Project 365

Welcome! This is my own 365 project of creating at least one post per day about the stuff that I learnt, achieved, and found, the stuff that made me happy, or the new thing I did every single day.

The project was started on 21 February 2010. It has stopped for few times but I am determined to continue!

This project is dedicated to myself. I want to feel grateful for every single thing I have. I want to be thankful for my own life. I just want to feel that I have enough.

Tag: marriage

Relationship 101: Love Language

“Love language” is the concept developed by Gary Chapman, which defines a primary way of expressing and interpreting love. Everyone has different ways to make others feel loved and appreciated.  Some people prefer to use their own love language when expressing love to others and some would prefer to use other love language(s) than their own to do that.

There are five different love languages that Chapman mentioned:

  • Words of Affirmation
    This can be in the form of verbal appreciation, unsolicited compliments, and encouragement. Things like “I love you” or “You look handsome today” mean the world to people of this love language. Hearing the reasons behind that love sends their spirits skyward. Insults can leave them shattered and are not easily forgotten.
  • Quality Time
    Spending time and being there with the significant other –with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby– is what quality time all about. Quality conversation is very important for these people, whether it is about sharing experiences, thoughts, feeling, or desires. Quality activities, like doing activities that they love to do with their loved ones, are also a very important part of quality time. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful.
  • Receiving Gifts
    Some people respond well to visual symbols of love. Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. A missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous–so would the absence of everyday gestures.
  • Acts of Service
    People of this love language view anything that can be done to ease the burden of others as an expression of love and devotion. This can be demonstrated by doing simple chores around the house or doing something without being asked. It is very important to understand what acts of service these people most appreciate. Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter.
  • Physical Touch
    This love language is marked by the desire to be touched. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face–these are some ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive.

So I hope by now you can identify the love language of the people around you — your family members (including your kids), friends, partner, or boy/girlfriend. Everyone has one primary love language that they speak and it’s not rare to speak one primary language and one secondary language.

One important thing that we must understand about love language is that: all of us need to express our love based on the love language of our  significant other. We need to know their love language in order for us to speak the same language. We need to fill their “love tank” with the right love language so that they would feel loved. If not, “miscommunication” can occur and they would complain that we don’t understand them because they don’t feel that their needs are fulfilled. So, from now on, let’s fill their love tank with the love language they prefer, before it’s being filled by other people! 🙂

My love language is quality time and I tend to speak the same language when expressing my love to others. I just love spending time with friends. Sitting in a café, having dinner together, or traveling together are the things I love to do the most. This is probably the reason why my brother and I can get along really well. The presence of each other means so much to both of us. I love spending time in his room (and he always forced me to be in his room). You might find us singing or dancing like there’s no tomorrow, talking like grown-ups do, or just doing something on our own — it doesn’t matter. We just love to be in each other’s company. That’s probably why I love to have roommates!! 😉

I do get irritated when people postpone or cancel our meet-ups or dates (not all the time, but depending on circumstances and reasons, of course). I also feel awful when people ignore me or pretend to listen to me when they actually don’t. If you’re busy, tell me that you are and I’d definitely understand.

My only grandma, interestingly, loves to receive gifts. I observe that she would appreciate more if others notice what she wants and suddenly buy her the gift. I remember at one time she complained about forgetting to buy meses (chocolate sprinkles or hagelslag). So when I went out with friends, I decided to buy her a pack of meses (I didn’t plan to, but I suddenly remembered when I passed a supermarket). She was soooo happy when I gave it to her! She overly praised me in front of others, although it’s only meses!!! Hehehe. I never understood why she loved receiving things from others, but after finding the five love languages, I understood why she felt that way :).

So, what’s your love language? If you don’t know, you can take the quiz to find it out 🙂

P.S. I haven’t read Chapman’s book and I don’t think I will haha!

P.S.S. If you think I have so much time available to post this stuff on my blog, think again! This has been saved as a draft for almost a month! (in case you’re wondering hihihi)


Relationship 101: Women & Love

In the previous post, I wrote about the most important thing that men need, which is respect. For them, respect means love. If they’re angry or they walk away from the conversation out of the sudden, most probably that’s because they don’t feel respected by the wives.

Now… Moving on to the women’s issues… What’s the most important thing that women need…? *drumroll* EXACTLY, yes. Thank you! 😛

The answer is of course love. To feel loved and cared for. And let me tell you guys, women do need this all the time. They need assurance. They want emotional security. They don’t want to be ignored. It doesn’t matter if you’re married for 2, 5, 10, or 40 years. Women always need to feel loved and they need to be assured by it. Never get bored of saying ‘I love you’ every day or give her rose every week (every women is different in terms of what they want), because THAT makes a lot of difference.

