Relationships

Big Girls Don’t Cry

I used to recite the last line of Fergie’s 2006 hit song every time I was hurt and overwhelmed. There were days when I locked myself in a bathroom stall at school or at work and repeated those words to myself over and over, grasping desperately at the million pieces of my heart as they fell. Of course, it did not take long for me to realize that reciting ‘big girls don’t cry’ to oneself is not the same as calling candyman in front of the mirror five times. A hook does not appear out of nowhere to wipe away your tears or replace the pain in your heart with warmth. I am not even sure if the candyman thing works, but with a Jordan Peele movie in the works, I am not about to test it.

I quickly accepted that tears were an unavoidable part of my journey and heck, they were refreshing. In the years that followed Fergie’s song release, I stopped believing I was weak whenever I cried. On several occasions, I left my desk and purposefully strolled to the bathroom to have a good cry. As tears rolled down my face, I would say words like “breathe”, “it will get better”, “this is not the end of you”, “you can do this”…. and many more affirmative phrases that could get me through difficult times. But as I grew to accept this side of me, I started to realize that the world was not ready to.

I am not supposed to cry. But I do, and I have found that not many people can understand how a strong woman like me can have meltdowns

You see, I look nothing like teary-eyed Demi who stands in front of a bathroom mirror to affirm herself. I am what the world refers to as a strong woman. When I open my mouth to speak at meetings, I speak from a point of comprehension. Except for social gatherings, I hate speaking just for the sake of speaking. I have been told that my resting face is intimidating. I am the world’s description of a strong woman. A machine. A boss lady. A woman who slays all day every day. I am not supposed to cry. But I do, and I have found that not many people can understand how a strong woman like me can have meltdowns and be heartbroken when things turn sour or are overwhelming. This perception is hurting me and women who are like me, especially when it comes from the people we love or people we expect to see us beyond our steel exterior.

I remember sitting with a love interest once and expressing my fear of the future. I was at the tail-end of my masters degree and unsure of what to do next. I told him how terrified I was and how I just felt unsure of myself. His response to the outpouring of my heart put an end to that kind of conversation between us. He said “I thought you were supposed to be a strong woman.”

Last year, I was sharing my anxious thoughts with a person I have known intimately for seven years. I was again at crossroads and on the cusp of making life-changing decisions. As a single person, I needed a sounding board, a person I could express myself to without reservation. His response took me aback and left me feeling unsure of myself. “I have seen a different side to you since this conversation started. A side that’s driven by anxiety and fear.” He didn’t say it was distasteful but his facial expression told me all I needed to know.

Recently, a friend shared how her boyfriend always said she was not confident whenever she expressed any kind of emotional response to work, life or love. “You are supposed to be confident”, he would always say.

There is a perception of strong women that the men who date them fail to look beyond. They see the steel exterior, the slay warrior, the boss lady, the machine, and they think that is all there is to her. They believe she always has life on lockdown, and often become shocked when this mean machine needs a shoulder to cry on. How can she cry? She’s supposed to be a machine!

Here’s something to bear in mind: machines, no matter how excellently they function, always need maintenance. Without consistent, top quality maintenance, machines break down. Now, I am not saying women are machines. We are not work horses who simply receive instructions and churn out outputs. What I am saying is that it is important for the men who date and marry strong women to realize that they need care, love and sometimes, cushioning from harsh realities. We don’t always have life on lockdown. Many times, we have questions that have no answers. We cry when a boss says something mean or when life does not make sense. We feel anxious when we are making big decisions and we sometimes question our approach to situations.

In these vulnerable moments, we do not want to be told we are not confident or strong. We don’t want to see or hear expressions of distaste that make us wonder if we are letting down the entire human race. We simply want to be seen for what we are – complex, multifaceted, human. Yes, we go out on some days and slay the devil to hell. On other days, we want to sit with you on the couch and cry about how horrible work is while eating a tub of salted caramel ice cream. We want the men who care about us to see the vulnerable, the unkempt and the ugly. They are the different parts that come together to make us the strong slay warriors you love.

