#BYSYSERIES: ARE YOU STILL YOU?

Change is THE only constant thing…that’s quite a popular saying.

As we grow older, our thoughts, opinions and ideas change. The woman I was 10 years ago and the woman I am now are 2 different people, however, regardless of experiences over the years, some things have remained the same.

These things that do not change over time define who I am as a person. Your personal traits may modify a little bit but someone who knew you 10 years ago and now should be able to identify these things that haven’t change, like your beliefs, values, what you like to do and possibly opinions on come topics.

When entering into a relationship or sometimes while in a relationship, we occasionally lose ourselves and become someone else. I say we, because almost everyone at one point or another has lost themselves while dating. We adopt a different personality in a bid to please our partners and become the ‘ideal’ girlfriend/boyfriend.

A little change is fine, a little compromise acceptable, however, there is a problem when we become someone else and our friends/family can no longer recognize us.

This can happen for so many reasons. Sometimes it’s our own fault, we really want to make this relationship work so we get lazy and neglect areas of our life because it is easier that way.

Other times it can be because our partner is insecure or mistrusting so they may make us feel guilty for doing the things that are important to us. The problem with this is that we lose a big part of ourselves and soon enough we want out.

So before you say yes, are you still you?

Here’s how you know if you’ve lost yourself:

  1. You change your opinions for peace sake – Once in a while, your partner may say something that genuinely changes your mind however if you find yourself ALWAYS agreeing or changing your opinions because you do not want to have an argument then you may be sacrificing yourself. One thing you should ask yourself is, if this relationship is over, would you still agree with your partner’s view?
  2. You sacrifice your interest for theirs – It’s normal for people in a relationship to try to understand each other better by engaging in each other’s favorite hobbies. But ask yourself whether if you’ve taken up their hobbies or researched their interests to understand them or to impress them. Are you also downplaying your interests to be with them? Are you pretending to not like the things you like just so you can be accepted?
  3. Their problems become yours –  It is okay to feel for your partner and want to be a pillar of support when they are having one issue or the other, however, you find yourself taking on their problems like yours and not being able to separate yourself from their situation.
  4. You allow your partner choose your friends or you sacrifice your friends for them – You have cut off from a lot of your friends because your partner is uncomfortable with a few. As a matter of fact, the only friends you have at the moment are his/her friends or people you met through them. Initially, it wasn’t anything serious because you wanted to spend more time with your partner however now your friends no longer reach out after months or maybe years of trying and you are left all alone.
  5. You seek their approval before making simple decisions – Are you afraid to make decisions without their approval? Do you worry that they will be unhappy with the decisions that you make? Are you constantly seeking validation from them?.
    As humans we need to feel as though we are capable of making our own choices – we need to feel like our own person in order to not lose ourselves in our relationship.

In conclusion, the problem of being someone else is that soon enough you will lose the act and the real you will come out, sometimes like a ticking time bomb.  Be truthful to yourself, and to your partner, are you really being you or are they about to marry a complete stranger?

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POLO TOURNAMENT AND OTHER EVENTS HAPPENING IN LAGOS THIS WEEKEND?

Looking for something to do in Lagos this weekend? Well here’s a collection

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Tickets for STILL SINGLE IN GIDI now available for sale here

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#BYSYSERIES: HOW IS S(HE) WITH MONEY?

I apologise for the break, Lagos life got the best of me but now I’m back so let’s kiss and makeup…*muah*

Last time, I wrote on the influence of outsiders on your relationship and how the people with the most influence could be the ones with the most control. If you didn’t read it then, click here and check it out, if this is your first post then you should go through the series.

SOOO, let’s talk about MONEY!

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Source: Single Black Male

Personal Finance is one of those topics that is often overlooked in a relationship. As a matter of fact, in the Nigerian society, the evaluation of a partner’s finance is how much stuff he can get you. You know, the iPhones, the trips, the laptops and so on, for some reason we are made to believe that buying you everything you ask for is what makes a man financially attractive.

