Before February ends, I want to share with you what I have learned about love in the past years. I am in my guru mood, so pagbigyan n’yo na.
Disclaimer muna: I’m no love expert—I hold no psychology degree, I don’t avidly attend seminars about love or relationships (never did)…heck, I don’t even read self-help books on love and relationships (or any book from the Self-Help Section in particular)! And Randy and I still have regular shouting matches and cold wars.
Now what gives me the credibility to talk about love? Because I have been in love with the same man for more than a decade, and I know he has been with me for a longer period of time (lagot siya sa akin kung hindi!) It’s still a relatively short period of time for many, but it’s also a long period of time for some. So for whatever it’s worth, I want to share with you things that I’ve learned about love for the past years, which I deem are nuggets of wisdom. I’ll do away with the pa-awwww and pa-witty definitions of love. Andaling i-Google ng mag yun. But what I’ll be sharing with you are my personal realizations about love. These are from the heart, from humbling and humiliating moments, through tears and laughters.
1. Love can’t exist without respect. Have you ever experienced being in love with someone and yet you still fantasize about cheating? I did. In retrospect, I realized that I was like that because I did not respect the person I was in a relationship with. I just felt I was in love, but because I did not respect them, I still had wandering eyes and wondering mind. Of course those relationships miserably failed. With Randy though, I would feel guilty and feel really bad when I cheat on him—get this—in my dreams! Alam n’yo ‘yung sa panaginip n’yo may ginawa kayong kalokohan and in that same dream I would cry and feel anguish and fear because darn—I cheated on Randy! Ganun. That’s how I respect him and yes, fear him. I guess I respected Randy because at the onset, I knew he wasn’t in this relationship just for fun. I knew he was in it for the long haul, and he was a great catch that I didn’t want to do anything to ruin our relationship.
2. To stay in love is a decision and a commitment. This is what many fail to realize. You know when I was young, I used to believe that when the person I’m in a relationship with falls in love with another person, I have to let go without any anger. In fact, I felt I had no right to get angry because hello—that’s what he feels, ‘di ba? Mako-control ba ang feelings?!? Well, the answer is, “Yes.” I guess the “decision” part takes a certain level of maturity, that’s why immature young ones should stay away from getting married. And when you are in a committed relationship and you respect the person you’re in the relationship with, you actually decide to stay in love. We should not rely on our “feelings”, because they’re very unstable. Haller, I’ve felt like punching Randy and pulling out his hair and kicking his butt hundreds of times already. I’m sure he felt the same way too, thousands of times pa! There were also times we considered separating because we just hated each other so much! But here we still are. Why? Because we want to make our relationship work. We both do. We know that the hatred we feel toward each other is fleeting, and if we let our feeling of being annoyed rule over us, we wouldn’t have lasted even for a month. Remember, the head is above the heart. If you let your feelings rule over your sensibilities and commitments, please don’t ever get married. The hot-and-heavy aka honeymon period doesn’t last forever, keep that in mind! And when it ends, marriage isn’t something you chunk almost without a fight and just say, “OK I made a mistake, but I deserve to be free and have a chance at happiness again.”
3. There’s no good excuse for cheating. You’ve heard this line in a teleserye or a movie before, I’m sure: “Hindi ko sinasadya.” Asus! Here’s what I know. Randy and I have been together for a long time. At the onset, a single text message from him would make me blush and fuel my giddiness for a whole day. But later, everything plateaued and almost became routinely. If he used to elicit carefully crafted-to-be-cute flirty giggles from me, time came when I no longer cared if I guffaw like a horse or snort like a pig in front of him. Or bawl like an uncute baby because the joke he cracked was about me and I didn’t find it the least funny. Then I would meet guys who flatter me and shower me with attention. And we girls are bound to be flattered. And sometimes, we “fall” in love nang ‘di sinasadya. But you know what? When you have the slightest stirring of falling in love with someone you’re not supposed to fall in love with, all you have to do is stay out of it early. Deadmakels if people say you are “feeling” or suplada. Better that than cheating the person you swore to love. Just stay out! It’s like illegal drugs: why try it when you know you will like it and you also know it will ruin your life? Don’t wait for you to be near that fine line between technically being faithful and physically cheating. Because when an “inevitable circumstance” pushes you to the cheating side, you do not deserve anyone’s shoulder to cry on when you say, “I didn’t mean it.” Sure you did! Why would you be in the border, in the first place, when the not-cheating lane is wide and roomy?
4. If you’re in a loving relationship, you feel secure. True happiness in a relationship is achieved when you don’t scowl everytime another beautiful girl is in the vicinity, talaga! Call me shallow and petty, but there was a time when I didn’t want Randy or my exes to see some girls. Yes, you guessed it—I used to think that they would think me less pretty or that they would lose their admiration of my own version of prettiness if they see my “competition” who might have trampled my beauty at some point. And you know, it’s so tiring to be jealous all the time! I think it’s even more tiring on other party’s side to constantly reassure and reaffirm, and to not have the freedom to admire someone from the opposite sex. If after a long time this is still the ruling mechanics in a relationship, something is terribly wrong.
5. God has to be in your relationship. I know that this is so trite. I used to think so, too. Parang ang un-cool. But you know, this is true. I wouldn’t lie and tell you that at this point I love God more than I love my husband…but that’s my goal. Why? Because I believe in what our pastor once said during a church service: People will fail us, but God never will. Anong konek? Well fact is that our spouse will fail us many times. And our common kneejerk reaction is to retaliate…an eye for an eye! Then the cycle would go on. But if you honor and love God, you would resist from trying to cancel out a wrongdoing by another wrongdoing! Kung math ang love, hindi siya division or multiplication wherein you cancel a negative by another negative. Addition or subtraction ‘yan: dapat mas malaki ang value ng positive kesa negative para positive pa rin ang result [naks! original yan. (C) Sana lang tama ang iniisip ko regarding integers kundi palpak]. And God is our ultimate giver of love. With Him in our lives, He just pours and pours and pours love into us. Infinite. And since we have so much supply of love, hindi natin ipagdadamot ang love. Ganyan ‘yun.
Image from hisgraceisinfinite.tumblr.com
Before I go, I want to share something with you…something you’ve heard over and over again. But this time, may we (including me of course) really digest it:
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love love love! Good night everyone!