I read an article this past week on National Geographic about a young woman who had had a face transplant. The thought of someone getting a new face fascinated me and I immediately clicked on the link to read more about this incredible procedure when the post popped up on my instagram feed. After reading about her incredible journey to receiving a new face and seeing all the work done on her by her doctors, I wanted to understand how she lost her face in the first place. We lose a lot of things in our life time but I had never thought that one could lose their face but here I was reading about a young lady who had lost her face. You see, at 17, this young lady had tried to take her life by using her brother’s gun – while I am aware that there were several factors that led this young woman to a point where she did not want to live anymore, there was one statement in there that caught my attention. She had met a young man she had fallen in love with and according to reports, they had planned on getting married only for her to find out that he was allegedly talking to someone else. For some time now, I have had readers ask if I could write about people that start relationships with no intention of staying faithful. As I read the story of this young lady and her remarkable journey to getting a new face, I decided to explore this subject of people starting relationships and not staying faithful.
The biggest coward is a man who awakens a woman’s love with no intention of loving herBob Marley
February is the month of love and people spend millions around the world to celebrate love on valentines day – I have also seen the many narratives out there on how to make relationships stronger and what people need to do to ensure that their relationships work. However, for February, I decided to look at the toxic traits and red flags in relationships that lead to tragic events like that of this young lady who lost her face – and in many cases brokenness that can manifest in many negative ways that messes up people’s lives. Bob Marley once said “The biggest coward is a man who awakens a woman’s love with no intention of loving her” – I think it is safe to interchange man and woman in this quote as the issue here is not unique to women alone being victims. I once asked someone why they got into a relationship and they had no reason why – to them the other person was available and they were lonely so they thought it was good to let them think that what they had was mutual. Years ago, I had a friend who wanted to breakup with his then girlfriend – I liked this girl and I was surprised he wanted to breakup with her so I asked why and he stated that she was too ‘agreeable’. She said ‘yes’ to everything he asked for and he wanted someone who would be a bit challenging – I never understood why he would want someone challenging but I guess we all have our wants but what I never understood was why he chose to string this woman along for months to tell her that the relationship was not working for him. He stated that he wanted to wait till summer to breakup with this woman because he felt people are generally happier in summer – so he waited and during that time, any potential connections this woman could have made was denied her because she believed herself to be in a committed relationship.
A reader got in touch a few weeks ago about someone they thought they were dating only to realise that what she thought of the relationship was not shared by the other person. She had met this person through mutual friends and she admits that there was chemistry between them – plus he was particularly attentive whenever they were out in public. It was not long before they started hanging out – though he never defined the relationship and she never asked, she confirms they did things couples did and people around them saw it too. However, this reader states that there were red flags when he would be absent for days or when this guy would say to people that he was waiting for the right one to come along. She admits that there were other signs coupled with utterances about waiting for the right one that should have made her start the conversation on defining their relationship. She eventually found out that he was talking to other people and he stated that it was her fault to think they were in a relationship when nothing had been defined. This reader went on to say that she is now very cautious of getting into a relationship because she is afraid of trusting someone again. In the movie ‘Why did I get married?’, Jill Scott’s character, who found new love after her divorce from her abusive cheating husband said something to her ex husband when she run into him for the first time after her new marriage. She told her ex that she chose to forgive him so she would not punish her new husband. It took time and it took her acknowledging her role in what went wrong in her marriage to finally be able to forgive and heal and I truly wish this for the reader who shared her experience.
Regardless of what people may say, we all go into relationships with preconceived ideas of how we would want the relationship to be – and that is not a bad thing, however, these expectations should be flexible and realistic. There was a young Ghanaian couple in the news a few years ago because less than a year after their wedding, the wife allegedly poisoned her husband leading to his death. When this happened, there was an uproar about what had happened and the young lady fled the country – to be honest no one has heard about her since then. While the public was in shock about what had happened, my best friend and I were more interested in the body language and behaviour of these two from the many photographs, videos and audios released by the media of this young couple. From all indications, the young woman felt she was too beautiful to be with a man who would not spend all his money on her – so even after her marriage, she continued to entertain other men and handed out sexual favours for money. The young man who tragically lost his life, on several audio recordings alluded to the fact that he married her because she was very beautiful and that in fact her beauty and lighter skin colour was why his family liked this woman. From where I was sitting, these two people had no business being in a relationship or requiring others to trust them. For a marriage that lasted less than a year, there were multiple affairs from both the man and woman which eventually led to both mistrusting each other to the point that they both recorded each other every time they conversed. These two were in a relationship for all the wrong reasons and from all indications, they had no intention of staying faithful to each other – once their expectations were not being met, they broke the trust of the other person and involved other people who also got hurt in their wake.
The world is changing and people want different things from relationships – however, to have different expectations from the other person and not make them aware can be dangerous. We need to be realistic on what we expect and communicate it clearly when we enter a relationship – decide what you are willing to compromise on and what is non-negotiable. I think it is fair to say that there have been instances where we have ignored red flags hoping they would disappear – the truth is, we disrespect and disregard ourselves when we ignore the truth and hope for a better outcome. Dating scenes these days have become very difficult to navigate with easy access to physical connections before any mental or emotional connections are made. With this in mind, I think we should all be brutally honest with ourselves on what we expect and be bold enough to enquire what the other person wants – but most importantly, we should be brave enough to accept the truth about what people want and move on if they are not in line with what we want. I am also aware of people who will lie and use people because they are available and they have access to them – there are still red flags that can be seen if you pay close attention, so look out for yourself.
Life is hard and we need people in our corner to help each other navigate through this maze called life – however, we must be brave to sacrifice what is not good for us but seemingly easy, to achieve what is best for us. Many of you have been getting in touch and sharing your stories – thank you very much for agreeing to use your experiences to effect the change we need.