Are you self sabotaging your relationships?

Are you self-sabotaging your relationships?
Why do you do it?

“We sabotage the great things in our lives because deep down we don’t feel worthy of having the great things.” – Taressa Riazzi

Have you ever met someone new and everything is just going so great and easy; then suddenly, you start to pull away or push them away and try to ruin it with a bad attitude and it just seems like you cannot help yourself? This may not even be done consciously because it has become an ingrained modus operandi for you and anything that remotely brings you happiness – in this case, in form of another human. Not because you stopped liking them, but rather because you are happy and that scares the bejesus out of you.

This behavior is called ‘self-sabotaging’. This is when you consciously or unconsciously do things or create stumbling blocks that prevent you from achieving your wants. This can apply not just to your relationships but even in everyday life, like your career, weight loss journeys, personal milestones et al. You become unable to establish any form of stability and can’t seem to stay on one job, one relationship or weight for long by making excuses as to why it didn’t work out; invariably lowering your self confidence and worth in the process.

As human beings, when we sense ourselves being enveloped into a vulnerable situation, we back out because the mind analyses that vulnerability translates into a danger to itself and tries to protect itself from the potential pain by closing up. The fear of being vulnerable makes us isolate ourselves, stay away from intimacy, while struggling to embrace our authentic self.

This behavior can stem from unsolved traumas from childhood or previous relationships that have developed into:

  1. Abandonment issues
  2. Anxiety
  3. Self-esteem issues
  4. Fear
  5. Insecurities
  6. Paranoia.

In terms of previous relationships, a lot of people have never experienced what it is like to be absolutely loved for who they are; to meet genuinely good lovers with true intentions, and are used to questioning themselves and self-worth. Hence, the sabotage.

If you tend to always do things to your partner or potential partner in a bid to provoke a reaction from them or argue just for the sake of arguing. This is because negative outcome of relationships is what you truly understand and your mind is familiar with.

Slowly but surely, this becomes a cycle. You connect with a person, become interested in them, get flashback form a previous trauma from the past or based on a loathing of the self; become overwhelmed by the unfamiliar feeling of happiness; panic and begin self-sabotaging by communicating poorly, lying, cheating, talking down on yourself and your partner, nit-picking on every flaw; until they are forced to leave or you kick them out of your life; and then rinse and repeat.

HOW CAN THIS CYCLE BE BROKEN TO STOP YOURSELF FROM SELF-SABOTAGING?

  1. Accept: Accept that vulnerability is a part of being human and for you make any progress in life, you must go through the process of letting down your fences and stepping out of your comfort zone. It is ok to be afraid. It is as much an emotion as happiness or love or sadness. Accept that insecurity is present in every one of us. Recognize them and work with them instead of trying to shut them out.
  2. Be Introspective: Open yourself to what you feel by being aware of these feelings and when you feel them. These include your thoughts too and what easily triggers you to want to disengage when you feel the fear that makes you panic. Instead of trying to be perfect, try to be you and live life as it comes. Focus on creating memories and recognizing the value they bring into your life.
  3. Talk to your partner: Talking to your partner about what you feel and how you feel can go a long way towards helping you become more secure and affirmed about their position in your life. Communicating how you feel helps reduce the tension and leads to seeking better ways and on the long run, a positive resulting outlook towards your relationship.

In the end, our attachment style is often how we tend to handle our relationships; understanding this, can better help you understand how you relate to others.

One thing we must understand is that, when we protect ourselves from pain or being hurt, we also simultaneously prevent ourselves from accessing good things and good people in life. And as much this is true, we must also know when it is time to walk away. In the process of not trying to sabotaging, do not hold onto toxic or irredeemable relationships. Life they say, is all about balance.

SEXUAL LIBERATION – WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE SEXUALLY FREE?

sexual liberation
SEXUAL LIBERATION

The advent of the sexual liberation revolution and the resulting invention of contraceptives and Sex protection gears has promoted the prerogative of women and men to sleep with whomever they please without the “risk” of an unwanted pregnancy while also juggling careers. And has freed men from having to get into committed relationships before engaging in sexual intercourse; devoid of any responsibility, emotional or otherwise.

Over the course of years since the 1960s revolution movement, the stigma against pre-marital sex had significantly reduced and both men and women have become more careless in their sexual explorations. But does this freedom come at a price? and What does it mean to be sexually free?

Let us start by defining what liberation truly means.

WHAT IS LIBERATION?

Liberation according to Oxford Languages simply means “freedom from limits on thought or behavior” it means the act or process of freeing someone or something from another’s control.

Going by that definition, Sexual liberation can then be defined as the state of being free from sexual mores or inhibitions that are considered restrictive to our thoughts and behaviors on our sexuality. That is to correctly say then that; Sexual liberation is much more a psychological and behavioral objective than it is physical.

That would also mean that being promiscuous doesn’t automatically mean you are sexually liberated. You can very well have the freedom to sleep with whomever you and still be mentally enslaved to sexuality.

And in the same vein, Sexual liberation can very well be keeping yourself away from sex until you are ready –given that it is based on determining your thoughts and behaviorism towards the act on your own terms. Correct?

