for me. And if ever one shows interest, he’s just probably looking for someone to fuck. (Pardon the language ayy?)
By the end of the night, we kissed and it was then that I felt something. I was still, however, grounded and painfully aware that such good fortune never usually lasts long for me.
But this man proved me wrong in the best way possible.
For the first time, I had someone who put in effort into us; to making us work. This was the furthest long distance relationship I’d ever had, yet he had been the one who made the most effort.
It wasn’t a bed of roses, obviously. There were lots (and I mean LOTS) of tears on my part. There were days where I would be so emotionally drained where even food lost its appeal completely. (And for someone who LOVES her food, this is serious business.) The longest had been an entire week where not a day went by without me crying because I had been so afraid that he might have just thought of me as a side chick after all, and would go back to the girl back home and ignore me completely/only look for me when he’s lonely.
I was terrified of how quickly and hard I was falling for him, as I’m normally very cautious. I hated that I was worrying the 2 most important people in the world to me: my mum, & my best friend Ann. (Ann has the superpower ability to detect when something’s wrong with me in even the slightest difference in my texts, that woman.)
I made sure that he knew I was serious about us. I told him that I would go to the end of the world and back to make us work, but that I would only do it if he was willing to, too; because I didn’t want to be the one making the effort yet again, only to be disappointed again.
I kept telling him to tell me early if he fell out with me instead of leading me on, so I could lick my wounds and get over it while it was still early.
But he proved me wrong yet again.
As someone with anxiety, all that emotional toil made things 10x as worse. I was always wondering. I was always anxious at the slightest thing, and tended to overthink every small detail. (Just ask the people I’m closest to.) I always wondered, how long before the usual ‘symptoms’ would appear?
Amidst all my inner turnoil, he did something miraculous in me that I’d never thought would ever happen: he made me trust again.
It was a HUGE deal to me. Trust is a fragile thing, and I never really fully trusted people in general due to experience.
And as if that was not enough, he unconsciously made me better myself whenever I was with him. He made me a better person, and for that I’ll be forever grateful.
It has been a little over 2 years, and the things that have changed, have changed for the better.
He still hugs me to sleep every night (and it’s something I won’t turn away from, no matter how hot the weather is). He surprises me with flowers now and again, just because. I still get the same butterflies whenever we kiss. Seeing him after a length of time apart still makes me nervous, and the sight of him still makes my heart do somersaults.
So thank you for everything, my love. Thank you for bringing out the best in me, and loving me even when I’m being difficult. You mean the world to me. ❤️❤️