This interview is the third installment of my conversation with S. Helena. In this piece, she shares on her ideal man and gives us some tips on dating character over colour. Thank you for speaking with me, and for sharing your love with Naveen. I hope you all enjoy the piece.
What kinds of boundaries do you have to protect your relationship?
We talk to each other before seeking outside advice. It is important that each of us understand what is going on. We like to have an enlightened self-interest when we view any new situation or factor in our lives. We must come first.
It’s also important not to paint our spouse in a negative light. Giving people leeway into your love life can really damage your relationship. We want our foundation to remain strong, so we keep some things between us.
Is this a new dynamic for you?
No, I’ve always been interested in dating the best man for the job.
What are some of the expectations you had before your relationship?
When I was dating, I expected to be with and marry a man who held similar values, was secure in who he was as a person, being a man with a plan and the established (intangible and tangible) means to carry it out, and having a proven track record of success over obstacles. I love people who are thoughtful, so I was really looking for someone to be considerate of me as a person. My ideal man wouldn’t be intimidated by people or by my accomplishments, and someone who would be accomplished as well. Lastly, I was looking for a family man, a provider: someone who was looking for growth in all aspects of life.
Looking back on some of those expectations, how have they changed now?
My expectations have pretty much remained static, and together we challenge each other to strive to be a better person each day and to be flexible when our goals as a couple transforms. I’m so happy for the husband I have.
What are some of the things you do to keep your relationship growing?
We love to travel. It keeps our relationships going. We love to experience new things with us all the time. Experiencing a new thing, place or concept, helps you to build memories with each other.
We also don’t hold each other back from being individuals. For example, my husband loves motorcycles. I know that when it’s warm, he’ll go out and enjoy it. He also plays the guitar and sings. He’s very talented, and I love to encourage that. I still expect him to be connected with himself as an individual.
I love to garden; I love to cook. I’m very talented with that. I love dancing, but it’s been a while. I used to love Middle Eastern belly dancing, Afro-Latino dance and Catherine Dunham’s style of dance. He’s encouraging me to get back into that.
What advice would you give to others?
Talk. Get to know each other. Don’t go on dates that involve movies. We didn’t go on a movie date for about a year. We spent so much time getting to know each other, especially since we were both raised in two completely different countries, family structures, and societies.
Get to know each other’s culture and where they come from. It can really help you to understand their behaviour and their ways of thinking. You can see how other cultures view romantic relationships.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
There will be challenges to any relationships, particularly when it’s an intercultural or interracial relationship. Problems can be internal or external. If everyone is being respectful, with common values, looking towards a mutual common goal, you can make it. There will be work but be prepared to work through it.
Thank you so much for reading this interview! This concludes our series. If any of you are interested in participating in an interview feature, or know someone who may wish to participate, please leave a comment below or connect with Christelyn Karazin.