IT was almost Christmas and I was checking in with one of my girls, Aba. She was getting ready to make a trip home. She was, understandably, excited because she planned a trip the year before and couldn’t make it. I didn’t help by telling her how much she missed out. As per usual, we had already made plans and were ready to discuss how we were going to spend Christmas. We also planned for spontaneous plans. I know. However, Aba in Ghana always means something spontaneous is going to happen. Said something usually involves some man.
“Are you excited?” I asked.
“Because all your boys are there,” I retorted.
“On the lowest key, I’m excited to get regular smooches.”
“Waa shr3, I know you too well. Kwame and Bobby?”
“Not Bobby anymore. He’ll be there, but more Kwame.”
“You might get married to Kwame.”
“Don’t even go there.”
“I’ve gone papa.”
“Haha. Hmm. Not unless he changes.”
“Oh please, you were there supporting his trifling behaviour, he’s not going to change.”
“Mmm. I guess not, then. He’s changed small…I guess I’m going to find out how much. If it doesn’t work out, then back to Bobby.”
“You know you have options, right? There are good guys out there. Real good guys, not just good guys when they want something.”
“Oh fi). I’m comfortable with him it’s hard to start all over again with someone new.”
“Ah. Aba, not if they are serious. If they are serious, it’s a breeze. It’s only wahala with guys who are running around trying to play games.”
“E, It’s hard with all of them”
I left it there, because this isn’t the first time Aba and I have had this conversation. One about her deserving better. And I don’t just tell her that because she’s my friend and by the Laws of Friendship I’m supposed to say that to her. I say it because she truly does. Every time we have this conversation, whether it’s in person, over the phone, or by text, it’s always the same. She always decides she’s staying in this comfortable, two-by-four, not progressive, not-really-a-relationship-so-it-cant-be-complicated thing. It almost makes me want to shake her and say why aren’t you seeing my point? He may like you. But really, he doesn’t you like that much if you get his leftovers.
It may seem easier said than done, except I understand exactly where she was coming from. I have had that same feeling before. It’s ever so faint and yet so strong, paradoxically. The feeling that I cannot do better than the current guy, even when I know he is giving me mediocrity. God forbid I ever say that out loud, though. I would never actually utter the words “I don’t think I can do better.” However, that’s exactly what all of my mind is telling me at the time. I thought, “how could I possibly start over?” It’s too much work. It won’t be worth it.
I had dealt with one of these “situationships”, as I like to call them, before. There was love there, so it was easy to get back into spending time with each other. We both knew we weren’t in a relationship, so both him and I could do whatever we wanted. However, emotions still rampant, it was easy to get jealous about things I wasn’t sure I could be jealous about. I went out one night and he was spending time talking to a girl I had never met before, so they couldn’t be friends. I mean, they could, but they were not. He was too close, too smiley, too flirty. Yet, I could do nothing about the feelings I had because he wasn’t my boyfriend. Boyfriend or not, I was still dealing with the emotional baggage he carried. I was still listening to him when he wanted to vent or talk, or get perspective on something, but never getting that reciprocated.
Just like Aba, I initially thought, if for nothing else this will be perfect for “regular smooches”. Truthfully, I was really just continuing to be around because I was afraid of the difference his complete absence in my life would make. I couldn’t imagine not having someone to call when I needed encouragement or just be silly with. Except, the situationship didn’t provide that support. I was also very afraid of having lost years. How could I have put all that effort into a failed relationship? Our situationship didn’t lack love, but rather respect. I quickly learned that staying around just continued to exacerbate this problem. I was essentially solidifying this idea that he could do whatever, but when he wanted, I would be there. No questions asked. I might as well have carried around a sign that said, “pleaaaaassse, disrespect me, I will still be here.”
This is what Aba was doing. It took me a while too, but once I realised I was in a lose-lose situation, I sprinted. I didn’t want to be like one of those girls who says “oh he’s cheating on me, but he comes home to me at the end of the night.” Yes. Sweetheart, he does, but only because you have food in your kitchen and a warm bed that you will actually let him stay in. Metaphorically speaking. We should all be too too-known for that. It was tough when I finally let go, but it was absolutely worth it. It gave way to this beautiful, inside and out, specimen of a man to enter my life. Which isn’t the point, but it was a great bonus. Settling for the kind-of, sort-of, but-not-really “relationship” is a waste of your time. I have found it always worth leaving it in the dust.
You can do better, if you want.
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