Wednesday, December 31, 2014

How a Relationship can Crash & Burn

So I not-so-recently broke up with my boyfriend of 4 years. I think it's 4. I'm not sure because we never kept track. I had a lot of superstitions. One being never to celebrate anniversaries until you're married - and we never did. Goes to show that superstitions are stupid. But anyway, we've known each other since we were in high school and remained friends till we got together because we hung out in the same group. The gang is, in some ways, family. A few left over the years and we got new additions, but we were constant. We used to hang out together every single night without fail. We went through phases, kopitiams (coffee shops) and pubs and cyber cafes. I left them for a while, but I came back. We always go back to what is familiar. And now we seldom meet because our lives demand it. Although we are attempting to created a tradition, for friendship's sake: A getaway every year, this year was Bangkok and next year, Taiwan. But this isn't about the group. This is about my relationship and why it fell apart.

We all thought that the both of us would stay together and get married. It seemed natural. It was the ultimate dream: Our kids would grow up together, and we would stay friends forever.

I don't think that that's a possibility now because, it's over. 

Why, though?

1. He is a mommy's boy, I am a daddy's girl.
I'm not saying that all relationships between the two will never work out... But he had his sisters and I had my brothers. Ultimately, he expected me to take care of him while I expected him to take care of me and we didn't know any better.

2. We took each other for granted.
When you have been friends for so long, you don't realize that it is possible to have a life where that person isn't a part of. We hung out constantly and once we got together, we almost never went home alone. We went to Melbourne together. Studied and stayed together. We were always there for each other. And after awhile, you get so used to the idea that you just stop appreciating what you have because you don't even consider that losing that person is possible. Sometimes this means expecting more than realistically possible, but oftentimes it just means doing less than what's expected.

3. We wanted different things.
I wanted the little things, he overlooked them. He thought that as long as he didn't cheat on me and that he treated me the way a girlfriend should be treated, like, be good to me, buy me presents and be financially capable, it's all candy and roses. The truth is, grand expensive gestures might be nice, but anyone with money can do it. It's the little things that count. Something as simple as getting you a drink when he grabs one for himself makes all the difference in the world because it shows you just how much you are on his mind. Getting you something you like on the way back home. Even better if it's out of the way, but it's the thought that counts. He thought the little things are inconsequential, and that's how differing opinions can ruin a relationship when both parties don't learn to compromise.

4. Effort and timing never correlated.
Timing is a bitch. When he decided to put in more effort, it was already too late, because I had nothing left to give. You gotta be on the same page. If you realize that something is lacking or if your partner is trying to communicate with you, speak up or listen. I tried, and tried and tried. Because I wanted to fix something which I thought could be perfect. But if it was, I wouldn't be the only one trying. Communication is key to every relationship, but every relationship takes two.

5. It takes two.
Yeah. It seems like a no brainer, but then again, people tend to overlook what is the most obvious. A relationship built between two isn't easy to kill. It's like buying a house (aka building a relationship), if both put in equal amounts of money (aka effort), you can't really just sell it like that (aka break up) because there's the other person's share to consider. Think about it. If one person has been calling the shots, it's no surprise that that person can just sell the house without so much as a blink of an eye. The flame that burns twice as bright, burns half as long.

6. Love is sacrificial. 
Sometimes you gotta do things you don't like, just because you want to make the person you love happy. Because that's what love is, isn't it? The other person's happiness becomes your own. Sometimes I wanted to go out, but stayed home with him. Sometimes he wanted to stay in, but he'd suck it up and go out anyway. The thing is, after a while, I began to go out without him and he remained at home. I wanted to share my world with him, but he didn't want any part of it. I wanted to share what I love with the people I love, but he didn't, nor did he appreciate it. He refused to read the books I love, so eventually, I stopped caring about what he was passionate about. And that's when we started to grow apart. Love shouldn't be a convenience. You should be more than willing to go that extra mile, even if it's just for a smile.

7. She thinks that he won't change, but he will. He thinks that she won't leave, but she will.
It is a very sad sentiment. Really. Remember back when he was wooing you, how he made you feel loved? Like picking you up at 3 in the morning even though he had to work at 8 the following day? Or bringing you tang yuan during Dongzhi Festival because you told him that you haven't had any? And bringing you fries just because. I remember all the sweet little things he did for me. And that's probably why I held on for so long... Because I knew that he had it in him. I thought that I would have it forever. But just like anything else, time happens. Don't ever let the person you love feel unloved but don't do more than you are willing to in the long run. Similarly, I loved him, so I spoiled him. And at the end of the day, it ended up spoiling what could have been a good thing.

I might be wrong, and maybe I'm blinded by my own conviction. I might be selfish but I just can't see it. After all, I am still inexperienced. But this is all that I know now, and I hope that maybe this could help save a relationship.

It isn't anyone's fault but the fact that we loved differently. I always thought that it's ok even if he didn't love me the way I wanted him to, as long as he loved me with all he had. But I realized that no, it's not ok. There is no point in being with someone that doesn't make you happy. I'm no longer willing to settle when it comes to love, even though life is really just a game of luck and it might very well mean that I will never find the one.

But right now, I still believe in fairytale endings.

Goodbye, 2014.

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