My boyfriend doesn’t really like for me to show pictures of him or mention his actual name in my blog and I am mostly very good about not putting to much of him in here. I couldn’t help it with this picture because it is one of my favorites. I thought it was ok to use because you can’t really see his face all that well 😉 I took this when my two boys were taking a nap one afternoon. What starts out as a forced cuddle, meaning Chester is held against his will, usually turns into something very sweet and very adorable. Chester never lets me do this, but then again I never force him to stay with me when he tries to wriggle away.
K is my first boyfriend. We’ve been together nearly 6 years now and it’s been quite a time, to say the least. I went into this relationship, naively, thinking that it would be easy. I’ve come to understand that any relationship worth keeping is going to need to be worked for and worked on. As a couple, we’ve had disagreements and sometimes outright arguments because that just happens sometimes, like it does with every couple. Sometimes we annoy each other, like I do with my song parodies that mostly involve cats, or he does when he has a man cold. These are normal aspects of any relationship.
Perhaps what was most difficult about our relationship is the cultural and lifestyle differences. As many of you might know, my boyfriend is from Seoul, the capital of the Republic of Korea. Yes, his family lives in Gangnam 😉 He is a city boy through and through. I’m the exact opposite. I came from rural, southern Indiana. The city I grew up in and went to school in has around 5,000 people. My dad is a farmer, so I know a thing or two about country life. We are from completely opposite worlds, we grew up speaking different languages, eating different foods, experiencing different things in pop culture. The list goes on and on. It is sometimes strange to me that we crossed paths at all.
I’m going to try to explain some of the things I’ve noticed between us over the years. These are completely random.
Over the past 6 years that I’ve known him, his English language skills have really improved, but mostly because we are always together and I unfortunately don’t speak Korean well at all. Going into this relationship, nothing about the way he spoke English bothered me. I respected and still do respect him for being brave enough to move to a country totally new to him and learn a language that was so dissimilar from his native Korean.
I will be honest, sometimes we have miscommunications. Perhaps the thing I notice most is when I ask a question and it goes unanswered or I am given the wrong answer, or maybe I say something too quickly and he doesn’t quite catch it, or when I mention a pop culture reference that most any American would get and he has no idea what I’m talking about. It also goes the other way around. Sometimes he will say something and I don’t get his meaning or can’t quite hear what he is saying. I sometimes drop elements from sentences because I’ve just adapted my speaking style over time to match his. I will, for instance, say, “I want to go” instead of “I want to go there,” or “I’m going to take shower” instead of “I’m going to take a shower.” Just things like that I’ve noticed. He does that with me too. He’ll say, “you know what I’m sayin” in this really hilarious, suave way in which he is mimicking how I say it 😉
I never realized how gross it is to wear shoes in the house until I met K. It seemed totally fine to me before, but now I can’t help but think about all the things I’ve stepped on throughout the day being tracked around on my carpets. Keep in mind, I have OCD, so this thought is a little more overwhelming to me than to most people probably. Since we moved in together, I have very rarely walked in the house with shoes on.
I love the little things that he brings back from Korea that I’ve never seen before. We are constantly learning new things about each other’s culture simply by explaining things that the other doesn’t know much about. I kept finding these types of things (like the picture above I mean) all over his apartment when we first started dating. I had a definite, “What the heck is that” moment. I am going to be honest. I still don’t know what it is. I have tried to have him explain it a million times. I’ve gotten that it’s either a) for moisture collection, or b) traps some kind of bug that supposedly lives in clothes, which may or may not be, but I definitely hope, is a dust mite. I don’t know what it’s for, but it’s something I’ve never seen before. From the looks of it, this one needs to be tossed 😉 If he ever wants to know something about tools, equipment, animals, or something outdoorsy, I can usually give him an explanation. He’s much more up on technology than I am. We compliment each other on things like that.
Rice. I have never eaten so much of this little grain in my life until I started dating K. I can honestly say, I go through periods of time when I can’t stand to eat rice and other times it’s totally fine. I think it’s definitely one of those things that you’ve just had to grow up with for it to not get old to you quickly. We eat rice so often that we’ve gone through 3 rice cookers. The one above is our latest and we got it from H-Mart, a huge Korean supermarket that is usually located in big cities. Yes, you can buy a cheap little rice cooker at American supermarkets, but they are nothing like one that’s made in places like Japan or Korea. I’ve seen them for upwards of $500. They pressure cook the rice or something fancy. I never knew how much of a staple rice was in the Korean diet until I started dating K.
I could honestly go on and on and on about the things that intrigue me about our international relationship, but I can’t type much more. My hands are already typed-out from a day of computer work. The point is, to me anyway, love occurs when we least expect it 🙂 As cliche as that might sound, I think it couldn’t be truer. I’m just glad I found love in this lifetime and hope the same for you all as well. I enjoy and appreciate our differences 🙂
This is a very long post, but I hope you’ve enjoyed it.
Thank you for reading!