-August 10, 2017-
I have a boyfriend. His name is Joe (or Joey as I like to call him ❤️). We’ve been together for exactly 492 days now. I love him a lot especially because he’s the guy who’s been by my side during the darkest moments of my life. He has never left my side once even after seeing the lowest sides of me. He accepts all my flaws and acknowledges that I am just a weak human being in need of love and not some kind of goddess who can stay elegant and bright all the time.
It is true that both of us love one another. We dream and talk about our future together and even plan things out for our marriage as if it’s actually about to happen anytime soon. He’s the first man in my life who I’ve ever thought about spending the rest of my life with. And I’m pretty sure that I hold that much of a value in his life also.
We do many things together like going to spas, riding some of the craziest rollercoasters, having prayer nights, practicing guitar, making pottery, rock-climbing, and of course, enjoying some fine dining.
I love taking photos of all that we do for the sake of cherishing memories and sharing them on social media with my friends and followers. I post up photos of nearly everything I do with Joe -especially the ones where we look the happiest and the loveliest 😉.
People would look at these photos and like/comment saying we look nice together or that we have so much fun together. And that is true. Ever since I met Joe, I can’t really think of days when I was feeling down or fatigued because he became a source of my energy and positivity.
But what I want to say today is that many times, photos on social media don’t speak 100% of what our relationship is like. To be completely honest, Joe and I both have flaws and our relationship goes through many misunderstandings, heartbreaks, and even some sour moments. It is inevitable because a relationship is where two absolutely different individuals with contrasting backgrounds and mindsets come together to become one.
Behind the smiling faces of me and Joe are from time to time, pain, disappointment, and frustration. BUT, those are the times when I feel that our relationship gets stronger. As a matter of fact, I somehow end up falling intensely more in love with him because I see how much change he is willing and trying to bring onto himself just to put a smile on my face and to hear me say that I am genuinely happy.
One time, I told him straightforward that I don’t feel loved if he doesn’t show me that he cares about me through his actions. For instance, when he had sore throat, I secretly went to a drugstore to get him cough drops but when I was sick, he just dropped me off home telling me to get some good rest and later sent me a message asking if I was okay. I told him, “I don’t need you to do something extravagant for me. What I want are simple gestures that show me that you truly care about me.” He apologized saying that he wasn’t used to doing those kind of things. The way he presents his love is through words-sending me messages to ask me how I’m doing and telling me that he misses me.
But ever since that day, I saw him endeavoring to display his love for me through acts of service. When the restaurant that I really wanted to eat at accepted cash only, he ran blocks in the midst of the pouring rain to withdraw cash. When I needed to take the train all the way to the city to attend an orientation at my school, he drove me instead and stayed in the car waiting for me until my orientation was over (because parking is just not the easiest thing to do when you’re in uptown NYC on a Sunday morning). When I was walking with delay because of my heels, he consciously paid attention to his pace and slowed down to be right next to me and not make me feel bad. These actions, although I did not say it, greatly touched me.
I am touched the most in my relationship with Joe when he makes the effort to change himself despite the awkwardness and the difficulties he has to face in order to make me happy- even if it means that he has to bend his pride and admit that he is wrong sometimes. A girl feels that she is deemed precious to the guy when he does that just for her contentment.
I am the same way for Joe. Over the 18 months we’ve been together, I’ve learned to look at all situations from his perspective and be more compassionate and understanding. I acknowledge my imperfections and abandon any pride that I may be holding onto when I know that I am the one at fault for something. For someone who finds it very tough to express emotions with words, I tell Joe how much I love him even if I may cringe while saying so 😂.
I don’t usually like to publicize stories of my relationship with Joe but decided to do so after having a brunch with an acquaintance of mine recently. While enjoying my avocado toast, she said to me: “You’re so lucky you have such a perfect relationship with Joe. I can’t find a guy who matches me perfectly like that.”
Joe always tells me, “Perfect relationships are made and worked for, not found.” Relationships aren’t based on lucks. That goes for friends, parent-children, siblings, teacher-student, employer-employee, co-workers, and for all other relationships that exist in this world. In this planet where billions of people interact with one another every day, we just have to put in our best efforts to establish admirable and positive relationships every day.
That is by accepting, understanding, caring, and loving. Joe has taught me how to be more selfless and sacrificial through our relationship. Becoming less of me and more about the other is what builds any relationship into a stronger and everlasting one.
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