Some years back, a friend of mine, Rachel, whom I used to be very close to (now all we do, is see each other on social media) Ah! We were as thick as thieves back then. We were going home one day when our conversation shifted to relationship matters as usual, men fascinated us back then a lot.
We were talking about love and how it was so hard to know when a man was in love with you and how to find the man who loves you and would do so till eternity. You know that Man that you would want to settle with and willingly hand the reins of your life to. Yes, that guy, Mr. Right. It was a deep discussion, one that had us wracking our brains and talking about our experiences in our relationships and how we were not so sure if the men in our lives were the ones for us.
Rachel talked about how she had gone to visit her then boyfriend (now husband), only to meet him in a sore mood and all her attempts at cheering him up was just not working. She wanted to leave but before she did, she texted her elder sister who had just gotten married to get her opinion on the matter. She told him to stay with him until his mood improved, if she actually loved him. She did, so she stayed.
It was late into the night before she eventually left but her boyfriend’s mood had considerably improved by then. Mission accomplished. But her earlier text message to her sister had set off a change of events; there was need to have a sisters’ conference to discuss the matter of her relationship and its level of seriousness.
Using her marriage as an example, her Rachel’s sister asked her, if her boyfriend loved her more than she did him? Dumbfounded, she did not have an answer and her sister went on to talk about how her husband was the one who loved her more than she did. Not that, she didn’t love him, but on a scale of 1-to, her love for her husband would probably be an 8 while that of her husband for her was the whole 10.
With this system of love in their relationship, she often got her way, because, her husband would do anything for her and they lived ‘happily ever after.’ After telling her this story, she asked Regina again if she was the one who was more in love with her boyfriend than he was with her. There was still no answer.
For me, upon hearing this relationship advice, my ears pricked and it caused me to do some introspection. It made sense to me; the person who is more in love with the other person is always more willing to make sacrifices for the sake of the marriage but over time, as in the case of the marriage of my friend’s sister, they would both ended up making sacrifices for the sake of the other; she gave up her career to be a stay-at-home mom, when she wanted to have more children, after their first child. In the end, they would find a rhythm and strike a balance in their relationship; with one person doing so much of the loving and the other person not so much of it, and at another time, it is the other person’s turn to be extra loving.
Another advice that I got and think, singles could relate with very well is; it is not my partner’s responsibility to make me happy. That is my job. Before, I realized this, I was very prone to mood swings, silent treatments and such were the weapons, I use to show my displeasure, whenever, my spouse did something that I did not like or did not show me the kind affection I wanted at the time I wanted it. It was a very debasing feeling, I tell you. My happiness was based on whether, my husband was happy with me, whether, I was happy with him. It was a miserable experience, which I do not care to relive.
My problem was thinking that DH was always going to be in a good mood and directing his affectionate attention towards me – while that may be possible during the initial stage of a relationship, it is impossible to sustain long-term. I’m responsible for my happiness. My partner is responsible for his happiness. We deliberately focus on things to feel good in our lives and for things to appreciate in one another but it’s a faulty system.
If you’re looking for someone to complete you —or vice versa—you’re looking in the wrong direction for the lasting happiness, wholeness, and fulfillment that you truly seek. Wouldn’t it be better if you could find a way to feel how you want to feel regardless of what you’re partner is saying or doing?
One last advice that I would like to share with you is Love yourself. As I have come to realize, I cannot give what I do not have. If I don’t love myself, if I don’t care enough to give 110 percent to myself; it is most likely a lie, if I claim to love someone. It does not work like that.
Attesting to the efficacy of this advice is Paul Brunson, author of It’s Complicated (But It Doesn’t Have to Be): A Modern Guide to Finding and Keeping Love. He said, “You can’t love anyone more than your willingness to love yourself. Through this advice I learned about the importance of caring for my mind, body, and spirit. I liken love to the oxygen mask on a plane. You have to apply it to yourself before applying it to the person next to you.”
“This advice improved my chances of winning my wife’s hand in marriage. She was searching for true love. She wanted someone to spend the rest of her life with. Conveying to her that I loved myself signaled that I could be a pillar of strength and compassion.”
These are some of the notable advice that I have gotten, what are some of yours, please share.