So, next time your strong girlfriend has a meltdown and starts to open up, don’t shut her down with Fergie’s “big girls don’t cry”. Instead, be a shield and a cushion, and believe that Sia was on to something when she sang “big girls cry when their hearts are breaking.”

XOXO

Featured image: bustle.com

Relationships

Why Are We PREPARING for Bad Marriages?

If there is one thing that exhausts me on social media, it is the volume of opinions that are rammed down people’s throats as facts. There are so many opinions on social media these days that the thought of even logging onto facebook exhausts me. Even Twitter, my favourite social media app is becoming toxic by the day. And while Instagram is not that bad, I fail to understand the need to post pictures of my life so people can like them to feed my self-esteem.

Drained as I may be though, I am not one to sit around and leave people to believe erroneous opinions simply because I don’t want to be bothered. Nope… the thought of sitting around while people go on and on about how their opinions are facts is a bother on its own. Forget being a bother; it is a crime – one that relationship social media is constantly engaging in.

Image result for women in bad marriages
Source: MSU Today

For some time now, I have seen people post all kinds of advice about relationships. A few days ago, a lady on Twitter posted what she called a “survival kit” for young wives. She went to highlight that she had been married for 13 years, had three kids and had survived the damage she faced in her marriage. She went on to indicate that women who are preparing for marriage should be prepared to be “really really damaged” because that was a rite of passage of some sort. The post had many retweets, many nods, many agreements and a few outliers like myself who just did not agree.

You see, growing up, marriage was never packaged as a good thing to have, yet it was communicated as something that must be desired. Mothers and aunties often said in my language, “ile oko, ile eko” meaning a husband’s house is like a school. Now, if you attended the same schools in Nigeria that I did, you’d understand why this was certainly not something to look forward to. Marriage was packaged as a war front where your only chance of survival as a woman was to surrender yourself to some form of education and societally acceptable behaviour that would not in any way bring reproach to your husband. Some aunties went as far as highlighting that men could do whatever they wanted in marriage and it is your duty as a woman to build your home, lest you be regarded as foolish. Unfortunately, a bible verse was even used to further drive the message home:

“The wise woman builds her house; but with her own hands, the foolish one tears hers down” – Proverbs 14:1

And so I spent most of my childhood watching women scurry around to save their homes so they would not be regarded as foolish. Women stopped talking to their friends because their husbands did not want them to have friends. Women stopped working because their husbands did not like their line of work. Many women looked and still look the other way whenever their husbands chased women with shorter skirts and longer weaves…“At least he is not bringing them home”, they said. And as they built, some of their husbands tore down, leaving these women in the endless cycle of building and restoring. But that is not the worst of it. The worst thing is these women became mentors. They became the council of advisors for many women. They taught and still teach many young women to prepare for bad marriages.

“After one year, you will see changes in him”

“Once you hit ten years, the marriage becomes really tough” 

“The ups and downs get worse with time but you will be stronger because you will be used to him by then.”

Oh wow! Sign me up real quick for the forecasted suffering, will you?

I’m being sarcastic but many women do sign up. I remember seeing an advert for a book about getting rid of the other woman in your marriage and a young lady wrote a comment along the lines of “Where can I get a copy? I don’t have a man yet but I need to be prepared.”

Why are we constantly preparing for bad marriages? Why are we accepting the experiences of others as the status quo and hoping for their suffering to become our reality? Why are women romanticizing the idea of having a “survival kit” for a lifetime commitment like marriage? I have so many whys but you already get the gist. Women are constantly bending over backwards to reiterate the gloomy forecast of marriage, and do you know why?

Many women do not dare to demand better for themselves. I find in this social media age, that the more retweets an opinion has, the more likely it is to be regarded as fact. Many people out there believe that the reality of others is bound to be theirs so they buy into damaging opinions really quickly and begin to prepare for the gloomy days ahead. Many people believe that if X is giving marriage advice and has been married for 15 years, then that advice is the gospel. LOL. So let’s say I work as a cleaner at a bank for years, does that qualify me to give you advice on investments?

The fact that a person has been married for years does not mean they had a substantial relationship with their spouse. Heck, people are married for years and live like strangers in the same home. People are married for years in abusive relationships. People are married for years to other people who do not want to have sex with them or even touch their skin…. yet we tend to believe the duration is equal to positive experience? Nope, it is not. It will never be. And you need to start telling yourself that if you want to stop preparing for a bad marriage.

Image result for women in bad marriages

Instead of listening to the survival kit gang, the ‘I’ve been married for xx years’ gang or the ‘your man will cheat or change’ or whatever kind of evil they’ve been stewing in for years gang, take a deep breath and ask yourself what you really want. Do you want the status quo of pain and unnecessary education? Or do you want a marriage where the ups and downs do not include cheating, abuse and alienation?

Dare to demand better. Life on its own is tough. Rather than prepare for a bad marriage, be kind to yourself and aim for a good one. If you prepare for a bad marriage, anyone who proposes marriage will do. But if you dare to demand better for yourself, you might just be the exception to the status quo. XOXO.

Relationships

Perhaps This Is Why Some Marriages Break Down

Image result for broken marriage
Source: The Daily Beast

Maybe….just maybe… marriages break down for one simple reason no one is paying attention to.

I had an interesting epiphany as I conversed with a friend last night. It was not a Eureka! moment, nor did the word Voila! come to heart. It was a theory that formed as the conversation progressed, highlighting what I believe may be the reason marriages go from “I can’t get enough of you” to “It feels like we just live together”.

In this age of information, there are so many ideologies and notions about marriage that are passed on to people via all information platforms, especially social media. If you are an African woman, the list might be along the lines of:

  • Submit to your husband at all times
  • Learn the art of silence
  • Know his favourite meal and cook it all the time
  • Learn the best sex moves you can and impress him every time
  • Wash his clothes – it’s a sign of love (Just in case you have been looking for the recipe to keep a traditional man happy, this is it).

The list for men is pretty short

  • Provide (Yep that about sums it up. You want to be a man now, don’t you?)

But there are no guarantees that all of these things will be sufficient to keep your marriage afloat. As a matter of fact, many of these marriages which are built on efficiency still somehow find a way to fall apart. And of course, many of us these days are so disappointed in the institution, we are beginning to view it as a burden. But what if we start to do some things differently?

You see, in my many years of relating with people and being a ‘life coach’ for romantic relationships (I should get that business card printed now), I have learned one very important lesson.

It is not your efficiency in the fulfilment of your ‘expected obligations’ that keeps your partner happy, interested or committed.

If it was that, then so many marriages will be happy considering the Voltron mode many women assume once the ring touches the finger. It is not about how much you get done or how well you get everything done. It is not about how early you rise in the morning to ‘do something around the house’ or how dinner is ready at 6pm everyday. It is not about how you sort out the bills or get the children ready with little or no help. It is not about how skilled you are at ironing your husband’s shirts or how well you have mastered the art of handwashing his pocket squares.

Image result for broken marriage

These are all activities that keep you busy and for some, come with the territory of marriage. But maybe, just maybe these activities keep you so busy you ignore the most important thing you should be doing.

You stop learning about your partner.

We all hear of the couples who drift apart and settle for divorce in the end. We see those who live like flatmates even though they try to present rosy romance on Instagram. We know them, we’ve heard their stories. Yet, for some reason my brain cannot grasp, we repeat their patterns, assuming erroneously that Sally at the office was the reason hubby left or Ben the gardener was the reason Mrs Simpson no longer found pleasure in her husband.

