11TH EDITION OF FIRST (Friendship, Inspirations, Relationship and Studies Talk)




Wonderful people, I'm so glad to have you reading this edition of FIRST. Thanks for being there from the first edition, up till this time, the eleventh edition. So far, I acknowledge God and your support and encouragements ever since this journey began. Thanks for your contributions, your ideas, your comments and the time you spend reading and sharing these articles. The next edition will make it a year since we started this journey, and by God's grace, we hope to become better and bigger.
In this edition of FIRST, I'd love us to discuss the R part of FIRST which stands for Relationship. There's been this random discussion amongst youths nowadays about how to handle dates and hanging out with your opposite-sex friend or your significant other.

A DATE OR A MOTIVATIONAL SUMMIT?

Tolu is my name, I'm a 22 year old lady, and a 400 level student of the department of Economics in a well known federal university. I have a boyfriend who I love so much, and we've been together since the second semester of my second year. His name is Charles and he's a 500 level student in the same department. As much as I love Charles, just one thing puts me off him, and I try as much as possible not to complain about it to my friends because the first time I did, I was close to being crucified. Of course I already complained to Charles himself about it, but he keeps telling me he'll change (Maybe he'll change tomorrow).
I discovered that every time we go on a date, we usually end up discussing more on motivational books Charles has read and probably wants me to read, or we talk on some church activities that don't really concern me or he's trying to convince me to attend some seminar (don't get me wrong, it's not like I'm not spiritual or anything, but I believe some things are better discussed when they come into other topics). The major theme of every of our dates is usually ranging from spiritual topics to motivational talks. If he calls me, the discussion is usually just not the way I believe it should be, because a number of times, after dropping the call with him, my friends will ask, "did you just finish discussing with your spiritual father?". As funny as it sounds, I'm not enjoying it at all. Early morning text messages asking how my night went backed up with bible verses for the day...
Another thing that hurts me a lot about Charles is that I can't even keep a secret with him. He'll end up telling his best friend, who will pass it on to his own girlfriend, and then it goes from being a secret I told my boyfriend to becoming a public knowledge. This already happened twice, and I can't take the chances again even after I confronted him about it and he apologized. Believe me, I'm getting tired already. Is that what a relationship should be all about? I love Charles so much, but I'm beginning not to like him. Please help me.

From Lolade: The issue with Tolu is not the first of it's kind I've heard of. In fact, lots of news about this issue keeps coming up and I believe it needs to be addressed as soon as possible, before ladies and guys alike start to give up on their relationships out of boredom or something that can easily be
if not neglected. Is the problem just with the guys? Definitely not! Even the ladies have got a role to play. So, let us quickly go through a few tips on things to do to avoid boredom in a relationship and also make a relationship work out better, and please, be sure to drop your own ideas on what to do so as not to bore the other party especially when on dates.

1. Always remember that you are on a date to get go know more about each other. Talk more about yourselves. Ask questions and make sure you both are on the same page in a discussion pattern, that is, make sure you flow together, none should be left behind in the discussion.

2. A date is never a motivational summit, leave the motivational talks till when it is a mutual discussion between you both. Probably you both decide to read a book in a week or a month and you meet to discuss it. Not that you read something quite catchy somewhere and you decide to take it up while you both are on a date. He or she may give you attention as the good Significant other that she is, but to confirm her interest, see if it is a conversation(that is, she's also responding), and not that you're boring her with a long speech.

3. Never assume that your significant other is cool with your long talks with her on spiritual growth and how she's preparing to be a motivation for other women in the future. Hello, I'm not saying you shouldn't do that, but Mr Motivation, call her sometimes to just check on her, tease her, that is joke sometimes, don't make everything about you overly serious. Loosen up, and make the air around you less tense. Ladies too please, this is not just for the guys.

4. As good as it is that you are a spiritual person, and you can help out your sig-oth on being a better spiritual person, never take the fun out of your relationship. All your dates shouldn't be in relationship seminars or revival conferences(I'm not saying you shouldn't attend, but little does it!). Go to other fun places like the cinema, park, zoo, even restaurants. You don't have to do what won't sit well with both of you and your consciences or will rid you of your peace. Find out what makes each of you happy and work around it. Funny thing is, having fun for both parties might be attending seminars, or analyzing books together, just make sure you're on mutual pages, not that the other has to bend so much to fit into your own definition of fun.

5. I hope you haven't forgotten that being spiritual doesn't take away your good sense of dressing? Please, as much as possible, always look good, even if not for you, for the one you claim to love. You don't have to have a large box of shirts and trousers or gowns and blouses or skirts to look good. Rock whatever you have in a good and responsible way, and let your sig-oth be proud to show you off anywhere, anytime. Never forget to smell good too. Some deodorants won't be a bad idea, and ladies too, especially the hair, let it always look neat and smell nice too. It may not really be related to being bored in a relationship, but believe me, it may be just the tip to save your relationship. Imagine Tolu loving her sig-oth but beginning not to like him. He or she may love you and not like you because of something you keep doing and she corrects you about but you don't change.

6. Please, no matter how bad your sig-oth is, let your commendations be more than your condemnations. And if it's too bad that she hardly does anything commendable, then encourage and show her how to be a better person. When all you see in her and tell to her face is one fault or the other, then, I think she may not have a choice than to give up on the relationship, I've seen it happen a lot of times. So, try as much as possible to make things work out well, and it all still boils down to being on the same page on discussions. Is she responding to your encouragements? Is she adjusting? Is she working on becoming better? Check those things out, and you can know what next best step to take.

7. Every correctly configured human being on earth loves it when they are respected. Wherever you find yourself, whether or not your sig-oth is physically present, never diminish her image. Always respect her both in her presence and her absence. Let nothing from you reduce her worth before people (family members, colleagues, friends...). In fact, when her image needs protection, you should spring up to action. The same applies to the ladies.
8. If your significant other trusts you enough to tell you a secret, brother, sister, let it remain a secret. No matter how close you are to your best friend, you don't need to share the secrets of your sig-oths with them. It can be very heartbreaking when one hears what he or she told you personally elsewhere.

N.B: Sig-oth is short for Significant other.
Well, I believe I've just said how much my mind can give out, I believe there are lots of people out there, more experienced and know more about how to handle situations such as that with Tolu, please, I'd love to hear from you. You can drop your comments in the comment box, or send a mail to firstwithlolade@gmail.com.
Thanks for your time, please don't just read, do drop your comments, and remember to share too.

"You're an amazing being, and your opinions matter".


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