Dating 101

Finding The Right Person Is Great, But It’s Not Enough

online dating
Photo: Pratik Gupta/Unsplash

Tim and I met on Reddit. Yes, that social networking site that attracts people from all walks of life, including creeps and manipulative sad boys who probably still live in their parents’ basement.

I will no longer go into detail about how we ended up finding each other on that platform, but let’s just say that I wasn’t particularly expecting to have anything serious with anyone at the time. I had just moved to a new place and was looking for new people to talk to, hang out with, and perhaps even flirt with. I simply wanted to have fun.

Tim and I clicked right away. Before we knew it, we were already exchanging stories on Telegram, telling each other about the stuff we’d listened to and watched, and discussing our beliefs about a lot of things, including politics and religion.

We were supposed to grab some drinks only a couple of days after we first messaged each other. But since I was not feeling well on the day we were supposed to meet, we decided to move our first meeting—our first date—to my birthday.

We agreed to date exclusively less than two months after our first meetup. It was shocking at first, of course. But I guess my stubbornness just prevailed. I just couldn’t say no to love, and I didn’t want to let him go.

That was three years ago, and we’re still together. Imagine, we haven’t even had a major fight. Besides the fact that we think very much alike and have the same values, we both believe that as intelligent people, we should approach things more logically instead of letting our emotions carry us away whenever we have disagreements. That’s what we have been doing.

Things have been pretty smooth for us, and I cannot ask for more. And, to be very honest, there are still moments when I can’t believe we met on Reddit. Of all places!

Sometimes, Tim and I talk about how things would have gone had we met each other when we were younger.

What if we were classmates in college?

Tim is certain I wouldn’t be interested in him at all. He once said I’d probably be turned off because all he cared about back then was computer games. He even missed classes and didn’t care much about grades because he would go to internet cafes.

Good point. Since I was a working student, I hated wasting time as well as anyone who appeared to be wasting time.

What if we met elsewhere a couple of years later?

Well, I think we would not work, either. I had a lot of unresolved issues in the past, and it wasn’t until 2018 — the same year Tim and I met — that I was able to address many of them. I would have just ruined things between him and me had we met earlier.

Considering these points, I can confidently say that we really met at the right time. Sure, we got very lucky.

But of course, luck doesn’t deserve all the credit for our amazing love story. It may have played an important role in it, but it’s not the only reason we are still together. Finding “the one” isn’t enough.

You can easily lose ‘the one’ if you don’t know what you want

I was generally exhausted in life when I met Tim. I was sick and tired of mind games, even when it came to friendships. I just liked things to be as straightforward as possible.

In terms of dating, I no longer believed in putting one’s best foot forward to attract potential lovers. I just wanted to lay all my cards on the table, say what I needed and wanted, show who I really was right off the bat, and see if the other party and I were on the same page.

I knew this approach was unconventional, but I just didn’t care. I wanted to let people know who I was right away even though I wasn’t actively looking for anything serious. I was tired of being the cool girl who was okay with everything because I actually cared a lot about things. And though I had already resolved a lot of personal issues, I was still a mess. I didn’t want to pretend I had everything figured out.

So, when I realized that I really liked Tim and thought he was the one for me, I decided to keep things simple. I told him what I had in mind and asked him what he really wanted from me. I took the risk.

It turned out that he also liked me and wanted us to try being in a relationship. I know things would have turned out differently if we were or if one of us was unsure.

Pride can get in the way

Admitting to someone that you like them isn’t easy at all — especially if you’re a very proud person. Why? Because you may get rejected, and it will surely deflate your ego.

Good thing, I don’t let my pride win when it comes to dating. If I know I like someone, I tell them immediately, so I can take the next steps accordingly. If the other person happens to like me, too, sure, we can try to work things out. If not, at least I can start moving on and perhaps even start finding my new favorite person.

Shortly after Tim and I met, I initiated “the talk” with him, which paved the way for our amazing relationship. I’m so glad I did, and I thank my humility for that.

Commitment is very, very important

During a discussion about a love poem in college, our prof emphasized the importance of commitment. He said people cannot love one another on the same level every day, but with commitment, they can at least try to compromise and do their best to stay together even on days when they don’t feel so fond of each other.

I didn’t really give much thought to it at the time. I was simply skeptical about everything, including love. Thanks to all the guys I had dated, I thought it may not be for me. Foolish, I know, but what do you expect from an angsty 20-something who was a huge Nietzsche fan and was so fond of deconstructing everything?

Things are different now, though. Apparently, my prof was right. Commitment matters. I mean, not just being committed to someone in the sense that you’re in a relationship with them but the kind of commitment that would allow you to hold on even on days when things seem tougher than usual.

Besides, people can be very annoying. No matter how much you love someone, there will be days when, for some reason, you just can’t stand being around them for long. Without proper commitment, it is a lot easier to just give up on them.

You need to work really hard to make it work

Tim and I have undeniable chemistry. We are on the same page when it comes to a lot of things. However, we are also different in so many ways. He’s Christian while I am not a fan of organized religions. I am very creative, while he’s not really into the arts. He’s a huge fan of computer games, and I’d rather read most of the time. The list goes on.

In other words, despite our compatibility and very similar views and values, there are still so many things we can fight over. But still, we don’t. Because we actively try not to.

A few days into our relationship, I told Tim I didn’t want fights because I knew someday I would regret spending hours of our time together in heated arguments. Precious moments that could have been devoted to other things, like a meal together, a walk in the park, or other fun activities.

He was thinking of the same thing, luckily. So, we promised each other that we’d always try to communicate openly to avoid fights.

Of course, it’s not always easy. I myself know that whenever I get so frustrated with work, I tend to curse out loud and even shout. Even Tim has his own habits. Yet, we also make sure that we don’t direct our anger and frustration toward one another.

And, we talk a lot. We talk about what we think, how we feel, and what we want.

Whenever someone does something that’s irritating or bothersome, we talk about it, too. We know that sweeping things under the rug and avoiding uncomfortable conversations isn’t a great way to maintain peace within a relationship. We are also open to criticism and refuse to take things personally. That’s what logic is for.

We’ve also been setting clear boundaries. Just because we’re together doesn’t mean we should try changing each other to avoid disagreements.

For instance, I know that he’s very much into gaming, so I let him be, as long as he does not miss meals and doesn’t go past his bedtime on workdays. I also appreciate the fact that before he starts playing, he makes sure the chores assigned to him are completed first. Sometimes, he even takes care of tasks that aren’t on his to-do list.

I do the same thing before I keep myself busy with whatever it is I wish to do, whether it’s finishing a book or binge-watching a show on Netflix. This has been working well for us, so far. I guess it really helps that I know how it feels to be so passionate about something.

Most importantly, we are always committed to improving ourselves as individuals. At the end of the day, we’re still two people with different identities, and we want to ensure no one loses themself in the relationship.

We know that the journey to self-improvement is never-ending, and we’re okay with that. In fact, we are excited because we have each other as we keep working on ourselves.

If you’re still searching or waiting for “the one,” may the odds be in your favor! Then, once you find that person, I hope the two of you can make things work together.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *