» this is the first day of my life.
  • this is the first day of my life.

    Dec 22nd • Posted in love, personal, writing


    “I’m going to die first,” I tell him, before shooting him a mischievious smile. “And then you’ll just have to kill yourself within 30 days of me dying because you’ll be so heartbroken that I’m dead that you don’t want to live anymore.”

    Tobi and I prattle on and on about our future together in a joking manner. We share laughs and chortle on about how he has to take care of me because of my health issues and how they’ll just get worse the older we get. But that’s the thing about Tobi– my relationship with him is so solid that despite the jokes, I know he will take care of me. I mean, clearly he won’t kill himself within a month’s time if I die, but he’ll definitely do everything in his power to stop that from happening.

    Sometimes I feel like I talk a big game about love, life, where I’ve been and where I’m headed. To be honest, I’m not sure about any of those aspects, and I don’t think I’ve ever been sure about definites existing within any of those categories. What I am sure about is the time I’ve spent with this wonderful man during these past few months and the feeling I get when I get a text message from him, or the way my heart still skips a beat and feels so warm in my chest when I catch him looking at me when he doesn’t think I notice him.

    Dating over the past couple of years proved to be quite the adventure. I fell for men who had no intention to return the love, found myself pursued by inexperienced men whose overly saccharine affections came out so strongly that I knew I could never return their feelings, went out on a lot of dates– mostly ending in goodbyes and ghosting. By the time Tobi came along, I gave up on the idea of finding anything serious. While I wasn’t as cynical or jaded as I used to be, I was confident in demanding what I wanted– but realistic about the expectations of dating. Long gone was the romantic of past, and here was the confident young woman who could exist with or without a man. But of course, when I prepared myself to focus on academics and myself– I meet this tall, lanky awkward Dutch man who sort of changed my expectations about how I should look at life, the people I surround myself with and how to spend my life with those people.

    Meeting Tobi was not a surprise: we met over OkCupid during one of my last great purges. Actually setting a date and going out with Tobi was more of a challenge. After a month of frequent textual communication, we managed to go out on a lunch date that spawned into a whole day’s worth of getting to know each other, awkward hugs and wistful gazes. Maybe our story isn’t as romantic as I’m trying to paint it– but that’s because it’s not. It’s real, it’s growing, and it’s something that I’m looking forward to building with him each and every day I spend with him. I’m excited about the conscious choice we’ve made to spend our time together in a committed relationship– which is something that I wasn’t used to in the beginning and sat uncomfortably with until we both decided that the other was worth our time. It’s funny because I sat around for a couple days deciding whether or not I really liked him, but eventually decided to say “Fuck it” and try anyway because the risk seemed to be worth it. I actually asked him later on in our relationship if he had felt similarly, because I got the impression he liked me way more in the beginning of our relationship. He told me that he did, and was wary about committing because there were so many other women out there– but things between us clicked and he wanted to be with me.

    Which brings me to where we are now: I’m happy where we are because we don’t expect to be anything less than ourselves. We’re weird, we’re quirky and we love each other exactly how the other person is. We’re two very different people with variable experiences in dating and life, and we’re also from two extremely different cultures. (My boyfriend is a born and bred Dutchman, while I’m the daughter of two immigrant Filipino parents.) But all of those differences meld together to form a beautiful relationship.

    There is a sense of contentment and happiness when I speak about my relationship with Tobi, and while we plan for various sets of “forevers”– there are heavy doses of realism that play a huge role in where we’re headed. I tell Tobi that he can leave whenever he wants, do whatever he wants, as long as he’s honest with me and lets me know ahead of time so I can prepare myself for the blow. Tobi is around eight years older than me, and at a different place in his life. I’m still in my early twenties: I’m not sure where I’m going or where life will take me. But at the same time– he doesn’t either, at the very least, not always. While we plan our futures, we aren’t aware of where we’ll end up, or if we’ll stay together for sure. But for the first time in my life, I’m okay with that. My insecurities about whether or not I’d be with the other person for a long time, or the capacity of what the relationship could be eventually ruined them. I’d stay up all night wondering if this person was serious about me, and if I could be serious about them too. Those doubts melt away with Tobi. No one can ever be sure or be in complete control of their relationship– but it’s nice to be with someone who will try their damn hardest to be with me and make compromises whenever necessary. 

    I used to think that finding the right person meant that you would be with them forever. I also used to think that being in the right relationship meant finding someone who “completed you.” I don’t think any of those things are right– I think that the most realistic way to be in love with someone and have a healthy, meaningful relationship with them is to realise that you two could be happy and alone, but you choose to spend your time with each other to further enhance your lives. Soulmates don’t exist– healthy partnerships between two different people do. And most of all, we’ve given each other the space and room to leave if we want to, but we make the conscious decision to stick around. That being said, saying I’m happy with Tobi would be an understatement. I thank God for each and every day he chooses to be with me because his existence enhances my own. I relish the nights where we decide to cook together because four hands in the kitchen are better than two, and he does all the heavy lifting and playing with fire (I’m notoriously bad with heat and ovens in the kitchen) while I work on prep and tasting. I am grateful to have a partner who nudges me into putting on pajamas to bed, tucks me in and then proceeds to plug in all my devices to charge them because I’ve already passed out on his bed. Most of all, I’m so happy to have found someone who lets me put myself first, but still wants to take care of me and allows me to take care of him when need be.

    Thank you for entering my life, my wonderful, amazing, handsome drolletje. I’m sad we can’t ring the holidays in together, but I’m sure we’ll have many more we’ll spend together.

    I love you