The Unofficial Wedding Vows

Dear Sayang,

Exactly one more month, we’ll be husband and wife.

I’m dedicating this writing in appreciation of what I’ve found out about you, me and us in the past two years and seven months together as boyfriend and girlfriend.

I love it that…

we didn’t begin as a couple at first, we were just schoolmates with no romantic sparks

we met again when the time was just right; at the airport, on your birthday, on our way back to hometown

our conversations just naturally flow from then on, taking our time to know each other better through movie date nights, cycle in the park, hike on various trails and shared meals in random places

your quirkiness and randomness are unimaginable yet adorable

you’re such a stickler for accuracy when doing your art hobby

you’re so patient with me even if my mood swing can get so bad sometimes

you’re always saying ‘thank you’ and ‘please’ politely

you’re giving the best back rub and foot massage after my volleyball game session

and most importantly, I love it that…

you’re just being you 🙂

So before we begin this whole new journey together,

Let’s promise each other that,

we will always listen carefully to what each other is saying

we will always agree to disagree; agree that we have different taste, hobby and character, yet we complement one another and laugh ourselves silly together

we will always care and hold each other in health and sickness, in happiness and sadness

Three simple vows. Will you promise me these?

IMG_0558[1]So, in response to this question? My answer is still a YES.

Kisses and hugs,





Connecting the Dots – You, Me and Us

Hey Folks,

How are you? It’s been a month. I’m doing great, busy like a bee and as happy as a clam.

Here’s my monthly reflection and update post.

But first, let me direct you to a post I wrote in March last year, “Connecting the dots – why you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be”. In that post, I elaborated on how certain life events were connected to each other and what I’ve learned from connecting all those dots. There was one thing that was not explained yet…so here I am, finally connecting the dots in this department:)

As for my love life, I haven’t found the way to connect the dots yet. I wish I could. Anyway, life must go on and it’s up to me, whether I choose to live it to the fullest or regret all those distant events and wrong people in the past.

In 1998, we were in the same school for 6 years. You’re in the class next door and we were in the same choir team. We were young and busy with school work. Besides, back then, my taste of boys had been restricted to only those with sporty-charm-part-of-school’s-team kind. I especially had a penchant for boys who play volleyball. I started playing this sport since Primary 5, so yeah…puppy crush. This trend continued throughout my first 2 years in junior high. You and I were probably not inside each other’s radar.

wpid-d23e881e3b02f8dcfd3e125e645eee83.jpg wpid-1e6fb2a7074244f1ddca6a9b59cc23fe.jpg

From 1998 to 2001, we were classmates. Still nothing happened. Instead, I had this silly crushes on 2 volleyball seniors and then the longest one-sided crush on your best friend. You told me recently, that you knew about this back then, a long time ago. Nonetheless, I still have a very fond memory of this distant event and have even described it here, this post.

wpid-36d467023b10e493c9a51852f6da5b4c.jpg wpid-5a794cde31e1c2f384f4367f14040458.jpg wpid-11bf7eaea28ba6221cdc5139a095be3f.jpg

In 2005, 2010, 2012, 2013, I’ve had a few one-sided crushes and some suitors who came along but they didn’t come close to what we have now. Apparently, they were there to teach me some invaluable lessons on: how to respect and love myself, how to be comfortable and happy being on my own, how to be loyal and committed to my own self-improvement. I need to be happy alone before I’m able to share my happiness and love with someone else.

wpid-286d3ab97a1515aff9e6e827be12d514.jpg wpid-44a65cd958ab8269bb179927ce432dc7.jpg wpid-f96b6d0344e3c1f03f281deffff5b9ea.jpg

In 2014, we met again on that fateful day. We were in the same city for the past 4 years but we’ve not seen each other for 2-3 years. The last time we met were at a mutual friend’s wedding, a reunion dinner gathering afterwards and that’s all. We’ve never talked to one another for long. We were still normal old school friends….until not so long ago *not in friend zone…phew, what a relief*

When I met you again early last year, I was a different person. Beside having my braces fixed in January, I was also more relaxed and happier after completing that one thing that I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve also set new exciting career goals for myself by then. Building a relationship was not my main priority. Of course, the thought of having someone special whom I can share my life with, would hover in my mind once in a while, but I didn’t actively looking. I’ve tried dipping my toes into the online dating world and it was an eye-opening experience. Found out a few months later that it’s not for me and have since deleted all my profiles.

