LOSS OF MY LIFE

You meet a girl, let’s call her LOML (Love of my life). You vibe with her on all levels; Sexual attraction ✔ Communication ✔ Friendship ✔ Banter ✔ Intellectual stimulation ✔etc. You guys are a phenomenal duo! RMD and Regina got nothing on you, Will and Jada pale in comparison, Sheldon and Amy? They need to bazinga away!

So you date/hang/chill/whatever until you’re entwined in each other’s lives. I mean, she gets you so it makes sense for her to fit into those hard to reach and mostly hidden areas of your life as you have also fit into hers. Life is good, love is better and LOML, the best.

You’re somewhat successful and the thought of having mini-yous, a home and a wife starts creeping in, you know, the whole “I’m a responsible and respectable man” package; the housewife and 2.5 kids.

You’re still with LOML, however, you realize that LOML doesn’t fit your(read patriarchy’s) idea of what a wife should be, you scored her against the sacred list, handed to you by years of perfectly crafted societal ideals of marriage. She didn’t do well. So you shenk her, give her the usual lines; “it’s not you, it’s me”, “any guy will be lucky to have you”, yenyenyen.

It’s ended, it hurts but “it was the right thing to do” you repeatedly tell yourself, you flash back to her ideologies about marriage and yes it was definitely the right thing to do! She wouldn’t have let you ascend unto your husbandly throne, so you quickly recoup and embark on a search, a search for your perfect idea of a wife or most likely what societal conditioning has told you is a perfect spouse, you don’t search too far because she is that girl who is always around but you never felt a thing for, the one who didn’t make your loins catch fire but defers to you at the slightest provocation, she doesn’t stimulate you but she will take care of the home.
So you make up your mind, he that finds a wife….. You’ve found her, you choose her, life is complete and happily ever after can begin.

The story should end here right? But that’s not where it stops because life can be a Shonda Rhimes script sometimes.

Few months, years down the line…… You now realize that your partner doesn’t get sarcasm, doesn’t get your jokes, doesn’t do it(you can’t explain) for you, no stimulation but still checks all the boxes a partner should have according to society’s manual of marriage, you’re stuck!

You remember LOML, the nights spent talking about the stars, dreams, the ludicrous ingenuity of the shakushaku dance, the ease with which they “got” you. You miss that….. You miss her…..

So, you get in touch, hurray, she’s still single!!! You try to reconnect, a little “hey” here, a little “sup” there before you know, it’s morphed into a “let’s hang”. You meet up, you talk, your heart lights up, you’ve not felt this alive in ages, she still ticks those boxes and you realize you shouldn’t have let her go….

You’re back home and it’s cold.. you perform your societal husbandly duties… Yes, you love your wife and “perfect” life but you need to feel alive….

Have you ever been in this situation? What did you do? Don’t worry you can talk to me about it in the comment section. Do you have an idea on what he should do? Let me know in the comment section.

And yes people, I am back!!! We’ll have a catch-up post soon, but until then let’s not pretend you (yes you) didn’t miss me, tell me how much in the comment section too❤

I WANT TO BE A SUGAR BABY

Timiebix: Yo, Mz Gidi!!

Mz Gidi: Sup?!

Timiebix: Have you ever tried googling sugar baby?

Mz Gidi: Why are you so random tho?

Timiebix: I’ve been thinking. I want to be a sugar baby, like a proper sugar baby in Lagos.

Mz Gidi: Why would you want to do that to your rep?

Timiebix: Who rep ‘epp? Think about it na, the average Nigerian does not earn enough to live a decent life. See, I’ve been struggling in this Lagos since I moved back so why would I reject someone who wants to shower me with attention, life of luxury and maybe smoh sugar??? I’ve even done my research and majority of Lagos agree with me.

Mz Gidi: Why did you lie it was for a new post when really you were just seeking validation from twitter?

Timiebix: That’s not the point, 67% agree with me. So it should be legal, a proper profession to be given credit for.

Mz Gidi: Out of only 21 votes…I’m not sure if that’s a proper sample size.

Timiebix: You have come again. I sha want to be a sugar baby.

Mz Gidi: Fine! So what will you be giving in return for all of this?

Timiebix: Companionship, someone to listen to them. You know these men are powerful men who tend to have busy lives and sometimes busy partners who cannot make time out for them. Moreover, they tend to marry women below their educational level, so trust me when I say my level of exposure is a plus to them.

Mz Gidi: Ummm I think you have it all mixed up o…you know companionship also comes with providing ‘smoh’ sugar on your part. That’s the whole point of being a Sugar baby… but who am I to judge? Me I can’t see myself being a sugar baby sha…

Timiebix: All the bags of sugar I’ve been dispensing without any dividends nko? A little sugar here and there makes the world remain on its axis, one has to practice the law of balance. There are a lot of girls that “give” sugar for little to nothing so why not go big and get maximum dividends for your sugar investments

Mz Gidi: It’s not only sugar investments. I just can’t see myself being with a man the age of my grandfather sha, whether single or married, there is something not just right with it. Is it that all the young men in Lagos have finished that you are now considering a Baba?

Timiebix: Most young boys that don’t know what they want. Today it’s a partner that will go Dutch on the rent and school fees, tomorrow it’s a stay at home wife, breeding children while barefoot and stirring a pot of egusi soup and don’t get me started on their wack sex game.

Mz Gidi: You didn’t just go there.

Timiebix: See, the thing people need to know is that sugar babying transcends age. The sugar daddy image has been revamped, they are not necessarily old, wrinkly and quarter to die. Yes, the older the better as your schedule as a sugar baby might not be as packed if he’s in his 70s or 80s but this doesn’t mean girls don’t go for the young guys in their early 40s as well. The most important criteria in choosing a sugar daddy is his net-worth and not necessarily age, as long as he has enough spare cash to sustain a sugar baby’s lifestyle, he’s good to go!

Mz Gidi: Soo in summary you just want to be a gold digger? Cause that’s what it sounds like to me.