I’ll tell you my theory: Maybe Sally at the office was paying hubby so much attention and learning his new interests that he felt like his dreams were valid again. Perhaps, Ben the gardener noticed the new hairdo every week and the change of nail colour that made Mrs. Simpson feel visible again.

Perhaps, people are too busy trying to efficiently run their marriages like an operations managers runs a fleet of deliveries, that they forget to communicate with the person who makes the marriage.. (I mean, you can’t exactly be in a marriage with yourself now, can you?).

Image result for broken marriage

Perhaps people are too tired from the 101% level efficiency they have to be on, that they forget to sit and crack jokes with their partners, listen to new music, try out food, and learn a new dance together. Perhaps people just get so involved with the symbol of the marriage, they forget the substance of it – a relationship – a ship where two people should relate. Sure, the ambiance in the ship is not always endearing but perhaps, there will be more days of love than days of heated words. But even heated words show some form of relationship, and they definitely beat days of silence- not silence from anger or pain, but silence because the fire has fizzled out and no one is willing to light another match.

I put it to you that this efficiency mode of running your marriage is not even for the survival of your marriage. Deep down, it’s for your ego. You view marriage as a cotton field and you want to be the best cotton picker who always exceeds the quota for the day. You want to say you earned it, and pride yourself as you tell people it’s hard work to be married and oh well, you just know how to keep it together. You focus so much on doing the work that you forget to relate with your partner.

So the point? You are more likely to keep your marriage alive if you don’t get up in the efficiency of maintaining the symbol more than you get caught up in discovering more about your partner and relating endearingly.

Advice: Know you can’t do everything. What technology can do, let it. What money can sort out, let it. What a third party can do, let them. Get excited about spending quality time with your partner and discovering more about them. Take every chance you get to peel another layer of partner and marvel at the pleasant surprise (well, not all the time) you will find. XOXO

Relationships

Have You Put ‘The One’ For You On Hold?

I’d like to think everyone is seeking a partner they can spend forever with. No matter how nonchalant we may feel about serious relationships, there is a part of us deep down that yearns for an uncommon connection with someone else. We all yearn for someone that knows us so well, it makes other people wonder if they know us at all. We all want to feel we are loved, cared for, and we have that special person to call on when the chips come tumbling down. Why then do we put these special people on hold when we meet them?

whatafuture.com

There is a very interesting trend I have noticed; we tend to put the people we genuinely connect with on hold because we are just not yet ready for something serious. I think this trend is more common with men; but from conversations with young men, some women are also aboard this train. There is something about a strong connection with a person that makes us believe that no matter what we will always have that person to fall back on. There is something about a strong connection that makes us believe that person will not find anyone else either, so why don’t we do all the crazy stuff we want to do now and come back to this special person when we are all good and ready? I call this putting the right person for you on hold.

Let’s think about it this way: You call a friend over the phone and the conversation is good… not just good, but really amazing and stable. Suddenly, your phone beeps and it’s an incoming call i.e. a distraction. It’s a tempting one so you decide to put your friend on hold. You pick the tempting call and you get carried away by the new dimension it brings. It is exciting, invigorating, unstable but enticing so you keep the conversation flowing while your friend is on hold. This happens more times than it should and it becomes a norm for you. Your friend gets tired of being put on hold after a few calls, and starts to do one of two things – puts the phone on speaker and goes to do other things or hangs up. Sure you can always call back if the call has been dropped but what if… just what if… when you call back, you find that your friend is on another call, and is unwilling to drop that call for you because you have a trend of putting things on hold to attend to other distractions?

