Tuesday, April 14, 2020

We Broke Up

I remembered J and I watched a movie called "Us and Them" when we were in Cork after our graduation. It's about a couple who broke up due to different circumstances, and reunited at a later stage in life. How their lives could have been if they did not break up. Kind of the same theme like LaLa Land...

"后来的我们什么都有,却 没了我们"
"We have everything we wanted in our future, but there's no us" -- which basically means they're not together anymore. Like the WongFu video "Strangers Again" about how two couples who used to be the most important person in each others' lives become strangers again. It's resembles how I felt because we were once so close; we shared all our dark secrets, night thoughts, aims, vision, goals and we pictured a life together...

We never talk during my first year in Cork. We were strangers..then we started chatting at FB messenger, to late 3am textings at WhatsApp, to our first actual date, our multiple vacations, survived medical school together, graduated med school together, endured housemanship respectively, met up every 2-3 months in our 2 years long distance relationship..and here we are, strangers again. How funny this cycle is; a person who I was once so familiar with, could be so distant now.

I trusted my gut feeling when everyone else told me the opposite. I had my doubts, but J always asked me to listen to his voice and listen to my heart. He proved his sincerity and genuineness. Our relationship blossomed and we became official at the end of May. First year in Cork was amazing. We had so many similarities, and our core values resonated with each other, yet different in certain ways but we always respected each others' boundaries.

Unfortunately, we broke up, on White Valentine's, exactly one month ago. 
Initially, the reasons were distance and differences in end goal. 
But I soon realised that these were all excuses, because I firmly believe that if two hearts are strong enough, they would find the reason to continue despite how slim the chances are. Funny how he initially ended things with me through text..

With further discussions through face-timing and texts, I guess I realised he fell out of love. We argued a lot, but I always chose to stay and worked things out. I released my emotions and my thoughts during every arguments, but when the other party is accommodating, they just agreed and try to please instead of having constructive, meaningful conversations. With the accumulation of things, I guess it finally blew up. I don't understand how someone could act like they're perfectly fine in a relationship to suddenly announce their feelings changed and they're now miserable and unhappy about how they were. 

I saw this from one of the online articles --
"Effort was never about the material things. Effort is how loved and valued you make them feel, whether you're together or apart. It's about her not having to tell you what she needs because you already know. It's about forehead kisses and cuddles on mornings because you know how grumpy she gets in the morning, but now when you wake her up right. It's about never making her feel like she puts in all the effort to make the relationship work. It's about making her a priority, no matter how busy your day gets. It's making them feel wanted and treating them the way they deserve."

I guess I felt the lack of effort shortly after our LDR commenced. I voiced it out multiple times, and girls are usually quite intuitive and sensitive to slight changes. I know guys tend to feel tired and repetitive if we kept arguing over the same thing. In my defence though, I felt like the reason why we fight over the same things is because the core issue wasn't resolved, hence it gets recycled. Ultimately, it's lack of communication from both parties. 

I still remembered he constantly reminded me that he was never bored with me, and that he's still feeling butterflies even though we're having LDR. In one of his letters, he mentioned that he's made up his mind to be physically with me, and we'll work towards our end goal of being together regardless of the obstacles, despite sacrificing certain comfort measures. Not that I will allow that, I've always encouraged him to do what's best for him, but it was really a sweet & heartwarming statement. He was so sure.. but somehow, things changed. They're merely words now, which I had hold on to.

Post break up, there's this phase where you'll feel like you're inadequate and unworthy of love. Because he used to be so certain about our future..and suddenly something changed. How in the world when two parties were in love, strived to be together, but failed miserably? You know that Hebe Tian's song.."明明你也很爱我,没理由爱不到结果". I had numerous sleepless nights and was constantly reflecting; Are we not doing enough?! Am I not doing enough? It's normal to think this way, because I did. 

"You know what's the worst thing about somebody breaking up with you? It's when you remember how little you thought about the people you broke up with and you realise that is how little they're thinking about you. You think that you're both in all this pain but they're just like -- Hey, I'm glad you're gone." -- Before Sunrise

I did a lot of self reflection and am aware of my shortcomings. There's no right or wrong in a relationship (unless it's cheating or abuse). I also believe that every relationships have ups and downs, and it takes two parties to make it work. It's easy to blame someone but everyone has flaws and  mistakes during a relationship. A good relationship is working together to overcome the obstacles and challenges in life. It's knowing despite everyone has their own opinions but still respect it, and trying to compromise, and to meet halfway. If you matter to someone, they'll make things work. I think I'm more disappointed than anything because there were a lot of uncertainties, and I knew it from the beginning. However, he tried so hard and he made me believe it's possible. I had hope.. I guess he believed it could worked as well in the first place. In the end, I guess distance magnified the problems we had, and the problems we never really communicated well. Up till the very end, I only had the closure after asking J numerously, trying to find the root of the problem. He did not really volunteer any information to me until I've asked repeatedly..

