I have this lovely friend of mine who is still (or should I say, again) single and searching; and no, this “friend of mine” is really NOT me.
Anyway, so, she was dating this really “lovely” (according to her, obviously) guy and had been wondering- and indeed asking- where this relationship was heading. You see, she was 27 and needed to know it would lead to marriage. They had been dating for six years.
Now, she’s Christian, he a Muslim. And the issue was: religion (according to him). He insisted his family would not accept a Christian girl and he was therefore not sure they could (ever) marry. Now, the funny thing was that I knew her even before they started dating and she shared this very concern with me. To me it was no rocket science (for obvious reasons). As Christians, we know what the word teaches about “being unequally yoked”, but this is topic for another day. Anyway, so at some point she even considered converting, in order to keep “the (current) love of her life”.
Moving on, it so happened that recently (less than 2 years ago) he went on a 2-month long trip back to his home-country in Africa to spend some time with his family and friends. Funny enough (and I do not mean this in a mocking way) she had been praying for a “sign” from God. I was not the one in love with him, so I guess my sense of “different beliefs and expectations” were enough “sign” to terminate a relationship (seeing as she had already begun it), but I encouraged her still in her “looking out for a divine sign”.
She confided in me: “Gosh, Vicks, the only sign I really need is if he cheats. Aaargh, I am so not going to forgive him for that. I swear, if he really ends up cheating, ’cause two months is a really long time, I’m so going to break up. Like, I don’t even need any other sign that he is not for me.”
Needless to say, she prayed and when he came back he confessed to having cheated while on holidays; more than just once. Maybe I was an evil friend to be pleased about this news, but what probably came as no huge surprise (to me and I guess also you, dear reader) was her response to my question what she was planning to do now.
“Oh, I really don’t know. He’s really sorry. I don’t think it would be right to just throw a 6-year relationship away because he cheated once.. Well, or twice. He’s really sorry. I told him to go for a check on STDs and also that we won’t have sex for two weeks. And he said that’s fine. I don’t know. I really love him.”
My reply was a moment of silence, a deep sigh, and the question, “But wasn’t that exactly the sign you had been asking for?”
She was crying, “I know but Vicks, I’m not getting any younger. I’m 27, you know. All my mates are either married or pregnant or have kids already. I want to settle down too. I’m not saying this because I feel any less of a woman or anything; I just really want to have a family of my own. I’m struggling with my Masters (degree), I’m hating my job, at least I want to be with someone I love and who loves me. I can’t give up my last bit of joy.”
Understanding where she was coming from, all I could do was pray both for and with her.. For “grace and strength to do the needful thing”. Her issues were much bigger and deeper than what met the eye.
This happened over a year ago. Today, he is married.. to another lady. A Christian girl. He has moved away and is regretting his decision of having lied and cheated on my dear friend, wishing he had never broken up with her, wishing he was not “stuck” with his new wife.
I saw it (then and now) as God- since she was too stubborn to listen and heed any and all of the signs she had been praying for (many more followed but were ignored)- taking charge and, in an unpleasant-kind-of-way, freeing my friend from the shackles she was in.
I remember the importance of “asking and interpreting signs”.
I remember this today, as I just experienced a moment of deep hurt and sense of betrayal. But I’m understanding what is happening too.
A couple of nights ago I started watching some of late Mrs. Bimbo Odukoya’s teachings on DVD (“Singles and Married”). I read her famous book “How to choose a life-partner” a couple of years ago and was again encouraged to think more about my personal development, and also the “essential character traits” I needed in a man, MY man.
Top of the list was “a forgiving attitude” for me, as it was the only (emotional) security I know I will ever need. The assurance that my man understands we are in this together forever, and no matter what happens, we’ll work it out as one. I know I’m a rather “peculiar” person with a handful of faults and flaws, I can promise you, I WILL make mistakes. I WILL offend you, I will NOT always be lovely or lovable. But, I will always be there! I need a man I can be myself around (even undeniably stupid), yet not have the fear of being left behind. A man I know will have my back. A man who will tell me what’s wrong, rather than keep quiet and disappear. A man who will give me the chance to apologize when I’m wrong, not one who just throws in the towel and simply gives in. A man who understands the importance of patience in and commitment to a relationship and one who will be dedicated to making it work. A man gracious enough to extend forgiveness, and humble enough to see his own need for it. No man is perfect. Relationships are hard work!
Anyway, I’m sure you get the point. My number one “need” in a partner was/is: “a forgiving and committed attitude”.
