THE STORYBOARD CALLED LIFE

Love Stories – Chapter 2: Eros the 2nd

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This blog is the third post of the Love Stories series. The Pilot is here and Eros the 1st is here.


Eros, again

According to Wikipedia, erotic lovers see marriage as an extended honeymoon and that is pretty cool. I hope I have that in the future!

Physical attraction isn’t the most important aspect in a relationship, but I reckon it is a good indication of how you feel about someone. Someone I used to date wasn’t very attractive but I found him cute when we dated. Now, not so much. It goes to show that we get crush goggles, similar to beer goggles but the effect can last much longer.

I’m going to go on a limb and say that many people just focus on the physical when it comes to sex. Outwardly, it does look like just a physical act. But I think it can be much more than that. Remember the time I said that I had a draft post about sex? Here’s a little extract that sort of fits, but I go on about why sex isn’t just physical:

If sex is just physical, then why do we care more about a rape than a bashing? Why is rape more heavily penalised than assault? If sex is just physical, then why are partners upset when they are physically cheated on? If sex is just physical, then why is there a legal age for consent, but not for kissing or holding hands?

In short, there is a physical aspect to love, or the romantic notion of love, which is the

Pinnacle of the physical acts,

And ethereal in general (I’ve been listening to the Hamilton soundtrack, trying to memorise the raps and think I’m a rapper).

The physical usually underpinned by the emotion that we’re in
And causes men to sin and breeds men who like to win
Running around bragging, attacking and dragging
A girl’s bad name in the mud like a game
Sees all girls as the same
A collection of parts when the girl lets her guard down
To hear the words ‘I love you’
Like it’s the good news of the gospel
The words come out the boys mouth because they want to come
Shooting like a shotgun, just for fun
And I’m not done
It is critical, in this world that is digital
And preaches that sex is just physical
It’s hypocritical, it’s really just pitiful
That’s not the design, not the original,
Something created to be beautiful
Brought down, made foul, drowning
In sweet nothings, cussing, bluffing,
Swipe left, swipe right,
Reducing us to animals, cattle
It’s baffling, inflammatory, defamatory
An insult, a discourse
Just a refrain from my brain
About the pain of females just seen as a
Number to be gained and fame in the membrane
It seems just insane to feign interest
To best and jest,
Not to see the girl’s essence
Generally, just a reference to her bodily blessings
When is she gonna learn her lesson
Is she deaf, blind, or just empty
I can’t see
Through the layers, cried prayers, curled eyelashes and hair
I guess, it’s time that I confess
I’m no Mary, quite the contrary, not really
I just don’t have a pretty little halo
But I don’t want this case closed
Discredit me, but don’t discredit the lesson
Not to settle for a love that is just undercover
When I love you’s are only exchanged under the covers
Take care of yourselves, lovers
Just wait for another, who will raise the the bar
Travel far to the stars and see past your scars
Not just some curves or some birds, or call you a har-
Lot, we don’t need a boycott,
Just to see the men rise up
Wage war, raise swords, through hoops they will jump,
For this revolution, that’s the solution
And they’ll be saluting the flag
That women raise, called dignity, respect and value
Don’t believe me? Just see what a simple “No” can do

 Boy / Girl Thing

Two young souls caught betwixt their love for each other and the forces that would keep them apart… Just kidding, but telling it that way does make a good story.

***

Eros or passionate love, when I was asked to write this story, I immediately thought, “Do I really want to write an article about my love life available to the public?” I realized that in the next second after receiving this message from Candice, my now wife then fiancee had jumped up and already said yes! For all men out there, you know as well as I do that when the wife says yes it’s on the behalf of both of you haha. (She’s going to kill me when she reads this, oh well we’re already married).

