Friends, siblings, parents, partners. Relationships aren’t obligations or investments. They’re gifts.

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I have a friend who I’ve been close to since high school. When I broke up with my long-term girlfriend, this friend became the closest person to me. But we don’t speak now.

It’s not like we had a fight or anything. We simply don’t go out anymore.

5 years ago, when I still believed in “fighting” to keep the people I cared about, I would’ve brought pizza and ice cream to her place and badgered her to open up.

But now, there’s a part in me that says, “Hollywood-like gestures might bring the relationship back. …

A long-term couple goes on their last date.

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She asked for a last date. I agreed. She had three requests.

“Can we have our last date for an entire day?” She asked.

I said we could. We’ll spend the day together, present in the moment.

“Can we act like we’re still together?” It was her second request. I agreed. I said I’d treat her the way I did back in college. Back when we were in-love beyond humanly possible and we believed we’ll make it through a lifetime, together.

“Thank you.”

“What’s the last request?”

She hesitated. “I’ll tell you during our date.”

It was a quiet July…

There are always risks, monogamous, or not. It’s up to us to take it, and see if we can make it work.

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She sat on the hotel bed where I made out with a different girl just a few hours ago. She was frozen. I tried to hold her and, for the first time, she pushed me away. The feeling that I made a terrible mistake crept on me like water slowly filling a tank.

“I knew this was coming eventually,” she whispered, tears forming on the sides of her eyes. “But I didn’t expect it would be this… real.”

During our earlier dates, I confessed to her that I might be polyamorous; It felt more natural for me to love and…

Not when being poor is all you’ve ever known.

The kids of Tondo, Manila. Image by John Christian Fjellestad

You can’t “learn” to stop chasing money. It’s so easy to say, “Get a career, not a job!” But it’s not as simple as that.

I was born and raised poor in a third-world country. I’ve been chasing money all my life. It’s what I grew up knowing.

Did I see, read, or hear about all those people who teach you how to chase your dreams and build your career? Sure! Have I seen those books or podcasts on financial literacy, investing, how to build wealth? Definitely. Have I been exposed to all those sunset images with inspirational quotes about…

You tried everything. Nothing worked. What now?

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I was the Marketing Director of a tech startup and my work wasn’t bringing in the money or traction that it should. I did everything to improve my results: I read more books, consulted mentors, changed my mindset and tactics, did more field research and experiments, consulted even more books and mentors.

I won’t go into specifics, as that’s not what this article is about. But suffice to say that I did my best to learn from every book, mentor, experiment, and mistake. And I executed all the best practices. But after months of fruitless efforts, the CEO finally let…

My partner says I’m easy to care for.

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You’re healthy enough to read this, and do other things you enjoy. Some people can’t do that. Take a pause. Right now. And realize how lucky you are.

Most of us are very lucky to be healthy. You’re reading this article right now, for example, without difficulties. You don’t have to stop every 2 sentences to catch your breath as I do. And even I’m lucky at this point because I can still write.

A few weeks ago, I had some sort of “attack.” I’ve gone through different doctors and tests and we’re still figuring out what’s wrong exactly.


I wish there’s an app to meet & build relationships with doctors.

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Did you know that we hold our breath for a lot of things? Like when we talk or eat, or when we’re engrossed in reading or writing a blog post.

The next time you’re reading or writing, notice if you unconsciously hold your breath. Try it right now.

Holding your breath to do something you enjoy, like eating, talking, reading, etc., is a privilege of the healthy; A privilege I no longer seem to have since I had some sort of “attack” over a week ago.

Long story short, after jumping from one doctor and medical test to another, we…

Online dating often seems mediocre at best. But, oh, when there is that spark!

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I’ve lost count of all the creative, innovative, full-of-depth girls on Bumble who send hand-wave emojis to start a conversation. Not even a, “Hi” or “Hello” because who’s got time and energy for those right?

And then there was this girl who made me pay for the whole tab on a first date. Like it’s the 16th century.

“Dude, you should date people by meeting friends-of-friends. Online dating sucks because people there don’t have real mutual connections. That’s why it’s so easy to ghost.”

A friend told me that one day.

But to me, mutual friends aren’t the best option…

Here’s how to “find your tribe” and create genuine connections in this cold, superficial, digital world.

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It’d be nice to discover kindred souls. Find your tribe. Feel belonging. Really connect with someone. Whether it’s platonic, romantic, or sexual.

If you’ve put yourself out there and searched — then you know it’s harder than it looks. Maybe you’ve Googled, “How to make new friends during COVID,” or “How to find people with same interests,” or even “How to get a good date online.”

After trials, errors, and crash and burns, maybe you’ve settled for, “How to find people who know how to listen and have some basic human decency.

I’ve looked at tons of advice online. And…

From someone who’s unreasonably jealous sometimes

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My partner was swiping through a dating app the other day. And, being bi-curious, she matched with a girl who she knew is interested in me and has previously reached out to me online.

She opened my Facebook to see if the girl and I had new messages together. (I lent her my laptop for work). She’s never done that before. She respects privacy and boundaries and I understand it’s one of those “amygdala hijacking” moments.

She messaged me immediately to apologize. And we met later to talk about it.

Just in case you’re confused and asking why she’s on…

John Pucay

Relationships, Culture, Polyamory, and Running. More stories at Twitter @JPucay or email me at

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