Sunday, October 26, 2014


I’m not sure how to begin; I’m pretty new here. I’m hazarding a guess that starting off with some reasons as to why I, and not Irina, am the one writing this entry would be a good start.

This is a response to Irina’s blogpost about second love. She is my second love as well, which is pretty much a sweet slice of serendipity (this is my favourite word in the world, FYI) when I think about it. Truth be told, I wish she was my first love, because that would mean that up till this point, my love life would pretty much have been clean, cool and smooth sailing. C'est la vie.

First, maybe some background information about me (although not too much, this isn’t a personal expository article). I’m 21 and thus, two whole calendars behind Irina. The age doesn’t bug me at all though. At the start, dating an older woman can be an entirely scary prospect and I still remember being gripped by an overwhelming anxiety each time I opened my mouth to speak to her. 

“What if she thinks I’m a small boy? Is my world-view mature enough to capture her attention or is it going to bore her to tears?”

But as time wore on, things just began to flow naturally. Nowadays, I don’t even really have to care or think about what I say to her. Nonsense just streams from my mouth and I don’t have to filter my thoughts. The outcome is pure bliss. It’s good to see your partner for what they truly are and not as a number. To be completely honest? It’s also pretty fantastic dating an older woman. She’s in control, she’s mature enough and she’s strong— things I didn’t suspect I would find myself attracted to at first but which now I find irresistible components of the her magnetism that grip me and refuse to let go. 

(Funny digression - I’m writing this while Facetime-audioing Irina and she assumes that my fervent typing was me summing up my economics notes. Far from the fact, love — I never type so purposefully unless its about a topic I’m really passionate about: in this case, You.) (I am passionate about economics though. Hm.) 

Right now, I am studying in Oxford University and doing Economics and Management. I one day hope to sell my soul for money (I’ve said this joke so many times that I’m beginning to suspect there’s some truth underlying the punchline). I am exactly 10924.916 KM away from her, which sucks most of the time. Well, all the time. But its good because she keeps me sane, stable and satisfied with what my lot in life is right now. The workload is abysmally tough, the weather cold and without her, I think I would be pretty depressed right now. But the prospect of seeing her again in exactly 42 days (at the time of this writing), of coming home after class each day, calling her up and finally hearing her gentle voice is what has been getting me through these cold days and colder nights. 

She has this way…. with words. Her words are pretty simple (she complains that I’m unnecessarily pretentious with my choice of vocabulary) but yet they have a… calming effect. She chooses the right words at the right time. She knows exactly what to say when my mood dips to cheer me up. She also doesn’t hesitate to scold some sense into me when I’m behaving like a brat, which makes her a truly impeccable girlfriend (I assure you, there’s not a single trace of sarcasm there. If you have a girlfriend who knows how to discipline you and in the process make you realise you’re actually quite the little shit, she’s a keeper). So yeah, I get to hear from her almost daily. If you look at the math, sound travels at 340.29 m/s. 

So, 10924.916 KM isn’t that far after all. 

So steering this back on track, what’s second love like? It makes everything right. It closes the wounds you’ve had inside of you. It makes you feel like you are worth the love that you had previously thought you weren’t deserving of. Recently, I’ve learned an axiom of life from a friend here in Oxford, and her words made quite a lot of sense:

“There’s a lot of reason to question things in life. Like, you just wake up and realise, why am I? There’s a lot of things that we cant understand as of yet and probably will never understand. The only probable truth in life is Love.”

I paraphrase of course.

So yes, second love is better than the first. Falling in love the first time is easy. But giving it away to someone again, after the first heartbreak, is something that requires a conscious decision. It takes a lot of courage and it requires you to trust the person. Before love comes trust. You know what it is like to be crushed and smashed and ground into an interminable oblivion. You trust that this person, as you place your trembling heart in her hand, will handle it with the utmost care and delicacy. That she’ll hold it both tightly and gently at the same time—she won’t let you fall and she won’t hurt you. That she understands the profundity of the exchange that is taking place. 

I’m not religious (I try to be but haven’t found the right time nor place), but falling for a second time has taught me that God’s greatest gift to us is our ability to love. Love is powerful; it is the thread that holds the entire tapestry of our being. Thus, something so sacred must surely be the divine handiwork of some celestial being. That means that no one else has the ability, means or right to take it away from us. This gift is ours and ours alone and we will never lose our ability to exercise our love. It is our choice. We and we alone make our own decision to love. I seriously doubted my capacity to love anyone again after my first breakup, but Irina stirs something deep inside me. I took the plunge, and I am the happiest man in the world right now (except when I’m drowning in a 200 page management reading list) because of that. 

