cheating

I’m Too Old for this

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I’ve heard the likes of this tweet verbalized A LOT lately. In relation to games, lies, flip flopping, and the general indecisiveness that can come with dating, the consensus has been:

“I’m [just] too old for this [behavior]”.

The interesting thing I’ve noticed about this statement is that nothing really has changed of the ‘(dating) game’ per se, just their our participation in it. I say ‘our’ because I can proudly add myself to that list of statement makers.
Indeed, I have my own ‘I’m too old for this’ story that I would like to tell on this here fine beautiful Monday in Accra. So let’s begin, shall we…
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03c9b5ead512b42c56c386b566e87039I met a guy a few months ago, who I immediately took a liking to. We started off slow but steady, developing a good
friendship and genuine enjoyment of one another’s company. The mutual attraction was growing and if I’m honest with myself it was the first time in a long time that I could see myself being with someone in a meaningful way long term, or as Amma put it one day, “Wow, you *really* like him, eh?”. *Shrug* I did. And this, you can say is a very hard thing to come by for me, hence her bewilderment. In any case, it would appear that just as things were beginning to grow roots the tree was abruptly and quite frankly, incomprehensibly uprooted. Yes… he ghosted.
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I feel like for the remainder of this story my words won’t give due justice to what happened, so how about I let someone else tell the story for me? Because when a male tweeter so graciously tells the story of mine and millions of other women so eloquently as was done on the twittersphere a couple weeks, you gotta let him do it. He (Mr. Nonprophet_) even graciously added in the opaque portions of the other (man’s) side of the story, which so often gets left out when I we women write retell rant. I must say that I love when men do mansplaining of dating, because it validates that we women aren’t crazy in some of the things we say, and it allows stories to be told without people pointing accusatory fingers at something the woman (supposedly) did wrong, or without them taking on an accusatory tone that the woman is telling the story from a bitter angle. So thank you, @Nonprophet_ . **Read to the end, RR – it’s a good read🙂
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I realize I am getting too old to be a ghost buster. No more time to be out here trying to chase the wind. And I am glad that @Nonprophet_  has shifted the onus of this struggle.

Let me know your thoughts! Did @Nonprophet_ just tell your recent (or not-so recent) story? Men, is this accurate?

Ciara-catures and Ayesha Curry Unicorns: Are you Steph enough?

I was listening to a podcast recently— The Africanist. It was a really good episode about spirituality. At the end of each episode, the all male panel have a very interesting segment called “Respect or Nah” where they decide whether or not a current event is worthy of their respect… or nah. In this case, the event was Russell Wilson’s engagement to Ciara and the hosts were debating whether or not they respected Russell’s decision to wife Ciara. I winced numerous times during the conversation, but what really killed me was the way in which Ayesha Curry was put up against Ciara in this epic battle of ‘worthiness of marriage’. *Sigh* 


So here’s what Ciara’s caricature looks like:

  • Man eating whore with a child, thereby proving her whoredom…
  • Sleeps with rappers
  • Other things whores do, because she has a child out of wed lock so she is one— a whore that is (…pure logic)

 

Here’s what Ayesha Curry’s caricature looks like:rs_634x951-151030173738-634.Ayesha-Curry.ms.103015

  • Christian
  • Modest
  • All around good girl
  • And she’s “bad”
  • Mother, wife, cheerleader, supporter, comforter, friend
  • Not. a. whore.

 

 

 

After they had built these two caricatures, a majority, if not all, of the members of the podcast agreed that they all wanted— NAY — deserved an Ayesha Curry. LOL! Imagine!

So I first had to ask them (as I was driving and speaking with a slightly elevated voice at my iPhone): Are you Stephan Curry?!?!

In case you are confused by the question, here’s how to know if you are:

      • En route to becoming/ currently are a millionaire before your 30th birthday?
      • Attended Christian youth group meetings in high school?
      • Willing to be with one girl during your college years (at a time when you could have literally had every single girl in the world)?
      • Willing to marry *that* same girl at a time when you are en route to becoming a legend in whatever your field of human endeavor?
      • Confident in yourself and your life trajectory by the age of 23?
      • Working tirelessly at your giftings and craft?
      • Generally indifferent about the need to consistently get a shape up for public appearances?

