As it relates to relationships, one phrase I strongly agree with is: “Love is not a feeling, it is a conscious choice.” Similarly, I believe that the decision to get married should not be based largely on a feeling, but as a choice based on careful introspection and analysis of oneself and research/due diligence about their significant other. At the beginning of 2018, there’s undoubtedly some fellas who are trying to decide whether or not to pop the question. This is part two of the thought process behind how I chose Kryzia Mae to be my wife.
Having been around each other for so long, Kryzia was around when I was the class clown in high school, then witnessed my 180 degree turn towards being more focused and ambitious in the span of essentially a year. But she underwent some significant changes too in terms of what she wanted to achieve and how she understood the world. We had to go through a lot of growing pains to readjust to the changes we were making within ourselves. That meant there was a period of more petty fights and disagreements: some of which were actually big-ticket issues.
What stood out to me about that time, and to this day continues to stand out to me, is she actively looks for ways to make and implement changes whenever I point out things that inconsistent with our united vision. Granted, there are times when the old behaviours resurface, but she is quick to recognize and make amends when they do. This is extremely important to me because it lets me know that she respects my perspective and views me as important enough to hear me out. We’ve developed a process that works for us when it comes to disagreements and disputes. There are times when she’ll disagree and we’ve learned how to respect each other’s opinions. Then there are times when she’ll disagree, but she understands that it makes me very uncomfortable. Just knowing how uncomfortable it makes me and realizing that it’s not a hill she’s willing to die on, she finds a way to change it going forward.
As a strong-willed individual, I truly need someone who can stand up to me. I need someone who is fierce in articulating a logical perspective to me even when I think I have it all figured out. She challenges me, calls me out, when she doesn’t think the path I’ve chosen is in our best interest or is the best option possible. Not only has she provided me with perspective, but she also challenges me to do things that may be outside of my comfort zone. A perfect example of this is writing for this blog. Everyone knows she loves to write and she’s really good at it. I, on the other hand, did not ever see myself sharing my thoughts through this type of platform. Her push in this direction (and her convincing powers) got me started and I have to admit that I have started to enjoy working on this small passion project of ours. Over the years, she has saved me from myself more times than I can count. She has proven to be an irreplaceable advisor who I cannot be without.
Having spent some time in the Filipino community, I have seen that family is on the top of the list of cultural values. I found that Kryzia has certainly inherited that. She has proven to be willing to go to greater lengths for family (and sometimes friends) than I think I would at times. While in some cases we disagree as to where one should draw the line to appease a family member that is actually negatively impacting you, the overall premise of “Family no matter the cost” is something I want to subscribe to. More importantly, as we look to build our own family unit, I can forsee having that additional familial support as an invaluable asset more often than not. While that’s not to say that my family is not supportive (they are), my observations have led me to the conclusion that from a cultural perspective Filipinos appear to take it to the next level. The integration of that important value is certainly something I’d like to pass on to the heirs of my own throne. Additionally, as I have gotten to know her immediate family, it is also clear that she is coming from a solid family structure with parents that love/care about each other and her, which I believe has a direct correlation into how she interacts with me.
Again, this list and the reasons within it are not comprehensive. However, I believe them to be important pieces to the puzzle that require clarity before proceeding to the level of marriage. I am of the opinion that being “in love” is great, but is completely insufficient if the other aspects are incompatible and mismatched. Love is a choice, not a feeling and due diligence can help ensure the choice holds up over the long-term.