An Incomplete Troubleshooting Checklist For Beginning Lovers

This is not a technical document or serious writing. I made this post in the sole interest of summarising what I sadly wish that I could have learned earlier. There is no citable source either; it is more like “this information has been revealed to me in a dream.”

To further my undertone of comparing binary human motion to heavy machinery operations, this is not to be used as a “pre-flight” checklist. I cannot provide any insight into how to reach the point you can answer all the following questions, and the fact I’m writing this means I myself haven’t been able to answer some of them satisfactorily.

On the other hand, be cognizant that dating (or re-dating) someone for the explicit purpose of ticking off the checklist also sounds like a disaster, unless you both are video game achievement collectors.

Apologies to my 120 other readers. More physics is baking (or smoldering) in the oven.

Notes on pronouns. This article is written from my perspective, and for simplicity’s sake, I shall refer to the other party in a relationship as she/her. You may substitute if need be.

“Do I know her ⋯?”

  • Do you know her recent source of pressure?
  • Do you know who(m) she is recently having difficulties with?
  • Do you know the moments and experiences that shaped her character?
  • Do you know the first thing she does to relax?

It’s a big question and feels small at times — do you know each other well enough to deserve the level of closeness one or more of you envision? These questions are but a beginning to helping you calibrate your expectations against reality.

“Have we ever ⋯?”

  • Have you ever recalled the beginning of your infatuation with her?
  • Have you ever been proud of “us”?
  • Have you ever a moment you praised her from the heart?
  • Have you ever dreamt of spending your life with her?

Mutual appreciation is a powerful state of mind. When it comes up, it fills us with bits of pleasant memories.

“And after ⋯?”

  • Will you always make space and effort to care for her life matters?
  • Will you balance your attention and ambitions to respect her feelings?
  • Will you avoid making every conversation passive and nonchalant?
  • Can you always just chat on and on all over the place?

To let love age gracefully is not a trivial question to answer. The ability to share platitude and boredom, appreciating the trifling conversations and interactions, can be a secret to beating time and distance.


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