People say now, that true happiness is in having multiple partners, while people who chose to stay away from sexual engagements – virgins, celibates-– are looked at as weird and spoilsports. Which in my opinion is an infringement on their choice as being called a tramp for being more expressive in your sexuality, is an infringement on your choice.

Being sexually liberated shouldn’t just be about spreading your sexual tentacles and sowing your oats wherever and whenever you please.

Being sexually liberated is understanding that sex should not have a hold on you. It shouldn’t shackle you. You can choose to not do it regardless of what the public thinks, it doesn’t make you less liberated than them.

And as “promiscuous” individuals want to be accepted as sexually explorative they should also be willing to accept those who chose to abstain. They shouldn’t look down on them as “missing out” or “un-woke” or “killing the mood” or “less fun at parties”.

As you made the choice to coitally engage with whomever you please, they also made the choice to abstain and that choice should also be respected.

A good number of people—both men and women, although leaning more toward women, have let the societal idea of sexual liberation influence them in such a way that it only serves to tighten their bondages further

Sexual liberation is being able to say no when you do not want it and being able to say yes when you do.

THE PRICE OF SEXUAL LIBERATION

Sex is a lot more complicated than we think. It brings with it a high level of responsibility. You cannot divorce sex from its psychological, emotional, socio-economic outcomes. There is no such thing as casual sex because it always has its implication. Modern sex is dangerous emotionally, psychologically, with its endless possibility of unwanted pregnancies and transmittable diseases –with more consequences for women than for men.

According to a Reproductive Health survey Published: 29 November 2018, almost one-fifth (18.8%) of adolescents get pregnant in Africa. Likewise, the World Health Organization has estimated that every year in Africa there are 3.5 million cases of syphilis, 15 million cases of the chlamydial disease, 16 million cases of gonorrhea, and 30 million cases of trichomoniasis.

In a survey by the Washington Post45 percent of the 6 million pregnancies in the United States each year are unintended. Every year, millions of women, married and unmarried, young and not so young, are getting an outcome — pregnancy — that they didn’t plan on or desire from exploring their sexuality. Thereby bringing children they are unable to cater properly for into the world, resulting in more and more dysfunctional humans.

Despite the availability of the pill and protective gears, the rate of unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases; rather than reduce, has inevitably increased and still is on the rise. This has made many a woman become ‘baby mamas’, committing abortions –with some dying from the procedure and some destroying their wombs– and men becoming unwanted fathers.

In a 2020 survey by the Guttmacher Institute, the annual number of abortions in Sub-Saharan Africa almost doubled between 1995–1999 and 2015–2019, from 4.3 million to 8.0 million, bagging the highest rate of abortion-related deaths in the world, at 185 maternal deaths per 100,000 abortions.

How is this then a liberation?

The expectation of the sexual revolution was that perhaps the more sex people had, the happier they’d become but that doesn’t seem to be the case. It has only served to increase the rate of social, mental, and health problems. Increase in addiction, isolation, depression, increased aggression, distorted beliefs, and perceptions about relationships and sexuality.

Another adverse effect of the propagated form of sexual liberation is the deterioration of marriages; as partners are more disinclined to fidelity and less disinclined to infidelity –terming it freedom of sexuality– but people are lonely. Fundamentally, people want their own special persons.

Sexual liberation has drastically increased acceptance of sex outside of traditional heterosexual, monogamous relationships (primarily marriage), thereby increasing the rate of infidelity and consequentially; divorce rate. The psychological and emotional traumas resulting from uncommitted sexual relationships have steadily increased the levels of anxiety, low self-esteem, suicidal tendencies, divorce, and family breakdown in society.

The message of the 1960s sexual revolution was, “If something excites you then that’s just who you are. That’s your ‘normal.’ And this has increased the rate of pedophilia as they believe “that is just who they are”. If you say “everyone should be able to express their sexuality in whichever form and with whomever”, that also gives leave to those who desire children to explore their sexuality. If we try to say that is wrong, doesn’t that mean we are shackling them and withholding their “sexual freedom”?

Sexual Freedom is knowing the responsibility that coming with engaging and also not engaging in sexual activity and choosing to stay the same and take on that responsibility—-not try to shelve it on others when you cannot take it. People want to be able to have sexual dalliances without taking up the consequences alongside –the height of illusion. 

Sexual Freedom is making a choice regardless of what society thinks and taking on the consequences that come with the choice.

The reason for the 1960 movement against inhibiting the sexuality of women was to allow women to make their own chooses without being termed derogatory names. but it would seem the result of these choices are starting to backfire more on the women

The results of the sexual revolution should be more than enough to arouse a counter-revolution. In today’s world, the media would rather promote a sexual freedom agenda than promote the traditional family, traditional marriage, and sex reserved for marriage making it seem impossible and unrealistic to abstain until it is done under the confines of a union.

So, I ask, is this true freedom? Where we see being sexually conservative as being un-woke and

Our values are individually defined and subjective as opposed to being defined based on universal, transcendent principles and the consequential impact on society at large. Is this true freedom?