Timiebix: Ah ah, who is talking about gold digging here? Gold digging is different, it involves the “gold-diggee” being oblivious to the gold digger’s plans or schemes. This is a mutual understanding between two adults. A symbiotic relationship if you want to go all biological, we both benefit something from each other. Some people might say the sugarbaby gets more in this relationship but I don’t think so.

Mz Gidi: Will the sugar baby be buying expensive gifts? Will they be buying autobiography range rovers abi range rover autobiography??

Timiebix: Er I thought I already explained what a sugar baby is now? Who will she be buying expensive gifts for? These men are used to the luxury life and mostly roll in a tight elite circle, it’s an insult to a sugar daddy’s status for his sugar baby to ride coach. That means you’re telling his clique that he’s not man enough biko his rep should not be dissed with poor people mentality. The car is just for convenience, the driver may not be always around to chauffeur her around so getting her a comfortable, safe and luxurious car is standard and not necessarily over the top.

Mz Gidi: Hmmm…you’ve really thought this through haven’t you. So what will you say is your profession now? I mean you can’t be living the luxurious life and not have a proper job.

Timiebix: Did Kim Kardashian have a proper job when she started? How about Paris Hilton? Yes, I know some people will come at me with the “but they had rich daddies” line. This sugar baby business has to be done with sense, yes the life is luxurious but one can’t stupidly think the sugar daddy will be there forever, he might die (most likely), want to move on to something/someone else because you are getting old or just decide he wants out of this life. So one has to be strategic and ensure that the time spent with them leaves one with tangible assets and maybe a few businesses.

I remember reading about a sugar baby that was gifted a whole pub in Italy  by her sugar daddy, now that’s a sugar baby with a solid business sense. Or the one in Naija here, that her sugar daddy revamped her life with cosmetic surgery and she even started a cosmetic line on top, please you need sense for this business.

Mz Gidi: Sounds like a lot of work to me.

Timiebix: It’s a full-time job! Moreover, we’re in Nigeria, one can get away with attributing God and hard work to one’s success without giving any tangible facts or replicable methods.

Mz Gidi: I just can’t with you right now. You obviously seem very convinced and your survey of 21 people doesn’t help matters, so what’s the next step to being a fully employed sugar baby?

Timiebix: Ehen, that’s what you should have said since. I think the government should legalise sugar babying, make it into a law as it’s already prevalent in our society. I also believe this will help existing sugar babies become bold enough to share their stories and even go as far as sharing tips to help the budding sugar baby. I generally think doing this will be freeing as some people can finally publicly thank their sugar daddies for the gifts of oil wells, islands, and board members positions.

Mz Gidi: And then you can tell your mother with boldness that you are a sugar baby.

Timiebix: Every parent’s dream is to have happy, successful and well-rounded children so why not! It might take her a few minutes (read days or years) to adjust to my career choice and if she doesn’t, well I guess that’s one of the prices to pay for this life… Now to submit the motion to someone in power…Governor Rochas Okorocha maybe??

Mz Gidi: Yeeaaaaa…..my hand is not there, I should get back to work

Timiebix: Okay bye, I’ll let you know how it goes

Mz Gidi: Please don’t

HOW TO HANDLE THE STRESS OF BEING SINGLE IN NIGERIA

As someone who has been single for a while, I must confess that the stress of being a single person (read woman) in Nigeria can affect one’s quality of life. You are sometimes thrown into a state of unnecessary and unwarranted stress, all because you are not married.

This stress of laive has certain environments that boosts, fuels, enables, enhances (insert any other big word here) its potency. I’ll only talk about two out of the many environments( you can add more in the comment section). These two environments include:

  1. The church. This is a fertile ground for stressing single people, it worsens and intensifies if you’re a Christian who is active in a particular department. You get pitied and it can go as far as passive aggressive comments when you don’t “show” any sign of wanting to do anything about your “situation”. For a long time, prayer points for single people always made me feel one kain as I noticed this trend where most of the prayer points never address men believing God for a wife, it’s always those believing God for a husband. Sigh let me stop here abeg.
  2. Events (especially weddings). If you have ever been to a Nigerian wedding as a single person, you’ll know what I’m talking about; it’s a stockpile of stress!! You cannot attend a wedding as a single person without one or two (read a gazillion) people telling you “your own will soon come” or asking when they’re coming for yours. These questions or phrases get more annoying when the event is one overflowing with family, the more extended, the better for the stress to breed and yield more fruit.

I have to note here that the stress is not primarily because one is single, as my people in a relationship can testify that they are also not exempt from this stress. I’ve concluded that it’s not being married that triggers it for these “well meaning” stress-inducing people within the above environments.

Alright then, we’ve established that being a Nigerian single person can be stressful and we also know what environment enables this stress, so how does one deal with this? I’m glad you asked!! I’ll be sharing personal tips on handling singlehood stress as a Nigerian because EXPERT!! Actually not really, I’ve just gotten good at not letting anyone strezz mai laive( read stress my life)

