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Tag Archives: Choosing

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My dear Jil, the problem is you keep dating the wrong guys, it’s not that you have a string of bad luck with guys. You keep dating guys that are neither right for you nor care about you, guys who just want to exploit you. Funny thing is you know from onset these guys aren’t right for you but you plunge on all the same, just because you feel you must have a man. Take this latest guy. Barely one week into the relationship, he’s already asking you for a loan. That should have been a red flag. You tried to mitigate your risk by giving him half the loan he requested, but you had increased your risk profile by sleeping with him! Wise guy he was, he simply asked for a second loan of the same value the very next week knowing you’ll likely half it. And so he got the original amount he asked from you, only in two instalments. The second demand right after the second sex instalment! I guess he reckoned you’re hooked, that you need sex. So he bargains with sex. You have that sore feeling you’ve been outsmarted. He’s never going to pay you back. I’m sure you know that.
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My dear Jil, you’ve got to get rid of all those munched conversations on your phone. Love does not keep record of wrongs. In your case, you’re not only keeping record of wrongs, but evidence to be used in future prosecution of your boyfriend. And so when he says something in the future, you’ll go into that file drawer, pull out what he had said, annotated with date and time. If the reverse were the case, you won’t want to date such a man – a man who annotates texts for future reference and accusation. Nobody will want to date such a person – someone who files potential claims and evidence against you. That’s a sophisticated spirit of accusation and unforgiveness, the literal holding of grudges. At the back of your mind somewhere, you’re rummaging through those files as he’s talking. Some of those files are years old. You’re literally holding him up to conversations you had as far back as two years ago. You filed them away “just in case”. But just in case what? It’s accusatory.

You’ve built in potential turmoil into your relationship and you’ve branded your boyfriend even if you claim that’s not your intention. Worse you’ve branded yourself. Means one has to be careful what one texts you. You file texts away and can pull out a file anytime. It’s a spirit of meticulous accusation. That’s what those munches are. Means you held those conversations with a view. While your boyfriend was texting freely, you were responding with a view. You were responding with the view to bringing up evidence in the near future that will vindicate you before third parties. It’s either that or you’ve branded him “prone to forget what was said” – which is another euphemism for articulate accusation. It means you never forget, and you don’t want to forgive and forget. There’s a stubborn insistence on bringing faults to remembrance, a lack of forbearance. The ideals of love state that love does not keep a score of the sins of others. Love keeps no record of being wronged. The moment you keep a record of wrongs, you’re already in the wrong yourself. Once you start digitally archiving a record of wrongs, you’re already in the wrong yourself.

You see, that digital archive of evidence of wrong of others also constitutes digital evidence of your own wrongdoing. The very nature of humans means in a relationship once every while, you’ll offend each other. In a relationship, you’re bound to do something wrong, something irritable to your partner – something that needs forbearance. But when you set up yourself as the standard you’ll never see your own wrongdoing. You’re after all the standard. A tape measures everything except herself. But the ability of the tape to measure other things implies the measurement of the tape itself. And so the moment you set up yourself as the standard in a relationship you determine your own limitation. If a 6ft long tape is used to measure a 30ft long wall, we not only know the length of the wall but also the limitation of the tape. That your boyfriend doesn’t vocalise your limitations doesn’t mean you have no limitations. I’m sure there are things he wishes for that you’re not, things he wishes you’d do you don’t do. That may be his quiet pain. But because he loves you he makes a determination those things don’t matter, that every other thing you are is what matters. That we’re deeply loved is not the absence of faults in us, it’s proof of frailties, needfulness and shortcomings. That’s what love does – love swallows shortcomings, focuses on what really matters. In a manner of speaking, love is wilful ignorance. It’s a perseverance inoculation.

