My mother always said: “Choose the man who loves you, more than you love him” and these are words to live by.

I used to think that love is like a bird — a free thing you need to capture, place in a cage and lock until it grows and fit your standards. Everyday I would feed love with the illusions and images of what love should be and what it should look like. I was high school when I started making my “Love checklist”, then each year after each unsuccessful attempt at love I’d change it, enhance it, give it a new form.In university I found that love looked like someone who could play the guitar and has great taste in music, then it became someone who was tall, silent and mysterious until finally professional life caught up with me and I’ve all but forgotten the “checklist” and I was left with this:

LOVE CHECKLIST:

  1. Taller than me
  2. Can sing well
  3. Has a nice smile
  4. Long lashes
  5. Intelligent
  6. Stable Income

 

Days before my wedding day, I found this, I smiled and was amused with myself for how foolish my young self was for trying to contain love inside a checklist. Then Tick-tock

tick-tock

tick—-

Minutes before I exchanged my wedding vows, I looked at the man facing me in the altar. He wasn’t as tall as I imagined my future groom would be, he’s never sang properly to me although I feel like he has a good voice hidden underneath that shy shell, he is indeed intelligent, his lashes are enviably long and his smile wasn’t that beautiful—but it was the only smile that I knew I would look forward to at the end of the day, for the rest of my life. It was the only smile I’d put the effort in to see every day.

My mother always said: “Choose the man who loves you, more than you love him” and these are words to live by.

My husband, he didn’t tick all the items on my checklist, he never says “I Love You” except on special occasions which totals to twice a year: my birthday and our wedding anniversary.

BUT, he buys me my favorite dessert before coming home from work —everyday, despite his busy schedule he messages me thrice a day without fail, when he sees me tired or having a bad day due to menstrual cramps he picks up the house chores and does them without a single complaint. HE REMEMBERS EVERY LITTLE DETAIL ABOUT ME. He knows I hate lightning and I shiver when I hear the thunder, he wraps his arms around me when I watch movies that has huge spiders, he knows I love Taylor Swift and knows which artist is on my playlist that week and he plays them—when I’m tired or lonely or feeling homesick.

I married a man who loves me—- as much as I love him.

But most importantly, I married a man who makes me feel safe and loved even without saying those three big words: I Love You. 

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