My dad has very strong views about me living in with my boyfriend. We belong to a modest Indian family, and there are very strong undercurrents of how honor and respect for the family resides in how well children have been brought up and how obedient they are.
I am in love with a man who is currently fighting multiple cases with his first wife. She has taken away his kid, and laying claim to his property. What she wants out of it, nobody knows, but I know that my boyfriend must have had a lot of courage to come out again after that bad a relationship and try his fate at love.
He wasn’t the first to say I love you, but he initiated our first kiss.
He was the first to really push the idea of living in.
He was the first to start dreaming of our future.
He was the first to tell me that we will create a home for us wherever we go.
He hates it that I am patient with things, that I am okay to go with the flow.
Yes hates. My man is a man of extremes.
But he doesn’t know that if it weren’t for that patience, then I wouldn’t have fallen in step with all of his plans.
It is this patience that makes me a better partner.
It is this patience that when people tell me what future do you see with a man who’s still not free of his last relationship, I say “all of it”.
He didn’t hide his life from me. He didn’t try to protect me from the ugly realities, but he makes me feel secure and loved when I am with him. And when I am without.
So when my dad airs his concerns, whether they stem out of being a well wisher for me or for what society will think of his parenting, I don’t know, my choice is to follow my heart. And to not take to heart all the gunk that he has thrown at me. I will step over it and move on.
I will not take feedback from a man about my relationship when he couldn’t hold his relationship together. I am in a tough spot with my man right now. We are figuring things out. As we live together, a lot of layers will peel off. A lot of ifs and buts will surface, and we both will be tested on how much we want to stay together and be together.
So if you are not out there, being brave and messy and courageous and vulnerable, please don’t take up an armchair position that hurls insults at other’s choices.
If you do that, if you take feedback from well wishers who have never been in your place, it will simply crush you. This isn’t equivalent to telling yourself “I don’t give a fuck about what another thinks”, because you totally do or you wouldn’t have been reading this.
Rather know who’s opinion matters to you.
My mother is the strongest person that I know. She draws energy and motivation from an inner well. She processes things, she sees patterns, she tells me what she thinks of me, she tells me if I am doing well or not, she has immense faith in my capabilities, she in other words, will always be my mom. In my 3 decades plus of existence, I have seen just how brave she is. So when somebody like that has an opinion about what I am doing, I listen. I may still choose to follow my own heart, but I will solicit feedback.
I will listen even if it hurts.