I have to say though, LDR is hard. It's even more challenging when both of our first love language is act of service. So naturally, it's difficult for both of us to feel loved. Also, I gets grumpy when we couldn't celebrate milestones or festivals together. Distance do matter but it's not main reason to give up on a relationship. After the relationship, all I could think of are our happy memories. He is a good guy, he loved me and I loved him back. There were so many moments in life that he played a role in and I'll forever be grateful for. The times where he comforted me when things went wrong during our travels, the times when I was anxious about exams in Cork or Brunei, the sweet surprises he did for me that melted my heart. Our memories in Belgium, London, Europe tour, Turkey, Greece, Thailand, Norway, Australia, Singapore and Brunei. Undeniably there were arguments during those travels, and obviously, I was upset, cried, threw tantrum, etc...but I chose to remember the good memories. Looking back, the unhappy memories and arguments were petty and relatively insignificant compared to the wonderful memories we had. It's never about what he gave, it's about what he made me feel. A customised charm with our picture, handmade only-one-in-the-world terrarium, homemade oats, cooked meals :) I think we both took each other for granted. I did, as well. We became complacent and we're both not as motivated as before. We might be too comfortable with each other..I definitely overlooked all the wonderful things that he'd done. Grass is always greener at the other side, they said. But the grass is actually greener at where you watered it. 

Fill your heart with full of love so that hate would not be present.  The memories were real and I don't want to deny them. I want to believe that when he said we will get married in the future and raise puppies together, and that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. I believed that he meant it when he said all that, but somewhere along the lines, they somehow became just empty words now. They were real when he said it, just that things changed and he clearly did not feel the same way now. 

Moving on is different for everyone. Usually, it hurts when one party moves on faster and the other party hasn't. It hurts because it makes you feel like that person could throw away something so special so fast, forgets about it and moves on with life, as if the relationship meant nothing essentially. I've lost my best friend, my companion, and my lover...and it hurts a lot. But don't numb the pain. Don't pretend it's not there. Accept, embrace and grieve it. It's ok to feel sad, it's ok to feel hurt because all these emotions are solid proof that it happened. The effort and time you've put in, it meant something so when it didn't work out, obviously you lose a part of yourself as well.

"Imagine you have a thorn in your arm. Whenever you or somebody else touches it, it hurts. So you have two choices. You can either protect the thorn so it doesn't get touched, or you can simply tear it out. The second option makes more sense. Yes, you will feel pain taking the thorn out, but then it will be gone forever and once it's healed, you will feel no pain and will never have to worry about it again. The problem is that a lot of people choose the first option. They protect their thorn, cover it and run away from anything that could touch it. They pretend they're strong, nothing happened and jumped right into the next relationship. It's their decision whether they take life's challenges as opportunities to grow or not, or choose the way of safety and comfort, the less painful one." -- Madga Kay from Bravebell.com

So, I'm healing now. It hurts, but it's ok. I'm growing. I'm improving myself, to become a better person.

Love is a beautiful thing, and it's not supposed to end up like this. Love is the best thing we humans can do. Love is a choice. I've said this multiple times and we've talked about it numerously as well, so I'm sure we both agreed. Love is about external effort and energy, committing and choosing the person. It's an act, and not just words. It's loving someone and standing by someone when they're at the worst of times. Every relationship gets boring and the spark fades, but if you want someone to never give up on you, and love you unconditionally, you need to the same as well. You need to love someone even when they're being difficult and hard to love. That's the realist shit. Love is holding on, but it's holding on together. Falling in love is by chance, but staying in love is by choice. I'm always up for working thing out, if both of us could just communicate and express our honest feelings. But I can't force someone who doesn't choose me. 

J and I are still in good terms. We still talk occasionally. 
I never regret knowing him, and started a relationship with him. He showed me how much one could do for love when we first got together. How much effort that both of us have put in to make this relationship work. Him coming to Brunei, and me going to Singapore..all the sweet gestures and handmade presents (which I truly cherish and love).
There's approximately 7 billion people in this world and the world is so huge, what are the chances of meeting someone across the globe, and fall in love? I always believe in fate, and everything happens for a reason. I'll always be thankful for him, and I hope, he feels the same way too. We were each others' pillar of support in life at one point. To me, truly moving on from a relationship isn't ending the love I feel. It's wanting the best for him even if that means not being together. I believe the love we once had, has the capacity to shift and evolve into a different type of love that encompasses caring and compassion for the person who once had an important place in my life.

No one could predict the future. Life is always full of unexpected surprises; what we want in life constantly change according to the circumstances and our mindset. I hope one day, we'll meet up in person again, and we could chat about how much we have grown, and how our lives ended up becoming. Although we couldn't accompany each other in the future and be the support we once promised, I'm very grateful that you've appeared in my life and we've been through quite a journey. I wish you nothing but health and happiness. Thank you J, for all the memories and lessons in life.

相遇一场,又彼此相爱过,乃是一种缘分。希望我们都留住彼此最美好的记忆。谢谢你努力过。我也真的认真过。可惜不是你,  陪我到最后, 但也十分庆幸这段旅程中有你的陪伴。期待后来的你能快乐,可以真正的幸福,就算这幸福不是和我一起建立的。希望你的下一段旅程会更幸福。

For now, I will focus on myself. I'll take this as an experience and learning opportunity, and be the best version of myself ♥ If it's meant to be, it will be.

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