It is VERY likely that of the aforementioned criteria, you maaaaaaybe fit half  a third one of them… And that is the one about your hair line (because we are all doing the whole Wknd, beard gang, no shape up life these days, so yeah…)  And so how horrible would I be to say that because you don’t fit the standards listed above, you should never be able to wife an Ayesha (whatever that even means…)? But that’s what people have done to Ciara. So maybe Future was a bad partner… And unfortunately she did have his child, but should she not get to be with an “alleged” good guy like Russell Wilson because of that? Because the truth of the matter is, that if I am employing the same logic to the guys on the podcast (and those that share their same sentiments), I am almost 300% certain that you all are or were in fact a Ciara-cature (as we shall call it from this point forward), so how come you deserve an ‘Ayesha’?

unnamed (1)This then leads me to my next question: Weren’t you a Ciara-cature all through your 20’s? *Pause and reflect*. Some time back, Afua wrote a post about being the girl who comes right before a guy has his ‘come to Jesus’ moment. It’s this idea that guys can go out into the world and demolish hearts and minds and souls and bodies— and then rise from the ashes they have created and ‘rightfully’ marry a Michelle Obama of their choosing. The issue is that men don’t have to carry the physical manifestations of a one night stand gone wrong (aka pregnancy). And some can even have children and be so distant from them that it’s as if they do not have them at all. In essence, a guy’s sexual history isn’t necessarily on display if they don’t have the children to show for it.

Real Queen of Dragons

I hate the Ciara-cature that has been created, because after all, anyone could get pregnant when having sex. And everyone has a relationship with characters they are ashamed of. But unlike the Reggie Bush’s, Ray J’s and Chris Humphries of the world, they can move on in their lives from those shameful exes. Just because Ciara was impregnated by her shameful past of a boyfriend in a public setting doesn’t make her any different from many young people just ‘relationshipping’ today (minus the million dollar ring and private island vacations and all). In fact, in the most recent issue of Essence magazine, Ciara had some really interesting things to say about her past and her commitment to her faith and moving on from her mistakes. If nothing else, she has learned not to lower her standard and to focus on herself and child. Who wouldn’t want to be with someone who is resilient and focused and a better person because of the choices they’ve made. Isn’t that the height of maturity?!

Ride or Die goals… or nah?

So then men people will say, well what I love about Ayesha is how ride- or- die she is. And it’s not really just about her modesty, but it’s about the fact that she stans for her man. *four. drawn. out. slow. claps* WOW. Have you not met your mother? Or your aunties? Or cousins? Living on the continent where polyamory is still very much the order of the day? How much did our mothers have to put up with in the way of disrespect? And they stuck it through… Some even managed to make it through the mid life crisis periods where their husbands had not one, but two small girl(friend)s. How much more loyal does that get? People idolize Ayesha’s commitment and fangirling of her husband as if she’s the first and best to ever do it. Thing is, it’s undeniably clear that if Steph wasn’t who he was, she probably couldn’t be to him what she is [if in doubt about what that is, revisit the ‘Are you Steph Curry’ questions above]. It’s interesting because I find that when guys speak of the “ride- or- die chick” here, they mean someone who will allow them to do be… Whoever they want all the time with little care for your feelings and expectations. How does this even compare? And so the question here is– why should I ride or die for you? Because if you are the Future to my Ciara-cature then how is that even fair? And people think Future’s cheating and lying and general uselessness is the only way to be a Future-cature (too much? I know lol!). But it’s also about your (lack of) sense of self, drive and ambitions, dedication to building a strong family— where are these sensibilities?

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#dudesbelike

So let’s say you have asked yourself all of these questions, and you think— I am still a decent guy, so I deserve an Ayesha. My last and final question is a nod to the following point: many of the guys making these comments would have preferred a Ciara-cature in their prime than an Ayesha. So then I have to ask: Would you have dated an Ayesha at the time that Steph dated her? Cuz there were MAD 19 year old Ayeshas with braces and Bibles in college that you turned out or turned down. Remember?? *Pause and reflect.*

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Oh aight.

Here’s the thing.  

I like Ayesha Curry.

She’s made it cool to be this super corny cute chick that values modesty and a good lip sync moment. She’s committed to her values and she loves her family. She’s taken a stand and she’s unashamed. That being said, Ayesha Curry’s exist en masse… like pressed down, shaken together, running over abundance! But. What. The. World. Needs. More. Of. Are. The. Stephs.

So if you are a man out in the world and believe you ‘deserve’ an Ayesha Curry, consider your role in your current Ayesha-less reality… and leave the Ciara-catures out of your analysis. Because what everyone deserves is to be with someone who is trying to be the best version of themselves… and that could look like Ciara or Ayesha— if you’re a Russell or Steph, that is.  

