Friday, December 30, 2016

Leave These Habits In 2016!

As the year rolls to an end, as it custom for me, I take time to reflect on battles won, blessings received, friends made, and the impact I have had on those around me. Most importantly, I take time to go through the junk I may have accumulated during the course of the year – the conference programme I’m still holding on to five months later, the pair of shoes I know I won’t wear ever again because they just made my feet sore, the non-directional associations I may have built and the habits I developed against better judgement.

What I have come to realize is that during the course of every year, we accumulate things – the things we need, the things we want, and the things other people tell us we should have – habits included. Some people tell us to be more dramatic in our approach when we want to confront someone who has hurt us (like we need to pull one of those cheaters show confrontations to prove we are not stupid); some people tell us we need to be more mellow in how we talk about our dreams, and of course others deposit the seed of self-doubt in us by pointing out the things we are not so great at. Whatever the case may be, the fact remains that we accumulate a lot of stuff- the necessary and the unnecessary, and it is important to shed some of the weight if we intend to win in the New Year. To win in 2017, I advise that you leave these behind.

Image result for self doubt
You are more capable than you think
#1 Self-doubt: I can write you a book about self-doubt and how crippling it is, because I have experienced it. Many people seem to stand firm, but one negative word from a person they believe is better than they are sends them into the pit of doubt, and causes them to forget about the pursuit they were so passionate about. If that’s you, it is time to reawaken the zeal and come back with a bang. Whatever anyone has said is not the final say. You may not be as good as they are, but you surely would not get there by giving up. Get up, dust yourself off and ease back into the path of your dream. Faith it till you make it!

#2 The leaf-on-a-lake mentality: Have you ever seen a leaf on a flowing lake? It goes wherever the lake goes. It is pushed in the direction of the lake irrespective of what the destination of the lake is. This is what many people have become in 2016, and are planning to continue with in 2017 – swayed by the opinions of friends, frenemies, colleagues, and even strangers, simply because they want to be accepted. If you cannot be accepted as you are by those you spend time with, you need new company. Sure, they are positive tweaks that can be made to your personality based on constructive conversations with friends; but that should not lead to a mob mentality. Don’t accept something is right because everyone around you says to. Don’t give up simply because the popular opinion is that you are about to tread a difficult path. The popular opinion is not necessarily the right one or the wise one for that matter. Be woke for your own sake. Don’t let others tell you how your life should play out.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Single Parenting - Something to be Ashamed Of

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I hope this post encourages single mothers and gets people talking openly about the struggles single mothers face in society. 

There is something about being a single parent that makes people perceive you as ugly, irresponsible and a failure, especially if you are a woman. You are considered to be an easy catch and will very often receive indecent offers from men who believe you will give it all up at the blink of an eye, and if a baby comes out of that rendezvous, you will care for that child, because you know, you are simply built for this single parenting life. Of course men do not necessarily face this type of stigma - a single father is very often a celebrated hero; a single mother on the other hand is easy prey for malicious tongue-lashing.

This explains why many women are afraid of leaving unhappy relationships and abusive marriages when children are involved. This explains why so many women feel threatened by the words "you will end up a single mother", much more than they are by the words "I will kill you if you keep annoying me." Many women would rather be pummeled to death than leave and be single parents because single parenting for the average woman is something to be ashamed of. It highlights the inability to keep a man happy; it indicates irresponsible behavior that led to an unwanted pregnancy that you were too ashamed to terminate. It has the makings of a woman who was loose and will remain so. So may malicious stereotypes held against single mothers make it difficult for many women to walk away from life-threatening relationships. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Four Types of Good People You Should Not Marry

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Everyone wants to marry a good person; I strongly doubt people wake up in the morning and pray to God for an abusive partner who takes them for granted and makes their life hell. Surely, no one asks for that. People want a partner who's not shy with the loving or stingy with the cherishing. People want a partner who is God-fearing, sweet-natured, understanding, tolerant and mature. And if you find a person who embodies all these traits, you've hit the jackpot. However, do you know that you can meet a person who embodies all these traits, yet does not fit into your life?

