Dear LDR Diary: The Secrets We Keep

A secret is something we don’t want others to know. Something we decided it was best to be kept hidden. Sometimes that something is our relationship. Those who decide to keep their relationship a secret will give you a hundred reasons why they have to. Fears, family, religion, culture… they all play a role in that decision. 

I am one of those persons. I kept certain details of my LDR secret for some time because of a few reasons. I was (still am) afraid of people judging on my kind of relationship. My bf had his reasons too so we decided it was for the best…even when there are times I wish it was just like a normal one.

Last week. I keep a picture of my bf on a shelf in my cubicle at work (the why is a story for another day). I was working on a case and this old couple looks at the picture and one of them says “it’s so nice that you have a picture of your husband here, he is very handsome”. Before I could say he wasn’t my husband, a coworker adds “she is very in love with her husband”. After the couple left my coworker walks to my desk, looks at the picture and says “remember when I asked and you told me he was your adopted son? I always thought he looked too old to be adopted”. We both laughed and I told her I was sorry, but people wouldn’t understand. 

That’s when I remembered that a few months ago I went to Macy’s with my mom and like she always does, we stopped at one of the perfume counters. She saw the Dubai edition of one of the perfumes and joked about how that perfume was “arab like your bf”. Of course that caught the attention of the saleswoman who couldn’t help asking about it. 

A few months ago. The saleswoman walked over to us smiling but I could notice how her face was changing during the conversation. What follows is what I remember about the conversation at Macy’s between all 3 of us because my mom is less worried about people judging and keeping secrets:


Now? Every time something like this happens I lose a little bit of confidence. While there are times I tell myself that I would like to be able to tell everyone…there are still things that scare me (and my bf). We still struggle with those fears, family, friends, differences in culture… But when it is wise and safe to risk it? Is it worth it? Would we regret it? While it is true that we should always be proud of the person we are with, and we are, we are still afraid of the backlash we might receive. 

He loves me. He loves me not. 

He loves me. He loves me not. Those were the words we used to say while plucking the petals out of a flower hoping that the last one would mean that he/she loved us. If they didn’t all we had to do was take another flower and start all over again. Having a crush or “falling in love” was so simple when we were kids. 

We are not kids anymore. Having a crush or falling in love means we “put ourselves out there”. We take a chance, were risk it all by letting our feelings flow… But what happens when that love is not corresponded? 

A bit of insight on a delicate topic called one-sided love:
We’ve all been there once or twice in our lives, and the best way to describe the feeling about this particular kind of love is that we all wish they’d love us back the same way. But it doesn’t go that way. We struggle, fight, stress inmensely, we hurt, get angry, jealous, hopeless and needless to say suffer in silence over that special person. We go thru leaps of faith, post, write things that they’ll never read, that they’ll never know, yet our feelings never whither for them. 

One thing about one-sided love is that you endure the most purest of all loves, because face it if you really love them their happiness is yours as well. Even when we have to face the facts that they’re bound to not end up with you on our side of that sweet love story. 

Still we can’t give up on the object of our affection so easily:

It sounds difficult to process but they’re oblivious and clueless to our devotion and that makes our mission an even more impossible one to complete because we dream they’ll wake up to love us and see stars over us as we do over them.

Bearing our hearts has never been an easy task but our neverending tries go further and beyond words or actions. Our hearts speak so desperately for us as the tears we shed over the simple thought of them.

What can we possibly do?

Actually not much, it’s like a crush when our S/O is totally off course from our heart’s desire, yet there’s love anchored in it for them. They’re either blind or in some cases already know but choose to ignore leaving some of us in constant pain because you’ve either become ignored or friendzoned.

Being friendzoned is one of the most painful phases we all endure. You’re always available to their needs, be it a shoulder, or anthing they wish you to be, you’re always their shelter, their refuge, but once their need of you is over it’s back to square one…only you are in your hearts company.

In the end, love is all about the choices we make and the chances we take. A famous writer said “To love is great. To be loved is wonderful. But to be loved by the person we love is heaven on earth” – Paulo Coelho.

        

Writen by: Gibran Cruz & Dua E Maryam

Happy Birthday (My Love)

Birthdays are special occasions. When you are in a LDR it can be hard to cebrate it the way you wish. Today it’s Ahmad’s birthday and I hope my words reach where I can’t be so I wrote him a little note that I would like to share here. 

My only hope is that we get to celebrate many more birthdays together in the future. 

I Remember Everything

It has been more than a month since I posted something in my blog. Writing has always been a way to deal with feelings and say what I never had the courage to say to anyone, but I was afraid to admit that at this point in time, my relationship wasn’t where I expected it to be. 

I fell in love more than 3 yrs ago and that love grows with each passing day even when I know that people and feelings change over time. I like to think that the world is constantly moving so my love and my relationship move forward. 

Change is inevitable. We don’t always like it, we may not accept it but we certainly can’t stop it. It doesn’t have to be bad, but it may not be the change we wanted or expected and that was precisely my case. 

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately and I kept playing in my mind some of my favorite memories of when I was falling in love (I didn’t know I was) and couldn’t help to think about the amazing man I fell in love with and all the small details that made me stay with him all this time. 

