Wednesday, October 21, 2015


"Are you happy?" my friend asked. 
Smiling, I replied, “I don’t think that’s the right question." 

The thing is... it is almost fallacious to think that happiness is the main criteria for a relationship to continue. However, it probably seems like a great guideline to abide by because we, after all, like to act in our best interest.

I used to agree with the "happiness-frustration" concept. The concept’s premise is simple: when frustration outweighs the happiness one feels from being in a relationship, one should begin considering taking flight. I am guilty of once telling a friend, "If you're not happy, then you should leave”. I have since realised that this philosophy is not applicable to every relationship. It might work for some (i.e. emotionally and/or physically abusive ones) but it sure doesn't work for mine. If one's in a toxic relationship that drains out your beautiful soul, then by all means, gtfo.

Ever since meeting Ming, my take on relationships has evolved quite a bit. Frustration does outweigh happiness at certain times but when we manage to persevere, we emerge twice as happy than we were before. If happiness is to be the sole determining factor of your commitment in a relationship, then what happens to the idea of sticking together through thick and thin and braving the ups and downs life frequently throws? Sometimes, as a test of endurance, happiness has to be taken out of the equation. I often imagine a point of financial difficulty some time in the future, where keeping smiles around the house is no longer easy. Will I waver when my answer to the question “are you happy?” is no?

Instead, let's ask: “Since meeting, have you become a better person?”

Disclaimer: this may not necessarily be the best guideline for everyone but it does help me to gauge if my friends are... in a healthy and blossoming relationship or not.

The term "better person" is of course, subjective. Think of it this way, will your 5-year younger self be proud of what you're or how you've handled your relationship issues today? Are you caring for him, as much as you care for yourself? It's not about extracting every bit of happiness out of a relationship. In my humble opinion, it is about growing together with someone - emotionally and mentally. It's about knowing each others’ intricacies and sanding down our edges so that we can come together for both the good and bad times. I may not be the best version of myself when I'm mad, in fact, I'm real egoistic and it is hard for me to stand down from a fight (especially when I'm right), but at least now I know I’m mad fighting for something that is good for us. I may not be happy at that moment, but I have learnt to muster all the strength needed to take the magnanimous ways to put aside everything that upsets me, for you and I. 
For my interest? For your interest? For our interest.

The idea of holding onto happiness, caging it as if it were a delicate bird, scares me. Happiness is elusive; it’ll arrive when its time. Come what may. 

Then again, my friends, don't get me wrong.
If you very much still like to stick to your question, so be it.

Here's the answer: "I'm happy."


  1. I really like how you write, glad to have chanced upon this (: P.S. btw, could you share where you got your brows done?

    1. Oh, a new reader! Welcome welcome!!!!
      FYI: A brow post is coming in less than 48 hours! Stay tuned ;-)

  2. Hi Irina ! I've been an avid reader of your blog for.. over a year now haha and this has got to be my favourite post from you. Do you mind if I share this on my blog ? Will include links to the original post + credits to you :)

    1. Hi Izza! I'm glad we share the same sentiment and that my blog post resonates well with you :-)
      By all means, go ahead.

  3. Hi Irina, Izza's post brings me here. hello from a new reader, i personally love this post. it's great when someone able to express through words and wise sentences which not everyone have this kind of talent at. :)