30th Birthday Reflection (Part 4): On Love, Marriage and Partnership

Ahhh…I’m now finally coming to the part where people have debated over and have their
own wisdom about since the beginning of time: Love.

On Love & Marriage:
To me, it's not just diamonds and flowers that make a marriage. Little things add up (i.e.:
being considerate, listening emphatically to grouses, encouraging him/her to pursue dreams, stealing kisses and hugs now and then, giving gifts to one another including diamonds & flowers, etc.). Making these small, simple steps over time will yield bigger, happier relationship results.

I can’t deny that there are toxic people out there, where he/she is a nitpicker, degrades you, or made you shoulder all the wrongs in your relationship instead of taking personal
responsibility. While I would urge you to start believing you deserve better respect & love unto yourself, please don’t hate yourself for meeting these people in life. No, there is no point trying to seek revenge on that person who broke your heart, or you trying to punish yourself to redeem your mistakes. Consider these experiences as necessary lessons to teach you two things in love: one, to reflect on your thought patterns on love and how you love yourself. And two, let it reveal to you the kind of partners you are attracting because of your current beliefs in life. For example, if you noticed you have been attracting jerks, consider if it is because you believed that you don’t deserve better for yourself, or you are afraid of being alone.

The journey to find love can be hard for some of us, but when you finally found that someone who deserves your love, you may initially question the authenticity of that blessing. You may ask, “How do I know he’s The One? How would I know he won’t be another jerk I have dated in the past?” The answer is, your gut instincts will effortless guide you, tell you if that person is The One, or something’s off with him/her. In my case, my whole being - heart, soul, mind and gut instincts - agreed in unison that Giden is a uniquely wonderful person meant for me, whom I am so lucky to marry.

If you are wondering what crucial traits to look out for in your Mr. or Ms. Right, here are
some benchmarks to start with: Find someone who has the humility and openness to
learn, grow and change. Someone who is arrogant, have stubborn walls around
their hearts, or prefer to remain in their comfort zones…sorry to break it to you, but these
people are not able to progress far with you. Solid, fruitful relationship requires both partners to be trustworthy to each other and they know when to give-and- take. Don’t be a sucker who constantly takes it all from your partner but you don’t give anything back.

I believed that the most doubted beatitude in the Bible is this: It’s more blessed to give than to receive. Expanding on that theme, give your time to your loved ones. That is the most valuable gift you can give them because you don’t want to regret later in life about taking their presence and time for granted. For our case, time is a scarcity as work always gets ahead of us. But when we can, Giden & I made it a point to really treasure our time spent together. We indulged in music, singing, playing the guitar, have meaningful conversations and playing chess (I ALWAYS LOSE, haha!). These moments spent with your loved ones, adding it all up, they add value to your life.

On building business with your significant other/spouse:
I am not going to lie and tell you that everything is wonderful and flawless. We have our fair share of ups and downs running a business together. Anything you can think of going wrong, will be wrong. It’s already a challenge to upkeep a marriage for most people, what more running a business with your other half, it’s double the challenge. As time goes by, with patience and love, we’ve found our ‘formula’ of keeping ourselves alive as co-founders and as husband and wife. Though, my advice is, do not attempt this if you are not ready - it’s not for the faint hearted.

However, if you only intend to build a lifestyle business, by all means, go ahead and
do it. After all, it is a wonderful enterprise to do with your partner, because you both share
the same passion and motivation to realise a common goal, a very strong antidote for
a solid relationship.

Of course, there’s no regret in doing this, I just learn to deal with the cards that are in my hands and keep learning.




Penny Choo
Penny Choo

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