I’m not saying getting gifts is a bad thing, that you should return all them and run for your dear life. All I am saying is, you need to look beyond the gifts and deep into his/her financial responsibility. Money or the mismanagement of it, is one of the major issues in marriage that could lead to a divorce if not handled properly.

So, before you say yes, how is (s)he with money?

How do you know when someone is a financial mismatch or a nightmare, especially since there is the unwritten rule of keeping money related matters ‘private’. You don’t say what you earn, you don’t ask for money, you don’t ask for their debt e.t.c. Well here are a few red flags to look out for:

They spend like there’s no tomorrow – At the start of your relationship, this may be quite fancy, you know, the dinners, vacations, expensive gifts and so on, however, you know that they do not have the ‘Otedola kind of money’ and they may be sacrificing other ‘needs’ for the luxury.

Only the best for the big spenders. And those things are great if you know there is money to pay for it all after the needs are met. But if they’re popping champagne on beer money, then you need to be asking some questions, you need to know that there is a plan for ‘tomorrow’.

They don’t have a budget – As a matter of fact, they don’t know what a budget is. In some cases, they have a ‘faith’ budget. Nothing wrong with believing God, however, there is a line when it becomes financial irresponsibility than having faith. 

They forget crucial bills or don’t plan for them – You don’t have to be living with your partner to notice that they’re not paying their bills on time. It feels like they are constantly worried about paying one outstanding or the other, and when rent is due, all hell breaks loose, like they never knew rent was going to be due (in a year).

They borrow money A LOT and hardly pay back – Whether from you or from someone else. They always need money for a short period of time before the next big deal pulls through which in most cases never happens. And in some cases, they get a loan to pay an existing loan.

You’re not sure what they do with their money – We all have our vices when it comes to spending money; when I was younger, I used to spend a lot of my money on CDs (thank God for Apple Music now), my then boyfriend always knew when I got paid because there would be a new CD in my car, so he KNEW where my money went to, just like I knew his went to fine dining.

When you are with someone, you should be able to tell where their money goes to, or what they do with it. I didn’t say check their alerts every day but you should be worried if one minute they have money and the next they cannot account for 80% of what they spent their money on. It means they are not accountable, even to themselves.

They are quick to sell their property – Anytime they need money, the first thing to do is sell something around them. First cell phone, then Television and soon enough they’re selling everything they own to raise money. Besides being financially irresponsible it also proves that they do not value anything. It means once money is involved they will be willing to let go.

That’s it for now, there are a lot more financial red flags however these are the most obvious in a relationship. If you have noticed any of the above patterns then maybe you need to evaluate, discuss financial matters with your partner-to-be as these can or will affect positively or negatively your relationship. Nobody is perfect, we are all working towards being better people. 

Are there other financial red flags you’d like to share? Leave a comment below and let’s talk about it. If you have any questions, send an email to singleingidi@gmail.com.

Until next time,

Mz Gidi

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HOW TO DATE WHEN YOU’RE NOT READY TO SETTLE DOWN

I know what you’re thinking, like Aunty eskiss me, what’s the point of dating if you’re not ready to settle down but before we go ahead let me point out that dating is one of the often misunderstood terms. For some “dating” means being in a serious relationship with someone, whereas for others–like me, ‘dating’ is seeing multiple people to discover your perfect fit. If you want to take it further, some people think dating around is another excuse to sleep around but hey that’s a personal choice and I do not personally subscribe to that school of thought.

As we are at the start of the new year, I am certain that there are probably a few people who have decided to take time off a serious relationship, maybe they are coming out of a messy breakup or just want to take time to rediscover themselves. Folks in this situation often find themselves caught up trying to figure out how to go about their desires without hurting someone else in the process.

If you are not ready to settle down but are open to dating, here’s how you should go about it.

BE UPFRONT ABOUT YOUR DECISION – in most cases, the problem begins when you are not upfront about your intention and where you are in your life at that moment. This very important ‘withheld’ information makes it difficult and awkward for you. You should tell the person that you’re really just trying to get to know them better and are not ready to settle down. That puts the ball in their court and takes the pressure off you. If they really want to get to know you as well, they’ll stick around, if not, then at least you were honest.

