The Problem With (My) Love

After I wrote my previous post I couldn’t help overthinking about it. That is what I do, I overthink everything. I thought that I hated being in love. But not really, I just think I idealize love too much. When I’m in love I always want to be the best version of me. I always want to build something perfect that doesn’t exist. It can’t exist, nothing is perfect. I always see how to be better and of course, not everyone sees the same, not everyone is the same. Other people don’t always see it. If they are content with what they have then they won’t feel the need to be better.

When it comes to me, I’m always thinking of giving and not about what I can or should get in return. Always thinking of how can I make someone else happy all the time; to be a better partner, to do things the best I can so we can have a “better” (perfect?) relationship. Then I ask myself why I do all of that if I’m not getting the same effort in return. That’s when all the overthinking takes the stage… I think about how most of people put a lot of effort to get what they want. Once they have it? Why put so much effort on it? But me… I put on a little effort in the beginning and see if things are going to work. If I see it blossoming into something beautiful, then I put the effort into nourishing it, keeping it and making it the best it can possibly be.

That is how I know the problem is me. I get disappointed even when I know things will not always be 100/100. Relationships doesn’t work like that, we have to be prepared to give 80 in a day when the other person is feeling like 20 and whoever tells you they are supposed to be 50/50 they are lying. But I can see how efforts are not always equal and sometimes is not because they don’t want to, is because they don’t know how to. So I break my own heart. Not the other person but me, I’m the one who breaks my heart with expectations that can’t be real.

Now I’m at the point where I started to question if I was sabotaging my relationships. If I’m giving too much importance to things that can’t be changed (could they?). And I cry every night that I (over) think about all of this because I feel sad and of course, no one can see a reason why I should be. Maybe I don’t know how to balance my feelings.

After saying all of that, maybe I can get to the conclusion that I’m my own worst enemy. Someone told me I was asking too much of myself and expecting perfection. I said that I’m always thinking about how to fix everything and making it better. Not everything can be fixed? well in my mind, it can. So maybe all I have to do is fix myself?

The Little Box Of Horrors I Keep

I have been revisiting old posts lately. In part I guess it is because they are still relevant; they still describe how I feel today. If they are still relevant, then it means that in some way, I haven’t been able to “fix myself” or maybe there are a lot of questions, doubts or fears.

Maybe this is the reason why I still keep my little box of horrors…

There is a box hidden inside the darkest corners of my mind. It will keep safe what we have, will keep our relationship from breaking apart. You see what I most fear is that time will change what we feel. So I go there once in while to put all my bad thoughts inside. Stored away in that dark space are all the doubts that I have. When the trust tries to go away I lock those thoughts inside that place. Jealousy and anger are there too, all part of a time bomb I’m scared it could explode soon. I’m trying to put away my expectations because not everyone will make the same efforts. Now as I watch from afar with a glass of wine in my hand as the only witness to my crimes…trying to keep my insecurities locked inside so my relationship can last. A final toast to everything inside:

For all the things you didn’t see. The messages, love letters and text you won’t get but I wrote them anyway, they got deleted before I could push send. All the things we won’t share; the thoughts, the words, calls, dates, special days. I’m honestly hoping you will care.
All the things you forgot, some promises you broke. The written pages, quotes collected, Pinterest boards created but you won’t get them. The social apps we couldn’t share, no reason now to be hiding out there.
Chances missed, opportunities not taken. Pictures never shown of things and places; a world we could’ve shared but we missed it. All we can still learn or teach the other. Now I wonder why we never take the time for it.
The heart shouldn’t know about distance. I don’t want to give up on all I’m  feeling, trying to keep it away and hidden because I am afraid of all of it fading.
For all the times I’ve tried. I learned the drill: get angry, argue, forgive and try, try, try. All the times I cried because I couldn’t say I wasn’t alright. I never want to make you angry because I care about details in our lives.
For the times I felt neglected. I’m tired of  repeating how to fix it. The secrets, the questions, the plans to build our forever. Because we should start now to make it simple later. every day I hope you understand and start making changes.
I will drink to that and more to come, because I decided to put it all in The Box.

Now that all is done I will leave a note on top of the box. It will serve as a reminder for next time I’m here, to decide if it’s worth it to hide my fears. Remember this was me trying to make this work while waiting for you to play along… “SHE OFFERED YOU THE WORLD HOPING YOU CHOSE HER INSTEAD”.

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Love Note #6

You deserve someone who gives stability to your life, with whom you can go to sleep without having to ask yourself if they will love you tomorrow or not (but of course I will, for the rest of our lives together). Someone who would rather give up on being proud than give up on you ( I will never give up on us). Someone who makes you a priority and not an option, who gives you the place you deserve in their life. Why? Because you deserve love, honesty and respect. Love shouldn’t be a multiple answer question… loving should be your only choice.

