I don't know what love is

My Mom always says that what I want from life today will be different to what I’ll want in one, two years’ time. As one grows older, so does her view of life. While I don’t appreciate being told that you’re-still-a-kid-and-you-don’t-know-what-decision-you’re-making kind of thing, deep down I know it’s true.

While having a catch-up session with my Melbourne friends the other day, we talked a bit about relationship. Mind you, I haven’t had a relationship talk for quite a while. Like, two or three years ago I was talking a lot about relationship, and even to this day I still receive some emails from strangers asking me for advice. While I’m not sure if I’m adequate enough to give an advice to someone, I find myself realising this simple truth: My advices, and my take on relationship, over time, change.

In a sense, I used to think that love is everything. Chemistry is everything. Fighting for each other is everything. Of course, I still believe in all those things, but perhaps I’m growing in my capacity of understanding love.

Like, when I see friends breaking up, I no longer think in terms of ‘what if’ and ‘if only’ and ‘what could have been’. Breaking up happens, and most times, it’s for the best, especially when two people suddenly realise that they are completely incompatible for each other. And when they tell me stories of being selfish, making mistakes, and releasing forgiveness, I find myself being able to relate more to those oh-not-so-romantic moments.

Take my previous viral post for example. Sending a girl home is a simple, expected, and often overlooked gesture. Perhaps boyfriends do it every single day. But it talks big for me. It’s bigger than getting a perfectly Instagrammable bouquet of flowers on Valentine’s Day.

And as a couple who have been together for some years, we face different challenges.

We no longer quarrel over the little things, but sometimes there is an altogether different set of quarrels, say, taking each other for granted. During the initial honeymoon period, this is nonexistent. But the thing with being familiar with each other is being overly familiar with each other. And at times because we have already expected things to be done that way, we forget to say thank you or to appreciate the little things.

But if you don’t grow together, you’ll grow apart.

My view on relationship differs now. No longer I think of relationship in terms of getting dumped, or chasing the same girl, or having a cruel courting period, or living the perfect Romeo-and-Juliet story (you can find all of them in my old posts), but now, it’s more about commitment. It’s more about making sacrifices. It’s about enjoying each other’s company. It doesn’t matter if we are having fancy dinner or take-away KFC, simply being together is a gift.

And the more you think you understand what love is, the more you actually don’t. I used to feel like I have known everything there is about love and relationship. I used to have my mind so secluded about getting the perfect love, with the perfect man, at the perfect timing. But love doesn’t happen that way and occasionally, we have glitches.

That doesn’t mean that it’s less perfect.

I guess I finally realised that I have not understood love. I am no expert. I will keep on being its student, discovering new things in every different phase of my relationship.

And it’s even more beautiful than having understood it all.


Photo by brewbooks