By Mutiat Alli
Seeing what the relationship of this our century is turning into, where we tolerate ourselves then call it love, guys cheat on their girlfriends and vice visa.
One could say to himself that we need help and healing, if I am permitted to use that, for a change of perspective about what truly a relationship is and suppose to look like, which drives us to the question of: How many of us are truly really happy in our relationship today?
There have been numerous misconceptions about Nigerian relationships, from the men thinking all women are ‘nags’ and after their money to the women believing that all guys are cheats, liars with the list of others going on and on like that.
But the truth still remains that though some of this believes/ thoughts or misconceptions are true but none of the listed is 100% true, this been because it all depends on who YOU are dealing with and who you claim to be in love with.
So today, we took it upon ourselves to highlight key ingredients of a happy Nigerian relationship.
1. Expect down times
The average Nigerian mentality is to stay positive and not realistic in trying times, which is good. However, you should expect that there would be downtimes in the relationship that would require you to build skills that would help you manage these difficulties.
This is not the same as being paranoid or negative; it’s similar to studying for an exam that has no fixed date yet.
It just means that, there is time for everything, and understand that nothing lasts.
The beauty now reflects when you are able to hold each other up when the downtimes come. That is where the real beauty is.
First of all, let us establish the fact that there is nothing like a white lie; it is just a word coined to avoid hurting people’s feelings.
A lie is a lie, and it should not be hidden from the light. When you tell a lie to your partner, it doesn’t save the day; it postpones the ‘truth day’.
When in a relationship, you need to be 100% truthful even when it hurts. Let your yes be ‘yes’ and your no be ‘no’.
That is one of the things the older generation with happy and long-lasting relationships have understood.
Honesty is key to a happier life. Be honest with yourself and your partner. It’ll save you from a lot of trouble.
Remember, love brings two people with different ideologies, background, interests, and maybe religion together.
The keyword here is TOGETHER. It is no longer about ‘you’ alone or ‘me’ alone. It has now turned to be about the both of you.
When a tough decision that involves the both of you arises, wear your grown up pants and meet each-other in the middle and be done with it.
Don’t be selfish in your relationship. It is hurtful to the other party. They might not show it in the open, but in secret, it hurts.
You should not let that happen to your relationship.
4. Pay 100% attention
If you are in a serious or long term relationship, you would probably understand the urge to be taken seriously.
Not many people do. People love to know that they are being heard, felt and understood.
When in a relationship every detail is important, every complaint is ‘double’ important, especially when your significant other is particular about it.
Note this there’s a thin line between being attentive and being obsessive, you need to know your partner well.
For my fellas, your woman goes to make her hair or get her hair done, compliment her, compliment her dress, or her hair.
Let her know that you have seen it and you like and appreciate her for it. For my ladies, you man goes to get a new haircut, compliment him.
Let him know that he looks more handsome. That way, both parties know that their partners are paying attention to them fully. This way, you guys are happier.
5. Never compare your relationship with another
This should be on the ‘Never ever do this’ list. You should never compare your relationship to another relationship. Never.
Never say “Look at John, he got this for his Sonia” or “Look at Chioma, she cooks daily for her boyfriend”. Those statements are in all the shades of wrong there is.
Comparisons in relationships have a way of making people feel less of themselves, incompetent and stupid; it leads to gradual withdrawal from both parties.
When your significant other is not doing what you want or making you happy talk about it instead of nagging them about it.
Put it out on the table in an understandable manner so that both of you can deal with whatever it is.
Communication is a very vital and most important key to a healthy relationship.
When issues arise between you and your partner, do not patch it up, make excuses for it or sleep over it; instead, ‘discuss it’.
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That you talk and have discussions with your significant other doesn’t mean you are communicating.
And please don’t focus only on what they are saying, but also on what they are not saying. Sometimes the nonverbal signs tell you more than the verbal signs. Also, don’t forget to pay attention to body language.
Whether it is coming from your partner or going out from you, actions, they say, speak louder than words.