So here I am sitting on the train doing my daily commute to work and wondering what part of my love story can I tell that will convey the right meaning of Eros! So I did what any normal person would do and looked up the meaning of Eros on Wikipedia. Wiki defines Eros as “theia mania” which translates to madness from the Gods. I understand this is meant to be a love story so I shall stay away from philosophy. I immediately started reminiscing about my life with my wife and how it all began. Picture two strangers on two separate islands who can see each other and talk to one another but not touch as we were separated by a great divide. That was us,  except the great divide is a metaphorical term for our moral compass that waged war inside us. As we were both doing volunteer missionary work, one of the rules was to not be in an exclusive relationship with another team member.

We started off on team as complete strangers, barely knowing anything about one another. Due to the nature of our ministry, we very quickly got to know one another, leading to the discovery of similar interest and captivating conversation. Up to that point, I had not really met anyone who was as much a geek as I was, well not anyone I fancied. In the next few months, our friendship went from being friends to something more than friends, it was probably one of the most difficult times in my life in terms of choices. On one hand, I knew that starting an exclusive relationship was wrong, on the other hand, I felt like I had met the love of my life.

Fast forward a couple months of getting to know her more, as well as struggling with the moral predicament I was in, both of us finally decided to talk about it. That was the moment that things changed, without realizing what was happening subconsciously, both of us had developed feelings for each other. This became evident as we started to spend more time with each other, enjoying one another’s company and always wondering where the other was. As time went on we found it more and more difficult to not let our relationship affect our ministry, it was tough and strenuous on ourselves as well as our teammates. Nonetheless, I was madly in love with her.

We decided to start an exclusive relationship. This did not exactly end well during our year of Ministry. As time went on and we became closer, our team life was affected and soon we realized we had to tell the truth. This led to a reshuffling on the teams and we were separated from one another. No communication for 6 months, no idea how each other was doing or if we would resume our relationship.

The End!

Jokes! It’s a happy ending. Jump 6months to the future and we’re back together, pressing unpause on our relationship as though no time has passed. The day I saw her after our time apart was one of the days I will always remember. It was a strange feeling, a good feeling but strange! Realizing that I loved this person so much was just wow, just like theia mania. We’re now happily married and ready to start the next chapter or our lives!

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***

Eros is the passionate, erotic type of love. The kind that makes you head over heels, up all night on the phone talking, scribbling his name all over your journal, lovesick, kind of love. I’ve been in a lot of relationships with that as the basis, you fall hard and fast, but in my experience, it seemed to fizzle out and lose its life.

That was until I met someone new, we started as just friends, spending a lot of time getting to know each other through and through. Sure enough, after only a couple months I had found myself head over heels again, but this time we were on a missionary team together, forbidden from speaking about our romantic feelings let alone being in a relationship.

He was completely different from the usual guys I would’ve been attracted to – the rock star, artist, thrill seeking, emotional type of guys. Those relationships were fun, but they were tiring to maintain, often ended days in tears and once the flame died down it was hard to keep going. He was very logical and calm; more serious than silly, preferring science to art, and his faith was central to his life. Getting to know him, however, I quickly realized that he had a very dynamic personality that he would only share with those he trusts. Behind closed doors, he is romantic, sweet, childish and silly… all traits I need for a fun relationship. I guess it makes me feel quite special, knowing that there is so much of his personality that I get to see more than anyone else.

That was over 3 years ago now, and we’ve been married for just about 2 weeks as I sit here and write this… so, spoiler alert, this story has a happy ending.

I’ll get the details out of the way fast, it was impossible to stay ‘just friends’, and we tried. It was obvious we had a thing for each other. So days off turned into lunch dates and meeting up with his friends, walking down the streets hand in hand, asking about future plans. We were 100% a couple, feeling guilty, wondering if we should confess but also so happy with one another. Eventually, after a few months, we came clean, suffered the consequences, and were split up, with no contact for the rest of the year. At our wedding, during my new Father-in-law’s speech, he shared how he and his wife thought that would be the point where it fizzled out and we went our separate ways, but luckily for us, everyone who thought that was wrong.

We are polar opposites, and that creates a lot of excitement and dynamic in our relationship, but it also creates a lot of tension and hurt feelings. We’ve found that for us, communication is paramount to keeping our relationship healthy. It’s very easy for that good passion into a passionate fight, including tears and the cold shoulder. It’s not a fun time. It’s a learning curve, being with someone so different from you, and I can see how we’re slowly growing in maturity and understanding of one another.

