Our Ten Year Relationship: By The Numbers
To My First, Current and Only Girlfriend…of Ten Years,
I did not write this for you.
To You Who’s Kind Enough To Read This Far,
There’s a reason why I’m writing this and I hope you read it here first.
But if you don’t have much time or you already read it, it is basically this.
My girlfriend and I will be celebrating our 10th anniversary a few days from now, on January 22 to be exact. Naturally, I want her to feel special on our anniversary. I also want to make the milestone a little more memorable for us. So I decided to write a series of essays and try to recapture in a few thousand words what made our relationship the best that we could ever have hoped for.
And that I will put those pieces out for the world to see to show her how proud I am to have her in my life.
Because I really am.
I hope to publish these essays everyday up to January 22.
This is the first one. And thanks for reading!
By The Numbers
I’m into numbers. Professionally, I’m an accountant so numbers are definitely an intrinsic part of my daily life. On a personal level, I put things into perspective using numbers almost all the time. You know, like everyone does.
We count our money. We gauge the calories we take in. We put scores on things we like and hate. We follow sports stats.
How many likes our posts get? How many re-tweets?
I’m even counting how many words I have typed up to this point (a measly 279).
I may not be making any sense to you right now and all this blabber about numbers may seem to be not related to our anniversary at all.
Believe me, it is.
See, a year is a lot of time to someone. To anybody. In fact, to all of us. It’s a significant amount of time even for just one aspect of one’s life.
To someone’s career. To someone’s business. Or to someone’s age old battle with losing weight.
There is a myriad of things that can happen in that span of time. But I bet you no one ever remembers them up to the minute of details. Most people wouldn’t even try to.
And that’s where the beauty of numbers come in.
People have this uncanny reflex to tell their story using certain statistics when asked. For one, I believe it’s because it’s just so undeniably convenient, clear, and concise. Moreover, it just makes the most sense for some areas of people’s lives like education or career development where progress is regarded to be more important than their particulars. But more importantly, I think people use numbers to tell their stories because it amplifies the sound of pride we have for the accomplishments inherent in the stories we tell. Even if that’s not necessarily our intention.
Take for example:
A: So how’s your career going?
B: Great! I’ve had 2 promotions since last year. I also have worked only 20 hours…per day.
A: So how’s your business in 2015?
B: Oh I’ve seen tremendous growth. We’re seeing 180% year-on-year growth on profit and we grew our customer base to 50,000 from last year.
A: So how’s losing weight comi — — Never mind.
B: *Bites a burger in half* This is my third burger…for lunch.
My point is, the less number you include in your story, the less likely there’s something glorious about it. Numbers do put a spin on things don’t they?
And of course one year is a long ass time for a relationship as well (in a good way). How can I even describe our 10 year relationship then? A million things have happened and I surely don’t remember all of them. I’m guessing I wouldn’t even remember 10% even if I squeezed my brain, put it back and squeezed it again.
We have pictures of course. And pictures help a lot because they speak a thousand words. The problem is, I was too lazy to take pictures to capture a majority of our moments together. Smartphones weren’t even a thing yet during our first few years, mind you (Talk about putting things in perspective).
So it hit me, if someone’s going to ask me how our relationship went during that long period of time, how should I answer? How can someone answer the question “so how’s your long term relationship with your girlfriend?” without responding with the usual flat-out boring one liners like “hey it’s been/going great” or “yeah we just bought a dog” or “not having sex lately to be honest”.
First of all, listen to me. We didn’t buy a dog. So stop wondering whether that’s true or not. It was just an example.
See? Those one liners just don’t have anything in them. No flare. Not even a slight hint of feeling of accomplishment.
Moreover, to be perfectly honest, I’ve never heard anyone answered differently to those honest inquiry before. So the question is why. Aren’t there any metrics or stat that we can use to narrate our relationships in more concise yet more endearing ways? Or is it that relationships are too complex and dear to us that we don’t even attempt to quantify it?
