Essential reading for dating and romance

(PHOTO CREDIT: Laremy Lee)
(PHOTO CREDIT: Laremy Lee)

A friend recently revealed to me that she was in love-limbo – that is, deciding between staying put with her partner or moving on to graze on greener pastures.

To help with her decision, I promised I’d share nuggets of knowledge on dating and romance that I’ve found over the years – an essential reading list, as it were.

I realised, after pasting all the links from the Lare-pository of Wisdom (hurhur) into an e-mail message, that it was actually worth a blog post.

So congratulations, everyone! You get to benefit from the spillover effect/positive externalities of an attempt to make good on a promise – or collateral damage, as it may turn out to be.

  1. Choosing a partner (before you start dating):
  2. Building a good relationship (dating and marriage):
  3. Building a great marriage:

The section on “How to build a great marriage” is pretty skimpy, for obvious reasons (I haven’t reached that stage yet, although the plan is to get there soon).

Nevertheless, feel free to leave a comment with a link to your favourite article, if anyone has stuff they’d like to add.

Used to love her: A fond farewell to 2013

Whole lot fall in


Pursuant to my previous post which I needed to write to bridge some gaps, I’m now ready to say goodbye to 2013.

I wish I could say it was a fan-fucking-tastic year, in the same way that 2008 was awesome.

Fortunately or unfortunately, 2013 was a year of what could’ve been but wasn’t – for the better, of course.

A recap of the year’s highlights:

  • Did the freelance writer thing and wrote for a range of publications;
  • Went to Toji Cultural Centre in Korea for a two-month-long writing residency;
  • Travelled to Phuket, Hong Kong, Macau and Kuala Lumpur too – all very good getaways;
  • Taught in various capacities over the course of the year;
  • Started a new job at a great place – hopefully, a post on that soon; and
  • Learnt to stop hoarding and cleared out a lot of my old possessions, from clothing to household equipment – a post on that sooner.

The physical clearing out of objects was symbolic too, in terms of feeling less weighed down with tangible and intangible burdens.

And that helped me feel a lot better about myself than I’ve felt in recent years.

Along with that, I’ve sorted out many things in my life and I’m very ready to settle down – marriage and the whole shebang.

On that note, 2013 was relevant because of the dating and learning what I want/who I am looking for.

Without going into too much detail: I loved and I lost, and I loved and I lost, and I loved and I lost.

But I loved every single moment – from the way she arched her back to Instagram the pattern of light shining through the blinds onto my wall; to the way we were wonderful while side-by-side, if only for those fleeting moments; to the way the music made us move in a Dionysian-nectared intensity.

You may have taken away one year of my youth, 2013, but you paid your tab and the debt is squared.

What I took away from you – whether it was at work or with family, friends, lovers, etc. – was:

  • Learning how to set boundaries: to clearly communicate what it is I want and to say no to unreasonable demands on me; and
  • Learning how to let go: to be less sentimental about material and emotional things.

So I’m bidding you a fond farewell, 2013.

I used to love you, but you didn’t live up to your potential.

I’m letting you go, like how I’ve let go of the many other things for me to be free, and move on, and move up.

I’m leaner, I’m lighter and I’m ready for you, 2014.

Let’s go.