Be careful when you think you are playing smart by putting the partner God has sent to you on hold while you play around with people who have no business in your future. Be careful when the devil feeds you lies such as “you are still young”, “you should play around more”, “it’s not yet time”, “you don’t deserve this person”. Be careful of the lies in your heart that tell you this person is a last resort and will always be there. Be careful because the person you’ve put on hold can receive another call, not from someone they won’t like but from someone who will be ten times who you are and actually want to talk to them. Once that new call is picked, you’ll have difficulty reconnecting, and even if your call manages to get through, the stability, nurture and support that you were meant to enjoy will end up being given to someone else, and you might find yourself saying things like “He used to DM me you know?” or “She used to get excited whenever I gave her attention.” No doubt he or she was crazy about you, but you put the call on hold and attended to the things you felt couldn’t wait. You took for granted the one person that should have received ALL your attention. Used to? That counts for nothing. Yes, you might find someone too but you can agree with me that God’s perfect will is always much much much better than God’s permissive will.

Have you put the one for you on hold? I suggest you retrace your steps and put all the effort you’ve put in your distractions into regaining their trust. Distractions are sometimes the devil’s way of keeping you from the amazing plans God has for your future. And believe me when I say those distractions are usually hard to ignore or even miss. But you must ask yourself the crucial question: would you rather enjoy these short-termed distractions which will end up leaving you high and dry? Or would you prefer to concentrate all your efforts on making it work with the right person so you can reap the amazing benefits in future? Don’t cheat yourself and don’t fool yourself. Don’t give up a diamond for a sandy rock, and don’t think others don’t see the diamond too. Retrace your steps today. Good luck. XOXO

Blog

Rock the Boat

You’ve probably heard this saying many times…”what’s good for the goose is good for the gander”. This should be an euphemism for “rock the boat”

Let me just get straight to it and tell you this rule can save your relationship, your life, your dignity, your sanity, and anything else you consider dear to your identity. This is the golden rule relationship experts should be teaching, but for some reason I cannot explain, there is a lot of emphasis on making sacrifices, compromising, apologizing when you are not wrong, and getting your ego out of the way. While I am a big advocate of deducting ego from relationship dynamics, I have to say lines have to be drawn when it comes to compromises and apologies.

Many people get burned in relationships because they don’t know about this rule, or are too afraid to put it into action. “What will happen if I retaliate?” “Wouldn’t it be unnecessarily vindictive and immature to do unto my partner as he/she has done unto me?” Well, the big question should be “what do you have to lose if you rock the boat?” That seems to be the big problem for many people- rocking the boat. They are so scared of falling into the water, they’d rather sit in the boat with a raving lunatic, trying to appease expressions of insanity.

I was chatting with a male friend recently, and mentioned I needed advice for one of my friends. Every time they had a fight, her boyfriend threatened to chat up other women (his ex included) if she did not agree with his point of view. This was a little distressing for her; she had invested a lot in the relationship, and felt like her boyfriend was taking her for granted. My advice was to “leave!” Someone better would appreciate her. My male buddy’s advice was even much better. “Stay”

Stay? Stay and let this dude walk all over her after everything she has done for him? He laughed and asked if I’d give the same advice to a married woman. Yes,divorce might be on the table but it is easier said than done. Rather than leaving, smile and administer the same medicine! ‘Oh?’ I thought.  ‘Yes, what’s good for the goose must be awesome for the gander.’ Sometimes you cannot earn the respect you deserve, and that is not because you’ve dragged yourself in the mud. Sometimes, it is simply because you are caught in a relationship with someone who is drowning in delusions of personal grandeur, no matter how amazing you are, they tend to nitpick at what you are not. Threats are just tools they use to reassure themselves their delusions of superiority are valid, and by keeping quiet, you are reinforcing the thought that their delusions are indeed valid. When they rock your boat, it is time to rock theirs.

Like my friend, many men and women keep quiet when they are threatened; many endure an absent spouse who exists, yet does not exist (it’s like a weird continuum of space and time). Some people stretch themselves to the limit to ‘keep their spouse happy’. This is very common amongst women- they stretch themselves to the limit to prove they are different from the ex who hurt their new found treasure, hence they would do anything to prove it…. and this is how they end up exactly where they don’t want to be – emotionally abused and battered.