What are your thoughts? Sound off below!

Someone Will Always Be Collateral Damage

I have to admit, I was one of the skeptics when Afua said she wanted to publish that article. In my mind I was thinking, I just don’t even understand why men have to be solely implicated in the issues of toying with emotions and hurting people. It was not an attempt to play devils advocate or to even the tone of the conversation, but it was to say that no one gender has complete ownership over ‘collateral damage’. I will concede, in Ghana, men are given the pass way more than women. Especially with issues of infidelity. But Afua’s point was bigger than just this idea that people cheat, her point was that people use people, and it’s unfair that it’s largely women who suffer in the end. I think that the issue is really that hurt people, hurt people. And that there is a bigger conversation beyond just telling men to stop being emotional abusers. I think the conversation is about mothers and fathers and social leaders investing time and energy into developing the social intelligence of the generation to follow. I happen to think that this issue is about social accountability.

I will take myself as an example.

I have been in the situation where I have recently stopped seeing someone. In my haste to ‘move on’, I sort of rushed into something new. In my mind, I may have entered with good intentions. I may have thought, maybe that old adage is true… that the best way to get over someone is to get under beside someone else. So here we are having fun, laughing, getting to know each other— building. Suddenly it dawns on me that a) I am not really even over my ex and b) I’ve been faking it up until this moment and it’s gotten extremely tiring.Here the person is, constantly talking about a future life together… about how much they love you and how they will marry you. How perfect you are and how wonderful it is to meet someone as lovely as you (duh and duh!). And in my mind, all I can think about are deciding on the most sensitive and considerate ways to slowly break away from the relationship. In the time of my thinking about these things, I start to detach and get easily annoyed. It becomes clear that I am just not interested.  I clearly needed to address some personal issues with regard to my past relationship. I also needed to be real with myself about what I wanted. And I feel this is fundamentally, the real issue. I don’t think people are out here purposely trying to hurt people. Even though I am of the mind that people are inherently evil and self seeking, I think that they are also preservationist— that is they want, as much as possible, to save face and at least put good into the world so they can also benefit from that good energy. I don’t think Ghanaian men, or African men in general, are hard wired to want to be deceitful. I just think our societies don’t foster the type of self- reflection necessary to enter into healthy relationships. I agree with Afua: “Sometimes the journey towards ‘…happily ever after’ or ‘…and the rest is just history’ does not leave you unscathed.” But this is true for everyone, male and female. Unfortunately, in Ghana, women carry the burden of emotional intelligence. There are conferences and books and preachings and seminars and speaker series and conventions and anointing oils— dedicated to ensuring women get to the status of Proverbs 31— not so for men. While Full Gospel Christian Business Mens groups exist en masse to encourage entrepreneurship and honest business practice, the same does not exist to spur on men to be honorable men, worthy of lifetime commitment. And yet, with all the Proverbs 31 messaging being thrown at women— neither men nor women are taught how to be emotionally intelligent. Preparing yourself to be a a wifable woman and developing your emotional intelligence have somehow been separated. So while yes, there are men— nay, people— who trample on the hearts of well meaning, good natured, loving partners en route to their happily ever after… it is not an epidemic that is wholly owned by men. It is the epidemic of not offering enough training, support and mentorship in growing our overall emotional intelligence (as evidenced by the messy, shady, crazy things women are also doing here in order to bait, keep or trick a man). As children of immigrants, we know too well the high standard of academic excellence placed on us, however the same is not necessarily the case for emotional intelligence. And while women are definitely exposed on how to develop themselves into ‘wifey material’… there is a general shortage of ‘how to deal effectively with your emotions such that you are not making your partner a causality in your sordid love affair” development opportunities. All in all, I will repeat hurt. people. hurt people. And the only real solution for all of us, is to get our emotional intelligence game up by seeking resources to help us grow… after all proper preparation prevents poor      partner   performance— eh?

What say you? Do you think it’s all one big male ploy to trample the hearts of unsuspecting woman of valor, or society overall has failed our generation in adequately preparing us to be good partners in relationships? #SoundOff 

Collateral Damage; Men and Women are not Equal.

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So… I was torn posting this, but I figured in the end I could post it and preface it *shrug*. I didn’t want to post this initially in fear of being labeled a bitter black women. However, many of the relationship things referenced in this post have been witnessed more-so than experienced (remember we have a new simple modus operandi of late). Thus, this post is channeling a lot of things I’ve seen- which is still incredibly frustrating– so that’s probably the tone you’re picking up on.

