Saturday, February 13, 2016

Three Things You Should Consider Before Giving An Ultimatum

A young lady posed a question about herself. She has been dating a certain man for three years and she made it clear at the beginning of the relationship, her intention to settle down soon. However, the man seem not to be ready and she was thinking of giving him an ultimatum on Valentine’s Day. “Marry me or I’ll walk out”. People had split opinions on whether she ought to stay or not. I think there are times people need a push to move and ultimatums could be such needed push.

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There are times we find ourselves in relationships that seem to have reached a deadlock. There seem to be no future in view and we are scared of quitting same. It just seem like we are going round in circles with no way leading forward and our partner seem to be fine with this.  Times like this require for you to have ‘the talk’ and depending on the circumstances, an ultimatum might not be a bad idea.  

Ultimatums can birth ugly results like getting a negative answer. Whoever is going to give an ultimatum should brace himself/herself. Matter of fact, things can’t get worse than they already are so the sooner you know where you stand in someone’s life, the better.
Not all situations are the same and there are factors that one ought to consider in giving ultimatums. Such factors are as discussed below.

Age: - We all use the idiom ‘age is just a number’ but on deeper consideration, it is not true all the time. It is not the most reasonable move when you start putting pressure on a 23 year old man to settle down, same goes for a girl of 19 or 20years. It doesn’t matter that you have dated for 5 years, his age might be a good reason why he doesn’t feel mentally ready to settle down. This means that a financially stable young adult might still feel the need to give his career more priority than his relationship. Hence it doesn’t make much sense giving such person an ultimatum. Instead, engage him in discussions that would make you know his plans. What matters in this instance is for you to know if you are part of that plan and also if you have as much time to wait.

How long have you been dating : - A friend of mine shared with me how a girl he only just met in the previous week started a discussion on what and what not she wanted for her wedding. She also introduced him to a group of friends as her boyfriend. He said he was both shocked and bemused considering that was the second time he was seeing her. Needless to say, he backtracked out of her life. This means that there is that period of ‘getting to know each other’. This period is however dependent on each person’s situation. If you are dating a woman of marriageable age, it is only fair that such woman would have plans of settling down within a year or two. If such woman perceives you are stalling, she might be giving an ultimatum soon.

What sort of arrangement do you have: - The lady that shared her story on the blog was upfront with the fact that she wanted something serious. There are also times when a man/a woman despite being of age has other things on his/her plate which they already discussed with their partner. It could be educational or career advancement. If these goals are not met such person might not feel ready and so giving ultimatums in such instance may not be fair.

Whatever happens, ultimatums are both good and bad, it could turn out to be that much needed push to the right direction and it could also confirm your fears that you have been wasting your time. It also can make you feel really insecure as you may never know if the person you gave an ultimatum truly cares about you or just felt pressured. Whatever the situation is, it is a disservice to yourself to stay in a relationship that is heading nowhere. You should always have plans even if they don’t fall through.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Is Your Partner Dating You?
It may seem like an odd question but it is a valid one especially for the ladies today; although, I cannot deny the possibility that some men will relate to this post. Relationships are being considered to be achievements by many people these days; hence most people aren’t dating for the sake of having a partner they are committed to. People are dating just so they can tell people they have someone somewhere who they believe cares about them even though the real pictures suggest otherwise. 

I’ll just get right to it and say these days, many women are dating men who are not dating them and vice versa. Many women are heavily invested in relationships with men who are cannot be bothered to invest a single shred of their emotions in them. Many women are in relationships that have no direction or vision, and are simply going with the flow to avoid being single and treated like lepers by all their happily-dating, happily-engaged, and happily-married friends. Some women even go to the extent of making plans in their heads about relationships that do not have any impact on them whatsoever. The important thing for them is to be in a relationship, and earn the right to speak on relationship matters. To be praised by society for ‘achieving’ a romantic relationship albeit dysfunctional is a higher priority to many women than finding a relationship that serves a functional purpose. 