A lot of men say: “I show my love to my wife through my attitude or approach. I don’t need to say that in words!” Seriously, that doesn’t help at all. You need to express your love according to her dictionary, not yours. It may not have any meaning to you, but it does for many women. Affection and expression of love is what they need. That’s how most of them measure the relationship. It makes them happy. So be realistic.

A woman may complain to her husband, “You don’t love your family!” or “You don’t care about us!” while the husband has worked so hard to make sure the financial needs of her and the children are met. Well, the thing is for women, emotional closeness is more important than materials and money (I don’t speak for materialistic women because I’m not one. But I do think at some point in time they actually need more love rather than money). Emotional closeness can be in the form of having dinner just the two of you, without the children. Or basically just spending time together (while I also think the men and women need to have their “boys time” or “girls time” respectively with their own friends… but that’s another issue).

One important thing that ALL men are blind about is how to deal with women who want to “curhat” or vent out, either because they have problems or they just want to complain LOL. Most men just jump straight away into “how to solve it” (like in the company: you have problems, solve it right away). But this is not a company! This is a relationship with a complicated creature called woman! In order to deal with women, you have to listen to them and make them feel good and okay. They actually don’t need any solutions (unless they ask!). They just want you to listen to them and be there when they feel down. Hug them and that will make them feel so much better.

So for us, the formula is:

sharing = listening = love

As simple as that! Hahaha. And this is actually true. I’ve experienced it before. When my boyfriend knew how to deal with me when I had problems, that’s when I felt he understood and loved me. Even if he’s not romantic, when that’s fulfilled, I was happy. Compared that to a guy who’s all about romance and sweet words but when it comes to sharing, he doesn’t know what to do and gets panic. I guarantee you that the woman will complain and ask why you don’t understand her and so on… hehehe. I’ve been in both situations hahaha.

Source: @alissawahid‘s tweets, which were actually based on a book titled For Men Only by Shaunti Feldhahn and Jeff Feldhahn. Her tweets were very long (it’s called kultweet = kuliah tweet = tweet lecture?), so I put them together into a single post that can be easily understood (and add my own interpretation or opinion of course hehe).

Relationship 101: Men & Respect

I’ve been reading the tweets of mbak Alissa Wahid (yes, she’s the daughter of our former president Gus Dur). Many of her tweets are so interesting — ranging from parenting to relationship. I have to admit that I regret I didn’t “record” or put most of them here. I totally forgot what they were all about now haha…

Anyway, about a month ago (or even more, because this post has been in my pending list), she tweeted about marriage: what husbands and wives (should) expect of each other. Her tweets were based on two books: For Women Only and For Men Only — authored by Shaunti Feldhahn and Jeff Feldhahn. The two books were the result of a nationwide survey in the US and more than 1,000 personal interviews. I think it’s quite interesting and I’m sure most of the information were not that new. But sometimes reminders are what we need! So let’s just refresh our mind again…

In this post, I will focus on For Women Only. Again, this piece is taken from mbak Alissa’s tweets 🙂

Love is all you need. Really?

One thing that mbak Alissa emphasized was the fact that showering men with love and care is not actually enough. A man needs to feel that he is respected and trusted by his wife. That’s what he needs the MOST. His worst nightmare is to be humiliated. Once he feels humiliated and embarrassed, he will feel unloved by his wife and can easily lose his temper.  For us, the women, crying tends to be our response to feeling unloved. But for men, anger tends to be their response to feeling disrespected.

So, while we need unconditional love, men need unconditional respect. Don’t tease him or make “bad” comments about him in front of his friends: “Oh but my husband can’t even fix the tire!”. Don’t question his decision: “Oh come on!! Did YOU really think it’s a good idea?!” or abilities: “Why are you so slow?! Can’t you be a lot faster?”.

The bottom line is, don’t make him feel that he’s not good enough for you. Don’t lower his self-esteem. Don’t make him “less”. Believe him and trust in him and appreciate his efforts (and let him know that!). Give him full support rather than demands. Encourage him.

Criticism is important, but how you say it does make a difference.

Based on research, 74% men would rather be ignored, be alone, or feel unloved than to be humiliated. So, from this point on we can conclude that for men:

respect = love

That’s the formula, people! hihihi. If you wanna feel loved, you have to respect your man first!

