the unusually extrovert post about my past relationships

As I scrolled through my own blog (yes, I’m that narcissistic), I just realized that it’s been very long since my last post sharing my experience (like it matters).

As I’m preparing for my wedding, my thoughts would go to the past. (Yes, only thoughts, no text messages or meet ups with the exes.) One thing that I shared a couple of times on my social media but have not yet explained is this quote I received from a friend who also shared her friend’s post. Hence, the origin is unknown, really.

During my school days, I was not a regular girl. I was always the easily-angry-to-boys kind of girl back in junior high, so I didn’t really have a lot of boy friends back then. It was even worse in high school, since I went to an all-girls school. Then I went to engineering school, where most friends are boys and no girl in engineering school is considered a girl by those boys. Especially because I was a tomboy. So there goes my teenage and early adult years with no boyfriend. Of course, as a normal girl, I liked a couple of junior high seniors and a few college friends, but I was never really in a relationship with anyone. (Well, technically, I was in a relationship, for a few days, and it was back in junior high school when no relationship really matters – except for those couples who managed to maintain the relationship up to their adult ages, which are very rarely found.)

Here goes the list:

  1. My first boyfriend was my best friend in uni (or so I thought). Back in uni, we went through an inseparable phase. We would’ve spent the whole day together; we studied and hung out together. Oh, we even went on a holiday together (to clarify, the holiday happened before our relationship started and we went together with 7 other friends). It was really sad when the relationship ended only after the count of months. Apparently, we were in better state as friends than as a couple and I regret the relationship not for the spent time, but for the loss of a good friend.
  2. My second boyfriend was by far the longest relationship I ever had (by the time I’m writing this post). Learning from my first relationship, I was a bit traumatized by same-aged guys. So I got myself involved with this older guy. He was so perfect: mature, smart, caring, spoiling, emotionally stable.. we even survived long distance relationship. I was so sure he was the right guy for me, until his imperfection started to show, one by one. From here, I learned that nobody is perfect.
  3. My third boyfriend, who I’m about to marry, was found after a long 3-year of singledom. After the second break up, I went through all the desperate times up to the moment that I was actually enjoying myself and thought I wouldn’t need anyone else to be happy (and so maybe I wouldn’t need to marry ever). Just as I felt so full of myself, this guy came into the picture, slowly but surely presenting himself in my life to the point I got used to his presence and was afraid of losing him. What’s so different to the previous relationships is the fact that everything is so easy with this guy, even from the start. He’s a total opposite of both my exes, so at first I thought things would never go as smooth as I wanted it to, but it turns out that this is the easiest relationship I’ve been in. We are so much alike, we understand each other easily, and we keep being 2 separate individuals, ourselves, instead of getting co-dependent on each other.
  • So here I am now, thinking that I’ve finally grown up, having fallen in love with 3 different guys, each with a different background and story. I cannot really relate to the few last sentences, not yet, but I know now that in the end, everyone will get the love that s/he deserves, and until the time comes, the best thing one can do is to prepare to be the best version of himself. Every life story will be beautiful in its own time.
  • To my exes, if any of you is reading this: thank you for sharing your past with me. Life goes on, let’s not look back to ‘what if’s and ‘how it was’. Be grateful for what’s happened, move on and accept the fact that we can never go back to the way we were before the relationships happened, no matter whatever words we exchanged when we broke up. πŸ™‚ Let’s face it: we are all happy with our lives now, and that’s all that matters.
  • *I reckon this is the better way of sharing my message rather than directly messaging people as this media is a one-way communication.
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    about marriage (part 2)

    Recently I revisited my old post ‘about marriage‘ and, realizing I wrote that back in 2013, my first response was grateful. Apparently I was mature enough back then; I’m now 30 and preparing for my wedding day without any single thing from that post changed. Of course, even more friends and colleagues have been asking me every chance they got (about when I will get married) in the past 4+ years, but as I got older, I tend to ignore others more and enjoy myself more (to show it, I would have smiled instead of answering the questions).

    I’m proud to say that in 4 years, I have achieved a lot of self goals and not ashamed to admit that I made mistakes/failures too.

