Even though social media has opened us up to a host of amazing information sharing and networking, it has also dealt a blow to the authencity of personal relationships.I’m sure readers will relate. It’s hard enough, in the real world, to meet someone you like and try your best to be a great partner of sorts. Social media has definitely made it easier to virtually meet and perhaps sustain a long distance relationship but with this, pretence has also blossomed.
Just to be clear, I’m no man hater nor do I apply rationale when it comes to the description or sharing of my personal experiences or sharing that of others.
There is nothing “logic” or rational about emotions. They are mine and I own them. And you own yours. It is only through personal spiritual and mental growth that we can experience emotional maturity of sorts. And at times taking a stand, a firm one, is what will really break the old patterns of hurt, love, lust etc.
Here are a few excerpts I have heard from conversations with several women who met their prospective baes online or sustained long distance love thangs on social media (they shall forever remain nameless);
“Mid-last year, a highschool acquitance slid into my dms. We exchanged numbers. Connected on imo. Talk sweet nothings into many early mornings. Less than 3 months later I saw pics of his engagement and subsequent marriage on instagram. I didn’t even know he had a long term relationship like, so deep like that.”
“Sometime ago, I reconnected with a social media acquintance. We’d enjoyed crazy late night phone sex before and it was always him who was in control of the when’s of the situation.
In short, I was a booty call. It is what it is. It didn’t take me long to figure that one out.
He dropped off the face of the earth. Reappeared when the woman with whom he was then engaged to be married to had dumped him. I listened, I advised (I felt guilty about not being there for a person). He disappeared when his next lover came along I assume. He tried to reconnect. He was aptly ignored. Reappeared again and we had a conversation that didn’t lead to sex but he was asking I fly out to some exotic destination to meet him (we’ve never met in person ever). Not the first time he’d asked. He’s been begging recently.
I willingly mistook his attentiveness as a sign of reform but wrong. Haven’t heard anything from him in a while.
Long ago, I met a bloke, we established that we liked each other. We didn’t put a title to whatever flirtations were going on. Yup, this was definitely a situationship.
We were in constant communication. Never had any sort of sexual contact. Found out via fb he had married the onyibo (white) woman he had said was a visiting friend, even had his homeboy go on that vacation with them. He still denied it until she tagged him on a pic of their newly born. I continued to talk to him in the hope that he would atleast admit to all of the above. But nope, not to this day.”
“Recently, I met someone and we were getting on pretty well.We had much in common and even got around to hanging out. There were a few things about this that made me uncomfortable, his imagaination was wild and colorful. If i missed a call from him and didn’t reply to texts, he would go from 0-100 real quick and accussations of infidelity would emerge. I explained myself away,but this behavior from him didn’t go away. On a road trip, he drove into a motel and I sat in the car and asked him why and what we were doing there. He pretended that he didn’t hear me. We had not even discussed this part of the road trip at all. I didn’t want to be there. We got upstairs and in the middle of my questions and protests he proceeded to grab me and started kissing me. He cried in bed after sex once because he missed his recently deceased “soulmate”.
From my own personal experiences, I could relate to each one of the above when I heard them.
I too have carried guilt of not helping anyone or keeping people happy. In fact, I realised two years ago, that some people on my life never outright asked for help but would hint at things they wanted or needed and were challenged in some way or another and I would leap to their “rescue”. I stopped it. It was uncomfortable at first, because I would be wrecked with guilt knowing someobody needed help and I knew it and I was just ignoring it. And normally, these would be people I hardly spoke to about anything else except their troubles.
But, did they really need help or they just wanted to unload their misery?
I was giving so much of myself for what?
I have come to believe that I play a major part in the yin-yang of things. Sadly, I too contributed to this one sided exchange.I’m at a point where by I am learning to take responsibility for my own actions, reactions and feelings. This means that I must boldly accept when I’m to blame yet must also accept when I’m not to blame and not carry the guilt of another persons doings or reactions. This requires a level of “fairness” I haven’t reached but I’m forging forward nonetheless.
