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Read Letter


My dear Jil,

I think you’ve got a wonderful boyfriend in this guy. He’s a serious young man and I can see he loves you dearly. And he cherishes you. My fear is you, not him. I fear your insecurities will at some point create unhappiness in the relationship.
You’re a lovely young woman. And I wish you can just be, you know, just be! But insecurity has turned you competitive, even against your sisters. And it’s absolutely unnecessary. It’s the kind of competition you shouldn’t get into. A good self-esteem repudiates it. Be you – a very marvellous young lady. Very dependable, very reliable, good character, trustworthy. Don’t lose that estimation to unhealthy nonsense. I know there’s sibling rivalry generally but don’t get into it.

You can’t regulate your life with fear. You can’t keep living day to day in fear. Insecurity is fear. Insecurity is fear of being unloved, or not being loved enough and it turns people into wonderment. And it’s already affecting your relationship with this guy. It’s turning you into a controlling person. That is sad. The problem with insecurity is that it can turn manipulative.

What you want you withhold until the other party gives. Just to feel loved! But you won’t be satisfied with that kind of love, for the simple reason that it’s mechanistic and manipulated. In truth it’s no different from the “love” of “the people” for the average African dictator of yore. True love is organic, natural… It’s freely and willingly given, not extracted. What you want is honest, sincere love – one that comes from a deep place called the heart. The quality of that love is so high that just a kiss on the forehead can mean so much… You know it’s deep!

However, if you compel your boyfriend to love you by withholding affection it won’t satisfy you. It’s selfish love and selfish love is an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms. Because of the low quality of that kind of love you’re going to need it in great quantity. And so the guy will find himself giving and giving, and not getting. He can’t get because the forced affection does not satisfy you enough to make you want to give back to him. And so you starve him of affection, sometimes tossing tokens his way.

Let me warn you about what you’re doing: Starvation of affection is one of the leading causes of divorce. At some point the guy will feel this relationship is one-way; that he’s the giver and you’re just a taker. If you push a man that far, he might someday begin to wonder about the value of the relationship, or of you. Men find such manipulative and selfish disposition painful and sad. (Women too!).

When love is mixed with such pain, it creates a strange concoction of sweet and sour, sadness and joy. And then the man begins to think you feel you’re smart! That you’re taking him for a fool. His desire for you will be mixed with pain; it’s all unnecessary! At some point he’ll begin to withdraw. And that’s how you lose what you want the most from the man who can give you the most.

If you progress this behaviour over time you’re going to become so selfish you’ll be immune to his emotional needs. It’s going to be all about you – what you want, what you need… And when you do something small for him it will require a whole lot of acknowledgement and praise. Don’t go down that route. You’ll do yourself grievous harm. You won’t get the fullness of what you need. One of the reasons God gives us partners is for dedicated customized proprietary affection to meet our emotional needs. It’s why generic affection never satisfies, why we want our own boyfriend, our own girlfriend, our own spouse.

If there’s one thing to fear in life it’s Esau Syndrome – the commonisation of a thing of value. When we commonise gifts from God, Bible calls such profanity. It means treating holy things with disdain and uncare. You cried to God for this gentleman. What you have some women are praying for. He cherishes you no end, thinks you’re the best thing since the invention of akara bean cake. Cherish him! Men need as much love as women. Love is not a gender issue; it’s a humanity issue. I’ve seen women with wonderful husbands take them for granted. Men do too. They take wonderful wives for granted. Anything you profane you’ll eventually lose, like Esau. And then comes the bitter cries, like Esau’s. Look around you.

What you want you’ve got to give. It’s a law of life and it’s not going to make an exception for you. And the quantity of love you want is the quantity you must give. Again that’s a law of life. What you give will be multiplied back to you. Can you imagine how wonderful a generous relationship will be? Stop thinking of yourself only. Put your partner first. It’s called love. You’re not a politician, why are you operating politicians’ philosophy: if you rub my back I rub yours? And so if you text me I’ll text you. Then everything becomes calculated. Once a relationship becomes a mathematical exercise full of calculations, the poetry dies.

This operating philosophy is already spilling into other relationships you have. You’re transforming unawares. I know a very beautiful young woman who was so controlling, she lost every relationship. And she can’t see it. On the other hand there’s a woman I know, whose husband cherishes her no end. Spoils her with gifts and affection. When the man was asked why he gives her everything, he said she gave him everything including her life. Everyone admires that lady. She’s such a selfless person. So sacrificial. She’s reaping all she sowed.

This marriage you’re going into, is it not yours? Shouldn’t you be investing a great deal in it? The benefits are yours! Ultimately everyone determines the character and flavour of their marriage. If you want a happy and wonderful marriage the journey begins now. The journey is in you. I wish you what you wish yourself.

Your mentor, LA.

© Leke Alder |

Tags : Relationship, Love, Selfish, Insecurity

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