So, there was this guy who’s been, well, not really on my case, but liking me very much for a number of years; but whom I haven’t really been able to take seriously due to his laid-back and childish nature. Over the past weeks we started talking a bit more (thanks to BlackBerry) and I’ve come to see just how lovely he is. He asked me to take him and his intentions more seriously and I made it clear (in simple English words) that I actually liked him too, adding “we’ll see how it goes”.
Now, obviously, we were still just friends who liked each other; nothing strange or uncommon about that, but in the process of getting to know each other, I naturally started looking closer and thinking whether this could be a potential partner.
Just yesterday we had a minor argument (or misunderstanding, actually) and rather than talking it through, he went ahead to delete me from his BBM. I hate referring to social media in relation to real human relationships, but it is what it is. That’s exactly what happened. He deleted me on BBM. And it hurt! Especially since I’m back in Vienna now and he resides in London.
Now, there were a number of things going through my mind:
1. Shock: Did this really just happen?
2. Confusion: Why exactly though?
3. Terror: Is this how it will end?
4. Sense of Betrayal: Is he really going to throw our many years of friendship away because of a minor misunderstanding?
5. Hurt: He could not really have liked or appreciated me as much as I (or probably even he) thought he did. This decision was way too hasty.
6. Realisation: I was wrong too. Was what I said really necessary?
After about an hour I went ahead to send an email..two..apologising for my part in the argument and asking, for forgiveness, but (and its been 48hrs (updated)) have gotten no reply. I had to reach the
7. Conclusion: He’s just not that into me. And final
8. Acceptance: This might just be where I “count my losses” and move on.
Now, I’m not trying to be comical or overly dramatic- after all, it’s not like I really believed he was “the one”; he was just a guy I liked talking to and was looking fwd to spending more time with- but I was (am) somewhat torn between the sad emotions of loss, and the deep appreciation this happened sooner, rather than later.
I considered a few things, as I do not believe in coincidences:
Even if I had been all wrong and mistaken and had hurt him, was it really necessary to delete me so quickly? Does that mean that, say we had a “serious” argument in our relationship, he’d just break up? Or in our marriage, he’d just file for divorce? I’m reading the signs. A man who cannot make me feel secure in a friendship, especially now that I have finally admitted to liking him and giving “us” a chance, will not be committed in a relationship either. If you cannot make a friendship work, how do you intend making a relationship work?
To me it was also quite obvious (now anyway) that he could not have liked me that much; other-wise he would have been more willing to “sit down and talk things through”. Maybe I was a fantasy he enjoyed- as long as I remained just that: a fantasy- and saw the need to pull away the “more real” I became..
But, with all my rationalizing what had transpired between us and blaming him for his lack of forgiveness (he is still ignoring me) and unwillingness to “work it out”, I know the Lord was telling me something very important: you still have some work to do.. on yourself.
Girl gasta chill!!!!! Just chill!!
It is something I keep telling myself. Or rather, I have been told. It’s either I’m too cold or blase, or I’m too excited. Whatever happened to the golden medium?
One of my many faults, perhaps, is that I can just very naturally be “too much”. While some would complain that I, at times, portrait “ghost-like” behaviour, others find me rather over-bearing and a bit too passionate at times. Both are right. I’m trying to find the golden medium..still.
What started the argument with that friend was boredom, in all honesty. I was bored and wanted attention, and told him things (truths anyway) he was not really keen on hearing. I told him, not to upset him or stir up feelings of jealousy, but simply because I wanted him to show and tell me he cared- by giving me a listening ear.. *sigh* I know better now. I know what idleness can cause. I know the need for (sometimes) just keeping my mouth shut! I. Just. Need. To. Chill!
Just as there are “character traits” that we so desire in a partner, there will be others we will have no patience for or wish to tolerate. On my husband-to-be’s list, there might very well be “melodrama”, thus disqualifying me!
See, with this post I am drawing both a line and a parallel.
While you might be well aware of things you cannot just deal with in a potential spouse (of course there is room for compromise etc, but there are some certain things – let’s be honest- we will simply not put up with) you might likewise have obvious issues your partner will have a low tolerance for.
Bottom-line: Try focusing more on your, rather than his/her irritating issues! Especially if there are particular traits of yours that have disrupted relationships with a handful of people before. It is no coincidence!
For guys it is most often an impatient attitude, an unwillingness to listen and hear girls out, or a sheer disregard for what the might regard as “irrational behaviour”. For us girls such a trait could often really simply be our inability to just chill!