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Why I Vote “Yes” On Short-Term Relationships

As our resident Love & Relationships columnist Min would say: We ain't got time looking for that one needle in a haystack, we just need more needles in the mix!
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Dear readers of YOYOKULALA.com, it’s Min (@girlwhocriedwolfand I am here to dish out all my dirt on love, relationships and everything else in-between. Get ready, because this column is going to be your new guilty pleasure. It is going to be no-holds-barred, brutally honest and hella entertaining. You have been forewarned – I am no expert or love guru. But hey, given my dating portfolio (which I am pretty proud of if I may add), I may know a thing or two.

Hey everyone, it’s Min again and as you guys already know, I am a short-term relationships kind of girl. Now, now, don’t give me the side-eye alright. I am all about self-discovery through discovering new people, relationships and life experiences. If my future self told me years ago that one day, this would be me, I’d tell myself to get the hell out. Me?! No way! Love is forever and I want to find my soulmate. Yadayadayawn naive ol’ me gibberish. But heck yeah, this is me today. The me who has been through failed and dramatic relationships and no longer wants to feel burdened by all that toxicity. Ask me in a couple of years time and I might be singing a different tune then, who knows? For now, though, short-term relationships give me exactly what I need – personal freedom and a good dose of romance, sans the relationship woes. And just to clarify, I am not talking about a sexual-only type of relationship. You have your ONS and FBs for that. Those aren’t my cup of tea. I actually do want to be emotionally invested, to a certain extent,  in whoever I choose to spend my time and have an intimate connection with.

So, how does it work? Honesty. Being forthright and laying it all out from the get-go is always the best way to go about it. Right before either one of you gets too emotionally invested, or worst, someone being led on, be truthful about the situation. Tell the other party that you are not looking for anything long-term for now, that you have other commitments and being in a committed relationship isn’t one of them. In this day and age of modern dating, most would be receptive to the idea of short-term relationships, so don’t be afraid to speak your mind and indicate your preferences. I know I would appreciate the honesty if someone I was dating was being real with me about where the relationship is (or is not) going. If only all men were 100% straight up about mucking around, am I right? But if being blunt isn’t your thing, the easiest way around it is to date someone who is only going to be around for a short period of time, that is, someone who is either going away, visiting for work or on extended holiday.

Yes, it is incredibly self-indulgent (whatever, really), but let me tell you – dating with an expiry date looming around the corner is so gratifying. It’s kind of like how you would spend the rest of your days if you knew your life was ending. You’d go out there and make the most out of it. With both parties on the same page, these relationships are intense, passionate, fun, exciting and there is almost never a dull moment. All these experiences, albeit brief, are short, sweet and incredibly beautiful. In true pseudo-poetic and over-romanticised fashion, these encounters are some of my best memories. And not just memories, but in a way, all these moments have made me feel like I have lived a little more and outside of the proverbial box. Plus, if you think about it (from a skewed perspective), with a speedier dating turnover rate, the possibility of finding someone you really click with – or “soulmate” if you will – is also that much higher and way more efficient. We ain’t got time looking for that one needle in a haystack, we just need more needles in the mix!

Some of you may disregard these types of relationships, but love is love, and it is impossible to define and weigh how much it means to each of us. The one guy whom I would consider myself to have been the most in love with, he was actually a result of my first-ever experience with short-term relationships. We met while I was on a holiday overseas and dated for a few months after I flew back there again to see him. It was one of the best experiences of my life and I had never felt that way about someone. After a few months of texting and video calls back and forth with a 12-hour time difference between us, I decided to move on from it because of the distance and limited time we had for it to really grow into something more substantial. I did not know it back then, but in retrospect, this brief love affair ended up becoming one of the most significant life experiences that I have taken away the most from.

Now, of course, when it comes to love, it’s always a murky grey area and the lines are forever blurred. Even though you may enter a short-term relationship with the consensus that it’s nothing serious or not for the long haul, feelings may grow and change, and you might find yourself in a sticky situation. If the feelings are mutual, perfecto! If not, here comes the heartbreak of unrequited love. If you want to play the game, you have to be ready to get burnt. I have been burnt before. Not terribly per se, but my personal greatest loves (yes, plural) and subsequent heartbreaks have all been from short-term relationships. Even though the romances were short lived and the heartaches thereafter were painfully long, I wouldn’t trade them for the world. If you are afraid of getting your heart broken badly from a short-term relationship, my advice to you would be to cut out any heavy emotions or feelings of hopefulness and longing – it’s all about compartmentalising. Unless you both truly mean it, “I love you” and the likes are a definite no-no. Same goes with making idealistic future plans together or even imagining it in your head. Don’t even think about it! Short-term relationships are all about living in the now, on a day-to-day basis, so keep it that way if you want to have a go at it.

At the end of the day, we never know what the future has in store for us. Short-term relationships may end up becoming long-term and vice versa. I suppose the key to romantic fulfilment with minimal disappointment is all about being open-minded and accepting towards the possibilities – that even long-term relationships do have expiry dates and that sometimes short-term ones can be great for you, so much that that you could even find a great “soulmate” kind of love from it. Relationships to me are never about the longevity, but more importantly, the person, connection, feels, the experience itself and what you take away from it when it’s over.

Read more from Min’s “Love & Relationships” column here. Don’t forget to check out her YouTube channel here!

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