Love, for all intents and purposes, is not quantifiable after all, right?
That’s another topic on it’s own but I’m not here for that.
I’m here to try to put my 10 year relationship with my girlfriend into perspective using numbers. So the next time someone asks me about it, I can respond with a definite tone of pride and feeling of achievement.
(Just like any statistic, nothing in here is precisely correct. Except for the last one to which I’m fucking sure.
And I don’t want to bore you with computations as to how I’ve come up with the numbers so just use your imagination.)
Our Relationship Statistics
1. “We’ve had more than 1000 dates now, and counting.”
Surely, most of those are just going out having lunch or dinner in our favorite restaurants. Some are more exciting than the others, and a few are just simply lying and fooling around. Regardless, I still value all of them because in all of those dates, we learned that no matter how repetitive your dates get, it’s your connection that will excite you to see each other again and soon.
2. “I might have held her hands a thousand times more than my own.”
This sounded creepy at first but as I thought about it, it just made more sense. I just like holding her hands. Mostly the right one. It helps that she has smooth skin and soft palms as well.
And as they say, nothing shows more pride in the relationship than holding hands in public.
3. “We collectively and cumulatively laughed together for 100 hours now.”
That’s a lot of inside jokes, jokes at the expense of others, teasing, and tiny droplets of saliva involuntarily spurting out of my mouth. Disgusting but true. We just know how to make each other laugh and I’m telling you, when we’re hitting a stride, those are the most magical moments ever.
4. “We’re the hugging-type so let’s just say I hugged her at least 5 times a day the last 5 years”
Except for maybe our first 18 months, there’s probably not a day we’re together that I haven’t hugged her at least once or twice. I just have this natural propensity to do it. I’ll be remiss not to say but she loves cuddling as well.
5. “Well, I wasn’t counting but for sure we’ve kissed more than a million times now. Yup, a million times.”
Practically impossible, I know. So lower your eyebrows friend. But that’s the goal. You’ll be surprised how often we still kiss even at this point. It just never wanes and that’s essential for every romantic relationship.
6. “We have like a 2:5 make out to date ratio.”
That’s as naughty this essay gets and I’m not elaborating further. Moving on.
7. “I might have cried a few liters of tears for her in those 10 years. Hers for me? Multiply by a hundred.”
There have been times I cried for her like a little boy lost in the mall looking for her Mother. I am not ashamed of that. What I’m ashamed of is the countless times she cried her heart out because of me. I swear I hope I avoided some of them. But to be honest, sometimes she really cries non stop for reasons that are just beyond me. Haha.
8. “We probably had two arguments/fights/misunderstandings per month on the average.”
You have to count the bad apples as much as you count the good ones so you can remove them from the basket. Which brings me to,
9. “But we fixed every one of them on the same rate, maybe even faster.”
There have been a lot of major fights between us in those years. Most are my fault. Some are hers. Some, like I said, I will never know what the fuck’s about.
But no matter how big the fight was, no matter how hard-fought (never physically, NOT EVEN ONCE), no matter how much pride got tangled in. Forgiveness always found a way between us. And that’s what got us this far.
Well, aside from…
10. “We only truly loved one person in that entire time.”
The most important and meaningful statistic in all romantic relationships there is, PERIOD.
Then again, just like the number of years that we counted up to now and will count for the coming years, these numbers are just indicative of a great relationship, not a testament to it.
And I know that. We both know that.
I simply wrote this to put our 10 year relationship into perspective using numbers.
And to show her that our relationship is an achievement worth being proud of.
Disclaimer: I am not a professional writer by any means and I don’t claim that this or any of the essays I’m going to publish isn’t going to be bad. They have a very high chance of falling flat on their faces I’m sure. They are highly unedited as well because the one person I can ask to edit them, is the one I’m writing for, so there you go. But still, thanks for reading!