17 Lessons I Learned in 2017: On Relationships

A very good morning to you.

I am really enjoying this series, I hope you pick up something.Before I get into today’s topic, I want to point something out. One of the reasons I decided to blog is because I believe so much in the power of new media, popularly know to you as ‘the internet’. I believe that brands can grow, with consistency by just using the internet. So many talents have been discovered on YouTube, so many people have gone from being regular to mainstream.The real reason is because you never know who is watching. If you are a musician you could land a producer. I am not sure whether it is Justin Beiber or some other artist but he got a record deal when a producer landed on a two-year old YouTube video. Professionals can grow their brands and open doors. If you doubt it, look for Doctor Mike or Beauty By Dr Cat on Instagram.Yesterday I discovered that an article I wrote in November, one of my ‘Hustle Wednesday‘ series landed on Vukile Manzi, the profiled entrepreneur. That alone melted my heart and reminded me of the main reason I am blogging. Do not be scared to put your content out there, you never know who is watching.

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Back to today’s lessons, as a young woman trying to find her voice and hopefully leave her mark, romantic relationships are unavoidable. I am human. That explains it. However this year, I deliberately made the choice to be truly, madly and deeply single so I could focus on work. See, in my self-analysis phase, I realised that it was nearly impossible for me to juggle both a relationship and work, at least before I became stable. I would like to call it a self- discovery spree but it is just committing  to yourself before someone else gets involved. Some can do both so well, I am not them so I had to keep it real.

Just a little clarification: I am referring to a full- blown relationship.

So what did I learn about relationships this year?

10. Do not succumb to society’s pressure

This is so cliché but it is the most common reason why most people decide to get hitched. For ladies, being in my age bracket and mid twenties can be daunting in this age and era because everyone you know is getting married. Sometimes the pressure is not even direct, you know the normal family ‘When are we meeting him?’ questions. Social media has made it so easy to compare timelines. Everybody wants a happy relationship ‘like the it couple’ but you never really know what goes on behind the scenes. Maybe they are not respected in the union. How do I know that? Sometimes a guy hits your DM and his profile totally says hooked. Those are the kinds of things that make me oblige to my relationship lane at the moment: single as they come.

11. Pay attention to the red flags 

This is a woman’s thing. Especially the young ones in their 20s and the older ones who never learned anything. Red flags are real. Those tiny little hints of potential violence, the occasional small slap which I hear is a reset button, will eventually lead you to your grave, if you don’t opt out. As young women, we are so blinded by love and for some reason that ‘clock is ticking‘ phenomenon makes us stay with the wrong people perhaps due to the pressure above. We also have that little fear that ‘we will never find anyone like him‘,something I look back at and just wonder how stupid it was for me to even fathom.There will always be someone. Believe me! There will always be someone. It is painful to leave but if you don’t, you will be treating STDs for life! If you have been funding him all through (not that some women mind), he may never ever step up. It is up to you to decide. I cannot speak for married people but when you are still young, pay attention to the red flags.

12.Have your life before you are someone’s wife

This is something I saw on a Beyonce interview almost five years ago and it stuck. I think all of us have to go through the process of finding ourselves.It is hard to do that when you have three kids and a mortgage so your twenties ought to be selfish. Use them to grow, understand yourself and what you would and wouldn’t do for anything. I think twenties are the period when you set standards. Let me give you an example. As a woman, have you ever dated someone that never ever took you out? Even occasionally. Your job was probably to stay indoors like the TV. All of a sudden you break up and you see him taking someone else out on dates, flooding his timeline with pictures? Standards my friend. Sometimes standards are the simplest things and you set them in your twenties. It is hard to be that woman who is clear about her values if you do not spend time to even find what they are! Just make sure that before he puts that ring on it, you are complete or nearly complete. You should be able to love without losing yourself.

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Bonus: If you do find someone who loves you and respects you, go for it. I’m all for love. Just don’t get shortchanged in the name of having a partner!

See you tomorrow.

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