Crossing Oceans Just to Find You

Disclaimer: this is NOT my story. I’ve got my friend’s permission to share parts of her love stories to all of you, my random readers wherever you are. Moral of the story will be summarized at the end of this post. So keep on reading!! 🙂

The ideas for this post have been brewing in my mind for 2 weeks and finally I’ve managed to put them into words and got my friend’s consent to publish this. Before we start, let me share with you WHY I’m writing this as my last post of 2013:

1. Because I’m a sucker for romantic movies and touching love stories. I want my last post of the year to be an awesome inspirational story about someone’s journey to find love. Since I’ve talked about my own (lack of) love story in my previous post here, I started looking for inspiration from my friends’ love stories, those who have found the right one and have already begun their new journey together as a happily married couple. I wish that their marriages will last long until (hopefully) death do them apart and that the family they created will one day bring blessings to the world.

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2. Because I’m skeptical when it comes to getting to know someone and starting a relationship from a distance, I thought that writing this post can be one of my yet-another therapy or brain-wash session for my hyperactive mind *head vs. heart in love? my head wins most of the time, not sure whether it’s good or bad:p*. When I said ‘starting a relationship from a distance’, it means that a relationship that starts from a distance, guy meets girl online or through chat and they live in different city/country. 1800-minute chat time, 60-hour video call and 30 phone calls later, BOOM…they’re officially a couple. In those months, they hardly see each other face-to-face and no direct physical interaction. Due to the distance and logistic problems, they can only visit each other 1-2 times in a YEAR.

I’d sometimes wonder, is this scenario really possible? I’ve had some old friends from my childhood or school years who would suddenly appear out of the blue and start chatting with me (either via whatsapp/fb message) and somehow we just ‘click’ through those endless chat nights with very little face-to-face physical interaction during the weeks, how can romance blossom from there and eventually leads to a real relationship? I’m a skeptic but my view has been challenged so much these past few years (including by my friend’s story that I’m about to share with you) that I can’t help but question myself, “Should I open up to this possibility?” Sometimes I hit it off better with a guy I talk to from a distance but I’ll always cut it off after a while just because I see that there’s really no point in continuing the endless chats and virtual flirting with a distant ‘friend’, there’s no real future, you can’t get to know him properly and it’s a waste of time???

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3. Because usually a couple that starts organically from togetherness (in the same city of course) and direct contact with each other (traditional courtship) over a period of time can lead to a long-lasting loving relationship. So when one of them has to move to another country for a while, it might stand the test of distance. But if from the start, you are not even in the same city. Will it ever work out? Apparently, it CAN be done. I’ve had 2 examples for this. One was my junior high school friends who started out from a distance between Singapore (guy) and America (girl). Both of them were my classmates back then, I witnessed the constant bickering when the two of them were still young but somehow they are now married and living in Singapore. The second one also has the same distance and they were also old high school friends from the same hometown. They are now busy preparing for their wedding celebration next year.

von 1*for my friend’s case, it’s 12 years*

This is the story of my dear friend, who’s brave enough to risk her heart and cross the oceans just to find her love. Here we go.

She has never been without a boyfriend for a long period of time.

She’s my senior by one year and I’ve heard stories since I was still in the same junior/senior high school/university as her that she’s very popular and lots of boys (not yet a man) would line up to become her boyfriend. Even though she’s popular and smart, I found that she’s very down-to-earth and a fun girl to be with, so I started to know her better and we hit if off (as good friends) after our university years.

We’d often talk about boys during our time as housemates and roommates when we’re out in the working world. So I roughly know her history with all the ex-boyfriends she had. It was a very long painful journey to where she is now. But they were lessons for her. Without the experience, she wouldn’t have come this far (literally, she’s living in the US now, haha:p).

Her first boyfriend was from junior high school days. Back then, I didn’t know her at all. I only heard rumors about her being with this guy in her class, a kind of puppy love. She told me that her mother didn’t like this relationship and eventually asked them to split up. Still young and innocent, she just followed what her mom said. There really wasn’t much seriousness in those days. They were just 15 year-old teenagers. 

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Her second boyfriend was during her senior high school years. She seemed to have it all: a doting boyfriend, pretty face, loving family and good grades at school. This time, her mom was very supportive and ‘in love’ with her boyfriend. She would sometimes joke and told me that maybe her mom should just be with her boyfriend back then. She’s more enthusiastic than her daughter. Unfortunately, this relationship ended amicably when she came here to study. She was still very young and didn’t think that she could manage a long-distance relationship. So she just let him go and started off her new university life in Singapore. As soon as she’s back on the market, new breed of guys (now including Singaporeans, Indonesians and other nationalities. The competition was very tough!!) would just swarm around her, waiting to be picked.

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During university years, I remember vividly about the drama and intense stories surrounding her relationship with her third boyfriend. She fell head over heels in love with this guy and from the outside, it looked like they had a good steady relationship. Until one day I heard that they were having a fight and found out that apparently the ‘good’ boyfriend cheated on her. After that, a lot of our other friends witnessed the bf pleading for her forgiveness and she courageously took him back. I didn’t want to meddle too much in other people’s relationship so I never really asked her why she did that or told her why she shouldn’t have done it. We were not very close back then, just a friendly neighbour next door. Anyway, after the second chance, it went quiet for a while until after graduation and she started working at her first job. When I moved into her house, I was (not quite) surprised that she wasn’t with this bf anymore. Apparently, once you’ve broken someone’s trust, things will never be the same again. In due time, the relationship just crumbled to the point of no rescue. She was obviously heart-broken but decided to move on.

