The inspiration for writing this particular blog post came from a conversation I had a few hours ago with one of my closest friends. We are like brothers so we often discuss the new things life has decided to bring us. Family, business and relationships are often the core of our conversations. Considering the fact that he was in a relationship I asked him… ‘Do you feel that your girlfriend is the one?’ His response was that he isn’t sure but he prays on it and takes it day by day. But it was what he said after that really stuck with me because it not only showed me how much we’ve both grown up since secondary school, but also in one sentence he managed to describe what a relationship is all about. He said:
“All I can say is that I need her as much as she needs me”
To me this was clarity.
Her being the source of his happiness and that he couldn’t survive without her wasn’t the intention of this statement. What he meant was that through them being together she is able to strengthen his weaknesses and vice-versa. Because they are open-minded, they expose each other to new things. Pushing each other has allowed them to grow as individuals and together as an item. This is what causes them to need each other. They complete each another, not by seeking happiness from one another but by gaining happiness from each other.
He then said something semi-controversial, ‘nothing that is worth it, isn’t worth fighting for’. Some of you reading this will disagree and argue but hey, it causes reason for some good debate. His point was that it’s important to get through the arguments but the key is to learn from them rather than repeat them. He avoids conflict at all costs.
A problem with guys…
I happen to be one so this gives me free reign to sincerely speak from a male point of view. For some reason guys dismiss and downgrade relationships. It’s not because we don’t believe in relationships, it’s because we’re not always successful with them. My friends have acquired this annoyingly bad habit of picking up the phone to converse about the negative shit instead of the positive stuff when it comes to their girlfriends. They would prefer to tell me about the five times she pissed him off rather than the thousands of times she’s made him feel completely content. All this does is scare single guys like me and prevents us from seeing positive outcomes a good relationship can produce. So we decide to stay single or take the “gyalist” route. Nobody wants to invest in a relationship that may eventually come to an end but we need to stop being cowards and understand that we must appreciate the good but also be man enough to accept the bad. It is part of life and part of growing up.
The other day I had this thought. If nothing positive comes out of a break-up, it should actually be called a break-down, because breaking up isn’t always a negative thing. If both parties managed to grow and happiness was experienced for a part of the relationship, that relationship was in fact a positive one regardless of how it ended.
I once heard love described like this… ‘Love is when you have found yourself with the same person you’re not afraid to lose yourself with’
I need to understand that putting myself out there emotionally can give me the most magical and beautiful times of my life. Although it leaves us very vulnerable for pain & hurt we must have faith. Faith in love. If you believe in destiny then you would agree that what is meant to be will be. I have told myself that
if when I find her, I must make sure I love hard and trust that if the relationship was to come to an end it was for a reason. I just trust that whoever or whatever is controlling the universe wouldn’t give us anything we couldn’t handle.
We often question our relationships and ask why? It was great that when I asked the question I was provided with an honest answer that came from the heart.
I know love is a topic that is discussed often but there’s just so much to say.
I’m a ‘relationship’ guy and always have been a ‘relationship’ guy. From the age of about 15 I’ve been in and out of situations, finding myself infrequently satisfied and basically personifying just about every cringe-worthy Drake line to date. Eventually something had to give, and ‘give’ it did, however, I may not have been as ready to receive as I had thought.
The year is 2009 and I am gearing up to take the life-changing step of moving out into the big bad world and joining England’s next batch of budding creatives, stoners and aspiring middle class citizens at university. Having come out of a relationship months earlier, I was enthusiastic about uni life; the picture that US teen sitcoms painted was an appetising one, I couldn’t wait to get stuck into the assignments and get stuck even deeper into the girls (Mostly the latter). That was until I met THE girl.
I happened to meet her a month before I was scheduled to move to university which, as you may be thinking, destroyed my chances of getting stuck into anything except awkwardly phrased essay questions, but that didn’t bother me much. What did bother me was the lack of fast food, pedestrian crossings and generally exciting things to do in the jolly old town of Farnham, Surrey, but I digress.
So we go through the honeymoon period and things were sweet. She provided stability in what was a turbulent period in my life; I was in a weird new place doing a course I now know I don’t like, student finance have messed up my money and there are no African/Caribbean barbers within a 10 mile radius. (I looked jacked up!) But she would make the trip to see me at every opportunity, and run errands back in London for me that I wasn’t capable of doing myself due to my current circumstances.
Fast forward, I dropped out of university, enrolled into another shortly after, then dropped out of that one also. I know, screw-up right? But she stuck by me through it all and offered support whenever I needed it. Her Dad even gave me a job working with him, which turned out to be one of the best character building experiences of my life, it was right up there, wedged between my 1st wank and switching from dialup to broadband (are the two events related? who knows.) We were building the kind of foundations that marriages are based upon.
Then I started noticing these feelings. Caused by comfortability? Maybe. Complacency? Could have been. I got a little stuck in my ways and coupled with the identity crisis I was facing in my life, felt I needed a change. Basically, I wanted to penetrate other women. I make no excuses or justifications, I was misguided and if I knew what I know now I would have done the whole thing differently, but more on that later.