    For those of you who are in hesitation of whether or not to marry, please keep these things in mind:

    1. Marriage is the matter of ‘who’ will be your spouse. Everyone has to admit that your partner is the most important factor for a successful and happy marriage. Nobody can define your happiness, but living with someone you can’t stand for the rest of your life will surely give you hell.
    2. Marriage is not the end. Instead, it is the start of a new life. Several years ago, I used to share a meme with my friends. Most guys believe that marriage will be their end. The fact is (and my guy friends corrected me at times) marriage is the start.
    3. Marriage is not the only way to happiness. Many people, especially in Asia, believe that you will be happy after you’re married. Having lived for quite some time being single (not married, I meant), I have to say that everyone has to actually build happiness within himself, with the things he achieves, before he can be happy with anyone else. Hence, marriage is not the only way of happiness. Being single doesn’t make anyone lack happiness.
    4. Marriage should be a union of two people who are ready for commitment. If you hesitate now and then, then maybe you should ask yourself if you’re ready for marriage. This readiness doesn’t depend on how old you are, but certainly on how mature you are. I’ve seen some friends happily married since they were 23, while at the same time seen some getting married at the age of 23 only to find them divorced at the age of 25. In my case, I become ready when I found the right guy (hence, back to point 1).
    Image result for marriage is the end meme
    One of the memes I used to send to my guy friends who were about to get married

    daddy’s little princess (another post for girls)

    Dear Ladies,

    I’m writing to let you know that every woman will always be her daddy’s little princess, no matter how old she is.

    I am now 30, still live with my parents (in Indonesia, a child would normally live with his/her parents until s/he’s married unless there are special conditions, e.g. working in different city or having bad relationship with parents), hence have curfew. It was a big problem at first (read: when I first moved back in to my parents’ house), having most of my colleagues coming from outside Jakarta (they don’t live with their parents), but as I’m getting older, I instead use it as an excuse to run away from office’s ‘social events’. It is almost always, by the time I’m first invited to those ‘social events’, people would look at me strangely, wondering my parents’ curfew. They would sometimes ask me how old I am that I still live by the curfew. (To which I would just smile and replied: their house, their rules.)

    The frequently asked questions are then:

    Q: Does the same rule (curfew) apply to your sister?

    A: Yes, and even worse sometimes. There are times when my parents would have looked for my sister when she’s not home at 7 PM. (They would start looking for me when they don’t listen from me until 8 PM.)

    Q: Aren’t you disturbed by the rule, given the fact that it disables you from joining events?

    A: The fact that the rule exists will of course disturb me the most, but I always try to see things from my parents’ views. They just want to make sure their girls don’t fall into false ‘friendships’ (in their world, the word means: Jakarta’s night life).

    Q: If you are that much disturbed, then why didn’t you do something?

    A: I tried asking my parents if they would allow me to stay over at a friend’s house so they won’t need to be worried with me coming home late, but their answer was also big NO. Instead, they make the curfew flexible at times (with notes: I go out with friends they know, to certain events e.g. music concert/friend’s birthday celebration/company event, and will arrive home in the safe hands, i.e. either dropped by a friend or by a trustworthy taxi) to make sure I come home afterwards.

    The turning point for me was when a friend’s daughter was just born. After a year or so, he told me that as his daughter grows older, he naturally becomes more possessive of her that he’s thinking of sending someone out to tail her by the time she asks his permission for dates. LOL. Of course, he hasn’t gone through what my father and I have, but for sure that’s what my dad would have thought when he just had me. And my sister, of course. I’d then realized that whatever my dad does, he’d always think of me as the little princess I once was, and I will always be one for him.

    All in all, my dad’s sure become a role model for me – he’d successfully been the kind of guy I want to marry (with some improvements here and there), and I wish my future husband can also be the kind of guy my future daughter(s) would want to marry. He cares about me more than any guy in this world ever does, and will still be. Your father might not say his feelings out loud, but his actions scream it in the greatest way.

    Love you, dad.