“No man who is a slave to his flesh is truly free”

HOW DO YOU PROVIDE VALUE IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP?

How do you provide value in your relationship?

Have you ever sat down to ask yourself, what qualities do I possess that make me an invaluable partner? The famous question: “What do you bring to the table?”

Yes, it is true that everyone is deserving of love just for being human but in truth, the level & quality of love you get is often determined by what qualities you possess that adds value to the relationship & makes you indispensable to your partner

Let’s liken this to the corporate sector. In an organization, for you to be indispensable, you cannot just be like every other person. Every other person is probably just there to get paid to sort their bills. but there are some individuals who distinguish themselves, who do not coast, who strive to grow, to provide value. They are adaptable, innovative and build lasting relationships with potential “plugs”

Now, these set of individuals are often the ones who get up the rung, the ones who never have to worry about job security because they know the worth they provide.

Now apply this logic to your relationship, are you this sort of individual? Or are you just a ground floor member? Only there to occupy space until the day they get dispensed? If so, how then can you be a man or woman of value? –this doesn’t have to only apply in your romantic relationships, value must be created in every sphere of life

 “All space must be attached to a value, to a public dimension. There is no private space. The only private space that you can imagine is the human mind.”

Paulo Mendes da Rocha

  • Build Yourself: Push yourself, keep advancing as an individual, never stop learning. Be a problem solver, know something about everything. By doing this, you become an asset to your partner and your opinions are held in high esteem. In same vein, people are more likely to gravitate towards individuals who are innovative and can make life easier for them by providing solutions. For single individuals, this opens you up to meeting potential partners who are also of esteemable standards.
  • Support: Every relationship requires support from both ends to build a healthy environment – every human actually needs supports– As a man, support your woman, as a woman, support your man. Relationship isn’t a battle field with both of you at opposing ends –I think this something that needs to be understood– the essence of relationship is to have someone who always has your back. It isn’t to manipulate or to control but to support in every way; emotionally, physically, spiritually, financially, et al. Be financially adept, do not be a liability or parasitic.

Yes, your partner may love you but if they always have to keep fending for you, you lose your respect, and your value in their eyes diminishes.

  • Sacrifices: Part of falling in love with people, means that sometimes, you have to give some things up. The main idea of love is sacrificing selflessly for someone else. Being in love changes characters from being independently selfish to wanting to give the ones they love the world. 

Take a moment and think about your significant other and what level of sacrifices you are willing to make on their behalf; whatever reasoning comes out from that, tell you the level to which you love them. The vitality of love is in sacrifice. God made this evident when he gave us his only son to die for us, if that isn’t the ultimate show of Love, then I don’t know what is.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believed in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.– John 3:16 King James Version

The truth is for you to be indispensable; you have to be deliberate; you have to be an intentional woman or an intentional man. Some believe that offering just money or their bodies is valuable enough. Everyone with a sexual organ can offer sex and a good number of them are very good at it. But beyond sex, what else can you provide? What makes you different and uncommon? What makes you an asset to your partner?

As a woman, I need you to ask yourself these questions; Can I give my Man Business advice when he needs them? Can I randomly support him financially or buy him a gift (a nice thing he needs)? Can I plan a trip for us with my own money? Can I pray fervently for him when he is storming through harsh weather?

As a man, I need you to ask yourself these questions; Can I provide support to my woman –in her career, business, or whatever endeavor– when she needs it? Can I be a companion who listens when she needs my undivided attention? Can I summon emotions and be kind? Can I go out of my way to do some random things that other men do not deem fit to do? Can I cook, clean the dishes, do the laundry, without thinking it is a woman’s duty?

Your answers to these questions tell you all you need to know. Remember, for you to be valued, you must indeed provide value.

“Not adding value is the same as taking it away.”

Seth Godin

The role of money in relationships

The role of money in relationships?

Does money really make or mar a relationship?

Should relationships be built on the foundation of monetary values?

Why is money important?

I am going to work my way from one question to the other, starting at the bottom.

Why is money important?

Now there are two conflicting ways humans view money; one, that it is everything in the world and the most important thing, thereby placing utmost value in it and envying those who have it in abundance. Two, that it is evil, corrupt, dirty and value shouldn’t be placed on it but rather on frugality and simplicity.

These are big misconceptions – to say money is not important or that it is sole purpose of being alive. It may not be the most important but it is very important. There is no denying the fact that it is needed to stay alive. Almost everything we do is a bid to make money and to live the kind of lives we have envisioned for ourselves. It is a symbol of value acquired, a value that is realized when the tender is exchanged for a want or need.

Money gives a sense of power because it takes you where you want to go by opening doors in your path. Although it may not be able to buy happiness or other abstracts like air but It can temporarily accord some modicum of purchasing power for said abstracts to the holder. Even a thing you get for “free” is directly or indirectly being paid for by someone. That is why it is important.

Should relationships be built on the foundation of monetary values?

A relationship built on money is more likely to crash faster than one built on true feelings. Because the moment the money ceases, the relationship is headed for doom. I wouldn’t say it is right or wrong to get into a relationship for the monetary advantage but it should be plainly stated from the onset, so both parties know what they are going into and they agree on the kind of union it would be.