  1. Learn to love yourself. This is a phrase that even I think has been over flogged but it is VERY true. Loving yourself ensures that the external hassle or stress that comes with being single is handled or rather countered with self-love. Loving yourself is a definite, gradual and continuous process. Take a look at yourself in the mirror and tell your reflection all the great things about you. Loving yourself also means that you understand that being married is not a do or die affair, you take your time in making this life-altering decision, loving yourself means you know what you want in a partner and will not settle for anything less irrespective of the stress you might be going through.
  2. Sharpen your clapback skills. I know this might sound petty but sometimes one has to shut down certain people and remarks IMMEDIATELY! This is to ensure that your space is safe and you’re not constantly harangued by people with “good intentions”. Auntie Ashake asking you 3 times when you will get married can trigger this clapbacktitude. You’re like “Auntie, I’m not deaf, I heard you the first time but was battling with the Lord to stay calm and you repeating it with an annoying grin or fakest of all laughs doesn’t make it any different”. You can also go off on auntie Nkem when she comes at you with her obsessive and borderline creepy desire to “eat your rice”, you can calmly tell her the reasons you think she should focus on her son who can’t differentiate between “am” and “I’m” or why her husband cannot leave “smoh gehs” alone. DISCLAIMER: practice this tip at your own a risk oh, this might induce a 31 day dry fast and marathon prayers, with you almost drowning in copious amounts of anointing oil. Also, have you noticed that it’s always the aunties getting their wrappers in a bunch at your singleness.
  3. Date yourself. Someone shared a link with me about a girl spending 4k (4000 Naira) on herself and I was confused at the assumption that she had started a trend or was on some alien vibe. I was here like, mans been going ALONE to Vue (cinema) at Swiss Cottage, feeling all lush and special while chomping on some popcorn and slushie, so definitely not new!!!. Note: “man’s” used here refers to me, I’m just trying to feel cool innit. So yeah, I was saying date yourself;, see a movie, go on a day trip, check out museums and art exhibitions, spend a day pampering yourself. Do the things people think should be “coupley”, defy societal nonsensical standards and live your best life. You should be the most important thing to yourself, so take time out to remind yourself of this and frequently indulge some me-time. By the time you are done with all of these, there’ll be no time to stress about your church member’s inability to “season their words with salt”.
  4. Understand that you are good enough BY YOURSELF. Being married does not magically give you superpowers, add inches to your height, increase your account balance or give you permanent access to Happinessville. If you do not realize that you are good enough for yourself and anyone while single, trust me, marriage will not change that. Learn to appreciate the awesomeness that is you, being single is a time to get to really know yourself, discover new things, work on yourself, be the person you’d want to date i.e become a better person. Understanding the reason for being single gives one a sense of calm in the eye of the singlehood stress.

Being single is not a curse, disease, plague or whatever our society is labeling or portraying it as nowadays. My ultimate tip would be to enjoy being single, if you wish to get married, yay! If you don’t, yay too! I’ve come to realize that we have to be deliberate about these things, so don’t let anyone kill your vibe!

That’s it beautiful people, you know the drill, let’s discuss your thoughts and experiences in the comment section, I am very keen to learn more tips on handling the stress that comes with Nigerian singlehood

DEALING WITH RESENTMENT

Last week, we I, I’m using “I” here because you people abandoned me last week, not even one comment, is it good laidis??? I forgive you sha 🙂  Ehen as I was saying, I established last week that it is possible, even normal to have some sort of bitterness/resentment and maybe a teeny weeny hatred one kain feeling towards one’s former significant other aka “EX” without suffering from a case  of “I want him back” syndrome.

It was hard sampling people’s opinions as my social media hiatus includes messaging apps and text messaging is not as fun and cheap as one would imagine(4 naira per text Airtel, the Lord is looking at you oh). So I will be talking from a personal point of view (as always) and a lengthy conversation with Ms C who pulled through last-minute with her personal tips.

I’ll try and make this as gender-neutral as possible but please remember, I am a woman talking about her experiences with men, so not all the tips will be applicable when gender is reversed…

So what do you do when you feel bitterness/hatred/anger towards your former significant other?

  1. Remember the good times you had together. Bitterness or not, this person at some point in my life was a source of joy, laughter, and downright silliness. So I take a minute to ponder on those memories until I feel the anger/resentment fade away. Now, this method can be a two-edged sword as dwelling on the good times might incite a mini “thunder fire you” moment but please push past it and remember the good times, even if it was one moment in your time together, for that moment, they were a good person to you, so focus on that instead.
  2. Embrace the feeling. I know, I just said fight the feeling with thinking good-timey thoughts and now I’m asking you to dwell on the bitterness, anger or hatred you feel towards them. Why am I like this you ask? Well, dwelling on it means you can objectively (after a while sha) dissect where the feeling is coming from, what triggers it, what intensifies it and more importantly, what makes it go away. With this part(what triggers it) mine is photos, letters, text messages etc. My recent bout of resentment was powered by pictures and videos I forgot to delete off my iCloud(rookie mistake) and Ms C also thinks so too, here’s what she said, “erase anything that reminds you of the guy, dash out stuff given to you by him, delete pictures or move them to a drive that you may not want to access”. I believe you can’t do any of these if you don’t take time to feel and analyse what you are going through, so trust me when I say you should embrace it.
  3. Forgive them. I know I mentioned that sometimes this bitterness crops up even when you are certain you will never let them back into your life but sometimes, this resentment stems from not truly forgiving them. Yes, you don’t want to get back together with them but have you forgiven them for the hurt, pain, shame or whatever it is they caused you? Trust me, the forgiveness is more for you than them.  “I am from a family where we were taught to love our neighbour as ourselves, so irrespective of your shortcomings, well, you will still be loved as you would do to yourself. This is the basis as to why this resentment did not translate to outright hatred. Finding a place in your heart to forgive him so that you can be free yourself (the Holy Spirit is an amazing comforter, I listened to soul uplifting songs)”.- Ms C
  4. Remember you are a part of each other’s life story.  Yes, I know it feels one kain seeing someone you planned a life with doing said things with someone else, let me not lie e can pain. Personal confession: seeing my former significant other’s new partner chilling on the bedsheet I bought made me see red and then some other colours from the colour wheel but now I just see it as one of life’s beautiful wonders.  You were in each other’s life however long or short for a particular reason, I learnt a lot about myself with my previous relationships and many times, I catch myself giving thanks for the way certain things panned out as I discovered a great deal about myself; what I do and do not want in a partner, what I would do differently if particular situations arise again.
  5. Not all frogs become princes. I am sure a lot of us are familiar with the saying you sometimes kiss a few frogs before you meet your prince. Yes, you thought you would both grow together and build your “empire together but that didn’t work out, your own frog did not become a prince, e dey happen, move on, and maybe stop hoping frogs will turn into princes and save your lipstick.
  6. Forgive yourself. Like I mentioned last week, I am the queen of Blamesville. I subconsciously heap the blame on myself without objectively separating where I went wrong and where they did as well. This step is essential because if you don’t forgive yourself, them showing up with their village high priest, church members and family in tow begging for your forgiveness for their part in the demise of the relationship will not give you the freedom you deserve and sometimes are oblivious of.
  7. Remember, not everything good is meant for you. Now the relationship might have ended amicably when you both realized that even though you are good together, you are not meant for each other. This is one difficult and sometimes hard fact to understand and fully implement. Yes, you may have seemed compatible, good together, even on that #RelationshipGoals vibe but when you objectively analyzed it, you didn’t see yourselves getting past a certain stage and so it all ended. So when the hatred cum bitterness rears its head, stare it in the face and say “Yeah I know we were good together but it was not meant to be and it is okay”.
  8. Talk to someone about it. You know I’m an advocate of talking about your feelings so this one is a big one. Ms C shared this with me “Share your experience and seek help from someone that understands (not a churchy churchy person)”. I’ll go further and say find someone who may have gone through the same experience you have and discuss your feelings with them, trust me, what you’re feeling is not as isolated as you think, they will, in turn, share their tips with you and help.  
  9. Mind your life’s business. Most times we get this feeling when we try to peep into their fence, does it look as green as the Instagram filter portrays? Is he really happy? What did he see in her? Let me just get closure and message him one more time. My dear sister, biko mind your business well, in the words of James Bay “Just let it be, be you and let him be him”. Don’t go poking in their business in the name of friendship, asking for quick favors, rekindling business acquaintance etc. Just let them be, drink water, moisturize your skin and mind your life’s business.