In between those dates and my busy schedule, you were always around. Hike or bike on Sunday afternoons, little gifts every time we met or after your trips abroad, movie nights spent watching animations, had fun and laugh together on dates, just you and me. There were a lot of those small things that were impossible to ignore. I obviously noticed how you treated me differently. There were “something” more than we care to admit. We were probably afraid of being “friend-zoned” by each other. In those months, we’d talk about anything under the sky, except about love and relationship, EXCEPT about us. Anyway, long story short, you and I have finally overcome that barrier.

wpid-64e107d1ed2bb8dd7e4964962a197ed0.jpg wpid-783f1b1468dc4100434a38a898199c5c.jpg

I’m wearing my heart on my sleeve now and having the courage and kindness to finally commit to this. I’m new, you’re new. We’re in this together. The dots are CONNECTED. We really shouldn’t be with each other back in those school years, 16 years ago. We were still too young, lack of self-identity, lack of direction, still finding our own ways.

Now that our paths have crossed, let’s enjoy every single step, be kind and generous! ^_^




*I should change my topic next month:)*

Reading list:

Why People Who Feel Complete on Their Own Have Stronger Relationships

How to Love without Losing Yourself

7 Vital Choices for Happy Relationships

Is “what I want” the same as “what I need”?

Hey folks,

Fabulous February is here. Time for another post.

As we’re nearing the end of Horse Year and my 2015’s plans are beginning to shape up, let me share with you the upcoming projects that have been brewing in my over-active brain. I will share this in the form of my answers on the classic question: WANT versus NEED, including some examples of the things that I want and elaborate excuses/justifications to convince myself and finally take ACTIONS.


2015-2017 Master Plan. Had to write them down, can’t help it:)

The results of a never-ending battle in my restless mind. Here we go!!!


to live happily and peacefully everyday doing what I need to do to pay the bills, doing what I love to do after work and during weekends. While at the same time, I still have the time to relax and enjoy some me-time, be totally unproductive once in a while, e.g.: watching YouTube videos or Japanese & Korean dramas the whole night.

Do I NEED to live like this?

ABSOLUTELY YES. Perhaps for now until maybe the end of 2016.

I got really bored and felt unproductive if I just watch dramas/videos, read random articles day in and day out. My brain needs much more stimulation and I finally found it in the form of teaching:). My aim for this year is to arrange at least 3-4 times teaching session, either in classroom or private setting, weekdays night or weekend afternoon. I’ll take my own teaching assignment or replace other teacher whenever I can, as long as it fits into my schedule. I get to meet new students whenever I accept a new assignment. Good for my network expansion and my brain, 1 stone kills 2 birds.

As for the exercise I need, whenever I’m not teaching, I’ll squeeze in a gym session or Saturday morning hiking or Sunday afternoon cycling and have a weekly volleyball game with my regular buddies. Hopefully, if one day I get to be in a committed relationship with someone I like, I could still allocate 1-2 times a week to meet him. It’s all about priority and scheduling. Anyway, you’re never too busy to be with your loved one, aren’t you?

  wpid-1663cd52fa23d6d1a581ec17abb60633.jpg wpid-fa0c25b5314ba93a4a2614dc2781e68b.jpg wpid-b5236d43e50947c1f4cd3779a6284963.jpgwpid-b38962c262413c225cad7aab0ec7f9e9.jpgwpid-18873186f895c0aecbe759d9e94aedd6.jpg


to go on vacation at least once a year.

Do I NEED to have this vacation?

YES and NO.

Yes, because for me, vacation is needed to refresh my mind, get away from the routine for a while, and experience new places. You might be ‘poorer’ in the wallet after the trip but you’ll be ‘richer’ in experience afterwards. It’s about one’s own priority/mindset and choosing a lifestyle that suits you.

