the isle of the winds … … has suddenly became a fliter blog? hmmm…. maybe just this once =)


from hook:

page 1 of 2 in There’s no “i” in “us”


There’s no “i” in “us”! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Samuel Ho and Joanne Lim

Boy meets girl. Girl meets boy. They fall in love. Now, boy and girl are completely inseperable. Where one goes, the other follows. They are tighter than a can of packed sardines. They’re stuck at the hips closer than Siamese twins. Sounds strangely familiar?

So, do we lose ourselves and our independence in a relationship? Samuel and Joanne speak.

He Says:


So I haven’t written HeSaysSheSays for a long time, but when this topic was thrown up for the Indie Issue, I just couldn’t resist. It’s a male columnists’ dream.


I’m a big advocate of independence in a relationship. Not having to ask HER for permission or think about HER before splurging on that new iPod or before going out with your friends is something that’s very important to me, and I’m sure it’s very important to a lot of the guys (single or attached) reading this right now.


Since “Independence” is a pretty broad topic, let’s break it down into a few categories.


Financial Independence.


You’re the wheelin’ dealin’ stylin’ profilin’ man of the hour. Your parent’s allowance seems limitless. Lunch at the kopitiam everyday, dinner at home and who needs breakfast?


You buy that pair of shoes that you want, and you save up for that new football jersey that looks pretty good on Steven Gerrard. The whole point here is that there is the freedom to spend, and the peace of mind to buy whatever you want.



That wallet’s looking pretty empty these days. You get $300 (ballpark figure) from your parents/scholarship handout/part time salary every month. That 300 used to go a pretty long way towards taking care of you. However, in a relationship, you’ve got that added “responsibility” of a girlfriend.


Now, you pay for some of her meals, and her shopping too. When you previously only had to pay for your own lunch, you now have the added monetary responsibility of breakfast with her, and maybe dinner. Forget about eating at a Kopitiam repeatedly too. Think more along the lines of Gelare, Subway, and NYDC.


It starts to get out of hand when you have to pick up the tab most of the time, and then pay her phonebill for her. (That some guys pay their girlfriend’s phonebill is a well-known fact by the way.) What’s sadder about this is that when a small percentage of women read this paragraph, they’re going to go “That should be the way what.”
Goodness. Gracious. Me. I pity your boyfriends.

The final nail in your financial coffin is when that weekly/monthly/yearly anniversary (depending on which one she wants to celebrate) swings around, and it’s time to buy a present. Not just any $2 trinket by the way. It has to mean something, and that means dollars man.


There’ll be repeated assurances from her that go something like:

“You don’t have to do anything.”
“It’s really alright.”
And lastly, the absolute CLASSIC
“Knowing that you’re my boyfriend is present enough for me.”


I’m sure many men have listened to and believed these few lines of assurances. These men saved a few bucks, but I can assure you they lost much much more in other areas of their lives. I’m not going to elaborate.


My point is, there’s no financial independence in a relationship. Nada. Zero. Z

ilch. Your spending habits are changed or even dictated by one person. HER.


Now we come to the most important and all-encompassing one of them all:


Mental Independence



You could ogle at every other girl without a second thought, and you could go out with any female friend you wanted. It’s as if your eyes have a life of their own, and they can look whichever direction they please. You don’t have to ask anyone. You don’t have to care about hurting anyone else’s feelings in the process. The world was your oyster, and you were going to prosper.

FHM, Newman and Maxim were regular features amongst you and your friends. Posters of Wong Li-lin in a bikini, Jean Danker looking all sweaty with Carrie Cheong and Amanda Ling (the Keyboardist from Electrico) adorn your wall because you’re a man, and you’re not going to put pictures of flowers or cute animals on your wall.

You go clubbing and notice a girl staring at you across the dancefloor. You stare back, and maybe even dance with her for a bit, but that’s it for the evening. No foul play or anything like that, because that’s not what you’re about. You excuse yourself at the end of the night, and go home with your guy friends, because you’re a good guy.


It’s Saturday night, and your guy friends want to go to a pub to catch a Premier League game. You all support the same teams. That makes the night all the more interesting. You shout, cheer and swear at the players on the screen, at the referee, and have a whale of a time.





You’re shackled. You can’t look anywhere except one of the next three places.

1. Her eyes.
2. The general area of her face.
3. The general area of her head.

If your eyes deviate just once, you’re in trouble. This could signal one of a few things to her. One, you’re not paying attention to what she’s saying. Two, you’re looking at other girls, making HER feel inferior in the process, and three, you’re looking at other girls to make HER feel inferior on purpose because you’re just mean.


You have to ask for permission before going out with your other female friends. If the female friend in question is remotely pretty/beautiful/hot, then forget about her saying “yes” to your humble request. You only get to go out with female “acquaintances” now, who are nowhere near the pretty/beautiful/hot bandwidth.


Press censorship is now practiced in your relationship. FHM, Newman and Maxim are outlawed with a vengeance. Your room wall is bare once again, because having pictures of other women (it doesn’t matter that they’re just posters) on your wall signals that SHE’S not the center of your life, and that just won’t do. You don’t think for yourself. You start finding yourself having to sit down for the occasional chick flick.



This seemingly brutal process of breaking down your mind and your willingness to explore is actually very subtle in its occurrence. Soon, you don’t want to go clubbing because she doesn’t like you being in a place where there’re so many other hot and apparently promiscuous girls. Notice the wording of “you don’t want to go clubbing”, with the key word being “want”. Your thinking’s been altered. When you previously resisted her controlling you, you now agree with her and toe the line.


The only people who notice are your guy friends who secretly mutter among themselves, “Dammit. Not even married kena hen-pecked until lidat liao.” It only gets worse when they ask you out for to watch the game, and that Saturday night just happens to be your one-year anniversary. Forget about the game man.


You’ve lost your mental independence, and you don’t even know it. You’re mentally handcuffed. Subliminally lame. You’re just happy that she’s happy. For now.


Let’s make one thing very clear here. This isn’t about “ego”. The guarding of one’s independence isn’t about that. It’s about the very identity of what makes a man who he is. It’s about having the freedom to do what he wants, when he wants, without having to stop for that split second to check with someone whether “she’s ok with it”. The male “ego” is an animal that I’m sure all females and a large percentage of normal males absolutely detest. Guys with egos are small men using a lousy excuse to cover up their flaws. Being your own man, with your own opinions and values, has absolutely nothing to do with “ego”.


Hypotheticals aside, I understand how this article would come across to some readers. *Hands raised* I just want to assure everyone that I fully understand that a relationship is about sacrificing what you want for the person you love. But to sacrifice the person you ARE for the one you love, noble as it may sound, is a crime where BOTH parties are culpable. The girl’s overstepped her boundary by trying to reel in her man, whereas the guys are equally to blame for allowing your girlfriend to erode your identity, the very identity that attracted her to become your girlfriend in the first place. It’s all about balance, and understanding.

Can’t we all just get along?