Every serious relationship is an amalgamation of two  individuals with different previous learning experiences and background; hence there is a need to learn each other’s rules, peeves and joy spots. This in essence requires some training. You teach your partner how to treat you through your actions and the things you agree to. You teach your partner how to treat you by the way you react to insults or condescension. You teach your partner how to treat you by the way you value yourself, your time, and of course, by your willingness to rock the boat when you realize you are being taken for a ride you did not bargain for. You need to be willing to dole out the same medicine in equal doses to express your displeasure. Stop trying to be the perfect spouse! That has never helped anyone! Try being a human spouse instead, that’s more likely to work in your favor. If you rock the boat, a partner who truly loves you will work on restoring the boat’s balance, even if it means falling into the water with you.

Biting your tongue, crying in secret, obeying rules in the hope that it will make the relationship work, tending to your partner like he or she is more important than you are, will not take your relationship anywhere. If anything at all, you might start to flirt with the boundaries of insanity and insecurity. You will become a shadow of yourself, and you will end up broken, battered and possibly abandoned. Even if you manage to keep your partner with you, you’ll find yourself in a two-way relationship alone, playing for both sides of the field, trying to balance everything on your shoulders. Stop hurting yourself with your silence. Rock the boat and express what you feel. Your partner will either adjust and realize you are not to be taken for granted, or your partner will leave in search of a new unsuspecting prey, in which case, I chant

“Good Riddance!”

XOXO

Blog

“Lower Your Standards”

This is one advice I think every single girl has heard at some point in her life.

When people ask you why you’re single (by the way I find it surprising people haven’t figured out this question is annoying), they’re sometimes fishing to hear what barriers you’ve built around yourself, preventing you from finding eternal happiness. I always say “oh wow… I don’t know. Perhaps you can tell me.” Of course, this gets them excited and the next question comes –  “What do you want in a partner?”

This is where you probably get shaky; there is a strong urge to not come across as shallow, and at the same time, not aim too high because you don’t want to be seen as a gold digger (whatever that means); so you find yourself rambling off the perfect textbook response; “I don’t care about looks or achievements. As long as he has potential and he’s sweet, I’m good”. This is the response that is supposed to get you the clap on the back as they sing your praises for knowing what it is exactly to look for in a man, yet it sometimes fails to impress. They might still say “why does he need to have potential? You can build potential into him when you start dating!” or you might get the “Don’t think men are always sweet; just be ready to look past the difficult times!” It seems you can never win, and will always get the advice to lower your standards till you have nothing left. You don’t want to hear the long lecture I get due to my precise list of standards, so I’ll spare you.

There is constant pressure on us single women to lower our standards; it is not about waiting for who you deserve, it’s about making the available desirable, and the world will not stop reminding us about that educated woman who married an uneducated bus driver, and succeeded in her marriage. Society will not stop pointing at that lady who married the unemployed man and is now the happiest wife on earth. Of course, they will not forget to point out that woman who earns more than her husband, so she gives him her salary and lets him decide what should be done with it. With your education, exposure, and independence, you’re still single because you are looking for a man who has everything you have, and more…. Like that is some kind of crime.

I watched a 25 year old doctor break down in tears on TV during the course of a dating show. She had her standards, very reasonable ones if I might add. She didn’t want a guy who drinks because she’d had a bad experience with an alcoholic in her past, and she wanted him to be a man who had a good relationship with God. This was a 25 year old medical doctor who was beautiful, and seemed to have excelled against all odds. Sadly, everyone, including the men themselves thought her requirements were just too high. She ended up in tears, like many of us have, wondering if we will ever meet this dream man.

Do not lower your standards except you can tolerate the lowered version! The reason many women end up brokenhearted over and over again is not necessarily because some men are jerks; it is sometimes because as women we tell ourselves to give an undeserving man a chance, because we might find happiness in the relationship. We lower our standards and instead of allowing kings into our lives, we open the door for clowns and jesters. We keep lowering our standards until we start to doubt our identity, and we find that  with the barest minimum, we are unhappy.