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Love of Mine

Few days ago I stumbled upon a video by motivational speaker Daniel Habif and what it said resonated with me. It reminded me of the importance of giving priority and attention to your partner in a relationship. A lot of relationships “go cold” because we make a simple mistake: we stop giving the same attention, priority and details once the courtship phase is over and  “we are sure” we have the other person. I watched the video a few times and spent quite an amount of time writing what it said in English, so I could send it to my S/O. I shared it with him not because I though he was failing at it, but because I want to build the best relationship possible with him. One in which both can feel that we are taking care of each other and giving the other the love we deserve.

Because of this, I wanted to share the part that captivated my attention the most and really touched my soul. I hope it talks to you in the same way it talked to me.

“For me it’s about winning her over 31 times a day, a month. This requires commitment, focus, art. This is about that if life goes round, you go around with her. It’s about her always being on your priority list, it’s about her being the responsible of your “what do I wear today?” It’s about praying together, it’s about being three: God, her and you. It’s about you getting lost, to find yourself in her, it’s about who you are, for her to be. It’s about making her laugh and that you’re the one who ends up melting with her laughter.

Stay with whoever makes space for you in her/his life, because in her/his bed … any stupid one does. It’s about not falling in love with the white dress, neither of the wedding, nor the ring, nor of the house. It’s not about looking for restaurants with stars and VIP lounges, it’s about your best neckline, being your brain. It’s about not wanting to change the other and the other for that very reason decides to change everything for you. It’s about that in a sick world, she is your medicine! It’s about you losing, so that the marriage wins. Many, many say that if you love something, you should let it go. Please! Only a coward would let go of something he loves and does not fight for it. If you do not get it, at least you will know that you gave your life for something higher than you: LOVE. If the gold gets oxidized, it was not gold. If love ends, it’s not love.

And please! Learn this darling: not because you have reached at the end or in the last place to someone’s heart, this does not mean that you are the least important. For me this means, that all the previous ones were not important enough to stay forever. There are those who look for their better half to complete his lost half, but there are some others, that we are looking for a complete person to make orangeade together… for our lifetime.”

– Daniel Habif

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Say What You Feel

We live in a world that makes us hide love when our love or the person we love doesn’t conform to the norms of society, culture or even religion. Sadly, this what teach us to hate so openly and love in secret. We forget that we walk through this world for just a moment in time. That people will not be with us for an eternity and that we run out of opportunities. Because of these reasons, say and do what you feel.  Love as much as you can today because there might not be a tomorrow. No secrets… Share your love for the world to see.

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Love Like Waves… (love note #5)

There’s so much in my mind all the time, but words don’t linger enough in our minds and heart to keep them for a long time. Little love notes help me keep track of everything I wish I could say but I choose not to. Love can be so overwhelming at times, it’s one of the feelings that I can hardly manage and keep under control all the time. What can I do? I’m a hopeless romantic.

Sometimes it feels like floating in an endless ocean with soft waves carrying me effortlessly all the way to you. Why today it feels like I’m drowning?  I don’t even make an effort to go back to shore… So I let myself drift away farther and farther away from myself and all the way to you. Music plays in my head, I can hear Blue October as the sound gets lost inside my head…

“Sometimes it feels just like I’m falling in the ocean
Let the waves up and take me down
Let the hurricane set in motion
Let the rain of what I feel right now come down
Let the rain come down”

 

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Lost in Translation…

The universe has approximately 8 planets, 169 countries, 807 islands, 10 billion people and the internet allows us to connect to almost every place in our planet. Social Media has enable us to reach out and meet people from different cities, countries and cultures and that’s how I met who my friends know as “soccer guy”.

Lostintrans I have no idea how we ended up having each other in a social app, all I know is that he sent a message and we connected… or so I thought. The messages he sent were in Arabic and I replied in English. Didn’t take that long to figure out that it was going to be very difficult trying to communicate and develop a friendship. To my surprise, neither of us gave up trying to get to know each other.

Now here comes the fun part: he is six hours ahead of me, so every time we talk, one of us is falling asleep. The language barrier itself is another funny thing. He speaks Arabic, like 10 words in English and maybe 5 in Spanish. I can speak Spanish, English and a few words in Arabic, most of them romantic or very basic. We can understand half of what the other is saying. We have to make up for the rest. He talks to me in Arabic and I love it but can’t understand 3/4 of what he says. The same with my English, he just looks at me and laughs.

You may be wondering how we are able to video call and have a conversation. Easier said than done… we use 2 phones, one to video call and the other to translate and show the other (or play the audio). In my opinion, Google Translate gets approximately 20% of translation wrong. It doesn’t help that he is Egyptian and his Arabic is a bit different. We try to get meaning from the other 80%.

He says our language should be Arabic but he will try to learn English or Spanish out of love. He is perfectly romantic (in his language) and he knows I only get half of what he says so he laughs and says “I love you so much” and while I know he doesn’t mean it, it sounds sweet and it’s too damn funny.

While we are lost in translation most of the time, we have fun. We congratulate the other on all the wrong dates (holidays) , we talk about our (yes ours) cat that I think is missing,  the apartment he is saving money to buy because he doesn’t get that vacation means I will go there for like a week or two  and the marriage that I think we both agreed to without realizing what we were saying yes to. Though we managed to clear all the misunderstandings, this is a funny guy I would love to meet.