I love Irina and I wish she was my first love. I would have loved (am I overusing this word? My essay tutor told us to cut down on repetition, maybe I should thesaurus it. But then agin, there’s no substitute for a word that’s both a beautiful noun and verb) to discover what holding hands, having a first kiss, falling asleep together and so much more felt like with Irina. But the what's past has past and there’s no point looking back when the road ahead is long and the scenery beautiful. The future is bright, especially with her by my side. 

42 more days. Fall be kind.

Yi Ming.


  1. this is so beautiful, and i am sitting here reading this with tears in my eyes.
    i don't even know the both of you, but i'm really really happy for you both!
    (been a long time reader)
    can't wait to see what the future has planned for you both!!
    hang in there, the long distance will end before you know it!
    have a happy, wonderful, joyful future ahead! :')

  2. Really one of the most beautiful thing I've ever read. :') I'm so glad and happy for the both of you - that you've found the courage and strength to love again, and that this love is so fulfilling to the both of you.
    Be strong as the countdown continues.
    You'll be with each other again in no time :)

  3. This is amazing.

  4. This is so beautifully written.
    I'm really happy for the both of you, time and distance apart will only make both of you stronger.
    (Almost 41 more days!)

  5. So happy to see you happy Irina!! I wish for you to always be this happy!

  6. you guys have the sweetest relationship around! time will fly by very fast and soon, you both will be able to see each other's physical self! (:

  7. Ymg this was beautifully written (: And Irina is right, you ARE unnecessarily pretentious with your words HAHAHA TRULY A KEEPER THIS GIRL. But anyway the two of you truly give people hope; hope for the singles that they may someday find someone who complements them as well as the two of you complement each other, and hope for those in relationships that they may love the way you both love each other (':

  8. Where did u all first meet?

  9. Your relationship is so beautiful :') May I just ask, how long have you two been together?

  10. How do you handle LDR?

  11. So happy to know that you're doing well now and found someone who loves you as much :)

  12. This is beautiful (: I don't know you guys personally but I see so much of myself in this article (going to be home in ~42 days too!). Hang in there, time will fly, and in 42 days, it's going to be amazing.

  13. This is post is sweet on all levels! It would be a dream to have my boyfriend secretly post something on my blog and I bet now every girl is wishing the same, haha! The two of you look amazing and I bet, are amazing together too. Right on on both your thoughts about second love too, makes perfect sense and gives people hope to learn to love again. May the 42 days zoom past for the both of you. (:

    Nurul Mimsy

  14. wowwowowwowop awesome gyuyyyyy!!!! ii wiish i hav bf likaaa euuuuU!!

  15. Before love comes trust :)

  16. Great read! All the best to you both!

  17. Great read! All the best to you both :)

  18. This is beautiful! :') well said x

  19. So sweet omg i love you both!

  20. yiming u r fuckin perfect m8.

    you're a flower. you're also a rainbow and a river. you are the manifestation of all perfection and i want to i don't fucking know. i want this to not sound gay, but you are fucking perfect, yiming.

    ty for listening

  21. "Thanks!" is the only word I could use to express my gratitude for you writing this.

  22. Never a fan of reading blogpost but this caught my attention.

    Continue to hold on to this love. The journey ahead isn't going to be easy but continue to believe, respect and love each other. Blessed couple!

  23. I'm sorry (actually no) but I felt rather unmoved by this whole story. Not to say that I haven't experienced what you have, or that i don't wish you two all the best, or that I come bearing ill-will, malice, or bitterness (at least consciously), but I genuinely find this whole.. essay to be so detached from reality..!

    1. I agree. Josh, the reason you feel unmoved is probably you have experienced more in life than the writer, as simple as that. Not to sound like a bitter old man here, but this here is precisely something an 18-year-old me would write-pretentious and sugars all over the butterflies set loose from my stomach. I'm genuinely happy for the both of them, though!

