“Why did you pursue me?” I asked Boyfriend as we spent our seven month-sary yesterday.
“I asked. And you kept on saying ‘Yes,” he answered. “And the rest, as they say, is history.”
I wonder if a lot of romances start and fizzle because the woman expects too much to soon. There’s too much “shoulds” in the beginning, which results to a lot of “could’ve” and “would’ve” in the end.
In the Philippines, there is the term called “ligaw.” It means to pursue someone with the intention of romancing that person. It’s bragging rights when a man pursues you for a long, long, long time.
“Huh? You only allowed him to pursue you for three months before you agreed to be his girlfriend?!” they would exclaim once they found out just how long Boyfriend pursued me. “Dapat pinahirapan mo pa!” (You should’ve made him work harder!).
Coming from abroad, I was used to guys pursuing me by asking me out on a date immediately after meeting.
Unlike the Philippines, there were no stewing over period, where the guy sweats and tries super hard to vie your attention amidst my crowd of suitors.
By the third date, you knew whether to continue on the relationship based on whether there was chemistry or not — quite different from here where you get to know a guy for a year, calling and texting each other, and you still don’t know whether you like him for a boyfriend!
It’s not the most romantic scenario, but hey, it works.
It’s also very efficient, and you don’t waste a lot of each other’s time. If there is any incompatibility, NEXT!
So technically speaking, in Filipino terms, I really didn’t give Boyfriend too much of a hard time. Instead, I did the mirroring method. He asked, and if he asked nicely and if I feel he’s a harmless chap, I said yes. If he didn’t ask, then I didn’t make a move. In a way, I mirrored his actions, only being interested if he was.
And it’s been smooth sailing since then. In fact, it came as a surprise that we’ve reached the seventh month mark given our special circumstance.
Since November when we started dating exclusively, our families (his or mine) has experienced a terminal illness, months long hospitalization, the death of my father, the wobbly dynamics between myself and my family post the death of our family’s patriarch, conflicts within the business, and a car show, which I’ve supervised and organized.
If you really think about it, there are TONS of reasons to fight, disagree and breakup. Instead, surprisingly, there had been multiple cases of understanding and compromise.
What made it different was that our compromise didn’t really feel like compromise.
For example, Boyfriend naturally understood that we would have to take care of my mommy. He never complained of my mom coming with us as a third wheel and even joked that it was great that we can avail of my mom’s senior citizen discount when going to restaurants.
Boyfriend also helped us out with the car show. Despite my multiple showings on inner bitchiness when what I want don’t get done, he remained steadfast as ever. Never really losing his cool, and always a phone call away when we needed anything.
I don’t know if this meant that we are meant to be. That of course is what pre-engagement and premarital counseling and prayers are for.
However, this is one of my smoothest relationships yet.
With BF 1, I wanted to break up from Week 1 after he asked me to go home alone and refused to carry my things. My house at that time was only a few blocks away from his, and he didn’t want to send me home.
With BF 2, it was terrific. Also as smooth and we had a nice six months. But I should’ve taken his constant guilt of dating someone 18 years younger than him a lot more seriously. He cared what other people thought about too, so that was a big tell-tale sign.
With BF 3, well, he was simply unavailable. We broke some of the taboos so we had to keep our relationship low-key. That was just uncomfortable.
With Trader, something just wasn’t right. Maybe I should have taken his insistence that I shouldn’t wear makeup or heels anymore, or that he wants me to quit my job and raise a family with him as dead giveaways that we really are not compatible to each other. Could have saved me 2.5 years, and I could have dated more men in Hong Kong and London. Oh well.
But with Boyfriend, despite many potential landmines, we’re still chugging along. Enjoying each other’s company.
We have had conflicts before, but for some reason, they fizzled as fast as they came. We’re both naturally talkative people so maybe that helped.
Anyway, time for me to attend a wedding. Hope all is well. Happy weekend!