I was proposed to about fourteen days ago, on a bridge above a canopy of trees, in Singapore, in the rain, while on a day hike. It was apt since we both love the outdoors, greenery, hiking and it was one of our first hikes together in Singapore. Since then, we’ve gone on longer hikes in New Zealand, Canada and Norway, in the rain, under the sun and in the snow. We’ve made many good memories while on those hikes that’s for sure.
There are so many memories and thoughts that I’m struggling to put this in a blog article read by people who do not know us and hence, the lack of context. For us, getting engaged is a milestone in our lives after five years of living together, but it does not change many other things. Commitment is above any law and it is what holds people accountable to something. However, that said, I grew up in a more conservative culture whereby couples who live together should be legally married and there is still a slight stigma for women who live together with a partner, without getting married or an indication of that happening in the near future. So this was definitely good news for my parents too. They did find out about this earlier than me…when M asked them for permission and blessing before the proposal.
Tradition aside, it is also a goal for many women – to have their very special day, being a princess (although sometimes, we probably do not stop being princesses…). Thanks to all those TV influences – both Western and Eastern, what we are brought up with and societal mindset. Many women see that [getting attached or married] as a part of their value or self-worth.
Coming back to simpler and happier thoughts, hiking and our journey so far which cumulated to the day of being proposed to. It was definitely a special moment which seems more important than signing any legal document. The first few hikes we had as a couple in Singapore and later brought us on many other adventures.
The adventures we had together were great experiences which brought us closer as partners. Multi-day hikes are a great way to bond for sure, when you are ‘bonded’ together for that number of days and nights…
There are so many memories and stories to tell around each hike, adventure and experience we’ve had together. Although we’ve had some bad ones too, just like any other couples, I think it takes work from both parties to work out any issues.
Some things I’ve learn so far after being in a good and healthy relationship. We may not be perfect at doing this yet but a relationship is a learning journey.
- Do not leave issues as they are. Work them out and find a middle ground if there is and then move on.
- As partners, we need to lift each other up. From simple things like sharing domestic chores to something more emotional and mental.
- Listening to each other. Really listen. This is so important for any form of relationship – friends, colleagues, family…yet so tough. Many people listen ‘shallowly’ and jump right off to what they want to say. I’m more aware of this now, but still room for improvement.
- If there are deal breakers in the relationship, learn to say no and break away as early as possible. Life is too short for staying unhappy for too long.
- Learn to discover and travel solo first before travelling with your partner. Find that space, peace and happiness within yourself as you should not rely solely on someone else to make you happy.
- Mutual respect, honesty and trust form the basis of a healthy relationship.
We are so alike in so many ways that it is easy for me to be my weird self. I don’t think there could have been another answer to the proposal other than, yes.