Relationships

Swiping right in real life

How on earth did our Grandparents do it?

They had no tinder to swipe, no Facebook to stalk. Was romance even real?

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I watched ‘To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before‘ the other night alongside my boyfriend. We have been together now for almost three and a half years. We live together and pretty much spend most of our time trying to not kill one another.

It gets that way when you share a bathroom.

We do all the things that most couples do. We play tug of war with the blanket at night, argue over who ate all of the chocolate and criticise each other’s driving. I drive too fast and he doesn’t wipe the windscreen when it rains quick enough.

How can you even drive with a droplet on the glass?

Rant.

Anyway!

The movie. I loved it! But it got me thinking about love and what it is! Social media makes the entire thing seem a little unrealistic. And it’s not! Writing a love letter is now a DM, but it’s not too late to pick up the pen and paper to rewrite romance. Sending an eggplant emoji doesn’t need to happen!

I had read the book by Jenny Han prior to seeing the movie and loved it. I thought it was adorable. Perhaps because relationship building these days doesn’t rely on the simplicity of love letters. But sitting and watching it with my boyfriend changed my outlook because our relationship was built on that sort of simplicity.

The film follows the main character, a young girl who writes love letters to boys she loves. Hence the name! She addresses the envelopes, which made me want to cry for her! Bad idea to begin with.

Shit truly hits the fan when her letters get sent out. Although most of us would be left red-faced if our secrets were revealed Lara Jean instead received a handsome boyfriend and a fairly happy ending.

For those unfamiliar with this, it’s the equivalent of accidentally pressing send on the hate message you typed out to your ex.

Or worse, when you like a picture on Instagram from two years ago on his new girlfriend’s page that you’d been stalking for two hours with a glass of wine in your hand and Twilight on a TV you forgot was on.

Phew! That got real.

The movie got me thinking about my relationship and how appreciative I am that it wasn’t social based! My ex-boyfriend reached out to me on Facebook with the classic “hey.” Ladies, you know the one.

It didn’t last long at all.

Guess you could say his originality at the very start didn’t fade.

Excuse me while I smirk to myself at a joke only I find funny.

Total disclaimer if you met the love of your life online the I totally salute you. I just like that I had the old-fashioned chance as opposed to the digital love age were living in. I respect it but personally don’t want to swipe left or right!

Before I found my man I had a self-confidence issue. So I decided to swipe right in my life! I enjoyed being single and decided to stop focusing on what I should become for someone else. A man would come to me when the time was right. It worked! A swipe of my thoughts brought me happiness.

That aside my boyfriend and I dated in secret for months. We worked together. He was the chef and I was the new waitress. He would flirt with me while I collected plates. I’d blush uncontrollably. We became official after a month of this routine and kept it quiet. We dated on our days off spending quality time together just talking and learning about each other. Nobody inside the four walls of our workplace knew.

No Facebook official for us. It’s as if we were in our own little world. Social media was removed from our little story. The letters in that Netflix Oscar-worthy movie brought me back to those moments. (It’s that good).

He’d leave notes in my staff locker and I his. He’d write that I looked pretty that day or that he couldn’t wait till we both clocked off.

After work we’d spend hours in the car park chatting, laughing. We’d kiss, listen to music and revel in the fact no one we worked with had any clue we were so connected.

My story isn’t romantic in comparison to Noah and Ally’s (Notebook is life) but to me it’s perfect. It brings a smile to my face whenever I think of it.

Eventually, we were caught out. A public show of affection would be our undoing. Winks from colleagues whenever my boyfriend would speak to me at work became frequent. Our manager expressed his discontent with our relationship. He even went as far as telling me it wouldn’t last long. That my boyfriend had been there before and was a bit of a player. Hate the game right?

The restaurant was closed down a few months into dating. The owner was the worst business owner known to man and I’m fairly certain banks pretend to be closed when he attempts to enter now. That’s the tea!

Despite the fact the restaurant has now been demolished and converted into a shopping mall the memories remain indestructible. He sleeps beside me as I recall it all. A loud snore that could wake the dead.

Social media wasn’t a factor at the start. It still isn’t.

To this day he rarely posts Facebook anniversary messages or publicly posts his love for me. He isn’t about that social life. To you, that might be a sign of him not loving me enough, but to me, it’s because our love is private. It’s between us.

I do post. I share pictures with paragraphs of how much he means to me. I do it for me. As my own expression in case, there ever comes a day I can’t do it anymore. It’s like a modern day version of an Egyptian pharaoh writing on the walls of his tomb. Kinda. Less slavery and whips. Way less gold and jewels.

It’s like a love letter to remind me of the moments I have experienced in total bliss.

Our love is purity. No need to prove anything to anyone.

We never go to bed angry at one another. We make sure to say we love one another daily.

We ensure we comfort each other when we’re sad.

We respect each other’s space.

Heck, I let him play fortnight without complaining because I get a few hours to watch what I want on Netflix.

Our relationship is built on true interaction. Social media and publication of our love wasn’t ever a factor. It never will be.

Social media is so fixated on producing content for other people to consume and respond to. Likes, comments and shares is simply the cycle we revolve in.

If swiping brings you closer to love then props to you! You succeeded in what I failed. Finding love online is like finding the needle in the hay. You need to sift through a load of crap before finding the diamond. I pulled out eggs I’d rather not have cracked. Simply because I was looking in the wrong place and amplifying it. My ex tagged me online on dates to showcase to his ex he was happier. Another ex wanted to post selfies of us kissing (thank you for refusing 16-year-old Loz). It was all an act I didn’t mean to audition for.

My current boyfriend has an image of me in his wallet and on his phone. To me, that’s an honour.

I love when my boyfriend declares his love, sure. I get a small buzz when I see he’s changed his profile picture to one with me, instead of the car I compete with.

But I also love that there’s a world social media can’t touch. It’s between us. No likes, shares or comments can reach it.

Romance starts from within. Social media is quick to shred your confidence, even if you have little to give up. So log off and interact with others.

The second I stopped trying to tell life how to drive the trip got easier. Stop pulling up the hand brake for boys when life isn’t ready for you to have them yet. They say love finds you. It’s corny and makes you roll your eyes, but in my case it was true. A waitressing job to pay my way through uni was the last place I expected to find him. He wasn’t hiding and I wasn’t looking. I just let life bring him to me when it knew I was ready.

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