    2. It's not quite as simple as that, really. Aaron--thank you for you well wishes, I truly appreciate them. But I have to point out that your statement revolves around a central misconception that emotions only become validated with age and experience. Its not as simple as that. Does that mean that love only becomes genuine at some arbitrary age or number of breakups? Young love and old love are both incredibly strong forces. You should read Love In The Time of Cholera, it talks a lot about this. But that being said, thank you for the well wishes.

      And Josh, I would have been extremely courteous to you, but you were rude so I'm not going to bother with niceties. If you were not sorry, you could have pressed back space 9 time and started your reply all over again. You didn't have to be cute with the "not sorry bit". Yeah...sorry.

      -Yi Ming

    3. Hello Yi Ming!

      Yes, I am not disagreeing with anything you said and written, the age and experience bit was mostly directed towards Josh being unmoved by what you wrote. And trust me, I have experienced passionate young love--and how I miss it so. It's just that I write and read as a profession (I have the privilege of declaring blog-walking as 'research'!), and I can see where he's coming from with his comment. While Irina tends to write with an earnest flair, frank and sincere, this particular guest post struck me as somewhat grandiose and a little hollow, and thus failed to deliver the most crucial message: your feelings--or at least that is what I would tell my students!

      Anyway, that's probably not really important, but I hope I helped in some way.

    4. Wow. Thank you both, especially Aaron, for taking the time to draft thoughtful replies to my comment.! Frankly I merely expected to receive random/collateral flame for my opinion. I guess I just wanted to provide some honestly held(and perhaps elicit echoed sentiments?) to what I felt was an overly 1-sided show of support in the comments (not that there's anything inherently wrong with supporting each other!). Getting a response such as yours, Aaron, has heartened me; I like to think of myself as a hopeless romantic albeit one grounded in realism. Though I wish you could elaborate on how it sounded grandiose and a little hollow without conveying feelings; I find your not-wholly-incorrect interpretation of nuance fascinating!
      Yi Ming, sorry if I sounded rude. That was not my intention. I added "not sorry" as an afterthought while going over what I'd typed; I was annoyed at myself for prefacing my thoughts with an apology (an irritable social norm?) ; morever so because the way it happened suggested that the (insufferable) concept had been ingrained in me. And so the "not sorry" bit as my little act of defiance. I like to write occasionally in layered language, pardon my indulgence. That being said, frankly i care very little of your opinion, whether delivered with authenticity or false niceties. As said earlier the comment was aimed at the world at large.

    5. nothing ventured nothing gained

  24. Been through long distance myself. If you can work your differences through this distance. You can work through any differences. It's great to hear that there are people who do believe in true love and making things work.

    And don't let the naysayers convince you otherwise.

    I understand you aren't religious but this quote pulled me through 3 years of long distance and now we are getting married after four years of dating.

    1 Corinthians 13:4-8

    4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

    8 Love never fails.


    May you two be blessed with an amazing journey and an amazing life.

  25. I thought he was a girl sorry

  26. I've gotta say you expressed your thoughts in a rather heartwarming manner and induced smiles amongst most readers. However, ive got to say I disagree with you. If your current relationship( or second love as you put it) is so fulfilling, wouldn't you rather it be your last love? This was just the first thought I had when i read your post, since I can relate to most of it except the part about older girl. Hope the 42 days pass faster!

    1. Thank you Adharsh! Actually I find your point completely valid and I totally agree with you. Funny how we sometimes skip over such obvious things.

      That being said, I think what I was trying to convey my wistfulness for a time more innocent. Thank you anyway for the well wishes!

    2. wow adharsh! this is a great thought.

  27. Its really sweet, all the best for both of you =D

    Its a relationship that everyone wanted but not everyone will get. ^^

    well wishes to you guys and p.s you were right abt the pretentious with your choice of vocab ahahah

  29. God bless you two :)

  30. Such a beautiful piece of appreciation work, I must say. Some can't and won't even survive the possibility of a long distance relationship and you and Irina do it so wonderfully. Hopefully one day I'll be appreciated as much as she appreciates you, hahaha. All the best for the relationship and hope to see it blossom into a more beautiful and wondrous thing, (marriage of course).

  31. I am having a long distance relationship like you as well (like 9025km) and I could truly feel you. Distance and insecurity is no longer an issue when you love each other so much.
    Thank you for writing this, it's been a while I could find a blogpost that touch my heart :D Stay sweet both of you!

