14 February 2013

< On Love >

 photo IMG_6160_zps0f4b4c91.jpg
 photo IMG_6166_zpse03d2301.jpg
 photo IMG_6174_zpsc620b438.jpg
This post has been whirling around my brain, so I hope I can get it out right.

In an English class in college our final paper was 10 pages...{i think, something big like that}, but I scored an awesome teacher so that paper could be written about any one topic and all the 10 pages HAD to do was stay on topic. Nothing else mattered. It was awesome. He just wanted us to experience getting our thinking out and writing it down. My paper was on 'love'. At that point I felt like I knew quite a bit...or at least enough to write 10 pages worth on...not just on relationships, but on 'love' itself and any aspect of it I felt like writing about. Now that I am married and have felt and deal with REAL love on a daily basis, I know there is much much more to talk about on the subject of love.

I wanted to share some of the things about love and relationships I have learned in my little life of love. I think we learn from movies that love has to be dramatic, messy, complicated and hard. I don't think it does. Even when it feels hard, it doesn't have to be.

I was never one of those girls who had a boyfriend all the time...GOOD DANG THING. I never wanted to be one of those girls. Sure I wanted boyfriends, but I was always very happy with the relationships I was having with the friends/roommates in my life. I had a lot of time to develop WHO I was as a person on my own as well as learned so much from friends/roommates. I learned a great lesson about boys after I graduated high school and that lesson helped me immensely throughout college...

My first boyfriend was at the very end of senior year of high school...we dated for about 8 months when out of nowhere he dumped me. I was crushed. But worst of all angry because of the lies and cheating that took place that I found out about after. So not only was I dumped by my first boyfriend who I loved, but now I was a girl who had been cheated on. I was hurt for a few weeks. BUT one day, it hit me...literally this thought popped in my head and I was from then on fine..."I am better off and there is someone else better for me". I was immediately grateful that there was someone better for me out there waiting. I realized I deserved better. I knew it. I may have developed some trust issues after, but more importantly this realization worked for the rest of my dating life. If there was EVER a boy that it didn't work out with, that didn't end up liking me back....I thought back on that thought and though mildly sad it wasn't working out with that boy...I was happy to know there WAS someone else.

Not everyone gets to learn this lesson so WHAM BAM as I learned it...I always felt lucky that I understood there was someone better for me. Also, years later, I realize that being dumped by my first boyfriend was THE best thing that could have happened to me at that time...I am sure I wouldn't have broken up with him and he was not not not not the best person for me. I also wouldn't have had the amazing life experiences I have had today, if I was tied to him or any other boy early on.

So throughout college there would be boys...some real good looking boys in my life. Not ONE of the "relationships" I had with those boys was "all his doing". Some girls think the boys have to make all the first moves, ask the girl out first, flirt first, etc etc. NO NO. Confidence and taking action is key when you like a boy. So key. My philosophy is..."the worst that can happen is he doesn't like you back. And then at least you know." Isn't not knowing if a boy likes you THE WORST? You don't know if he is shy or just not interested. Or just oblivious. I think it is way way worse not knowing than trying and getting rejected. Some guys don't even realize they could be interested in you at first, it may take YOU, the girl, to show them. The first day I met Jachen there was another American girl there with me...long story short...he liked her first. He chose her first. But it was okay, I didn't think much of it at the time...I was just thinking this would be fun to be friends with him. But after being rejected by her, and already had started a friendship with me...Jachen and my chats online turned into a date which then turned into more dates. So, be present. If you like a guy, even if you just think he is cute, don't be so shy that at second glance he still doesn't know who you are. If that makes sense.

There are many many other things I can say on dating, but I think what it first comes down to is the confidence that I mentioned. Being open to making the first move, showing guys that you are there and you like them. For me, it's also important that you be open, comfortable, honest, frank and well confident with that person. Don't change who you are, you can develop new interests because of him, but as soon as it becomes a lie that you like something...you are not being yourself. Don't be one of those dumb girls who lets the man control them and not let you speak your mind. The best date is the one that lets you be you AND the one that likes that you. If you can do these things, and first have this great foundation for a relationship, then personalities and how you connect will come next--because if you don't have a real foundation first, it won't matter how cool he is, or how good looking he is...it just won't work out.