There’s just something so negative about keeping record of old conversations of disagreement in a relationship. It’s somehow reminiscent of the defunct Stasi secret police in East Germany. They had files upon files on people. Those files later became public record when the communist regime fell. You can imagine the anger and recrimination when people discovered their neighbours had been spying on them. There’s just something so negative about such filing. Delete all those munched conversations. You’ll feel a burden lift off you. When you imprison others with unforgiveness, you’re imprisoned too. Both the jailed and the jailer stay in the same prison. And no relationship will endure in happiness with a record of accusations. There’s something off-putting and adversarial about a partner who keeps record of wrongs. When you settle a quarrel, let it go. Forget it and move on. Or you’re going to need a lot of filing cabinets. One does not want to imagine what a relationship in which both parties are record-keeping wrongs will be like. That will be some relationship! There’ll be accusations and counter-accusations, both sides tendering evidence. Words that should have been forgotten are dredged up – including words spoken in anger that should never have been spoken.

The most damaging part is those record of wrongs erode trust and faith. And you graduate into an accuser. Accusations wear out the fabric of the soul, rends the garment of a relationship in tatters. Accusation is an adversarial equipment, a prosecutorial technology. In the normal course of life people run from the accuser. Should you give your boyfriend cause to run from you? Most times anyway we’re deflecting our own issues when we accuse others. And it’s worse when we presume the worst of others and expect them to defend themselves and prove their worth. You’re not going to get a lasting relationship doing that. It’s emotionally draining. Your boyfriend is going to be a sad man. Of course there are also men who do these things. They dredge up accusations with diaristic meticulousness. Either way, you have to drop evidentiary and prosecutorial munching. If you want a healthy relationship that is. You have to believe the best of your partner. It’s an expression of love and goodwill. Then he’s forced to rise to the occasion. Your faith in him becomes aspirational. I do hope you listen to counsel.

Your mentor, LA

© Leke Alder | talk2me@lekealder.com

There’s something off-putting and adversarial about a partner who keeps record of wrongs. Click To Tweet

Jack, come on you should be smarter than this. You should be! Just when you wanted to terminate the relationship she suddenly showed up at your house, late at night. Do you think she came for Ludo? Or you think she came to watch TV? Come on! You knew what she was up to and you attempted to take advantage but she outplayed you. And now she’s pregnant. Did you say she coughed out the contraceptive you administered the instant you turned? And almost to the day, barely four weeks after your copulation she announces pregnancy. Clearly you underestimated her. She knew you wouldn’t be able to resist free flesh despite your feelings so she set you up. You were too smart for yourself, weren’t you? If you didn’t want to date her anymore, why did you sleep with her that fateful night? “Last sex,” “Good bye sex,” “Parting shot sex” – they often turn out to be “Congrats on your new baby” sex.

However since character has been introduced as a factor, I’d advise you carry out a paternity test. It’s very possible she was already pregnant when she showed up at your house that night. In Biblical terms she might have given you Uriah Challenge. Remember the story of Bathsheba? The woman who slept with David? Uriah Challenge is when someone tries to pass off a pregnancy as yours by making you sleep with her knowing she was already pregnant. That was the stunt David tried to pull off on Uriah after impregnating Uriah’s wife. Well, it backfired. The point being made is, you want to be sure the pregnancy is yours, given the circumstances and the deliberateness involved. It’s not impossible it’s yours, but when a suspicious pregnancy follows sex with mathematical accuracy you want to be sure. She might have slept with another person who rejected the pregnancy. Who knows in this game you both played. Her showing up at your house late at night and out of the blues lends credence to the need to be cautionary in accepting responsibility.

Now, that’s not saying if the child is yours you should deny paternity. That’s irresponsible and unmanly. If you impregnated her, take responsibility. That’s being a man. Yes, I know the pregnancy alters all sorts of things in your life. These things do. You have to recalibrate your life. Having a child out of wedlock as a young man tends to make you sober. Fatherhood arrived prematurely. Truth is, the average young man knows when he’s being set up. It’s just that opportunism gets the better of him – “free sex!” And it still boils down to what I told you earlier: Don’t date whom you can’t marry. You may end up marrying her. Her family is of course going to be insistent on marriage. You’ve been roped into a grand scheme of opportunism. And they’re going to oppose paternity test. It’s a cultural taboo they’ll say, casts aspersion on their pristinely daughter. If you buy that legend you’ve been had, and you don’t drink Legend Stout. Those “cultural” traditions are only quoted when it suits the agenda. You better let your parents know what’s going on before you’re fully tied up with the ropes of “African culture.”

