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I love you but not in that way

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Have you ever experienced something this — when someone tells you that they think they love you or they think they are in love with you or they are falling in love with you or they will always love you or they really love you but just not in that way? I mean, just how many variations of “I love you” can there actually be? Should loving someone be a simple and straightforward thing?

But no, some people just have to complicate matters. I’ve encountered all of the above scenarios before with different people at different points of my life. And there was one common denominator for each of them, which was it all became equally puzzling for me whenever it happened.

Maybe I really don’t know what love is. Maybe love is still one giant mystery to me. Maybe love is really complex than what I expect it to be. Wow, I should really be a songwriter. Totally nailed it.

I never really ponder beyond this complex mystery though, because I had better things to do. Haha! Then years come and go. And this issue came to the forefront of my mind only after I happened to catch one episode of Gossip Girl few weeks ago. Ahem. It was really an accident.

I’ve stopped watching Gossip Girl ages ago. It was probably halfway through season two, I believe. It became too draggy and overly nonsensical for my liking. No matter how hot I think Chuck and Blair are, I couldn’t bring myself to watch the episodes anymore. Until that day when I let the TV play for background noise and decided to watch it.

It was episode 17 of season five, The Princess Dowry and this particular scene caught my full attention.

Chuck: Because I love you.
Blair: And I love you. I always will. But that doesn’t mean I’m in love with you. At least not right now, not the way you need me to be, not the way you deserve. I’m sorry. I have to go.

I swear I could feel Chuck’s heart breaking. It was probably less painful than getting stabbed or shot in the heart. I’ve never been shot or stabbed, but I have a feeling that these are far worst than a heartbreak (but far better than childbirth, naturally).

Someone once said something similar during a conversation with me. She said she still loves her ex, but she’s not in love with him like how she’s in love with me, if my memory serves me correctly. It has all became very vague recently. Then when we broke up, she said she will always love me, but… (There’s always a but in such circumstances. Why?!) … But she wanted a different life that I did not fit in with. Sad, huh? I remained devastated for a very, very long time.

So what does it mean if I still love someone that way and I have never stopped loving her at all this whole time? A loser? A fool? A romantic? Hahaha!

Blair: I’m here because it’s time I was honest with you. I love you. I’m in love with you. I have tried to kill it, to run away from it, but I can’t and I don’t want to anymore.

(Episode 24 of season five, “The Return of The Ring”)

Quotes were taken from chuckandblair.org

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You’re never alone

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I have been single for so long I have forgotten what it’s like to be with someone and the feeling of being in love. I have a feeling i have forgotten how to flirt too. No, I’m not depressed. I’m just puzzled. Is being a relationship an “end all be all” thing you must do in your life? Is your life only fulfilled by someone else?

Many of my friends and colleagues are seemingly happy with their other halves. Hell, even my former girlfriend seems to have found someone she clearly wants to be with and is extremely happy with. Maybe he fulfils everything on her checklist, has her parents’ approval and meets her criteria for an eventual “happily ever after” marriage with plenty of children. Yes, it cuts me just thinking about it or seeing any photographic evidence. It makes me wonder if she was ever in love with me and if she truly wanted to be with me. Probably not.

The devil in me obviously said: “Good riddance to that emotional immature wreck and that I should be happy that someone has finally taken her off my hands and that I’m free from her numerous taxing issues and that she has finally met someone who is at her childish level.” Woah, there are many “that” in that sentence alone. And wow, the devil in me is super vindictive.

Back to the point I’m making. I am largely numb from the pain I had felt over the past two years. After all, I feel much lighter (mentally) now that I am not tormented from the hoops she used to make me go through. Maybe I wasn’t ready for her. Maybe I wasn’t emotionally strong to handle her. Maybe i wasn’t right for her. And if a relationship was taking its toll on me and was difficult since the beginning, it should have been a cue for me to run far far away from her the first chance I got. Like what my friends Jean and Qiqi warned me from the start. My excuse to all my friends who saw me in anguish and tears during the entire relationship was that I love that girl too damn much to let go. Silly huh?

She was my muse in all my writing — every column I wrote for work and every post I wrote on this blog was dedicated to her. Even now, there are still traces of her in my memory, in my life and in the things I do. See why it had been so hard for me to let go? I had dug myself into a hole so deep I became claustrophobic and lost my way back to the entrance.

I still want my Kokology book back from her though. She said she would send it back to me, though she did add the caveat that she would do it when she’s free. A cuss word is right at the tip of my tongue now. Refrain!!! Ok, refrained. I hate it when my ex-girlfriends keep something of mine and not return them. Annoying. Especially so, when they usually take things that I like and cherish. Not to mention a piece of my heart.

