The hard truths and the soft lies
"The course of true love never did run smooth", or so Shakespeare once said. Even Justin Bieber in all his vapid pop melodies stumbled onto some truths about the female psyche by penning a whole song dedicated to the complex ways women can communicate. I mean, when she don’t want you to move but tells you to go, right?
As a girl, I empathise with the frustrations that come about with having to court your lady. We may be confusing, never say what we really mean, and can be insecure in ways that you don't understand, but it doesn't mean we don’t love you any less.
Here are 10 harsh truths every Singaporean boyfriend must learn to accept.
1) You’ll get used to her stealing your food
On your first date you found out that she’s an avid cafe hopper and is a real dessert aficionado. Then some chio blogger posts about the latest cafe she's been to, and your next date location is settled.
You arrive for your date, look at the menu, and prepare to order her favourite pasta for her. Then she tells you she’s watching her diet and orders a salad - somewhat reluctantly. The food arrives and you’re about to dig into your gorgeous, creamy, bacon coated, buttery carbonara when you see a rogue silver fork poke into your pasta. Yup, third-wheel-between-meal-and-you girlfriend strikes again.
She finishes the pasta. You're left with the salad. You eat the salad. Still a better love story than Twilight.
2) You'll start using social media more
Although you are one "like" amongst a sea of 400 and you think she won’t notice, you’re in for a shock. She knows… oh she knows all. Verging on OCD, I guarantee that she remembers her top 100 "likers" off the top of her head.
And if you’re thinking that no one has that much time or mobile data to go on Instagram every hour or so and camp at their notifications, you thought wrong. Like our accessorising, we execute our usage of data with utter meticulousness. You have been warned.
3) Be an honourary sales assistant during dates
Yesterday she said she was eyeing that Topshop dress. She says she’s dreamed about getting one just like it for months. But you guys wanted to go on a proper non-shopping related date! She promises that after buying said dress, the date can commence. Yes! You’ll finally be able to catch the latest Star Wars film.
However, women are self-declared multi taskers and this belief comes into fruition especially when they try to combine dates with intense shopping marathons. It’s not 1 dress. It’s all the dresses until I find The One. Plus, those shoes.
Your position as boyfriend has now expanded into the industries of retail and slave. Additionally, you will constantly face conundrums such as the infamous ‘do I look fat in this?’
Ps: you’re not going to get to watch Star Wars tonight. Sorry.
4) Be prepared to notice subtle differences in her appearance
He better notice the difference now.
You have to know when she changes her appearance. Or makes an extra effort. Even in the most minuscule of details. And you’ll need to know how to compliment it.
If she’s said she’s going for a haircut, rarely should you expect to see a vast difference. It’s not going to be cool like Emma Watson's pixie cut circa 2010 but more 'spend $28 on a one inch long trim at Salon Vim’.
Didn’t National Service teach you enough about asking the wrong questions?
5) Be prepared to get fat
You can tell me you’re going to the gym every other weekend but ‘studies’ on the internet have proven that men start packing on the pounds after getting into a relationship. Wear your extra girth as a badge of honour! It symbolises that you’re not going to die alone.
Allow me to remind you of a scenario that is all too familiar to all Singaporean couples, young and old. Given that our hawker centres are a national treasure, most of us have spent many weekends hunting for the best BBQ stingray or char kway teow. The only setback that hawker centres possess is the fact that the aromas from the other delicacies are sure to whet her suddenly insatiable palate.
Expect to order from almost every store within the vicinity. And be ready to polish off 90% of the food after she "samples" each dish like a Masterchef food taster.
6) LDR is when you stay in Pasir Ris and she lives in Boon Lay
Time flies, especially when you’re spending time with your significant other.
But with everything else that is good and great, it must come to an end. Especially when it comes to public transport's last train/bus timings. This is particularly painful if you live in Joo Koon and she lives in Pasir Ris, the two ends of the East West line!
For you gentlemen, who insist on sending your girlfriends all the way home to the other end of the island, you all are absolutely lovely. But thank goodness she doesn't have to see your anxiety and adrenaline inducing sprint all the way to the nearest MRT station to board the final train home after that!
7) “Eat while it’s hot” is a distant fantasy when dining out
Prepping for the #waffle post on Instagram requires 10 minutes to decide lighting and placement of cutlery. The actual photo taking takes another 10 minutes. Meanwhile, you are already lusting over the ice cream and mentally using the Force to prevent it from melting and drowning the crisp waffle.
After that's done, you’ll feel too guilty to dig in until your girlfriend joins you, lest you finish the waffle before she even gets a bite. That's another 10 minutes while she decides which filters and overlays to use.
Total time spent in dessert starvation: 30 minutes, if you’re lucky.
8) You need to befriend all her babes/BBGs…
Sometimes, going out with her may involve an extra friend, or maybe friends. Or maybe even friends of her friends. It would be absolutely excellent for you to engage in some stalker behaviour to make small talk on their topics of interests so that you can make non cringeworthy conversations.
Also, "chicks over dicks" is real. It is important that you at least establish amicable rapport with her inner circle. Get to know them, find out what makes them tick. And try to have fun.
It is also a bonus if you squeeze out potential present ideas from them and enlist their help in planning surprises for your girl. Friends of the girlfriend are the most important yet untapped resources every boyfriend should utilise.
9) ... and the feeling of helplessness when she’s PMS-ing
No boyfriend wants to see his other half in pain. And you try to "solve the problem" by buying her womanly supplies, chocolates, and pints of her favorite ice cream flavours.
However, once you bestow her with your gifts, she, in her frustrated PMS induced state, lashes out at you. Apparently there are different kinds of pads. Chocolate makes her acne worse. And ice cream is the worst cure for cramps ever. Oh my god you don’t know anything!
The solution to this is actually rather simple. Heat is the number one remedy to rectify period cramps. Hug her, love her a little extra, and be her personal hot water bottle for the day with loads of cuddles.
10) Master the art of perfecting her #OOTD
Instagramming is a 21st century “art form”. You might think that her #outfit only needs one shot, maybe 2 for safety. Throw on a filter and all is good to go. Think again! Those "candid shots" you see are choreographed with military precision. You might have to take 50 shots, sometimes even till your phone’s memory is full, and she still says that they’re not nice enough. Take another! You're too much to the right! Tilt the camera higher! It never ends.
However, you can save yourself from taking a whole date to finish one Instagram post by investing in a smartphone with the right camera.
OPPO's new phone, the R7s, has new intelligent technology like phase detection autofocus (PDAF) which allows you to capture crystal clear images of moving objects and even create your own gifs! So pose, dance, and laugh all you want without the dreaded blurry image - it’s almost like it was designed to perfect the ‘candid’.
It’s about learning to walk on sunshine
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