Relationships are exciting to talk about because we were created as relational beings. Being able to join your life romantically with another person, is something most people want to hear about. But there is the not so glamorous side about this love journey as well, which a lot of us have experienced. It may come from ignoring red flags to settling, to not valuing yourself and the list can be endless. I have had my fair share of relationship woes, and I will like to share five valuable lessons, I have learned from this journey to find the perfect one for me.
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1) All that glitters is not gold: as a little child, I came across a book with this title, not knowing quite what it meant. But as a grown woman, I clearly understand what people are saying when they use this idiomatic expression. I have been carried away by people’s looks and their personas, the character they put on display for the first couple of days when you meet them. If a guy was tall, dark, and handsome, I was all in. I didn’t take the time needed to dig deep to find out about the person’s character, their flaws, friends, or family. I just dove in headfirst, and for someone who can’t swim, I definitely drowned in my poor choices.
2) Listen to your gut: different people have different expressions, for that instinctive feeling that we have on the inside of us. It can be referred to as anything from the gut, to the inner voice, to instinct, to something. For me as a Christian, I refer to that inner knowing as the Holy Spirit. That voice can never steer you in the wrong direction. If I had listened to that inner voice, all the time I was excited about someone new, I would have saved myself a lot of headaches. It is better for you to have short term disappointment because God said no about someone in the interim than to cry a lifetime of tears because you made a horrible decision.
3) Leave when disrespect or abuse shows up: ever heard this saying— three is a crowd? It is very true! I wish I left situations when abuse or disrespect moved in; I wouldn’t have been scarred for years or dealt with self-esteem issues. Emotional abuse was the third party in one of my relationships for a while, and I uncomfortably made room for it. I demeaned myself and allowed the abuse to grow. I took crap when I knew I should have left him to romance his abuse. That did a number on me.
4) Having sex wouldn't guarantee longevity in the relationship: I grew up hearing sex outside of marriage was wrong. I believed it was a sin, but that didn’t stop me from having it in relationships. I was scared that if I didn’t give up myself, they were going to leave me, and move on with someone else. *News Flash* they still left. I had to learn that this rule found in the bible, isn’t some outdated, archaic law, but it is meant for my protection. When you keep sex outside of a dating relationship, your judgment is not clouded.
5) Speak up for yourself: I am a quiet person by nature. I have a hard time, expressing what I truly feel, except I am 100% comfortable with you. Because of my quietness, I let a lot of things slide in my relationships. When I felt unhappy when I knew they were involved with someone else, when I saw the red flags, I swept it all under the rug, which gave them room to disrespect and dishonor me. If I were bold enough to speak up on the things I wasn’t happy with, maybe I would have left a situation that wasn’t conducive for me, sooner than I did.
The lessons I learned along the way, have helped shape the woman I have become today. Sometimes I want to erase my past, but I think about the upside it has brought me. My experiences have given me a lot of wisdom, that I now know for a fact, what I want, and what I don’t want out of a relationship. I had to begin to value myself, so others could now see me as valuable. I had to respect myself, to get respect back in return. When we hear of this golden rule: do unto others, as you want them to do unto you, we often apply it outwardly—treat others right, so they can treat you right. This rule can also be applied inwardly—do unto yourself, what you want others to do unto you. If you don’t value, respect, love, and honor yourself, people will find it difficult to do so for you.
What lessons have you learned along the way, in your relationship journey? Please share them with us below. And I hope you can learn a thing or two, from my lessons as well. Remember to like, share, and subscribe, never to miss an update.
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About The Author: Evi Idoghor is a Christian, writer, and content creator on Letstalknationblog.com. She also is a chemical engineering graduate from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Consumed by her love for writing and desire to effect change, she launched her online platform Let’s Talk Nation to tap into her creativity and start meaningful conversations that would make a difference around the world.
Most of her writing has been influenced by her time spent in America, where she lived for about 11 years. Also, she has lived in Nigeria and South Korea and currently loves traveling the world while learning about other fascinating cultures. You can find her on all social media platforms with @eviidoghor.