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Her next boyfriend was her coworker and a very sweet guy who treated my friend very well. In those 2 years that they’re together, as a bystander observing them, I honestly didn’t feel that she’s very into her bf. There’s this lack of passion and respect from her side. She later told me that maybe she was just too broken to ever love again (after the 3rd bf) and needed some time on her own to re-evaluate her priority, her needs and wants. So she went on to being single for the longest time ever, around 1-2 years.

In those reflection days, she would go back to exploring her faith and often say her prayers to God, asking Him to give her a life partner whom she can trust again, who loves Him and preferably someone she’s familiar with, maybe an old friend from the past. Incredibly, her wish did come in two forms. First, the wrong guy who came at the wrong timing and second was the right guy at the right timing, her current partner. Both of them were her old friend.

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With this wrong guy, the timing was just so wrong for him to barge in my friend’s single happier life (though sometimes lonely, she’s generally happier during that period). They started going out only a few months before this guy was going back home for good, which means a long-distance relationship if they ever made it official. But he didn’t say a word of that when he left. So after all those intense time together, he just got away with it and left my friend with the darkest, most devastating period of her whole life. Okay I’m exaggerating here, maybe not in her whole life, but dark enough to make her tear up every night for a few weeks and do some silly things just to get him to come around. But he never did. I moved with her to a common room across the street once she rented out her whole-unit in preparation to ‘go back home for good’ and supposedly ‘live happily with him back at home’. I listened to her late night talks, heart-to-heart, on how she felt about him and all other obstacles she faced just because she wanted to pursue this relationship and believed that he’s the right one. I watched all these dramas and couldn’t bear to see her get hurt even more and started to talk her out of this unhealthy obsession. I’ve been there too and I know how it felt. The difference between her and me is just that she’s braver than me and is more willing to risk her heart for love, I couldn’t do that (even until today, maybe not yet? or never? I don’t know. head rules over my heart, probably too much). After around 6 months of struggle, she eventually calmed down and started to let him go.

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Even so, she knew that she wanted to be in a relationship and was still open to it, but now she’s taking her time and got closer to God and wanted to meet someone who can guide her along with her faith. That’s when the miracle came (in her words, a miracle). She got in contact with an old friend who seems to be very religious and wanted to know how they could share their faith with each other. So despite the distance and time difference, they got to know each other and became closer everyday (by chat, international call, video call. Thanks to technology!). By middle of 2012, they were officially a couple. In the next 5 months, things escalated further and she decided to apply for a master study in the US and quit her job. I’m pretty sure 95% of this decision came from her desire to be closer with her boyfriend. She just jumped right into the relationship with both feet in. I was awestruck by her bold and brave move but supported her decision nonetheless. Earlier this year, we sent her off at the airport and wished her well.

Now, as I’m writing this, the both of them have been engaged for 10 months and later on the fiancĂ© told her that actually he had had secret crush on her since they were still in school years, but somehow their paths didn’t cross until last year, 2012. He didn’t regret it though. If they had been together back then, they might not have ended up like the way they are today. He’s a much wiser man now and my friend also had to go through all her broken relationships first in order to finally take a leap of faith and cross the oceans just to be with him. The TIMING can’t be any better than this. 

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So folks, moral of the story (and also a reminder for myself):

1) Some of us would have a drama-free smooth-sailing love life, some would have to endure some incomprehensible heart-ache along the way before finally meeting the right one. Everyone has different timing, different path to take, different challenges to face in life. So all we need to do is just believe that everything will be beautiful in its own time.

2) Sometimes, we have to get over our fear of rejection, let go of our ego and unhealthy obsession, risk our heart a little bit and take that leap of faith. Only then, we’ll be able to find our life-partner, the love of our life, the right ONE.     

What do you think?

Will you cross the oceans for love?

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When I showed the first draft of this post to my friend and her fiancĂ©, they have kindly shared with me their initial ups and downs and I’m quoting them here. *I hope it will be a good learning point for all of us*

We went through a moment of challenges as well, and we both believe it was a process of maturing our relationship. Until today, we still work on our differences. There were a lot of doubts at first from both of us. We were also not sure if this relationship can work out or not. If not because of our prayers, I believe it is not possible. But of course, it is not only the praying that we did. He always reminds me about working as a team in building this relationship, how we should trust and treat each other as the closest friend, be open towards each other. I believe those are the keys that I missed from all my previous relationships before. There was no teamwork, no prayer, no trust, no openness in the past. But now, I am grateful I have found my closest friend 🙂

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Cheers,

Sien

PS:

To: my dear friend. Consider this as my wedding gift to you. I hope he’s worth the wait and all the heart-ache that you’ve been through. So have a blissful marriage ahead and be together through thick and thin until death do you apart! XOXO *big hugs*

To: my dear friend’s fiancĂ©. You’re a lucky guy. Always be good to her OK? or I will hunt you down *just kidding:p*

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