‘There’s a moment in every relationship, when romance gives way to reality.’ —Carrie Bradshaw

That’s when you know a relationship isn’t working out. So, it’s ok if you are single. You don’t really need someone to “complete” you. The world does not require you to make more babies. Overpopulation is already a serious issue for governments and there are already too many children around living in poverty. Stop adding to it. The world does have limited resources to support a population of seven billion — a number that is still growing every day. Besides, being single means more time to spend with your family, your friends and even your beloved dog (or cat). Most importantly, you get to be yourself and love who you are and enjoy being you.

With this, I’d like to end my piece on being single with these surprising deep and very apt quotes from Sex And The City.

‘Later that night, I got to thinking about fate — the concept that we’re not responsible for the course of our lives, that it’s all predestined, written in the stars. Maybe that explains why, if you live in a city where you can’t see the stars, your love life tends to feel more random.

‘Even if every kiss, every heartache is pre-ordered from some cosmic catalogue, can we still take a wrong step and wander off our personal Milky Way? I couldn’t help but wonder: can you make a mistake and miss your fate?’ —Carrie Bradshaw

Maybe you were my mistake, maybe we were meant to be but I screwed it up, maybe it wasn’t the right time for us, maybe we will meet again someday, maybe we will be the best of friends, maybe we will fall in love with each other some time down the road. Or maybe, just maybe, you were meant to only pass through my life and teach me a valuable lesson about myself, while I was meant to bring joy, laughter and rainbows into your life at a point in time when you really needed to be happy again. No matter what happened between us, there will always be a fragment of you hidden in a crevice of my heart. You’re the secret I would whisper into a tree and let the wind take the memory of us to a parallel world where we would be together looking at the same stars every night.

Maybe our mistakes are what make our fate. Without them, what would shape our lives? Perhaps if we never veered off course, we wouldn’t fall in love … or be who we are.

After all, seasons change. So do cities.
People come into your life and people go. But it’s comforting to know the ones you love are always in your heart.’ —Carrie Bradshaw

NB: Yes, I’m a sucker for Sex And The City! I’ve been watching the reruns almost daily at 9:30am. It’s so fascinating to see how the show had influenced all the girls in the late 90s to early 2000s. The concept of love, sex, relationships and dating has definitely shifted since then. Whether it had been a good influence is still debatable.

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We are never ever getting back together

I don’t know how I have managed to live through the past few years without ever listening to Taylor Swift’s songs, but I did it very successfully. I’ve heard of her and saw her name in some random headlines on entertainment sites, but I’ve never wondered or bothered about finding out more. Besides, she sings mostly pop tunes (I think), which are not the music genre of my choice. I’m more of an electronic/indie/house/jazz sort of person. So it’s to my utmost (pleasant) surprise to listen to her song for the first time and genuinely liking it.

But the only reason I went to YouTube to listen to the song was because my friends on WeChat unanimously agreed it is an apt song for my current situation. Of course, the song title and chorus are now my mantras. I’m sure all 380 of you regular readers know very well why (just read the archives if you’re new here).

“You are never ever getting back together. Remember that.”

My friend repeated it twice to drill the message into my thick skull. I don’t blame her. I’ve been very stubborn after all. I probably need to be brainwashed.

“The best is yet to be. If you two split up, it means both of you were not suited for each other.

“Take your time to understand and see for yourself the current reality. Then gradually let the bits and pieces of the past go. And in no time, love will soon surround you once again.

“Stop standing at where you are at now. She will never return to you again. If you persist in holding onto these fantasies, the only person you are convincing and lying to is yourself.

“The whole world already knows that both of you are never getting back together again. You are the only one left in the dark, because you are still living in your own world.

“You have to get used to your present state of mind. Stop thinking that there will be a third chance or expecting her to change and come back.

“Stop contacting her and following her updates. No matter how great or bad her life is now, it is no longer your concern. It’s her life, her choices.

“Ok, the doctor’s consultation time ends here. Just keep a lookout for your new love, ok?”

My friend’s pretty cool, huh? She’s hilarious, beautiful and also wise beyond her years. I’m so grateful to have her on my side.

Btw, check out the video of We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together below if you have 3 minutes and 36 seconds to spare. It’s lighthearted, poppy, short and easy on the eyes. And if it makes me smile, it’d make you smile too. Try it!

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I still remember the feeling

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It’s sad to even blog these days, because I’m heartbroken; I’m like a broken record being put on repeat and it seems like there’s no way to fix me. I can feel a stab in my heart and I know the pain is real. Yet I’m fighting so hard to be well again; to recover from what seemed like the loss of my life.

It’s been more than a year since we last saw one another, and while you appear to have moved on with your life and gotten together with someone new, I’ve remained at a standstill. I tried staying away from you, but it did not stop me from thinking about you and missing you terribly.

