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Melcyan is a Water Dragon. He is also a retired Chemistry teacher and a lifelong learner. He met his Chinese partner for the first time in 2007 while ballroom dancing in Australia. Their relationship started in 2010 and they have been together ever since. His focus on CLM has been to learn more about the implications of his life-partner's culture and language for building a lifelong loving relationship.
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Decluttering Is All About Love Part 3 – the bedroom!    

By Melcyan
537 Views | 8 Comments | 3/14/2019 1:17:27 PM

My bedroom has not changed during the time my partner and I have been together. A queen size bed faces a lifeless double window.  Two wardrobes and a dressing table are on one side of the room. A chest of drawers and a desk are near the window. The other long wall has two large metal filing cabinets and two smaller filing cabinets covered with a top to make it function as a computer desk. A computer sits on top of that. The carpet has long passed its used by date. The walls need repainting and show many cracks. WARNING! I have taken a patent out on this uniquely designed love nest, so don’t try to copy it.

 

Fortunately for me, our relationship did not start at my house. It started in an expensive beachside house. It was several weeks before my partner had the chance to see where I lived. I was embarrassed about the state of my house, in particular, my bedroom. My partner said, “Don’t worry, all men are messy.” I knew that statement was incorrect but it would have been very foolish of me to correct her. She begged to see my bedroom. Isn’t that amazing! The only woman to ever beg to see my bedroom was a shy dignified classy beautiful Chinese lady.

 

The last time my partner and I went for a walk we talked a lot as we walked. As I listened to my partner talking I could hear her say something she has said many times before. “I choose right person”. I then asked her a question that I have never asked her before. Did she choose me first or fall in love with me first?

 

My partner replied that she chose me first and fell in love later. She believes that that is the way for most Chinese women. (It is probably also the way of most long term healthy loving relationships) This answer did not really surprise me. She asked me the same question. In the beginning, I was respectfully lustful. Many men have difficulty making a proper distinction between lust and romantic love. My respectful lust quickly changed to being in love.

 

My answer did not surprise her either. In retrospect, I suspect that there was also an element of me “choosing my partner” and falling in love later.  Some might say that this is not a romantic path to follow. Our relationship could not be more romantic. We even love each other more now than we did eight years ago. When we make love we never know what the end point will be. As great as our lovemaking has been in the past we also suspect that our greatest lovemaking of all time is somewhere in the future.

 

On the walk, I also asked her what she thought of my house when she first saw it. She said she could not remember clearly except for her recollection of how embarrassed I was. She could not remember her first impression of my bedroom either.

 

I asked her if she could remember her first Valentine's Day in my bedroom. Her face burst into a huge smile and she started laughing.

 

Today I tried to see my bedroom as others might see it. Yuck! The filing cabinets, computer and desk definitely have to go. The double windows that stay permanently shut and block out the light must be changed so that light and air flow can easily be adjusted. My partner likes to open windows, even in the middle of winter.

 

I will remove all the items that don’t belong in this room. I will repair the windows so they can open again and install a new blind and curtains. The walls and carpet will have to wait a little longer. Can I do this in 4 days??? The lounge took two days to declutter but it was a much easier task than this.

 

I will try. If I make it, I will also try a re-enactment of Valentine's Day, February 14th, 2011. As I write these concluding words several weeks have passed since this year's Valentine's Day. We had an amazing Valentine's day this year but I certainly won't be writing about that occasion. The image below relates to part of the 2011 re-enactment that will take place after my bedroom has been fully decluttered.

 

 

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(Showing 1 to 8 of 8) 1
#2019-03-14 13:17:13 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

Your bedroom sounds similar to the bedrooms of most single men. Not the same as, but similar to. It sounds like it is a little drab, a little dark and more than a little dull or boring. I am surprised that your partner didn't make it a topic of ongoing conversation until it was changed to something more appealing to the feminine eye. To be honest, I'm surprised she didn't just take you shopping to purchase all the items she thought were necessary to refurbish it to her liking.

Maybe that was because you do not live together in your home full time, so she didn't feel she could treat your home as her home. Or maybe it's because she is not like most Chinese women who feel that the home is her domain and she is responsible for all aspects of it, including designing the master bedroom.

My wife, who has been quite westernized, still takes the position that our home is her turf and she designs all aspects of it as she wishes with very few questions asked of me as to whether I like any change she makes or not.

On the other hand, being the man, I am entitled to go out into the world at large and make any changes I see fit. If I want to redesign city hall, have at it. Should I wish to reroute a nearby river, I don't need her permission at all.

So it is all fair. She makes the day to day administrative decisions, but I get to make the huge world changing decisions. Who wouldn't be happy with that?

Your partner sounds like a lovely woman, and you're lucky to have her, as you make clear in your many writings. Good luck with the reenactment of an earlier Valentines Day. Enjoy.

#2019-03-14 22:12:43 by newbeginning @newbeginning

@melcyan, I am happy for you that you are making these changes. I have always believed that the bedroom is our sanctuary. I have always treated my bedroom in that way. I have never allowed myself to have a tv or a computer in my bedroom.

I agree with John in regards to most single mens bedrooms are most likely messy and I would say drab. I would also say that most single womens bedrooms are a messy clusterpuck as well.

Quite amazing your woman remembers her first Valentines in your room yet not the first time she saw your bedroom. Says alot...right?

