By Ene Elizabeth Adeka
A lady’s imagination is rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment. – Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
Love is for everyone, commitment is for a select few. This is a hard pill to swallow especially if you’re out to just have fun, collect hearts and store them in your own private collection of a jar of hearts; memoirs and souvenirs of the lives your feet walked through.
Love is for everyone – from children to grand old dames; commitment is for intentional people. If you are here, it means you’re either stuck in something you cannot exactly call a relationship or you want to really know if you are in a relationship or not (it’s the same problem actually in different sentences). This also means you are tired of the emotional game and you want to be serious with your life.
Getting serious with your life entails becoming intentional about living. Responsibility is not all about being the good girl in the church choir or the guy who does not smack the face of the girl he loves. Responsibility is understanding the cost dimension of life, realizing every action or reaction has a full implication and repercussion, every decision has its pros and cons and every emotion deserves an explanation.
This Girl Thinks I Am In Love With Her
A wise king once said, “Do not awaken love until the time is ripe.” However, the same king went on to have 700 wives and 300 concubines…but that is an article for another day. She does not think you are in love with her. Your actions implied you are smitten and her good old heart went ahead of her to plan a romantic getaway for two.
Now, don’t feel bad your nicety was mistaken for love. Most women CANNOT differentiate a guy who is “just being nice” from the one who is “in love” with them. A woman who has mastered the art of differentiating the two is a woman who has been hurt multiple times by reason of misunderstanding these two kinds of men or a woman who has a high level of emotional intelligence. Understanding this is your first deliverance as a man, so say after me:
Half of the girls I currently I’m friends with do not know the difference between a “nice” guy and a guy who is “in love” with them.
Should I Stop Being Nice?
The world has enough mean people, please do not add to the list. A friend of mine was elevated to a leadership position and as a result, he had a lot of women to not only lead but who looked up to him. One day he called for an impromptu meeting and this was the discussion he had with the women.
“I am your leader and as such, I AM RESPONSIBLE FOR YOU! I may call you, send text messages periodically or even decide to spend time with each one of you individually. This does not in any way mean I am romantically interested in any of you. In the event that I become interested in any one, it shall be a private affair but just to be clear, we are a team.”
Meeting ended. Point taken, future hurts avoided.
Now you may not be as blunt and frank as my friend, in fact, some people may consider this approach to be quite demeaning and full of pride and you may hear them say things like:
Who does he think he is? Ugly hunk of muscle going about like he is the patron saint of handsome people!
This guy is so proud, its dripping!
I am disappointed you think I even had my eyes on you!
I am sorry but I am in a loving relationship and I honestly was just being nice. I AM HURT you think I have ulterior motives.
It’s alright, King Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines; I am pretty sure none of them were confused what category they belonged to. When a concubine begins to act like a wife, trouble is bound to follow.
How people perceive you to a large extent cannot be determined by you, however, you can have principles you live by that would save you and myriads of others unnecessary drama.
Perhaps you are a very soft-hearted person and you take into account the emotions of others, hence it’s difficult for you to look into the eye of a potential admirer and say, “Look, I am not out for a relationship, I am just being nice,” and yet people keep misunderstanding you. I bring you word today, the lines of definition are not clear.
Everyone Deserves to Be Loved
The greatest psychological need of every person is the need to feel loved, valued and appreciated hence it is only natural that people are drawn to you if you fulfill this basic need. However, sometimes being a “ladies man” come with great sacrifices.
Listen to me, great men understand the power of relationships and use it to their advantage. Don’t lose out on a business partner simply because you were too cowardly to define your relationships. You can love everyone, but you cannot be committed to everyone on the same level. It would drain you financially, physically and emotionally!
Shall we head on to the ladies?
I Think This Guy Thinks We Have Chemistry
Chemistry is an understatement, he thinks you’re the whole laboratory. And what’s even more surprising? He has a right to think so because up until the time you asked yourself why he’s been calling incessantly; your actions have implied you’re a fish in a pond waiting to swallow hook, line and sinker.
Your heart looks like a landing strip waiting for the next available plane to taxi round until it’s ready for takeoff. As a matter of fact, he had you at boarding, takeoff and landing. All that remains is for him to hand you a no-return ticket into a relationship you did not exactly plan for.
Why so surprised!
He called you on Valentine’s Day, sent gifts and words of sweet nothings. You smiled, showed the girls and replied your real boyfriend. When you’re hungry, he’s your 5 star restaurant.
When you need to quickly visit someone, he’s your own special Uber Driver, an angel who has no wings but drives a classic Benz. When you’re depressed, he’s your shrink.
When you are low on cash, he’s your Central Bank. Now you want to give him the “no strings attached” line. You mean all this time he’s been “a friend with benefits?”
You lie! We join him and everyone else who has followed this love story to say you’re in a relationship!
Am I saying a guy cannot be all these and still simply be your friend???
We all have people in our lives who are all these but they KNOW they what they are and are not. DO THEY KNOW YOU ARE NOT IN A RELATIONSHIP WITH THEM?
How to Define Your Relationships
1. Settle your level of commitments
This is the realm of DECISIONS!
I mentioned that when you treat everyone on the same level, it would drain you physically, financially, emotionally and spiritually (sometimes). These are the four basic levels of commitment for me. For people who are family, you’re committed to them on all four levels.
Emotionally, you have to choose who is worth making your heart dance to whatever tune they play. Love is a command, association is by choice.
Financially, well…let your heart, bank statement, investments and business sense decide for you.
Physically, shall we talk about sex without defined boundaries? I am sure you know better.
Spiritually, I leave you and the spirit that sponsors your associations to determine that. If you however want to play God in the life of everyone who comes your way, don’t be surprised when mortals cast their cares upon you.
2. Don’t leave your relationships at the mercy of assumptions
You deserve to know what exactly your role is in the life of a person. You can’t keep watering someone’s garden. Just like your mind, another man will not cultivate your own. It matters why, where, who and what you’re investing in. Relationships are capital intensive, love intensive and you deserve your ROIs.
3. Know what you want
Don’t go hunting for a lover when all you need is a friend.
4. Be sincere
Sometimes, a little sincerity is all you need to avoid the unnecessary drama in your relationships.
5. Seek Mentorship
Just like everything else in life, relationships can be learnt. Read books, ask questions and don’t just sit and assume you can handle “it” when you don’t even know “its” name.
6. Define your existing relationships
Create boundaries and personally supervise them. Let people earn the right of access into your life. Don’t leave the gates to your heart open like a city without walls.
We love you guys and are committed to seeing you happy emotionally, financially and every other “ally”. Say hello; leave your contributions or questions in the comment box and faya on!