And after sending this out as a feeler to a couple guy friends, I do recognize that the struggle is real on both sides of the spectrum… Because no one, guy or girl, should feel like they’re being used or their time is being wasted. 

Would love to hear your thoughts.

~afua

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Twitter just be giving us so much life recently… AND content for the blog!

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Girls abr3**.

You remember that phrase? I used it first when discussing the Art of Hedging, or when men in long term relationships be faking and using you for one last test run/ joy ride before clamping down on the inevitable.

Well this tweet in a way circles back around what I wrote, and it appears to be a view shared by many- judging from the number of re-tweets. I’ve always known that men and women aren’t equal in a number of aspects, but when it comes to relationship behavior, these differences couldn’t be more pronounced as I get older. AND I am not saying women don’t do their own playing, I’m just speaking from what I’ve seen and experienced.

For me, I’ve come to the realization that I don’t want to be part of your sinful past on the way to redemption. I don’t want to be part of your try everything on for size stage or be a part of the starting five line up on your hedging team, before you say ‘I do’. Again… I know I’m generalizing on men here, but I can only speak youcutefrom my perspective…

Folks just be tired of wasted time.

…which, hear me out people, is different from when we really like each other, date with direction and somehow it doesn’t work out.

Although I’m still quite weary of this type of behavior, I now honestly understand when some women want to know where things are headed shortly a man starts talking to them. Like I get it now. I get when some women want to (partially) give up and bury themselves in just work, family and friends. Sometimes the journey towards “…happily ever after” or “…and the rest is just history” does not leave you unscathed.

It’s funny cause a few guys I know (of) have recently gotten engaged or married and you look at their behavior prior to marriage like, ‘I hope you come to Jesus real soon, cause it’s only His blood that can wipe your past clean.’ #ikid #butonlyjustalittlebit lol
But on the real, dudes have run circles around Accra, Lagos, London, Johannesburg, Nairobi, NY, DC, [and add in any other big city where there is a mass of Africans]… they’ve been dating, sleeping around with, breaking hearts, cheating on their gfs right, left and center. And now they are walking down the aisle like all is forgiven. And according to society, all IS forgiven. Society tells us that, “he’s a man being a man, he was sowing his wild oats, having fun before having to commit to one person”; in essence, the slate gets wiped squeaky clean once he puts a ring on any (half decent) girl. The behavior gets chalked up to a typical young bachelor lifestyle, which he has now matured from [we thank God oh]. However, while folks outchea having amnesia about a guy’s past and while he’s moved on to dutiful wife and kid, the former women have to deal with the consequences of the situations they put themselves in. And I do put blame on women for putting themselves in these situations too- if you remember *THIS BLOG*.

It’s one of those hard truths that we need to stop pretending doesn’t exist, because we are the ones suffering for it… Things aren’t equal and one has to make sure you don’t end up being a casualty of a man’s ‘growing pains’, however that manifests itself (ie. Pregnancy… Your reputation jeopardized (cause his won’t be)… Or you’re just plainly heart broken).

Sometimes you have to just honestly protect yourself… and sleep soundly.

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**Girls are tired (of relationship wahala)

Why Did you Let me Date Him?

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I love this meme. It epitomizes the phase of life my contemporaries find themselves in now, and me too. It’s not like the days of old our yester-years (ok maybe like 5yrs ago… or hell, like 2yrs ago) where being with someone or NOT being with someone had less no dire consequences… Ok maybe not dire, but the opportunity cost wasn’t as high. Now, the opportunity cost of being with someone or not being with someone seems colossal. Let’s listen in on my conversation with a close friend earlier this month, it helps illustrate the point:

Friend: “It doesn’t seem like it’s working out [with Billy**].”

Friend: (A description of inconsequential and consequential traits and characteristics not fully appreciated in the beginning of dating bliss… Of which I shall skip, because they frankly have no bearing to the premise of this post).

Af: (Interjection of empathetic “Oh, really’s”, “Oh. I’m sorry,” “Yea?” “Uh hmm”)

Friend: “Why’d you let me date him, Afua?”

Af: “Excuse me, come again…?”

Friend: “You’re supposed to be my friend, you should have said something. Now I’m turning 30 and I have wasted the last 2 years.”

