One of the perks of being old is the more you get older, the wiser you get. In the eyes of some other people, that is. Well, as I have said in my previous posts, my co-workers are getting younger and younger. Some of them were even my students in high school. Now, we are equals but they still accord me some respect.
As young ones tend to be engaged in matters of the heart, sometimes, I get to be asked questions pertaining to this worthy endeavor. Some are cutesy stories, some are down to earth. I begin to be an expert of some sort although, of course, I am not really as qualified for I do not have that much experience. I have had three girlfriends before I got married and two of those only lasted for a month. My first relationship was when I was thrown by my parents to San Miguel, Bulacan. I was a drop out then and had to repeat my third year of high school. (I was a good student but only when I do study my lessons and I hardly did that). It was during the 70s and it was really hard to be a teen ager in those days. Let us just say it was the age of rebellion and leave it at that. My second was in college. No courting, just got her to go with me to the movie theater and one thing led to another and we were steady after that. I did not expect that relationship to last and it didn't. The third one was the hardest. It hit me hard when she broke off with me. She was very beautiful and very intelligent (of course she was. She broke off with me). Back then, I was never a serious guy. Just drinking and partying all day long.
However, I am not shy with women. As a matter of fact, I am more comfortable with women than with men. I can laugh and be myself even with complete strangers. I have always been around them since my early childhood. Most of my playmates were girls. I still have that trait even to this day. Most of my closest friends are women teachers. I trust them and they, me. Of course, I get the rocks when I kind of shock them a bit. If you know me, you know what I am talking about.
So, it did not come as a surprise when yesterday, a co-teacher of mine confessed that she is having a hard time with her boyfriend. I will not go into the details but narrate the jist of our discussion. After giving a disclaimer that my assessment is purely based on what she has told me and that it could be wrong for I do not know the other person in the story, in summary, this was what I told her:
1. She loves her boyfriend more than he does her. I know the romantics would say that love knows no boundaries. You give yourself completely without any qualms or expecting anything in return. However, that is only true when the other person loves you just as much. We only live on this earth once. Why suffer? Unrequited love is the most painful of all. It takes two to tango. Love is something one does with a partner. Narcissism is the most pitiful state one can be in.
2. When you love something, you let him/her go i have been a staunch believer of this since I have read it someplace I do not recall. You know how it goes. If it comes back, it is truly yours. Well, until this morning while doing the puzzle in Star. You know that cryptic message you decode by substituting the letters to their assigned numbers? I had to stay at the shop for more than 8 hours today because of a car tune-up that has gone sour because I have asked the mechanic what was causing that squeaking noise underneath. It turned out to be a huge job that cost me more than 26K and a 12 hour stay there. What was I to do? I have read the paper from cover to cover, finished the crossword and the unscrambled letters. Surprisingly, the message was the same but with a twist. Some anonymous person wrote, "If you love something, let it go. If it comes back, it does not mean a thing for it just may leave again." How pathetic can that writer be? Anyway, I still say, if you love someone but your love is not reciprocated, better let it go and stop the suffering. It only hurts for sometime but in the end, you learn to heal the wound in your heart. Move on!
3. Nobody deserves a beating in the name of love Unless you are a masochist, there is no point in having your heart trampled upon by anybody. We all deserve to love and be loved. The key is finding the right person for you. As de Quiros would say, "there's the rub". How does one know? You don't. You just keep on praying you'll find that someone. It can be a hit or miss but by jove, you have to find him/her before you get committed. Marriage is lifetime commitment so you better make good judgments in matters of the heart. When I learn of newly formed couples, I always ask, "Have you guys fought already?" The reason being it is no problem when everything's alright. However, things can get ugly sometimes and surely, you will fight. You will have to learn how to do that. You have to know what the other person is capable of doing. How does the other person argue his/her point, does he use gestures or does he/she become very violent?
4. When couples fight and it gets nasty, never involve your relatives This is especially true when married. You wouldn't want to involve, say, your father with your marital problems. You entered into that situation as an adult, deal with it. The problem lies when the relatives become so pissed that they gang up with your spouse. Worst case scenario is it can lead to death. You can just imagine a father wielding a bolo at his daughter's husband because the latter beat her up. Maybe this is because I just watched the Godfather I again the other night. I can still see how mad Santino was upon learning that her brother-in-law beat his sister. Anyway, I think it is more prudent to either go to your friends or better yet, your in-laws first. Should there be no other alternative but to separate, work it out with them first. That is just my opinion, of course.
5. No matter how painful love can be, do not be afraid to love As corny as it may seem, the saying "it is better to have loved and lost than never having to have loved at all" still holds true. Being in love is the sweetest thing that ever happened to me. It will to anyone and we all deserve to be happy.