“Now it’s not a blind commitment because sometimes in a relationship with a person, not every single person you love is meant to be. It is as simple as that.“
Relationship Status: Dating for over 2 years
What’s one time you felt love?
Where I thought I felt love was when I was 14 and I entered into my first long term relationship, it lasted about three years and some odd months, and then turns out that was bullshit. Then I met my new girlfriend now who I’ve been with for two years and four months and I can say that’s more love.
Why was the first one bullshit?
Because I was young. I thought I knew what I was getting into, I thought I knew what was happening, but there are qualities that a person who would love another person would have that me myself didn’t show and who I was with didn’t show.
You were fairly young then, so how did you view love growing up?
I thought it was unconditional. I thought it was just something where you run into someone and the butterflies in the stomach start hitting you and you’re like, “Oh my god, I’m in love.” That’s what I thought it was—I just thought it was all that twilight shit.
And for you, today, what is love?
Love is patience. Love is understanding. Love is communication. Love is being able to tell your partner they’re wrong when they’re wrong, telling them they’re right when they’re wrong depending on the situation, and having your partner’s back through thick or thin. There’s just support, empathy, communication, patience, and not just blind love—because there’s a lot of people you can love who just aren’t good for you even if you love them.
Was there anyone who you looked up to, in terms of being an example of love?
Nah. My mom and my dad got divorced when I was seven, so not there. My sister was in a lot of relationships with a lot of shitty guys, not there. My other sister was with a guy for a long time but turns out that guy was a piece of shit, so no. Grandmother, my granddad skipped out on her before my mom was born.
I had to learn from my cousin—he was in a relationship for 10 years, got married to his wife after nine and really keeps it going. I learned not from TV, because TV shows had a lot of very toxic forms of love. I’ve learned from talking to a lot of older people—elderly people on the street or at work. They’ve been married for 50, 60-plus years, and they all say the same thing: Communication, patience, picking and choosing your battles.
So did you learn anything from your family?
My family—my grandmother, my mother, my aunt—would always tell me to get some girls on the side: Don’t put all your eggs in a basket. Because their relationships, their experiences, for them if you put all your eggs in one basket and you drop your basket, all your eggs are broken, you’ve got nothing left. Within my family, I’ve had women tell me this. I’ve had men tell me this—but I’ve learned not to act like that.
I learned what not to do. For starters: don’t cheat. I’ve learned empathy: when someone’s going through shit, sit down and listen. I’ve learned how to keep my composure, so I’m very patient. I also learned communication, it’s something that I was lacking too. And loyalty, hence no cheating.
In my current relationship my family doesn’t know half of anything that’s going on but they’re telling me to go and cheat, to go and mess around all these other girls because they have a fear that I’m going to get cheated on and my heart’s gonna get broken. So they’re saying things actually with the goodness of their hearts—they want me to protect myself, but they’re going about it the wrong way. They’re not preparing me for heartbreak, they’re just preparing me to not get my heart broken in the first place—which I think is the wrong way to go. But I think everyone needs to get their heart broken at least once so they can learn what the hell’s going on. You’re not going to know what you like until you have to go through some shit to get to that point.
Did all those broken relationships and history negatively impact your approach to your relationships?
Yes and no. Yes, because by nature I’m very cautious with people—because my ex ended up dating my ex best friend. I have pretty serious trust issues, so when it comes to actually developing feelings of love for a person it takes a lot of time and a lot of patience, and it’s very easy to f*ck up because I’m quick to just dismiss people.
But no, in a sense that growing up I never had my dad around, my mom used to work a lot so I was always myself. I always wanted someone that kind of was a partner, not just a girlfriend to say, “Okay, she’s my girlfriend, she’s sweet!” I want someone who I can come back home to when I’m stressed out and fall into her arms. I’m looking for a best friend. So taking that mindset and applying it to a relationship I feel like it all works more for me because when I’m with the woman I look at them more as “If I want to enter a relationship with you I want to be your friend and your boyfriend.”
In your current relationship, when did you know you loved her?
It was on our one year anniversary. I took her to the 360 at the CN Tower. We’re sitting down and we’re eating and she started crying. And I asked, “Why are you crying?” And she’s like, “Because I’ve never been so in love with somebody in my life.” And I looked at her and then I never felt that before, it really hit me in my chest and, “Woah, I actually love this girl. Holy shit.”
This time around, if we were to break up I’ll never speak about word about her. I love her, love her, love her, love her as a person not just as a relationship. Obviously I love her like a boyfriend does, but as a person she’s a beauty, more so than anybody else.
So, what makes your relationship work?
Much of my generation, they’re expecting things. You don’t expect shit when you fall in love with people: “My girl has to have a fat ass, big titties, a slim waist. She has to be smart, but not too smart. She has to work hard, but not too hard. I want fresh food when I come home, blah, blah, blah.” That’s not something you find on the streets, that’s something you build up to.
When I met my girlfriend I had no expectations. I met my girlfriend and we clicked. And I liked her and I’m like, “I like you. I want to be with you.” And then things built from there.
There are things that you will do for your partner that you’ll do for no one else. And that comes from love and communication. My girlfriend hates cooking, but she cooks for me ’cause she loves me.
So I feel that people in my generation need to stop looking for instant gratification. Stop going into a relationship and thinking in the first two months things are going to be blessed. Relationships are f*cking hard. You’re going to cry, you’re going to cuss, you’re going to get mad. But it comes to the point where you figure out what you want and you work towards what you want. If you don’t like it, drop it and move on—but don’t look for something that you want right off the bat: look for someone you click with. You guys get along, you guys have a friendship? It’s gonna work out. So people in my generation need to stop moving so fast.
Love is…? Fill in the blank with one word or two.
Love is commitment, because you got to commit to that shit. You’ve got to sit down and say I’mma make it work with this person. Now it’s not a blind commitment because sometimes in a relationship with a person, not every single person you love is meant to be. It is as simple as that.
But if things are frustrating but you’re both on that same page, don’t give up. Commit to that shit. Keep going. Keep pushing. Because there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel and even if it doesn’t work there may still be a light. But if that light’s too far for you, you know when to call it quits. You know how far you want to walk through to reach that light. So commitment, but not commitment beyond reason. That’s how people get hurt.