Let me warn you, I have no idea what direction this blog is going to take. I’m just writing whatever I want. I think that’s the beauty of growing into yourself. You realize that while it’s nice to get the approval of people, you don’t need it. Okay, back to the topic at hand.
I’m in love again. Yeap, you just read that. I’m in love again with a man (gentle reminder that I am still straight). Anyways, being in love after a long time of enjoying your single life can be such a weird space to be. Now, we are not going into the specifics of my new relationship because it’s not as juicy as you might think it is. We are just two people who laugh at and with each other.
Right, so a few years ago, I wrote about Lessons from a broken engagement. If you missed it, you can read it here. Well, I’ve been learning some lessons from new love and thought I’d share five of those lessons in this post.
You’ll have to surrender control
One of the best things about being single for a while is that you become incredibly selfish with your time and energy. It’s all about you…your feelings…your thoughts…your time. You don’t need to think about anyone else when making decisions. However, that doesn’t work much in relationships. You’re going to relearn the act of selflessness. Now, selflessness with your time and maybe money here and there – (emphasis on here and there o, don’t go lavishing on your partner anyhow o). Selfless, especially with your short-term plans (not long-term plans). That takes a lot of relearning if you were happy single.
Okay, now, this one shocked me. I’d done the praying, the working on myself and the therapy to rid myself of my trauma. I thought they could never be triggered (maybe I was naïve), but I was surprised when they creeped up for no reason. A new relationship might trigger painful experiences or memories from your previous relationship and you have to learn to deal with that. Some of those triggers, you deal with it with your new partner and some, you deal with it on your own. This is because most people come with some form of baggage, but you should never let your new relationship suffer because of the damage from your past relationship. Most importantly, it’s not the job of your new partner to be a therapist for wounds from your past relationship. So, the trauma may visit, but you must never let it stay. You must never give it room to rest or wings to fly. You must let the trauma know – there’s no space for you here…not anymore.
You must allow yourself to feel the newness
Many people joke about how they don’t want to indulge another “what’s your favourite colour?” conversation again. That’s the code phrase for “I’m tired of newness”. But long term happy couples don’t happen overnight. They all started from new. So, you’ll need to embrace the newness. I’m not saying you’ll spend all your time talking about mundane things like “what’s your favourite colour?”, but you’ll need to not shy away from embracing the newness of your love. Don’t be in a hurry to be the stable established couple. Embrace wherever you are in your love-story. (That is not the code phrase for situation-ships, dears). Enjoy the time in getting to know what tickles the other’s fancy (Peep the Nigerian-ness in that phrase).
Accept the uncertainty
All relationships come with a level of uncertainty. You get a new job? There’s no guarantee that you won’t get fired. You get married to a lovely partner? There’s no guarantee that your partner wouldn’t switch up on you. Even the relationship you have with yourself isn’t certain. One day you’re feeling like the best thing since sliced bread. Another day, you’re feeling like a bag of potatoes (not even sweet potatoes). New relationships (like any relationship) come with a degree of uncertainty and you have to accept that. One of the feedbacks I got from posting a picture of my boyfriend on my Instagram is “what if you guys break up?” To which I replied, I’ll delete the picture and move on with my life. Now, this does not mean you adopt a “whatever will be, will be” attitude to your relationship. Nope, you work on it. You communicate with your partner to ensure your life goals align. You keep working on it and keep communicating. You both do your part and it should work. By God’s grace, it does work, but don’t feel bad for recognizing and accepting uncertainties in your relationships.
You’ll become a student
I think this might apply for all types of relationships. But one thing I’m learning from this new relationship is how to be a student…how to be a learner. You have to be very open to being a student of your partner’s life…what is offensive to them…what is their love language…what is their pet peeve…what is their culture like.... It’s a continuous learning process. You’ll hang out with people in your partner’s life who know more about them than you do and that is okay. You’ve got to accept that you’re a student again. Maybe one day, you’ll be a master, but with the way humans keep evolving, I think we’ll always be students.
I hope you gained as much insight reading it as I did writing it. Again, I am no relationship expert. I know as much as the next person when it comes to human relationships. These are just the lessons I’ve learnt in the past couple of months. My blog has been a way to share my life experiences and this is just one of them. I would love to read your comments on this.
Love & Light