Her parents are going to try and rush you into commitments. You’re a good catch. They’re going to talk of marriage as fait accompli. Since the question of entrapment has been raised I’d be wary of proceeding into such marriage if I were you. No one can force you to marry anyone. It’s your choice whom you choose to marry. But you must take responsibility for your offspring however the child came about or the motivation of his mother. Responsibility defineth the man. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy. But you create problems if you take the tortuous route of patent denial. You can’t eradicate the fact of the child. It’s here to stay and it’s going to be in your life till you die. Whatever plans you make about your life going forward you have to factor in the child. And the mother. She’s using the pregnancy as it were as a bargaining chip for marriage. If that fails she’ll use other chips. Though to be honest women sometimes resort to such desperate measures when they feel used and are about to be dumped. I’m also not saying that’s what you did. I don’t have the full facts from both sides. Just a thought that popped up. If she felt that having slept with her all this while you were then preparing to dump her, she can pull such a stunt. It’s why I tell you to pursue wholesome relationship rather than taking an opportunistic approach to women.

Relationships are not 3D cardboard cut outs. There are emotions and feelings involved. You shouldn’t take people for granted, whether in life in general or in a relationship. If you take someone for granted in a relationship you may set off a vengeful mood. Men obviously view sex different from women. Young men in particular tend to imagine sex from the fleeting perspective of a butterfly. It’s why they imagine they can go from flower to flower in nectar indulgence. But sex for women is a very deep and intensely emotional thing, the perspective being sexuality is a valuable asset. A woman views her sex as asset not just activity. Her virginity is a major asset for example. Has to be given to the deserving. It’s why the woman feels you robbed her of something, took “something” away from her when you sleep with her gratuitously. That “asset” is supposed to be given in trust in exchange for something worthwhile. It’s a wholesome perspective. As it is you both have crossed views –you have a liberal disposition towards sex, while she has a conservative disposition. When sexual dispositions clash you have the kind of situation you’re in. You’re feeling set up, she’s feeling used and about to be dumped. So she resorted to protecting her “investment” over the years through pregnancy. But all that is water under the bridge now. All the hypotheticals are theoretical.

For the next nine months or so you’re acting father. After nine months you take on the full office. Of course the paternity test may say otherwise. We don’t know what that will throw up. If it’s negative you’ll probably breathe a sigh of relief. However if positive welcome to fatherhood. Like I said the choice of marriage is yours. I’m however worried about a marriage contracted under these circumstances. The feeling of being entrapped may haunt the marriage, which will of course evoke in her a sense of injustice. You don’t go into a marriage under the tyranny of coercion. It’s antithetical to the idea of marriage. However, whatever the outcome from all this, I hope you’ve learnt your lesson.

Your mentor, LA

© Leke Alder | talk2me@lekealder.com

You don’t go into a marriage under the tyranny of coercion. Click To Tweet

My dear Jack, seems to me you’re speed-dating women. No, I’m not talking about the other variety – those events in which you’re given two minutes to consider dating someone. Or is that the date? You can see the conceptual paradox. You can’t achieve a reasonable objective in that context. At best those programmes are about eliminating whom not to date, and such a person must be an obvious misfit. The whole thing seems like guess work on a multiple choice exam paper. You go for such events with the attitude of “Who knows!” rather than “I’m sure to meet someone.” It’s really not that efficient when it comes to qualitative decisioning. The structure favours certain stereotypes – guys and babes who can make their case in two minutes flat. There’s just something rushed about it, something superficial. That’s why I said it’s at best an elimination exercise. You’re at the mercy of the quality of the pool of prospects. But that’s not what I want to talk to you about.

I said you’re speed-dating because you’re rushing through girls like someone out to exhaust a pool. You’re going to get a bad reputation among the women folk doing that. Life you’ll soon learn is a very small pool. Because you’re not looking to commit, ploughing through girls, you’re going to hurt a lot of people. You’re going to leave a lot of hurt in your wake. Yes, conventional male wisdom is that this is macho stuff, but you’re going to end up confusing even yourself. And you will become numb to feelings. All you’re thinking about is sex with as many women as possible. Of course you run a huge risk pursuing that course. You may end up the father of multiple children simultaneously. Your children from multiple women may end up just days older than each other if you keep ploughing through girls. But let’s even assume you were careful and there’s no biological outcome. There’ll still be soul inundation. You don’t need to run through so many women ostensibly to make a choice. Unless of course, you’re committed to self-delusion.