This post is about the four types of good people you should not bother dating. 

#1 The people who are skilled at talking but not skilled at doing: There are many people out there who are amazing and have the core of sweetness embedded in them but they are the most frustrating partners you will ever have. They thrive on talking about what they want to do, and where they want to do. These are the people who dream and speak about those dreams more than they actually do anything about them. Provide them with the resources they actually need to get started and you'll see them pull away, citing a thousand and one excuses as to why they can't do it 'just yet'. Spouses like this make relationships unsustainable. They create a lot of hope but you will never see that hope materialize into anything substantial. Instead, you will be faced with a dull reality filled with ambition but zero action.

Monday, December 19, 2016

You Need The 'Wing-Man' Mentality

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If you are reading this, you have probably heard of the term 'wing man'. Many people use it to introduce their best buddies, their work partners, and really anyone else who holds a significant position their life. On Sunday morning while preparing for church, my thoughts drifted to Obama's administration (weird I know). I found myself admiring the fact that he led two scandal-free terms and took an economy that was in the gutter when he was sworn into power, and raised it back to better standards. Surely he did not do any of that of his own. Of course he had Michelle to support him and push him when necessary, but he also had a wing-man - Joe Biden. 

I imagined for a while what America would have been like if Joe Biden and Obama did not get along. In what state would the country be if they antagonized each other or saw each other as the enemy most of the time. What if they didn't have a common goal and simply were there to push their own personal agenda. Yes, Obama had Michelle, but she could not help him run the country. He needed Joe Biden on every level to be his wing-man, his support system and his decision partner. 

This got me thinking about relationships and marriages. Many people get married to fulfill their own personal agenda, i.e. being more respected in the community, having children, having someone to do the laundry and cook their dinners, or simply just having a different last name so that they do not feel left behind. In such marriages, there is often an imbalance of emotional, psychological, physical, intellectual and spiritual commitment. As a result, one party is viewed as 'highly disposable' - a feather that can easily be removed or replaced, because afterall, there are better people out there. In such relationships, there are no common goals, no common vision, no common direction, hence it is easy to take each other for granted. There is no 'wing-man' dynamics; in some  cases couples even compete to outshine each other. 

If you are married, you need to develop the 'wing-man' mentality. You need to see your spouse as your 'wing-man' (I am speaking to both men and women here). Your partner is not the enemy (that is if you are not being abused). Your partner is not someone to compete against. Your partner is not the opposition. If you have the wing-man mentality, your partner becomes your strategy partner, your winning partner, and when times are bad, your losing partner, but a supportive partner nonetheless. The wing-man mentality means your partner is part of every decision, in the know regarding every move, and is your go-to person when you are caught between the Egyptians and the red sea. A marriage where both partners have the wing-man mentality is more likely to thrive and is most often above petty issues. XOXO

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Good Guys' Guide to Getting the Girl