This post is actually a note to self (hmm most of my posts serve this purpose actually hehehe). It doesn’t only apply for relationships and marriages. But also friendships. I have to admit though, I do pass out bad comments to guys whom I don’t like. I use that as a weapon to turn them away hahaha. Oh I’m bad!!!

But I do remember, one of my ex asked me at one time, why I would always hesitate to ask him for help. The thing was, I used to do that to all people because I felt “gak enakan”… I just felt that I’d cause them trouble and inconvenience. But for him, apparently, that’s how he showed his love. Protecting and helping me. That’s what made him feels good about himself. And this is only a minor example. It can extend to the fact that a husband provides financial needs to the family. When he provides, he feels powerful as he feels the family depends on him :). He wants to feel depended on because that shows the family actually trusts him (in supporting them).

Being an independent woman also proves to be hard because often time I give a wrong impression that I don’t need him or any guys in general, but that is actually wrong. I don’t think I’m overly independent. There are certain things that I and all other independent women (and all women basically) need. That’s of course will be discussed in the next post, which will focus on For Men Only! Be patient, guys 😛

A Sign of Desperation

Mom: Have you been talking to that guy?

Me: Which guy? *pretending to be stupid*

Mom: You know… XX?

Me: Oohh.. THAT guy! Nope.

Mom: Why? He’s a nice guy, you know.

Me: Mom, I don’t know him, okay? *getting grumpy*

Mom: But you can chat over the internet, right?!

Me: *silent*

Mom: Or maybe you’re trying to hide your relationship again… like you did last time with YY?

Me: Hey, Mom! Do you know that I’m going to Egypt at the end of this year with Asti and one other friend?!

A usual conversation between mother and daughter that is hard to avoid. Every phone conversation is the same. I’m going crazy. HEEEELP!

On Marriage

You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.

— Kahlil Gibran

This is the poem I usually write to my newlywed friends. I love it!! I hope this poem would serve as a reminder, that even though you are bonded and united in marriage, it is important for both of you to maintain the spaces in your togetherness; i.e. to be able to maintain your identity and individuality. You cannot expect your wife or husband to be exactly like you are or to be like what you want her or him to be. That’s a space which needs to be maintained so that one’s individuality can grow and flourish. Once that part is realized, I’m sure both of you would grow stronger as a couple.

I think, for me, this poem is not only about marriage. It can be applied in a relationship too. I do have some friends that once they’re in a relationship, they turn into a totally different person that I cannot even recognize. But once their boyfriend/girlfriend is not around, they become someone I previously come to know. I find it quite sad. They’re willing to change themselves for the sake of the relationship and I’m sure that’s not what they want themselves to be. They might not realize it now, but they will, eventually! How long can you pretend to be the other person, really?

What I found is that, many Indonesians (or perhaps Asians) act like that towards their boyfriend/girlfriend. Maybe I’m generalizing too much, but hey, that’s what I discover most of the time. It’s as if one of them own the life of the other and control every single thing about him/her. And they’re not even married yet!

I’m lucky enough to have this rule strictly put in place from day one when it comes to boys and relationship. Basically, nobody has the right to dictate and control me and to force me to act/agree on/have something. Sure, you can always remind me if I do something wrong, but please provide me with strong arguments. Who are you to control me?! You’re not even my husband! 😀 If you can’t even do that, then you won’t be able to respect whatever opinions and qualities I have. You don’t like me for who I am! So, sorry boys. Au revoir!

Love, Marriage, Commitment

A blogger friend once tweeted:

Love is NOT enough to become the basis for a marriage. A much stronger foundation is a commitment.

He went on to say:

Definitely, a loveless marriage is very painful. However, you may have also noticed that people in love for years, got married – then divorced quite soon. A strong commitment may enable the couple to develop solutions to their problems – conflict management, etc. A strong commitment will help dissolve each egos – and let a new personality, your partnership, to emerge.

It’s true. Many people these days got married because they’re deeply in love; failing to realize that they’ve signed the "contract" for life.

Indeed, commitment is such a powerful thing. Sometimes I do think that, for some people, commitment overrides love. No matter how many times your husband or wife betrays you, ending a marriage is still not an option. For some people like me, we would have questioned, how could it be not an option?!

And for me, the questions remain unanswered: How do you know that you’re ready to spend the remaining years of your life with that person? How do you know that you’re willing to be committed and stay true to that commitment for the rest of your life? How can you be so sure? How does it feel like to be sure?!

Successful Men

Pria yang memiliki kesuksesan cenderung lebih mudah berkhianat. Pria kaya dan sukses merasa bahwa dengan uang dan kekuasan, ia bisa mendapatkan segalanya semau hati dan menganggap perasaan cinta tak lagi penting.

