HOW DO YOU FIGHT?

The older I get, the more I understand  what it means to say  “love is not enough”. Recently Mr. C has been having stupidity remorse and trying to talk about why we didn’t work out and if there was a possibility of reconciliation. I keep telling him I am in love and happy and the man won’t leave me alone.

Apparently, Hausa men have egos bigger than the whole of Africa and feel too entitled. Anyways, I have gone past that and these days, I really just want the best for him, I want him to be happy and I want him to be OK with the fact that we will never be together!

One day, I had this crazy period pain and was on bed rest the whole weekend and was bored enough to have accepted Mr. C ‘s offer to talk about a relationship that ended since 2015.  He wanted to know why I couldn’t work it out if I really loved him. It was so interesting to revisit certain things and talk about it from a very detached perspective. I swear I believe everyone should sometimes reach out to their exes and talk about why they didn’t work out, however, only do this when you are healed and have no vested interest.

Let’s face it, with the way our generation is, statistically speaking, relationships are more likely to break up than to stay together. All you need to do is scan your relationship history to find evidence of this.

The reasons relationships fail are as varied as because of the fact that we humans very different and complex. The truth is, while every ending has its own unique story, relationship breakups fall into anyone and sometimes more of these documented categories:

  • Trust issues
  • Dishonesty/Deception/Cheating
  • Communication issues
  • Differences in relationship expectations
  • Differences in life priorities
  • Inability of one or both partners to manage their emotions
  • Differences in values.

That said, there is no one indicator that can predict, with amazing accuracy why relationships end, there is no one size fits all and sometimes typical pontifications do not apply. However, here is why I think most relationships end, it has to do with how you fight.

Fight in this post has to do with arguments not throwing punches. That one you do not need to learn, if anyone punches you, pack your bags and be going…mbok.

As I was saying, this assumption is based on the fact that all relationships have conflicts. I’m usually surprised that people are not prepared for fights and conflicts in their relationships and are even more surprised when they are uncomfortable with the fight cool-off stage.  Personally, I always take out time to cool down before going back to ‘normal’. Which brings me to this note

PSA – it is not okay to fight and act like nothing happened afterward. It is vicious and it is a form of emotional abuse. As a normal person, you must take the time to cool off, talk about it before moving on.

Every relationship has conflict. Which makes knowing how to have a fight the most important relationship skill you’ll ever acquire—Or…the most expensive skill you’ll choose not to learn. Relationship expert John Gottman, says he can predict whether a marriage will end in divorce with 94 percent accuracy based on how the couple fight. And engaging in this one behavior turns out to be the strongest indicator of divorce—which is a lot more expensive than learning relationship skills.  So, without further delay here you go:

The number one predictor of whether your relationship is headed for a cliff boils down to whether or not either you or your partner treats the other with contempt when they drive you crazy and they deserve to be treated like that.

You know the disdain you feel when someone who should know better lets you down. It’s when you feel as though you’re better than your partner (presuming it’s you who engages in it, and for the simplicity of writing this). It’s an energy of repulsion that arises from within you during fights. Maybe that disgust causes you to scream so loudly that the neighbors can hear – or maybe it seeps from your pores as you glare silently at your partner during a conflict. It can also look more benign like eye-rolling or an unwillingness to validate your partner’s feelings or choosing to punish them just because they have hurt you.

I know, I know. We’ve all felt and done it. The difference is some of us, even though we know love shouldn’t be anything but kind, choose to express our anger in a manner that will pierce our partner’s soul and hurt them. These days we are so selfish that relationships have become a competition of who can hurt the other person the most.  I know that contempt isn’t a functional emotion for relationships but it is a real emotion that we all feel when the person we love drives us crazy. It presupposes that the person experiencing it is better than the other, but how we handle this contempt in times of high intensity determines whether or not our relationships will go the distance.

It is important that we all learn to handle fights in any form of relationship especially an intimate one. What are you saying? What is your partner saying? but most of all what have you learned from the supposed fight about yourself, your partner or the situation. There is nothing more frustrating than to fight over and over about the same thing before you know it, it becomes a vicious and abusive relationship.

Speaking of which, have you noticed the increasing trend of people walking out of bad, unhealthy and abusive relationships? Well, only Jesus Christ died to redeem human beings.  If you have a bad attitude fix it, if you are in “meanest son or daughter of a bit$h competition” with the devil, take your wickedness to the cross and crucify it there. Stop expecting people to put up with you in the name of love.

That’s it from me, what do you think? how have you been able to resolve conflict in your relationship? has your way of fighting cost you a good friendship/relationship in the past? Let’s talk about it 

Love,

Imarose

SELLING THE LAGOS FANTASY

I am no glamour puss, I wear makeup on special occasions like dates, weddings, church sometimes and to work only when I have important meetings. I am not exactly sure how tall I am nor do I care, a while back I told this guy I was 5’7″ and he laughed so I thought I needed to verify my height but haven’t been bothered to.

