Chapter 2: I Didn’t Know He Was the One (Part 1 of 2)

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Marriage is a one-way choice.

I think a lot of people know that. Over the past 16 months we’ve been together, a lot of my fiancé’s guy friends have asked him how he knew I was the one so quickly. I understand why they would ask. After all, how does one know that a particular person is the one he’ll be wanting to spend his lifetime with? How does one ensure he does not look back with regret and say, “Oh, no, God had meant someone else for me but I blew it by choosing the wrong person”? How does one know that he or she made the right decision? How does one know she’s got the best God’s meant for her, the best she could ever have?

Well, I struggled with these same thoughts very, very seriously, as I had a big case of commitment phobia previously, but strangely enough, in my memory, I don’t think anyone’s ever asked me how I knew Zac was the one.

I’ve decided to make two lists, a series of two in my Chapters series. Confusing, right? Too bad, you’ll have to live with my writing. Or not.

One of the lists (which I’ve started below) is on what kept me from knowing Zac was the one, and another one coming is on how I did knowPlease don’t try to live by my lists, although it might subconsciously serve as a guide later on (you know how influence works). Every person is different in circumstance, history, and in what makes them tick, and there might be some histories of your life which you know would be a factor.

“Is he the one? Or what about that guy? Think, brain, think, so I can act accordingly ASAP!!”

No. Please don’t do that to yourself. 

Don’t force the question on every single guy or girl you meet or become friends with from now on. You will find that it will or it will not happen naturally, according to your natural attraction or interest or non-attraction and non-interest in him or her. 

Before we begin with my lists however, I must make clear to you one thing: I could never have made these lists before Zac came into my life; it is only now that I can look back and identify the particulars by God’s grace. These lists, again, are not meant to be a guide, but rather a simple sharing of my experiences, and it’s something fun for me to do! Yay!

I knew he was the one when I first met him.

No, I’m kidding. Did you even read the title of this article? It’s all about how I didn’t know.

didn’t know he was the one when I first met him.

I don’t even remember the actual day I formally met him. I started going to their church back in October 2012 when I moved to Sydney from Manila, and back then, I was in a relationship with another person from the Philippines. Suffice it to say that I had my brains elsewhere at the time.

I didn’t know he was the one because of our ages.

It is no secret that Zac is a few years younger than me. After my then-relationship had started to get rocky (in my opinion, it had always been rocky because it was not right in the eyes of God and everyone else anyway), I would get attracted to and consider the possibility of guys my age, or guys older than me. That was, after all, “traditional” and the accepted norm.

didn’t know he was the one because of his race.

I always thought I’d marry someone Filipino. In my teenage years, a few family friends would ask me if I’d ever consider Caucasian guys and I would adamantly reply that I could never marry someone from a different nationality because of the culture differences, and because it was a big taboo in the Philippines for a Filipino (Filipina for a woman) to marry a “puti,” (pronounced poo-tí) or white (person). In the Philippines, a Filipina who got together with any kind of foreign man (non Filipino, other kind of Asian, African, Caucasian, etc) was prejudiced as cheap, low-class or even desperate or poor. People would think that a Filipina had only gotten together with him because she was either ugly, poor, or desperate to get married because no other Filipino guy would marry her. Also, there have been a lot of cases of Filipinas only getting married to white guys (mostly older guys) to migrate, have pretty kids, or take advantage of “dollars,” so that does not help.

As I came from a well-to-do family, I did not even consider dating or marrying a white guy…I had my “pick” of Filipino guys anyway. I could not even imagine leaving my home country up until late 2012. When I providentially moved to Sydney, however, and started working, my views started changing to “I could marry someone Asian at least, and white guys are awesome friends,” but I still never considered that I could marry someone Caucasian. You think Caucasians are racist? Asians can be, too. Lol

Zac’s family, on the other hand, is super Aussie. They seemed very traditional and classic barbecue-and-footie Aussies. I just didn’t think I’d fit in with their family.

I didn’t know he was the one because of how he would not romance me while we were friends.

Lol. There was no romancing happening of any sort, so that statement is sort of weird! In the Philippines, there is this traditonal thing called “ligaw” or wooing in English. Usually, the guy initiates and woos the girl by giving her flowers, chocolates, teddy bears; he declares his love for her and has to prove it; and maybe at the end of 3 months, or 6 months, or 2 years of this happening, she finally tells him that she also likes/loves him back and they get together. Or maybe she tells him at the end of those 2 years that no, she does not like him back and he is now basically “dumped” even before they begin.

I honestly think that while it is “tradition,” it is unfair and unjust for the men to have to go through all that trouble, time, and money just for a girl to string him along and leave him guessing. There is some sort of nobility to it, a revealing of the “true” intents of a guy, sure. But with the high rates of infidelity among Filipino men, I wonder: what is the point of ligaw if they’re all going to cheat later on anyway? It’s really just deceitful to both the man and the woman.

There’s nothing romantic about that.

Zac and I had been going to same church for two years before even starting to become actual friends. And even after we had become friends, we were very casual friends. A “how-was-your-week?”-on-Sunday-mornings kind of friends.

Only in January 2016 (more than three years after we had first met and more than a year after we had started to become friends) did I notice Zac offering to help me out with ministry work at church a bit more keenly. I honestly thought then, though, that he was only helping out because he was interested in the work I was doing (teaching the kids at church music and the Bible on Wednesday nights) and because he really was just a nice guy. He gave no indication that he liked me more than what was appropriate and healthy for our friendship, and for that I am so, so thankful. He did not let his intentions become known to me until he was ready for the commitment and responsibility, and he did not string my heart along before then.

The Bible way of doing things, which should surpass all traditions, is honesty and protection. What we should be concerned about is not “dignity” or “nobility” but making sure we are not playing with another person’s heart. If God has opened the door for you to move forward, then, as our Pastor has said, to not do it straightaway is delayed obedience and thus disobedience. However, if God has said nothing and you sincerely have no interest in the guy, it is better to say no as early as you can. It is, again, a perfect balance of honesty and protection.

 

What do I aim from these lists? The same thing I aim for with my other posts. That it be a blessing to just one more person out there who needs it. God bless. 🙂

For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. James 4: 15

 

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