Af: [Thought: well that escalated real quick… But I’ll indulge in your slightly irrational line of thinking]

“Welt, let’s see… You said you liked him and he was a good fit. You also gave an extensive list as to why the aforementioned was true. You said you did background checks (with friends and people who knew him). How was I supposed to know he was going to do bait and switch on you? I don’t know him from Adam nor do I hang out with you and him together, so what exactly was I supposed to do? Where was I supposed to get this epiphany from, especially when your behavior hasn’t changed negatively.”

Friend: (A bunch of other highly whiny-like statements and accusations of my blame in the situation… For the most part I tune out)

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Le sigh

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BUT…It did get me thinking, what should be one’s participation in your friends relationship(s)?

meme2Because I do this blog, folks like to talk to me (and I like to use their lives as content lol😉 ). However, I’ve become less than enthused about shelling out ‘advice’ for a number of reasons… one.) you never really know both sides; two.) life is already too complicated for me to be rendering out advice on a situation that is not mine; three.) me, myself, I’m not even dating, remember?…so what am I going to say? I mean in instances of extreme behavior, like domestic violence, extreme unhappiness, sure I’ll say something directly… But other than that, it’s meh… keep your thoughts to yourself. With cheating situations, if you’re not my good friend, ya I’ll look at you and feel sorry for you, but I will keep it moving.

We are the sum of our decisions… And just like I told my friend at the end of the conversation, life is about the decisions we make and the consequences that result from them; for the things that happen to us that we cannot control, we control how we react and respond to them. Irrespective of what our friends say or don’t say, there’s personal responsibility for the lives we lead…

Is that mean? What do you do with your friends? Do you find yourself meddling more or less as you grow older?

**Names obviously changed.

“If You Ain’t No Punk, Holler We Want Prenup!” “We Want Prenup!”

In the wake of Vanessa Bryant filing for divorce (after her ten year marriage to Kobe Bryant), I thought it was the perfect time to bring up the discussion of prenups, and whether in modern-day African relationships (between two successful people), prenups should become more customary? And if not, how should we protect ourselves?

I don’t believe in prenups myself, but when I heard that Kobe didn’t have one, I cringed a little inside. All I kept thinking was, ‘Man, that sucks!’ But is that the right attitude to take? See HERE for a different view of the situation:

Vanessa stood by her husband as his wife for over a decade, and raised their two children. If he couldn’t respect the marriage enough to be faithful, then getting half is getting exactly what she deserves.

It is true. Vanessa has been with Kobe for 10 years, and even though she wasn’t physically playing the game with him on the court, she sacrificed for him to have his successful career (including standing by his side during his rape ordeal, sticking with him through multiple extramarital affairs, and raising their two daughters). Although, half of ‘his’ fortune (estimates put this at $150 million) is A LOT of money, and let’s not forget the spousal support. Thoughts?? I’m not sure where Kobe goes from here, but a discussion with one of the co-founders of bandeka brought up an interesting take on celebrities: ‘when you get to a certain level of wealth (or you’re on track to reach a certain level of wealth), there’s no point getting married – you can have relationships, you can have children, just don’t get married (or at least don’t without a prenup)… look at Oprah, Diddy, Clooney, etc.

On another note, while reading about Vanessa and Kobe’s relationship, I discovered that they met when she was 17, and they got married when she was 19 (she was a backup dancer in a music video which was being filmed in the same building where Kobe was working on his own music video, which was never released). They dated for six months before getting engaged. His parents and sisters were so against the union that they did not attend the wedding (neither did any of his teammates or his longtime agent…awkward.)

In African relationships, family is a very important part of the equation- for various reasons (the most basic being, approval and peace of mind). So if your parents did not approve of your future spouse, would you go ahead with the marriage? Do parents have a sixth sense when it comes to these things? I want to know what you think. Have you witnessed instances where parents have been dead wrong about their child’s significant other in the end? Let me be clear that I am not saying that Vanessa was the problem here, nor am I saying that in general parents think that there is something necessarily wrong with the other person. What I am saying is that perhaps parents/family may be able to see whether a union with you and another person will ultimately work out. Take our poll below!

Poll [Results] Wednesday – 12/7/2011

Before I disclose the results, I want to say a special Happy Birthday to Bandeka Co-Founder, Tunde Kehinde!

Cheating: Does The How Make A Difference?*

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*The original poll was posted on November 18th, 2011: https://loveafrican.wordpress.com/2011/11/18/cheating-does-the-how-make-a-difference/