By Tiger Shi
Web Content Contributor
“I guess this is goodbye then,” my ex-girlfriend said to me during our breakup. We were both students of the Canadian International School of Beijing. I represented the United States and she was from Germany. Eighth grade came into an end, and we broke up because I was moving back home and a long distance relationship wouldn’t work. From that point, I realized something: relationships take time, and time is something I believe us males should have patience for females this International Women’s Day.
Patience isn’t just a key for us humans as social mammals in the dating world. It can also apply to other types of relations that aren’t necessarily for love. I will explore some of those relationships with the following lovely women: Elizabeth Schmitz, Kaitlyn Shi and Celeste Valdez.
Elizabeth Schmitz, freshman at UT Dallas
Elizabeth is a good friend of mine from my hometown. We met at a mutual friend’s prom group during my senior year and her sophomore year in high school. She is a dual citizen of the U.S. and Germany. We’ve made many memories together such as attending the Texas Renaissance Festival, celebrating each other’s birthdays and exploring town. Recently, we both got political. We disagree on issues, endorse different candidates and support different political parties. Despite it all, we remain good friends. I see her as a great younger sister from another family.
This sibling-like relationship has greatly taught me that men and women can interact in ways that aren’t romantic. I am grateful for what Elizabeth and I have done for each other.
Kaitlyn Shi, graduate student at Shenzhen University
Kaitlyn is my second oldest cousin on my father’s side. I remember she used to mess with me when I was a little for fun. From countless Chinese New Years to other family gatherings, we are inseparable. Kaitlyn is always there for when I needed dating advice, academic help or quite frankly anything. We always keep in touch despite us being separated by a giant Pacific Ocean. In fact, I’m praying for her safety amidst this horrible Coronavirus outbreak as well as all of my family, including the Chinese people and the world.
Kaitlyn is a perfect contrary to my relationship with Elizabeth. My connection to Kaitlyn implies that she acts as like my older sister, since I’m an only child. According to Chinese cultural tradition, I am the only heir for the surname “Shi” to be passed on. Kaitlyn helps me with getting a girlfriend and I try, to the best of my abilities, help her get a boyfriend. My relationship to her means a lot!
Celeste Valdez, Texas State Alumna
Finally, there is Celeste. I met her at Spike Fest, a barbecue party threw by a religious organization called CRU at Sewell Park. She was a sophomore and I was a freshman just getting to know San Marcos and Texas State. It was also around the time I got interested in religion. I was raised pretty much atheist because of recent Chinese history. After that Spike Fest, I found a motive to follow Christ and become a Methodist. Celeste guided me through all of these tough times last year, from the good times to the bad ones.
I felt honored to have attended her commencement and graduation party last December. I gave great words of encouragement for the post-college life ahead. I learned that she had officially gotten into a relationship lately and I am happy for her, wishing her the best. She was and is currently a great mentor for spiritual conversations.
Therefore, my fellow men, it’s important for us to cherish women. Recognize them as grandmothers, mothers, aunts, sisters, cousins, girlfriends and wives. You’ll never know what and who they are until unless you have the patience like me to find out.
Featured image by Amy Gravell.