One thing that I’ve learned from this relationship is that love is easy when it feels good. I’m sure many of us have experienced that kind of love before, but when it means laying down your pride, admitting you’re wrong or giving up something you want for the sake of the other… that is definitely hard. The difference between this relationship and my previous is that when the going got tough, we usually got going. What was the point of being in a relationship if it was hard? Little did I know that it was only able to mature and grow when you roughed out the storms together and learned to sacrifice for each other. That was part of our Gospel reading for our wedding, “There is no greater love than this, that a man lay his life down for his friends”, it’s something that has remained true time and time again. You don’t have to wait around for the perfect person, your soul mate who complements you in every way, I think the person you choose to be with becomes your soul mate.

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The Journey

The Break

So there I was, on the other side of the phone trying to compromise every single ounce of my being, begging and pleading to be with her. Even though she cheated and her love that was wavering in front of my eyes, I was still willing to stick to the promise “I will love you forever” and one day “you will be my wife”. There was nothing more painful and gut wrenching experience than being betrayed and giving up something so precious that I promised myself that only my wife would have.

The Rise and Fall

After a couple of months, I found out that my ex-girlfriend was in a relationship with a guy that she cheated me with. Just like that. A huge surge of self-doubt on my own capabilities and talents have come to me. I was in the worst state of my life, I don’t know what direction I should take and I felt like I was like a dirt on the ground, useless, no one cared about. I felt like everything I do would be useless and nothing I will do will make sense EVER!

The Pick-up Game

There I was broken, pieces scattered all over and lost. One day my friend talked to me because he felt that I was not moving forward and always lost in thought  and from that day, It got me to think how to love myself, he said “…… you are the most talented person I know, name me a person that we know that can do what you do, play any instruments at will, dance their feet off, athletic, CAN SING!, Well-educated and God fearing!! Name one person. So don’t you tell me that you are useless. That makes me sick”. These words made me speechless, I have been surrounded by great friends, blessed with great talents I have so much to live for and so much to live up to.

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The Learning Curve

 After I got that pep talk (and a few more mean ones) picking up myself wasn’t an easy road either. There was this unwavering feeling of doubt on everything I did, feelings of depression. The days went by things were still stagnant and things were not bad but they were not good either. It was frustrating, the feeling of one step forward then two steps back, trying to shake the feeling of being doubtful, but slowly and surely I came to understand that steps I took moving forward does not necessarily took me back, It has taught me different lessons on how to appreciate things around me especially my talents and friends, appreciate the things that love me and the things I love.

The Reality

First time in a long time I stepped into the dance studio and taught for the first time in a year. The emotions were overwhelming, but I felt that teaching was the right thing to do. For almost four months I spent my time thinking about how lousy I was and how no one would accept me. And for the first time in a while there were people willing to listen and learn to what I must offer.

The Light at the end of the Tunnel

This was the most gut wrenching experience I ever felt, but it was also the most rewarding. I know people would beg to differ that these experiences are not good but looking back, there were a lot of mistakes made and a lot more could be improved. I would have been incomplete husband if I were to marry and not recognize my mistakes. This was the cross that was given to me, work that I have to endure, but I was glad I was not alone, I was lucky enough to have a loving god, caring friends and family that I can trust.


The Cat Lady

I went through high school being the third wheel to most of my mates, falling for the wrong guys and was single throughout high school.

I went through university just an older version of my high school self only this time I had friend zoned most boys, and the guys I did like were still “the wrong guys”… for me anyway. It wasn’t until the year before I finished my degree where I thought, “I’m definitely going to be a cat lady.” Single, third wheeler… the “friend” forever.  It was then that I prayed, please Lord don’t let me die alone… I HATE CATS!