I’ll end this miniseries with an excerpt from a romance novel(yes judge me) I recently readHarbouring resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. It was so apt to the post that I knew I had to share, so please don’t poison yourself with resentment, when it comes up, quickly drink the “antidotes” stated above and live your best life.

That’s it beautiful people, you know the drill, let’s discuss your thoughts and experiences in the comment section, I am very keen to learn more tips on handling this experience.

 

 

I THINK I HATE MY EX

What do you do when you feel resentment and/or bitterness towards your former significant other aka “The Ex”?

Wow, you’ve never felt that way? Oh Great One, please teach us thy ways!! Okay, I’m sorry for faffing about but I am actually serious and also certain I’m not the only one who has had these feelings creep up on them and you’re just there like “wait oh, but I dealt with you now”. The ironic part of this is that it mostly happens with people you know you will never date even if they come crawling back.

Please don’t leave me alone on this sharing mountain, come join me and say “aye” in the comment section if you’ve been there, done that and got a dashiki for your troubles.

So, I went on a 30 day social media break on the 1st of November and one of the things I try to do when I go on this is to be open to myself as much as possible, you can call it a self-awareness thingamajig. In the few days I’ve been on this “cleanse” I have had to dredge through my feelings and sort them out; you know, file in appropriate folders, colour-code, backdate and update the feelings database if you will. One of this mentally tasking process was sorting through my feelings as regards to my exes.

Please note, this is not a diss-an-ex post but just to talk about certain aspects of breakups/relationships/situationships we are often silent about; resentment, bitterness and teeny weeny anger.

I am someone who constantly blames herself for the end of most of my relationships, even situationships are not spared. Yes, I am that girl that mourns the loss of her relationships cum situationships maybe a teensy-weensy harder than most people, I am talking random bouts of tears, writing long epistles, sometimes sending said epistle to the person, oh and name calling, oh the many name-calling I subject myself to, my go-to one is stupid because most times sometimes I am stupid.

Situationship: That sontin you know is heading nowhere but you get carried away with the good part of it and somehow convince yourself that this good part outweighs the bad and mostly unhealthy parts.

Now, one of the downsides of blaming myself is that I never focus on the other person and the role they played in the relationship, their faults, and mistakes get all swallowed up in my “Put the blame on me” phase and trust me, Akon has nothing on me in this category.

So, I have had to go back to these relationships et situationships and critically examine each person’s role in its demise and also had to address these random resentment/anger I would get sometimes. I noticed it got worse with two of my former baby boys getting married and another one falling in love. Now, don’t get me wrong, I wish them the best in their married/ falling in love lives and would not want them back by the special grace of God but a little part of me felt betrayed. This betrayal was not because they were with someone else, it was because of those dreams and goals we both shared and how us breaking up literally meant a life changing phase for me (at least with one of them).

So like me you’re just chilling and for some odd reason, you think about them and you can feel the anger/ resentment building. You think about them, replaying certain events in your head, you remember their stance on a particular issue; you know, the one who didn’t believe in marriage, the one who didn’t care for SDA (Social Display of Affection), the one who promised to love you forever, the one you had to change your life for (maybe move to a different state, country etc.) or the one whose friends called you our wife while they had gone to “dobale” (prostrate) two weekends ago…

The resentment/anger keeps rising up like the stench that welcomes you as approach Ojota (seriously Ambode needs to do something about that smell). I’m sorry, I’m trying to use humour to deflect the anxiety I feel as I write this, I’m afraid this might trigger someone but fervently hoping it lets you know that you are not alone.

Why are you looking at me like I’m writing in Gaelic, of course you’ve been there before or at least you know someone who has, as sometimes, it is at this point that we make life changing decisions like; “I will never love another person again” or “I will use and dump people”, “never will I be this fragile”, “Please indoctrinate me into the association of Yoruba demons (AYD)” etc.

How do you deal with the bitterness or resentment that comes from seeing your former significant other “moving on” and finding “happiness” in their life relationship wise?

Well, you’ll have to subscribe and join the notification gang as I will be concluding this next week (abeg no vex now). I promise to share my own tips as well as some useful and practical tips from conversations I have had with people.

That’s it, beautiful people, you know the drill, leave your thoughts in the comment section and let’s discuss what type of “not so good” feelings we have felt towards our former significant other…

OVERCOMING LONELINESS

It’s important to realize why we feel lonely, because only then can we see how we might address it.

