When my SO arrived in my life, I had very few expectations. In fact, I had no more desire to seek a life partner given my massive failures in this department for quite a while. I was the classic and chronic case of perpetually love-lorn (and recurring heartbroken) girl. At a certain point, I actually became convinced that it was not for me.Logically speaking, there were just so many reasons why it won’t work out, and I got tired of believing.
I still wanted to know the tried and tested formula for romantic success, despite my utter failed attempts in the past. So I proceeded to build this series of love stories (I still owe a few couples some writeups on this series!) in 2011 to compensate for being the huge fan of romance but the perpetual outsider to other people’s successful love stories.
Strangely, all those people I interviewed had the same remark in determining whether the person is “the one”.
They say that “You will just know.”
It felt like everyone was conspiring against me, because these were people who did not know each other. They were totally different from each other and yet when it came to this question, the answer was the same.
“You will just know.”
What is this, a hieroglyphic death sentence for people who are lost in the dating game?
It was like a cryptic code to which I was a total outsider. It solidified my belief that the successful love birds of this world belong to a secret society formed by God and He kind of left me out of the loop when He was sending out emails containing detailed instructions. I know, it’s really melodramatic. I felt like God deprived me of the secret formula for finding my life partner. It may seem laughable now, but at the time, I genuinely felt like I’ve been left out of what is decidedly one of the most rewarding relationship experiences that a person can ever have. And I was in so much pain because I had so much inside of me that I wanted to share to another person in a romantic way.
Before the right person arrived in my life, I thought the common “You will just know” advice to be utterly ridiculous and preposterous to write. You will just know? Seriously? I thought like even writing love stories of other people was a lost cause. I could not even find some useful advice that my loveless readers can go by.
When I did meet my right person, however, I came up with a similar conclusion.
Stupid as I may sound now, it’s really true. You will be programmed to know exactly when you have found “the one”.
Was it when he walked in at the church on our first date for me? He was actually late but when I saw him, I just saw him differently that moment and all the moments that came after that first time I really saw him. Note that I said “the first time that I really saw him”. There was a first meeting before this first date where I did not feel anything at all for him because I was hung up with my personal issues and I had little room to open my eyes just yet. I did have the tendency to complicate things and blur my vision for not thinking so clearly.
Nope, there were no noisy shrill noises from a trumpet or a piece of paper landing from heaven for me. There was nothing fancy, but more of a quiet certainty that you will want to sleep beside this person everyday and wake up seeing that face every morning. You will initially feel sparks but later you will land with the calm and determined feeling inside of you that no matter what the future brings, you will want this person to be in your present and future.
There is no desperation in a need to get married if the person is right; there was just this calm certainty that overtakes your entire being. It trumps even the fear of the world’s biggest commitment-phobic person. You will just know when you are willing to do anything for a person, even if it means stepping out of what you find comfortable. And you will never find it uncomfortable or painful or utterly ridiculous to do when you are doing these new things for this special person all out of love. No distance is too far, no road is too difficult to trudge, no imperfection is too big to be overcome.
Later you will be introduced to this person’s faults and the consequences that come with the yes to lifetime commitment, but you will still feel grateful and excited and giddy despite them. You will find that his brand of imperfection blends perfectly with who you are as a person. And in this light, you will find no qualms in giving yourself, even doing things that you will never surmise or imagine doing for yourself or other people in the past. And you cannot imagine living your life otherwise.
Everyday, you will have that inherent gratitude of having found that person, the fear of losing him too early or too soon, and the overflow of affection that sustains you even when you are burned out and stressed like a madman on brain steroids.
At the back of my head, in the middle of my overtime work and my struggles to really live and not just exist, there is the image of the man that I love and how I am looking forward to spending my entire life with him. <3 When I feel like throwing in the towel due to excessive burnout, I think of him and I suddenly find the will to extend myself a bit more.
I know that he is not perfect and sometimes we end up arguing instead of exchanging sweet nothings. Sometimes I tend to think that the unglamorous abrasiveness of everyday living tend to scrape through the motion picture perfect image I have of what a good relationship should be like. But I realize that everything genuinely good and realistic takes a lot of work. This garden of love needs a lot of tending and weeding.
Even the boring or mundane parts of the everyday drill is part of the entire pattern of sustaining a relationship. After so many years of immaturely handling my affairs, I can happily say that he changed me for the better. He made me want to become a better person. He made me want to take good care of him even when at first I thought that I have no room to take care of other people outside of myself. At the same time, I would like to believe that I brought out the best in him in some way. And that we will continue to do that to each other over time.