I remember we used to talk every chance we had and to this day, we still do. We weren’t all that open with each other at first. It was really hard to get him to open up but once I could convince him to talk about his feelings, he would say the most romantic things. It’s funny because he was the romantic one, always sending me cute messages and stickers. He was the one who convinced me that it was safe to be myself with him and that I could tear my defenses down after I had build up walls to keep everyone out and my romantic side in. 

Our relationship has always been kind of a secret and even though I have fought for him to be more open about it, it’s still a work in progress. Because of that, we weren’t that open in social media but that didn’t mean we didn’t share things with each other. I used to mark every post that was for him and he used to look out for every single one of them. He used to pay so much attention to detail. He had all of my accounts and he would go through all of them, making sure I saw that he was paying attention. It felt great knowing someone care about all the things that other people found common. He celebrated every detail. So in showing my love I felt loved in return. 

As time went by our relationship became more open and I felt more confident in talking about my long distance relationship when people seemed rather skeptical about them. I talked to my parents about him, to my brother, introduced him to my son (Wow! This was big) and gave him a place in my family even though I’ve never had a place in his. By then, he had convinced me that we were actually a family. For someone who never knows what to say, he made sure he always had the right words to make me feel good, happy, to calm me down and even to convince me that I had to marry him. He made sure I knew that every single day. 

No wonder I always thought I had the perfect relationship and the perfect boyfriend and I made sure everyone knew when they asked who was the handsome man in the picture I had in my desk. I still smile every time people notice that the picture is gone… like I said, everything changes… but I remember everything. 

He Said/She Said

Love means everything. Those were the words he texted me while we try hard to fix all the damage we have caused to our relationship. Sometimes we talk about other people or other situations and then we overthink on the ways those situations apply to our relationship. No matter how hard you try, you can’t help comparing your relationship to others, even though you remind yourself (while comparing) that not two relationships are alike.

When I decided to be in a LDR, I knew it would be a challenge in many levels. We had distance and time difference, but I guess the biggest challenge was culture. Among all the differences that we had, the most difficult for me to absorb was that his culture is more closed, and not as open minded as mine. That includes the way they handle romantic relationships with people from the other side of the world.

Our relationship has always been kind of a secret. I must admit that I agreed to it from the start and got used to the way things were. But as I said before, the situations of others sometimes remind you of your own and in this case, it reminded me that to his side of the world, his family, friends… I do not exist. It reminded me of the struggle I have to achieve this sense of normalcy in my relationship. While I tried to include my boyfriend in every aspect of my life, I felt I had no real presence in his.

With all that we have been through in the last couple of months, overthinking about that issue (the secrecy) added some pressure. I was feeling bad about something I can’t change (and agreed to it since the beginning) and he felt bad because he couldn’t give it to me. We took turns to argue and hurt the other and then we would try to fix the damage we did.

But that wasn’t the only thing I was struggling with. Some time ago I told him that I felt things had changed. Somehow, our relationship didn’t feel the same (I dismissed it because I thought it was because of his time in army) but we did talked about it and even agreed to work on it. I felt that we were back to square one. Back to the way our relationship was when we started and it sucks because I know we put a lot of effort to bring our relationship to a point where we both felt happy before he left for army.

Even today I feel guilty about it. I feel guilty about telling him because maybe I’m the one stuck on a moment in time. The one who can’t stop to think that I knew the rules of the game before I decided to play. The one who is having a hard time shaking doubts creeping inside my mind. Maybe I’m the one who refuses to understand that things change and there’s nothing to do but accept it and move on to whatever comes next, even if you don’t have the same hopes you did before.

gibypea3

Hold on…

I think is rather sad how we feel the need to hang on to something or someone because we don’t want to break it when we finally let go or leave. We feel we can’t hurt someone else, we can’t break someone else’s heart so we continue to be there, cause we are afraid to shatter someone else’s world. 

The truth is we are living, existing in someone else’s world and in that process we don’t move on to create the one we want for us.

Dear 2016…

This is the last day of the year and I couldn’t be happier. This year was filled with many challenges and lessons that I won’t be able to forget. Everything seemed to be frozen in time, including my relationship.

As you all know… Shit Happens (in 2016):

Faces we see, hearts we can’t know. This year my relationship was truly tested. We dealt with people that tried to break us up, insecurities, trust issues, you name it. It was a lot. I feel like I lost something that I won’t be able to get back.

You can take the guy out from the army but you can’t take the army out from the guy. I learned firsthand that people who go to the military change. I’m happy because he has built a strong character and has become an amazing man. But nothing that good is free… he is stronger, tougher and now it feels like it’s harder to see his feelings and make him express them, even during arguments.

A blast from the past. Before he went to army I was very happy to see our relationship move forward and the way we felt comfortable expressing a little bit more in public. Now it seems that we are back to square one and it’s like we are stuck in year one of our relationship. But at least there’s hope…

dear2016letter

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have to admit that not everything was bad. Here are the good things I will take from 2016:

Achievement Unlocked: Survived Army.  Our relationship survived his time in the military.

Achievement Unlocked: Rings to Bind Them. For my birthday he bought me a beautiful ring. I did the same for his. Ehh… does this means we are engaged?

The Strong Woman Award. After all the challenges of this year, I’m still standing.

Medal of Hope. I know things will change for the better. We need to have a little bit of Faith and what every couple in a LDR has, plans (lots of them).

So before this year comes to an end, I have one more thing to say…

dear2016txt

gibypea3