No, if I don’t have the resources to do so. If I didn’t set my budget to include any expensive trip, then there won’t be any traveling this year. I thought that’s the case in 2015. But I saw the light at the end of the tunnel near the end of last month. As I looked at my budget again, after clearing the expected-and-necessary expenses incurred last month and including my future recurring expenses for the rest of the year, I feel safe to include just one trip this year, 18 days, still unknown total expenses. I join a friend for this trip. She’s super excited about this one and invited me to join in the fun. So I thought about it for a few weeks and decided to postpone my other trip and joined her instead. Ticket’s booked. Hope we get to see all the beautiful sceneries in September!! Yay ^_^

wpid-c8147bb431062d52b27b56230c53ca0c.jpg wpid-e73455b50b88f37f5157ddcd34a07aed.jpg wpid-e51f08231a938f39eedb79849746278b.jpg wpid-73a0b388bb9286b81af0714097933651.jpgwpid-4e4496ac4b4dc5278b78b787e595a8f1.jpg


to teach full time and own a business related to language/travel one day. It’s so bloody hard to decide between turning my hobby into a full-fledged source of income and keeping both jobs to enjoy half the benefit of both worlds (Engineering and Education field).

but do I NEED to make this decision now?

Am I prepared for the decrease of income during the switch? lifestyle difference? change of habit? change of monthly budget? being out of my familiar zone? How long can I maintain this slash career? Do I need more free time for myself and for me to build a relationship? When can I take the leap of faith? All these questions bring me back to my earlier post about doing what you love to do as a profession.  At the end of the post, I refer to myself as the member of this group;

3. Still doing slash career (definition – having a full time day job: it pays the bills but not necessarily the thing that you want to do long-term & after work/weekends: doing what you love to do but not really a $-making venture yet) and waiting to make the switch. Meanwhile, becoming a reliable and excellent support system to everyone and live a full life. Good luck and you’re so awesome! (~ goes to myself + my future self + some other friends)

Right now, I’ve found the 3 hobbies described in one of the quotes below. They’ve made my life more meaningful and brighter. First hobby to make money: teach languages, second hobby to keep me in shape: play volleyball, third hobby to be creative: write a blog post or sing in karaoke:).

I have a road map and currently doing baby steps to make this ‘WANT’ comes true. It includes some further study and courses I want to take, some financial goals to be achieved and lots of other things. Remember the snapshot of my 2015-2017 master plan above? Yeah, I wrote them there.

Even in the end, if my life doesn’t turn out exactly as planned, I’d be pretty happy and satisfied with the current arrangement. All is well. By then, this fickle-minded brain should know how to make peace with it and just continue enjoying the ride.


wpid-f5ae9aa9f49c7976345cc0d435e3dcec.jpg wpid-26b15597578a84e4f09af5d6079472d4.jpg


to share my life with another person, to finally be in a committed relationship.

but do I really NEED one?

No. Not really. If I haven’t found the right one for me yet, I won’t settle.

In general, I’m looking for this kind of guy, someone who:

(1) knows what he wants in life or at least be curious about it. He looks for ways to improve his life, takes on new challenges and becomes wiser each time.

(2) knows how to set his priority. Sometimes, he could be the right person, but our timeline and priority in life at that period of time was so out of sync, that it won’t work anyway. Is his priority right now on his career or love/relationship?

(3) is a good person with integrity (preferably well-traveled and a non-smoker).

Everything else is negotiable. We don’t need to have the same hobbies. Sharing one/two interests is nice, but it’s not necessary. And yeah, I think that initial attraction (or sparks or chemistry or whatever you call it) when you go out on the first few dates are also important. How’s the vibe and feel that this guy is giving out when he’s around me? Is he attentive? Is he a caring person in general? Is he a curious person and someone who can hold a conversation well?

Then afterwards, I’ll ask myself these questions: Am I attracted to him? Am I feeling comfortable around him? Am I willing to follow his lead and see how it goes? How long does it take for a man to court a woman and be committed? love confession or declaration or whatever? 3 months, 6 months? Am I willing to wait? I’ll usually think about these in the back of my mind and force myself not to over-analyze his words or actions, as I believe that for the matters of heart, only time will tell. If he’s interested, he’ll show it. No confusion. No drama. If the first guy approaches and has been around for some time, maybe I’ll meet 1-2 other suitors along the way and ended up with another guy or none of them or maybe I’ll never meet anyone. Who knows?