It has taken me almost 3 weeks to write the final part in this loneliness series, and no it’s not because I was busy or lacked the words to write. Well, it is simply because I have had to deal with my own intense bouts of loneliness.

Over the past 3 weeks, I would get these intense panic attack and it got worse last week Saturday. When I was semi-calm enough to analyse it, I realised that one of the reasons for these panic attacks was an intense urge to be held. Now, before you slap a sexual label on it, no, it was not an urge to have sex or be held sexually. I just wanted to be held until I was calm, preferably by a man, lying in bed underneath a cocoon of soft duvets, engulfed in a comfortable and heartwarming silence.

The image I just described is what I want on some days, other days all I want is fast Internet and a LARGE bowl of Hans & Rene Agbalumo and Zobo sorbet (you people should stop dulling and come and make me a brand ambassador).

What am I saying sef? Well, I’m telling you that you are not alone in this loneliness plague.

Now that I got my subtle “please forgive my absence” message out of the way, let’s get to it!!! So hurray, we made it to the last part of this mini-series and again I cannot get over the fact that I got to talk about this and I’m forever glad that it somehow opened the gates for people (I know) to talk about their own loneliness.

We have discussed what loneliness means and how it can affect us, now how do we deal with? Remember, we identified that loneliness is not exclusively for single people, so you also can experience loneliness within a relationship.

Loneliness can be overcome but it requires a conscious effort on your part to make this happen. This effort to make a change, in the long run, can make you happier, healthier and impact others around you in a positive way.

So here are the tips to dealing with and overcoming loneliness (by myself and the people I spoke with.

  1. Recognise loneliness for what it is: Don’t ignore it, hoping it will pass. You have to proactively deal with it but first, you need to acknowledge that it exists and accept it.
  2. Understand the effects it has on your life: Now that you have accepted loneliness for what it is, you need to fully understand how it affects you both physically and mentally. A perfect understanding of how loneliness affects you ensures that you are aware of its triggers, patterns etc. and then you can chart a plan or strategy to combat it.
  3. Learn to enjoy your company (Ms. E): “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. E.
  4. Find an activity you enjoy: Volunteer, take up running, go to Zumba class, gardening etc. anything that will take you out of your familiar zones and maybe present opportunities to meet people and make preferably positive social interactions. “It’s taking the step to put yourself out there, even if it’s difficult and out of your comfort zone. Basically, the world doesn’t owe you a fulfilled life, you have to seize it. I make plans to hang, find like-minded people, even if it’s doing a weird hobby” Mr. T.
  5. Talk to your partner: Contrary to popular belief, being in a relationship does not make you less lonely, as loneliness transcends your relationship, social, financial etc. status. So what do you do when you become lonely in a relationship? You talk, I mean you communicate effectively with your partner. Apart from helping them understand how you feel, talking puts your partner in the loop and can reduce any tension they may be feeling from your loneliness induced actions. It can also help you both come up with coping methods that encourage relationship growth.
  6. Let it run its course (Ms. E & Myself): I don’t deal. I just let it run its course. I have personally gotten to the stage where I know what I’m feeling is loneliness and there are days where I actively combat it with steps that have worked in the past, other days I just let it run its course. This seems to be a step a few people I know also practice, feel like crap for a few minutes, hours or days and bam, they’re good to go.
  7. Speak to your mind: “I think I have to combat my mind sometimes. Like do a reality check, I realised I have some great friends, good peeps in my life and also became more secure in myself that there’s nothing wrong with who I am” – Mr. T.  I personally do this thing where I pause and tell myself off or praise myself, it’s always weird and sometimes hilarious when I do it but it keeps me in check and also lets me know how awesome I am. Tell yourself that this doesn’t define who you are and you will come through it stronger and better.My (3)
  8. Absolutely refuse self-pity: I am super guilty of this, I often spiral into the blame zone on this pesky self-pity scale. I try to find a way to blame myself for the way I feel. I’m not saying don’t examine what role you play in any situation but don’t let that discovery destroy your sense of self-worth. Yes, you made that mistake that then escalated to something bigger. Own your mistakes and move on. Made this image last month to remind myself that it’s okay to start all over again, you can too.
  9. Develop quality relationships: Loneliness can be contagious, so you need to consciously be around people who can infuse some “zest” into your life. Focus on building relationships with people who share similar interests and values with you. Be around people who make you want to be the best version of yourself, people who understand how you feel and are committed to making sure you don’t let your loneliness get the best of you. I am thankful to have a great support system.

That’s it people, we have come to the end of this series. I hope this helped someone as it did me. As usual, don’t forget to leave your thoughts in the comment section as well as tips that may have helped you in dealing with loneliness.

21 QUESTIONS

Last week, I was going through some of my notes and I stumbled on one of my many lists of questions to ask a dude. I’m not joking, I have different types of lists and this is the one I use to determine if a dude is worth going ahead with and also sift the wheat from the chaff.

After finding the list, I decided to post it on my group on Telegram (if you are still using WhatsApp, all I can ask is why??) for laughs. One of my homies (@eccentric_sky) made the list into images and replied a tweet asking for “first date questions”. This received a few likes and retweets so I thought why not share with my beloved SIGs and help my fellow human beings (I am all about sharing love and light).

Note: This list was compiled by me (a woman) for men but you can tweak where necessary and use as a questionnaire for women too. 

So here is my list, I think it is hilarious and somewhat extreme but trust me almost everything on this list was influenced by true life occurrences. I also spoke with a few people and they helped expand some questions in there, as well as suggest new ones to add to it. I will put an asterisks ** on those questions I had help with.

Here are the definitions of some of the words used in this list to avoid any “confusion”.

