What does it take to have the perfect relationship story?
When my husband and I committed to be together, most of our close friends would congratulate me and wish him good luck. We were the classic case of “opposites attract”.
My husband was a soft-spoken probinsyano that came from humble beginnings, while I was an energetic city girl who came from a family of achievers. As low-key as he was, I was the type who would bump into friends and acquaintances at the mall. We were nothing alike.
But here we are now, more than 10 years together, with more than five years in a long-distance relationship. Our relationship story is far from perfect, but we have learned, adjusted, and discovered ways on how to take care of our union despite the distance.
Love and accept yourself and your partner – both the good and the bad
I’ve always believed that, in order to love someone, we need to first make ourselves whole. We do not get into a relationship wishing na pupunan ng partner natin ang ating mga kakulangan, o kaya para baguhin ang kanyang mga ‘di kanais-nais na katangian.
Before I met my husband, I came from an unsuccessful relationship story and was raising a baby while I finished my college degree. As a single mom I felt undeserving of other people’s love, but my daughter became my inspiration to bounce back and be a better version of myself.
There were also some things I loved doing that my husband did not enjoy much, like going out to drink with friends or doing retail therapy (sometimes buying things I did not even need!) However, he did not force me to change or to give up the people and things that make me happy.
Being whole means accepting one’s own set of strengths and flaws and loving ourselves for it. Likewise, I became more sensitive to my husband’s needs and worked on my not-so-good traits – not because I was forced, but because I wanted to.
Communicate and support each other
My husband and I were colleagues at work. Back then he used to play basketball at our company’s annual tournament. Siyempre todo support ako. Always present ako sa laro niya — laging may dalang energy drink at panay ang cheer tuwing makakapuntos ang team nila. Ultimate fan girl!
On the other hand, I used to be a member of Toastmasters International and joined public speaking competitions. My husband was shy and not used to striking up conversations with strangers.
But he made an effort to support me in my events. And win or lose, may date o movie treat siya para sa akin pagkatapos!
When he went abroad to work, I struggled with our new long-distance setup. Dahil eight hours ang pagitan namin, nagbi-videocall kami ng madaling araw, until eventually we worked a convenient schedule. And despite the distance, we still make sure to communicate every day.
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Date someone who’s in it for the long run
For me, dating someone whom you can’t see spending your future with is like doing a workout right before eating a 500-calorie burger – sayang ang effort!
Though I also think that being in the ‘wrong’ relationships can teach you much about life and love, I would not want to invest time and emotions once I see that the other person does not have any plans for the future.
Sa simula pa lang, alam ko na that he’s the one – he talked to my parents and his parents that he wanted to enter into a relationship with me. Sinagot ko siya nung alam kong may blessing na rin from both sides.
And because I was a single mom then, I prayed for someone who would love my daughter as his own. Needless to say, siya na ang tumayong Daddy ng panganay ko.
Every relationship story should have a third party
Third party ba kamo? Oo, dapat may third party sa relasyon!
We will never forget a priest’s wedding homily: Every marriage should have a third party — our faith. When we put our faith at the center of the relationship, we become more conscious of our actions and decisions and strive to grow spiritually together.
As a couple and as parents, we both seek to embody the love described in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. Sometimes, we fall short kasi hindi naman tayo perfect. But putting God at the center of our relationship helps us avoid compromising situations kung saan pwedeng magkasala.
Fun fact: May ‘third party’ kami when he proposed to me last 2014.
It was Valentine’s Day at kinukulit ko siya kung nasaan na ang flowers ko. After sending my daughter to school, he said he wanted to go to the cathedral to pray.
We prayed inside the church. At sabi ko “Uy, may bentang bulaklak sa labas, ako na lang bibili”. He asked me to get his wallet, and there I saw inside my bag a rose-shaped ring box. He opened it, got the ring, and proposed to me. Of course I said YES!
Why did he propose inside the church? Because he wanted God to be our main witness!
There will never be a perfect relationship, and it doesn’t always come easy, but we can always strive to make ours a great one. When we commit to love wholeheartedly and be together, every challenge, obstacle, success, and even random moment, becomes totally worth it.
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