    XOXO

     

    what I wish I knew when I was 20

    True, I lived alone in a lodging when I was 20 years old. I was in my 3rd year of undergrad and felt like I knew a lot of things. Truth is, I knew nothing back then. Now I wish I knew these things:

    1. A relationship can either be toxic or healthy. Yes, I was never in a relationship when I was 20. And I’ve been in 3 in the past 10 years. And yes, I have been in both the toxic and healthy ones. To put it simply, healthy relationship will make you a better individual, while the healthy one the opposite.
    2. Your career is determined by your first job. Well, how could I have known it? I was just a 3rd year student, still more than one year away from having to think about working. I didn’t even think much about graduating. LOL. Thank God I have my mom who guided me well during the job offer selection. (Otherwise I might have been trapped into working a job I will regret later.)
    3. Your family will be the part of your life that you appreciate most. Everything in your life starts with your family. Now that there are many sad stories about broken home families I heard, I’m feeling even more grateful for the family I was born into. It is true that you cannot choose which family you’re born into, but in most cases, they are the persons who will love you unconditionally.
    4. Who your family is or where you went to school doesn’t matter in life – who you are does. During school years, most students are dependent to their parents. That’s why most children will feel that family and school are important. The opposite will happen after you’re becoming an adult – who you are matters.
    5. Getting a job that pays you decently is hard, but managing to collect money is even harder. I was a fresh graduate when I worked for my first job, with lower salary than most of my male college friends. I’d then continued to Master’s, where after graduating, my first job also paid me lower than most of my male friends. According to research, women tend to get lower pay due to lower self esteem and easier to be negotiated. This is because women have the duty of taking care of their families more than guys do, making them less productive and work less hours. I think I should just live with the fact and stop living a fancy lifestyle, no? ‘No’ would be my answer then, still tempted to eat at fancy restaurants, have coffee at fancy cafes and go on holidays now and then. πŸ˜€ Those, for me, are money well spent – an even better investment than bank deposits.
    6. Your friends are not gonna be with you forever – they get lost with time. Research proved that friendships that last more than 7 years are going to last forever. From my experience, only a few high school and college friends are still in contact with me. And even fewer that I still regularly meet. Sometimes I think my parents are right – no friendship lasts forever.

    (for girls) types of guys and how to deal with them

    **Disclaimer: I’m not a real pro when it comes to dealing with guys; I’m just sharing my experience here.**

    As I’ve told you in my previous post, I was single for 3 years before I finally decided to settle down with my boyfriend. During those 3 years, I had met some guys from different background and hence different ways of approach.

    1. The geek. Working in an engineering company, by default I meet this type the most. Say it the guys who are ‘trapped’ in engineering world that they will sporadically approach any girls around them, to the ones who are so consumed in their own worlds. Basically, the geeks are nice guys, regardless of whether they have weird sense of humor or simply weird habits. Most geek guys are shy, so it is highly likely that they will just be your secret admirers and help you in any way they could. Some girls might find geeks beneficial in the way and even ‘use’ their kindness.
    2. The nervous. I separate this category with no 1 because geeks are not necessarily nervous when facing girls. Sometimes the nervous are just them who are not used to be friends with girls. The most noticeable sign of the nervous is the stumbling they make when they speak or act.
    3. The stalker. You might not realize this type exists, but they might know everything about you. They know when and where you came to school/work everyday, where you have lunch, where you hang out after work, etc. etc. Sound creepy? It’s a yes for me. Most stalkers are nice guys, though. They will not hesitate to send you flowers if they find out you like them, or give you things you need most in time. Be careful with the aggressive ones, still.
    4. The initiator. Or the aggressive, I can say. This type initiates most of the things you’ve been through together. They will be the ones introducing themselves to the girls they like, asking us out on dates, and contacting us frequently to make sure they are within our radar. (P.S: I was mostly attracted to the initiator – only after then I realize that I need constant attention.)
    5. The humorist. They are the type of guys who will cast out jokes or do stupid things to make the girls laugh. Consequently, they will highly likely become the guys girls closest to and feel comfortable with. The downside of the humorist is they’re often trapped in the friend zone.

    Whichever type of guys you’re facing, the most important thing to remember is to instantly make a distance and tell them when you’re not interested as to not give them false hope. Never take their kindness for granted.

    to the broken-hearted 25s ladies (P.S: happy ending is for everyone)

    Dear Beautiful Ladies,

    I am writing this ‘letter’ to motivate all of you who are broken hearted, especially if you are 25 years old or older. Hopefully this will help you find yourself (a) happy ending(s).