  • Girlfriend: a person’s regular female companion with whom they have a romantic or sexual relationship.
  • Boyfriend: a person’s regular male companion with whom they have a romantic or sexual relationship.
  • Fiancé: a woman to whom a man is engaged to be married.
  • Wife: The woman who you are married to.
  • FWB: A friend in which you are allowed sexual activity but no true relationship is involved. Not a girlfriend or boyfriend.
  • Scum: It is hard to define the word, but it is basically used to describe someone so disgraceful that they are seen as the lowest form of life.
  • Yoruba demon: A Nigerian guy (transcends the Yoruba tribe) who goes after a young lady’s heart with no intention of loving her. They are typically met at parties, and would mostly wear white agbada (clothing).
  • Possessed: (of a person) completely controlled by an evil spirit.
  • Wedding: marriage ceremony usually with its accompanying festivities.

So here is my list of questions to ask a guy. This list is for someone you are talking to, looking to date or just for asking because you never know…

Disclaimer: You may take the person’s answers to these questions at your own risk, I will not be held liable for anything that comes off this questioning process. Don’t even come for me because I remember asking someone some of these questions and dude answered no to them but was in a strong and committed relationship with a beautiful damsel. So proceed with caution and discretion. However, you may use the answers as proof in the court of law should you decide to break destroy scatter their life.

Ehen back to the questions……

  1. Do you have a girlfriend?
  2. Do you have a girl who thinks/believes she is your girlfriend based on actions from you or smoh bae-ish activities?
  3. Do you have a fiancée?
  4. Do you have a girl who thinks she is your fiancée because you gave her smoh ring or said it verbally?
  5. Do you have a wife?
  6. Do you have a girl who thinks she is your wife because you people did smoh intro/wedding/registry ceremony?
  7. Do you have a Friend With Benefits(FWB)?**
  8. Do you have children? Seriously though, are you certain you don’t have any children running around somewhere? **
  9. Do you have someone who believes they are pregnant with your child because smoh accidental discharge or someone who believes their child is yours because of small big head (like yours)?
  10. Is there someone who has vowed that you cannot leave her? maybe out of love or obsession or because of abortion? *
  11. Do you have a boyfriend (because we have to be inclusive innit)?
  12. Do you have a guy that thinks he is your boyfriend based on actions from you?
  13. Are you on your way out of a relationship and/or is someone on the queue to be the next bae?
  14. Are you taking a break from your girlfriend, wife, partner, boyfriend or husband?**
  15. Is there someone who does not think your relationship should end and looking for a target to practice their acid throwing, baton wielding and face bashing skills?
  16. This “best friend” that you say you have, is she or he by any chance in love with you? **
  17. Did you at one point ask her/him out and she/he said no but somehow she/he is still acting like your girlfriend/boyfriend? **
  18. Just to be clear, can you explain your friendship with him/her? Does it include benefits that are more than friendly? **
  19. Do you have any generational problem? I mean, are you an unfortunate somebody?**
  20. Are you a fuckboy? Like how many plaques in the hall of Yoruba demons is dedicated to you? Seriously are you scum? **
  21. Are you possessed? I mean does being with you require relinquishing my life and destiny?**

Please note, these are not to status-shame you but to allow me make informed decisions as well as protect my life and destiny from Holy Ghost prayers and to have as evidence when I decide to act on your lies.

That’s it people, I have shared my list with you and yes I know you feel like you know me a lot now (-_-).  Okay, you know the drill, leave your thoughts in the comment section and also share some of the questions you have asked or have been asked by someone and let’s all learn how to ask the average Nigerian man/woman questions.

 

DEPRESSION AND DATING: HOW DOES LONELINESS AFFECT YOU?

Researchers have discovered that low levels of loneliness are associated with marriage, higher incomes and higher educational status, so this means that loneliness does not care about your tati billion in akant, BellaNaija-esq wedding, or cacophony of degrees (channeling my able Patrick Obahiagbon).

Last week, we defined loneliness from the dictionary, clinical and personal perspectives and as always, I was taken aback at the positive reviews, from the comments on the blog to people personally telling me how the post resonated with them. See, I have days where I am certain what I have written does not make any sense but these comments reassure me much more than you can imagine, so thank you again for your kind words and trusting me enough to share your struggles.

We’re looking at the types of loneliness and their effects. I know what you’re thinking “loneliness has types?” Well, I thought so too but for a word largely used every day by many people, it’s not far off to imagine it having types. The effects it also has on us as individuals need to be addressed with an aim of better understanding ourselves and others.  

So here are the types of loneliness I was able to find, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t other types of loneliness(discussed or researched), I just like talking about something most people can resonate with.

Psychological loneliness: This is usually caused by a traumatic experience. Someone who suffers from this type of loneliness tends to disconnect from people in their lives i.e friends, family, partner because it is hard sometimes to be understood, especially when people think they should have overcome the trauma of the experience.

Interpersonal loneliness: This is considered as the most common type of loneliness, it is brought on by the loss of intimacy, friendship etc. If you have ever cohabited, been married, had flatmates, lived at home with family etc. you can definitely identify with this as the loss of this familiar environment can be intense. I always wonder how people whose partners die survive; spending all that time together and then poof they are gone forever. Thinking about it sef makes my heart ache badly (please accept my condolences if you fall into this category).

Intellectual loneliness: This is where a person feels intellectually, or educationally, out of sync with their peers, family or their social group. Also, a lot of creative people will tell you that the creative process can be a lonely one and just because they choose to be secluded doesn’t erase a feeling of isolation.  This type of loneliness may not be seen as a Nigerian thing but the fact that we are automatically thrust with intellectual greatness from childhood is enough to argue that this type of loneliness is a thing.

Cosmic or Existential loneliness: This is an isolating loneliness experienced by a person who is facing death. It is understandable that this knowledge will cause the person to feel profound loneliness, facing the certainty of your own death is very depressing and it gets even lonelier as the person may find it difficult to talk to someone about dying as people are sometimes unwilling to accept the person’s imminent death.

So how does loneliness affect you?

