Posts Tagged ‘fate’

Preface: Every week I choose 1 word given to me and write about it. You can leave your word in the comments and one day you’ll see it here, I promise.


Yuan (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ) or Yuanfen (simplified Chinese: 缘份; traditional Chinese: 緣分; pinyin: yuánfèn; Vietnamese: duyên phận), “fateful coincidence,” is a concept in the Chinese folk religion describing good and bad chances and potential relationships. It can also be translated as “destiny, luck as conditioned by one’s past,” or “natural affinity among friends.”

The concept is deterministic, meaning it implies that the meeting and coming together of (usually) two people has been predetermined by an invisible universal force. It is important to recognise that this pre-destining does not come from a godly entity, but rather is attributed to the universe, which is often among the strongest cosmic forces in Eastern thinking. The pulling force is credited to the deeds done by the two people in question in their earlier incarnations. The current life being affected (or even determined) by the previous births is also another popular idea, resembling Buddhism’s karma. However, yuanfen is interactive rather than individual, it focuses on the bond shared by two people. The idea is that the couple have had to go through countless (or at least an enormous number of) lives on this earth to meet in this current life, out of 7 billion other people. So the meeting didn’t happen by chance. It was predestined.

Personally, I sorta believe in the concept of yuanfen. I mean, for two people to come across each other and come together as a couple, some degree of coincidence has to be involved. Not to mention, “we were fated to meet” has a nice romantic sound to it. Have you ever met someone with whom you just instantly “clicked”? You have no idea how you could have stumbled onto each other in the coffee shop one sleepy Monday morning, struck a brief conversation as common courtesy and it sort of just took off from there. All of the sudden, you found yourself inexplicably drawn to the other person, their smile, their smell and their quirky tics? Well, that “click” is the sound of the universe bringing you two into each other’s lives and pulling you closer to each other. We can say that yuanfen is in play. 

But my belief stops right there. Yuanfen might have been the reason we met, but it isn’t the reason we are still together. Because guess what, fate can’t do shit when it comes to commitment. While falling in love can be a fateful coincidence, there is nothing coincidental about staying in love. It’s a choice, made every day by the (usually) two parties involved. It is probably one of the toughest endeavour a human being can ever hope to accomplish: to nurture and flourish their relationship with a partner. Yuanfen plays no part in this. 

Actually you know what, I am not so sure any more.

You see, I am at a crossroads.

I wanted, sometimes so desperately, to believe that as long as two in a relationship choose to commit, they will stay in that relationship. That’s the hopeless romantic in me speaking, trying to believe. Love trumps all. 

But if the conversations I have had over the past couple of weeks were any indication, life isn’t a movie. Love doesn’t always conquer. Sometimes, it succumbs. 

I am at the age where a lot of people I know are in stable relationships and looking toward to marriage with The One, while also a lot of people I know are having problems maintaining their relationships. 

It pains me to know that a dear friend of mine is seriously considering ending her relationship, because she and her boyfriend can’t work out the future. They have tried many times, but no, life wouldn’t yield. And it’s no fault of theirs. Life was just being a bitch. 

 A case of “having fate without destiny”, so to speak. A couple who was fated to come together, but not destined to stay together. The two people met by chance, were drawn together by the will of the universe, and now seem to be broken off by nothing other than the will of the universe itself. 

So it seems like yuanfen does play a part.

Where does that leave us then?

Do we even start a relationship with someone we effortlessly click, even if we can’t know for sure that all the efforts we are ready to put into the relationship will mean something in the end?

Honestly, I don’t know. And I am terrified to find out. 




On The One

Posted: November 6, 2014 in On Love
Tags: , ,

I believe that most of us are, to a certain degree, familiar with the concept of “The One.” Basically, it’s the person whom we feel an irresistible attraction about the first time we set eyes on them, the person we knew from the very first moment that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives with, the person that God has created to walk the Earth with us. “The One” is, in other words, our fated love. 

I believe that “The One” doesn’t exist. That there is no such thing as destiny. There is no such thing as feeling that we can no longer live without a certain somebody since the second the eyes meet. “Falling in love is easy, that’s why it’s called ‘falling.'” That can’t be more true. You can’t help but feel romantically attracted to someone the first time you see them. That’s perfectly natural and that’s okay, because that magical magnetic force that pulls you toward him/her regardless of your own will isn’t under your control. You can’t help but feel attracted, initially. But after the heat has died down, you have to be rational. Don’t mistake love for infatuation. Because love has to endure. You have to work for it. Actually scratch that. You have to suffer for it. “Love at first sight” is a cute phrase, but it’s also a wrong phrase. For what was perceived as love would most likely be pure attraction. A moment of intense passion, an instance of fascination. Who you might call “The One” may later very well turn out to be “That One.” Because you have not come to the stage of love, but merely crush. And believe me, it’s a long long way.  Before, you didn’t have a choice being attracted to someone, but now, you do have a choice to love someone. That’s a huge huge difference. Falling in love requires no effort, you just fall. But staying in love, that’s the fucking challenge. Because love is rational, and the notion of “The One” suggests anything but rationality. 

“They were born for each other.” Nope, most probably they weren’t. To suggest such thing that two people were fated to be together is absurd. It is through the process of enduring that they were shaped (by themselves) for each other. That I believe in quite firmly. We constantly modify ourselves to suit the one we love. If he doesn’t like spicy food, she won’t always nag him to eat at her favourite Thai restaurant (she will occasionally, but he will agree to go, and that just furthers my point). If she wants them to watch The Notebook together, he will at least try to understand the reason why and will at least sit with her through it without pouting. If both want to spend their lives with each other, they agree to put away their bachelorhood, get married and start a new chapter. That’s how it works, at least in my opinion. All these things won’t happen unless you get to know him/her more closely, meaning not on the first day that you talked. Interest has to be sustained. Of course, some people really can picture themselves with another person in the future of 20, 30 years, but I doubt that the basis of their vision is not sound. Because how can you know a person well enough to want to spend decades with them just after the first date? No, there’s got to be a second one, a third one, an n-th one before you come to that decision. You will even have to fight, a lot. Because, again, you have to endure for love. Without endurance, love is merely short-lived passion. In layman’s term, a fire won’t be a fire if it lasts just for minutes. Only when it has burnt to the last branch and given out enough heat to warm you, that you can call it a fire. Without a shitload of commitment and sacrifice, love is just vacillating passion.

So yes, excuse me if I think that all “From the moment our eyes met, I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life holding her hand” is just bullshit. Neo is, after all, a fiction.

“Then you will realize that real love isn’t just a euphoric, spontaneous feeling–it’s a deliberate choice–a plan to love each other for better and worse, for richer and poorer, in sickness and in health. Of course, you don’t choose who you’re attracted to, but you definitely choose who you fall in love with and (more importantly) who you stay in love with.”