The Spring That Sprung Early
“Blossom by blossom the spring begins.”
— Algernon Charles Swinburne
It was the usual morning in a hot, dreary, humid Jakarta. I woke up, scrolled aimlessly at my phone, and ordered an iced latte from my go-to coffee shop. When the coffee arrived, I went out to the balcony. The sun was already quite high in the sky; I still have about an hour before I had to start my work, so I went to open my Medium apps to find something interesting to read when I stumbled upon this article: Why People Often Meet the Love of Their Life When They’re Not Looking. I was genuinely surprised by what I read — because the article accurately depicted my current situation.
“When it comes to happy relationships, there’s one common story I’ve heard time and time again:
“I met my partner when I wasn’t looking.”
Or another variation —
“I was so done with relationships then suddenly I met my partner.”
On March 28th, 2021, 3 days after I broke up, I immediately jumped back into the dating pool. I activated my dormant Bumble account and mindlessly swiping left and right. It was a bad coping mechanism — to jump back directly into a dating pool after a disastrous relationship. But, I was never really good at self-discipline, something that I frequently berated myself with. I thought, there’s no harm in it; it wasn’t like I’m looking for anything. In fact, I was actually exhausted from two years of long search and moving from one failed relationship to another. Then, I found this one profile, she wasn’t my usual type, but her profile intrigued me. She identified as bisexual, monogamous, and not into hookup culture. I scrolled down her profile and found her music taste quite similar to mine — at least, I’ll have something to talk about. Also, I might’ve matched with her before, but I didn’t say anything back then. I said hello and found out that she worked and studied a completely different field than me. She studied sciences and taught in an international school. I admit I instantly lower down my expectations, I was never with anyone who studied sciences, and since I come from the field of Social Sciences, I have my own bias with STEM people.
I wanted to start a clean slate, so I was honest with her from the start. I told her that I just got out of a relationship a few days before I matched her. I sensed her hesitancy. She seems to be a very cautious person-which was a good thing. Even if she decided to back off after listening to my somewhat chaotic life, at least I took my shot. We talked for a while about our favorite drinks, bars, and when I found out, she just moved to Jakarta-I offered to accompany her bar-hopping in Jakarta. If nothing comes out of this, and I seriously thought nothing would come out of this liaison, at least I’ll have a drinking buddy. We agreed to meet on April 4th at Social Garden, Senayan. Luckily, I happened to have a leftover Tanqueray №10 bottle from my previous night.
She came late. And was very apologetic. But I assured her that it’s okay, it really is okay because I had a book I need to read anyway. When she finally came into my vision, my heart skipped a beat. She was very poised. There’s a nurturing and mature aura beaming from her even though she’s five years younger than me. Her voices emulated her elegant and well-refined appearances–it was honey-like and crisps. I could hear a hint of her Sundanese root in her way of talking.
I chuckled at one of her first remarks; I found it adorable, but maybe because I was already smitten.
“I’m from Bandung, so can I use aku-kamu, instead of gue-lo? I know Jakartans aren’t used to it.”
When we talked, I could tell that she’s really smart. But it wasn’t that that captures me. It was her humbleness, intellectual humility, and her ‘it is what it is’ attitude. She was far from pretentious, nor she attempted to impress me. She seems to be very secure and sure about herself. Her energy is very grounding and sturdy.
In our first meeting, I was completely myself and also completely at ease. I wasn’t trying to be someone that I am not, and I am done pretending or trying to please and impress anyone.
I went to Bali for one week a week after I met her. Our communication still went very well, and even when I was away, I found myself longing to tell her about my days in Bali. Shortly after I came back to Jakarta, we had a tiny bit of argument about our value and concept of relationship. My dismissive-avoidant attachment is acting up, and I slightly pushed her away. I thought she would give up since I know how ‘no bullshit’ she could be. But, despite the turbulent emotions plastered on her face, she was still compassionately kind, assuring, patient, and controlled. After that, I became even more sure about her, knowing that our argument and differences can be talked about without intentionally hurting and pushing each other’s away.
Two days ago marked the 2nd month since we first met. Life has been quite peaceful and steady for me lately. And yet, there’s a growing warmth and once more, an innate passion for life since she came into my life. Her existence alone — along with her kindness, patience, and understanding inspired me to become a more grounded person. Her practicality and logic balances out my sporadic nature and daydreaming tendencies.
Life is long, or maybe short, I don’t know where and how it will goes, but I am grateful that spring has sprung early and in between the sadness that comes out of nowhere in life, I can look at her and be assured that I’m in a good company.
Thank you for coming into my life.