What usually happens when you finally make that choice is that you begin to wonder about the adequacy of your choice. All the other options will withdraw once you choose. You’ll begin to miss the aggregated supply of the plurality of women. Which then makes it hard for you to be committed to your choice. Before you know it you’re back on the “streets.” Truth is, what you set to accomplish is defeated by your methodology and approach. And the paradigm you’re using is faulty. That’s partly the problem of approach with the other speed-dating. You’re using prospects’ interests as a basis of choice. That’s a faulty methodology. You can both have the same interests and still be unsuitable for each other. That’s the falsity in the approach. That’s not saying mutual interests don’t and won’t strengthen a bond, but it’s not a good basis of choice. Humans are deeper than the interests they pick up along the journey of life. Many of the wonderful marriages you see hardly have partners who share common interests. You may love tennis and she has no idea what an ace is, and yet you’ll make a wonderful couple. At the end of the day, all those subject interests matter less than your interest in each other, your love for each other. She may or may not follow you to Wimbledon for that tennis final, as exciting as that may be, yet love you to bits. If you truly love each other, that lack of understanding of tennis becomes an amusing anecdote in your relationship, the wonder of it all.

By very definition commitment in a relationship can’t be a surface realism. Commitment speaks of something deeper, something stronger, something tested, a resolution, an exercise of strength. In choosing a partner you ought to pay attention to emotional and behavioural qualities, as well as values. You’re not really going to detect these qualities fleeting from flower to flower, plucking nectar like a butterfly. In speed-dating women you’re likely to focus more on physical and cultural factors. And you’ll miss the person. You don’t choose a life partner like an item on a restaurant menu! Life is not a restaurant. Don’t allow yourself to be fooled with projections and affectations. Focus on values. They’ll give you insight. If because you’re the one paying for the food she proceeds to order Heaven, Earth and Texas, that says something. But if aware of your income bracket she is mindful not to go for the most expensive items on the menu, that says something too. In other words, is she considerate and kind? Or is she greedy, selfish and self-centered? Those considerations are more important than the ability to pronounce foie gras, or wear long painted talons and weave-ons. Pay attention to the person not just the looks and affectations. Values and character give you insight into a person. Is she a sincere person? Is she a manipulative person? Do you feel she’s laying a trap for you? Can you trust her? Is she planning to dump her living expenses on you? Is she looking for a Kardashian lifestyle financier? Is expression of endearment in her phone call a prelude and foundation for demand for money and fashion finance? Is she a “user” – you know, one who uses you and is certainly going to dump you when your usefulness expires? If she’s a user, you know your relationship has an expiry date, right? Do you wonder what exactly you’re gaining in the relationship? Do you feel cheated? All these go to character. As it is you’re dating formats – women who look a certain way. In this age of universal fashion you’re probably dating a wig style.

A fantastic choice of partner is not determined by the number of women ploughed through. Chances are you’ll make a wrong choice. Bracketise your desire. Don’t go off on tangential exploration you already know is unaligned to your matrimonial dream. Why date someone you already know you can’t date (or shouldn’t date) and shouldn’t get married to? You may get stuck. Dating the wrong person is the start of the journey into a bad marriage. Better to pray to just meet the right person than to dissipate so much energy and resources on so many wrong prospects. It’s the right woman you should be looking for not women. Or you’re going to have a blood bath of emotions and bad conscience. Take it easy young man. You don’t want to learn what it means by “it’s a very small world” from a vengeful perspective. I hope this straightens out some of your issues.

