Romance/ Love

[002a] Love

No photos today, because technically this is a sub-post of [002]. ^^

Do you mind if I like you?
I think I love you I think I do
Do you mind if I love you?
Say you love me
– Kokuhaku (Confession) by Angela Aki, from Blue (2012)

Been on a massive crush spree the past few days. This means indulging in fantasies, in hopes that will never come true, driving my friends and timeline nuts with fangirl screams and crush sighs, among other things.

This isn’t really normal for me, at least. I’ve never been one to indulge with crushes and the like, especially celebrity crushes. Don’t think most people who have noticed it, but if I like someone intensely, they tend to be people I know in real life. They tend to be people whom I can actually reach out and say, “Hey, I like you, and it seems you like me, let’s get together.”

Which is hilarious to think about, because I’ve been in relationships for the past fourteen years (wow, has it really been that long?) and have only had one break in that entire time (by break I mean not get into a relationship less than 8 months after the last).

What changed? Well, for one, the last relationship I was in didn’t work out. It’s not for the lack of trying, but you can only go so far before you reach a limit both of you will not cross. In a way, that relationship is perhaps the one I regret the most, because it was the right one for both of us.

The past though, is in the past. We parted as good friends, and I’m glad to have him as a friend. It’s just hard sometimes, watching both of us move on, knowing that we could have had something, but it just wasn’t to be.

The following months after that was a flurry of activity, thank the Goddess. I had a lot of things to occupy me, even though most of the leads I chased did not pan out. In between, I nursed a hurting heart, throwing myself into being a good senior (somewhat) and learning how to smile when all I wanted to do was curl up in bed and cry.

The good thing about having a lot of things to do is that you don’t have time to mull over things, and time flies. While the actual distance may be small, when you pack your life with so many memories, what happened before feels distant and a far away thing. It’s only in the past few weeks that my heart has begun to accept what happened, and we’re finally cleaning the remaining debris and dust that has accumulated.

Which is what makes the resulting crushes so intense. It seems that to make up for my years of missed “squee”, my heart and brain have decided now’s the perfect time for me to indulge in a celebrity crush. I’ve gone from simply going “kyaa” over a nice picture into researching bits and trivia to contemplating sending my crush a fanmail.

The lack of a focus to channel my romantic energies and thoughts have led to me crushing on several guys at once. While this is not unusual, the crushes are very intense. One of them has died off, due to lack of watering. The other’s a nice little potted plant that makes me smile whenever I think of him, but too young for me and no signs of it flowering, so it remains a cute little thing on a pedestal now.

The one that’s giving me the most problems is the celebrity crush. I know he’ll never notice me, so I’ve felt like that gives me full rein to squee about him. There’s also the fact that he is one of the prettiest boys I’ve ever seen and he’s graceful like a swan. It helps he has a small fanbase, because their information tends to be very concentrated and fairly precise (no, I have not been stalking nor reading up all the threads on him).

I don’t think I want to confess anyway. It’s still too soon, and I think it’s just new skin. The bleeding just stopped several weeks ago, and the new skin’s just beginning to cover it. I think I’ll give it another few months before I poke it again.

Real Ship: Advice for the New Sailor(s)

So this was a topic that came up over lunch with Rin and the Wind Goddess.

In case you were wondering, yes, the topic was about relationships. Specifically, what to expect in a relationship.

The ideal relationships we see in movies and other media is that couples argue and then they make up. Sometimes it’s through a major makeout session, sometimes they blow out at each other, other times they go to their friends to rant. Then they come back to the relationship in a “happier” state of mind, all issues resolved.

And then you have the group that dispenses “relationship” advice that don’t go repeating and rehashing the “you need to talk it out” line. They don’t, however, tell you what to talk about.

Which, anyone who’s been in a long-term relationship (minimum of 4 years and more, sometimes less, sometimes just someone who has been in a few relationships) will tell you is complete, and utter bollocks.

So I’m telling you.

When you get into a relationship, sit down and talk about your goals. What your ultimate aim in life is, where do you guys see yourselves heading, etc. If those goals don’t align, then ask yourselves what do you guys want out of the relationship. Is it to have fun? See how you two can click? Suka sama suka?

As long as you both agree, it’s a COMPLETELY VALID reason to be in that relationship. Hey, I know of people who got into a relationship cause it was convenient and ended up marrying each other. So it’s up to you.

That’s the first thing you talk about. So what’s the second?

Dealbreakers. Boundaries.

Things that’ll you will never say yes to. Things that they’ll never say yes to. Things they’ll always say no to. Things you’ll always say no to.

These can be little things; one side may hate people who leave the toilet seat up, and never make an effort to leave it up even after constant reminders. People who belittle others. People who never tip.

Things that will make you say, “No, I cannot live with this behaviour.” Things that will make you say, “No, you’re being an asshole to me.” Or even stuff like, “If you ever move away, we’ll break up.” (A couple I know who did that eventually got back together after he finished school and are now happily married with two adorable children.)

Those are dealbreakers. Stuff that make you walk away. As an example, one of my deal breaker is someone who promises to stop smoking, but doesn’t. Or does it for a short while, and then takes it up again the moment I turn my back.

Boundaries, on the other hand, is about making your partner feel safe around you, and you around them. This one’s much trickier to negotiate, and requires both sides being open and vulnerable when those boundaries are crossed. It also means being aware of behaviours that trigger it.

Here’s an example: When the uke and I first started dating, he made comments that made me feel guilty whenever I went out without him, or for extended periods of time. After a few weeks, I pointed out to him that such behaviour crossed my boundaries and in fact, was quite reminiscent of the ex that was emotionally abusive. He recognised that, and took measures to ensure that I would never feel that again.