It was ironic looking into the effects of loneliness while being depressed as loneliness can lead to depression, talk about a double whammy! The good news is, you already know you are depressed and are actively looking at methods to navigate this, so don’t lose hope, we will overcome! Some of the effects of loneliness include;

Cardiovascular disease and stroke: Well, people can become so lonely that their heart decides it is too much to handle and gives up or tries to give up on them, I’m not just saying this, there are scientific facts to prove this. Studies have shown that over time, people who are chronically lonely have a much higher incidence of cardiovascular disease as their bodies are constantly under stress. Another study showed that that chronic loneliness can increase an individual’s risk of an early death by 14%.

Anxiety/panic disorder: Now as someone who suffers from this, I can tell you this is not child’s play, one minute you are feeling this intense loneliness, the next minute you’re breathing in through your nose and out your mouth to calm yourself down. The anxiety one feels when lonely can also be likened to a mini heart attack, in my experience, it literally feels like I am about to die; I’m gasping for air and there’s this flight response that kicks in (studies have shown that loneliness can activate our psychological stress responses), I have this intense urge to leave wherever I am and just walk for ages.

Heightened stress levels and high/low blood pressure: Loneliness can increase your stress levels which in turn can drastically increase or reduce your blood pressure. Again, victim here! For a long time, I never thought my blood pressure levels were as a result of the stress brought on by loneliness but this series has had me digging deeper than I’d actually like, but this is what I do for you 🙂 I’m actually thankful for that, as I have been able to discover certain things about myself in the course of writing the Depression and Dating series.

Drug/Food/Alcohol abuse: When one feels alone, neglected or not listened to, there is a tendency to indulge in things one feels “numbs” or “takes away” the pain. For some people, it’s overeating, under-eating, binge drinking and use of hard drugs to dull their senses enough to mask the loneliness. Again, member of this effect gang again, I recently experienced a bout of loneliness so strong that I did not eat for about 3 days, I didn’t see a need to it, I wasn’t hungry and food was the last thing on my mind. Now, this was new to me as I am usually the opposite, I would stuff my face until I felt “fulfilled” enough to face the world.

Relationship breakdown: Loneliness warps our perceptions of our relationships with people. Loneliness has the ability to cause a devaluing of your relationship, you feel your partner does not understand you and sometimes can go as far as interpreting their actions or inactions as an act of abandonment. This perception further causes you to withdraw from your partner and sink into deeper depths of loneliness which can alienate your partner, friends etc. and make them hesitant in connecting with you.

Yay, you made it to the end!!! As we can see, the effects of loneliness cover a large part of one’s physical and psychological well-being and should not be ignored. The great and positive part after all these scary effects is that there are ways to handle loneliness. We will discuss these methods in the next post until then, don’t forget to write your thoughts in the comment section. What effect has loneliness had on you physically and mentally?

WE FOUND LOVE IN A DISCO HALL

Hello SIGs, I know, I know, I have been away for too long, well I have not been in the right place mentally and I knew writing could reveal emotions and feelings I was not ready to talk about, so I didn’t write.

However, I am back and will have a new post on the #Depression & Dating Series up next week. I’ll give you a hint of what it’s about so you can anticipate (aha see me feeling like a hot shot); loneliness.  This will be a post about my own experience and conversations I have had with people about this word and what it means to them.

To show I’m contrite and ready to conform, I thought to share this piece I sort of wrote in a disco hall club last month. See ehn, you don’t argue when the writing gods hit you, I was the girl squinting and furiously typing away on her phone while people were going crazy because 2face and Tony Tetuila were in the VIP section (sitting beside me, if I might add, yup, I have blown!).

Before I forget, let me put up this disclaimer: you need to have a high sense of sarcasm to really enjoy this post.

Ehen we can now go back to the post….

Is the club the place to find a husband/boo? Can you find love in the disco hall club? Well I’m here to tell you that the disco hall club is actually not a bad place to find the man your soul pants for if you’re not bothered about the noise, second-hand smoking, ogling or impromptu groping.

Are you tired of attending singles meet and greets? Does that 21 days fasting and prayer service not seem to have yielded any results? Or are you’re just trying to cast your net wider? Well fret not, I think I have found the solution; Go clubbing!!! *Insert disco music*

Like I promised here are the few things to do when husband/bae-hunting in the club.

  • Dress well (I mean SLAY!) but not too slutty as you do not want to be mistaken for a lady of the night or in our Naija lingo ashawo. Remember, dress the way you want to be addressed; tasteful with a hint of this is what you will get when you become mine. Also if you wear glasses, ditch them like I did, what’s a little-blurred vision if it means he is able to gaze into your eyes and know you’re the one for him.
  • Go with a girlfriend that already has a husband/bae. Trust me on this, she will be your eyes (especially if you left your glasses at home) and resident bouncer. You know, in case you have one too many drinks and can’t properly assess the playing field. Wait, you didn’t know this is a game? Better sit up and learn from this great bae-finding strategy.
  • Be ready to be groped, you don’t know if the person doing it might be bae. Be humble and respectful, if he asks you to dance let him. Dance well but don’t outshine him oh, you have to show him that you’re not only submissive (by agreeing to dance with him) but humble (by letting him think he got the moves). Remember, you’re still a Proverbs 31 woman, club or not.
  • Get ready to listen to 1000 songs within 2 minutes and trying to calm your brain down when the DJ plays only .5 seconds of your favourite song. In short, every song the DJ plays is your song when you’re near potential husband/bae, you can’t be sulking anyhow, that’s not wife/boo material-like. Show excitement at each song change, let him know your taste for music is broad; hip hop, Naija pop, old school, hardcore rap, house, trap etc. girl, show him what you know about music genres. You don’t know if he is a music head, so flourish babes, flourish!!
  • Invest in a good great excellent primer and setting spray because you will sweat buckets, oh it’s not because the AC in the disco hall club is not working oh, it’s because there will be many human beings there. You don’t want to scare bae off with your joker-looking lipstick and your two-toned sweaty foundation, so prime away, bake and set that face!
  • Be ready to inhale copious amounts of cigarette fumes and fumes from other “smokable” things: shisha, weed, paper, money etc. You might leave there smelling like a tobacco factory but what is smoh smell when you meet the love of your life. Also just know the harder it is for you walk around or even dance, the better your chances of meeting bae. Why you ask? Cute-meet people, cute meet!!! You turn around and he spills his drink on your shoes or outfit, cue to go to a “quieter place (doesn’t really exist) to talk.
  • FINALLY…… scrap every single thing I’ve said, just go to the club (if you want to) and enjoy yourself! Bae can come from anywhere, “kam your navs”, live your best life and just have fun!!

