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modern love

Smile Because It Happened: Day 31 of 365 Days of Love

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Smile Because It Happened: Day 31 of 365 Days of Love

Contributed by: Anonymous woman (We will name her Leila for this article)

Story from: Canada

This began as a story about love. About the amazing experience that was my first time falling in love. But we ended before I had the chance to say I love you, and I agonized over the question: how can the story just end?

Eventually, I remembered the lesson that I have forgotten time and time again:

everything happens for a reason.


God has a plan, and something else is out there. Not someone, per se; rather there are life experiences and opportunities waiting for me to open the door and breathe in deeply. I will realize, in those moments, “this is what I was waiting for!” although I didn’t know I was waiting for anything.

At this point, I can’t imagine something else, but that’s why we have faith. To give us comfort in knowing that

“what was meant for me will never miss me, and what misses me was never meant for me.” To reassure us that things will always work out for the best.



Maybe, this is as much a story of faith as love.

 

*          *          *

 

I decided years ago that I would rather never marry than marry someone I didn’t love. My friend disagreed: “I would marry someone I didn’t love, if he was a good person and we were compatible. You can learn to care for someone.”

Partly, I was naïvely hopeful. I had set the bar high, and I would wait for my Prince Charming.

Partly, I was driven and independent. I had so many career interests that I knew I would be both happy and fulfilled pursuing my passions.

Partly, I was cynical about dating, relationships, love, etc. I told my parents: “I’m never getting married. Don’t ask me about boys.”

That changed one semester, when I learned to believe in love.

 

*          *          *

 

I first met him in the library at 3 AM. When he asked if I write for the school newspaper, I smiled, always pleased to be recognized from my byline. “Yes! You read the newspaper?”

My sleep-deprived brain later made the connection. The previous summer, I had written the front-page story on Mohammed Ali’s life, legacy, and passing, which was accompanied by a full-sized picture. My classmate reached out to me with this message: “My roommate has your article on his wall. He said to give you a shout-out for writing about Mohammed Ali.”

This was the roommate! My article was hanging on his wall. If that doesn’t say soul mates, I don’t know what does.

The following semester, we began seeing each other around campus. Something clicked – I can’t explain it, but we just had this amazing connection. He knew all the right things to say. He read my articles and quoted them to me. He talked about International Women’s Day.

I wanted to know him.

I am a strong independent woman, I tried to convince myself, and this is the 21stcentury. I know what I want, and I should do something about it. So I summoned all my courage and asked him out.

We went for coffee, our first date, on my birthday weekend. I was so nervous. But he made me feel comfortable. He was romantic, insisting on buying cake to celebrate my birthday. We talked like we had been waiting forever to know each other.

We entered a long-distance relationship almost immediately, as his internship took him to California when I returned to school the following month. Even so, the semester that followed was the happiest of my life. My stress levels decreased drastically. I was confident. My average improved. And I landed my dream internship.

To quote Cher from Clueless, I was “sublimely happy”. There was no space left for stress or anxiety. My heart was full.

I know that happiness comes from within, and that another person can’t give it to you. But he made me happier than I had ever imagined was possible. He made problems disappear. I felt like the world was draped in a new colour, and I basked in the glow of my emotions. It was magical, falling in love.

Still, distance took its toll.

I broke up with him. The short version of the story: I felt he could not make time for me; if this was a problem already, it would only be exacerbated with time. When we met for the first time after months, I was already upset, thinking about the possible outcome of this conversation.

We talked for a long time, and he was so good about it. He told me, “do what makes you happy.” Maybe I should have taken that as a sign – he would do anything to make me happy, including letting me go.

He let me go.

For days, I cried and watched Mamma Mia! on a loop. I didn’t eat or sleep. I remember thinking, I’ll never be able to listen to ABBA again.

By the time I stopped crying, I knew I had made the wrong decision. I knew it was my fault. I tried to talk to him, but he told me that I was right. That he can’t prioritize me. That he isn’t at a point in his life to be able to maintain a relationship.