Understand this: If a man is not investing his time in you, then he is not dating you. If you have to fight and throw emotional tantrums on WhatsApp to get him to pay you a visit, he is not dating you. Yes, you might be dating him because he took time out to ask you to be exclusive, but that action alone is not enough for you to endure his pseudo-absence. A man who is into you will make time for you without you having to fight for it. 

If a man is not investing his energy and emotions, or sharing his knowledge and vision with you, he is not dating you. Don’t make excuses for him by saying he’s reserved. I am reserved and I talk when I’m with someone I care deeply about. That excuse is not valid. A man who simply picks you up for a good time, and drops you off till there’s another ‘good time hangout’ available is not dating you, even if you have it in your head that you are in a relationship with him. 

If a man is not investing any money in you, he is certainly not dating you. Now, understand that I don’t mean he has to deposit millions in your account or pay your tuition fees. No he doesn’t have to go that far. He does however has to show he’s into you through the gifts he gives, and the little contributions he makes to help make ends meet, even if you can afford it on your own. Many women are trying so hard to prove they are not gold diggers, they are ending up with men who see no need to invest in them financially. You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving. A man who is dating you will invest in you financially too. 

Ladies, stop the cycle of trying to hold down the fort simply to prove you can make a relationship work. A relationship should not feel like work. It should be the one place where you feel your partner is with you every step of the way, and cares deeply about everything you wish to achieve.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Five Factors that Set the Stage for Abusive Relationships

Sometime last year, I read Dr Phil’s life code, and one thing he kept reiterating in the book is that in life, there are no victims; there are only volunteers. It may seem like a harsh statement especially if you’re in an abusive relationship, or just got saved from one by the skin of your teeth. I recently came to the conclusion that victims of abusive relationships set the stage for their abuse by engaging/indulging one of the five factors below:

Settling for less than what you are worth: Many people engage and entertain people who do not deserve them in a bid to satisfy misguided teachings on humility. People go into relationships with the intention of giving up who they are to make the other person more comfortable around them. The moment you begin to do this, you are sending a message to your partner that you do not value yourself, and you don’t mind being subdued. Once the message is clearly received, abuse is inevitable. 

Dating insecure people: We often claim jealousy is a sign of love, and sometimes that can be true. However, there is a thin line between jealousy that comes from a place of love, and jealousy that comes from a place of insecurity. Does your partner want to know everyone you have spoken to during the course of the day? Do you get accused of cheating every time you answer a phone call or speak fondly of a friend? Then you are with an insecure person who will lash out in ways you least expect. Insecure people often show their true colours when you start to get to know them. They talk about their exes being gold diggers. They talk about people being too pompous. They belittle the achievements of others to a point where you feel you need to shut up about your own achievements (factor number one). If you see any of these signs, abuse is on the horizon. 

 Pretending you want nothing in return: You make yourself available for abuse if you constantly offer to give and give, and do not expect anything in return. If you are the type who gives off the vibe that you are willing to do anything to make a relationship succeed without any input from the other individual, then you are up for long-term abuse. People will not only take what you offer. They will take much more than that and leave you empty. Always have it in mind that your efforts alone cannot sustain a relationship. It takes two to tango. 

Not setting the tone straight from the start: Many people are too scared of coming across as shrewd, so they let a lot of things slide during the inception stages of a relationship. They tie up loose ends, and try as much as possible to tolerate what they can’t. After a while, they burst at the seams and try to switch back to default, resulting in a defensive response (abuse) from the other person. Always make what you can and cannot take clear from the beginning. Yes, you will lose some potential partners, but the one who stays will be completely worth it. 

Isolating friends and family: This one is a big factor, and many people do it subconsciously. When you start a new relationship, you want to spend as much time as possible with that person. That is not a bad thing. It becomes an issue when you start to cancel plans with friends, and avoid spending time with family all in a bid to show your partner you’d rather spend time with him or her. The message you are sending across here is that your partner is more important to you than the life you had before the relationship started, and you would give up everything for him or her in an instant. This suggests that you worship (in a wrong way) the ground your partner walks on, and all aspects of your life revolve around him or her. 