Yes, money is very important, and building a relationship based on love may sound corny to most, but the truth is; it is the realest and purest thing ever when it is also supported with trust, sacrifice, commitment, and share values/goals.

Men, do not entice a woman you genuinely like into a relationship with money or things of monetary values, except you are ready for a transactional relationship with little or no emotions (there is no guarantee they will come to love you) and your value in that relationship will be solely based on what you can give. If unluckily she finds someone with more money, she is likely to drop you over for him. There are instances where relationships like this work -few and far between- but there will always be an imbalance.

Women, do not select based on money or what a man can give you. In such a relationship, you are more likely to be undervalued and seen as just an object. You might be fine with being undervalued, but remember; “he who pays the piper, dictates the tune”

SONY DSC

“A wise person should have money in their head, but not in their heart. –Jonathan Swift https://www.forbes.com/sites/robertberger/2014/04/30/top-100-money-quotes-of-all-time/?sh=6a0aef604998#:~:text=A%20wise%20person%20should%20have%20money%20in%20their%20head%2C%20but%20not%20in%20their%20heart.%20–Jonathan%20Swift

Does money really make or mar a relationship?

Love, trust, sacrifices, shared values etc. may be the bedrock of relationships/marriages but we mustn’t also forget the place of money. A couple can love each other very much but their relationship can be ruined over money disagreements.

We live in material world and for you to stay alive, you require some essentials like food, education, clothes etc. all these require a legal tender to acquire. So, its importance in relationships cannot be ruled out.

If you study most relationships and marriages, often times, their arguments are about money. When you can barely afford your daily bread, love and every other thing takes a back seat. It becomes tougher to live in harmony and peace.

Your partner starts to irritate you and you begin to lash out at them, either for not providing or as a man; for not being able to provide for the family. The tiniest issues will become full blown arguments and at some point, one or both partners will choose to walk away. Only in rare cases do we see partners stick it out and this takes lots of commitment and dedication from both ends to hold down the forte. So yes, it can indeed make or mar a relationship.

What is the role of money in relationships?

The same way money plays a crucial role in our individual lives, is the same it does to a couples’.

In some way, we all have relationships with money -what factors is if it is a healthy of unhealthy one- just the same way we have with our partners. There are several roles it therefore plays i.e.

  1. Sustaining livelihood; Relationships/Marriage involves paying a lot of bills; living expenses, health insurances, raising kids (if any), investments, and handling random financial emergencies. All these require money.
  2. It makes dating more luxurious and comfortable; When there is money in your relationship, it is easier to buy them the luxuries of life to show how much they mean to you. It’s easier to arrange surprises for their birthdays, order/ cook their favorite meals or fly extra miles to surprise them when they are out of town and so many other romantic gestures. They may seem frivolous, but sometimes, there is happiness in frivolities.
  3. Arguments would revolve less around money; Financial arguments are one of the biggest issues why relationships and marriages break up. “A hungry human is an angry human”, when there is little or no funds, partners are more likely to get easily triggered and fight over little things because of the underlying money factor.
  4. Independence; There is a confidence, freedom and peace that having money and being able to afford what a person needs without checking your pockets several times while doing permutations. It also makes it easier to leave a bad relationship. If you are financially dependent on your partner, without having your own source of income, it becomes extremely difficult to leave a bad relationship.
  5. It is easier to build your relationship based on other tenets; Your focus is more centered on other aspects of your lives and setting future goals become easier. Having money helps the atmosphere of love, by reducing pressure from both parties and increasing the quality of live

The role money plays in relationships therefore, cannot be over-emphasized. A lack or short supply of it can jeopardize relationships.

Before you get into any relationship, always make sure you are financially compatible with your partner. Consider their spending and saving habits. A compatible partner would multiply your success, the opposite would diminish it.

That been said, Financial security is of utmost importance in a relationship. And it should be a joint effort from both parties. Don’t watch him/her try to make it alone. Make money together!!!

Relationship Green Flags

Relationship Green Flags

It is in the human nature to often focus on the negatives of a thing more often than we focus on the positives or potential positives of a thing.

We talk about red flags in relationships almost every day and when we meet new people we begin to focus on those negatives or flaws that we term as “red flags”, instinctively expecting perfection of the person. Meanwhile, in most cases, these red flags we seem to abhor reside prominently in us, but we are often oblivious and lack self-awareness enough to discern this. Not a lot of people are conscious and healthy with insights into who they really are. But this is something we will discuss in another topic; today we will be looking at some green flags that we should look out for in new partners.

Firstly, what are Green Flags?

Green flags are general guidelines that help you assess how healthy your potential partner is. They let you know you’ve got a good thing going with whomever you are with. In today’s dating scene where authenticity is rare and a lot more people are damaged and have let themselves get overridden and blindsided by previous dating experiences, green flags are very important, if not more so than red flags.

I know for a fact that we all have different things that we would individually tag as green flags; however superficial and perhaps unrealistic some of them may be. But there are just some things that are very important that tells you the person you are with is most certainly a keeper.

