In one of my conversations with LP, I was telling him about my dating experience with YF. Being the astute person that he is, LP asked me something which got me thinking.
The question was, ‘How could you let him do that? How could you let him get away with that without doing anything?’
To put things in context, I have to be the bad guy again and spill all the beans.
The thing I was referring to is his roving eye. To be more specific, he was very much attracted to another friend of mine, AC. In YF words, ‘He is super hot.’
You see, YF and I was having lunch in a shopping mall when I decided to drop by and say hi to AC, who was working in one of the retail pharmacies. That was the first time YF set eyes on AC. Though I didn’t have the chance to formally introduce them to each other, as AC was busy attending to customers.
After leaving the pharmacy, I had to spend the next thirty minutes listening to the word ‘hot’ repeated a hundred times.
Firstly, I don’t mind my boyfriend expounding on the attractiveness and exquisite beauty of another guy. We men are visual creatures anyway. But there is a limit. And definitely thirty minutes is well over the limit.
Secondly, I don’t mind introducing my friends to my boyfriend, even the cute ones. Trust is important in a relationship, is it not?
Even so, the proper way should be through me, as I am the mutual friend to both. Not for my boyfriend to go find out more information on his own.
I admit it was my fault and perhaps it was taken as a sign to go-ahead, as I gave YF AC’s online personal nick when he asked for it. Not very brilliant of me, eh?
YF then went on to get to know AC online, pretending to be a stranger. They exchanged about two dozen emails between them. Not much of a consolation, but YF promised that he would show me their correspondence, when the time is right. And he did.
After YF identified himself as my friend (notice it is not boyfriend) and he even gave his number, he went on to say ‘I think you are the hottest person I have ever seen. I love the way you type, so cute, so my type. Oh, but this doesn’t mean that I like you.’
Yeah, right. I love every little thing about you, but it doesn’t mean I like you.
Needless to say, I was extremely hurt and disappointed when I read all the messages, the above being one of them. I should have probably ended the whole thing right there and then. It would have spare me some heartache, as the breakup was a week later.
But I didn’t.
Although I was angry, yet when I spoke to him about this on the phone (he was in Penang), I tried to be calm (I don’t know why I even tried - the anger was after all justified).
Even without me trying, the anger slowly dissipated when I heard his voice.
Anyway, I think that is enough context. That is not what this post is about anyway.
It’s about me being different when I was with him. Giving him so much leeway and trust. Bending my values and principles. Doing things I wouldn't usually do. Closing one, no, almost both eyes actually.
Looking back, I think the problem was the overly unhealthy need to please the other and thus giving in too much (though I realise one should not be keeping score on how much he has given).
In other words, I was desperate. I didn’t want to be single again. I wanted someone whom I can call a boyfriend, no matter the circumstance.
I guess you would have guessed by now. The root cause of the need to please another? One word: insecurity.
Yeah, I was insecure. Like a small child who wouldn’t let go of his mother’s hands in the shopping mall, afraid that he would never find her again amongst the crowd.
A relationship very seldom works when one is insecure. Insecurity breeds a sense of dependence. And repression. Repression of all the negative emotions like hurt and anger, which one day would be unleashed. In an ugly way.
Not a surprising revelation or anything, but it does make me wonder. Why was I insecure? In pretty much everything else, I don’t lack confidence. I always speak my mind and not afraid call a spade, a spade.
Another ingredient in the recipe for failure: desperation. Being single absolutely sucks. Or at least that was what I felt at the time.
I started work last June and I consciously decided to not look for anyone special. Heck, I even stopped meeting people. Not an entirely logical decision, but I thought it was best at the time.
After settling down in the work place and after my exams in November, who should come a-calling but YF? Talk about the right timing.
Perhaps the planets were in the right positions or my office desk is arranged facing an auspicious direction or I gave up my seat for the pregnant lady in the bus. Whatever it was, I was almost instantly smitten and a relationship just started.
Someone once said that one should go into a relationship with both eyes wide open (not just the mouth). I can’t agree more.
When a relationship is still young and one is in love, he wears rose-tinted glasses. Reality sets in only much later.
How many people you know who analyse and look deeper and think longer before committing to a relationship? For many of us, including myself, we feel that matters of the heart ought to be ruled by the heart.
But experts say they should be ruled by the head; a lot of breakups due to incompatibility and mismatch could then have been avoided.
I know it is easier said than done. When one is drunk with the elixir love, it is hard to think straight and almost anything goes.
At the end of the day, I am a little wiser now. Though all these will not mean anything if I do not remember the lessons learnt and thus repeat them when the next young gorgeous person comes along.
Writing this reminded me of this song, You Learn, by Alanis Morissete (I feel she writes better songs when she is angsty).
I, recommend getting your heart trampled on to anyone, yeah
I, recommend walking around naked in your living room, yeah
Swallow it down (what a jagged little pill)
It feels so good (swimming in your stomach)
Wait until the dust settles
You live you learn, you love you learn
You cry you learn, you lose you learn
You bleed you learn, you scream you learn
I, recommend biting off more than you can chew to anyone
I certainly do
I, recommend sticking your foot in your mouth at any time
Throw it down (the caution blocks you from the wind)
Hold it up (to the rays)
You wait and see when the smoke clears
Wear it out (the way a three-year-old would do)
Melt it down (you're gonna have to eventually, anyway)
The fire trucks are coming up around the bend
You grieve you learn, you choke you learn
You laugh you learn, you choose you learn
You pray you learn, you ask you learn
You live you learn
Yup, I have lived and learnt.