Although I was the one to initiate the breakup, I couldn’t come to terms with it.

 

*          *          * 

It’s been two and a half months.

I considered praying istikhara, asking God to give me guidance. But istikhara should be prayed with an open mind, willing to accept any guidance. And I wasn’t ready to hear that we have no future.

Until a couple weeks ago, when I had an epiphany.



I think God gave him to me at a time in my life when I needed someone.



Last semester, I spent a lot of time by myself. I lived alone, I studied alone, and I spent Ramadan breaking my fast alone. I remember my mom saying tearfully when she dropped me off at the airport, “Call me often. I know that your friends won’t be on campus with you this term.” It was true – most of my friends were interning that summer.

But I was okay, because I had him. He was a blessing, and I was so grateful.

People come in and out of your life for a reason. I don’t need to understand why he’s gone now, because I know why he came. Although we had a short amount of time together, those months made a world of difference to me. For my school, career, mental health, self-esteem, and general happiness.

I am reminded of a Dr. Seuss quote that I have always loved:

Friends to-74.png


Now that I have gotten past the hurt, I am smiling.

With Lots of Love,

Leila*


Hi Everyone!

This is Aida, Founder of 365 Days of Love <3

First, a big thank you to the inspiring woman Leila for sharing her story. My favorite message was how powerfully intertwined are faith and love. Thank you Leila, you are a beautiful soul and you deserve so much love in this world and I have full faith that you will get it starting with yourself.

Second a big thank you to YOU for reading this and taking the time to care for yourself, your heart and your life. If you enjoyed this and have a story or thoughts on love that you would like to share please get in touch (button below). We have 334 more articles to share and we hope to hear from you!

SUBSCRIBE/SHARE HERE.

LETS INVEST IN LOVE ONE STORY AT A TIME TOGETHER.

With Lots of Love,

Aida

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Love is Between You and You: Day 30 of 365 Days of Love

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Love is Between You and You: Day 30 of 365 Days of Love

“I’ll go to Paris, a city i’ve dreamt about for months when I meet my future husband.”

 

“I’ll go to this 3 Michelin starred restaurant that i’ve been wanting to try for years, with my future date.”

 

“I’ll wear a Tiffany & CO ring only when my guy proposes”

 

How many of you have said things like this? How many of you have put things on hold and waited to live a few of life’s experiences till you meet that special guy (or girl)?

 

I certainly have. And that is certainly about to change.

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Today as I entered the HQ office of Tiffany & CO, I did not know that I would leave a changed woman.

I entered and felt my inner romantic come out with butterflies surrounding her. I remembered all of the different day dreams I had as a little girl imagining my future husband proposing with a Tiffany ring, or surprising me with the signature heart shaped Tiffany necklace. 

Then it hit me that I’m 29 years old today. Granted I am still young in many ways, I am no longer that baby Aida who can put things on hold, day dream, and simply be waiting for that special guy to fulfill her. 

I looked around at the Tiffany boxes and felt a shift in my heart and mind.

I realized that I no longer need to wait for my future man (whoever he may be) to experience many things that life has to offer.

 

I no longer should put certain experiences on hold as I wait for him to come along because of the single question many of us fear to ask,

what if he never shows up?

 

I know some of you reading this, your heart just beat a bit faster. Mine certainly did. But this is the reality and a true possibility that I (and you) may never meet the guy who proposes with that dream Tiffany ring I always thought of. 

 

I may never meet the guy who I will get to tour the most romantic cities in the world with such as Paris.

I may never be dined out at that long list of restaurants I have with the romantic lighting and delicious truffle risotto.

 

I sure hope I am (and you) one day blessed with love that reaches to that Tiffany ring moment but the mindset of putting these experiences on hold for him is done and it’s honestly about time that it’s done.

 

So what am I waiting for? .. Nothing, I am going for all the things I want today. Not tomorrow. It’s now a matter of prioritizing what it is that I want to experience and live.