I want a relationship, that doesn’t mean I need it to have a happy life on my own. Any relationship status you hold right now; be it single, attached, married, divorced and whatever; has its own challenges, embrace it and be happy anyway.

Most importantly, I know that I want to have this kind of relationship one day, with respect, love, loyalty, commitment; and put my heart on the sleeve more frequently, instead of hiding behind a huge wall. When I’ve chosen to be in a committed relationship, I’ll do the same as the 3 points above: be curious about my life (and his life too), re-arrange my priority and be a good person. Hopefully, we could also grow better as a person, walk towards a better future together, hand-in-hand.

wpid-4cb9512c91a5b855ad27d221dcc0bc80.jpgwpid-3199a16b21e012b6a158e9691281e7d7.jpg wpid-e3f36e9e9bb2de20b9799840d2312841.jpg wpid-9f7ce9247f1cc51c7aa3c5ee9031c2c2.jpg wpid-84fd3722e202292ae1ff321c771fa726.jpg

In the end, is “what you want” the same as “what you need”?

There’s no exact answer to this. Depends on what it is that you want and in what phase of life you are in right now.

Just remember to always ask yourself this question before indulging on what you want, “Have I covered all my basic needs?”

If the answer is a resounding YES: you’ve got food on your table, roof over your head (rental or mortgage, doesn’t matter), decent clothing, life/health insurance to protect the wealth you’ve accumulated so far and a generally happy positive attitude towards life.

If all of them are there right now, I’d say go ahead!! Plan, prioritize, take actions, GO and PAMPER yourself with what you want: the things that you’ve always wanted to experience, the places that you’ve always wanted to visit, that further education/courses that you’ve always wanted to enroll in.

Even if you can’t always have whatever you want, don’t forget to be grateful with what you already have!




Happy early Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year everyone! 

Be healthy, joyful and prosperous in the coming year!喜气洋洋!

The Hard-Won Lessons of the Solitary Years & Being Single at Weddings by Sara Eckel

Well, suddenly feel the need to put up the links to these awesome articles by Sara Eckel before they get lost in the cyber space.

Most important, I’ve realized I never needed a long boyfriend résumé for the experience. In the 20 years before I met Mark, I learned a lot of hard lessons: how to be a self-respecting adult in a world that often treats single people like feckless teenagers; how to stand at cocktail parties while my friends’ in-laws asked me if I had a boyfriend; how to have warm, friendly dinners with strangers I had met online as we delicately tried to determine whether we could possibly share our lives together; and how to come home to an empty apartment after a rotten day at work.

I realize these less-than-giddy examples may conjure up those deadly words: “desperate” and “pathetic.” But I wasn’t desperate. If I had been desperate, I would have settled for a relationship I felt ambivalent about because I was afraid to be alone. Instead, I learned to relax into the open space of my quiet home and unknown future. I also learned there is a difference between feeling something unpleasant (loneliness, longing) and being something shameful.

Being a single person searching for love teaches you that not everything is under your control. You can’t control whether the person you’ve fallen for will call. You can’t force yourself to have feelings for the nice guy your best friend fixed you up with. You have no way to know whether attending this or that event — a co-worker’s art opening, a neighbor’s housewarming — will lead to the chance encounter that will forever alter your life. You simply learn to do your best, and leave it at that.

Relationships are work, but so is being single, and I became pretty good at it.

I wish the perplexed bridesmaid I was had understood that wisdom about love is not limited to those blessed with partners.



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.


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???


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. 


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.


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.

von 3

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.


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.


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 fiancé 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. 

von 58067913d2c94f9cb04a6b2d19c5cf671

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?


von 2

When I showed the first draft of this post to my friend and her fiancé, 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 🙂

von 7




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 fiancé. You’re a lucky guy. Always be good to her OK? or I will hunt you down *just kidding:p*

Respect, Love, Loyalty, Commitment

259449628503345385_hXOCB0vG_fI may not be the expert in the love department. I’ve never been in a steady long term relationship, except for a few crushes and some potential ones who got away prematurely due to distance, overall incompatibility (different values & purpose in life), unrequited, no chemistry/attraction or just downright disrespectful childish disappearing act (usually by emotionally unavailable guys: either the guy who is newly single, out of a long-term relationship and still can’t get over their ex or the guy who is a perpetual commitment-phobic person).