Let’s take a look at these 10 flags I have put together

  • It is you and them against the world, not you against them; I have come to realize a lot of people go into relationships these days with the mindset that they are in to compete with their partners. They scrutinize and pick up on everything, making the relationship a living hell and their partners start to resent them. Relationships should be both of you against the world not against each other. So, when you see a person who handles and sees being in a relationship with you as both of you complementing each other rather than competing against each other; know that you have struck gold!
  • Spiritual, intellectual and life-purpose compatibility; This is often overlooked by most people. Choosing a partner who is compatible with you, your goals, intellect and spiritually, is one of the best decisions you can ever make in your life. This has to be the greenest of all the flags! Put a ring on the finger and a watch on that wrist immediately! (Lol)
  • Communication; This is one of the most important skill anyone can have in life. Not just in relationships. Communication as I will always say; is the best way to transmit thoughts, ideas, opinions, facts and values. The place of quality communication plays a huge role in relationships. Finding a person who can talk about anything and everything and even when you may have opposing preceptive doesn’t descend into fitful bouts of arguments or malice keeping is a green flag not to be trifled with.
  • No blame shifting or condescension; This is a hard-to-come by attribute in most people these days. People are quick to shift/place blames and react condescendingly to situations than they are to review and criticize themselves. A person who admits and owns up to their actions shows maturity and emotional intelligence.
  • Teachablility; When you meet a potential partner and you can clearly see the teachableness in them. They understand the place of humility and know when to learn, un-learn and re-learn. “Being teachable is admitting you don’t know everything and allowing others to show or teach you. Humility demonstrates stronger character than ego and pride. Admitting you are learning doesn’t detract from who you are or your leadership authority, it demonstrates to others it’s safe to admit you don’t know something”. This is a very huge green flag in a person.
  • Is self-dependent; A person that is self-dependent is a strong willed and determined person. A person who is confident, creative, resourceful and know what they want. Now who wouldn’t want that? But of course, self-dependent or sufficiency isn’t as easy as it sounds. As humans, it is easier to lean on others than to depend on one’s self, which makes finding emotionally independent individuals a hard task. If your partner possesses even a modicum of this attribute, and has a stable life outside of you while still choosing you as a priority when wanting to do stuff, you most definitely won the lottery.
  • They are your biggest fan and also most constructive critic; A partner that is willing to support your goals, aspirations and dreams and on the other hand, can criticize when it is needed in a constructive and honest way. It shows they are invested in your growth and improvement. I know most people may not like the criticism part, but that tells a lot about you as a person and your unwillingness to grow.
  • You are instinctively at your most natural around them; When you do not have to put up a façade whenever you are around them and act the same way you would if you were alone. You do not have to go extra lengths to impress them or become inauthentic. This is possible when you realize they notice the little things about you and appreciate you for who you are -without judgements or trying to conform you to their own prototypes- you instinctively relax and go on to be your true self.
  • Being with them is easy and brings you peace; There is not buttressing to this point. Everyone wants peace of mind in life. Being with your partner should bring peace to you without strain. You will be willing to share every aspect of your life with them; either good or bad and giving yourself to them will come so easy.
  • Empathy and perceptiveness; This is one I take very strictly into awareness. A healthy partner will show signs of empathy to not just your feelings but also to the feelings of others. They are kind to people regardless of socioeconomic standing -especially people in the service industry. The ability to empathize with others and being aware of other people’s feelings are not skills that many people have and it is one to be treasured!

Having said all this, you must take into cognizance that this is a two-way street. For you to receive the kind of Love that you want, you must also be the kind of Love someone craves. Remember; healthy you equals healthy love.

“Far too many people are looking for the right person, instead of trying to be the right person.” —  Gloria Steinem

https://quotefancy.com/gloria-steinem-quotes

I DON’T WANT A RELATIONSHIP! OR DO I?

So, I had a conversation with an acquaintance recently, and he went on and on about how he didn’t want a relationship and didn’t need to be serious with any woman. For about 30 minutes he continued on his speech about how people were two-timing each other and being disingenuous in so called relationships.

In like manner, the social media has become filled with the same stance about not wanting relationships -both men and women-, going on and on about how being single is bliss.

And this got me thinking, “do all these people really want nothing to do with relationships? Or perhaps there is an underlying factor that I was missing?”

So, I observed and studied the comments people made under relationship posts on the internet and I realized something; all the “I don’t need a man”, “I don’t need a woman”, “I don’t need a relationship” were non-existent. There was a visible air of craving from all the comments that one could deduce that they craved what these couples on the internet have. It was evident that people still want relationships, in fact, they badly crave the intimacy and companionship that being in a relationship provides.

Which is why I decided to write about this today. During my findings, I realized a lot of people-men and women- want relationships but they seek real and healthy relationships with real people without worrying that they might get played in the process. So, when a person says they don’t want a relationship, it is because they don’t believe that there are real people anymore. They don’t believe there are people that they can trust who wouldn’t hurt them or take their feelings for granted.