 

Today after leaving Tiffany & CO, I said goodbye to old Aida who waited for things to happen to her and welcomed the Aida who celebrates life for what it is today and not what it could be tomorrow. 

 

I celebrate my new self who will always (I hope) keep an open heart for that beautiful possibility of love and I welcome the Aida who invests in love in everything. 

I left Tiffany & CO and entered one of the restaurants on my list and treated myself to the most delicious truffle pasta. It was definitely an over the top mid-day break that I certainly deserved.

 

Right now, I am the new Aida who is learning how to celebrate herself, from giving herself a Tiffany ring to dining at that 3 star Michlen restaurant to touring Paris with her lovely self - happily alone.

 

And those two words combined “Happily” + “Alone” are the magic words because

the second you are happy with yourself, when you are so full that you emanate happiness, love and magic, is the second you will create the space for a man worthy of you to enter. 

 

With that, I’m excited to dive into the chapter of ticking off that check-list, one romantic adventure at a time. I hope you do too as well.

Life is short and don’t live it while waiting on the side lines for someone who may or may not show up. Go for it and don’t look back.

 

With Love,

Aida 

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Why is it so hard to write about Love? Day 24 of 365 Days of Love

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Why is it so hard to write about Love? Day 24 of 365 Days of Love

For the past 24 days since I launched 365 Days of Love, I received 40+ messages from people in the USA, Jordan, Indonesia, UAE, India etc and more countries saying they are unable to write about love. They sit in front of the computer with every intention to write but they get writers block and nothing comes out.

Isn’t this odd for many individuals to encounter when love is probably one of the most used words and one of the top things we search for (in whatever form that may be). After diving in deeper with the people who were unable to write it, we uncovered it was because of the deep vulnerabilities and insecurities they have buried deep, deep, deep down. Facing that blank page to fill it with something that has much meaning to a person can be difficult especially if it has not turned the way you want it today.

Sourced from  The New York Times

Sourced from The New York Times

As I began writing this article I typed in google “how to write about love” and the first article that came up was How We Write About Love by Daniel Jones published in 2015. His words reminded me of the deep differences between men and women showing both the faults and strengths in both (of course generalizing here). He also shares how people who have completely embraced themselves have found it easy to write about love.

So before I leave you with my favorite gems from his article, I conclude with saying that it is your inner state that dictates the outer state in all aspects including writing.

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Love stories are full of romantic delusion, idealizing love to an unhealthy degree. But in the accounts I see, men and women delude themselves in opposite directions.

A woman is more likely to believe her romantic ideal awaits somewhere in the future, where her long-held fantasy becomes a flesh-and-blood reality.

A man’s romantic ideal typically exists somewhere in the past in the form of an actual person he loved but let go of, or who got away. And he keeps going back to her in his mind, and probably also on Facebook and Instagram, thinking, “What if?”



Women and men may feel love similarly, but they write about it differently.

A lot of men’s stories seem tinged by regret and nostalgia. They wish previous relationships hadn’t ended or romantic opportunities hadn’t slipped away. They lament not having been more emotionally open with lovers, wives, parents and children.

Women are more inclined to write with restlessness. They want to figure love out. Many keep mental lists of their expectations, detailing the characteristics of their hoped-for partner with alarming specificity and then evaluating how a new romantic interest does or doesn’t match that type.



It seems the harder we work at finding love, the more prone we are to second-guessing the results. High-volume online daters worry about this, along with those who routinely attend singles events.

The fear is we may force things or compromise after pushing so hard for so long. We may admire hard work in most endeavors, but we admire laziness when it comes to finding love. (If you manage to stay together over the long haul, however, it will be because of effort, not chance.)
— Daniel Jones

If you find yourself unable to write about love then dig deeper and get to know yourself more because something inside is lurking that you haven’t recognized or dealt with. Deal with it today, not tomorrow as life is too short living uncomfortable with your skin and not being able to love is the same as being uncomfortable in your own skin.

With Lots of Love,

Aida

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