I have come to learn that it is OK to want whatever it is that you want. If you want him to be tall, dark, handsome, and successful, and a good man, you should not apologize for it. Stay true to that, and you will get it! Stop compromising stupidly, and then spend the rest of your life trying to convince yourself it was worth it. From experience, I can tell you compromising to a point you can’t handle will only bring you loads of regret. You will ask yourself why you stooped so low, and you’ll always be on the lookout for someone better. What on earth is the point of the relationship in that case?

Stop lowering your standards except you can cope; I love men who are drop-dead gorgeous but it doesn’t hurt me to date a man who’s just good-looking, as long as he’s not an eye sore, and I don’t foresee my children being teased on the school playground. When it comes to drive, ambition, achievements, success, intellectual conversations and emotional maturity, those are non-negotiable! I should probably feel bad for wanting so much, but I don’t, and you shouldn’t too. You’ve worked hard to be where you are; you are still working hard to be where you want to be. Why should you aim lower when you can reach higher? XOXO

Relationships

Power & Relationships (1): The Place of Power in Relationships

I never really gave much thought to the role power plays in relationships until recently. I always just dismissed the idea that power could have a negative influence on how a relationship plays out. I watched many colleagues, acquaintances and friends go into relationships that were so filled with power, I was beginning to think it was the norm. I got to a point where I started to gear up for my own power tussle in my next relationship. I was preparing to match up to every mind game, play every reverse psychology card, and basically have the relationship go the way I want. A word check in my dictionary opened my eyes to a different definition of power and changed my perspective completely.

Power: the ability or right to control people or things (merriam-webster.com)

Power doesn’t sound like something bad until the word ‘control’ comes into the picture. The truth is we all crave power; we crave to have power over our lives and how things turn out for us, we crave to have power over the kinds of jobs we get and the amount of money we earn, and we crave the power of deciding what happens to us at every turn. But should we crave to have power in relationships? I don’t think so.

Love is not a power tussle, really it isn’t. It is not about beating the other person at some kind of psychological game, it is not about superiority, and in the famous terms of the fifty shades of grey trilogy, it is not about dominance or submission. It is about mutual respect.

Sadly, there are many relationships that are based on testing the psychological strength of each party. Many men seek out women they can control- women they can manipulate, women they can dictate to. They aim for women who cannot feel except they tell them to feel, women who cannot aim except they permit them to, women who cannot dare dream, even in their wildest aspirations. Men of course are not the only culprits. Many women seek to control their partners for their selfish ends too. They seek men who will give in to their every whim without flinching- a ‘yes man’ if you may wish to call it that. They seek men who do not question.

Power corrupts. I’ve learned that an intense yearning for power in a relationship corrupts what the supposed foundation of that relationship should be- love. The urge to control others is of course not without its roots. Many people are filled to the brim with insecurities, being in a position of control is the only way they can feel any form of emancipation. It is absolutely ridiculous to meet a well-rounded individual and decide in your head that you’d like to control how that person’s life plays out. I don’t know if it’s a result of colonial roots or plain madness that we sometimes entertain such thoughts- to believe we can dictate to a person what dreams they should pursue, (if we give them the liberty of pursuing any that is), or where they should go, who they should talk to, how they should feel, when they should feel, etc.

power and relationshipsA relationship where power resides is not a relationship, it is colonialism. Power has no place in relationships because love is not a colonial war. Love is not about control. It is about respect and appreciation. If you cannot respect your partner’s individuality or appreciate them for who they are, do not seek to control them or mould them into what you want. Rather go look for what you want. Do not allow yourself to be carried away with the idea of being declared as the smartest of all, or the best manipulator in town. A person’s heart, emotions and life are not game board pieces. Do not project your insecurities on unsuspecting victims by manipulating their love for you to get them to always do what you want.

Power corrupts; kick it out of your relationship. XOXO