I think that most women secretly like to be lusted after by their man. I would prefer the woman firstly: fall in love with me, choose me and lust after my sexy body/mind too chuckle chuckle. Just my opinion.

Your description of how your bedroom looks is quite depressing old boy and I am happy your making changes to spruce it up, maybe add some romantic overtones in your redo (get that computer out of there) you might shock yourself and your woman. :)

 

Well done and continued success on this new journey in your life!

 

NB

 

#2019-03-15 08:15:12 by melcyan @melcyan

@JohnAbbot

 

John, we are on the same wavelength when we talk about what is necessary to establish a quality relationship between a Western man and a Chinese woman but on the subject of disabling clutter we are miles apart.

 

I have just finished emptying my bedroom of clutter. It seems that from the beginning of my time as a university student and across the whole span of my teaching career I have lived in an ever-increasing world of clutter. For most of that time, my bedroom was also my office. My description of my bedroom might seem on a par with many single men but most single men would still have a bedroom in a better state of repair than mine. Now that the clutter is gone it is very clear to me what I have to do to complete the task of making my bedroom what it should be.

 

I will find out in just over 24 hours time how my partner reacts to the decluttering of my bedroom. For most of the last 8 years, she has treated my home like a lost cause. She can’t wait for me to buy a new house. While my partner sees my house as a lost cause she never sees me as a lost cause. That is probably because I do much more work at her place than mine and I never clutter her house.

 

In fact, her house is better because of me. Her bedroom has wall art and lamps from me. Her bathroom has tap fittings from me. Elsewhere a security door, a cooktop, TV, Apple TV box from me. I have completed many repairs including sliding doors and patio tiling repairs. I also vacuum her entire house whenever I can. She cannot move to any part of her house without seeing and feeling my presence.

 

The biggest benefit of my decluttering may be just emerging. My bedroom is becoming a real bedroom. I don’t think it is a coincidence that for the last few days I have been sleeping much better.

 

 

#2019-03-17 06:39:50 by melcyan @melcyan

 Yesterday I learnt something about my partner that took me completely by surprise. My partner was very impressed with my decluttering of the bedroom. She was surprised and very happy. She had also suspected that I was doing something during the week that I was not telling her.

 

About ten minutes later my youngest son ( the one who has not yet left home, not the one who is about to move back home) knocked on the front door. He was carrying a large piano accordion. My partner’s face lit up the same way it does when we are ballroom dancing and we completely nail a dance.

 

This was a little disappointing for me. It is just a piano accordion. Why such excitement? When I first met my partner she had been learning the piano for several years but she was not very good for the time she had spent learning. She put the piano accordion on in a seated position. Fumbled with the keys a little and then played some basic scales. No surprise, I could do that.

 

However, with each passing minute, the sound just got better and better.. After 10 minutes she was playing a full piece of music and it was good. My son and I were shocked. After work in Shanghai in 1978 and 1979, my partner was learning the piano accordion with great enthusiasm. After a 40 year gap, she can still play and play well. Amazing!

#2019-03-18 19:13:09 by melcyan @melcyan

 My second son moved back home today. For a short while, his possessions were overflowing into my part of the house and my place looked a mess again. It is now the end of the day, he is settled in the flat at the back of my house and my decluttered rooms once again look completely uncluttered.

 

So far I have successfully decluttered a lounge and two bedrooms. I spent time in each of these three rooms before I sat down to write this comment. As I sat down in each uncluttered room I noticed how peaceful and happy I felt (also very tired from helping with son’s moving day). The title of this blog “Decluttering is all about love” was inspired by Marie Kondo. The title could easily be expanded to read “Decluttering is all about love, connection and sanctuary.

 

As I sat in my main bedroom I thought of words used by @newbeginning  “the bedroom is our sanctuary”. He is exactly right. The bedroom is a sanctuary. It is a place of rest, tranquility, comfort and rejuvenation. I agree with him that computers, tv’s and other forms of electronic communication do not belong in the bedroom.

#2019-03-18 22:07:06 by newbeginning @newbeginning

@melcyan, "My partner was very impressed with my decluttering of the bedroom. She was surprised and very happy. She had also suspected that I was doing something during the week that I was not telling her"

Why does your partner suspect you were doing something during the week and not telling her? 

I hope she is not the type of woman that needs to know what you are doing 24/7

 

NB

#2019-03-19 13:46:25 by melcyan @melcyan

@newbiginning

"I hope she is not the type of woman that needs to know what you are doing 24/7"

We talk every day. We read each other very well. I am not a good liar. My partner is probably the least capable liar in the world. When we try to withhold information from the other it rarely works. This means that I have to work very hard to plan an effective surprise for my partner. 

 

#2019-03-25 09:41:28 by melcyan @melcyan

 My partner is still sleeping. I have had time this morning to read parts 1,2 and 3 of my Decluttering blogs again. I feel better for having read them. Too often when we try to change our lives we become too focused on outcomes and not enough on process. Reading the blogs again makes me realise how critical a process focus is to achieving sustainable long term success with decluttering.

 

In retrospect, a better title for these blogs would have been "Decluttering is all about love and connection". Our surroundings are an extension of ourselves. In a sense, we need to be engaged in a perpetual ebb and flow of low-level meditative cleaning and tidying. My previous habit has been to constantly defer or postpone and when I finally did tidy and clean it was frenetic activity getting ready for a party.

 

 

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