October 10, 2013 | relationships

Your Relationship is YOUR Relationship

Love

When I was single, I thought I knew everything about relationships. The ones I was having and everybody else’s. I was vocal about it – piping up at any available opportunity spouting whatever bit of Oprah-esque advice I felt suited the situation. Yes, I was that douchebag. What I failed to realise though, is that my opinion on how others choose to conduct their relationships is exactly none of my business. Your relationship is just that; yours. So before you choose to divulge information about it or give advice on someone else’s, you may want to consider keeping your mouth shut and your nose out of it.

I’ve learned so many great things in my relationship. It has helped me grow enormously. When you find your person and things just click, there are few feelings better than that. The biggest lesson of course, has been the art of compromise. See, in my little checklist I made for myself when I was single about all the things I wouldn’t stand for in a relationship, the one thing I forgot to do was remove my head from my ass and consider the other person. When you’re faced with that for the first time in a relationship, it’s quite the wake up call.

As women, popular culture teaches us that all men are dogs, everyone’s gonna cheat, the man should pay for everything, we can have it all. Between Destiny’s Child anthems and reality TV, it’s clear why our expectations of life in a relationship have been somewhat skewed. The truth is, sometimes it gets hard and contrary to what popular culture has taught us, you most likely won’t down tools and leave as soon as it does. Some things are worth working on.

Your relationship is YOUR relationship. What works for the two of you is all that matters. You know the ins and outs of it. You have your arrangement and it keeps things ticking along just fine. The opinions of those around you about how they would handle your situation are useful for what exactly? They are not you.

I understand when things aren’t going well perhaps your urge is to discuss that with a close friend, but be wary of what you share. Said friend may not always have your best interests at heart (despite their ‘bestie’ status) and if you’re only ever sharing the problems you go through, others get a skewed perception of your significant other, most likely a negative one.

Nobody understands your relationship except you. Respect it, protect it and value it. The way it is conducted is to be decided by the people in it and no one else.

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4 Comments

Melissa

This is very timely. I recently shared with my colleagues that me and my partner do a lot of things alone (he’s currently on holiday alone, we often go to the cinema or theatre alone, we just have a lot of unshared interests between us) and they reacted like this was the craziest thing in the world. They just couldn’t understand it and made me feel like me relationship was in some way a failure because we don’t do everything in the same way that they do. But then I remembered they know nothing about us, or what works for us. This was another reminder of that. I certainly won’t be sharing information with them again, it did nothing to help, in fact only made me feel bad for no reason.

Jessie in Fashion Limbo

I learnt this the hard way, by losing people that were supposed to be friends and loved ones, with their opinions based on ignorance, then losing my man. When we got back together, we decided to make decisions about our life without consulting anyone else, until we both decided we needed a third opinion. We are much wary of sharing what we do. It has made us stronger, closer.

Sometimes people, and i include myself just like you did Bangs, are very quick to rant about “relationships”, whats a yes, what’s a no-no, and the truth is that there are so many loopholes, things to consider, special cases and scenarios, that sharing your stories with other people will only result in confusion, misunderstanding, things you don’t want or need to hear. I’m not advocating complete isolation, sometimes certain issues such as abuse and violence, need to be shared – people, please communicate about that – but the ins and outs, the little things that connect you and make your relationship special, like what Melissa mentioned above, are better cherished, protected and maintained as the best kept secrets ever.

Ronke

I should show my Nigerian Uncle’s & Auntie’s this post… they would be shouting “ammmmmen” to everything you’ve written. This is how they expect people to conduct their relationships/marriage. The above is something you will most definitely hear during the service of many African weddings.

Anyhoo… I’m sure many of us use to think like that (some that still do). Once upon a time I was too was a ‘douchebag’, however now I’m older, wiser and 4 weeks in as a wife. I TOTALLY get what you’re saying Bangs. Nice one. x

Krishna

As an old timer in this love and relationship thing I can say this is and will always continue to be the BEST advice you can give any couple. Sharing most aspects of your love only serves as a means to an ends for the relationship or the relationship with the bestie. people would laugh when my husband and I would quote TuPac’s Me and my girlfriend (way before beyonce and Jay LOL) when they nosed around our relationship. But it’s still relevant All I need in this life of sin is me and my boyfriend(husband doesn’twork as well).

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