Ulia and Rai.

I stumbled across Rai about a year ago now whilst browsing flickr.com. Now there are many quality photographers on this site, and Rai is no exception… but the thing that really made him stand out from crowd was his photographic dedication to his partner Ulia… or who he lovingly refers to as his “Muse“… an almost obsession, but a healthy one – which from her photography seems to go both ways :)

And as if the photos of the dashingly handsome couple in love weren’t enough to make us all jealous, they have even made videos!

(from their youtube page)






I’ve felt love like this before… and have spent many in between years convincing myself that relationships are ok despite knowing something is missing, but in the past year I’ve really learnt something: don’t settle. Don’t settle for less than the best when it comes to something this important. Potentially, it’s for the rest of your life! Do you want to wake up at 40 next to someone who feels like a stranger? Or do you want it to be the person you trust the most, admire the most, and who helps you be a better person? If you can love as much as Rai and Ulia, save it for someone who’ll give back to you what you can give them :)

As Stellarjandri says:

“Rai and Ulia will make you believe in romance again…”

… that they do :)

7 thoughts on “Ulia and Rai.

  1. it’s said their youtube’s account is closed…

    i like what you said “save it for someone who will give back to you what you can give them.”

    and if you don’t think you can give as much as they give you, just leave?

  2. It is sad. I really wonder why they closed it… maybe the spark faded? I don’t know…

    In answer to your question yes. Be aware of your self-worth, but don’t over estimate. Fight for things, but not for too long. It shouldn’t be that difficult. Have pride. Have self-respect. Go find what you deserve. I know, it’s a hard thing to do (from past experience).

  3. Around the same time that you posted this, an old monk told me the same thing. She had more than 70 years’ life experience, including a long happy marriage and a career in psychotherapy, followed by deep monastic training. Her face was like Yoda’s as she looked into my eyes and said, “Never settle for less.”

    I gave her that promise. It really ruins first dates. ; ) She then gave me even better advice – “Don’t let yourself get so emotionally carried away that it turns into a fantasy. And don’t be so attached that you can’t be happy on your own. It isn’t healthy to think that you always need to be together.” No other person is going to make everything okay, at least not for very long. An unabashed romantic up to that point, I hated that advice… but hey, I’m happier for it.

  4. What if you always have that idea of ” Don’t settle for less” in your head and that makes you give up a bit too soon when problems show? You start dating someone cos you feel right, even though you sort of see their flaws from the start – but you give it a try with the hope that either you or him/her will overcome this or that flaw or that your partner will adapt or eventually grow up… but then the “don’t settle for less” comes…and you have to decide to either stick around or keep on looking for the better fit. But is there really that (almost) perfect person you’re looking for? Or the problem is that the standards you’ve set are a little bit too high? Or the fact that your patience is a bit too low?

    Sometimes I can’t help but think that I might have missed it with that almost perfect guy(s)…cos I thought I shouldn’t be settled for less.

  5. “Seeing someone’s flaws from the start” sounds like a good thing to me, that way you’re walking in with open eyes rather than a befuddled haze, and you’re better placed to feel whether you’re good for each other or not. And “feeling right” is surely as good a reason as any to start seeing someone. So long as that’s a deeper awareness type feeling, rather than an “ain’t he/she sexy” wishful lack of awareness. “Don’t settle for less” doesn’t mean “don’t settle for less than perfect”, because obviously nobody’s perfect and true love is to accept that about someone. To me, it means don’t settle for someone who isn’t good for you, and whom you can’t be deeply in love with. So many settle for people whom they’re not that compatible with, or whom they treat badly because they don’t respect them, simply because they’re afraid of being alone. It’s understandable, but it’s also settling for less.

    Maybe it’d help not to set standards, not judge people, and instead trust that your intuition will know what’s right to do when the situation comes. That way you’ll stay *relaxed* and open to unexpected little miracles. (And yes, exercise patience – but don’t put up with crap.)

    If you’d really met that almost perfect guy, you’d be with him now. If the pull wasn’t strong enough to reach through all those thoughts, it can’t have been the right person or time for you.

    Hopefully all that doesn’t sound too fatalistic!

  6. Well, I’ve finally gotten around to replying!

    @Mia: Sage advice from her but I can empathise entirely with hating to hear it! Personally I blame romantic movies and literature for imbuing me with such expectations (ok, only slightly). A case of perhaps knowing one thing, but feeling another from time to time? I am a lot less like this than I used to be however. I guess we have to keep such wisdom in the forefront of our minds in order to live in line with it.

    @Oyster: Agreeing with Mia here. Even from the first date I think you know deep down whether it is worth taking further (you may even have the spark if you’re lucky). It wouldn’t really feel right on a deeper level if those imperfections (“flaws”) happened to contradict some of your core values. For example, you’re ambitious but the guy is quite the opposite. You’re energetic and like to get out, but the guy is lazy and likes to stay at home all the time. It seems to me that it’s important to know yourself well enough to know what you need in a relationship (similar to what Mia said – trust your intuition). Perhaps if you’re hoping someone can change significantly, you may already be settling for less?

    I find it interesting that Mia mentioned the “it can’t have been the right person or time for you”. I wonder if it’s possible that someone it didn’t work out with previously, could be suitable in another period in your life? Having seen relationships fail over seemingly long distance alone, I suppose so.

  7. Robin wrote “I wonder if it’s possible that someone it didn’t work out with previously, could be suitable in another period in your life?” Oh, yes. My favourite story of this is a woman I know who clicked truly, madly & deeply with a guy she met at a conference. They talked non-stop and seemed to know each other intimately already – but he was married and had kids. He actually wanted to have a relationship with this new woman anyway (which set my alarm bells ringing, but whatever) – part of his justification was that he was virtually separated from his wife already – but she said “no way. But if you ever find yourself single, get in touch.”

    She didn’t hear from him again – until 13 years later. That’s how long it had taken him to separate from his wife – probably something to do with the kids being old enough to handle a divorce, in his eyes. It was as if they’d met yesterday, they got married fairly quickly and have now lived together happily for 10 years…

    Personally though I find it dangerous to hold on to hope that something will work out in future. If you’ve just broken up it’s comforting, but holding on to an idea closes you to other options. Again, if someone’s really right for you, whether you’ve met them already or not, they will cross your path (again). You sort of have to trust fate : )

    bah. the fairy tales. i’m writing an anti-fairy-tale manifesto at the moment… i swear there is something even better than fairy tales.

    hey, good luck everyone.

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