LOVE AND CUPCAKES. WELL, NOT REALLY CUPCAKES.

I told John that I love him first.

The first time I told John I loved him was the first time I told anyone, other than my family and my best friends, that I loved them. It was the first time I said it out loud for a very, very long time. It was the first time I said it to a romantic partner.

You remember these things. I remember the first time I thought I might love him, and the first time I knew I did. And then the first time I wanted to tell him but couldn't say it, and when I did tell him, it was simple and easy, and it was like taking a breath of fresh air after holding it in for so long. I didn't even need him to say it back — I just needed to tell him. An emotion that big that I couldn't hold it in my heart of hearts for any longer.

Love is not hard. Loving someone, falling in love with someone is easy. It's letting your guard down, that's the tough part, the vulnerability and shedding skin, the layers you didn't want people to see. And the relationship — that's the hard part. Falling in love is easy.

Slightly more than four and a half years later after I met this gem of a man, a courthouse wedding, six months of living together later, and now as I watch the rise and fall of his chest as he lays next to me in bed, it still feels like a breath of fresh air every time I tell him I love him.

 

WHAT LIVING WITH YOUR HUSBAND IS LIKE IF YOU'VE NEVER LIVED WITH EACH OTHER BEFORE

I have never lived with my husband before December 2014. Sure, we've travelled together, and I've visited many, many, many times but anybody can tell you that travelling and visiting are two completely different things from actually living in the same household.

We never co-habited partly because of geography, and partly because of religious beliefs, in particular, our parents' religious beliefs. In the course of our relationship (and we were together 4.5 years before we got married, so you can trust me on this), we have been told enough times that we should move in together before we get married. Apparently, you wouldn't truly know someone unless you've lived together.

Sure, I understand the excitement of moving in together, domestic bliss and all that jazz, but I don't think it'll make much of a difference. Say, for instance, you moved in with a man you're sure you want to spend the rest of your life with, are you really going to break up if he doesn't wash his plates after he eats? And likewise, is he going to dump you when he sees how you look in the morning? I highly doubt it.

Everybody can change, everybody can adjust and adapt. I call bullshit on people saying that you wouldn't really know your partner unless you've lived together. I've known John for slightly more than four years before I showed up in his bachelor pad with three suitcases full of clothes and shoes and makeup and he is exactly the same person as he was before I moved in.

He's had to change some things he does around the house, like where he leaves his clothes for laundry, for example, because that cupboard is now what I use as one of my wardrobe spaces. And likewise, I've had to change some things that I've gotten used to, like, sleeping diagonally on my queen-sized bed.

I've been grumbling to myself how our bed feels too small, and I miss sleeping alone until John fell ill and moved himself to the couch so I didn't fall sick. Let's just say it was a lonely four nighter.

You learn to be patient. I know that John has lived by himself his whole adult life, and I, with my family. We both make little, gradual changes to make our lives cohesive. Sometimes, he annoys me but then, he drives me to get froyo and all is right in the world again. And me? We can now henceforth refer to March 2015 The Great Tampon Incident where I flushed tampons down the toilet, and then clogged it the f**k up (in my defence, I've been flushing tampons down the loo my whole life.)

Embracing quirky living habits is something that you need to learn to deal with. John can't fathom how I don't mind being at home the whole day writing up a storm; when he's not in the office, he enjoys writing in cafes. On the other hand, I prefer to work on my stomach, on the bed, with my materials sprawled around me. I've freelanced successfully for many years this way, and it's not about to change.

I'm not saying that you should only live with your partner after you're married, you can really do whatever you want. All I'm saying it - I'm calling bullshit on all those people who've told us we should live together before getting married.

As John says, you do you.

WE GOT MARRIED!

 God damn my crazy eyebrow.

God damn my crazy eyebrow.

In case you don't follow me on social media (gasp! Facebook and Instagram FYI), I got married last week! We had our nikah ceremony in Singapore last June, and we'll have our receptions later in the year. 

I would write something melodramatic about finding the love of your life and crossing oceans for him, but I'll keep it for my vows and for the people I want at my wedding to hear. ;o)

GUESS WHO'S IN TOWN?

mylove

My fiancé is not only in Singapore for the first time since he graduated and left, he has also been officially introduced to my parents as the man I will marry, he's met some of the most important people in my life (save for my family living in Belgium), and well, he's getting up close and personal with the family he has to deal with when we get hitched. Thank God Blob is so cute.

I am, obviously, beyond elated, to have him in my comfort zone, and in some cases, finally meeting some people I've been talking to him about since he left. Also for the fact that I don't have to fly long haul - he seems to be having a much easier time doing the commute that I have been, even though I have a list and all of things to bring on board a plane in case (beauty) emergencies happen. 

Right now, I'm just glad he's here. I'm taking my time, breathing him in and savouring. :o) 

SAN FRANCISCO AND BEYOND

Transient

In case you don't follow me on my various social media channels, I'm engaged!

This wonderful man proposed to me and we're on our way to starting our lives together. It's money, lawyers, visas from here forth but I know it's all going to be worth it at the end of the day.  J truly is the best thing that has ever happened to me, and I can't wait to start our lives together.

He's coming to Singapore in June... watch this space for wedding updates. GASP!

P.S.: Wedding sponsorship totally welcomed with wide open arms, whether in SG, or the US!