Apologue #44: Timing is a Bitch

Kids, your old Aunt Robin knew exactly what she was talking about. Timing sure is a bitch. It’s as if the heavens didn’t have enough to gloat and laugh about from our own daily miseries and decided to add the concept of “perfect timing” as the tip of the iceberg in trying to ruin our decent lives — correction, relationships.

This is the story about how I was once engaged to a wonderful man named Zachery and how horrible our timing was. Zachery proposed during the spring semester of my freshman year in college. Yup, fresh out of high school but fresh into college — what a genius we both were.

It was a time when we were too young and naive to know anything better. Our youthful hearts got in the way of everything and we truly believed that love will solve all our problems. But in all seriousness, we actually planned it out and thought it was a good time. We weren’t that stupid. It just seems those times were ignorant now that I’m wiser and older, or whatever I am now.

I was a freshman starting my pre-med program and he was seven years older and working on his Ph.D towards electrical engineering. We were two nerds in a pod. And frankly, it didn’t bother us much. We’ve already been together for almost two years so school was already much part of our lives. We were just happy to be in the same school together.

We as a couple didn’t do much when it came to the romantic essence of things. We studied, ate, and fell asleep on desks most of the time. He and I were both new to the town and starting fresh, so we didn’t have much friends to hang out either. But it was okay, we pretty much felt married anyways, nagging and all.

After accepting the proposal and planning the wedding we tried to be logical and realistic to the best that we could. We knew each other too well and we both knew that as much as we wanted to be married, the now aspect of things wasn’t a good time. We decided that there really is no use rushing and being the considerate gentleman he was, he knew I needed lots of time to pull off my dream wedding. So, we decided to get married after I graduate from college — he was willing to wait 3+ years for me.

There was never a trace of guilt for having to wait on each other for that long. I wanted to finish school first and at least try and find a decent job and he agreed. He wanted to get most of his program done too before having to worry about marriage life. We managed to be negotiable and understanding as best as we could.

It sounds all good up to here. He was perfect and I was dandy. But time — never holds still for anybody. It wasn’t long, probably half a year, when he started asking funny questions, such as, if I could graduate earlier, what kind of career path I’m looking into, where would I likely want to live, etc. Then he started asking if there was any chance of moving the wedding to an earlier date. I don’t know why, but I started seeing red flags everywhere and I couldn’t explain to myself, why I would in the first place.

I really loved Zachery, I really did. I really wanted to marry him, I truly did. But it scared me to death every time he brought up the topic of bringing up the wedding sooner.

It wasn’t until one day, he went out of town with a couple of friends for some man-time, when he suddenly to call. Naturally, I figured that it was a call about him hitting the road soon or to not wait up. He called to tell me what a great time he was having with the boys and of course, he’d be late but to also check the text he’ll be sending after we hang up. Sure enough, a picture text came and behold, it was a photo of some house. It was extremely beautiful and mesmerizing until I see his text that reads, “I found our dream house. Should we buy?”

I didn’t think he was serious so I brushed it off until he the next day when he asked how I liked the house again. I exclaimed how beautiful it was and asked how’d he find it, but in all seriousness, he asked again if we should buy. I was dead in my tracks. I couldn’t breathe a word to him. I just blankly stared not knowing what to say. I was like a deer in headlights.

He then started raving about how the house is perfect in his ever so excitable voice, and how the city is right in the middle of his parent’s place and my parent’s place so the drive on both sides wouldn’t be too long and unbearable. He then started saying it’s a good time to go ahead and buy it now if we like it so much and then we can move right in without having newlywed troubles of finding a place to go. And he was convincing me that he knew that as soon as he saw the house, he knew that I would love it because it looks exactly like the ones I used to describe on the top of my head on how the porch looks like, or what color it was, or how big the driveway would be.

Zachery really was a great man, and enthusiastic at that. I felt really guilty but it just wasn’t the right time. Rushing everything made me feel as if everything in my future was already predestined because he was taking full control of everything. I didn’t feel happy but more panicky and full of stress and anxiety. I wasn’t relieved that he was being assertive and actually doing something and planning a life for us. It may sound selfish, but this is our life we would be spending together until we die, why weren’t we doing this together? And why on earth is he suddenly rushing when he promised he could wait? What possibly changed?

I tried to persuade him the best that I could that buying the house now isn’t the smart thing to do. We wouldn’t know if that city is where we would be 2-3 years from now after we graduate. We wouldn’t know if we would be able to find good jobs that we like in that city. We just wouldn’t know of anything that could possibly happen that could deter our futures.

Zachery, of course, didn’t buy any of that. He went on full macho-man-mode and started going off, “If we’re going to get married anyway, why not sooner so we have more time together?” or “Are you having doubts about this marriage?” or my ultimate favorite, “Do you not love me anymore?”

In the end, without my consent, he bought the house. I believe that he still owns the house but whether he still resides there is unbeknownst to me since it has already been years since we broke up and ended all forms of contact. But when we did break up, not even two days later, he resigned from his workplace, gave up on his degree program, packed up and moved into that house.

As much I know how much (or maybe not so since I am not him) pain that I inflicted upon him, it hurt me too, how much I had hurt him and literally broke him. As much as I wanted to be honest and tell him how afraid I was on the rush, or how I wasn’t ready as he was about this kind of commitment, maybe we could have found an understanding, I will never know.

Maybe if we had met later in life, it would’ve been better and not end like this. Maybe if we had fallen in love later, much later — after we became good friends, I wouldn’t have lost him forever. Maybe if I was stronger and not so emotionally weak and tested, maybe if I was wiser and older and knew what was right and wrong and be able to say it — he’d still be my life and not an empty hole from my past.