  32. Pretentious and removed from reality.

  33. Do keep your understanding and feelings you have till the end. This perspective have been neglected by so many and they become so realistic about life. I believe love is the purest of all, just like your's to Irina =)

  34. Dude u r amazing, and a lucky man. Don't think it is a bad thing that she is not your first love, i assume that the hearbroken moment from the first makes you treasure Her even more. Please stay strong and have faith for each other, and I wish the best to both of you

  35. This is so well-written. Admire your to courage to start a relationship with someone older as it is difficult for many. Hope that you guys can share the beginning of your relationship as well! Should be quite an interesting read too! :)

    - Pauline

  36. nice words you have there :)

  37. @Yi Ming, I actually thought you were older than Irina heh. No lack of maturity there.

  38. yimingz, words will never be able to express your love towards Irina. just so happy how far all of us have come and found love the way we have. all the best in oxford!! p.s. i miss your lovely house (i moved out of rifle range alr! :()

  39. Well written blog post about you and your girlfriend! Although it may seem a bit surreal to me, I hope you two all the best and also hope this will be the last last for you two! All the best! :)

  40. Who would've thought that I'd see your face when my friend linked this to me. >.>
    Seems like you've grown a fair bit as well. Hope you're doing well for yourself.

    See you around ;)

  41. wow it is a very interesting blog to read.
    i dont know how i come up into this page.

    But we are having a similar relationship, with similar age gap ( or even bigger for me 6 years HAHAH) and cultural difference ( I am Indonesian and she is Korean).

    I am in London now and by GF is in Jakarta.
    I hope you guys are doing well.

    Keep fighting for your relationships.
    it will be worth it in the end.

    Cheers! :)

  42. I stumbled across this blogpost because apparently someone on my facebook timeline share your link. I'm not regretting the minutes I spent on reading this blogpost because it is genuinely beautiful. I hope your love lasts because from the way he wrote this, he's definitely into you :)

    Much love,
    Dinda Nayaredhanty

  43. So beautifully written! It's the first time since I've been to your blog because someone shared this on my timeline on Facebook, don't know any of you personally but I'm happy for you both! Cheers to your future endeavors! xx

  44. I was never in a relationship, not because I don't want to, but because i always fail to do so. But somehow, reading this post makes me believe that one day I'll get to experience something as beautiful as this. For that, i thank you for writing your well expressed thoughts. I sincerely hope that your relationship last for eternity. Cheers =)

  45. Beautifully written! I saw this on my Facebook timeline and I was so happy to discover another Singaporean blogger.
    Marissa Jamie : Faithfully, Marissa ♡

  46. Yi Ming,

    Thank you.

    Thank you for this inspiration. It is without any doubt that these words flow directly from your heart. Your building of trust and exiting your comfort zone to pursue something truly beautiful against a backdrop of self-doubt and uncertainty and despite the hard lessons of the past is… amazing.

    I am at a different stage in the story of my life, with a very recent break up from my first love; I am still surrounded by the dismal fallout that such events often entail. And even though it feels like I’m grasping at straws, I too believe in the power of love that you describe. Now I must accept that “what's past has past and there’s no point looking back when the road ahead is long and the scenery beautiful.”

    Your story and the genuine intensity of your love will inspire anyone who reads this. The world is now rooting for you and so am I. And I want to reassure the both of you that this rooting comes with no pressure to succeed, at least on my part. It’s simply an innate desire, a wish, a hope that somewhere in the world beauty, trust, and love are flourishing.

    Thank you for inspiring hope.

    Good Luck & Godspeed.


  47. Hey Yiming and Irina,

    As a 16 year old girl, I would just like to say, unlike all my staryeyed peers, that "You guys are the worst."

    Thanks for continuing to propagate the message to all us kids out there that "true love", that can be envied, can only be found by two specific people: a pretty "model" and a rich "handsome" guy. Coming from an international school, I've seen couples like you a thousand times over.

    Sure, I'm not going to debate about how good looking you guys look (props to your parents genes), or the riches you have inherited (again, props to your parents), you guys are flaunting that facade of riches and happiness as if you have a measure of worth more than us.

    YES, you SAY you arent the perfect couple and whatnot, but any two year old who even reads knows thats not what you're actaully saying. You are saying the exact opposite.

    I call bullshit\

    So I'd just like to say, let me know when this ends 6 months later.


    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  48. Sooo Beautiful..I cried. And it's 2am...
    Wishing all the best to the both of you.
    Stay contented and sweet together forever! 🌟