Let me begin with an apology ??, because it took me so long to properly introduce Anton – the man I now call husband, to you guys. Ever since I posted this following picture on Instagram, I have received a lot of kind comments and DMs (direct messages) from many of you who congratulated me (thanks again, guys! *hugs*). And some of you, especially those who have followed me since years ago also requested me to share the backstory of how I met this guy, and why I chose to marry him.
Ummm and yeah, his sister’s name is also Elissa!!! What. are. the. odds.Anyway. Sigh.Once we met each other, and a few text messages and phone calls later, this guy turned out to be really sweet and he’s definitely THE MOST persistent guy I’ve ever met. Not to mention that he’s, uhm, pretty cute.Uh oh.
“But what about that being-single-and-be-content pact??,” my inner voice would yell at me.
And by inner voice, I mean my one and only sister ELLE. Yep, she’s very supportive of this relationship detox idea from the beginning, and she would constantly remind me to stay focused for my own good. FML.
A week after my first meeting with him, Elle and I were in Singapore to film for Pantene.
To my surprise, HE FLEW THERE AS WELL and because he knew our schedule was pretty packed, he asked me to meet him WHENEVER I CAN. I was like, OMG he’s here! And what a considerate gentleman *points up*!!! But since I don’t want to ignore (annoy) my inner voice (Elle) too much, I planned to meet him at the hotel lobby, maybe just for a quick chat because it’s late at night already when we’re done shooting, and we’ve got to wake up early in the next morning.
But when I saw him sitting there waiting for me in a white shirt (yes, yes, tall guy in a white shirt is my weakness, among many others), I was like, “Uhm, sorry to keep you waiting. Let’s go out and I’ll buy you some ice cream*.” hashtag facepalm.
So we walked out of the hotel, talked about many things, and there was this one time where we had to cross the street, he put his hand on my lower back, and I got maybe like, 927 butterflies running wild in my stomach, thank you very much.
*Btw I didn’t manage to buy that ice cream because apparently, I only brought this 1000 SGD bill with me and of course the ice cream guy didn’t have enough change. I was so embarrassed but he just laughed and paid for the ice cream instead, and til today he likes to tease me about the ‘ice cream incident’. -_-
Back in Jakarta, I finally told him about the promise I made myself about being single and that means, not even a ‘casual fling’, ‘TTM’, or whatever it is. I explained how important it is to me. He said he understands, but it didn’t really stop him from hitting my phone anyway, even though I only replied him less and less. When I told him in serious manner that he should just forget about me and go for other girls, he just laughed it off and said, “It’s up to me to go after whoever I want, and I’ve told you that I only want you”.
Okay, did I mention that he’s the most persistent guy I’ve ever– um, yes I did.
June 2015, my father passed away.
Shocked and heartbroken, my family and I decided to go to India again to get peace of mind. If you’re wondering, “Why India, what’s there?” the best way I can explain to you is by referring to the famous book turned movie Eat, Pray, Love, where the main character went to an ashram – sort of a spiritual retreat to reconnect the mind, body and soul with meditation, mindful eating (mostly they only serve vegetarian / vegan food over there), spiritual teachings, and so on.
Since Ant (yes, I called him Ant to avoid confusion with my dad’s name) and I were still in contact every once in a while, he knew about our upcoming trip to India and he impulsively wanted to go as well. I told him that he shouldn’t because I’m getting real serious about this being-single pact. I didn’t even let him come to my dad’s funeral, so how could I possibly bring him along with my family? And I mean, it’s India, and the ashram is certainly not a touristy place, so it’s not that easily accessible, especially for first timers.
But this guy, this particular guy, being as persistent and stubborn as he is, said that he’ll find me there.
And true to his words, a few days after we reached the ashram, which is located in the middle of a remote small town called Puttaparthi, there he was – all alone, wearing a black t-shirt among a sea of Indian devotees in white clothes. He spotted me, smiled and walked towards my way. I was BEYOND shocked. This guy’s effort really exceeded my expectations and his actions always match his words, which is a quality I truly adore and rarely find in most guys I’ve met. UH OH.
Needless to say, I was flattered and impressed. But *sigh*, yep, with my dad’s passing and all that’s happening within a span of those last few months, I decided to stick to my personal resolution of trying to be content just being by myself, because it just felt like the right thing to do.
And so right there and then in India, I completely let Ant go.
About one year has passed since then.
During that period, I spent most of my time with my family.
In addition, I also had a great portion of enjoyable ‘me time’ where I get to reconnect my mind with my heart, read some good books, letting myself find out what I truly want in life – in my own pace. And within that time, I recalled that one of things I’ve always wanted is to have a higher education and a proper background in business, so I enrolled in business school:
And I’m really glad I made that decision. ???
Meanwhile (if you’re wondering about Ant), after India, I have never replied to ANY of his messages, comments, phone calls, emails… Boy he did send me lots of emails. Wait, I’ll just screenshot some and put them here hahaha. You can click on each email to enlarge it:
|↑ October 2015’s email ↑|
|↑ December 2015’s email ↑|
|↑ January 2016’s email ↑|
|↑ April 2016’s email ↑|
One fine day I finally decided to text him, and from then on out, things just rolled up nice and sweet.
|Click to enlarge ?|
Well, kind of, because as you can see up here, I was still a bit scared to start again at first (so sorry, babe ?), but we managed to work it out anyway yayyy!!!
|Photos taken on September 2016, a month after we’re officially in a relationship ??|
Honestly, now that I think about it after being married to him and all, if it weren’t for him patiently waiting for me throughout that period, if I decided to just be with him after India, maybe I would still have my doubts about myself, and about him. After all, it wasn’t only me who just broke up with someone – he, too, just got out of a relationship in 2014. So naturally, I was skeptical that he’d just wanted to use me as a rebound. But that thought was cleared out thanks to his ‘waiting time’, because if all he wanted was a rebound, he should’ve just gone for another girl right away, not waiting for THIS girl, “without definitive time limit” (as he said in that June 2015 email), right? ? I guess everything really happened for a reason, then, and for this particular reason, I’m just very, very grateful.
One of my best friends, Hanna, also asked the same question when she first met me and Ant on a dinner (by that time, we were already engaged). When she got to our table, the first thing she did before sitting down was shaking Ant’s hand and shot him right away, “Amazing. What exactly did you do that made her want to marry you? Because I’ve known Jess for so long, and as far as I’m concerned, she just doesn’t want to get married.”It’s true, though, and I guess it’s quite typical for kids whose parents got divorced to be more skeptical about marriage. So, even though I’m secretly a hopeless romantic, I was leaning more to the ‘hopeless’ side, because after so many failed relationships as well, I never even dared to think I would really, finally met THE ONE.Okay, going back to THE question. Well, I didn’t know how to begin, so I just showed Hanna this list that I made on my phone. It’s basically a note that consists the sweetest things he did for me (and my family) that made me fell for him, effective immediately. I initially made it so I remember the whole story, the details etc. when I’m telling my mom about it. But later on, it just became a habit because there are so many of them and I just want to remember them all. And it’s not even all of them:
So there you go. Some of the things that convinced me that he’s the one.