The Love Series:3 Ways I Learnt About Love The Right Way

I was not that into him and I knew it.

It was a hot Sunday afternoon in Lagos, too hot. I knew without a doubt I wanted to end it; I had grown bored, and the distance wasn’t helping; I felt no ounce of remorse as I picked up my phone and dialled his number, in less than ten minutes, I told him; we were done; he didn’t beg; he said if that was what I wanted he was okay with it, and I felt a huge sigh of relief, the relationship had run its course. 

It was time for me to move on to new things, I had lost the “loving” feeling.

Now, I know that paragraph makes me come across as a savage but I’m not one;truth is I realized that I wanted to be single and be by myself. My attention was drifting, my tolerance was wearing thin, and everything seemed to get old, fast.   

You know in various ways there were a series of events that led me to this realization, for one, there was a lack of real connection, I don’t think we were compatible, and I lost interest.

Was I in love? No, I have never been.

I believe what I experience is being present, when it’s good and going great, I allow myself experience the emotions that go with relational attachments, the infatuation, and the euphoria.

But when it ends I’m left questioning the validity of my emotions, because I seem to move on quickly

But does it mean that when relationships end, they have to be rife with endless hours of sobbing, sadness and brooding for them to hold weight and meanings in our lives, I don’t think so. Must we always be in love with everyone we date, be it two minutes or two years.

Feelings, emotions and love are three very different things. We can have feelings, desires and longings for people, who will share portions of our lives but we will not love all or dare I say any of them.

In our modern society, we see romantic relationships as avenues for gaining experiences about what loving means; I beg to differ. They don’t all teach you about love, some don’t even teach you anything at all, dare I say, they can leave you feeling bitter, frustrated and confused. Sometimes they teach us about ourselves, other times we are just young and we want a boyfriend who knows? Sometimes we have these experiences as a rite of passage into adulthood.

My point is we musn’t always look for love in every relationship, it is impossible to find it. 

We socialize women, from an early age to think we must seek for meaning in romantic relationships, no matter how short lived the affair is or how ill-suited you are as partners. 

Real love takes time, connection, and the willingness to put in the work to achieve that, and sadly most of us don’t know how to, shoot I’m only truly understanding what it takes and I am 30.

I will wrap up this series this week with my last lesson over the weekend.

Love

Ndidi

The Love Series:3 Ways I Learnt About Love The Right Way

It was lust at first sight; he was tall dark, and intense in his pursuit, I made the initial move, but he was the aggressor, I attract very direct men. From the first date, there was a strong connection, we enjoyed each other’s company and there was an undeniable vibe between us. I grew attached quickly, looking back now I don’t think it was love, I was just overwhelmed by the attention, and I guess this was my first mistake.

 
Everything went so well in the first few weeks, we exchanged text messages incessantly, we went on clandestine dates; we spent hours talking about every and anything, and I felt I had found the one. He mentioned that he had told his mum about me; I was excited, but soon enough cracks in our blossoming relationship showed up.
 
At first it was the “vagueness” of what it was we were actually doing that made me unsettled. Where we friend with benefits, boo’d up or  companions,I had no clue, I was too busy enjoying the ride to stop and ask myself those questions.

One day, on the way to a wedding,i did.
He said “We are lovers”, “What we have is deeper than being defined as a boyfriend and girlfriend”.
Today I would roll my eyes and laugh at this answer but,I was just too happy to be with this man I had  idolized, that I didn’t care,”as long as we spent time together” I thought, that’s all that matters.

Next came the petty irritations, if I said the wrong thing he was mad, if he asked me to do a favor and I made a mistake he was furious, he complained that I vain, that I didn’t know how to talk to him, that I spent too much money on weaves,(I wonder what he would say now if he saw my collection of wigs lol).
I didn’t measure up, if we went out and I was quiet, he would be uncomfortable with my introversion, if I was jovial with his friends, he would deem me too flirtatious and we would have arguments about it, nothing I did was ever suitable for this man, and eventually I had enough and pushed back.
 
I became verbally abusive, if he started it I finished it a 1000 times over, I was mouthy and took it to some disrespectful places. I would not let any man talk to me like I didn’t have value.

There was a lot of back and forth,we would fight then reconcile, then fight, it was tiring. It slowly devolved from a budding romance to an unhealthy cocktail of one part friendship, two parts lovers and three parts confidants who couldn’t stand each other,sometimes.
 
We both knew it would not work, he wanted a woman he could control and conform; he had his ideal, and I was not it,but I wouldn’t let up,I was in love with an idea of a man that wasn’t reality, I had gotten attached to a fantasy, the looks, his career, the money, I was in love with all that not with the actual person.
 
If I am honest,he became a symbol fulfilling my need to be with someone who looked like a catch; I guess in a lot of ways; he was a catch, but he was a man and just like anyone else had his own flaws too,it was obvious,we weren’t compatible.