He, on the other hand, set a boundary about crushes. Because we were in a long distance relationship, we both knew we would be attracted to other people. Instead of hiding it, we spoke about it. He set boundaries for when he’d recognise those crushes were, and when to talk about it.

Sometimes boundaries can be as simple as “No kissing in public.” Or “I want to hear from you at least once a day via SMS/Gtalk/IM, so at least I know you’re alive.” It all depends on what you are both comfortable with.

Does this sound like hard work? Well, it depends on how much you trust and are willing to sit down and hash out the terms of your relationship. It doesn’t need to be something you do immediately, but it is something you need to discuss, preferably in the days when the relationship still feels new, shiny and in the “nothing can go wrong” phase.

Because there will come a time when the shine comes off, you will disagree with each other, and you will have outbursts with each other. Talking about things beforehand helps you manage expectations and discuss things without feeling that the other person was out deliberately to wound you in the most hurtful and malicious way possible.

And if done right, you can revisit it over and over again. Because chances are, it’ll help you discover the person you fell in love with, isn’t just a single facet, but a complicated, loving, wonderful human being.

Just like you.

Music and memories

There are a few songs that will always remain close to my heart. Not because of their popularity, but because they came at a time when I needed it the most. Oddly enough, I’m usually captured first by their rhythm and emotion, then only by words (this is where having a lot of people translate a song you love comes in handy).

God Knows by Aya Hirano reminds me of the time I broke up with my ex. For a long time when I heard that song, I’d resonate with: yamete uso wa anatara shikunai yo (Stop it, it’s not like you to lie) but as time went by, I was drawn instead to yowasa yue ni tamashii kowasareru you ni (My weakness will not shatter my spirit).

It came into my life at a time when I sorely needed it. The breakup took a toll on me emotionally, spiritually and in some ways, physically. I had awesome friends who helped me through it, but I wasn’t quite the same. God Knows became an anthem of sorts, a song I’d scream my heart out when I was depressed or alone.

Yui’s Again was another song that hit close to my heart. For one, there was that depressing anime series called “Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood” that was nothing but owowowowow hit me in the heart again why don’t you but what resonated with me the most was Kaeru basho mo nai no, which translates to “I have no home to go to.” Which fucking hurt because I just lost my grandmother. It was an outlet to my heart, emotions. And gave me a place to hold on when I had long drives home.

Years go by, and whenever a song comes up and holds me by the heart and doesn’t let go, I know it’s usually a sign that something’s coming. It’s been a long time coming, but I think the next one might just be One Ok Rock’s “The Beginning.” The reason’s simple:

Just give me a reason
To keep my heart beating
Don’t worry, it’s safe right here in my arms.

At least I have good warning with this one. With that, good night.

[Poem] Summer’s Tears

Found this while cleaning my room. Wrote this during a breakup years ago:

The summer rains are here
The summer sun set to sear
A woman’s face smiles
Her heart hidden beneath files

The secrets that she kept
The tears that she wept
Releasing a bird never felt more painful
Neither did suicide so beautiful

Too many friend she has
To some her soul laid bare
Yet the only one she wants
Is the only one who is a friend

How do you go back
And become just friends?
What medicine could you take,
To firmly accept a love’s end?

Pain beyond measure
Nagging without censure
Her parents don’t care
She knows no trust there

A book, a tool, an instrument
Things tangible on this firmanent
They’ve seen the depths of her pain
To see a happy soul now slain

A lone spirit, set adrift
The heaviness she cannot lift
Her tears will not fall here
Not when behind grandma slumbers

Cry when you’re alone
When loneliness cuts to the bone
Keep close to you your phone
In case he calls, and hears your voice.

Dates and Men

I was reading the Star’s Weekender when I came across this article by a “Mark Lee” who lamented that thanks to feminism, men did not know what women wanted anymore. Did they want their man to be chivalrous and pick up the tab? Did they want their man to treat them as equals and share it? Or was it all a guessing game, with the man forever doomed to be the loser for not being able to read a woman’s mind?

According to Lee, he had taken two different approaches with the ladies. For the first date, he had done everything a “gentleman” would have done. That is to say, he picked the restaurant, ordered her food, and paid the bill. She didn’t want to have a second date with him.

For the second girl, he had done quite the opposite. He met her at the restaurant, ordered his food while she was still mulling over hers, and then didn’t see her home safely. She told him he wasn’t charming enough.

So now you have poor Mark Lee wondering just where he went wrong. Oh yes, I forgot to mention, apparently he says this feminism thing has also left his good friend, a feminist who could probably arm wrestle a man into submission, single as she can’t find a guy who would “sweep her off her feet.”

Can you see now why Mark Lee irritates me so?

Reading his entry leads me to conclude one thing: he’s lazy. And rude. And used to being pampered. He reminds me of another guy who says that feminism, at this point in time, is a lie.

Here’s the thing, boys. It’s not about you. When it comes to dating, feminism is simply about one thing, and one thing alone: LISTENING TO THE PERSON YOU ARE DATING. Just as not all men are alike, women are even more varied than men. There is no real formula or ritual you can use for every girl. There is, however, one trick to making things work out if you are serious about it.

God/Nature gave you two eyes and two ears. And a single brain.
Use them, please! Before you go on a date, ask her if she would be comfortable driving there herself or if she would rather you pick her up. Find out what kind of a person she is. CHAT with her. I’m in awe of guys who go on dates without doing this simple background check. If you’re on a blind date, ask the person who arranged the date about whether she’d like you to pick up the tab or if she’d like to go Dutch. After all, you wouldn’t meet with a client without doing some basic background research, right?

Of course, whether you really hit it off with her later that I can’t say. It cannot hurt though, to discover what her boundaries are and to respect them. That shows that you are genuinely interested in them for who they are, which is the best way to score points, no?