Even so, I FEEL that I’ve observed enough from my married/attached friends relationship and have had quite a number of crushes & broken heart experience to know that there are some TOP VALUES that are extremely crucial to create a healthy relationship (e.g.: with lover, parents, friends or siblings).

In fact, I have my personal TOP 4 values and I will personalize it with some of my experience with Mr. V, B, W, Y. They are my 4 major heart breakers for this decade. Fortunately, these past years, once I decided to acknowledge my own heart broken feelings, cried it all out and spent more time on myself, all wounds eventually healed. I’m totally fine now and have let the feeling go. That’s why I’m able to write this. Thanks to them, I’ve learned so much about myself and what I want from a relationship. I hope that my next one will have all these four elements and that guy may not be perfect, but he’ll be the perfect one just for me.

Here we go…


respectI found out early on that RESPECT is one of the important elements that we must have for each other at the beginning and throughout all the different stages of relationship. When you first meet someone new, you’ll get to know them, their values, their thoughts, their hobbies, and you start to admire them for who they are, their mind and their inspiring outlook on life. You are motivated to become a better person just by interacting more with him. Without respect in a relationship, either one or even both party will eventually get hurt; not caring for each other, no thoughtful words of encouragement or praises for each other’s achievement. Instead of treating your partner as a priority, you’ll start to treat them like an option and frequently use abusive words to hurt their ego and reject their affection. No respect, no love. As simple as that.

Oftentimes, from this feeling of admiration over his talent or his life aspiration or just by laughing at his witty jokes, the respect can grow into ‘like’. For me, it did. It turned into a 4-year unrequited (puppy) love *okay, pause…start preparing my tissue box, snort…snort…just joking…:p*

Mr V was my former classmate back in junior high school. We were classmates throughout those 3 years and back then, my first two years as an adolescent girl were spent by having little crushes on my volleyball seniors, admiring and giggling away with my girlfriends. I never really noticed him until the third year of junior high. He was a rather serious, smart and talented guy in my class. I was not too sure when and how it started, but from the moment we started talking more about lesson, assignment and other stuff, I started to know him better and slowly having a crush on him from that third year of junior high up until senior years. For a total of four freaking years, beside setting my eyes on my study, I had also set my eyes only on him. What a great way to spend my high school years huh? They say, high school is the best time for you to explore and start going out with different types of boys, start having puppy love, a carefree lifestyle. But I didn’t do all those. I know I know, what a waste right?? 😛

Anyway, one fine day, I couldn’t resist the feeling anymore and started writing a heartfelt confession letter that I carried to school everyday, in my skirt pocket. Well, I couldn’t remember now, how long did I take to muster up the courage and give him that letter? 1 week or 3 weeks?? Not sure. But all I know, after waiting for the longest time, I finally gave him the letter right after school. The letter was all crumpled and wrinkled because I stuffed it inside my pocket for too long. I remember I was so embarrassed that I ran away as fast as I could and was afraid to even check the incoming SMS in my mobile. Haha…silly me! Unfortunately, he said that he liked me before (don’t know when) and then after a while he felt like I was more like a little sister to him, not more than that.

In the end, I earned the respect, but didn’t earn the love. Respect alone was not enough if you want a healthy romantic relationship. There has got to be the love itself, followed by loyalty and commitment. Mr. V taught me that unrequited love is a very painful kind, but yet, through this experience I learned to be brave and honest with my own feeling. That moment when I handed him the letter was also the moment I pat myself on the back for being so brave and bold. I had no regret at all and was very proud of myself. In those years, I also learned the value of loyalty, even though it’s the stupid kind of loyalty, you know, being loyal to a person who doesn’t like you back while shutting down your own chances of having fun. Well, well, I was really a bookworm back then, so there was really no one else back in high school. This tale has been repeated many times before and every time I’ll end up with a smile on my face, remembering my innocent self with the purest kind of unrequited love, just giving and expecting nothing in return.


