How often do you have a heart-to-heart talk with your mum? Our Taylorian shares her mother-daughter conversation with us about dating and relationships.
I’m sure everyone has complicated relationships with their parents, and so do I, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still have a conversation about life with them! I’m just going to zoom into one of my favourite aspects of my love-hate relationship with my mum, which are our mother and daughter dialogues.
The idea of creating this dialogue started when I pressed ‘record’ on the voice recorder app on my phone while in a conversation with my mum. I’ve done so multiple times just to conserve pieces of memories of my mum and I enjoying a conversation with each other. Then I was like, “This is pretty interesting. What if I shared it with people (with my mum’s consent of course) and transcribe our conversations into words?” And that’s what I did.
It was the 15th of March, and we just parked on our car porch. Instead of getting out of the car, we agreed unspokenly to continue the conversation we were having. It was about relationships, dating, marriage, and our very contrasting opinions perhaps due to our 30+ years worth of generational gap (sorry mum if you’re reading this, I don’t mean to expose your age like this, I still love you).
So here goes…
Mum: It’s just that, we’d go and marry the man or the woman. Ya know.
Me: Ya I know.
Mum: Just to… have a stable life.
Me: Ya I know.
Mum: So that’s the difference lo.
Me: That’s so boring! Like do you really just settle with the first person you aim to marry like that and just assume they’d be the person you’d be with for the rest of your life at such an early age. Ain’t that some freakin’... You’re limiting your options bro.
Mum: Actually, I do think I’m still pretty old-fashioned in this. I still can’t accept going around and dating a lot. It’s not something I’d accept.
Me: Why is ‘dating a lot’ an issue though? I mean, you’re not doing it all at once. I’m not advocating cheating. It’s just meeting more people and getting to know more people, and to figure out…
Mum: I actually can’t do it. To be honest, I was chased by a lot of people back in the day.
Mum: It was like that for me. However, I never really thought of trying out a relationship with someone just because they’ve interest in me. I won’t.
Me: Why not? Don’t you think by dating different people, having all these experiences ― not really getting into a full-on relationship but more like getting to know each other. It’s like figuring out what’s more suitable for you in a relationship, what are your likes, and dislikes, and what you’re actually looking for in a relationship. You can know what you want in a romantic partner.
Mum: It’s not really like that for me. Maybe I trust my first impressions towards others too much. For example, even if a person with a higher position who’s very popular among the girls wanted to win me over, I wouldn’t feel proud. Or think that: “Wow this person is chasing me while y'all can’t even get them”. I won’t feel that way.
Actually I’d plenty of experiences like this before, even managers, and even those with wives! But I always passed on them and not return the gesture.
Maybe it’s because I was really particular about one thing, which is…
Me: Their faces.
Me: Just admit it! You’re a woman who just looks at appearances! (jokingly)
Mum: I wouldn’t say that. I’m not a person who would look at someone’s appearance like that. But of course, I hope that the person won’t be that ugly lah.
Mum: But basically, I like guys who’re smart, capable, and can speak good English.
Me: You’ve told me before. I remember that.
Mum: Yes, those who can speak English fluently. Those who’re better than me at that. This ‘flag’ or ‘requirement’ is something I’d set my mind a long time ago.
I wouldn’t mind if you’re not as educated, but as long as your English is good, then I’d admire you first.
Me: Hmm… Your ‘requirement’ is rather simple…
Mum: If that’s case, I’d want to get to know you more first lo. If you can’t even do that, no matter your position in the company, be it the manager or an executive or what not, even if I was actually a low-ranked staff, I wouldn't consider them.
Me: For me right, it’s not a complete requirement. But I do feel like if you can’t speak English at all, especially when it’s such a comfortable language for me, it’s really a turn off lah.
Mum: During our generation, not as many people were English-educated. I know that English isn’t something I’m good at either, but I’d hope that the other person is better than me at it. Maybe it’s because I’ve a mentality that I hope to have a person that would lead me.
Mum: There were people who were very capable, but they were not the ones who could lead me.
Me: Why would you want people to lead you? Lead you in life? Or lead you in the relationship?
Me: For what? Why not just make it like an equal thing? Like both of you guys, figuring out life, together; helping each other to be better. Why does there have to be like, ranks and stuff?
Mum: No. Um, maybe I think about it differently as you do. Put it in this way, what I aim for in life might be different from what he is aiming for in life. But eventually, if he is the one who can lead me to my destination, I’d be very happy.
Me: I mean, ya sure. But the way you phrased it ya know. It sounded like you wanted a person who’d have all the power? Like more of a person who’d make all the decisions in the relationship lah. It sounded like that to me.
Mum: Not like that. What I mean when I say that I want a person who can lead me, is essentially a person whom I can rely on.
Me: Guide. Say ‘guide’ please. ‘Lead’ sounds a bit… patriarchal.
Mum: It’s more like a person who is… when I need help, or when I need a pair of ears, or when I need a shoulder to cry on, he’s there.
And I’d hope that this person is smart. The things I’ve emphasised more on all along would be the person’s education background and also their English. So I won’t put as much importance on their income or how they look. Those are my personal requirements.
But maybe I was wrong because I only realised after that the basic requirement should be how good the other person treats me. I realised I never put that on my list, so maybe it’s why things are like this now.
Me: (shocked) Lady. LADY.
Mum: So it might be my fault.
Me: Oh my god. WOMAN.
Mum: I might’ve led myself to this fate.
Me: It’s 2121 (the time).
Mum: Quick, make a wish. (whispering) Get RM100,000, get RM100,000.
Me: HAHA. Yes, get rich!
And that was it! We proceeded to get out of the car and went home after that. This is one of the shorter recordings I have of our usual mother and daughter dialogues and lengthy conversations. I hope this open mother-daughter conversation about relationships was enlightening and somehow entertaining for you!
I’m super excited that my dialogue series idea has gotten the liking of the team and that I'm able to start off this series. Do let us know if you’re keen for more dialogue series by other Taylor’s writers with other people on our IG page. So do keep an eye out for that!
Renee is currently in her second semester of Cambridge A Level at Taylor's College. She has more interests and hobbies than she should. So, she is also the Performance Director of Taylor’s dance club, a part of ETC Magazine and the music club performance team! All of that while trying to have a social life ― kinda explains her dark eye circles.
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