Friday, 16 July 2010

Act Like A Lady & Play it Smart




I remember my last (pseudo) relationship. It was exhilarating, intense and on some days I’d never felt happier. It was also toxic. At the time I used the ‘I’m in love’ cliché as a justification for abiding with folly. In hindsight it was a lack of love for myself, not an overwhelming love for someone else, that made me stick around.

It got to a stage where my life became defined by indecisiveness. I’d constantly veer between mustering up the courage to leave and deciding to stay. Everyday I’d look into the mirror realising I was becoming a woman I didn’t like.

I remember one day I met up with one of my best friends and before I could launch into the latest melodrama he said…

‘Are we really gonna have this conversation again? You know what you need to do, you’re weak!’

As I watched his face contort into that shape men make when they feel repulsed by a woman’s behaviour, I was speechless. It wasn’t his brutal honesty that silenced me, it was the fact he was right. I had become weak.

A few months later, I admitted to my friend that his ‘weak’ comment was a catalyst in me finally ending things. Instead of graciously thanking me, he laughed and said....

‘Mate it shouldn’t have taken that to make you leave, you should have left way before that.Be careful you don’t make the same mistake thrice. You need to learn to act like a lady but think like a man’

His ‘act like a lady think like a man’ logic annoyed me. Firstly, it perpetuates the myth that there’s a vast difference in how men and women think. Secondly, it implies that the ‘masculine’ way of thinking is superior. Finally, it insults the millions of women who thrive whilst embracing their femininity. What’s worse is it’s one of those clichés women are starting to buy into.

I don’t think women find it difficult to leave destructive relationships because of how they think. In most cases there’s nothing wrong with our thought process. We know what we need to do. It’s just that after thinking clearly, we then place a disproportionate weight on our emotions. The addition of our emotions to the equation causes us to behave in a manner that’s not for our benefit. Our thinking isn’t infected, our behaviour is.

Sidebar: I’m aware there’s a link between thought and action. However in this case, I’m arguing emotional will overrides rational thought.

Most women reading this will agree that as a gender we need learn to play smarter. Our actions needs to line up with our thoughts and when necessary our heads must overrule our hearts.

There’s nothing I can write that can inoculate against the inevitability of a disastrous romance. Yet there are methods of reducing and diverting its damaging effects. Here are a few of my thoughts on how we can ‘Play it Smarter’.


Playing it Smarter


1) Don’t chase Men

If he doesn’t seem interested, he probably isn’t interested. Move on. It’s that simple.

2) Stick to your principles

If a new man causes you to challenge everything that's fundamental to you, don’t question your principles, question him. I’m aware that relationships often cause our principles to evolve. However if our principles adjust every time we’re with someone new, how will we establish our own sense of identity?

3) Keep your Power

I don't believe a woman should ever give her all her power to anyone. Keep something for yourself. You may need it. It is possible to love a man without him defining your existence. Unless his name is Jesus and he's from Nazareth, I wouldn't take the risk.

4) Demand respect

On the occasions I’ve been disrespected in a relationship it’s because I've placed myself in a situation where I could be disrespected. I've also cultivated the conditions for disrespect to flourish. In this day and age earning respect is not enough, you have to demand it and ensure it's maintained.

5) Listen to those you trust

If most of the people you trust are wary about a man you’re entertaining, I’d take it as a cue to tread carefully.

6) Avoid publicising your love life on Facebook

(This theory is based entirely on my own superstition ,rather than extensive research)

Making the Farcebook community aware of who you’re in a relationship with is the equivalent of putting a hex on your union. If a Facebook announcement hasn’t cursed your relationship I can guarantee

a) The relationship existed before one of you joined Facebook
b) You’re rarely on Facebook
c) The curse hasn’t kicked in

Keep it simple. ‘In a relationship’ ‘Married’ ‘Single’. Those who need to know who you’re with won’t need Facebook to tell them.

7) Take your time

Being constantly reminded that there are only a ‘few’ good men and pressure from family, can make women feel like the clock is ticking faster than it is. Consequently as soon as we meet someone that seems to match our criteria we rush things.

Though it feels counter-intuitive, taking our time is the best option.

8) Be wary of who and what you fight for

Unless you’re married, have kids or share assets, I don’t see why you’d fight for love if it were going to leave you maimed. In light of the fact there are billions of men in the world, if it’s about to sink, don’t try and fix it. Get off the ship before you go down with it.

9) Remember he’s not your ex

We must never punish a new man for the sins of an ex. Playing it smarter doesn’t mean regarding every man we meet with suspicion. It means we’re more cautious before we take the plunge.


10) ?

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There they are! My thoughts on how women can ‘play it smarter’. The list isn't exhaustive and as ever I want your feedback and suggestions. What's rule number 10? What have I overlooked? Which ideas do you disagree with? As ever your thoughts are appreciated!

Christiana

xxx

14 comments:

  1. Best rant of this week!!! xxxxxxx

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  2. 10. believe in your man and believe you are worth it. Insecurity is something that can really destroy a relationship. And men have fragile egos, so remember you're there to support him and always believe u deserve to be in the relationship too. That's something I learnt the hard way. Too many insecurities.