It hurts, it really hurts. I keep forcing myself to consciously choose me, but every time I come across your tweets or anything you post, I take two steps back again. I’m emotionally drained and I feel helplessly stuck in this time vacuum. I keep thinking back if I could have done anything different or better to salvage our relationship, but my mind remains blank. Maybe I am just a foolish person clinging on to a romantic dream that has long since disappeared into thin air.

I had truly believe we were meant for each other and that you were the right one for me. I guess it still hurts so much, because I still believe (foolishly) we are meant to be.

I suffered the same acute heartache in 2011 when I thought you had found someone new. It drove me crazy that I wanted to do drastic things to myself. That was a terrible night to be me. I went through 2012 wanting to be free from the mental shackles you’ve put me through and to build up my courage to speak to you again, hoping that we would find each other again. It’s 2013 and I find myself immersed in fresh pain at the thought of you with someone new. This time, I managed to find a sense of control that wasn’t there before, but it doesn’t mean it hurts less. It still does, and I hope one day you will feel the pain I feel for you and know that there was once someone who loved you even more than life itself. Goodnight.

P/S: Dear Universe, here I am once again. I’m finally ready now and I know you will make things happen for me. I want to be extremely happy and lucky, meet and be with the person of my dreams (preferably within the next one week) and be JK Rowling-rich! Thank you!

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Keep your thoughts positive

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Here’s something positive I came across on the Internet and thought: “How apt!”

It’s been two tough weeks for me. I was an emotional wreck, but you wouldn’t be able to tell if you had seen me because I’d force myself to look cool and calm, no matter what. Even if I felt like I was dying inside, you’d think I’m a chirpy person. That’s how thick my walls are.

So other than chanting “I choose me” ALL THE FREAKING TIME and doing it consciously whenever I feel my mind wandering, I have been thinking about calming my mind down and clearing my thoughts. You know, like being in the present moment, and not worrying about the past or the future? And I finally did it for five or maybe 10 minutes at least!

How? I went for a meditation class on Tuesday and it was enlightening — not to the level of Buddha’s enlightenment, but was good enough for an amateur like me. The teacher explained to us the benefits of meditation and how we can practise it in our daily lives. And my mind was like “Wah!!!”

Yeah, I was mentally blown away. Meditation can help me reduce the noise in my head, ease the agonising migraines I get every weekend and more importantly, blunt some of the emotional pain eating inside me. All because you learn how to focus on your breathing.

I feel like I’ve worn an invisible armour that’s helping me deflect anything negative away. It’s like a really awesome force field you see around the spaceships in sci-fi movies!

I felt refreshed, my mind was clearer and I was totally buoyant after that short meditation session. I was so impressed, because if you’re a keen long-time practitioner, the teacher said, you would one day be able to let your mind be as clear as the reflection of a calm, still lake.

Right, and I’m going to start practising meditation every day from now! You should try it too if you think it can help you go through difficult moments. Go google all about it! It’s worth your time and effort, I promise.

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The way you think about a person

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Just remember that sometimes, the way you think about a person isn’t the way they actually are. — John Green

There are a lot of people out there who believe there’s an exact type of person who will have all traits to make them happy. These people want everything in their partner to be almost perfect — be it qualities, attributes, character, looks, career, gender, wealth, acceptance by the family, marriage eligibility, intelligence and so on.

But more often than not, these people who seek “perfection” in their partners are the toxic ones in a relationship. If they are unsatisfied with any aspect of you, they would withdraw into their world, be emotionally unavailable, temperamental, demanding and selfish that you will feel so alone and you start doubting if you were ever in a proper relationship with that person.

More often than not, these toxic people would fit whoever they happen to meet in their life at that particular moment in time to this ideal life-partner template they have in their mind. They may not care if that new person does not share similar values or common interests with them, because they are sucked in by the thrills and infatuations of a new relationship. Even if the person does not speak well, write well or dress well (basically falling below their usual standards), it would not matter to them. They become blinded and they adjust their standards, because they desperately want to be with someone new and to be in a relationship again; they want to be on par with their friends who are in committed relationships.

So the minute someone new comes along, they forget the priorities they once thought were important. Then after a while, when reality sets in and time unfolds the person’s true identity layer by layer, they realise it’s the same vicious cycle they are trapped in again. And they wonder why they are always in unhappy relationships.

Be careful of what you look for or even wish for. What you think is perfect now may not hold true weeks and months from now, because you keep forgetting what you really want, what you genuinely value and are looking for in the first place.

P/S: I know this has been a sombre post, so kudos to you if you finished reading the entire piece! This is why I should never write about my feelings when half-sleepy and half-determined to blog tonight, no matter what time it is (4:42am here btw). I still feel a dull aching pain in my heart. Please tell me I’ll be alright?

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Sometimes we don’t say what we feel

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Not because we don’t want to… But because we don’t know how to.