Men who achieve success are more likely to betray or cheat their partners. A man who is wealthy and successful usually feels that, using money and power, he is able to obtain everything he wants and consider love is not important anymore.


It’s self-explanatory. And it’s so true. And I loathe it!

Reverse Cultural Shock

I chatted with a friend of mine who had spent quite a number of years in the States, but finally came back to Indonesian for good about a year ago. It’s been sometimes since I last talked to her and it’s always a joy to share each other’s latest updates.

She told me how hard it’s to be in a society where men are expected to be served by their women all the time. Many people think that the relationship between she and her husband are quite strange — merely because they share responsibilities together. These responsibilities are not only about household chores, but it also extends to their daily life as a couple. There are no unwritten rules about who do what. They take turns — naturally. Though for example, the wife is used to make tea for the husband; when she’s tired, the husband sometimes makes tea too. When dinner is served, then no one is expected to put the meals on the plate for the husband. As long as he’s able to do it himself, why should anyone serve for him?

This is what makes me not completely “connected” to Indonesian guys. I’ve been raised in a different environment. My dad, though he’s a busy man, always has time to help my mom. Yes, he never cooks because he doesn’t like it (I don’t think I remember he ever cooked for us. If mom was ill or was tired, he would rather buy us foods). But doing laundry was his job in the house. Gardening too. Cleaning the backyard. Sometimes vacuuming. And many more. I think it’s hard to find the kind of husband (in Indonesia) who sees his wife as a life long partner rather than a server. Even if I can find such a guy, it’d be very hard to implement it because people in Indonesia expect different things. They expect the wife to serve her husband and they’ll try so hard to “enforce” it on other families. I’d say: mind your own business!

But yes, it’s hard to find  the kind of person I describe above. My mom even told me the same thing. If you can find him, that means he has either been abroad (meaning: live. not visit) or was raised in such environment. My dad was a student in Egypt and I figure: that’s how he gets that “behavior” and open minded thinking. People who have lived abroad have completely different mindset than those who have never seen the outside world. Besides being completely independent, they have the chance to see different culture and see how people in different countries conduct themselves. They are able to compare it to what they have been taught to believe in and realize that a few things need to be left out.

A friend told me that I need to find a guy who had lived abroad. Otherwise it’ll be hard for him to fit into me. Or vice versa. That’s true. If only I can peek on my future 😛

Wedding & Tradition

I went to ICTheek (computer lab) at 8.30am today to do a report assignment with my classmates Shilpa and Li Lun. In the middle of doing the assignment, we caught in a hard-to-stop conversation ranging from traveling, marriage, to culture! (Shilpa is from India and Li Lun is from China; so our talk was very multicultural!)

Talk about marriage… I discover that we — Asians — have similar culture when it comes to wedding. We would invite EVERYONE; from relatives, neighbors, people whom we barely met, to hi-bye friends. What makes me raise my eyebrows is that, most of these guests are our parents’ friends whom you don’t even know about! Seriously, why would you spend so much money for the wedding party of your “parents”? I wonder. Though I complain about it, there’s nothing I can do with it. I can’t really escape from this tradition. If I were given a choice, I would have definitely go for a traditional wedding ceremony attended by only close friends and relatives. I wouldn’t even have any problems if I were not to have any wedding celebrations! I would rather save the money supposedly used for my wedding for my family’s future!

Shilpa told me that she invited 1,000 guests to her wedding few years ago. That’s a massive number! She said that her wedding lasted for almost 1 week. Some small “parties” and celebrations were held and organized in the first few days of the wedding by the bride- and groom-to-be’s family separately. I can’t imagine how tiring it must be for her! Even she thought that the money spent for the wedding was better be spent for something else. But tradition and culture were hard to skip, were they? 🙂

In Betawi culture (my mom is a Betawi by the way), there is a long lasting tradition that if you’re married, you need to give a so called berkat (a basket of staple foods or even cooked meals!) to your family and relatives. The problem is that, Betawi people have MAAAANY relatives. The last time my cousin was married, she had to give baskets of berkat to at least 40 houses! Can you imagine that?!?! I feel like this is such a waste of money! Why would you give staple foods to people who have no financial difficulties at all?!?!? Isn’t it better if you can just give those foods to the people who need the most?!?! Again, I wonder why.

And I wonder whether I can break this tradition if I end up marrying someone. Alright, perhaps I can tolerate the need to throw a wedding party and having to receive unknown guests to my party, but I definitely can’t tolerate having to feed 40 middle to upper class families!!!

Give me a break!