I am openly accepting my own part in my drama, strengths and weakness. Yes it may hurt when I admit that I committed a love wrong against a boyfriend or a friend but ,CATCH THIS, when someone who keeps a record of your wrongs can not hold them over your head because you said, “yes,I did that”. It is liberating. Not only does it leave you feeling lighter, it opens up the option to work on yourself in that particular area!
I used to feel enraged each time one of my friends told me that I came across as judgemental and critical, it is not until recently that I owned up to this. Since then, I mind my tongue. Not out of shame or shrinking my opinion but trying to find better word choices to express myself opinion without hurting the people around me. Kind of like, “It’s not what you say but how you say it”.
It is not easy to admit ones shortcomings without feeling some type of way for a little while. My only hope is not to be stuck in this phase but to work through it and channel it into positive vibes that will propel my existance.
I acknowledge that I still have issues with self-love.
Nobody taught or showed me how to speak up to men, how to put my foot down or how to be in a mutual standing in a relationship.
Instead, I saw women being the ones who bare,being the ones who carry the burden to work on the emotional and pyschological aspects of ther partnerships. Many were and still are told to be still and “let things go”otherwise the man will leave you. That you are lucky to find a man who wants you and put up with you. The men who change or evolve their thoughts or attitudes in their relationships come far and few between.
I was born in a patriarchal society and still live in a man’s world to a large degree.
Where the women who dare to have a say are branded, labeled and often left to be lonely. The stigma that surrounds a woman leaving a man is a stench that scares me. the woman carries the burden of a failed relationship so much that young women unknowingly put up with crap years before they are even hitched to anybody.
For many years, I witnessed my mother being walked all over by my father.
I saw her accept behavior that I felt was horrible and yet the babies kept coming.
She was held accountable for all her actions and reactions but never him.I saw her serve him in emotional anguish, so it’s normal for me to see men treat women in different ways and accept that for myself too. Please don’t get me wrong, I love my father and it is MY love for him that has led me to self inflicted emotional abuse similar to what my lady friends whisper to me in conversations.
But I do not want to carry that burden. I am no longer able to carry the anger and the hurt that has culminated. It only pains me to know that I’m the one at the center of my emotional draught, I’m the one who allows men take advantage of me. and is reached a suffocating climax. This volcano has been erupted.
“Love yourself” is what we hear almost everyday. But I think the first step is to know yourself. It is very possible to be a grown adult and not know yourself but know about yourself.
Get to know you,face the ugly parts of you,get to know even the things that scare you about yourself and do not fight it simply because society expects you to be a certain why.And there you will find your biggest allies too. It is scary. There will be many tears.
Actually, I just learned to let myself cry when I feel overwhelmed with emotion for “no reason” and I’m learning that I don’t feel any emotion for no reason,it’s ok to feel and it’s ok to let yourself feel whatever just know that it’s also important to know why without asking friends to weigh in on your reasons why.
Now I must learn, what to do with all these emotions once I have allowed myself to feel them, what next.
That’s another thing I feel social media has screwed up for humanity, we are so immersed by other peoples life,overloaded by their thoughts and energies that we neglected to look at and nourish ourselves.
It is alright to like someone but be bold enough that what they are putting on the table is not for you, that you are not ok with continuing or engaging. Just know that people like the notion of “having your own mind” until you actually practice it or goes against what they are expecting.
There are things we have to just let go off, that are not worth it. And the only person who is capable to feel your emotional void is you. Unplug from the distraction around and talk to yourself about you. Take a walk somewhere quiet and learn about you.
Some turn to religion to fill this void, some turn to drugs, some turn to spiritualism. Whatever it is,there is nothing sinister about learning to love your core, it is then that I believe you can even attempt to truly love those around you. An unwatered tomato plant dies,it doesn’t bare any fruit.
Who is watering your garden of love?