I asked my friend why it still hurts so bad even after so long and why I still can’t move on, no matter how hard I try. There is a throbbing pain in my chest that I can’t get rid off. It feels like someone stabbed me right in the heart and forgot to take the rusty dagger out.

She sighed and said: “What do you do when you cut your finger?

I would suck the wound, run to wash the cut with cold running water, sterilise it with medicated cream and maybe put a plaster over my finger, I told her.

She said: “What else?”

If it’s a bad cut, sometimes I would keep touching it and maybe let water accidentally seep into the wound or keep opening the plaster to check if the wound is healing, thus worsening the pain in the process.

She said: “So it will take a while for the cut to heal, right? The more you touch it, the longer it takes?”

“Yes……?” I hesitantly answered.

She said: “Isn’t it the same as what you are feeling now? You keep thinking about the past; it’s like touching your cut finger all the time. How do you expect to move on? Of course, you will take longer to be better and to heal.”

There was silence over the phone, as I pondered over it.

My friend was right… Like she always is. (She always has the weirdest but most apt analogies too, but that’s a story for another day.)

It’s been more than a year since we stopped seeing other and I can’t even remember the last time I saw you. Every time I wanted to text you, I stopped myself because I didn’t know if it was the right thing to do. Then one question led to another and my indecisiveness made the choice to leave you alone.

So why am I still letting you affect me? Why do I still feel so much pain inside? Why am I so insistent that you are my one true love and that we’d be perfect for each other?

My friends keep telling me to move on and I keep telling them I am trying. But clearly, I am not succeeding. I still get panicky at times when I open my social media accounts, because I fear reading your updates and feeling down after that and letting my mind run wild.

See, how silly and rather pathetic I am. So much for the faith my friends have in me. Haha.

My friend said: “If she’s meant to be yours, if you two are really meant to be together, it doesn’t matter what happens now or what she does. You don’t have to force it or do anything special and she would come back to you. It could be months later or five years down the road and both of you would still find your way back to each other. You have to trust yourself.”

But what if the chance has passed and I didn’t grab it or I didn’t do the best I could? After all, you did return to me once after I thought it was over between us. But things were unstable and maybe the time wasn’t right or I didn’t do enough to hold on to you or nothing I did was good enough for you. I don’t know.

She said: “What you fear most will somehow come true. It’s the law of attraction. The more you think about what you don’t want to happen, the more it will. So why fear it? If I were you, I would just log on and keep looking at everything until I don’t feel anything anymore.”

My friends tell me even though I may not be able to understand it right now, one day I will realise why experiencing this pain would be a blessing in disguise in the end. And there are many things I should be thankful for.

I should be thankful that you kept telling me that you did not want to be with me and you showed your true self by constantly blowing hot and cold towards me, even though you knew I was crazily in love with you. You taught me who you really are and you do not deserve me.

I should be thankful that you haven’t contacted me since I stopped replying. Even if we continued talking, you were unlikely to magically meet my expectations or become a better person.

I am thankful that you ended our relationship so many times when I couldn’t, even though you did it in a horrible ‘escapist’ way. It was a wake-up call for me not to fall in love with someone like you in the future. I can stop lying to myself that you’re a better person because I think you are.

I am thankful that you let your former boyfriend talked you into not accepting me and that you were not completely honest with me all the time, as you kept me waiting around while you make up your mind about what you want in life. After all that begging to get you to reconsider our relationship every time we broke up, I realise now that you couldn’t meet my needs then and that we were incompatible.

I am thankful that you kept telling me “I don’t want a relationship now” or “You’re too good for me” and other similar excuses, because I realise you were right, I am too good for you. And I’m smarter now at recognising the signs of someone with issues. Next time someone tells me the same things as you did, I can run away faster.

I am going to be thankful if you ignore my latest text to you. I won’t want to be sucked back into the vicious painful cycle all over again, because you will never be the perfect person I once thought you were.

I am also going to be thankful if you have moved on. Yeah, it will hurt and it already hurts just thinking about it, but it’s an blaring alarm to warn me to speed up in moving on with my own life.

Finally, I am thankful that you didn’t value me when you had the chance to, because I appreciate my own value better now and I know that no one will ever love you as much as I did or treat you as nice in the way I did.

It really hurts, but in the end I want to be with someone who values me and the relationship enough to want to be in it and not give up every time we hit a road bump.

Well, it’s been enlightening to remind myself what I should be thankful for, because it was just so easy to lose my head and focus on what I think I would lose if I let go of you and the pain I’ve been carrying. In actual fact, I have a lot more to gain if I delete you now.

Ok, I feel soooo much better after saying how I really feel and forcing myself to think about what I should be thankful for in my life.

P/S: If anyone of you reading this are going through a tough time and nursing a broken heart like me… I wish you well and Godspeed in your healing process. Remember you are not alone and there are people who understand what you are going through.