Vintage. Yes, like wine that grows richer and more flavourful with age, and like cute little dresses from bygone eras that still prove timeless (and fashionable!) until today. That is the perfect word to describe our relationship.
I’ll tell you why in 5 reasons.
1) We first met in 2005 but we only truly talked and felt the uncanny connection in 2009. Though there were sparks then, our first Valentine date was in 2010. Our relationship only truly happened and became official in 2011. I met his family and he met my friends in 2012. I just admitted I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him in 2013. And yes, since we live in two different countries, we plan to be in the same place in still a few more years (2019). What can be more vintage than a wonderfully long-drawn-out relationship that allows growth and experiences to change us and make us better together?
2) Vintage – because not only has our relationship lasted and become more refined and mature through the years, it has also spanned so many places! I am a physician-in-training based in Manila and he is an investment professional based in Singapore. Think managing the 1000-mile-distance is complicated enough? No. Before that, he was also in Beijing and Berlin and I was in La Union. There was also a time when I took a clinical elective in Boston and he was in Singapore. Or, in the next coming months, he will be spending two years in Chicago while I will be in Manila. Yes, different time zones, cultures, and industries certainly don’t stop us from connecting! The secret is Skype, constant dates every 6 weeks (he visits me in Manila every other month and I visited him twice in Singapore already), quarterly getaways and “troubleshooting retreats”, and A WHOLE LOT OF UNDERSTANDING, TRUST, AND INTEREST IN EACH OTHER’S PURSUITS.
3) Our relationship certainly has character, a few wrinkles here and there, and INCREDIBLE GROWTH AND TRANSFORMATION. Being together since 2009 has definitely put us in flux. He started out as a rather arrogant, I-own-the-world, sneering guy. I started out declaring I didn’t need anyone and that relationships were treacherous things, prizing ambition and shiny things more than anything else. But after years of getting to know each other – both our good and bad traits – we grew into our own persons. Now I am very proud to be with a man who knows his direction in life and who has drive and ambition, but who highly values family and close friends. And he has seen me learn to accept love and become humble, slowly changing from a volatile and hostile girl to a woman who finally admits that yes, maybe someday she might actually want to have a family and that being with someone is far from a poison or a prison, rather it is an opportunity to go out of oneself.
4) Despite so much experiences and years together, we are still excited to be with each other. We don’t even call each other “boyfriend” or “girlfriend”. We prefer “lifetime scheming partner”, “partner-in-crime”, or to be more naughty, “playmate”. Ang vintage hindi naluluma. Kami din ganun. : ) Because no matter how much we change, what keeps us together is our set of shared core values and our bagay-na-bagay personalities.
5) And lastly, we are vintage, because we will still last way, way farther into the future. It is not just about romance or a love story, it about dreaming big and wanting to leave a legacy. The Intsik in him and the Ilokano in me, coupled with our hunger to be self-made and our sense of diskarte, envision an empire of our own a few years from now. We are both entrepreneurial and want to be so much more than the conventions of our current careers. Watch for it, wait for us, and work with us, as we slowly build our empire and sphere of influence. Love + vision + values = legacy. Here’s to the next 50 wonderful years and we hope that our future grandchildren will be proud of us. Literally, vintage na talaga kami by then hahaha. 🙂