The chances of getting this in today’s world has become so slim that men and women would rather say they do not want relationships rather than get their hopes up that they might meet a person who is different from the others they have encountered in the past.

But you know what the problem is with this? People have such negative perception of relationships so much so that they end up jeopardizing any opportunity to be in healthy relationships while denying and telling themselves they do not really want it. Those that try to convince themselves that they do not want relationships and who do not make the conscious effort needed to build one, may end up realizing this too late when they are probably 50 and their neighbors are having family gatherings and celebrating the joys of companionship meanwhile everything looks bleak and dried up on their own porches.

The truth is a lot of people are unwilling to put in the work that a relationship needs to make it work. They do not want be in a position where they have to take responsibilities for their actions to be accountable to someone else. They are unwilling to make sacrifices needed to thrive a budding relationship

Because of this, people are starting to have unrealistic ideas of relationships, based off of what they see on the internet.

Now, I am going to break this “I don’t want a relationship” ideology down to this, you see when people say they don’t want relationships, what they are really saying is “I want a relationship but I don’t want to act like I want one, so that it can happen”. Just like when you are downloading; say a movie, and you decide not to look at it or think about it hoping that if you don’t it won’t get cancelled and it would load faster. Ha-ha it is like trying to play reverse psychology on the universe. Lol

As a person, what you fail to understand is this; when you say you don’t want a relationship, you unconsciously chase people that are really good and compatible for you away because they believe that you do not need them, and on the other hand, you begin to attract people that just want to play around. Because they are thinking “hey, she/he doesn’t want a relationship, that’s good for me, let me just hit that and walk away. No strings”. Leading you to say; “all they want from me is my body or in the male instance: money” thereby developing a negative outlook towards relationships.

Going back to the relationship posts I studied, I also realized that people have been tailoring what an “ideal” relationship should be; to what they saw on the internet of seemingly happy people -the picture-perfect relationships.

News flash; perfect relationships DO NOT exist. I want people to understand that all relationships are bound to have shortcomings, because these are two imperfect people with different backgrounds, ideologies and philosophies, coming together to build something that may last a lifetime. It cannot be perfect. The pictures you see do not tell the story of what goes on behind the camera. So, when you see these internet relationships, do not use them as yardsticks for getting into a relationship. The only way a relationship can be actualized and go the extra mile without either partner quitting is for each partner to say, “look, I have my flaws, you have your flaws; we are going to get on each other’s nerves, but we are gonna make this work”

That said, except you are perhaps asexual or do not genuinely want a relationship, stop deluding yourself and embrace what you truly want and go after it with a positive spirit.

Barriers to Self-Love: Why can’t I love myself?

Self-Love is simply Self-acceptance…

You’ve probably heard the words’ self-love so often that it has become cliched or unreal to you. People keep talking about self-love but somehow you just can’t relate to it. In some ways, it ends up making you even feel worse about yourself

What does it mean? Is it treating yourself with a bright and shiny new thing you’ve been coveting, or something as simple as embracing compassion?

Perhaps you had a childhood that was filled with verbal taunts, criticism, put-downs and never felt good enough or adequate. All of these have now contributed to our self-loathing. For some, it wouldn’t even be self-hate per se; to them, they just do not feel they are worthy of love both from themselves and from others. Their evaluation of self has diminished drastically and other traumas in their lives gradually contribute to the loss of self. All these can limit the credibility you give yourself.

Self-love walks hand in hand with self-acceptance, to have one is to have the other.

Before the end of this, I want you to take up a pen and a writing sheet split it into two sides. On one side, write out those flaws you hate about yourself, things that make you feel hate for your person, and why no one should love you. Then on the other size, write the things you minimally fancy about yourself and the things you are pretty good at. At the end of this, I am going to tell you what to do with this.

So, first off, let’s define self-love. In my recent social media question tag, I asked my followers what they believed Self-Love is and as always, I got varying responses. Below are some of them;

Self-love is being wholesomely aware of your being, knowing what hurts, what makes you happy, and how to work around all of that while you go on with life, (and its struggles.) -@Ashabi_ade

The best thing in the world If you don’t have that great love for yourself, you will never truly be happy… And it breeds high self-esteem, It amazing. -@timegontell

Self-love is being good, kind, considerate to oneself, having a healthy sense of value for oneself. Not necessarily putting yourself first all the time, but also not doing things that would have a long-lasting or permanent negative impact on oneself in a bid to help others  -@brisin_advocate

Being able to improve and learn for myself… being true to myself not trying to be anyone else. And doing everything to attract and dispense of positive and negative energy respectively. Lastly peace of mind, serenity within. -@emmy_uzor

Discipline… Making small promises to yourself and keeping them. Good Self-talk. Encouraging yourself in your inner self-dialogue. Forgiving yourself. Understanding that making mistakes is a part of the human experience. -@C_Savignon

On the other hand, I also got responses like;

Honestly? I don’t know. And I haven’t heard anything tangible to make me understand it. For now, self-love will always sound like selfishness to me -@sir_odymufc

Selflessness – but backwards. -@DsgnrLuke

First, from the point of Christ, which is how I see love, love is for others to feel from you not you to feel for yourself. The basic definition of love is intense feeling of care and affection for someone… so the concept of self-love sounds selfish to me. -@sir_odymufc

From the different responses, it is obvious that we all have varying understanding of Self-love. Some believe it is just selfishness under guise while some see it as the key to happiness and accepting yourself with your flaws.