A while ago, I wrote a post about good girls getting the guy on my blog. This is a follow-up post aimed at the good guys who just can't seem to get the girl. 
There was a time I thought women were the problem; perhaps we truly prefer the bad boys who keep us on our toes emotionally and make us shed tears like we've been cast in the role of Theresa Lopez-Fitzgerald in Passions. Perhaps, perhaps, the predictability and reliabilty of the good guy is just too boring and we need that extra drama to enjoy the relationship better. I couldn't have been farther from the truth. While there are indeed women who serach for unnecessary drama, I have come to realize that the current playbook (or should I call it the subconscious rule book) for good guys is the most insipid thing to ever exist on this earth. Go on a date with the average 'good guy' and a poor lady is subjected to conversations about skyscrapers, wind, forest animals and the temperature of the sun *cricket sounds* Guys it is no longer 1835! If you want to get that beautiful sparkly lady with a big personality, get with the new rules. 
#1 The way you dress actually matters: I don't know who came up with the idea that inner beauty is all you need but I can tell you now that the external look is what pulls a person towards you in the first place. I don't understand the men who still wear baggy pants, oversized blazers, checkered bright coloured pants or even safety shoes on a date. Don't show up in a red suit, a white suit or a lime green suit (Yes I've seen that before)! If that's you, you've most likely lost the girl from the moment she laid eyes on you. She might sit through the date just to be polite but that is the last time you will set eyes on her. If her tolerance for bullshit is zero, she will probably leave you sitting there.
Image result for badly dressed man Image result for black man in a suit Image result for black man in skinny jeans and a tshirt
Tip: Dress based on the kind of date you have planned. For a casual date, slim fit jeans, a tshirt and a pair of Toms classic canvas shoes is perfect. Don't forget your cologne. How you smell also matters. Trim your beard, brush your hair. There is no crime in looking absolutely gorgeous.
#2 On the first date, she doesn't want to know why you gave your life to Christ and she doesn't want you to ask her why she did: I think many of guys attend lotsof relationship seminars where they are given a list of 'safe' topics to discuss just so they are sure the woman they are interested in is the  'right kind of woman'... like that question tells anyone anything. If this is you, please stop asking this question on the first date or any date at all. If she is polite, she will give you a vague answer but not before she visibly rolls her eyes. 
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If you want to know her better, ask about how she spends her leisure time, if she has done any recent traveling, movies or books. Don't ask about her ex! That is none of your business! Also don't ask about the number of guys she has dated
#3 Understand that you are speaking to an adult! I pasted this on my facebook wall and I will say it here again. There is nothing sensible or attractive about a grown man speaking to a grown woman like he is speaking to a child in Grade 5. Dry jokes and sentences you used to utter in nursery school with your nursery school friends do not fly. Grown women prefer direct conversations that make them laugh and make them comfortable around you. Anything else will most likely bore us to death. This is where we go to the bathroom and never return.
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#4 Let the flow be natural: Nothing is a bigger turn-off than a guy who does not let the emotions build up before he starts to make the big moves. Yes, you might be ready to tie the knot but the first date is not where you start to tell her about how you want to be married and how you have read the scripture, hence you feel ready. Dude do not attempt to schedule weekly or monthly dates so you can speed up the dating process and ensure the connection happens quickly enough. Someone recently asked me if we can pick a day every month where we meet... It was funny in the big bang theory; it is not funny in real life.
#5 Read the signs! Read the signs and body language and decipher if you are the type of person she would like to see again. She will most likely respond positively if you have made her laugh, been a little naughty and shown her your fun side (I mean actual fun, not house fellowship fun please). If however you have spent most of the date with long bouts of silence, lots of question and answer sessions and unncessarily serious conversation, she might not want to see you again. Don't become that itchy irritant in her butt who calls even after she has made it clear that she does not have time to hang out with you again! Let her go. Work on yourself and then try someone new. 
Post comments below. XOXO

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

You Cannot Prepare For Marriage

This is the simple truth. It may sound mean, might even sound negative. Perhaps you feel it is wrong to put it this way, but it is the truth. As a single person, you cannot work towards getting married. Sadly, this is what many people, especially young women do - work towards getting married.

Recently, I have discovered that many young single women avoid making major decisions or big moves for fear that it might steer them away from the goal of getting married. Some women don't want to leave their city they are in because they believe the eligible bachelors are more abundant there; others want to move to certain cities because the chances of finding a man there are higher. Some women don't want to study further, Others worry about buying their first house without changing their last name. In all, many people hold themselves back in a bid to push themselves  toward marriage.

