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Read Letter

What Are You Doing?

My dear Jack, you’re going to lose this lady. You’ll lose your girlfriend. You’re giving her cause for serious doubts about the feasibility of a future with you. The relationship is young. As it is it’s going to be short-lived. You’re close to the end and you can’t even see it. I don’t blame her uncle for campaigning against you. I’d do the same in his shoes given the facts and circumstances. You’re playing with the outcome of her life with your dedicated unseriousness. And you seem to have a funny philosophy of relationship. You believe your woman is supposed to take care of the consequences of the gaps and failings in your life. Unfortunately these are lazy gaps. They shouldn’t exist. And not at your age. You’re in your early thirties. You work hard when you’re young. Time flies.

You don’t seem to appreciate what it took for her to start the relationship. She’s gambling on you being able to put your act together sooner than later. She’s pre-investing in the relationship in the hope you’ll gather your wit about you and become focused. Unfortunately there are no encouraging signals from you. You’re perpetually broke, don’t seem to have a definitive map to the future. You don’t seem serious one bit. You don’t even put in enough effort into your life. One day it’s one scheme, another day it’s another. You’re perpetually looking for shortcuts. She’s your shortcut as it is, the agency for your future. You’re hoping to accomplish things through her efforts, not yours. The evident reality is that you’re using this young woman. You’re using her car, using her connections, seeking to borrow money from her… Loans you can never repay. So how exactly do you plan to marry her? What EXACTLY is your plan for marriage? You’re banking on her leveraging her uncles for finance for your marriage? And how is she supposed to respect you? You don’t exhibit drive, purposefulness or vision. You take things lackadaisically. You just believe things will work out somehow without effort.

What exactly is your plan for the future? I don’t mean all that fanciful stuff in your head, I mean concrete stuff. And what exactly do you want to become? You’re asking this young woman to put her stock in you, to amalgamate her future with yours. Why should she? You’re not giving her compelling reasons to. If you can’t take care of aspects of your wedding how are you going to take care of marriage? What happens when the kids come? Aren’t you ever planning to take responsibility? I’ve heard all the excuses – the delays in your life as per schooling and all what not. But then what? Is that going to be your excuse for failure in life? Now you have control of your life what excuse are you going to concoct for unseriousness? Like any young woman she’ll like to date someone comfortable. But then life has brought you her way. She’s willing to build with you but you seem to want emergency future.

As the days have progressed in this relationship you’ve given her continuous cause for concern. And you don’t seem to have shame judging by resort to cheapness on outings. It’s not so much about where you are now but your pursuit of the future. Your actions are not indicative of a sense of urgency about your future. You imagine once you emigrate all your problems will be solved, that all your cares and worries will be over. Is that the way life works? You actually believe that’s how life works? You think the ambition you can’t exhibit in your country will suddenly manifest and produce magic in a foreign clime? In your thinking once the state takes over your obligations – school fees and the like, all your problems will be over. You imagine that those nations you’re considering emigrating to are Santa Claus, don’t you?

Here’s what you don’t seem to grab. The young lady you’re dating wants a man she can respect, a man she can look up to, a responsible man. She doesn’t want a man living off her. She can carry the pail for now, until you stabilise. But she doesn’t want it to be a permanent situation. She doesn’t see herself taking care of a man, being responsible for her husband. But that seems to be what you want. There’s a clash of expectations and ideas. This will surely affect deliverables in marriage. She clearly wants to be pampered, doesn’t want to be dealing with things like rent. She sees those as a man’s responsibility. She just wants to play a supporting role, not take charge. I think you read her wrong. And you’re mistaking her initial efforts to get the relationship started for permanent disposition. When a woman is investing that much in a start-up there are expectations attached. You need to step up your game. She’s hoping you’ll put your act together sooner than later, hoping your fortune will turn so you can fulfil your traditional role. She’s also hoping now you have a woman in your life there’ll be focus and direction. Legitimate expectations. She’s wondering, Is this the way things are going to be after the wedding? All she has is fear now. Asking her to lend you money so early in the relationship is a most unwise move. You’re stoking primal fears. It’s not a good sign. Your repayment plan shows you’ll always come back to her for money. When will you ever balance?

There are no excuses in life. Even if there are reasons. You acknowledge the reasons but don’t turn them into disability crutch. If you want to keep this girl you’ll need focus and definitive direction. No more hair-brained schemes. Enough! Your lack of focus has generated fears in your girlfriend. The initial euphoria about the relationship has evaporated. The future now seems uncertain. She doesn’t know the direction you’re going. You’re like flotsams and jetsams of society. It’s almost like you’re gambling to see what works. Don’t blame her for diminished commitment. And you don’t seem to realise you’re not “young” at thirty-two. To imagine you are is an illusion. By that age you should have reasonably sorted out your direction in life. At that age you should be living in your own apartment, even if it’s a small one. You should be taking care of yourself. If you can’t take care of yourself how are you going to take care of another human? A liability can’t take on liability. You’ve got a woman who’s up and running, is ready to believe in the possibilities in your life and you throw that away? You don’t know the invaluable things in life. Put your act together.

Your problem is a lack of focus. You see life as a multiple choice question to which you’re making uneducated guesses. That’s okay if it’s only you but the moment you take on a woman that has to change. Nobody can tell you how to run your life but the moment you attach someone’s life to yours you’ve created a stakeholder. If you see your fortune within your country then work on your game. Don’t play with your job. Develop drive. Present yourself to management as a potential manager. If you want to emigrate to another clime then focus on the emigration. Focus on processing your papers and meeting the immigration requirements. And you have to make up your mind which country you want to emigrate to. It’s a strategic plan not a whimsical idea pioneered by your friends and decided upon by your impressionableness. That’s rascality. Your girlfriend is ahead of you as it were. It means you have to put on your running shoes. You must be up and running. There’s work ahead of you. She’s not going to slow down.

You can’t be lazy and hope to get ahead in life. That will be unfair on those who burn the midnight oil. Life is particular about maintaining a sense of justice when it comes to hard work and opportunities. And you think opportunities will just land in your backyard. If that’s how it works we might as well all stay home and be expectant. If you don’t put your act together life will pass you by. One day you’ll see your girlfriend and you’ll be telling anyone who cares to listen you used to date her. But you’re the parable. If this woman is not in your life shouldn’t you be self-motivated? Shouldn’t you have drive, and focus? Shouldn’t you be burning on the inside? She’s just your impetus she’s not supposed to take on the permanent responsibility of driving you. You lack ambition. In fact it seems her presence in your life has become a demotivation for you. Because she’s there you’re not stepping up to the plate. You’ve become your own redundancy.

You can’t have indefinite plans if you have a girlfriend. She’s just supposed to sit in a bus going to nowhere or what? Your trajectory is highly predictable. She can see the future. She can see you’re just going to hoist the responsibility for the family on her. It’s why she’s having second thoughts. It will show if you have drive at work. You’ll get things done. You won’t be full of excuses. You won’t be lazy either. You can be counted on. Perhaps your eyes will be clear when you lose this woman. But what do I know, you might just chalk it up as one of those things in life. That’s the way unserious people think.

I wish you the best. Your mentor, LA.

© Leke Alder |

It's not so much about where you are now but your pursuit of the future. Click To Tweet
Tags : Responsibility, focus in life

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