BE OPEN TO ALL YOUR OPTIONS – Forget about your ‘spec’ during this phase and just get to know people. During this phase, other than finding what you want, you will also discover what it is that you do not want in a partner and possibly what turns you off in someone who may be interested in you. That is the art of dating, that is being able to connect with different people to find that missing puzzle piece.

REMEMBER YOU COME FIRST –  You should put yourself first in this process and by that I mean you are striving to learn more about yourself. That’s the point of being in this phase, of discovering what it is about you that may attract who it does or what makes you tick as a person. Your discovery at this time will help when you decide to have a serious relationship.

DO NOT BE RUDE ABOUT IT – Do not do the disappearing act or stop returning calls and messages abruptly, that’s not only rude but immature and believe me you do not want to be remembered as that fellow because no matter what you say in future, you will be remembered as the guy/girl who just dropped off the face of the earth.

KEEP SEX OUT OF IT – Dating different people doesn’t mean sleeping different around. When you take sex off the table, you will find that you will be a lot more clear-headed in making decisions. Sex always complicates things, people will get hurt in the process.

Finally, note that it is perfectly okay to not be ready to settle down, being in a serious relationship and ultimately settling down is a big decision.  However, it is NOT okay to use it as an excuse to be a player, to be unfaithful or to hurt people in the process. If you are not ready to be in a serious relationship, don’t feel awkward about it, make sure you are being honest and of course safe.

Happy New Year Guys!!…here’s to 2018 filled with the very best for us all.

 

12 DATING GOALS YOU SHOULD TOTALLY CONSIDER IN 2018

It’s that time of the year again, that time after eating all the Christmas rice and chicken that you begin to plan subconsciously for the new year.

New Year, New you…year of hitting the gym, saving more, investing more and so on. Soon it will be New Year’s Eve and if you’re like me you’ll probably be in church before midnight and at the stroke of midnight you will begin to get the ‘this is your year’ prophecies, this year we will come and eat jollof, bla bla bla. You know what I mean.

One thing that we never really do when dating is set goals, we often just go with the flow and in most cases dating then becomes a struggle and by the end of the year we end up sad or devastated that we did not accomplish what we set out to for the year. What I have always wondered is, if we can set goals for other areas in our lives, why don’t we set goals in dating other than the goal of getting married.

Whether you’re single, in a serious relationship, or one of the many things in between, dating is a part of your life, therefore it is important that you set goals and make them a priority. We all make mistakes, and all the advice in the world can sometimes be useless until we have to go through a bad experience and figure things out the hard way but it doesn’t stop us from trying. Hopefully, you might have learnt a thing or two about yourself when it comes to dating and are willing to take the plunge one more time.