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As a few years went on (now in my early 20’s) I began to see more relationships which came with more breakups amongst my friends.  I was constantly called to be the shoulder to cry on and often had to be the counselor to my friends.  Every other month I would attend to my broken hearted mates, “He/ She cheated”, “It didn’t work out” or “We just don’t love each other” were the most common themes of these breakups. After seeing so many of my heart broken friends I made a vow. Not only to myself but to God. When I meet the one, if I meet the one, there will be no games, no hurt (if I can avoid it), and I will not give away the most precious thing to me.  I will at all costs save myself for that person because I can see how precious it is and it should only be shared with the special person.

It wasn’t until my final year of uni where I became really good friends with my (now) husband.  We had known each other for a few years now – we had met through a youth group, and he had moved to where I lived to study.  Everyone thought he had it in for me, but I was convinced we were “just friends”. I was so very wrong.

I ignored many times where he tried to treat me differently and not like “every other girl”.  We talked a lot, but I was friends with plenty of other guys so I thought nothing of it.

It wasn’t until we had been out one night and after a few drinks must have worked up the courage to tell me he liked me. At the time I remember thinking

1. HOW AWKWARD.

2. NEVER.

3. WE ARE JUST FRIENDS.

4. ARGGHHH EVERYONE WAS RIGHT.

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I sat there and told him… look I don’t know how I feel I just know we’re friends and that this is awkward. He was persistent and just told me to give it a go and we made an agreement right then and there that no matter what happened, we’d be friends if it didn’t work out.  I still was not convinced.

We were at the age where we were mature enough to have a conversation about “feelings”. Although I was terrified of allowing myself to feel anything for this friend  I thought why not – let him work for it, I mean, how could this guy possibly win me over?

Over the next 6 months, we spent a lot of time together.  A LOT of time.  He picked me up from parties, walked me to my car, cooked for me, bought me dinner,  flowers, sent me good morning texts and called me to say good night… every day for at least 6 months and he told me often how much he liked me. I on the other hand just enjoyed being friends and actually rejected him…  several times over this period. (Husband interjects: make sure they know how many times you rejected me!) He continued to chase me… I continued to be in denial and not let any feelings develop.

One day he gave me the ultimatum. Choose, he said. Friends or relationship. Excuse me… What? I’m not ready? I’m not sure? Is this a joke? How can anyone force someone to choose?!  After sulking for several days about the thought of losing my friend I realised, Sh** I can’t live without him and it was then that I realised … I had fallen for him.  Still afraid to admit it to myself… I made a choice and finally allowed myself to let him into my heart… What an incredible feeling this was and still is!

It was here that I lay some ground rules… if this was going to actually happen and if he was going to be my boyfriend then he had to…  1. Get a real job. 2. Ask my parents’ blessing and 3. Not expect me to sleep with him. His response… not a problem. He did it all and wasn’t afraid either! He got a full-time job, asked my parents to officially date me and respected my request to wait until marriage.

After only 3 months of being “boyfriend and girlfriend,” he told me he loved me and we knew then (yes – after only 3 months of being official) that we were going to get married.  It was here where we promised each other that no matter what we would not give each other our most precious gift until marriage. This was such a difficult promise to uphold. Often getting criticised by our friends, being reminded of how normal sexual intimacy is. We were often challenged in our relationship and often thought – we love each other, we’ll probably get married… what’s the point in waiting? Still we fought through any temptation, and kept our promise.

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After 4 years of “getting to know each other”, in front of my family and closest friends he asked me to marry him – I SAID YES! We got married last year, it was here that we gave each other the greatest gift that we could give each other. I now share a special bond with my best friend through love and marriage and can honestly say, the wait was worth every minute. What a beautiful gift Love is.


I tried to break up with her and she called me out on a lot of my shit. I respected that.


Preview: She wanted something more, and I wasn’t sure I was ready. Back then I was conflicted, do I want to be single or do I want to be in a relationship?

Check out the next instalment of Love Stories, “Ludus”, on Wednesday 17 May at 3pm AEST

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Written by Candice

May 10, 2017 at 2:55 pm

Posted in Love Stories

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