What we don’t say about our relationships

I made an acquaintance online on a dating app. We quickly became friends and shared stories about ourselves. During this time he told me he had gone to school with my elder brother. What a coincidence! It seemed we were meant to cross paths. He was smart and handsome and somewhat sensitive. (He loved animals, but it’s expected as he’s a vet)He told me he was in a serious relationship and so was I. I had been dating the same guy for four years and he told me he loved his girlfriend. So, why were we both on Tinder?

I had an argument with my boyfriend. The millionth argument and I was just tired of it. I thought maybe I could meet someone there and we could become friends and that feeling of excitement when you meet someone new and all the possibilities is great. Makes you happy even if just temporarily.The prospects of something more serious developing were at the back of my mind but jumping from one serious relationship to the next is not what I wanted. I just needed a distraction.

I made a few acquaintances but he was the one I spoke to most often. When my phone got stolen soon after and I never downloaded the app again or bothered to get in touch with the friends I made. Until early this year when my vet friend texted me to say hi. Initially I was confused about who he was since a year had gone by without us talking again but I remembered him immediately he mentioned Tinder and everything fell back into place. We were chatting away in no time!

A lot had happened for me in that year. My long time boyfriend and I got married and our second baby was on the way. I had lost my grandfather and quit my job. Life was so different from just a year ago. Anyway, I made it clear about my status and he confessed to me that his girlfriend became his fiancé then his ex real quick. She had cheated on him and was now expectant. Talk about a plot twist!

I assumed he had gotten in touch with me to see if there was something more between us (he was ready to start dating) but as am now a married woman, that was not a topic anymore. After the break up he explained he took on many gigs outside the country and even moved to the company HQ offices, which is in Uganda. He’s now based there. It must have been an ugly break up to want to move to another county all together.I was very sorry to hear about what happened. I mean that kind of heartbreak and betrayal must have been rough. He’s intelligent and cute. What’s not to love?

My girlfriend was getting married too. Well at least we thought she was. She sent us the video of an amazing surprise proposal and we were all envious. Especially me, I didn’t have a spectacular proposal. However as we got closer to the wedding date she informed us everything was on hold till further notice. It was far from a fairytale ending, and all of a sudden our smiles turned into frowns on that WhatsApp group. I was mad. How could it end in such a bad way for my friend? She’s one of those super sweet super forgiving people so you just want to break a few finger when you hear about someone hurting her.

I won’t get into detail because she asked me not to but after four years and a lot of effort into planning a wedding it seems it was all for naught.They remain on friendly terms and that’s just because they talked things out before they called it quits. But am just wondering why don’t people have these difficult conversations in the relationship before you go a step further or make a life changing decision? We end up hurting ourselves and our families too.

When I got married my father told my husband to give it three years to adjust to each other before we can get settle in. I won’t lie it’s been hard, and talking to your single friends doesn’t help. When you’re a married millennial they’re not many people you can talk to and you can’t turn to your mom or dad all the time without tarnishing your partners image so what do we do? We keep it inside.

It’s hard adjusting to living with someone else even if you’ve known them for years and know them better than anyone else. Before you start meshing and mixing and thinking and behaving like one unit it takes time. Tears are shed and walls have to be broken down and things are thrown. Voices are raised and finally pride and ego are shed and when all that’s left is vulnerability,that’s when you can start making progress together.

Social media is a liar. Couples post anniversaries and old pictures and stupid lovey dovey statements that nobody cares about. Only to later hear someone say “I know that couple. They don’t even live together.” Honestly, you’re only lying to yourself.

Who are we living for? Obviously no one is perfect and neither is any relationship. Marriage takes work, commitment means selflessness and sacrifice sometimes but we do it because we want to and we love one another. The minute you start doing it for the number of likes you are hoping to get, it’s already gone down the drain.

People need real relationships and that also means real friendships where we can talk openly with one another.No judgement or gossip. Just truth and companionship and love. If you can’t be real with someone don’t keep them around. That’s my policy since before I even knew that’s what I used to do. I think we need to go back to basics. Stop posting fake pictures and encouraging fake shallow friendships on Facebook. Let’s meet have wine and talk and help each other out of that difficult place.

I hear this word struggling so much and I hate it now. Life is not for struggling. It’s for living. If you’re struggling something needs to change. Let’s talk to each other. Be authentic. If you look up from your screen there’s your partner sitting right next to you. No need to post about how you’re feeling. Just talk to them first.

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