Love: 5 Ways To Keep It Together

Fourteen years ago, on this very day, I met a guy. He stood six feet tall but he was as shy as a little boy. After a year of boisterous laughter, stolen glances and warm embraces, we decided to be together. Some of the details are now a blur while some of them are completely embedded in my mind. Shooting back to the present, we are not yet living happily ever after. Not quite just yet, but we're working on it. And that's how we should all be in our relationships, always working on it. I decided that instead of celebrating this day with a post filled with all the mushiness that could summon your lunch to projectile, I'd like to take this time to impart some simple, yet sometimes overlooked wisdom when it comes to maintaining a healthy relationship with your significant other.


1. Communicate Effectively. Your partner cannot read your mind, so you need to be able to communicate the who, when, where, why and how, even if you think your partner knows you too well that you finish each other's sentences. If your partner has done something to irritate you or make you upset, let him/her a calm, gathered tone. Don't beat around the bush or worse, don't play mind games because it's just a game where no one wins. If you do decide to point out an issue, make sure that it's not the Terminator inside you talking, because people always say the worst things when they are too caught up in the heat of the moment. 

2. Learn to appreciate the mundane. You won't always have a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious time with your partner every single day because the truth is, the longer you've been with your partner, the more comfortable and at ease you become. You will fall into a routine or you will sometimes just run out of things to do or say. I got my Bachelor's degree in Advertising and Public Relations but I'm brave enough to admit that I sometimes run out of things to talk about too. Heck, Miguel and I could be on the phone for an hour and we wouldn't even say a word. What you need to ask yourself is, amidst the quietness and routine, does the mere presence of the person make you feel happy and secure? The right answer to that should be a resounding YES, if not, then there may be other issues that you need to communicate with your partner.

3. Respect. This idea may seem broad, but it is one of the most crucial pillars that strongly holds a relationship together. Speak to your partner with respect and dignity, and do not talk down to him/her. Remember that you are a team and you are there to uplift each other. Do not to laugh at their ambitions, no matter how shallow, absurd or far-fetched they seem to be, instead, listen and allow your partner to expound on his/her dreams about the future. Refrain from speaking ill about your partner's immediate family or close friends, remember they are also an important part of your partner's life, and if you're not careful, your partner might end up resenting you instead.

4. Stop comparing. The grass is always greener on the other side---but sometimes if you look close enough, it's not really grass, instead, it's just cold hard concrete that's spray-painted green. Why can't you take me out on dates like so-and-so's boyfriend? Why don't you dress up like so-and-so's girlfriend? Why can't you get a better paying job like so-and-so? Why can't we have a nice house like them? Whether you are thinking out loud or not, these ill feelings will manifest in the way you treat your better half. Don't be so surprised if your partner flips you the finger and dropkicks you once or twice when you rehash their failures and shortcomings. Being compared to someone else is like having tiny daggers pierce through the deep crevices of one's confidence and pride. It'll not only make your partner feel inadequate, it's going to make you look like an ungrateful b!atch as well. Instead of just demanding for things to be done, discuss with your partner on things that you can both work on for self-improvement.

Miguel, why can't your abs be like that werewolf guy's abs in True Blood? Porque?

Photo courtesy:
5. Say I LOVE YOU as loud as you can. Put that megaphone down, you maniac! I don't mean screaming in your partner's ears 'til they bleed out. It can be just saying the words more often, or doing the dishes for a change. It could be leaving a sweet note while they are still fast asleep, or it could be holding their hand longer in the car. And if you're up to it, maybe even let them win a fight or two! (I do this for Miguel frequently but don't tell him that!) Did you notice that none of the suggestions above involve buying anything? That's because love is a currency that's much more important than cash and the only kind of currency that's meant to be spent entirely on your loved ones.

Miguel and I have only learned these principles through a little over a decade's worth of both good and (super-sized) bad experiences. You name it, we've been through it...we've had thousands of petty fights (like how to pronounce a word properly or why he's not wearing cologne or he's chewing with his mouth open---I admit, I usually am the instigator of petty fights) and really bad ones that took us years to resolve. No relationship is ever perfect and sometimes we get into really heated arguments but at the end of the day, we always try to remember why we are still here, together, despite having contradicting opinions towards certain issues that we can never agree upon. We both know we just can't walk away from something real. 

Knowing how the boyfriend spies on my blog while I'm asleep, I'm just going to go ahead and say this:

Happy 13 years to my shy boy! I know I said that I stopped counting after 10 but you know me love you long time! 

Let's take a mandatory walk down memory lane (4-10 yr old photos) because I just want to point out that I haven't aged at all but what happened to YOU, Hunny?! Ha!

In a random parking lot in 2004.

In 2006, waiting for the cable car in San Francisco. My mom said I'm too clingy. Ha! 

We are definitely ready for the camera. 2010.

This was taken in Chicago by my ever so talented bestfriend. (Hi, Geli!) Back in 2008.

Chillin' at a club in Chicago on a cold winter night. Miguel called me the Sudafed junkie 'coz I was nursing a bad flu.

We look so disgustingly good together, don't we?

P.S. Thanks to my little sister, Kiwi. If it wasn't for your birthday, Miguel and I would not have met at all. Happy 21st, my little scientist.

Toodles! :)

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