Recently, my boss sent me to meet this lady to review something and write recommendations for a federal government project. On getting to Oriental to introduce myself, the lady looked at me with a little disappointment, calls my oga and says you sent this little girl with natural afro to me? I was expecting someone older with the way you talk about her.

Surprised? Well not really, I get that a lot and I am used to it. By the end of the meeting, she was telling me of her nephew who was single and needed a girl like me. Almost immediately, she called her nephew and that my friends, was the beginning of the journey with Mr. E.

Mr E and I talked daily on Skype, FaceTime and WhatsApp for two weeks. As most guys, he wanted to see my pictures so I directed him to my Facebook and Instagram account.

After I returned from my usual trips away, he began planning our first meet/date. Mr E went all out (I mean till date, I am not sure how) but we had a private picnic at the Eko-Atlantic, formerly known as bar-beach. I remember my nerves rushing in as I was pulling off bar-beach road, trying to sort out the confusion of the boys hustling to park me.

Maybe I should’ve won a dress not jeans and plain tee. I checked my lipstick, ran my fingers through my afro and wore my 5 perfume mixture, (yes I use five different perfumes, don’t ask why, that’s just how I wear it) . I got to the entrance and there was a guy waiting to walk me to where Mr E was; seated facing the sea…what efizzy won’t we see in this Lagos.

And there he was, beautiful to the eyes as he stood up towing over me for a hug…he smelt so good so I held the hug a bit longer to keep sniffing him. There’s something about a man who smells good and how he brings me to my knees. Note to self – tall enough, dark-skinned, good set of teeth, just my physical type, a little underdressed and wore slipper, so I relaxed about wearing jeans and flat sandals.

Dinning style sitting for two, but asked if I wanted to seat on the floor, so we sat on the floor. There was laughter, great conversation and good eye contact. For a change, he was the one asking all the compatibility questions. He says he’s dating with a purpose, not just to be dating. In my mind, I was like “thank God not another GROWN man who doesn’t know what he wants, or wants to “go with the flow” and “doesn’t believe in titles.”

Then, he proceeded to showing me this cropped picture of my lip and said he had been obsessing about kissing it. I found it funny, but felt a bit weird about him asking to kiss; nothing is sexier than a kiss I didn’t see coming. As soon as he said that, I stood up from my initial laying position and sat, poured myself a drink while praying “God please let this glass of champagne make me tipsy”. I happen to be very light-headed.

Then it happened. He leaned in and we kissed passionately, I kept breaking in between to reaffirm my position “this will not go beyond a kiss”. He agrees but carries on (of course). Thankfully I got disrupted by my phone ringing, a wake up call to remind me of my vow to celibacy.

Attentions shifted from my lips to my hair when my call was over. He touched my hair with fascination, stretched it down my chin, tried measuring how long it was, smiled and then said “You’ll look more beautiful with straight hair, how about you relax it or wear Brazilian more often like in your pictures”. I smiled and asked so “you think I’d look better without the Afro?” to which he answered, “definitely!”. smh

Men never know that some questions are an opportunity to take back the stupid thing they said. Anyway, I was a little ticked-off and pondered if I should explain how I felt? Or just move on from it, after all, such conversation was too deep for first meeting.

Mr E never heard from me again and this is because I knew I would not be able to keep up with his subtle demands and suggestions on what he ‘thought’ made me ‘more beautiful’. I could have continued and gone out of my way with the weaves and all to look acceptable for Mr E but it wouldn’t have been long before he found out that ImaRose is a simple Ibibio woman who loves to cook, read, listen to unconventional gospel music, loves good old jazz and loves her hair in a bun.

This is why I believe, Lagos men are so easy to deceive, but they get what they deserve, there are plenty of women who fit “the Mr E look”, are Instagram famous but when you see them at Sari’s salon and spa, you’ll cry for their bald heads and acne rid-face which 6 bundles of Brazilian hair and professional makeup hides. In short I bow for these women…

Dear Lagos men-hustlers, changing who you are to get a man will NOT keep him but that’s gist for another day.

Side-note: Do you know that in Lagos, a girl who has been around the block, in a bid to start ‘afresh’, would develop an overnight water-tight Christianity, acquire new friends, cut old ones off, join a new church preferably one where there are eligible young men (most on the island and appealing to ijgbs), scope a potential, find out what he likes, manipulates him into a relationship, becomes who he likes and then turns back to her old ways when things don’t work out?

Like this chic I know that went natural because she was dating a guy who claimed didn’t like weaves and makeup only for her to go back to wearing her full makeup and weaves when he dumped her counterfeit ass for a better woman.

Dear Lagos men, stop buying fantasy, let real women be who they are and not what media tells you is the definition of beautiful.

ImaRose is a real woman; she’s not every guy’s cup of tea. She is vintage Chinese tea with an old soul. And she is waiting for the man who appreciates her just as she is.

AVOIDING TIME WASTERS

Stringing along is such a common thing in the Lagos dating scene. How can we truly differentiate between someone who is trying to get to know us and a time waster so we don’t waste our time or close the doors to other potentials just because we are hung on this guy or girl who is string us along many others to see if we can fight hard enough to earn our place as their “main”?