Even uncle Ed Sheeran knows that club love is one kain and he was sure to state it in his song.  “The club isn’t the best place to find a lover, so the bar is where I go – Shape of You” So maybe I should explore bars and see what the love-o-meter is reading there…

Anyways, that’s it for this post, as usual, leave your comments and thoughts on this disco hall club love. Have you ever found love in a disco hall aka club or in a hopeless place like our Sistah Riri? If you haven’t please share your love or almost love experience in unexpected places.

DEPRESSION & DATING: HOW TO COPE DURING A BREAKUP (PT 2)

In the first part of this series, we established the fact that breakups can have a triggering effect on people who are coping with depression and if not well-managed can have a long-lasting effect on their mental health well-being.

In this post, I’ll continue with a few more tips on how to deal with a breakup while coping with depression. Remember breakups like any sudden/unexpected occurrence in life is HARD and it is okay to feel a certain way, so do not be afraid/ashamed to own up to needing help or feeling inadequate.

  1. Give yourself permission. This might sound extra but you need to permit yourself to operate at a level you may not be used to for a while, this is not you wallowing in your situation but mentally giving yourself the required space and time needed to process, evaluate, strategize and in turn, make the best of the situation. For a while, you may not be as efficient with work or relate with other people as you’re used to and that’s okay. P.S if Superman can fly to the Fortress of Solitude to re-energize, strategize or whatever other things he needs to do when he’s feeling down and trust me you can do it! Chant to yourself “If SUPERMAN feels this way, I can too”
  2. Know the ultimate goal. There are spoken and unspoken goals for most situations in life and a breakup is not exclusive of this. The goal for a breakup is MOVING ON. The word “moving on” can be a trigger for someone going through a breakup but for the progress of your mental health, you have to bear in mind you need to eventually move on from this place of pain, confusion, anger and/or sadness. As I mentioned in the last post, expressing how you feel will un-shackle and free you from negative feelings. Do not get stuck in the blame game, hold on to resentment, anger etc. as this will drain you and in turn stop your healing process and ability to move forward. P.S Moving on is a sign of personal growth so do not be afraid to grow.
  3. Do not rush into forced friendships. Sometimes, people become pressured to act a certain way to/around their partner i.e. be the bigger person, do not be petty (I think a teeny-weeny pettiness never hurt anyone but let’s ignore me) or automatically be friends with your partner even after a breakup. Please do not succumb to such nonsensical pressures, you are not under any obligation to be friends with your former partner irrespective of how the relationship ended (amicably or otherwise). Many people in the spirit of showing that they have moved on, rush into the “look we’re friends” stage, get burnt and have to start the healing process all over again, leave friendship until you are completely over them. This was something I used to do, for some reason stopped and I have recently to do it again as I was not as “over him” as I thought to myself, I felt like violently shaking him (I know I have issues) every time we were talking as friends, so I cut him off completely. Trust me, it is not an easy task especially when you had a ‘great love”. If you’re thinking of being friends with your partner, you have to fully ensure that you’re healed and cannot be triggered by them. P.S it is perfectly alright if you do not remain, friends, so please do not put yourself under pressure to be especially if it was an unhealthy relationship. You being friends is not a sign of you moving on/healed.
  4. Your future is bright. In the heat of love, plans are made; commitment to each other, mutual sharing of hopes and dreams, mental pictures of a future together etc. and when a breakup happens, a level of uncertainty can creep up on you when you think about your future, it may also be hard to let go of these aforementioned plans and/or ambitions. It might be daunting realizing that the prospects of achieving certain things with your partner may be out the proverbial window but it doesn’t mean that you cannot dream again, allow your mind roam free with thoughts of new possibilities, hopes, and dreams and eventually these thoughts will replace the old ones. So please don’t for a second doubt the greatness of your future as a partner in a loving, healthy and committed relationship.
  5. Don’t go through this alone. As I mentioned in the last post, talking about how you feel is a great way of coping, it’s even better when it is done with trusted family/friends. Bottling up how you feel can raise your stress levels, get in the way of work, reduce your concentration and affect your health in general. Please, you do not have to go through this alone, surround yourself with positive people who are great for your mental well-being, if you’re having a rough day/week, call up a friend, have tea together (or any beverage of our choice), do anything but let those days overwhelm and envelope you. Also, make conscious efforts to avoid negative people who may judge or nitpick how you’re feeling as this can worsen your depression and make it harder for you to heal.

Finally, as with everything in life, we must try to extract important lessons from a breakup. I know this may not be what you want to hear when in pain and barely trying to hold on but to grow and constantly improve as a person, we must always be able to sift through life occurrences and find lessons. This can be a difficult task to accomplish when going through a breakup but trust me, those lessons will enrich your life in the future and you will come out of this with a better understanding of yourself as well.

To fully achieve this, you must be able to analyze what happened as well as your part in the whole experience, you must also be willing to ask yourself hard-hitting questions and try to understand how your choices/decisions affected the relationship. This is not a time for apportioning blame or beating yourself up but an opportunity to learn more about yourself, how you interact with people in relationship scenarios and the problems you may need to work on. If you are able to scrutinize your choices and behavior without bias (for example the reasons for choosing your former partner etc.) you will be able to understand and learn from your mistakes emerge a better person and partner in any future relationship.

That’s it, beautiful people, I hope this mini-series has been helpful, as usual, let me you’re your thoughts in the comment section. I feel I also have to mention that I am definitely not perfect and have totally ignored all of these tips at one point or the other in my history of breakups, so do not even feel pressured by these tips shared, make progress at your own pace, the important thing should be that you are making progress.