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  4. This may go under 7 or 8 or it might be 10, don't know(just my opinion). (Although I personally may struggle with this)You have to accept that not everyone you date or enter a relationship will be the 1 even if he/she seems like a really good person and you really like them. If the other person doesn't feel the same or ends up rejecting you, it's not the end of the world and you should not beat yourself up for it. I know rejection sucks, but it doesn't mean you're ugly, repulsive, a bad person or not good for anyone etc. It just means you may not be right for that person and rejection is a sad part of life which we all have to face. Some of us more than others but who knows it may just make success so much sweeter. It can knock your confidence and be hard, but it's better to accept it and move on. Don't let it change who you are either. You'd think all of this goes without saying, but with a lot of people so superficial these days, it doesn't take much for people to be offended and to get under their skin.

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  5. I cant believe christiana rants has ever been weak. Incredible. I actually cant stop laughing, not at your fragility, but because when I read your blog I honestly feel like its a guy blogging. I know you think that last line is disrespectful, its not. Traditionally, in the cultures of developed and developing countries, men are believed to be more rational than women. Its nice to know you have ever actually dated a guy. There are 6 guys here discussing you right now.We are debating who you would pick out of us lot for a date. You are a star miss.:)

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  6. My friends and I have decided that non of us would fit the bill for you as the tallest one of us is 5ft 10. We are all basically average guys and could do with some help in stepping up our acts. However, Christiana of Christiana rants is an oracle we have all come to fear. ROCK ON:-). My pal said in a very Nigerian accent 'the fear of Christiana is the beginning of wisdom. Oh, its d same anonymous guy as above.

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  7. Lol. (Really not trying to knock the fellas 'internet' game)Thought I'd seen it all. Looks like someone's just become a target. Ms. Ams if 'average' guys fear you, to the point that it needs six of 'em to post an anonymous message, I could only wonder who'd be the dude to approach you. I suppose it comes with the territory, I only hope you don't become a victim of your own success and earn a reputation that scares potentially good ones away. I'm sure it won't come to that but I suppose it may give that 'average woman' theory a test.

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  8. Very interesting piece.The only thing that I might add(seeing as you captured most of it)..Is "Don't put all your emotional eggs in his basket".Don't believe he has all the answers and can do it all..I think most men fall short because at times some of us want a 'Knight'.As much as it is a good thought, we are not victims needing to be rescued(not all the time anyway).Expectations are real killers of thriving relationships..Men are expected to do this and women that..and we compare and contrast until we realise no one can do it all..then we leave and repeat the whole process all over again..not realising that if 15 relationships failed ..you are the common denominator and should really check yourself.One person cannot do it all for you..they can try to the best of their abilities but most times their best aint yours..That's why God is there.So don't put all your eggs in his basket..thats why we need friends, and family..but more than that..learn to expect a large % of your emotional needs from God and yourself!!That's my little addition!

    By the way..I love your sidebars..always great!!Keep at it!!

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  9. Great post. I agree as women sometimes we need to check ourselves and realise we need to value ourselves more and not let our hearts rule our heads...I'm sure most of us have battle scars from so called relationships where we did not value ourselves and thought it was love when it truly wasn't.
    A list like this is good as it reminds us of how we should think and behave as sometimes it is easy to lose your head when you are caught up with someone.

    10) Don't cut off your friends, interests, hobbies just because you have a man...

    11) Don't expect a man to "rescue" you. I think as women we place an extreme amount of pressure on men and expect them to be our knight in shining armour and that he is going to save us from our pitiful existence and the world will be all right. No we have to save ourselves!

    Plus like Brenda said we need to look at what we are doing wrong if the same thing keeps on happening and why we keep attracting the same type of men/nonsense/result into our life.

    P.S Why men love bitches is a great book for this kind of thing...

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  10. Completely agree with the whole facebook thing. I can attest to the fact that it truly is a curse. It's humbling and awakening to know that every woman has a weak moment when it comes to relationship. But what's most enlightening about weak moments is the fact that afterwards (depending on the person) it truly does make you stronger emotionally.

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  11. Has anyone read...."Think like a man and act like a lady" by Steve Harvey?? It addresses this subject perfectly...dont let the title put you off like it did for me intially its a good book.

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  12. I'm with you on the facebook thing(as well as everything else). I can't count the amount of times I've winced whenever I've seen that Becki/Sally/Shekoiya is in a relationship with Tom/Dick/Devante and have wondered how long it will last.

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  13. this list needs to be in the bible ...lol

    awesome post !

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  14. I love your bestfriend for saying that to you. Your weak is kind of harsh but thats really what the problem is when you stay in a relationship knowing its causing more damage then good. I am known for doing this. My bestfriend is known for staying with guys who arent doing enough for themselve so they really cant do enough for her. I have to sit for hours and listen to the same stories. I just ask her what these guys are doing for her and how is she benefiting them. I cant tell her to leave them but I do let her know that until she truly loves herself she'll never be happy. I have been in a situation where I was waiting for a guy to get serious about what he wanted. That never happenend and for a couple of years after our end I was still holding on to the question and doubts that came along with his arrival. Oneday I decided to text him (I couldnt get the nerve to give him a call)I finally told him how I really felt about him. It was one the most freeing experiences ever. Never again will I hold onto that much pain for such a long time. Things could have been completely different if I would have spoke up. I really love your blog you need to make a book.

    -Kirstie

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