Well, I am NOT a relationship expert ooooh abeg, I am just sharing things my crazy mind has overtime picked up and assume to be a working formula and so far, works for me.

Ok. so, How do you know a timed-waster?

First of all, to be fair, I speak only for myself, I have been guilty of wasting someone’s time when I was hurt, but they always knew from the beginning because I told them, I wasn’t in a good place emotionally to even consider a relationship. That didn’t mean I didn’t enjoy having someone call me to see how work was or waking up to a text in the morning….. it feels good to have someone. So, I have done it, but it wasn’t intentional and eventually I had to admit to myself it was unfair to take a great guy’s attention knowing fully well my thoughts were blurry and we had ZERO chemistry to begin with. I wasn’t proud of it, my conscience didn’t let me rest…I apologised and moved on.

It happens often, men string women along, women string men along too for convenience or maybe the fear of being alone. Often times stringing along feeds the ego and satisfies that longing in men to get high on the thrill of the chase. Stringing along, completely disregards the lack of intentions of pursuing a relationship with the “bait”.

Identifying time wasters is easier than you think if you are a realistic person.

Some people are master-gamers and have a doctorate at what they do. So how do you know someone is wasting your time? Well, do they ever mention you and them in the context of “we” sometimes? Do they ever plan for a “real date” with you or is it “hanging out” “when are we seeing?” “when are you coming over?” or just texting and phone conversation type-situation? Do they make an effort to REALLY get to know you by wanting to know your background, present and past because getting to know someone is about collecting data, if they are not, then maybe they are just using you to pass time.

Do they disappear for days and then pop back up after a while? Do they have history that they are unwilling to share about past relationships? Does it feel right? I think I can stop here because I think you get the picture.

Avoiding time-wasters starts really by first knowing who you are as a person, what your values are, what values you can add in the life of another and what you are looking for in a mate. Sometimes, people don’t even know why they want in a boyfriend or a girlfriend other than the fact that it’s almost time to get married and they need to find that man or woman.

I feel it’s important to know, that way, you go into it with the right mindset and expectation and with the grace for the faults of another human being as no one is perfect. If you are just looking to hangout, hookup or whatever else they call it these days then you shouldn’t bother when your game meets someone’s game.

If you are looking for nourishing relationships like I am, then, you need to invest your time wisely by only giving people what they give back to you. For men, only pursue a woman who knows who she is and what she wants and make sure she can stand on her own.

I say that because a woman who doesn’t know herself could adjust temporarily to suit whatever you require of her, usually because there is an incentive; you represent something she lacks and is in need of. It’s very easy for a woman to pretend to love a man for the incentive (my taxi driver recently told me a story I can’t wait to share). For a man, if he is not making an effort, he is either newly hurt or not that into you, in other words, time-waster.

It doesn’t mean everything should turn into something serious, some people in the journey to finding love will be used as an experiment to see how it is..just make sure the lab rat is not you.

For example, last year I met this dude who chased life outta me, I just always thought he was too vague, so I put him on “watch and see/too good to be real list” and went into a lot of exploring data collection convos, eventually, this guy, popped out unknowingly saying “gosh is it true what they say? I can’t wait to experience what a Calabar girl feels like” well I dismissed the calabar part with “I’m not Calabar,I’m Ibibio and I am not a car and I will not be test-driven, sorry”. He cut his looses eventually on notice that ImaRose was bad-market.

Girls, until you have had that conversation of understanding the kind of relationship you both want and are currently pursuing, keep your legs closed!, unless of course you too are using the guy for sex or whatever (I don’t support it but I guess it’s a free world). Now that tinder has made it to Nigeria, trust me, to a guy, sex doesn’t mean he is serious so be wise.

What else can you do to avoid time wasters when dating? Here are some more tips:

  • Be clear about your dating intentions and expectations
  • Be selective about who you talk to and date (just because they’re interested or they’re attractive doesn’t make them an ideal partner)
  • Give it time, true intentions are exposed with time
  • Some people are actually just busy, rather than assume, ask questions
  • Assess people on their actions and not their words (time wasters will promise the world and deliver nothing)
  • Pay attention to the frequency and quality of their contact with you (are they actually trying to get to know you in a real way?)
  • Are they more interested in getting in your panties?
  • Do they talk about other people they’re “talking to” in the same way as they’re talking to you?
  • Trust your instinct (it’s your spirit trying to WARN you of something)

Finally, LIVE! Don’t focus too much on the outcome, focus more on the experience in the dating process , every now and then, assess how you feel and only continue if you feel good, the rest will fall into place when it’s supposed to.

Right now, I don’t care if someone sends me a text and if I do get one I’d text back when I can and not wait five hours just for the heck of it.If I have a question, I will ask and I expect nothing in return.

Until then, I’m simply appreciating the experience of getting to know interesting people, whatever the outcome.

Love,

ImaRose