Here are 12 dating goals you should totally consider in 2018

  1. Try to meet more people OFFLINE – I admit, I am one of those people who has more friends made online than offline, it has become a habit that when I go for events sometimes, I do not know how to interact with people. In 2018, make it a goal to meet more new people in person, at events, house parties e.t.c Make eye contact when you go to events, smile, be approachable, I am not suggesting you make a move on every guy you see, but it can’t hurt to strike up a conversation every once in a while.
  2. Eliminate textationships/situationships – Unless of course, that’s what you want for yourself. If not there’s no need continuing what is not going anywhere.
  3. Think beyond Drinks/Dinner/Movies – I know options are limited in Lagos when it comes to dating ideas but if you’re adventurous enough, you will find a few out of the box options, like a taking a tour, day trip to the outskirts of Lagos and community service. Ideas like these will teach you a little bit more about yourself and the other person.
  4. Delete Tinder – Let’s be honest, tinder does not have a good reputation in Lagos especially as a woman on there so no need deceiving yourself swiping left and right, thinking your Mr. Man will show up.
  5. Be open to being matched – Whether it be a matchmaker, friend or family, don’t knock down the offers to be matched. Go on these blind dates and see what else is out there for you. If you don’t like them, they might have a friend or cousin for you 🙂
  6. Step out of your comfort zone – Try doing something different from what you would usually do. Try it at least once.
  7. Forget the past – Leave 2016, 2015 and 2017 in 2017 and that includes no drunk texting, lonely messaging or whatever you want to call it. If you ever have one of those feelings (especially with Valentine’s Day around the corner), call up a friend and go hang out
  8. STOP Settling – You wouldn’t settle for a pair of shoes that don’t fit so stop settling when it comes to dating, whether it be personality, spirituality, bad sex or musical taste, you shouldn’t settle. Also imagine how you would feel if you were being settled for, if you don’t like that feeling, then don’t do it to someone else.
  9. If he/she is not contacting you, let them be – If they want to spend time with you, they would make an effort to stop putting yourself in an awkward situation
  10. Stop entertaining married men/women – Yes the attention may be nice, somehow they know what and what not to do but this isn’t some Nollywood/Hollywood romcom, they’re someone else’s so stop entertaining them.
  11. Call more, text/message less – Make an effort to call, it shows interest
  12. BE YOURSELF – If you have to be someone else to go on a date with a new guy/girl then it’s not worth the stress. Let them know the real you, not the facade you are putting up.

And that’s if for my dating goals you should totally consider in 2018, do you agree with setting dating goals or do you think there’s no point for one? Use the comment box below to let me know. Also, share some of the dating goals you are willing to try in 2018.

SINGLE AGAIN

Where do I even begin?

Yes, Mz Gidi is single again and this is one of the toughest posts to write because I have struggled with coming to terms with my new reality. When I started the blog, I wanted an avenue to express myself on being single; the ups and downs but mostly the funny experiences which would lead to my happily ever after forever. Then I got married and it became slightly difficult to write, not because I forgot what it was like to be single but because I was going through so much in the marriage that it was impossible to write.

In the last year, I have met followers of the blog asking why I stopped writing and when I would return. But there’s no way I can write again without starting from here

So what happened you ask?

As humans we sometimes make mistakes and it is up to us to decide if we want to continue to live that lie or we can pick ourselves up and rechart our course. In this society of ours where being married is seen as a trophy, it’s certainly difficult to come to that decision that things aren’t working. I find that a lot of people are in unhappy/dead marriages (both male and female) but choose to stay for the sake of society. We have been taught to romanticize long-suffering because one day everything will change and you will be that Instagram perfect couple offering advice to younger ones on how everything turned around while encouraging the vicious cycle of not holding anyone accountable for their bad behaviour or actions.

How do I feel?

I feel renewed because I can sit back and look at the mistakes I made before marriage, in marriage and now. As usual, I am not here to advise you, I am here to walk you through my experience of love, disappointment, betrayal and maybe finding love again. One thing I can tell you for sure is that marriage is not the ultimate goal, happiness is and there are a lot more issues to be considered before getting married.

I don’t ask why me anymore because I understand that I had to go through it so I could relate with the demographic often misrepresented

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So where do we begin?

Well from the top, back to the drawing board, this time with a daughter, learning to be single and strong like Imoteda and seeing the dating world with different eyes.

I will do my best, to be honest with you but most of all with myself.

Welcome to my journey of being SINGLE AGAIN in Gidi

DEPRESSION AND DATING: DEALING WITH LONELINESS

What does loneliness mean to you?

Loneliness is a word a lot of us have used at one point in our lives, a popular word that can sometimes be misconstrued or used inappropriately. Loneliness, although a common phenomenon, is often overlooked and people can sometimes be unaware of the intense ways it impacts on them and people around.

So, what I decided to do with this word is to define it from a dictionary and professional point of view as well as people’s personal experience/definition of the word, I asked them “What does loneliness mean to you?”.

Also, as I mentioned last week, this post will not only be about my experiences or observations but will include actual conversations I have had with people around this topic. The good news is that this topic will be in three parts; the first one will look at defining loneliness and what it means to me and other people, the second one will cover the types of loneliness and its effects and the third one will look at how to deal with/manage and even overcome loneliness especially while dating.