And to an extent I can say those who see it as selfishness aren’t exactly wrong, nor are they entirely right. Humans are selfish by nature, so that inevitable. Self-Love requires a level of selfishness for it to be called so. It means looking after yourself, constantly loving yourself, and giving yourself attention, which may seem selfish to other people. But that doesn’t make it a bad thing, there are times when you just have to put yourself and your mental health first.

What then are the barriers hindering you from loving yourself?

  • Believing that love only comes from others: When you only believe that love only comes from others and not from you to yourself
  • Feeling guilty or selfish about self-love: Feeling like you are doing something wrong when you give yourself any form of self-appreciation
  • Constantly comparing yourself to others: Anytime you compare yourself to somebody else, you are setting yourself up for 2 things; ‘I am better than’ or ‘I am less than’. The age we currently live in doesn’t help much in curtailing this. Social media will have you wanting to do that constantly
  • Feelings of Unworthiness: That feeling that you are unworthy of anything good, often based on previous disappointment and unattained success, probably in relationships, career, etc. So, you begin to feel you are not worthy of being loved or of been appreciated.

A lack of self-love can be rooted in feeling that you don’t deserve “it”, and by it, I mean “everything”.Your dreams, a certain lifestyle, admiration, success, everything good this world has to offer.

You believe there is something about you that can’t and won’t get what you desire

How do you overcome these barriers?

  1. Accept yourself; Understand that you are far from perfect and you cannot change who you are, no matter how much you try hard to. You need to accept that and channel that energy into something that makes you feel good about yourself.
  2. Push yourself; You need to push yourself and push hard. Make a conscious effort to turn things around for yourself to exceed your goals and your expectations.
  3. Congratulate yourself. You need self-approval and validation from yourself, just as much as you think you need it from others. Congratulate yourself for the little things and the big things.
  4. Improve yourself; Find something you care about besides yourself, and invest your time in it. It could be a skill; develop it, or a bucket list; tick them off. Do things that will improve your life.
  5. Challenge yourself. Express yourself. Educate yourself. Maybe just take baby steps and open this with ‘tolerate yourself’, since for people feeling low it really can be the first step.

On a final note; if you are having relationship challenges due to your self-loathe, you need to understand for you to be able to truly love another person, you must first love yourself by respecting yourself and knowing YOU. Loving oneself is different from being arrogant, conceited, egocentric, or narcissistic, it is just self-acceptance.

In the third paragraph, I told you to write those flaws you hate about yourself and the things you minimally fancy about yourself and the things you are pretty good at, I believe you did that. I want you to look at the first one; these are your flaws, your imperfections, your weaknesses. I am going to let you in on a secret here *you are not the only one that feels these things on this sheet, every single human on this planet has them, they have those things they hate about themselves*

I want you to accept them as a part of you like that crooked toenail or that particular strand of hair growing in that weird spot. Accept it, embrace it as a part of your and what makes you who you are.

Now look at the second list; these are your strengths, your capabilities and I want you to remember every time you face failure or depression or when life knocks you on your feet; that there is something good about you; a bright side to you and rise again to get that WIN!

Remember, Life is about balance, your weaknesses and strengths must coexist.

Do I want an Open Relationship?

6 Questions To Decide If A Polyamorous Relationship Is Right For You

Your partner says “I want an Open Relationship. Let’s start seeing other people”, What do you do?

In the current society we live in, people have begun shying away from being held responsible for their actions, so much that they prefer to lose out on experiences as long as it means no responsibility or accountability whatsoever. And this is very evident in the modern-day relationship world. Relationships require a high level of responsibility and accountability; it is no wonder people are suddenly vying towards open relationships.

On the other hand, Exclusive Relationships can be tough to deal with especially with the high rate of cheating and dishonesty in relationships these days. Which is why, most people prefer to rather be in open relationships to save themselves from the stress and anxiety that exclusivity comes with. But does it really work?

Before we get into the nitty gritty of the differences between Open Relationships, being Mutually exclusive, and the pros/cons of an Open Relationship, I will first define what each term is, so you can get an idea of the subject matter.

What Is an Open Relationship?

An open relationship is a relationship where parties aren’t exclusively dating each other. In other words, both people are openly allowed to have other sexual and/or romantic partners. Although often misplaced as Polyamory, (Polyamory is open enough for feelings to be formed while Open relationships are based on sexual relations) they are two different concepts. Some types of Open relationships can be classified into Swinging, Monogamic, Hybrid, relationship anarchy etc.

What is a Mutually Exclusive Relationship?

This is when both parties are exclusively dating each other. There is a mutual agreement between them that neither of them would be romantically or sexually involved with other people.

Just so you know; Relationship ambiguity can be really stressful on the mind, so It helps if you have a clear intention about your life and dating style and also what your partner wants. If they want to strictly be seeing you or otherwise. All that needs to be explicitly communicated.

