If there is such thing as “ingredients of love”, maybe mine would look like this: Love is 50% companionship, 35% romance, 10% solitude, and 5% of the unknown.

I think love—and all great relationships are about companionship. It’s about watching movies together, cooking meals for dinner, shopping for groceries, deciding on the countries to visit for the next 6-month trip, arguing about which is best: tea or coffee, attacking pastries in a small bakery, driving around listening to the radio and singing stupid songs, laughing on the floor to some random jokes only the two of you understand, stopping for a while on a crowded street to pet a stray cat or dog, cleaning up the mess at the terrace after last night’s rain. It’s about someone with whom you can talk for hours about different things, someone who can be your best friend at all times, who will always be around to support you. Best friends are those who will always become a clear mirror of yourself, showing your true reflection. They are not bound to you, yet they will always be near because they like you and you like them (you can “love” someone you don’t like, though—that’s why some women and men are still involved in abusive relationships). Best friends like you for all your great qualities and embrace your flaws without any terms or conditions. So, when it comes to best friends, no matter how long you haven’t been talking to each other, and no matter how bad your latest argument has been, when there’s something very pressing, you’ll know whom to turn to, whom you can count on, whom you can go home to. So, what I want from love is someone I can grow old with, gracefully, and that the two of us can be best friends to each other, no matter what.

Now romance, why only 35%? Because that’s enough. You know how we always want something that is scarce, but when something is abundant, we tend not to desire it as much? Imagine eating too much chocolate. Or tart.  I think romance (including sex) is like a good dessert. The portion is small, thus you’ll always crave for more. It’s not only about the taste, but also the way it is served, the ambiance of the restaurant where you have it, and the person with whom you’re sharing it. So, I guess, 35% is enough to spice up things, rock your world, and keep you craving for more.

Then comes 10% of solitude. I think no matter how close a couple is, the healthiest is to keep a certain distance; a space to breathe. It’s about having your own time: you and your thoughts, you and yourself, you and a good book, you and those soccer games, you and your friends. It’s about being alone. It’s about being with someone else. It’s about being apart. It’s about being somewhere far. It’s about balancing things out, to leave something for a while so that you’ll miss it—so that you’ll appreciate it more so that you’ll want to go back home.

And the last 5% goes to the unknown. I think loving someone is like peeling the layers of an onion; to find out more about your loved ones every day, and to fall in love more and more and more as you unveil their true self. It’s about discovering new things every step of the way. Great couples should never think that they know everything about each other. Because there is always something new, something great, something sweet, something fresh, something surprising, something wonderful, waiting for you when you least expected it.


23 Responses

  1. Gotta love both 5%. More often that not we missed this. Small but crucial.

    One to remind us that everyone needs a me-time.
    One to remind us that everyone is a working progress.

  2. Dear Mbak Hanny,,

    I love your love formula and especially the way you writing of.

    “So, what I want from love is someone I can grow old with, gracefully, and that the two of us can be best friends to each other, no matter what.” -> kalimat ini nendang banget mbak 🙂

    Ayo, kapan mbak nulis dan bikin buku lagi 😀

      1. saya ngga perlu berpikir teralu lama untuk menjawab pertanyaan ini, jawabannya -> mau banget mbak ^_^.
        I’m waiting seriously loh mbak.
        Saya doakan cepat selesai. Terima kasih banyak mbak :’)

  3. Good description of a relationship… “So, what I want from love is someone I can grow old with, gracefully, and that the two of us can be best friends to each other, no matter what.”
    It’s about enjoying each other’s company, companionship…. Thanks for sharing…

  4. “Best friends like you for all your great qualities and embrace your flaws without any terms or conditions” — awwww! And I love you dearie, despite how ‘short’ we may have known each other. 😉

If you made it this, far, please say 'hi'. It really means a lot to me! :)

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We tend to shape our memories of them based on the limited time we spend with them—and our memories of them, over time, will be replaced with one single word, one single interaction, or one single feeling.
Beradadisini Love Letter to Self
I took up a personal journaling project this week: writing a love letter to myself before bed. I work on a thin A6-size handmade paper journal I got from a paper artist, Els. The journal is thin and small enough, so it doesn't overwhelm me. It feels like I am only going to work on a small project.
Standing up for yourself does not have to look aggressive. It does not have to feel like a fight. It's not always about convincing others or explaining yourself and your decisions with the hope that everyone else understands or accepts your choice.
Hanny illustrator
I am an Indonesian writer/artist/illustrator and stationery web shop owner (Cafe Analog) based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. I love facilitating writing/creative workshops and retreats, especially when they are tied to self-exploration and self-expression. In Indonesian, 'beradadisini' means being here. So, here I am, documenting life—one word at a time.