It amazes me every passing day that the concept and purpose of relationships is getting more lost on the youth. We seem to use different and at times meaningless values in identifying people of interest to us. Some people are rather keen on ‘testing the waters’ while others are plain ‘thirsty’ and thus anything will do.
Yes I know we are all different and we can not all play by the same rules but it’s my honest opinion that there are certain things that should be considered before getting into and staying in any form of committed relationship.
(Let’s be clear this is just my side of the coin, the comments section is for your side).
1. Discover yourself: who are you? This question sounds so odd and can easily be tossed out of the window, but truth is many people don’t know who they are and thus have no idea what they want from life! A good friend (now a pastor) told me once that “you can only attract what you are”. This statement is partly correct in the sense that the type of person you become will go a long way in determining the kind of spectrum of the opposite sex that you will feel most comfortable with and its likely from such a pool that one will end up finding someone to go into any sort of commitment with. The reason I said partly correct is because this doesn’t apply to everyone but is often true in most of the cases.
Spend time knowing yourself before adding the burden of discovering someone else to your life. In the long run it pays off..
*I got my first girlfriend in SS3, very naïve and had no idea what to do but gladly went ahead with it because I wanted to ‘feel among’. I ended up only looking forward to the physical side to the relationship and paid little attention to developing actual bonds and dealing with real issues. This relationship quickly broke down as soon as the lady in question went to school outside Nigeria – lesson learnt*
2. Have a stable group of friends: now this is one principle that is grossly understated and misunderstood. Understated in the sense that people don’t value true friendships and misunderstood in the sense that people do not know what/who actual friends are. Let me give you a quick example, in your class in school or at work, you have friends, work/course-mates, seat partners, reading partners, colleagues, people you say hi to and people that are just in your office/class. You cannot be friends with everyone that’s in your circle. A friend is that person that even if you want to deny it, you know is always there for you. Take a look back, relationships have come and gone but certain people have remained permanent in your life. Their role: they know you quite well and always let you know if you’re going about stuff the wrong way, they should be the first to meet the new ‘catch’ and if the new catch blends in quickly with your ‘paddies’, trust me it breaks a lot of ice for the 2 of you.
*After finishing high school, I kept a few friends close to me (2 in particular) and we soon formed an inseparable bond and we subconsciously scrutinized prospective dates and ensured they felt at home with us, as one girlfriend (name withheld) at the time said, “marry femi and you know you are marrying three men”, they have also helped in turning away girls who they felt will be negative influences on me (again names withheld). But most importantly, they will let me have the truth, even when I prefer to be in denial*.
3. Tread New Paths: There is nothing better in a relationship than in the two people finding new common grounds and discovering new things about themselves. Do not try to imitate another couple simply because you think they are perfect or have it all worked out. Remember, human beings(especially us Nigerians) like to form and you can never see from a persons face, what is really going on, so tread carefully. A happy looking couple could very well be facing a lot of problems behind closed doors and do well to eclipse that aspect from public eyes. Find what works for you and stick to it.
*i wish I had an experience to fill in here but sadly, I only came about this after the last break-up and will really go for it with the next ‘catch’*.
*side – note* A blog that’s too long will bore people out so I have to make this into a two or maybe three part series and stop just there.
A person who spends quality time finding and developing themselves will obviously be more mature than his/her counterparts; as we all know maturity is definitely not by age. If they end up finding someone who has done the same, it will surely lead to a better relationship. I asked on twitter recently what is love, and got the weirdest answers and it dawned on me that people still see love as a tangible and materialistic thing. I don’t have the perfect answer but I am positive that its not just a tangible or materialistic thing but its more of a school of thought and a way of life. I can’t just love someone, someone has to look at me and see love in me. Again that’s just me, what’s your own take?