    First of all, let me tell you a story about me and my ex (for privacy purpose, let’s refer to him as A). We met when I was 23, very young and pure (I didn’t even drink beer back then), and he was 27. We worked at the same company, so you can say that we had cinlok (‘local’ love) at first. Then I went to Australia for Master’s, and we somehow managed to maintain the long distance relationship until I came back to Jakarta for good.

    Long story short, we had always planned for a serious relationship, so it wasn’t very shocking when we finally discussed about marriage. Being a defensive kid to my parents, I still needed (and still do) their blessings for the big step of my life. When I brought up the topic to my mom, she only replied with a question: “Are you sure he’s the one?”, which I could not answer confidently. She’d then suggested me to rethink about it, and after a careful thought, I decided to break up with A. It wasn’t an easy decision; both A and I were badly heartbroken. I never really know what happened with A, but for all I know, he’s happily married now (which was another reason for my second broken heart with him).

    It’s just natural that I spent several months despairing about our break up, and another 3 years looking for the best guy. I might be a strong girl that I didn’t think about committing suicide or depending myself on drugs that might kill me as well, but I did drink alcohol (which I never did before!) and thought about smoking (thank God I was surrounded by good friends who prevented me from doing so) during the desperate times. I became a different person to my family and friends, keeping a distance from them. Oh, and I cried a lot too. Time really heals any kind of wounds.

    Soon after I made peace with myself (and family and friends), good things keep coming to me: I found myself happiness, made new friends, reached a career goal, achieved self actualization, and went to amazing places that I never thought I would visit. However, I was still single; I was happy being single at first, cleansing myself from all the downsides of being in a relationship until at one point, I felt that I needed a boyfriend, so I started looking. πŸ™‚

    The journey of finding the best guy was not an easy one, as I was looking for a life partner, not just a boyfriend for fun. Hence, 3 years were spent. I dated some guys and even tried online dating (which doesn’t work for me!), got my heart broken several times, and was involving myself in a drama (re: dating 2 guys at the same time) before I decided to settle with ‘the one’.

    How to decide if someone’s ‘the one’:

    • Keep in mind that a perfect guy doesn’t exist (he only exists in fairy tales).
    • Keep yourself open for options before settling down.
    • Pay attention to yourself: if your heart beats faster every time you’re with the guy, then he’s not the one (and you should probably check yourself to the cardiologist :P). ‘The one’ will make you feel calm, comfortable, and at peace when you’re with him.
    • Pay attention to the surroundings: when you’re destined to be with someone (‘the one’), your surroundings will change too. This includes your family and friends support you, the universe seems to send you fortune and luck, and you just ‘click’ like you’ve known the person for your whole life, even though you just met him recently.

    Ladies, I know that you might be totally heartbroken at the moment, or even decided that you don’t deserve to be happy with a significant other ever. Please feel free to think and feel the way you want to think and feel. When the time comes, all those feelings and thoughts will be over. Fill your days with meaningful things, smile a lot, and accomplish any dreams you have. It is when you’re happiest with yourself that you will find love.

    Everything I write here will sound too dreamy for you, but it’s the truth – I went through it all. You have to believe that if I can, then you can too.

    Be happy and love yourself.

    XOXO,

    Inez

    on falling in love

    (taken from weheartit.com)
    (taken from weheartit.com)

    You might want to come to me to talk about things, but you better stay away from me when you’re wondering about feelings, as I’m really suck at it. At this age *clears throat*, I can’t recall the number of times I’ve attracted to someone, yet I’m not sure if I’ve ever fallen in love.

    I read novels (a lot of them!) and the writers would describe falling in love as being: heart-throbbed, butterfly in the stomach, cold hands, smiling all day after small sweet things the other person did, being in a bad mood all day after being ignored by that person, seeing the other person glowing, etc. etc. that I can relate to (some of them).

    tumblr_luy8a0WTvq1r421bjo1_500Now that I’ve grown, I realize that falling in love is no longer that amazing. There are things beyond love to consider before deciding to be with someone: the life you’re leading with your SO, whether you guys are on the same path of life, or even the simplest things like your religions. These considerations have limited the love, but it’s essential in continuing life. Javanese has this saying: “witing tresno jalaran soko kulino” which means love would grow as you’re getting used to be with that person, and today I believe that. Other than my belief that the universe will draw you closer to the one destined to be your partner for life.

    People will meet and fall in love with the right person at the most right time if we put our hearts in God’s hands. πŸ™‚