LOVEIn the beginning, from initial attraction to dating stage, it’s really important to check whether your feeling is reciprocated or not. Physical attraction and chemistry are the things that differentiate a platonic guy friend *oops friend zone alert!!* and a guy who you’re attracted to, whom you start giving more attention and hints to, whom you don’t mind if he starts chasing you. However, one thing about love due to physical attraction, they don’t usually last very long. Once boredom sets in and the initial excitement fades away, we will still have to look beyond the physique and material things. What matters are the soul within, you want to fall head over heels in love with a person who genuinely cares about you, who love his own life and his own family, who can give freely and treat you well. A guy who not only wants you to become part of his life but also share his deepest fear and dreams with you. You want to feel connected with his mind and can talk to him about almost anything, without feeling judged. I totally love the saying here

“Love is a PARTNERSHIP of  TWO UNIQUE PEOPLE who bring out the very BEST in each other and who know that even though they are WONDERFUL as INDIVIDUALS, they are EVEN BETTER TOGETHER.”

In other words, you shouldn’t look for someone to fill in the gap for you and wait around for him to fix what you don’t like about your life. You should be a “full” person even before you meet your partner, happy being alone with your own company. Don’t look for someone to complete you, look for someone who can complement you and inspire you to live a better life & become a better person. As I always say, I’m looking for someone to share my awesome life with:)

Mr. B taught me exactly that, to be happy alone. He’s the last unrequited love that I experienced. After him, I simply shut down, built a wall to protect my heart and started focusing more on becoming a better me, instead of running around looking for love *read the old post here –> Special Entry for Valentine’s Day, posted on 13 Feb 2008. I know I shouldn’t build a wall and be afraid to love again. Currently, I am slowly tearing it down and starting over with a clean slate*

I met him in my freshman year. He was funny, witty and obviously a smart guy, and guess what…he happened to play volleyball too!! One night, in a supper event organized by Indonesian student’s society, I noticed him right away just because he was holding a volley ball and was playing with it. I remembered thinking “Wow, this is great, There’s someone playing volleyball, I can still join a club or something and play my favorite game here. It won’t be a boring university life after all.” I was excited. Then we started spending more and more time together, from gathering people to play every week and starting our own group of volleyball team. We were also studying  the same engineering course, so naturally and unknowingly, I started to have feelings first. I ended up keeping it to myself for 2 years before telling him virtually via msn *oops I did it again*. Apparently, he read my earlier blog post and left me this message,

“There is a saying about this, men are destined to chase. The privilege they have is to choose who should they put their efforts into. On the other hand, women are destined to wait. Their privilege is to choose among those who are coming their way. The right to say yes or no. My advice is to wait. Patiently observe those who are coming your way. Because it’s easier for women to learn to love someone new compared to men. Sometimes it’s not that they don’t want to try, but they just can’t. That’s just how things are. That’s the difference between men and women.”

Now, every time I feel the urge to be the aggressor and start chasing after guys, I’ll remember the message that he left for me. I will mind my own business, wait patiently and start observing those who are coming my way.


loyaltyIn an exclusive relationship, you are only seeing that one person, sharing your happiness, frustrations, dreams and hopes, getting to know them in every way possible. You will slowly build trust and confidence in your partner. The foundation of a good strong unshakable relationship is built from those long-winded sharing session and time spent together. The relationship with this kind of solid foundation can stand the test of time, third party or even long distance. Loyalty is extremely important in any successful relationship. Even with respect, love and commitment, if your partner has wandering eyes and cheating mind, the relationship will still crumble. Trust is not built within a day. Without fierce loyalty towards each other, trust can be easily shaken and it’ll be hard to forget once it’s broken.

It took me almost 2 years to forget a barely-there-6-month relationship *it leads me to this website and I’ve been following each post ever since, here*. The amount of time I spent just to forget was ridiculous considering the short time we spent together. In fact, I didn’t know him really well.