So we go through our rough patch, we fight, we make up, we fight, all the while I’m wrestling with these inner demons. It gets to a point where we decide that we both need space and we break up. Now this was the 1st time that I really used the opportunity of being single to part take in the things single guys do, I’d go into more detail but I’ll leave that up to the imagination. At one point I felt like Marcellus Wallace (without the gimp and the whole gay experience thing) like I was the man. The time I spent independently helped mould me into one, not because I was blessing girls with my almighty bamboo stick, but because I was making decisions based on my own needs and it felt good, liberating even.
Within this period of time I was able to get reacquainted with myself, finding new things of interest and really understanding what kind of person I am and how I would like to be viewed by other people. I was even able to develop my own sense of style and was comfortable trying new things that previously I would have been apprehensive about. This was an enlightening experience for me, and one that was long over due. But soon I started to question myself; what is it I wanted to do with my life? What plans have I made? It was all very introspective stuff, I was asking the hard questions in hopes of finding the honest answers.
“The only thing I’ve learned is, good girls are hard to find” - Phife Dawg, Butter.
And no truer words have been spoken. Phife was dropping gems like this in ‘91 and 21 years later, I’m discovering the very same truths. During this period of deep thought, I realised that working in IT was a good temporary solution to a long term question and that writing is something I’ve always had a passion for. I realised that you have to pave out your own path and that you can’t rely on life simply ‘happening’. I realised that there was a person out there who I’ve shared experiences with, who loved and respected me, and that the only thing keeping me from this person were my own insecurities.
I decided that there were things in my life that needed putting into place. On a personal level, I needed to start taking writing seriously, and on a relationship level, I needed to put things right with my ex (I dislike that term). We spoke, we got things off our chest, and I was grateful that she felt the same way and we while we knew things wouldn’t be instantly fixed, we were ready to work on it.
Reading Sait’s ‘A Big Thank You To The Girls I’ve Hurt’, made me think of my own growth as a man. This situation has played a big part in that, and I learned as much with her as I did without. The time away from each other allowed us to grow as individuals; I see the maturity in her, and she recognises the growth within me.
It is important to emotionally and spiritually evolve, and you should always take the opportunity when it is available. While there have been times in my life that it was necessary to permanently move myself away certain energies, sometimes a personal break is needed in order for you to do some self analysis and find out what it is that is really important to you. In my case the break up had a positive impact on the relationship and I know that most of the time it doesn’t end up that way, but before making a decision to completely go your separate ways, it may be worth sparing the thought that it isn’t the end, simply an opportunity.
As I mature and grow into a ‘good man’, I have moments of reflection in which I reflect back on past encounters I’ve had with girls and I constantly wish I handled every situation differently. But the other night I realised something. I’ve learned/learning how to grow into a better man by not being the better man I should have been in the life of a girl I was with previously. It sounds real silly and extremely bad, but through my shit behaviour towards girls in the past, I gradually learned how to be a better man for the next girls I had encounters with.
I’ve learned more from girls that have ditched me when I fucked up than from the girls that didn’t ditch me and allowed me to continue fucking up. This is a primary reason why I tend to advise my lady friends to leave their dudes that fall short of their expectations. This is not just because I believe girls (and obviously people in general) should never settle for anything less than what they deserve, but because as a man myself I know for a fact that we men must want to change for ourselves long before we can change for a girl.
To the girls reading this, I have two questions…
- A guy who was once a scumbag (cheater, for example), will he always be a scumbag?
-As a woman, do you care about how your boyfriend/husband treated other women or do you only care about the way he treats you?
I’m 100% sure that there are married men out there who treat their wives like Queens but at the same time have women in their pasts that will always see them as ‘scumbags’ regardless of the adjustments they have made to their lives. Take Wiz Khalifa for example, he claims Amber Rose was the catylst that sparked the change in him. I’m pretty sure Amber’s opinions of Wiz would be completely different to Wiz’s women of the past.
I believe that social conditioning has the majority of girls wanting to be in a relationship. The same pressure whether it is positive or negative, isn’t as heavy on the shoulders of young guys. Maybe this is the reason most girls prepare themselves to be ‘wifey-material’ quicker than dudes ready themselves to become ‘hubby-material’. I’m not saying us men will never be ready to commit one day, I just think it takes the average man longer to arrive there than the average woman.
So whilst we are becoming ‘hubby-material’, is it fair to label us ‘bad men’ even if it is helping us on our way to become ‘good men’?
It’s a shame girls can’t click their fingers to change a guy from player to commitment. It’s an even bigger shame she can’t be the girl that inspires him to change. It’s not a shame though if you choose to stick around a guy that is becoming when you’re looking for a guy that has already become.
Girls want a good dude in their life - and they all deserve one – but I don’t think they care to know how he got there. I totally understand girls do not want to be the one that meets a man along the road to becoming a good man. It’s always more ideal to be the woman who meets him after he has already reached his destination. But as the saying goes, ‘even the road to hell is paved with good intentions’ or in my case… ‘the road to heaven is paved with bad intentions.’