Admiration can be instantaneous. He loves your smile. You love his humor. Eyes lock and fingers curl just right, but love is much more than superficial gratification. It is much more than good company, unceasing laughter, and overall perfect chemistry. Though those elements add to the success of a relationship, there are deeper, far more particular and crucial components to saying, “We’re a good match.”
My mother would always say, “It could be unforeseen but you’ll just know,” every time I asked her, “How do you know he’s right for you?” She would also say, “Looks fade, attire can be adjusted, and profession doesn’t make a man, so be sure he is honest with you and respects you because without those qualities your relationship will not go very far.” It was obvious knowledge but I still didn’t fully fathom and wasn’t going to until the time was right.
My first relationship was fun until serious matters arose like, “Where are we going to college?” and, “Will we remain intact?” Then I learned he didn’t want to go to college. Soon after that, it was understood that he didn’t want me to go either (I still went). Though I clung to him much longer than I should have based on natural factors like length of time invested, our families being close, and an ample amount of happy memories, the more I grew and he didn’t, the more it was evident we wouldn’t last.
A few relationships later, I encountered similar scenarios. My next steps toward the future were not valued let alone aligned with theirs and there was little to no room for alteration. So likewise, those relationships too were destined for failure.
It is now that I am outside of those associations that I realize it was not for me from the beginning. Often to too many times people adhere to the sense of comfort and familiarity despite the apparent feeling of inadequacy. And, it is every time that we wish we had listened sooner that the sword of harsh teachings is there to spike us without warrant. Though I promise it’s with good intention, it doesn’t take away the fact that fruitless relationships absolutely stink and the realization usually has a late arrival.
So who is the guy that loves you, Laila?
Well, I met him like my mother said I would, unanticipated. Approaching him in his earth-toned green coat polished with a brown scarf and a big smile while I shook his hand “hello” will forever be distinct. After exchanging a few words, we immediately traded phone numbers, and less than a week later we met for sandwiches.
Everything fit right off the bat and what I loved most so far is that he asked me out to lunch instead of drinks at an uncultured dive bar but still, I’d be lying if I didn’t say this time I was in no rush, had little expectation, zero intention and for the first time was anticipating farewell.
Anyways, it was a few hours in and he had an unfamiliar charm that prompted a helpless escape from conversation without any control to snap back to reality. It was like the movies when admiration completely encompasses you and suddenly you’re scrambling for a quick response in hopes of convincing him or her of your attentiveness. If you don’t surrender with confession, most likely your responses will include, “Yeah,” “Mhm,” “Totally.” Bottom line, he was stimulating and that was enough for the second, then third, fourth and fifteenth date.
But how are we at fifteen months today? It isn’t just because he is handsome, intellectual, kindhearted, passionate, aspiring and comical. It isn’t just because he has a good head on his shoulders with a commendable profession ahead of him. It isn’t just because being in one another’s presence is gratifying or that my family absolutely adores him. These are supplementary – bonuses to what actually makes him radiant with three central elements I didn’t know I wished for in a man.
He doesn’t take away but instead he adds to my life:
By that I mean, he doesn’t exhaust me, use me, undervalue me, or look at me as convenient. He amplifies the goodness, therefore, enhances my level of happiness. (This is the most important factor in choosing the right person. Ask yourself this; does he or she make me happier? Not happy because that is your responsibility entirely, but merrier, more smiley, and livelier). In other words, he makes good – better, and happy – euphoric, and that’s even through the challenging days.
He prizes me for me, and everything in between:
Now, don’t take this the wrong way but I admit, my dominant personality and stubborn attitude can frustrate him (I get it from my mother) and my sensitivity and irrationality can be exasperating (I get it from my father) but he is understanding, patient, and placid. He listens intently and puts equal effort towards preserving a candid yet kind and graceful relationship. Even better, there is mutual tolerance with a clear message in that margins do exist and although lines can at times be unintentionally stepped on, respect is to be upheld regardless of any trying circumstances. Nonetheless, my point here isn’t to take advantage or shrug off your flaws especially when you are well aware of them but instead to find someone that understands you, is able to still find beauty in your faults and is willing to be a part of your growth.
Plus, believe it or not, such considerations result in a less stressful and more communicative relationship. I know, crazy.
My dreams are his dreams and his dreams are mine:
His brain craves numerical challenges and yearns scientific knowledge. He is a master at being logical and analytical with sharpness to configuring, solving and proposing. I, on the other hand, have a love for words, art, humanitarian work, and politics. He was designed to be a surgeon and me, a journalist.
Although our interests may seem incompatible, we are completely engrossed by one another’s ambitions in that, differences in life-aspirations shouldn’t ever be deemed unsuited as long as they are there. He is my biggest cheerleader and I am his – always chanting at the sidelines and the first to jump with joy when achievements are met. He tells me about his research and the newest studies for cancer treatment and I tell him about my next article topic, any updates on current global challenges, or my latest blog post. The enthusiasm is reciprocated and that’s the coolest part.
What may be even cooler, however, is that we discovered in our two polar opposite professions lies two significant similarities: our love for humanity and the innate, perpetual fire within us to make positive impacts and changes in the world we live in.
Thus, with our appreciation for one another, our need to see the other prosper, and our uninterrupted tenacity, we make a solid team – an unknown importance to me before I met him.
So there it is, a peek inside one of my most treasured prizes and an honest, profound message to all people regardless of gender: a relationship is worth maintaining if it exceeds beyond what your eyes can see, far beyond the depth of jean pockets, and holds more weight than the bundle of memories stored in the crevices of your brain. Love yourself enough to acknowledge the difference.
Laila Sadat is a soulful and rambunctious woman with a heart of gold. She is a dreamer, an advocate for humanity, a lover of poetry, and an art enthusiast. Laila’s heart resonates with humanitarian work, traveling, and Mediterranean food! Her goal is to achieve an M.A. in Journalism where through her writing, she hopes to impact the world around her.