This is a Love Story

Amy chan relationship columnist

“I met him.” I confided in my sister. As she stared at me with a confused expression, I further explained. “He’s really different. I can imagine building a life with him.”

Bold statement. First of its kind. And with complete conviction I vocalized what my heart and body was telling me. There was a sense of knowing that came over me – a sort of familiarity that I couldn’t quite articulate into words. As a hyper-analytical relationship columnist who studies and researches facts and data, for once, it wasn’t a cerebral thing, it was a feeling thing.

Unlike my usual articles, this piece is not focused on advice or relationship psychology. Rather, I invite you to peer into a window to my heart. Unfiltered. Unedited. This, is a love story.

Let’s start at the beginning.

The beginning of love stories do not start when two people meet. At least, not ones of the soul-mate kind. I believe that energy never dies, it just takes different forms. In our current life, we will come across those whom we once shared a meaningful energy connection with from a former lifetime. Meeting again is not new, rather,  a continuum – organically picking up where you last left off.  When I first saw him, within moments, I knew that this was not our first encounter.

Throughout my life I’ve met a wide range of men. Some whom I shared compatibility with but no chemistry. Some whom I felt strong chemistry with but no compatibility. Some whom were compatible in values but not in timing. Like the tale The Three Little Bears, the romantic interests I met were either too hot or too cold, and in my long journey of mismatched connections peppered with the odd relationship here and there, I had yet to meet one that was just right – my match. Even the ones I ended up in relationships with, regardless of the  justifications I tried to convince myself to believe – I knew in my gut that I wasn’t with my right fit.

With him, it felt different. Perhaps subconsciously I was projecting my hopes and dreams onto someone else. Perhaps all the self-work I’d been doing finally resulted in me being in a healthy place where I was truly ready to be open to giving and receiving love.

Upon our first date, things moved quickly and intensely. It was fast, but there was an organic flow to things.

I then made a decision, to try something new. To be completely vulnerable and take a risk on investing into this one person. I abandoned my usual “protect my heart” strategies such as “hedging” – when you keep doors open with multiple people in order to not put all your  eggs in one basket. Instead of playing games or seducing with push-pull tactics, I opened up my heart fully. I welcomed him into my beautiful world. I invested in him for the potential ‘us’ – knowing full well that the outcome could be something substantial or, just a matter of fleeting moments.

This is how I choose to live. I don’t believe that anything  great in life has ever been the result of mediocre efforts or having one foot in, one foot out. All or nothing. In or out. I will take risks and even occasionally suffer in order to strive for great, versus settle for good, any day.

I will take risks and even occasionally suffer in order to strive for great, versus settle for good, any day.

I knew, at the pace we were going and the intense connection we shared, that I was choosing him. And with that choice, I would eventually fall in love with him.

Fast forward into the near future, little did I know, he would stop choosing me. On a sunny Thursday afternoon to be exact.

The crazy thing is, before he even had the talk with me, I already knew. That morning I was out of sorts and meditated to calm my anxiety, but I knew. On an energetic level I felt that he had cut the connection. We ended up talking a few hours later, and my anxieties were confirmed.

He started off by telling me how wonderful and amazing I was. The positive feedback sandwich doesn’t exactly work on a relationship columnist, and the pretty words went by in a haze. All I heard was, “I’ve made a decision to end things romantically with you. But I still want to have you in my life… as a friend.”

I don’t know if the request for my friendship made the news worse or better. To be honest, in that moment, it made me angry. It made me flashback to the men from my past, who never realised what was in front of them only until it was too late, and then half-assedly tried to change our friendship into a romance again.

“No. No you may not be my friend.”

I spent the rest of my day crying.  My dear friend rushed over to support me. All I wanted was to understand – to end the confusion. I tried to analyze and categorize the situation – to make sense of the one thing that has no real logic to it at all –  the matters of the heart. Instead of barraging me with advice, my friend just gave me space to feel my emotions – the shame, the anger, the confusion, the sadness… She gave me permission to be messy, chaotic and fucked up. No pretty bows, no tidy endings, no poised grace. I felt safe to express and this helped me process.

And then, after hours of intermittent crying, deep breathing, self-doubt and pure anger, I came to a revelation.