This situationship taught me that, love and emotional attachment are two different things. 

There was love there I won’t lie, but I was more so emotionally attached than anything else.
 
Emotional attachment is self-centered, it is all about you and how the person fills a void;it stems from a place of lack,the object of your obsession,because a source to fill your need.

I got addicted to the initial attention because it was so persistent; I was probably struggling with some esteem issues, so the relationship was a way of saying to myself that if I can bag a guy like this, then maybe I’m not as bad as I think I am, he was my crutch.
 
I didn’t really see and accept him for who he was; I saw him for who I wanted him to be, what I wanted him to represent and that is not love.

Sure, he was an asshole in a lot of ways, but looking back now, I feel this was a man who was just looking for a woman who catered to his ego; I don’t think that’s a bad thing each to their own, but I didn’t really see that and to be honest my oversight caused me to act,in ways that pushed us apart,as I was just so focused on the symbol of the man, that I didn’t see him.
 
Approaching romantic relationships from with this mindset is a very dangerous thing, what exactly do you want from this person? Love, fulfillment, a good time, good sex, financial security, you need to always be honest with yourself first even if you don’t like the answer.
 
I also learnt quickly that passion, great conversation and chemistry does not always equal compatibility and is not always a recipe for a successful relationship.
 
Trust me, I really don’t even enjoy writing this but it is what I have discovered to be the truth, I mean if you overlook these, then where really is the fun?
 
Sure, it is a great way to start, but from experience it is really not enough, it could mean you guys would probably be great friends (if sexual attraction isn’t an issue, that’s another blog for another day lol). What we had, was not lacking in that but it wasn’t enough.

We didn’t take the time to know and understand each other well enough; I also don’t think there was mutual respect and admiration for each other and that comes from taking things slow and really getting know the person, so you can learn to appreciate them and their qualities.
 
So it fizzled out naturally, we spoke off and on just as friends for two years, he always tried to get back into just “hanging out” as men usually do, but frankly as soon as I realized this wasn’t going anywhere I moved on, we are no longer in touch, no bad blood or anything, but in life some experiences are just there to teach you then you move on, at least that’s how I see it.
 
Love that “lasts” is really not too hard to find but sometimes you have to slow things down,take as much time as possible there is no rush, be willing to see the person for who they are  and understand nobody will come and fix your problems and make you feel good about yourself, that is your job alone.
 
The second lesson coming soon.
 
Love
 
Ndidi
  

The Love Series: 3 Ways I Learnt About Love The Right Way.

It will be valentine’s day in a few days, and I may spend it alone, I will sit at home and have my glass of Moscato (yes please), but might skip out on the chocolate, I’m on a diet. 

I know many single women, experience anxiety on this day, chances are you will have a serious case of FOMO.

So prepare yourself, fake illness, avoid social media or take on some extra load of work on that day so you are too busy to imagine, the fun other people are having, go ahead, I won’t judge.


 Last year, as I sat on the couch minding my business, my flat mate walked in, and asked me what I was doing for valentine’s day, I looked up perplexed at the question (homegirl knew I was single with no prospects in sight LOL); smiling, I said nothing.

We then,engaged in our usual 30 minutes’ conversation about men, lack of men, relationships, the usual, I don’t like to engage too much in these kinds of conversations, because I sometimes find they stem from a place of a perceived lack of contentment, with being single, and that is fine,but sometimes it gets tiring.

Anyway, with valentine’s day coming up, it got me reminiscing about my love life or lack thereof,the other day someone mentioned that I appeared to be a romantic at heart, I chuckled, they had no clue. 

I have been single on every valentine’s, since as far back as I can remember, well for most of my adult life. I wonder if that’s sad or intriguing haha. 

Long lasting romantic love is something that has eluded me, I’ve had short-lived affairs, a few “talking to’’ but never any real deep bond or lasting connection. 

On one hand, I’ve never had to live with cheating or being scarred by any man, I’ve shed a few tears, had thoughts of what could have been, and berated myself for being naïve but i count it as experience in making me a better storyteller.

I realized it’s because I am emotionally independent, too much so, I don’t say this from a place of the  strong independent woman narrative (that’s not what I am about).

 I’ve never been someone who has always looked outside myself for happiness or fulfillment or at least I didn’t feel like I needed to, but I realize now that love is a gift because it gives you the opportunity to share your life with someone.

I thought about how I would approach my blog posts this month then I remembered the Ariana Grande song Thank You, Next, and the infamous line, one taught me love, one taught me patience and one taught me pain (the memes on social media were hilarious). 

 I will share my experiences about love, dating and the three lessons I have learnt about love . I’ve been on a one post a month tip lately just focusing on the quality and not the quantity of my content, but this month is special, and since it’s more personal, I will share a lot, so I will try keep the posts coming.

I hope you all enjoy

Love

Ndidi.