Workplace romance. Or rather, what I thought was workplace romance.
A month back, when I was first new to the office in my first ever internship, I just so happened to be an accidental third wheel while grabbing a chocolate drink at the pantry.
When I entered, I saw a female coworker of mine fixing up her coffee just the way she liked it. I knew her in a quick acquaintance sort of way, so I smiled and nodded my head at her in acknowledgement. I strolled over to the can of chocolate powder next to the sink facing the window, grabbing a mug nonchalantly along the way as well.
I hear some footsteps nearing the pantry and I hear the male voice of another coworker of mine. I didn’t turn to look, but I knew who it was. I imagine he approached the woman next to the coffee machine, but all I know for certain is that he asked her about a date that she seemingly already agreed to and I seemed to have heard hesitation from her. It sounded like she was unwilling to go, but needless to say, I scooped out as much chocolate powder as I could, filled my mug up with hot water, and dashed out of there. It was a private conversation after all, and I didn’t need to be present for their discussion.
It was pretty odd to be in that situation. However, my guess is that it never amounted to anything much since they never really talk to each other now. Or rather, before my internship ended.
Another similar situation occurred soon after that. And this time, it was closer to home. Very close to home, actually — it was at home.
My brother was chatting with his crush via a gadget (his phone) and they reached a topic wherein the girl asked my brother if he liked her. He said he did and the girl revealed that she felt the same way. Now, this whole time, I was just below him, on my own bunk, napping — with drool and everything — and I am awoken from my deep, yet oh-so-graceful slumber by this weird yelping sound coming from up top. I frantically get up and peak over to see what on earth happened to my brother. He was under his blanket and I pulled it away to see what was going on.
His face was a muddle of shock, pure excitement, and, weirdly enough, fear. I stared at him for a bit and then he told me what had happened. I congratulated him. Then proceeded to admonish him about the consequences of him dating at such a young age (11 years old).
He understood what I was trying to get at though, so that was a good thing. He’s a pretty good kid, with a relatively good head on his shoulders, despite the fact that he still gets into a bit of trouble due to his stubbornness and his tendency to get carried away by his feelings.
Anyhow, if I recall correctly enough, this is close to what I had said to him:
Great! That’s good. But be careful and I warn you; you’re still pretty young to get committed to someone at this age. It seems more like a crush and you don’t even know if this feeling of yours will last. You need to focus on yourself first, at this very moment until you finish university. Make sure you become the person you want to be and focus on your goals, because once you commit to someone for the rest of your life, you will find it difficult to find time for yourself outside of your responsibilities to your family. Basically, you pretty much lose control of most of your time.
If you decide to go on some date with her, you need to spend money to make the date memorable, because it seems to be expected that men pay for dates. If you do so, what money will you be spending? You don’t really work. And, quite frankly, if you ask for money from any of us to fund the date, it just isn’t right. Also, what will happen to your grades? You can’t divide your attention between her and your studies, and come out of it all on top. One or the other will be sacrificed and I’m pretty sure it will be your studies, knowing you.
Also, you have to remember that we are third-world country folk and she’s from a really wealthy, upper-class family. How will you be able to compete with anyone else who might like her who belongs from the same social status as her if you don’t have the money and the connections? Sure, everyone says love will always find a way (I still think this isn’t love, mind you), but come on. Looking at this from a realistic standpoint, both your social backgrounds clash and these sorts of scenarios usually end up in misery for one or both parties involved within the relationship.
And values. Beliefs. You’re both very different there. Knowing her, from knowing her older sister, they wouldn’t be into our way of life. They understand it, yes, but they don’t live it. In turn, their way of life is something we’ll only be able to dream of or work really long and hard to reach.
Friendship. Best to keep it there for now. Wait and see. Don’t rush. Or there will just be heartache. Unnecessary heartache.
But anyhow, you’re call kiddo. I trust your judgement anyways and that’s all just my word of warning to you, as your older sister.
Me and my lectures. I can go all out when I do want to, and my brother is usually on the receiving end of these long lectures. But I really didn’t want him to make terrible decisions now, so I really did feel like it was my duty. I guess some might disagree with me on this, but family is always important and I’ve got to be there for him, guiding him as best as I can.
Regarding my own views on dating, I agree with the advice I imparted to my brother one hundred percent. It’s best to just leave the dating game until one is ready to truly be committed and get married. Otherwise, heartbreak is just guaranteed if things don’t work out with someone; all the time invested into the relationship would be quite a waste and just adds more pain to the already open wound of heartbreak.
This, however, does not mean to immediately ignore all sorts of chances that a relationship could bloom with someone. If they are indeed the right person for oneself, then it will happen eventually. Remain friends and let the friendship bloom without trying to rush anything, because almost all successful couplings blossomed from really strong friendships made out of trust, understanding, love, and respect.
Just as it was said in Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist, “Love never keeps a man from pursuing his personal legend. If he abandons that pursuit, it’s because it wasn’t true love.” If it is true love, it will remain no matter what, even if both parties involved are busy with their own dreams. True love stands firm.
If one were to believe that one has met The One, yet do not believe they are ready to commit, do not drop the friendship in favour of ignoring the person. Open up to the feeling and revel in it. Only time will tell of its outcome.
So, my key rules for this dating stuff:
1. Only date when one is ready to commit and get married.
2. Only date when the right person comes along.
3. But before you date, make sure you’ve known them long enough to consider them a good, if not great friend.
4. Only date when one is a completely whole person who can stand alone without anyone else’s help.
Eh, well. That’s all I have on this topic now.
I don’t sound like it in this post, but I can be quite bitter regarding this topic due to personal reasons. I’m just in one of those good days today.