On the ones we love…

Been giving this topic a little thought lately, as I’ve been working my bum off, in more ways than one to keep the people I love in my life, relatively happy and content. I do what I can, for both myself and my loved ones around me, to keep us living in a decent level of comfort. Of course, those that know me will say I do not have to provide for very many mouths, therefore what I earn should be enough, right?

Work lately, has been particularly challenging. My not-so-recent promotion saw a slight increment in pay, but a huge increase on workload, travel and responsibilities. I wonder if the extra hours and headache is worth the extra cents. Of course, I do live slightly more comfortably than before, but I haven’t been really living like a pauper either. Have my own home and car, and our lifestyle could be said to be better than average. The thing that bugs me the most is, in the household, I am the sole constant earner. What my significant other earns vary from month to month, depending on the availability of opportunities. Such is the nature of a freelancing IT fella, isn’t it?

With the current rate of ‘real life’ inflation, what I earn now, although quite substantial, is just ‘ngam ngam’ to maintain our current lifestyle. It would have been possible, perhaps 5 years ago, to be able to live and have extra left over from this pay. What I mean by ‘real life’ inflation is the effect of increasing fuel and toll costs, higher cost for basic necessities such as power and water and consumer goods, and the ever escalating cost of eating out.

Thus, brings me to the topic of the day… (Please forgive the long background rambling :P) To what lengths does one go to, for a loved one? And to what lengths would your loved ones go for you?

I suppose I feel a little resentment towards my significant other, who has infinite flexi-hours. I barely get enough sleep and rest, and I’m forever rushing to meet deadlines… All for the privilege of being barely broke at the end of the month. It’s a constantly thorny issue in our relationship, that I feel I work harder than he does. I repeat, I FEEL that I work harder. It is not a contention whether I do or not… It’s just my perception… The question of the day then, how much sacrifice does one make, to keep your significant other comfortable, and happy?

I trawled around on the net, looking for the ever trashy and kitschy articles on “How To Tell If He REALLY Loves You!”… the results of my research were dismal. Most articles concerned new couples, in the courting stage. There didn’t seem to be any dedicated to couples that have went beyond the initial screwing phase, and moved onto the ‘plateau’ stage of relationships… So, dedicated to those people who have passed the initial lovey-dovey stage, and are now braving the REAL challenges of a relationship – living together, listening to him / her snore while trying to catch 4 hours of sleep before an important presentation, splitting bills and meals, picking up after dirty underwear, washing up after piled up dishes, taking out the trash, and arguing about who walks the dog today…

Give yourself one point for each of the following you answer YES to…

1. He / She starts and ends the day with a kiss, and an ‘I-love-you’ equivalent.

2. He / She picks up after himself or herself – glasses and tapau packets… Extra point if they bring the laundry down!

3. He / She lets you pick the restaurant or venue for meals.

4. He / She fills up the petrol after taking the car out. Extra point if he reloads your Touch & Go card as well!

5. He / She brings you a drink / snack / meal without you asking. Extra point if its after making love…

6. He / She calls or IMs you during the day, just to ask how you are…

7. He / She doesn’t avoid your friends, but does give you room to go out and have fun with them… Extra point if he doesn’t mind not tagging along sometimes!

8. He / She learns to appreciate your interests and concerns.

9. He / She doesn’t mind spending time with YOUR parents – dinner, or taking them out, or picking them up from somewhere. Extra point if he / she takes your mum to Tesco!

10. He / She gives you more space on the bed…

BONUS – Two points extra if he lets you pick the Channel on Astro, and lets you keep the remote control. Especially if its navigating away from E! Channel or DRT…

Now, if you score below 3, don’t despair… There’s still hope. After all, these are the things that matter to me personally. Perhaps you put priority on other criteria like how cute he / she is, how much they earn, or how good they are in bed…

If you score between 3 and 7, your significant other DOES love you, but they’re just retaining a little bit of selfishness. Don’t write them off just yet… It might work out after all… Relationships do require a bit of work, after all…

If your score is beyond 8, then he might just be the one for you… After all, when you’re planning to spend the rest of your life with the same bloke, it WILL matter whether he keeps his end of the bargain in the chores department. He must also be considerate to you, at all times… Some selfishness is allowed… He / she is after all, a human being (Does not apply if your significant other is not human :P)

These are my personal thoughts, and no one else’s… There is no scientific basis whatsoever in the test… It’s just based on my relationship, that’s fast approaching a decade, most of which were spent in cohabitation. He’s pretty much seen everything, and I’ve just about thrown every possible kind of tantrum known to man, and he STILL claims to love me…

Putting into words what I deem to be the markers for true love has made me realize, that perhaps I have indeed been lucky, to find someone who loves me utterly and unconditionally, with all my faults and follies… Good luck to you, my dear readers, in finding the love of your life…

Looking forward to going home, after a hard day’s work, into the arms of the man I love – Jasmine.

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