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Apr 2, 2017
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I was never the type to make the first move on a guy. While I’m a very sociable person, when it comes to guys, I would always wait for a sign, some verbal confirmation that he liked me, before I showed any indication that I liked him. I was always scared of being called a flirt. Until I met Ricky.

If things were different and I had met Ricky under entirely different circumstances, I still would’ve made the first move. As long as it’s him.

I was in my third year of college when I first met Ricky. I was supervising sponsorships for a university event and had to make the rounds of different offices to present proposals to potential sponsors. His office was one of those I visited.

Before I even began my presentation, and before I even knew that I was going to present to him, Ricky had already caught my attention. He was wearing a black button-down shirt that day, and I noticed ang puti-puti ng skin niya! Some of the people in his office were friends of mine, and I saw how easily he smiled and laughed with them, and what a bright, friendly vibe he gave off. I found him incredibly cute. So when I learned that I would be presenting my proposal to him, I began to relax.

When I launched into my presentation, however, Ricky suddenly turned serious. It was a complete one-eighty from how he was with his colleagues just moments prior. He wouldn’t even smile—daig pa ang strict professor sa school! I was thrown off my balance because normally whenever I presented in the past, the conversation was really just light and casual, with a few jokes thrown in. But with him, formal kung formal. I was nervous, and self-conscious, and I no longer felt so sure of myself.

After the presentation, I couldn’t help but feel that my proposal was headed for the dustbin. But that didn’t discourage me. Because to me, it wasn’t about the proposal anymore. I was intrigued by him, and I was challenged by him.

From then on, I used the proposal as an excuse to go back to Ricky’s office and see him again. I was curious about him; why was he warm and funny around other people, yet uptight and reserved with me? Since we had common friends working in the same office, I assumed that should have made it easier for him to loosen up around me, but no.

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The night I presented to Ricky, I had asked our mutual friend for his number. I pretended to follow up on the proposal, just to keep the communication going between us. I was dismayed when he’d take three to four hours before replying to my messages. Even when we weren’t talking about the sponsorship anymore, and even after office hours, he’d take his sweet time before replying to any of my messages. And when he did reply, his answers would always be bitin.

For about a week, I would find ways to get on Ricky’s radar. His office was near my university, and I would show up there pretending that I had no other place to stay while waiting for my next class, or use the air conditioning as an excuse to hang around when it was hot outside. Sometimes I’d get to his office before he did, and when I did, I didn’t mind waiting for him to show up because I was just plain excited to see him.

After about a week of daily visits to his office, he started to relax around me. But I knew I had to come up with another reason to keep showing up there; the air conditioning excuse just wouldn’t cut it anymore. So I ended up attending the orientation for new hires at his company and pretended I was interested in joining his team.

My efforts paid off, because he eventually started asking me out for merienda during my breaks from class. And he no longer made me wait three to four hours before replying to my texts. And he began to text me “Punta ka ba sa office?" instead of me just showing up there uninvited. And then we started going out on weekends. And three months since our first meeting, we officially became a couple.

When we were already dating, Ricky admitted that he had figured out that I liked him with all my texts and visits to his office. He had found it cute, so he played hard-to-get on purpose to tease me. Ang gago lang, 'di ba? Haha!

That was five years ago, and a lot has happened since. After graduating from college, instead of applying for a corporate job, I chose to help Ricky build, operate, and expand a food business, because that’s what he has always believed in: that his life partner must also be his partner in everything.

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Last September, I gave birth to our beautiful daughter, Elisha Alessandra. Then In February this year, Ricky finally put a ring on it. And in August this year, we will tie the knot and face a new chapter of our lives together.

Ricky + Jenah Proposal Video from Jhuneil Gahuman RN on Vimeo.

Staying with Ricky is a true test of love and patience because it’s not a bed of roses every day. We fight like kids over petty things at work, but we celebrate our victories like a married couple, too. In the end, there’s still no one else I’d rather go through these ups and downs with than him. I’m glad I made that first move five years ago, because imagine how different our lives would’ve been if I hadn’t?

I think women taking the reins in courtship should be a natural thing these days, not something that’s considered brave or a rarity. We live in a different time now, and women are more empowered. Although men who follow traditional courtship are sweet, I think it’s equally romantic when a girl makes the first move. In the same way we encourage women to be true to themselves in life, we must also encourage women to be true to themselves in love.

And if that means dealing with the possibility of rejection, that’s okay. Women aren’t as fragile as men think they are. I mean, if we can handle the pain of pushing a human being out of our vaginas, then the pain of rejection from a guy should be a piece of cake.

Special thanks to Jenah for the story and pictures

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