Your mentor, LA

© Leke Alder | talk2me@lekealder.com

Values and character give you insight into a person. Click To Tweet

My dear Jil, I wish you had listened to me. You wouldn’t have had this problem. When someone offers you sincere advice with no ulterior motive and nothing to gain, you ought to pay attention to such. I told you not to give this guy money. But you went ahead and gave him doles of your money. And now… The whole thing was corny. The love was fake. Anyone could tell this guy was trying to fleece you. The sustenance of a relationship can’t be dependent on doling of funds. That it started that way shows its false foundation. It means the relationship was only sustained because you kept giving him money. In which case it was a simple commercial transaction. You were unwittingly trying to buy affection. But then you have to wonder what exactly you bought. Even a dog will become your friend if you keep doling it food.

This guy was clearly an opportunist. You mistook his response to the doling of your money for love. How gravely mistaken you were. Your “relationship” had hardly begun when he began to ask for money. You should have been worried. And you were. It’s why you wrote me. Then you succumbed to foolishness. The moment you let him in on the fact you had substantial savings he became more loving. And now you’re out for what… Close to a million? That’s expensive “love” you bought. What did you expect? You should have known such a “loan” would never be repaid. The guy had no intention whatsoever to pay you back. You exchanged your hard-earned savings for mushy sentimentalism – something you can get without paying a dime.

You were probably targeted, by the way. And in your earnest desire for a relationship, any relationship, you allowed yourself to be conned. Yes, you’re smart but there’s a difference between smartness and wisdom. Sometimes “smartness” gets us into trouble. It gives us a false sense of invincibility. Smartness knows it all. “Smartness” is what makes you say, “I know what I’m doing, don’t worry!” even when it’s obvious you don’t. “Smartness” makes you feel you’re in charge and in control of an agenda. Until the other side and even your agenda outwit you. Once you take all that “smartness” into a relationship, you kill sincerity, even honesty. Everything is programmed. And so you were smart but not wise.

Yet wisdom is the principal thing. Wisdom has depth. Wisdom introspects. Wisdom considers. Wisdom takes a reflective pause. Wisdom will not rush into murky waters or into an indefinable. Wisdom looks into the horizon. Wisdom looks for patterns, tries to make meaning of patterns and wonders what conclusion to draw. Wisdom is allergic to foolishness. I’m afraid you’d have to forego the money. It’s gone! Probably partly spent on another girl. I know it’s painful, considering the fact that your debtor ex-lover is even blocking you on WhatsApp to avoid his obligation. I’m not asking you to forego the money to indulge his capriciousness. No. I’m asking you to forego the debt so you don’t tether your life to this guy for a considerable number of years in seeking your money. He has no intention to pay. He doesn’t even have the money! It’s all blown, gone! Unbeknownst to him he’s back to Square One. And he’s bitten his benefactor. People have gone on to develop very successful businesses from much less money.

If this guy couldn’t create something tangible with almost a million, you better be thankful your devourer is gone. He’s probably off chasing another girl he reckons he can fleece of another million. And on and on his life goes being defined. If you insist on collecting the money he’ll hold you down sadistically. He has nothing to lose. You have much to lose actually. You’re the one with the drive and ambition. You’re going to be bogged down chasing this guy for the money. You may end up bitter. When we don’t pay attention to wisdom we end up paying an expensive tuition fee for life’s lessons. A serious guy wouldn’t have been asking you for money. He’d be too ashamed. This was right at the start of the relationship. You ought to be careful about going into a relationship with a guy without shame. When he does the shameful it will just be water off his back. Won’t see anything wrong. He may even revel in his shamelessness.

These kinds of guys have a philosophy about how to treat women. They regard women as people to be exploited in the name of love. Women giving them money is taken as fulfilment of obligation. It’s a duty. Will even accuse you of not helping out though you have. These are guys who believe in living off women. They’re one of the more terrible versions of boyfriend you shouldn’t have. They have no sense of responsibility whatsoever. Their sense of manliness is bent so crooked only God can do a miracle. Such go from woman to woman, the only contribution to the relationship being sexual ardour. They scout Facebook looking for prey. You ought to be careful about those profiles on Facebook. Some are figments of imagination. There has to be a correlation between the Facebook profile and the real person.