I blame it on timing. I really do. I’ll be dead honest when I say that I’d be lying if there weren’t drops of insecurities and hairs of commitment-phobias, but the timing wasn’t right for the two of us to make those kinds of great decisions at such a young age. I wouldn’t have been able to even drink a toast to wine on my own wedding for crying out loud if I had fallen through and gotten married earlier than planned. But of course, who knows if I’d have ended up happy with three kids on my lap by now as I write on my blog.

Nonetheless, as much as I cared for and loved Zachery with all my heart, having that ounce of doubt and dodging red flags meant something, and I probably still would have made the same decision if I had to relive that moment again. I’ll be honest when I confess that I believe I won’t meet a man like him ever again. He’s indeed very special.

Just wish that timing would have thought so as well.

Love Quote #6: “Why the Wedding Ring is Worn on the Fourth Finger”

Why the wedding ring is worn on the fourth finger: The Chinese give a beautiful explanation to this.

The thumb represents your parents. The index finger represents your siblings. The middle finger represents yourself. The ring finger represents your life partner. The little finger/pinky represents your children.

Hold your hands together like the picture. Join your middle fingers back-to-back, and the remaining fingers tip-to-tip.

Now, try to separate your thumbs. They will separate because your parents are not destined to live with you forever. Rejoin your thumbs and separate your index fingers. They will separate because your siblings will have their own families and lead their own lives. Rejoin your index fingers and separate your little fingers/pinkies. They will separate because your children will grow up, get married, and settle down.

Rejoin your little fingers/pinkies and try to separate your ring fingers. They will not be able to separate because your life partner is meant to be with you throughout your entire life, through thick and thin.”

Apologue #3: Happiness = Commitment-Phobia?

This past weekend a buddy and I suddenly got into the context of why we both won’t settle. Now, I’m exactly as my blog puts it: quirkyalone. Just in case for the few who don’t actually know what that means, it generally means that I am a person that actually enjoys singledom. Yup, you heard it right. I enjoy being alone and single and generally prefer this lifestyle over dating indiscriminately. I divide my lifestyle equally as I can organize among myself, family and friends, work and favorite past-times. Going back to the main conversation, my friend on the other hand is an all-around, fun-loving type of person. Juggling with work and being a single parent of two children keeps them busy but my friend loves to hang out to unwind but also loves date nights and getting intimate, just as much as the next person. But, has a big red X when it comes to settling down and committing into a relationship.

My reasons are a tad longer and need to be explained so I’ll tell my story another time, but my friend on the other hand, claims that they feel they will never love anyone else the same since their first lover. Hence they feel the love that they give to another won’t amount to the real love they have felt before and feel guilty of not giving to their new significant other 100% of their true feelings. Which also brings in “commitment-phobia” into the scenario. When I asked if commitment was the problem, my friend denied it at all cost. They know they can love, it’s just not the same kind of “love” that they genuinely know it to be.

My buddy then used the example of the character that Ben Affleck played in the movie, “He’s Just Not that into You” as something that describes themselves perfectly. Why does a piece of paper signify anything between two people if they truly love each other as they say they do? If you love them, then you love them – end of story. Now, I may be preferring singledom as a lifestyle but I’m not celibate. When it comes to marriage, I’m all for it. It’s just that I’m not interested in doing anything about it now. But when I heard about this, it felt as if I could hear the cries of all single people who want to get married that can’t, fill my ears to the brim on why this is so wrong.

Moving along, I have Friend #2 who also follows this similar train-of-thought. This friend has been dating someone for three years, has a wonderful and loving relationship with their significant other but does not want to get married ever. My friend enjoys hanging out with other friends and just chilling, going out and having a couple drinks and like most people in our age (twenties), can also get too busy saving it up because work takes a great toll in our lives. Wrapping it all up, I feel that you can’t label the “C-word” to a couple who has been in a happy relationship for three years and not wanting to get married an answer to all their problems. So, what exactly stops us from actually “tying the knot” and settling down?

As I pondered over my past dating experiences, the only conclusion that I could allow myself as a viable explanation pertaining to most circumstances is that we fear of obstructing our happiness through the cost of relationships. We are people that don’t like to break patterns, we are people that fear everything – from rejection to getting heartbroken, we are people who don’t like change. Friend #1 claims their first love is the only love they will ever have in their life but that doesn’t stop them from meeting new people and enjoying that “I am single and can mingle all I want” persona. Friend #2 loves being in a committed relationship but doesn’t want to commit marriage using excuses as work that keeps them tied down. But when you dig deeper, both people are just afraid of the big changes that can change their lives from good to bad or even from bad to better. I feel that they just need to realize that sometimes taking that step towards commitment and not be reared in fear of it can bring forth new experiences they have never felt before. I just wish that their commitment-phobias won’t wall them from their true happiness and like any good friend, all I want is for them to be happy.

Now, I’m sure some of you may have wondered why I never write the names of my friends or reveal the gender of my friends or past admirers. It definitely isn’t easy keeping up this game of charades but I just want to prove that not all relationship problems and lingering thoughts come from one specific group of people. For example, the two friends I wrote about tonight are actually one male and one female. You take the guess, who’s who. But does it really matter what their gender is compared to what they go through and feel? Absolutely not. This makes all problems just as real and not one more serious than the other because of sexist reasons or any other forms of tolerance of making excuses saying, “all men have commitment-phobia” or “all women want too much from their men before marriage.” None of those reasons are viable as to why we feel the things we do and so, I just thought it be more interesting if I wrote everything gender-less. This is all new to me as well so bear with me; I’m certainly no creative writer (I’ve always hated English while growing up). I just wanted a new approach when it comes to hearing people out and their problems they encounter through relationships. Trust me when I say you’ve all been warned for my ramblings.