Real life is a bit**… it really is sometimes. We all go through sh** over and over throughout the duration of our lives. But, there may be some hope or a companion who will be there for thick or thin, to ride with you along the way.
Finding love, maintaining love, and nurturing love is not as easy as rocket science. It is a difficult and tedious task that we inevitably succumb to once we meet the one person who we really can’t live without.
Being in a ldr(long distance relationship) I find nurturing love to be quite difficult.
It is not that I can’t nurture my relationship with my boyfriend. We make time daily for each other. In a sense we stay digitally connected around the clock. Even so I learned recently that frequent contact isn’t as nurturing as some might think.
Lately, I’ve come to realize that the nurture part is more than the usual text message or video chat that me and my boyfriend engage in. It’s more than the promises we have to see one another or our planned dreams of getting married and having children. It’s more than just being verbal. Nurturing is showing that you care for your significant other in small almost invisible ways.
Since we crossed our 5-month dating mark last year I started writing love letters to my boyfriend. Some might think its odd, but in order to fully convey how much I adored my man I felt a strong urge to convey my love in a simple way. To this day I’ve written over 2-dozen letters to my boyfriend. Each one is unique in its own way. These letters express how much I care about my boyfriend, but also acknowledge how much we’ve gained from one another.
In relationships, both individuals grow and mature by nurturing one another. Whether, it’s helping each other with the dishes, the laundry, or even the dinner bill – couples work together and grow through one another. The same goes for me and my man.
(Picture below: Jongro-gil in Seoul next to YBM Building, Winter 2014)
While I was still living in Korea, my boyfriend nurtured our love in simple ways. Not through love letters as well, but also through actions. He nurtured our relationship by taking me out on special dates. These dates were special because they were simple. He would take me out on walking dates throughout Seoul, on midnight movie dates, on noraebang ( 노래방) dates, and jjimjilbang (찜질방) dates.
I call these dates simple because these dates allowed us to focus on us & enjoy simple pleasures like walking, or singing together. These simple dates meant more than words could express. During those dates I felt not only loved but appreciated.
Living apart now, with a 13-14 hour time difference our ways of nurturing have changed. My boyfriend nurtures our relationship by writing letters to me in English. Being a non-native English speaker he’s shown me how much he loves me by expressing himself in a new language. Having never once asked him to try I am deeply moved by it.
Vice-versa I continue to nurture our relationship by expressing my love in new ways and forms. Branching away from love letters this year I’ve taken up drawing sketches of us together. These sketches are based off of places me and my boyfriend have visited. Remembering our time together in new ways I hope will mean a lot to him.
Finding a new way to nurture my relationship was not as easy as it might seem. Just like maintaining a relationship nurturing does not come easily, and is an effort that goes both ways. In order to help nurture your relationship (whether you are in a ldr or cdr: close distance relationship) you must express yourself in a way that not only gets your feelings across, but resonates with your partner. Additionally, your partner must appreciate all that you do for them on their own.
Feeling appreciated and showing appreciation is the ultimate goal in nurturing your relationship. Through mutual appreciation and care your relationship will strengthen even further. As a couple, you will continue grow, mature, and express yourselves more, furthering your love.
(Pictured above: Me and my boyfriend making footprints at the beach in Busan, Korea, 2016)