This post was contributed by Nhi Do // All opinions expressed in this post belong to the author and her take on romance, not to be mistaken as a reflection of the entire Shut Up and Go community.
Today’s modern love is dining in a fancy restaurant, spending money on a beautiful view, the pressure of buying expensive gifts… and social media has changed how we express love.
We seemed to have lost track of what it takes to build a solid and trusting relationship. Dating apps are the biggest game-changer, making it easier to swipe yourself into a new date. It’s becoming more effortless to be ‘replaceable’ if things are getting a little hard. My friend recently told me that he was supposed to go on a date with a girl from a dating app, BUT she cancelled on him, due to some errands – and he decided not to text her anymore. These are one of the many similar stories I’ve heard in the recent years. I asked him why, he said, “she’s probably not interested.”
The guesswork is a hurdle; what if she was the one?
I have a love and hate relationship with the modern way of dating. I hate the fact that it has made some people lazier. They give up too early because they can; it’s easier to jump from one date to another. Having too many choices is a privilege that can overload into a “yes, no or maybe.” There is way more, but I think you get what I’m trying to say. Or maybe I’m just an old soul trapped in a young body for wanting love like back in the days? You know, the type of love where you have to put in work and effort?
I love it when I hear beautiful stories; and I’m a fan of people and cheering for everyone who have successfully found their modern love. My own story has been a long road…
Mine consists of a lifetime problem of holding back and being afraid of love. I was never comfortable saying these three words: “I love you.” For me, expressing love openly was difficult to overcome when the words won’t fall out of my mouth. Like for all of us, we have to experience life to understand life. I had to taste the bad, before I could learn to master the art of appreciation. This is how I got an idea to create personalized books in different art styles using my creativity to express my love with actions. Something that I was yearning for…
I would never take the lessons away from my previous relationships. Without them, no life lessons, no dreams of spreading the love, and no happy ending. I would not have had the strength to tell myself that I would wait for something great and I stay patient until it came. I was committed to love fully and find a man I could spoil with an endless amount of “love tickets” and “I love you’s” every day… But something great happened at the most unexpected time: a time where I moved back home to my parents, in my late twenties, to start all over again. My girlfriend asked me to travel with her to Hawaii; and of course, I said “yes!” While saving up and getting ready to visit my dream destination, I reached out for my long-distance crush of two years. We have been following and admiring each other’s travel photos between Denmark and Hawaii. I texted hawaiiantraveler: “Are you still traveling around the globe?”
This was a starting point of hundreds of hours of talking on Livestream, snapping, laughing, telling stories, writing long notes, singing every day, 7100 miles away. I felt a stronger connection with him than any guy I ever met in real life. After 4 months of non-stop talking, we decided to meet up for the first time halfway in Seoul. I remember when I had to pick him up from Incheon at the airport; meeting him for the first time. I was nervous, excited and sweaty… all at the same time. My heart was beating too fast, it was hard to keep up: I’ll never forget this moment…
Being my clumsy self, I ended up in the wrong terminal and we spotted each other from far away! We ran into each other’s arms; he lifted me off the ground, and even if he is a stranger since we haven’t met before. It sure didn’t feel like it. No, for me, this is a man I’m deeply in love with; for his substance, love, effort and patience. I’ve never had a relationship based on pure communication; that was the only thing we had for months. With my previous relationships, after a while, we can’t even keep the conversations going for more than 20 minutes a day! It was a long road, but I found him, my other old soulmate trapped in a young body. Still today I’m in awe that a man like him exist. If there’s anything I want to give him, it’s more of me and my time. Time is precious.
I never thought I’d be on this side, the happy side.
We all deserve to be happy. So, from the bottom of my heart, I know these love tickets will inspire you to celebrate the little things and add more laughter and joy!
Everyone is only given a limited amount of time, so why not make every moment count… big or small?
Here are some of life’s small pleasures:
Make a home-cooked meal
Ask for a slow dance
Serve breakfast in bed
Make a delicious sandwich
Go out for an ice cream
Invitation to a movie date
Bake something from the heart
Massage each other
Give them anything they wish for!
Meet Nhi: Nhi and her team are artists from around the world who created a series of beautifully illustrated personalized gift books with love tickets for him, her, or a friend. Each book can be redeemed for a range of activities, like a home-cooked meal or watching the sunset. It allows you to express love in a simple, unique and unfiltered way. Encouraging you to present a truly thoughtful gift by putting in the work and effort, required for successful relationships.
The project has been on the go for three years, and earlier this year, the tickets and digital books were made available online for free. Hard copies of the books are currently also available for sale. In order to raise funding to distribute the books and produce styles that will appeal to a wider audience, Story No. 9 is launching a Kickstarter on 11 November 2019.