Not quite a love story

First came the sparks.

They were like the first gusts of wind on your face, a few seconds after falling, your heart feeling like it was about to jump out of your chest.

It was in the secret glances, subtle flirting and late-night talks. It was the kilig text messages, calls, the thrill of getting to know someone, liking him and then falling in love. It was raw, exhilarating and reckless. Like fireworks: bright, beautiful, loud.

You felt butterflies — wild, excited and free — in your stomach from the simple, minuscule interactions. Then, before you knew it, all the love songs started to make sense.

IT’S waking up in the mornings and choosing love. / PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF UNSPLASH/TOA HEFTIBA

But as the Maroon 5 song, “She Will Be Loved,” goes: “It’s not always rainbows and butterflies.”

What came next was the crash and burn.

There was fighting, cursing and screaming. The “not talking for three, four or more hours that’ll turn into days, weeks.” All the late-night talks turn into early mornings, wondering what went wrong and how it could feel like to start again (it won’t).

LOVE is both a beautiful and terrifying thing. / PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF

The lows. It’s fighting over the little things, with all the insecurities and anxiety bubbling up to the surface.

It’s tearing each other down as if love didn’t exist, blinded by anger and pride. There were never enough warnings on countless romance series that could brace one for the bad and the ugly that came.

And just like the love songs, all the breakup and sad tunes will also start to feel like they were written about you and the unfortunate situation. It was the occasional storm that could send the wild butterflies into hiding and all the rollercoaster rides to a standstill.

The aftermath of the high and low is what fairy tales don’t quite cover — the long, seemingly never-ending chapters following the “happily ever after.”

It’s the dull middle. The mundane, stable sail. It’s running out of things to talk about, sitting in silence and appreciating each other’s presence. It’s the “not talking for every hour of the day because of busy schedules, with priorities becoming far more important to work on in our twenties.”

There will be the apologies, next times and maybe laters. It will become the little things, gestures. The quiet love.

The sense of familiarity, safety and feeling a lot like home. And it is just going to be like that for the longest time. It will happen again and again, and again.

Love is a beautiful yet terrifying thing people all experience differently, thus making it difficult to talk about. And I’m no love expert. Far from it. I have more to learn as we, along with all the feelings, are constantly changing.

Love, which blooms in the most barren of lands and in the most unexpected times, is an unpredictable and fickle thing.

Falling in love is easy.

Staying in love, not so much.

It’s hard work and effort.

MAY you find someone who will choose you back and hold your hand even when the love gets hard and boring. / PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF UNSPLASH/renate vanaga and unsplash/shingi rice

An article in Psychology Today says, “Love is making a choice every day, either to love or not to love. That’s it. You either continue the process or you don’t. We fall in and out of love. Even in relationships — especially in relationships. This doesn’t mean we don’t love the person; it means we are left with a choice.”

Based on experience, long-term relationships will often be challenged by a lot of factors — some, time and the love itself — during a lot of phases, stages in relationships whether it’s just a few months or years.

But it’s always the want and the choice to choose to grow, learn and walk through life with them, to make it work, conquer the worst and celebrate the highs, together.

It’s a promise of choosing them in the morning, despite the fleeting, unprovoked thoughts, doubts and questions about your love before going to sleep. It’s the promise of staying through highs, lows and the dull middle. It’s to choose them at six in the morning, at two in the afternoon or three in the morning — especially at times when love gets hard and boring.

Six years is admittedly a long time. But it is but just a number.

It has always been trial and error (and a whole lot of patience, understanding, and compromise) to be where we are. We are (and we’ll continue to) growing and maturing over time. It’s constantly communicating and trying to be better people.

In an article in Bustle, counselor and relationship coach at Fearless Love says, “Love has the power to transform us, so hopefully we have chosen well and picked a partner that can grow with us.”

I am grateful to have found someone to love and be loved in return.

May you find someone who will choose you back even when love gets hard, and may your heart be happy with the choices you make because that’s what you deserve.

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