You fell into this situation because you refused to listen to your heart. Indeed, the reason you wrote me earlier was for confirmation of what your heart was telling you. So you did have warnings about this guy. Several warnings in fact. But you ignored those warnings. Sometimes, we’re so besotted with our desire that we ignore all rational warnings. We try to explain things away to ourselves unconvincingly. And so when an alarm bell rang in your heart concerning this guy you put it down to undue apprehension. You kept explaining everything away till you got sucked into the cauldron of anaesthetising desire. You were too busy enjoying being given “loving attention” you failed to see the deceit in those “affections.” Everything he told you he also told the last girl. All the phrases used, they’re formulaic. He targets needful women. The relationship was a hobby. He lathered you with deceit and saliva to soften you up to ask for the money. Just move on. Lesson learnt I believe. But he’s got his comeuppance coming. What you sow you reap. Life has a balance sheet. Conny man die conny man go bury am.

Don’t date all these guys who do foreign exchange with affection. These are not “husband material.” A husband material is thinking of how to give to you, not how to take from you. A husband material adds to you not depreciate you. You can’t be bitter though I understand why you’re angry. But remember you share some of the blame.

Your mentor, LA

© Leke Alder | talk2me@lekealder.com

Don’t date all these guys who do foreign exchange with affection. Click To Tweet

Dear Jack, it’s important you discern the spirit of someone you’re considering dating. Rather than just being moved by superficial realities. What’s on the surface is being projected. The nice dress, makeup, the affectations, the sexiness…all those are projections. Those projections won’t give you a true picture of somebody, just an impression. Projections are independent of character. Projections won’t give you insight into the spirit or real nature of someone. A devious person can wear fitted skirt and look attractive. The prettiness of the skirt is not the true knowledge of the person. And anyway mass media has sold us an imagery of a cosmopolitan woman. You’ve been programmed by reality TV. That someone looks fine, dresses fine can’t tell you the character of the person. You have to discover that. The character is independent of the dressing. The dress is mere fashion, an artistic endeavour. So you may find yourself appreciating a dress rather than evaluating the character of the model you’re considering dating.
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My dear Jack, I think you need to sit down and ask yourself what this woman means to you. It’s something every couple should do – both the man and the woman should ask what they mean to each other. Such an appraisal helps one uncover the true value of a partner. We tend to get lost in all those “husband” and “wife” titular stuff. We use the phrases so much they hardly mean a thing anymore. A “wife” (or “husband”) is after all someone you married. It’s taken as the result of an activity – the taking of an oath. It’s like “Mr. & Mrs.” It’s what you write on an envelope. Simply identifies sexes and marital status, nothing more. It can’t and doesn’t give depth to marriage. In fact, it has no usage inside marriage. In the same vein, “husband and wife” has come to represent co-joined status. If care is not taken it can be devoid of depth.
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My dear Jack, you can’t marry on another person’s timetable. You marry when you know you’re ready. The problem you have is that you’re dating someone four years older than you. That has its own pressure. To be sure, she’s also under pressure from her family. They want her to marry fast. What she’s simply done is transfer the pressure to you, but you’re nowhere near ready.
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Dear Jil, surely you can see these plans are asinine. I mean, how does it make it sense?! You’re dating a guy who lives abroad and hardly comes to town – may be once a year. So you don’t see him much. You face the typical challenge of long distance relationship. However much you do Facetime it’s never like being together. But instead of talking marriage, this man is talking about making you a baby mama. Why would you want to be baby mama instead of wife? And according to him you’ll have to stay here for two years after you’ve had the baby. You can’t travel to stay with him immediately. This allegedly is to ensure you don’t do menial job when you travel to meet him in UK! I’m lost and confused over this logic. So you stay two years apart so you don’t do menial job in the UK. Don’t get it, what’s the link?
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My dear Jil, there comes a point we must stop digging ourselves in, in a relationship that’s no relationship. If you keep investing emotionally and materially in a relationship knowing your love is not requited, you’re digging a hole. There’s that point in this kind of relationship when we need to cut our losses. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy. We’re talking years of life investment. But we can’t keep digging ourselves in, fooling ourselves we’re collecting clay to make bricks to build a relationship. The deeper the hole we dig, the more we’re caked in mud, and the more we disappear from view.
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