Now that we have the introductions out of the way, let’s get to it!

What is loneliness?

The Oxford dictionary defines it as Sadness because one has no friends or company” or “the fact of being without companions; solitariness”.

The Macmillan Dictionary defines it as being unhappy because you are alone or because you have no friends”.

I was not satisfied with these definitions, so I sought out some other definitions/perspectives from psychology articles and papers, here are a few the search came up with.

  • Loneliness is a universal human emotion that is both complex and unique to each individual. Loneliness has no single common cause so the prevention and treatment for this potentially damaging state of mind can vary dramatically (Kerry Chendra, 2013).
  • Loneliness is a complex and multilayered experience, it is always very painful, severely distressing and individualistic (Moustakas, 1961; Rokach, 1988b; Rokach & Brock, 1997).
  • Loneliness is the very painful and agonizing longing to be related to, to connect to others and to be accepted and valued(Ami Rokach, 2004).
  • To be human is to be lonely (Rolheiser, 1979; p. 9).

P.S: I have a whole lot more but decided to restrict it to these.

It took me a while to define exactly what I was feeling and a long time after that to fully and finally accept it. I was LONELY. No, I was not alone i.e bereft of people in my life but I felt alone. There was this nagging, annoying and unexplainable feeling that reared its head every other week in my life. Loneliness is sometimes indescribable. It can be a tightness in your chest, a palpable fear/anxiety over a particular area of your life/situations or in some cases, a longing so intense that you might tuple over by its sheer force.

I’ve become increasingly lonely for a couple of months now, the ache to share my life with someone; the person I described here. Doing life together, untangled by the complexities of modern relationships, existing as one, refreshing and renewing one another. I know it all sounds so bougie and sickeningly cliche but that’s how I feel most times when this cloud of loneliness comes.

Please note, it is not a yearning for a husband I feel, it’s for a partner. Yeah, I know how that sounds like Bow Wow and his recent “I’m not looking for a girlfriend but a partner” confusionist post but seriously, this is how I feel most of the time when I think about being in a relationship.

Now, as someone coping with depression, this yearning can sometimes trigger an attack. This type of yearning can be dangerous if not addressed properly, it can lead to a desperation to fill the “void” with anyone who we think seemingly matches what we’re yearning/looking/searching for, or in some cases, distort our judgment about the people in our lives. Ultimately, what I am saying is this yearning or loneliness can be bad when we refuse to address it.

So, I have explained what loneliness means to me as much as I can, let’s go over what people said when I asked them. Thankfully, these people gave me permission to use what they said and I have decided to give them “quirky” names for “obvious” reasons(if it’s not obvious to you, sorry o!).

  • Loneliness for me means not having anyone to talk to. Not having anyone who understands me and sees things the way I see them”. – Mr. Dequan Iced-Tea
  • I think loneliness for me happens when I’m alone and I’m not comfortable by myself. I want someone else there, that’s how I know I’m lonely. Doesn’t happen very often though but it’s usually pretty intense. A part of me is resigned to the fact that my friends have their own lives and won’t always be there and I might not meet “the one(s)” so I best get used to my own company. Ms. Emilia Enchilada-Papaya
  • Loneliness is a state of mind. I’ve been lonely at a table full of acquaintances before, like an outsider. Basically, loneliness for me occurs when I feel removed from society. Anyways, so I’m at this table and in my head, it’s like “you suck, you don’t have anything to contribute, you’re not even handsome to even sit there and be vaguely pleasant”. You can see everyone having a good time and it’s like you’re watching them through glass. So I shut down and as I withdraw into further into myself, I feel incredibly lonely. It’s like a weight, you feel as if you could die and no one would notice until maybe the neighbours complain about the dead animal smell coming from your apartment. – Mr. Tyrone Fruitloops

That’s it for now, I’m so excited to finally talk about this topic!! As usual, let me know your thoughts in the comment section. Have you ever been lonely? What does loneliness mean to you?