I think Jachen and I got lucky. Our friendship, then like for one another, then love for one another happened pretty fast...not in a bad way, but in a "it needed to happen because I was leaving the country so thank you Heavenly Father for how it worked out" way. I don't think 2weeks had passed when Jachen told me he loved me. He said it on a whim. And Jachen is the loving kind of guy and what he really meant was "I like you and care about you" but to him that translated as love, but regardless..he  said it. And to just about anyone on the planet knows, saying "i love you" is a pretty big deal. I was NEVER one of those people who could say "I love you" to someone and not really mean it...even with the girls at girls camp who always seemed to be able to go around saying I love you to people...well that was not for me. When he said it, I told him I needed time to see if I thought the same. The next couple days, I realized, wait...I do love him. And somehow I had without any real grandeur reason to. It was the first time I was able to love someone so selflessly and so naturally. It really was simple, "i love you too." A few days later while he was driving me home, which was a long distance and it was very sweet of him to not make me take a train all the way home, I looked at him and for the first time I thought to myself "I can see myself with him for a long time". At that point our relationship was pretty simple...no extraordinary dates, not amazing gifts, no flowers, not much "courting"...but somehow our sweet simple love and connection grew.

When I left Switzerland, we decided to "date" long distance. I have never been one to be afraid of dating long distance and frankly I don't get what the big drama about it is. If you like or LOVE a guy...make it work! Wah wah, ya it sucks big time, but get over it and get 'er done. HOWEVER...there was a point when I was moved away that I thought to myself "this is not the type of guy who I thought I would marry".{meaning like he wasn't hip or stylish that kinda dumb thing} And for a little while that bothered me. THEN I realized that that wasn't fair. It wasn't fair to Jachen and MOSTLY not fair to myself to make the decision about a guy because I "pictured" another type of guy. Dumb. I realized I can't base reality and who I love off of fake high expectations. I could be cheating myself out of a really great life with someone.

So. When Jachen came a few months later to spend a month with me and my family that following summer, we decided that this trip would be the deciding factor if we should marry or not. We both knew there was no point in carrying on a long distance relationship, or any relationship, if marriage wasn't a for real desire. And you know that can be kind of nerve racking that first physical remeeting...are we still going to feel the same? Is it going to be awkward? AHH. Those thoughts went through both our heads before I picked him up at the airport. Well, it WASN'T awkward and it still felt the same! That first day even we knew it still felt right to be together and we ended up having literally THE best month of our relationship. We still talk about how that was the best time.

So that month we decided to get our version of "promise rings". And I think when he left back to Switzerland at that point we weren't sure when we would be getting engaged...I always had in my head that I would date someone for a year before getting engaged. A few weeks after he left, while talking to two of my girlfriends, they helped me realize that if I knew I would be marrying him and that if I loved him, WHY wait? It hit me, and I realized, for myself, that that was right. Why wait? A couple months later, in October, I flew back to Switzerland, knowing I would be proposed to. Which was 8 months after we started dating, so really not that far off. :) AND we were married the following April...WHICH was over a year from when we started dating. So I didn't sacrifice my principles too much. I knew Jachen, I knew how he felt about me. This was the first guy I never had trust issues with. He always made it very clear how he felt about me. I knew this is the guy I want to be happy in life with and this is the guy I want to struggle in life with.

Jachen is sweet, friendly, caring, smart, open, comfortable, makes me feel safe, fun, funny when he doesn't try, dorky, laid back, loving, ready to help, spiritual, righteous, understands me, willing to improve and better himself, makes me a better person, gives the best hugs and is the perfect match for me.

I am happy I let myself let the right guy come along, that I didn't waste so much of my single life having lots of boyfriends. Happy that I didn't settle. That I not only acted on my heart, but my mind and made it make sense in my mind. Happy that I was able to become me so that I can be much much better with him.

I don't believe in the phrase "all you need is love"...because in marriage, you do need more than love. Obviously love needs to be the foundation, but you need to also be smart and chose someone good for you, you and the rest of your forever.

And you need someone who will take you to Paris. :)

Happy Valentine's Day! If you are single, let it happen. Take responsiblity. And don't worry.


Fuchida said...

Liked it all.

And Dito to the many things you posted about me.

Adding only, so creative, intelligent (not just smart), making mee a better person and caring about everyone and anyone in the world (esp. poor old people that have problems with walking, that we pass by on the street) Thanks for being my special valentine every year until the end of ourlives (and obviously after that)

Jenn said...

Loved this! I'm glad I got to experience that writing class with you in college :) best professor award.

kaitlin said...

cute, liked this.

haha also love jachen's comment. come to the US already!