Wednesday, February 01, 2012

The Wrong Relationship

Yesterday one foreign customer complimented my beauty. He himself is an expat who has lived in Finland for 20 years. He said he had always been attracted to eyes like mine - he called them special. I thanked him for his compliment and this incident reminded me of my past.

Back in Indo, ever since I was young, I never felt especially beautiful. I never felt ugly, either, but I knew what people considered "beautiful" - those who have bigger eyes, not a girl like me (case in point: in many Asian countries, those people who have slanted eyes try to make their eyes look BIGGER when they put on make-up. If you still don't believe me, just try googling Japanese manga series and you'll see that the idealized female person there has big eyes instead of slanted Japanese eyes. Want more proof? Try googling double eyelid surgery in Korea. So many people there have been getting the surgery to make their eyes look bigger.)

Anyway, when I was 19 going on 20, I met this guy online who made me feel especially beautiful. I knew he was a bad boy, but he was the first one ever who made me feel that I "shone among the others" (so to speak). He also taught me how to be open and by being open to him and still being accepted as who I was, I was drawn to him. He was the total opposite of me.

I knew our relationship was doomed from the start, but I did one of the most cliched mistakes a girl could ever make. I thought I could be the one who turned the bad boy into a good boy. Yep. Silly little me. We broke up not long after we met in real life. I realized even more after we met that we were just too different and there was no way I could ever change him. After all, we can't help someone who doesn't want to be helped, right?

There were times when I wished I could erase that part of my life, but now that I think about making that mistake, I have learnt so much. First of all, I've learnt how to be open to people. Secondly, by having that short relationship, I learn how to set boundaries and thirdly I figured out what kind of qualities I was looking for in a guy.

When I had that brief relationship, I had been emailing with R2 as well, though we weren't too close yet. After I broke up with my first boyfriend and I got to know R2 even more and more, I realized that he was the one I was looking for all along. We're more in tune with each other and there are some similarities that make it easier for us to understand each other. R2 makes me feel safe because he's a steady person and he really tries his best to bridge the gap between us. Most of all, he's always brought up the best in me - and even more so in real life.

However, if I hadn't had the wrong relationship, I may have not been ready to be open with R2 and everything might have ended up differently. Because I could be open with R2 and I allowed myself to be vulnerable, he also felt more at ease to show me his vulnerability. That created so much closeness between us. And because at that time I knew already what type of qualities I looked for in a guy, I recognized them easily when R2 and I began to get to know each other better.

Anyway, back to the topic of beauty. Beauty is really tricky, don't you think? I think as time goes by, I've begun to appreciate more and more the individual beauty of people, including myself. While back in my past, I craved for other people's appreciation of my outer beauty, nowadays I hope I've learnt even better how to view people through God's eyes - that He's woven each one of us in a mother's womb...that each one of us is His beloved.


  1. Beauty is indeed such a tricky thing.

    You looked beautiful to me in the pictures you posted. And I'm sure you've thought about this, but I think that whole "big eyes" thing is incredibly culturally biased. I remember when I used to teach an after school program back in the US with a largely black community, they would argue over who had the lightest skin. There is no reason for that besides a globalized bias in favor of "white" beauty. And it makes me mad and breaks my heart. But correct me if I'm wrong on this one; you know far more about the ins and outs of Indo culture than I do. :)

    Anyway, from what I know of you, you have every reason to feel beautiful, both in terms of what you look like and who you are. And I'm glad you've learned something from "the wrong relationship." :)

  2. @Elena: THANK YOU for your compliment and kind words. I think as I age, I've learnt more things about beauty in general he he...

    In terms of white beauty, you should see how many different kinds of products with whitening for people in Indo. Native Indo generally have slightly darker skin than us the Chinese counterparts (more similar to Thai people's skin for example).

    So yes, I can understand what you're saying about your experience within the black community. It IS really sad indeed. The pressure, oh the pressure...

  3. I think that physical beauty may be desirable, but it doesn't really sustain a relationship. I look for personality and think that's much more important. My ex wife is very nice looking, but her personality isn't compatible with mine at all. My personality with my current girlfriend meshes wonderfully and I'm very happy as a result.
    I had no idea they did those type of surgeries in Korea & other places on the eyelids, wow.
    Amel, they say everything happens for a reason. So, by now, you know that although the relationship didn't end well, it helped with your relationship with R2, and that's what COUNTS.

  4. @ChicagoWing: I'm HAPPY to hear about your happy relationship, Vince. :-D Yep, we can all learn from our mistakes and hopefully we don't forget the lessons he he...

  5. That's a great post, Amel.

    Beauty... I think real beauty comes from within - people who shine with God in them always seem the most beautiful, regardless of age, face, body.

    I never felt beautiful either. Growing up there always seemed a "too" added when grown-ups talked about me. too thin at first, then later... too fat! I never got the balance right. :-|

    Your story of you and the bad boy made me grin. I'll email you the story of my bad boy. It's too long for a reply. ;-)

  6. @Michelle: OH OH OH OH OH...another story from you? I can't waittttt he he he he he...

    And that's exactly my point about beauty. If we see it from a person's POV, we'll "never win" he he...'coz it's really personal.