Also being exclusive doesn’t necessarily mean you are in a relationship. It could be friends with benefits relationship and both of you choose to be exclusive.

So yes, your partner says “I want an Open Relationship. Let’s start seeing other people”, What do you do?

Well, the choice on what to do is really up to you and how whatever decision you make will affect you. But I will give you some pointers to help you determine which of the options best suits you by pointing out the pros and cons.

Let’s take a look at some reasons people go into Open relationships;

  1. The need for a challenge: Some people do not enjoy relationships or get easily bored unless they are being challenged. Open relationships create an avenue for jealousy, attachment, or possessiveness, and these are challenges for a relationship to work through. These emotions can also lead to greater self-awareness which may be seen as satisfying to those in open relationships.
  1. The lack of deep emotional commitment: Commitment is very scary for a lot of people, because they are constantly scared of being hurt. Hence, they shy away from relationships that would require them being totally committed.
  1. For the Sex: For some, it’s just about the sex. The way having multiple sexual partners makes them feel and the drive to please them all, they find pleasurable. And for those with high sexual drives but their partners are unable to satisfy them.
  1. The belief that humans were not created to be with one partner: There is the belief that humans are polygamous in nature and that monogamy/exclusivity no longer makes sense.

And the list goes on.

Pros of being in an open relationship

  • Freedom: The freedom to explore different aspects of yourself without the hindrance exclusive relationships come with.
  • No pressure for commitment from your partner and you do not have to fulfill all of your partner’s emotional and sexual needs or interests.
  • You get to experience new and exciting sexual interests with different people whenever you please. You might find a new partner who is into something you had never considered before.
  • It can help couples with different sex drives. If your partner perhaps has very low interest in sex, and you are quite the opposite, an open relationship maybe the answer for you. It takes the pressure off your partner to try and meet up to you drive.

But what are the cons in Open relationships?

  • Jealousy: When you truly love someone, the jealousy will always be there. Because you will always want them to yourself. There is no way you will be cool knowing someone else is handling someone you deem precious to you. If there is no jealousy then there is definitely no real love in that relationship.
  • Reduced Honesty: There will be little or no honesty in your primary relationship. You start to doubt if they still have feelings for you and then you also start hiding details of your other conquests from them. All trust becomes lost.
  • Controlling emotions: You will always have to struggle with keeping your emotions in check to avoid ruining it. Often times, you will go through emotional pain and you end up giving up on a real relationship ever happening
  • Sexually transmitted diseases: Let’s not forget the sexual danger you might be putting you and your partner in. Diseases can be easily transmitted when you have multiple partners at one.

Can it really work?

Ultimately, Open relationships often fail due to a lack of honesty. The issue isn’t so much the honesty between the two people in the relationship. The issue is the lack of honesty these individuals have with themselves. Often, the person who wants an open relationship either no longer wants to be with their partner or are just looking for easier ways to cheat without the emotional guilt.

In a recent poll I conducted, asking men if they could be comfortable in an open relationship, 47.7% of the answers were negative with even a hint of vehemence from 33.9% at the mere suggestion. Only 18.3% were open to the idea. This made me realize, Men may love the idea of an open relationship. The idea of sleeping with multiple women while still being in a loving relationship and this ticks all the boxes of a good life for them.

However, there is one downside for men to an open relationship which they absolutely do not like one bit: If a man is sleeping with multiple women, then their partner is just as likely to be sleeping with multiple men. Which means they will have to consider the fact that their woman will also engage in sexual engagements with other men.

There is something called “The hero instinct” in relationships It means that men have a biological drive to feel needed, to feel essential, and to provide for the women they care about. The hero instinct speaks to the built-in desire men possess for something in life that goes beyond sex and even love.

Simply put, men need a sense of meaning and purpose in their lives, especially from their relationships. So, the thought of another man’s hands on what is theirs’ to protect is purely inconceivable to them. Which let’s be honest is quite selfish

Although for women, it was a whole different ball game, 35.1% didn’t seem to mind their partners having other partners while 34.2% blatantly said they couldn’t and 30.7% vehemently rejected the idea. From this statistic, it would seem that women are even more open to the idea than men. I will like to tie this to the fact that a lot of women are warming up to the idea of sexual liberation and are embracing having multiple partners. Meanwhile, a study says women are believed to use open relationships as a foolproof way to preserve or rekindle relationships, given how jealous men get when they see their partners with other people. Women being sexually open and adventurous only as an attempt to keep a man would just be plain manipulative of course.

So, from my findings and polls, turns out, a lot of people that say they want open relationships actually mean; “open for me, closed for you” because they hate to share.

In the end, someone always gets hurt. Someone lies. Someone breaks the rules.

All in all, whatever relationship you chose, all good relationships are based on communication. You need to communicate with your partner about your feelings and be honest upfront. And do not forget to create boundaries!!

The whole point of being in a relationship is to enjoy yourself and your partner in whatever context works for you. If you both feel like your relationship would do better if you open it up, go for it and if not, stick to your values and decline.