Two days ago was a very special day for Michael and I. It marked our 7th monthsary as a couple. Hooray! *cue marching band*
Michael has been really great. I cannot think of any other person I’d rather spend time (and the rest of my life) with. I sometimes still can’t believe that this awesome guy wants to be with me. It’s mind-blowing really.
And since I am in a “Let’s celebrate!” mood, I wanna write down the lessons that I have learned in the 7 months that we have been together.
1. It is not easy but it is worth it.
Michael and I had been friends for a year and a half before we became a couple, so you’d think that we would settle in our new boyfriend-girlfriend roles rather quickly. But nope, that is not what happened.
I really struggled during the first two months of our relationship. One day, I was this anonymous girl minding my own lalalalala business. Then the next, I got thrust into the spotlight that comes with the territory of being a PK’s girlfriend. I wanted none of the attention. I wanted to be left alone. I even asked Michael multiple times to end our relationship because the pressure was killing me. I wanted to be with him but I also wanted a simple, quiet life away from everyone else.
In fairness to Michael, he was super understanding when I was dealing with this. He was patient in helping me understand that the situation is what it is but it doesn’t mean that our relationship will be affected by other people’s opinion and expectations. He also assured me that everyone ultimately wants what’s best for our relationship. This is the community we will be in if the Lord leads us to marriage, after all.
I am still struggling with this. There are times that I really just want to throw in the towel and give up. But I take one look at Michael and somehow find the strength to carry on. When I look at him, I marvel at how God is moving mightily in our lives.
He is worth fighting for.
2. I need to let him know what I think and feel. He can’t read my mind.
Women are good with non-verbal cues. Unfortunately, men are not. There were a lot of times I wished Michael got what I was trying to say without me actually saying it. And as a non-confrontational person, that was hell at first. Michael is a natural problem-solver but needs all the facts before he can process things. That translates to me putting a lot of effort into verbalizing what I am thinking or feeling, especially since I tend to clam up when I am upset. Though hard at first, this brought us closer to each other. Now, we are better at resolving conflicts and letting each other in.
I am also happy that Michael’s nonverbal communication skills have since improved a lot. So has his Tagalog actually. I am one proud girlfriend!
3. Encouragement goes a long way.
I cannot count how many times Michael has been a tangible expression of God’s love for me.It would surprise you that the sarcastic meanie Michael is just a façade. Beneath it lies my biggest cheerleader.He makes me laugh when I am feeling sad. He goes out of his way to take care of me even if I was gray with sickness and smelling like puke. His helping hand was a constant companion during my adjustment months working in CCF. He pushes me to become a better person. I am a better version of myself when I am around him.Babe, I’m sorry if I am ruining your reputation.
4. We need to establish and keep the boundaries we set.
Because our Christian faith is important to us, we vowed to remain pure while we are dating. That meant having that awkward but very important conversation of setting up and sticking to boundaries. Having boundaries kept us from dealing with gray areas cause we have laid everything in black and white.
I am blessed to be with a man who respects and honors me enough to wait. Holding hands and hugs are as far we are gonna get physically. A 12mn curfew for the both of us has also been established. Saturdays are reserved for each other’s me time.
We also set up boundaries as a way of honoring our parents. Our temporary “happiness” is not worth breaking their hearts and trusts. We didn’t want them worrying about our every move when Michael and I are together. Especially since his parents do a lot of travelling and I am not living at home with my Mom.
5. It’s really not about the two of us. It’s ultimately about Jesus.
It’s easy to lose focus when one is in a relationship. I have a very adorable someone by my side all the time. Mix it with oh-so-intense feelings and well, you get the idea.
It is very important for me to not lose sight of my ULTIMATE relationship – my relationship with Jesus Christ. It is essential that I do not neglect Him as I am growing in my relationship with Michael. If I neglect my relationship with Jesus, I will most probably have a very hard time pursuing righteousness with Michael. It is only by His grace that I am continually being molded to be the woman He wants me to be – a woman who is patient, kind, not envious, not boastful, quote the rest of 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 here.
My life should be about knowing God, depending on God and being made like God. With or without Michael.