Thursday, February 16, 2012

{familiar, but that's not all}

"So, Sarah, how would you describe your relationship with Ren Jie?"

"What?" I look at her suspiciously, "That's... random."

She shrugs. "Just curious. Just give me one word, the first word then comes to mind."
I pause. "Familiar." I tell her hesitantly.
"Familiar?" She's dubious.
"Familiar. And stable." My voice has more strength, now that I've have a moment to think it over.
"Familiar? Not beautiful, fantastic, wonderful; something a little bit more... romantic?"
"It fits." I tell her, shrugging it off. "But that doesn't mean that it's not everything that you mentioned."
"It's boring!" She's almost exasperated.
"Not necessarily."
Just a conversation that I had recently. Familiar is a boring choice, but nothing seems to fit us better. We've been dating for a while now; 2 years in a few more months.

Our relationship is not in that exiting stage anymore. I don't get butterflies in my tummy liked I used to when he held my hand, or when I waited excitedly for a goodbye kiss. We have no more 'firsts', if you would like to call it that. (Don't get your mind in the gutter...) We've kissed a thousand times and that used to be weird. Not knowing what to do, not knowing where our noses should go, or am I doing this kissing thing right?! Holding his hand use to be awkward, and now it's just us... holding hands. Kissing. Just me & him. Nothing exciting. Just familiar. Still feels pretty damn awesome though. (;

That's not to say our relationship is boring. Hardly. He drives me absolutely crazy sometimes. I think about strangling him on a daily basis, and then reviving him just so I can do it again. Sometimes he also says or does the sweetest things. And I just melt. Because he doesn't realize how completely adorable and wonderful he's being. He's just being him.

Valentine's Day just passed and we spent it at McDonald's. Getting a free vanilla cone. Which I adore. I love those soft serve cones. But to me, Valentine's isn't about spending a bomb on chocolates and flowers and a gourmet dinner. (But I'm a girl and it doesn't exactly hurt (; But it's not the be all and end all.) It's about our relationship. It's about how even at McDonald's, I have the greatest time with him. How he made me laugh till I was in stitches, till people around us were glaring at me for being so loud.

Just like any other awesome day with him. It's normal, usual, nothing exciting. But that's what made Valentine's special. Because everyday he makes me laugh (or drives me nuts) and everyday I love him, and he loves me. I know what to expect. But it's not bad, it's familiar and it feels good.

He's not perfect. Far from it. But I'm not perfect either. I'm not going to say, 'oh but we're perfect together!!!!!', because we're not. Things don't just fit together. We had to work for it. We're different, very different. We fight, we disagree, we want different things. And we have had pretty major big fights where things are just hanging by a thread. Compromise; that was a very important word at the beginning of our relationship. We fought so many times in a week, sometimes we didn't think we could make it through. But here we are. Almost 2 years, and going pretty damn strong if you ask me.

But who knows, right? Things might not work out. A while from now, a new boyfriend could be reading this post all about Ren Jie. And feeling jealous. Or nonchalant. I don't know. I might want something more exciting. Which, as fickle minded as I am, happens sometimes. But I've learnt that it's just a superficial desire, I already have the stability & familiarity with him that I need.

I mean this in the way that I sometimes want things he can't give to me. I won't mention them, it's just too personal. But I have him. I have his love and his support. I have his respect, his admiration, his passion. Everything that I could need from him. Everything else is just want. Bonus things, I suppose.

You know, he says he's not very good at being a boyfriend. I suppose... that could be true. Now, now, don't hate me. He's just very clueless when it comes to being the doting boyfriend. Actually, I think he'll freely admit it. He's terrible at doing romantic things too. Haha. It's just not him. But he's wonderful at being him, the guy I want to be with.

...I think I've gone somewhat off topic. How do I explain this familiarity thing? I have these feelings, but I don't have the words. Maybe it's the way we are day to day. Like how we text each other good morning. And if he says 'Hey I'm up', I know he isn't the best of moods. Or how I know he will fall asleep at night without saying good night. Or how he loves ketchup, and Seasons Ice Lemon Tea. Anything blueberry as long as it isn't too sweet. How he will beat himself up for small mistakes. How he will procrastinate on his homework (haha). How he cares deeply about everyone around. How he sees things that I don't see. I depend on him for that, I suppose.

There isn't any need in excitement in the day to day things anymore. Just us, and contentment. Of course he still surprises me sometimes, doing or saying the most extraordinary things I never would have expected. Sometimes bad, but almost always good. I know our relationship, I know what to expect. It's familiar, it's stable, it's us, with a little surprise once in awhile.

The butterflies in the tummy faded eventually, and that's when I learnt that love isn't about excitement and surprises and all those puppy love things. It's about discovering all the things you don't like about your partner, and loving him anyway. Maybe even learning to love him. It's about discovering bad things about yourself, and yet having him help cast a light on your shadows. It's about working to stay together, and not giving up on a good thing because I can't have something that's fleeting.

There's nothing much new about us as a couple. Not until we take the next step anyway. Maybe we're boring, I don't know. But having this... familiarity, stability, everyday is great. It's full of love, hope, humor, passion, respect. That's what makes it familiar, that's what makes it us. Because everyday I have all that from him, everyday it's amazing.

It's all that I know, it's all that we need. It's in our everydays, with no need for anything grand or drastically different.

It's how I can wake up next to him in the mornings and smile shyly. And then laugh it off when I lean in for a kiss and he says no, because I have bad morning breath. But also, force one on him anyway.

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