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A & J : A Love Story In The Making

Everyone who knows me knows I’m a sucker for a romantic story. So I’m sorry for the friend who complained about me writing about love… I promise I will tell you some other stories, just not this time.

This time, I will tell you about A and his friend J. I met A last summer, he was working a summer job through one of those youth government programs and was placed at my office (another government agency). Like any other teenager, A was involved with sports, friends, and social media. What really caught my attention was that the highlight of his summer was the visit of a longtime friend. For the time that he was working at my office, I heard a lot of things about J. His eyes would lit up every time he talked about her and I just wanted to know more as days passed because this was a real love story in the making.

A and J were best friends growing up together until J’s mother moved her to the U.S mainland. You would think that they would grow apart since they were not only physically apart, but both involved in normal teenager things. To my surprise when I asked A about it, he told me how they decided to keep their relationship long distance by calling each other, texting, video calling and of course, the help of social media, our ally in the battle against long distance.

I was clearly impressed by A and his commitment even when other teenagers didn’t seem to have his level of understanding and faith in a relationship like this. He is very mature in everything regarding his LDR and his future plans with his S/O. Now this here is something you don’t see every day – a guy with a plan! They have one more year of high school before they can start to close the distance and they are not taking any steps back. He is very sure j is not only her S/O but her soul mate… he was sure of this since they were younger.

I know a lot of people will think or say that they are too young. But let this be an example of dedication, effort, commitment…all key ingredients to build a lasting relationship. Let this be an example of what love can do if we learn to nurture it from a young age. Let this be an amazing love story (in the making).

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Drowning In The Sea Of Life…

Part 1 – Part 2

There’s a song by Ricardo Arjona that describes falling out of love and a relationship dying/ending as a slow progressing illness. Kind of like what happened to my relationship. Listening to it makes me think about how all the signs were there but either we chose to ignore it or we thought we could work harder to make things better. I even remember a friend mentioning that if we missed a window of opportunity, the relationship would surely die. The thing is that no matter how much you think about it and see the signs, you try to do the impossible to save it.

The beginning of the end. In August 2017,  with the help of my Sis , I planned (and paid) my dream vacation with my S/O in Egypt. For reasons I will not detail here, we ended up canceling the trip 2 days before I was supposed to travel (December 2017). I was devastated but I tried to keep a positive attitude when we talked about it and made all the promises that I knew we wouldn’t keep. It was really hard to come to terms with what happened. In part because we had months to prepare for it and some of the reasons why we canceled could’ve been avoided or worked with if addressed on time (not 2 days before traveling) and the other part is because in a LDR a meeting can take months or even years to schedule due to different life events. In our case we waited for college and then army. Needless to say, it took us some time to get our relationship back on track after that blow.

The second time around. Fast forward to 2018 and me making plans again. I talked to both the airline and travel agency back when the trip was canceled and they both told me the same thing: the ticket was still on hold but in order to re schedule it, I would have to pay a fine. In August 2018, exactly one year later,  I called the travel agency to re schedule my trip to Egypt. I was surprised to discover that I didn’t have to pay a fine exactly, instead I had to pay the difference between what I paid back in 2017 (around $1376) and the value of the same trip at that moment (around $3200). I wasn’t prepared for that. I had saved more money to pay the fine and make extra arrangements but nowhere near the almost $2000 I had to come up with in like 3 days. That’s the amount of days I had to make it work 3 days.  I had enough money to cover a place to stay and all other expenses while traveling but not enough to include that amount and there was no way I could come up with all of it in 3 days. I talked to my S/O about all of it but I knew he was unable to help at the moment. 

Drowning in the sea of life. At that point in our relationship I have to admit that I was evaluating if trying again was the right choice. My S/O was convinced we could make it and didn’t want us to give up.  We thought we’ve seen the light at the end of the tunnel when he got a new job. That job put him away from home, in a shared bedroom without free days until after 30 days approximately and further away from each other as a couple. Our jobs, time difference, our lives… our relationship was slowly drowning. I remember his first days off we barely talked because his siblings were home for vacation. At this point, I knew there wasn’t enough interest in our relationship.  Text messages became repetitive, almost like copy paste. Conversations became superfluous. I guess I was just waiting for an imaginary lifeguard to throw me/us a lifebuoy. 

The end (December 3, 2018). Like i said at the beginning, it was all about seeing the signs, but doing the impossible to save it. In the end, I found the courage to ask an impossible question: When did our relationship ended? He never answered when but he agreed that our relationship ended and that we killed it. After that I had to ask the next impossible question: What do you want? his answer was clear. 

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After everything is said and done you are left with more questions than answers. You are forced to think about how it all went down and ask yourself if there was something you could’ve done or should’ve done to change the outcome. Your answer will always be yes and you will torture yourself replaying all of the possible scenarios in your head because after all, you know what they say… pain is inevitable but suffering is optional. Maybe I will talk more about that later. 

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