Friday, 20 May 2016

Healthy Relationships Are The Best: A Boyfriend Appreciation Post

Hello, Eira, Butch.

You have got to forgive me for going on and on about my boyfriend. Having him is one of those rare occasions where I ask myself what I did right to deserve a good man like him. I am so overwhelmed by his goodness that I feel the need to elaborate.

At least once in our lives did we think that being loved by someone we find fairly okay is enough a reason to settle with the person. Or maybe we did find someone who we think is intelligent, creative, and sensible who loved us in return, that we find it harder--painful--to let them go even when they start treating us in a way we don’t want to be treated. I remember being in too deep in a dysfunctional relationship before that it was I who made excuses for the person, even if their actions clearly show a lack of care, empathy, and responsibility.

While that was obviously a gut-wrenching experience, I’m glad I was able to overcome it, and now I am getting exactly, if not more than what I wanted because I learned what I want and not want from that experience.

To make it more organized and BuzzFeed-like (maybe minus the GIFs), I decided to make a bulleted list on why my boyfriend is awesome *heart bubbles*:

  • He doesn’t only listen to everything I have to say, he acknowledges every little thing and responds to it with care. Acknowledgements don’t always mean sharing the same ideas. They are only indications, and a form of assurance, that the other person understands the issue well that would eventually be helpful in coming up with resolutions.
  • He explains what goes on in his head. I find it very unsettling when a partner does not tell you how they truly feel or what the problem is. I understand that even in a relationship, each one of us is still entitled to their own personal space. What some people don’t understand though is that once they’re in a loving relationship, they need not to carry all the burden in their shoulders. If a person finds it annoying to listen to your problems or if you often hesitate to open up with your partner, then something must be wrong. This is a mistake I did before. My ex-boyfriend for five years is a very private guy that I was so scared to bring up my issues to him, in fear that he’d think I was weak. Later on, I learned that it’s okay to be vulnerable sometimes. And if they think being vulnerable is a bad thing, it could be a sign that the relationship may not be for keeps. I asked Dom (my boyfriend now) before how come he always asks me how I feel and how come he likes listening to my rants, no matter how unpleasant they may be (I was kind of letting him know that he didn’t need to take it all in). He said that he’d like to listen to them, no matter how unreasonable I think they are, because he doesn’t want them to pile up and become a problem later. And he does the same with me. I want us to be both aware of our mental states so we can help each other improve.
  • He’s protective, but not obsessed. Dom always reminds me to stay hydrated, to take care when going out, and though he may worry about me being surrounded by guy friends every now and then, he doesn’t get unreasonably jealous. He still lets me go out with friends and doesn’t obsessively check on me when I do. He encourages me to have fun with other people. In my past relationships I dated two types of men: guys who didn’t care at all who I hung out with and guys who got jealous of practically every male friend I have. Luckily, Dom is neither of those.
  • He is genuinely concerned about my family. He worries that he may have offended my parents for not having added them earlier on Facebook, or how my sisters feel when they go through something like a break up. My family are one of the most important people in my life, and it feels good to know that he’s making them a part of his life, too.
  • He always replies promptly. Or if he can’t, he’d explain himself even if I don't ask him to. I don’t always expect nor require people to reply quickly as I understand that I’m not the only thing going on in their lives, but it’s very much assuring when they do.
  • He is very perceptive and sensitive of other people’s needs. He financially supports his mom, he always knows what stuff to get me that would suit my tastes, he offers his help when he can—these things he does without people asking him to. Having said that…
  • He’s also very generous.
  • He showers me with praises and compliments, even when he doesn’t know it. “You sound so eloquent and sincere (when I describe how much I love him), and I just want you to know how much I love you.” “You really look cute when you hold Buns (the plush bear he gave me) when you sleep.” “Good girl (when I drink plenty of water, sleep early, or don’t light a cigarette in a day).”
  • He constantly reminds me that he loves me. Not only by saying "I love you" everyday, but also through gestures like sighing with ~happiness~ daw while longingly gazing at me, noticing the small things about me that amuses him, and sending me postcards and letters even when there's no occasion, among other things.
  • He always means what he says. It’s easier to trust a person that way. Dom never told me he’s going to love me forever, but he did tell me he’s going to love me for as long as he’s breathing. I think that’s more feasible and romantic.
  • He’s self-aware and true. About his past, the stuff he likes and doesn’t like. He admits his mistakes and doesn’t victimize himself when he’s not really the victim in a certain situation. It’s always hard to know the truth in things that the most that we can do is set aside our grudges and tell things as they happened with the best of our recollection to let other people make informed decisions about the relationships they’re signing up for. #ElectionHugot
  • He’s open for changes and exploring new things. He used to be one of those people who are okay with death penalty until I helped him realize an alternative. He also appreciates it that I’m always eager to learn new things ‘cause he is, too. He’s humble enough to listen to other people and consider new ideas.
  • He’s overall mature. Not to say he’s perfect, but he doesn’t have unresolved baggage. He doesn’t take advantage of people or force or manipulate them into doing something for him or for his own convenience alone. He respects my individuality and lets me be my own person, lets me do my own thing at my own time. And he is his own person, too. He doesn't pity himself so much that it's destructive. If anything, he's far from being too self-absorbed. I think this quote I saw on The Artidote would best describe it: “In a relationship, you need somebody who’s going to call you out, not somebody who’s going to let everything slide. You need somebody who doesn’t want to live without you, but can. Not somebody that is dependent, but somebody who is stronger with you. A relationship is two people, not one.”

I know that Dom has flaws like any other person, ones that might probably irritate me, even, when we’re finally living together, but I feel very confident about being with him until the end because he’s always been a very loving boyfriend and open for communication and compromises. Plus we both want the same thing, both want to go the same direction. It’s quite an admirable act to love and try to help someone who’s broken, sure, but if it’s bringing out the worst in you, draining all your energy, it’s hard to give out love if the other person is making you empty, running you dry. I’m glad mine inspires and moves me to become a better person, not just for myself, but for other people as well.

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