Be careful guys and ladies. Stay away from abusive tendencies.

Friday, February 5, 2016

How To Overcome Porn Addiction

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Chick flicks used to be my favorites. I discovered I didn’t have much patience trying to find out clues and read meanings to complicated metaphors when watching movies (I remember feeling this sort of impatience when I watched Inception). In my opinion, there is a lot of stress in the world already so movie time shouldn’t be as mentally consuming. All I really want is to sit down to an uncomplicated plot mixed with light humor. Since most of the chick flicks are centered on relationships, some generalizations are sometimes made. Fornication is never a big deal and I have seen a few where possession of pornographic materials is portrayed as healthy (well, that is just before it becomes an addiction).

This particular theme got me thinking about the consequences of pornographic addiction especially after reading three different posts on the same day by different people on different forums crying out for help with regards to their spouses’ porn addiction.

Sadly, there are many things that are immoral but are seen as norms in the society and one of such is the ever growing porn industry that is probably worth billions of dollars just like the alcohol and tobacco industries. The industry thrives on perversion so there are lots of propaganda that make it seem healthy just before one discovers just how addictive it can become. It sometimes starts as a curiosity and then it goes into an overdrive. The internet makes accessibility so much easier. There is even a company that erected masturbation booths in New York recently to help relieve stress. The booth is said to be well equipped with pornographic magazines and other materials that makes it a ‘pleasurable experience’. This means it is acceptable for one to casually stroll to this booth during break time or some other time solely for self-gratification. People caught in this addictive web form other unhealthy habits such as incessant self-gratification, unhealthy sexual appetites and fantasies, some even rape to fulfil their heightened desires.

The ills that can develop from this addiction cannot be over emphasized. Some people find it hard to maintain regular relationships with the opposite sex while some who are lucky enough to get married,  discover that they are unable to satisfy their partners due to lack of stimulation which they have become conditioned to get only from watching or looking at pornographic materials. Some also find that they consistently compare their partners to the images they watch. This breeds a very dissatisfying marriage and lifestyle generally. There are believers that have been caught in this dangerous web of self destruction.

The ultimate question now becomes “How does one overcome Porn addiction?”

Addiction is hard to break and the first step to recovery is accepting that there is a problem. You also have to overcome your fears of being judged and speak to those that truly care about you so that they can provide needed support. You can also reach out to different support groups, there are many online and there might be some around your community/church.

It is also very important to socialize more and engage in other activities that can keep the mind occupied enough not to slip back due to boredom.

Whatever formula you employ in your journey towards recovery, bear in mind that the most important thing is your will power to overcome. You have to gather all the inner strength you can find to keep going and not to look back. Also pray for grace and constantly read the word of God to be regularly reminded of who you are.

You can read more HERE

Lifesaver or Lazy parenting? The Babocush has sparked a parenting debate

The Babocush is such a nice and convenient innovation. To some, it is seen as a lifesaver while others see it as lazy parenting.

The video about this new innovation has racked up over 10 million views and over 24,000 comments on Facebooksince it was uploaded on the 18th of January 2016. Within a couple of days, the babocush crashed because of the high volume of orders.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Get Out Now!

When I first wrote “on the brink of insanity; the case of Janet Bond”, I had no idea I’d be reiterating the same post in relation to a friend’s actions. Last night I was informed that a friend I met at university stabbed her husband to death. The circumstances surrounding his murder remain unclear. While some people claim she was acting in self-defence because he was abusive, others claim she was an infidel who stabbed her husband after he caught her with a lover. Some people claim she discovered he fathered a son; her family claims she’s innocent; her friends claim it must have been a moment of temporary insanity; childhood buddies find it difficult to relate the lady we know with murder. I am having the same difficulty, but the truth is that a man is dead. He was murdered by his wife. He had been stabbed by her earlier in the day, treated at the hospital, and when he returned home to sleep, for some reason, he was stabbed again. A major artery was cut open, and he lost his life within a few minutes. 