I had been doing really well alone, threading my life and accomplishing my goals step-by-step when I suddenly met him through an introduction of mutual friend.  When I think back, I didn’t even remember that we agreed to become official couple or be in an exclusive relationship. It’s just getting to know each other through the DISTANCE. Yes, distance. I was here and he was there. We’re not in the same country. Those few months, he would come and visit, asked me out for dinner and movies. We would be on ym or skype every other day, catching up. When I’m in his town, we would also go out. He treated me well but I was guarding myself because of previous experience. Within those 4-6 months, I have also met his parents and siblings and visited each other’s house. All these happened while I was living here and he was there. At first, I was just getting to know him and was not convinced that we could get along well with that kind of distance. Normally, a new relationship starts when two people physically spend quality time together in the same town, go for a date once a week and eventually make things official after that.  So when one of them needs to move for a while to another country, at the very least their bond and trust were stronger and their relationship might have survived the distance. For my case, it was the opposite. At that time, I didn’t believe that it can be done, knowing someone from a distance?? Sounds dodgy. Nevertheless, I responded well to his efforts as the respect I have for him grew over time and I kinda like him. So I started looking for him first and we went out occasionally.

Fast forward to another 2 months, suddenly I stopped hearing from him and no more late night chats and video call, no news. I know that he had to go through a tough time that month and I really wish I could be there for him. But there was nothing that I can do, I wasn’t even his girlfriend. I can show him some support as a friend and that’s all. All of a sudden, he just stopped all communications, only replied my message after 1 or 2 days. I was confused and couldn’t comprehend. What was wrong? Eventually, after another 6 to 8 months, I calmed down and learned to let go of him and the pseudo-relationship, forgive and forget. So once I came back into my senses, I wasn’t surprised when one day I found out that he had a new (official) girlfriend who is living in the same town as him. I’m okay. I just wish that he could have the sense to at least say something to me before he disappeared the previous months. “I’m sorry and thank you for these few months. But I don’t think it’s going to work out between us.” Ah well…it’s a history now and I’m glad the wound healed. He might have his reason and I’ve accepted it, whatever that is.

Love, respect and loyalty will not be complete without mutual commitment to be together.


commitment 1Let’s not talk about the big commitment like marriage yet. Start with the small ones like showing up on your date, calling when you said you would, communicating everyday just to share your life and other little boring things that make up a long-term steady relationship. I’ve always admired those long-term married/attached couple who seem to enjoy each other company and they can have endless things to talk about. How can they do that? What are they discussing? Even after spending everyday together, how can you still have so many things to talk and laugh about?  I guess, I will need to experience it myself in order to understand.

Commitment to each other doesn’t mean that we get too attached or depend too much on one another. It’s also wrong to expect him to take up all the responsibility of bringing happiness into your otherwise miserable life or expect him to fix your problems every time. Not at all. Instead, we still maintain our own identity as an individual. We still need our own independence, private time alone, time to recharge our energy and indulge in our own hobbies, meet our friends and all the things that you experience as a single person. The only thing different about being attached is that we’ll get to do all those things with our best friend, lover and life partner. We have someone to talk to, to share our dreams with, to ask for advice from, to eat delicious meals together, to travel the world with, to accompany each other watching our favorite movies (he watches horror, I watch romantic comedy), to cycle and hike together, to grow old together and support each other through thick and thin ’til death do us apart, and etc etc. Both of us may not have all the same hobbies and favorite movies, heck maybe we fundamentally have opposite characters and can’t agree with each other every time. But if our outlook on life is the same, it won’t matter which movie he likes, we can still be a wonderful couple together, sharing our life, complementing each other.

All of the above, I learned from my short encounter with Mr. Y. I was too eager and didn’t give it time to bloom gracefully, so slowly, he got away and I’ve acknowledged this mistake quite a while ago. We’re still friends but I don’t know if the love and attraction will ever come back to us. He and I are maybe of the same type, we’re probably a perpetual commitment-phobic person who’s just waiting for the right one to tear down our walls completely.

So friends, wherever you are, please learn from my mistakes! Nurture your RESPECT and LOVE for each other. Maintain LOYALTY and COMMITMENT to your loved one every single day.

With love,


*waiting for someone to tear down walls…:p, let’s start with a CLEAN SLATE Sien!! ^_^

**how to get away from the bloody “friend zone”?

best relationshipnext time journey end