Image result for single woman hoping for marriage

Sorry to burst your bubble but all of these decisions will in no way determine whether or not you get married. Unlike a promotion at work, you cannot work towards marriage. At your workplace, you can improve your work ethic; you can increase your daily targets and meet them, you can aim for a promotion and actually get it. It is not the same with marriage. Getting married is not based on a performance evaluation. You can be an amazing person and not get asked soon enough. You can be the Proverbs 31 woman and not find a 1 Peter 3:7 man or one who understands Ephesians 5:25-30. You can be all that a man needs and still not find a man who wants you just yet.... Is that enough reason to put your life on hold? Certainly not!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

13 Things I Learnt From Reading Toke Makinwa's On Becoming

One of my favourite people came by my house last weekend and asked if I had read Toke Makinwa’s On Becoming. Coincidentally, she was the fifth person asking that same question in the three days since the launch of the book and I must confess that with the unending conversations about the book on my various social media timelines, the decision to hold off reading it till later became harder to keep.

So, I jumped on the wagon and picked up a copy in a bid to get in with the ‘tea while it is still hot’

I didn’t expect for it to interest me the way it did because I had earlier thought it was just an extended version of the stories earlier circulated in the blogs concerning her marital issues but I was wrong.

With no use of pretentious metaphors, Toke bared herself in every line sharing her story of pain, love, hurt, misdeeds, betrayal and growth .

It was almost hard to believe that she went through all she wrote about which further drives home the saying that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Many of us do a great job of masking her pains with smiles.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Help! My Boyfriend Proposed But I am Not Ready

Being away from my blogs over the past couple of months did not shield me from the relationship dilemmas of those around me. I spent an afternoon lazing by my friend's pool with a couple of her other friends talking about nothing in particular, when one of the ladies said

"I think my boyfriend is about to propose."

As you can expect, we all beamed with excitement at the news. Which lady does not love the thought of a romantic proposal in the pipeline? However our excitement quickly turned to concern when we noticed that the future bride-to-be had a forlorn look on her face. She couldn't be any less enthused!
Image result for woman scared of marriage

"Well, what's the problem?"

"I am not ready".

My friend and I looked at each other and smiled. We had heard this before from our friends who are now happily married. You see, unlike what many people may think, the thought of marriage sometimes sends some people into panic mode, as they try to understand the fact that they will have to share their space, their time, their decisions and everything else that makes them who they are with someone else. And no, it does not matter if that person is the most amazing person on earth; the thought of being hitched is just scary, period. And yes, that fear is often presented in the form of the best excuse that requires little or no explanation "I am not ready".

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Getting Married To The One You Love Vs The One That Loves You

Choosing one’s life partner is a very serious step and is treated so most times. People are known to seek the counsel of their loved ones and those they respect hoping to get their approval and wise guidelines that can help them through the journey. Opinions sought and the ones not sought are always offered.

Everyone seems to have a word or two to say to people looking to embark on this life long journey.

One of the commonest things I hear is for people to marry someone that is crazy about them as opposed to getting married to someone that they are more in love with.

How does that even make sense? You may ask.

If we all take that advice, then we all would be a bunch of scheming unhappy pretenders with no integrity or hopeless cowards to say the least.

The people that say this are not without their reasons. They are of the opinion that a lot of things can change once couples get married. Attraction and passion are said to diminish and couples face situations that will test their love. Temptation will come in the guise of other available choices and one may find out that it takes someone who is truly loyal and deeply in love with one to stay by one through thick and thin.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

You Need To Take A Break From Relationships

This was the advice I gave a friend of mine a couple of months ago as she sat across the table from me at our favourite breakfast restaurant and recounted the tales of horror her last relationship put her through. I quietly listened; I mean that is a strength I have learned to develop. 

I nodded my head at certain things she said and stared in amazement at the other things. I smiled to myself often and really just let her let it all out. I'd heard all these before. As a matter of fact, just a couple of years ago, I was the one at the other end of the table recounting tales to anyone who would listen. She must have noticed after a while that I was listening and not saying a word, so she asked me "Demi am I overreacting here?"


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