If this was five years ago, and I was dealing with this situation, I would have been completely shattered. I would have not been able to emerge from the darkness of my suffering, and would have stayed there for a long period of time. But today was proof, that all the self-work I’ve been doing, all the tools I have been building for emotional and spiritual intelligence has been work in action – and it’s had a significant impact.

In no way has the pain of this kind of heartache and disappointment changed. The intensity of feelings have not changed either. However, what has changed is my ability to process the emotions and self-soothe myself back into a state of equilibrium. Up until a few years ago, I would anchor external variables such as my romantic partner or my job as  as the center of my orbit. If one of those variables disappeared, I would be helplessly knocked off my center.

“What has changed is my ability to process the emotions and self soothe myself back into a state of equilibrium.”

I have learned in the last few years that all those things – the relationship, the status, the job, the home – they are orbiting around me. I am at the center of my universe, and not the other way around.  If one thing disappears surely I may lose some balance, but I won’t get completely knocked off my feet.

I learned to base my happiness on the things I could control – my energy, my kindness, my ability to help, heal and impact others – my empowerment. With a baseline of joy and peace, life events and hardships may bruise me, but will not break me. This, is a game changing perspective.

As I reflect on this experience, a beautiful quote from the movie The Fault In Our Stars comes to mind: “You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world…but you do have some say in who hurts you.”

“You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world…but you do have some say in who hurts you.”

I knew there was a chance I would get hurt, but I was okay with that, and still am. He was a beautiful human who gave me a glimpse of how a healthy dynamic feels like. My bar is raised in what I know I deserve in a relationship, and in some way, I will forever be changed. For that I am grateful.

Pain is something our society avoids. We stop ourselves from being open and vulnerable, from truly connecting with others out of a fear of pain. But the emotions that come with pain – the good, the bad and the ugly, are all a part of the spectrum of feeling that makes life so beautiful. And when you so happen to experience pain of the romantic kind, you figure out that it’s really not that bad. You can choose to bounce back. And you do. That journey is empowering.

And this leads me to the love part of this story, and no, there is no prince involved.

You see, this is my love story – and it has nothing to do with him, or anyone else for that matter.

You see, this is my love story – and it has nothing to do with him, or anyone else for that matter. Rather, this has been a story in the making for a very long time. All the heartaches, the lessons, the highs and the lows, the various characters that have made an appearance – they have all been critical to the plot. Because it is through those twists and turns, that I have finally realized that, love stories begin and end with you. Anyone else that shares a part of that journey are added bonuses.

For those of you reading, who are creating your own love story, let me leave you with this.

To know the risks of being open and vulnerable, but going ahead anyway with reckless abandon in the spirit of creating something spectacular and awe-inspiring – that, is courage.

To allow yourself to sit with the negative emotions that come from heartache, instead of numbing out – that, is strength.

To face your fears of abandonment and rejection without allowing the disappointment to harden you, and get back up with hope and a blank slate – that, is resilience.

To know that nobody has the power to make or break your baseline of joy – that, is empowerment.

And in a time when your heart is aching, to hold compassion for yourself as well as for the person who hurt you – that, is love.

And in a time when your heart is aching, to hold compassion for yourself as well as for the person who hurt you – that, is love.

Do I think that I met a soulmate? Yes. Do I think that we come across many soulmates in a lifetime. Definitely. Maybe my intuition was  completely wrong. Maybe there is a bigger lesson here that will only make sense when I look back from the future. I don’t have the answers. All I can do is to allow myself to process the emotions as they come and trust that I’m on the right path. And eventually, it will all connect, as it usually does.


  • Reply February 12, 2016


    I just don’t understand why any human being chooses to hurt a beautiful person like you. Is there any words of wisdom to explain why kind and beautiful people are put to endure heartache and disappointment again and again? Your love stories and your journey in searching true love are simply inspiring and therapeutic. It gives hope to those still searching and it heals those just as vulnerable. I say a little prayer for your soulmate to reveal himself soon.


  • Reply April 15, 2016


    What a beautiful article. I have been hoping to meet someone (a man) I could share an emotional and spiritual connection with but I know realise that I need to cultivate an emotional and spiritual connection with myself first. Thank you.

  • Reply June 14, 2016


    Beautifully written. Thank you for sharing.

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