Navigating the Treacherous Seven C’s of a Relationship

I might just have the best possible girlfriend in the world. Or – short of that- at least the best possible luck that allowed me to meet the best possible girlfriend in the world. And – to tell the truth – it really was just blind, dumb luck. It wasn’t because I was excessively handsome or overly witty or irresistibly charming (or rich, for that matter) – it was because I was looking at one certain profile on one certain page on one certain website on one certain day and hit a “Message Me” button.

Looking back those two-plus years ago – and having heard some downright awful stories about guys and Filipinas they have met on the internet – I can only shake my large, bald head and give thanks to the vagaries of chaos and chance that rule the cosmos that Michell was tossed into my life’s path. And if it sounds a little wacky of me to say that, it’s actually how I feel. Truth –after all – being stranger than fiction and all that.

In our last video, Michell and I took a look at some of the Seven C’s that come together for a successful relationship – among them, communication, compromise, commitment, change, contributions, cooking and cleaning, and a few others that we made up as we were going along.  Doing videos together has become a lot of fun, and it gives us the added bonus of being able to look at ourselves interacting while we are going through the editing process. From our very first videos where we were a wee bit wooden (understatement, that) to where we are now, you can kind of get the impression that we have gotten a lot more comfortable with the whole video process and also – more importantly – we continue to get more comfortable with where we are in our relationship. That’s a very cool thing, and I am glad we are doing it. It’s also going to fun looking back at the videos years from now and getting a good laugh at ourselves.

Or cry…… Ah, only time will tell.

Relationships can be difficult. Add in the variety of issues native to any intercultural relationship and it gets even more challenging. Michell and I hit a lot of those issues early in our relationship – mainly problems with jealousy, communication, and my naivety as a Westerner way out of my depth, and those things caused quite a few problems. We argued, we ranted, we raved, and we broke up a few times over it. Thankfully, with time, thought, and the return of rational thought, we got back together and kept trying. We talked, we shared, we hoped and we dreamed, and we did the things that we had to do in order to make those dreams we both had a reality. It was painful at times and frustrating and never easy. But as they say, nothing worthwhile in this life is ever easy. And we got to where we are right now by submerging ourselves and dealing with all of the Seven C’s that we talk about in the video.

Michell Hungry


I didn’t come to the Philippines for Michell. I came to the Philippines to discover a new world and to get outside my comfort zone – to find out who I really was outside the context of my American identity and that sense of entitlement that I had developed over the past 46 years. That process of self-discovery continues each and every day, and I can’t think of a better place to conduct such an experiment as where I am right now. Meeting Michell – and getting to the place where our relationship is at right now – is just the icing on an already rich and delicious cake.


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  1. Ned, I do not mean to kiss your ass, but you can compose an essay! not that you are spouting out original thought. The above essay is a good example. I am aware of the subject matter of your position. You so eloquently put it to words.
    Now that being said, I will not be surprised if Michelle composed or edited or merely dictated the essay….lol. I can see that she is the brains of the out fit.

  2. I truly believe that some things are just meant to be. She posted and you read – at just the right times. The same with my own Pinay of 25 years. I hope you two will be as happy, I think you will.

  3. ” I can only shake my large, bald head and give thanks to the vagaries of chaos and chance that rule the cosmos that Michell was tossed into my life’s path.”
    I so enjoy the videos and information that the 2 of you share with us but it confuses me when you ask for prayers but on the other hand here, you believe life is controlled by chaos and chance? Think about it my friend and ye I will pray for you both for sure.
    Thanks for sharing.

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