Last month, in South Africa, a lady patiently waited in the dead of the night for a kettle of water to boil, and a pan of cooking oil to heat up. She mixed the two hot fluids and poured them on her boyfriend’s penis because he allegedly cheated on her. Sometime last year, while I was waiting for a friend in front of her apartment complex, a car exploded before my very eyes, and one person jumped out…on fire… to open the driver’s door so the other reluctant fellow could get out of the car. I later got to learn that they were lovers arguing, and at some point, one of them (can’t tell if it was the man or the woman) rolled up the windows, poured an accelerant all over the car interior and lit a match. The car burned to the ground with explosive sounds. The two people were on fire for no less than three minutes. I was traumatized for days.

Classic cases of crimes of passion, or should I rather say crimes of obsession.

Here’s something you need to understand as an individual: different people will awaken different demons in you. You might be cool, calm, and collected as a single person, but act like a monster when you are in a relationship…with the wrong person. The truth is the wrong person is not necessarily a bad person. The wrong person is just someone whose goals, visions and way of life do not align with yours. Someone whose ‘demons’ cannot have an amicable discussion with your ‘demons’. Now in such a situation, you have two options: to walk away, cut your losses, and move on or to ensure things work out irrespective of the deeply-ingrained character odds you both face. The latter is where obsession begins. Obsession is what leads to thoughts of violence, the actual perpetration of violence, and in many cases, the end results are fatal…. Like in the case of my friend. 

It does not have to reach that point. You can stop yourself from going overboard. You can hold yourself back from crossing to the dark side. You have the power to hold back and walk away. The moment you ingrain this in your mind, you have already won over the voices in your head that constantly tell you must make it work.

Of course, the voices in your head that tell you to choose obsession over freedom are not the only ones you have to win. 

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Finding the Perfect Balance for You and Your Partner.

I believe the key to a healthy relationship besides having the right mindset and the right attitude towards relationships as a whole, is learning to find the balance that works for you and your partner. Truly, there are set rules in love and life that can help build a good foundation, but bear in mind that it is of utmost importance that you both write your own rules as partners and stick to them. 

Many people believe in relationships run like organizations, where the level of efficiency is just flawless. Each person is aware of the role they have to play and they play it effectively without any complaints, emotional outbursts of frustration or even the urge to try something new. For others, they want relationships where whoever is available does the needful. These relationships are not your organization-styled type of unions, but for some people, they work. For some people, long-distance relationships are absolutely perfect. They see no need to live in the same city as their partner, while for others, being in close proximity to their partners as often as possible is of high importance. The question you should ask yourself is “what kind of relationship do I want to be in?”

There is no right or wrong when it comes to finding what works for you and your partner. What is most important is that you learn a lot about each other to find that balance. I recently glanced through an article where a man’s wife divorced him because he continuously left his dishes in the sink after eating, and could not for the love of his life clean up after himself. It became very clear from reading that article that having a partner who respects her time, energy and schedule was highly important to that woman. She needed a man who understood the need to clean up after himself and could not bear to be with one who could not be bothered. I don’t know if she raised the issue with him countless times, but evidently, from the tone of that article, they were unable to find a balance.

The sad thing about relationships these days is that people are being taught to compromise much more than they are being taught to appreciate and respect. People are being told what their relationships should be like, the milestones they should reach at certain times, and the objectives they should set as a couple. My advice? Throw all of that out. Sit together and map out your own objectives and future milestones; discuss your own model of a relationship and stick to it. Sit together and write your own rules. Build a relationship that works for you and makes you happy, rather than a relationship that pleases societal nodes but makes you deliriously miserable. 

The balance of your relationship lies in understanding the uniqueness of your partner and working together to align your strengths and weaknesses in such a way that it results in a healthy union. Don’t let your model be based on what everyone else is saying it should be. Let your model be based on what ensures you are truly happy in your union. To have a healthy relationship, your happiness is key. Find your own balance.
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