Dear God, What is wrong with being a good woman to the men in my life?
I started going out with K after a series of painful heartbreaks. He was a colleague at work and an acquaintance. Sometime during a long chat, I told him about my past experiences with men. I had bottled so much pain in my heart and I needed to talk to someone. The day I told him about all my heartbreaks, the most painful of which was with my baby daddy, something shifted in our friendship. Some kind of bond was created and we became closer than before. We spent a lot of time together, and I found his company enjoyable. On 24th May 2019, he asked me to be his girlfriend. I liked him but I didn’t want to ruin our beautiful friendship by getting into a relationship with him.
I explained my concerns to him, “I haven’t had a friend in a long time so this friendship means so much to me. If we try a relationship and it doesn’t work out, I’ll lose a friend forever.” I remember exactly what he said in response; “Maame, I know all the painful experiences you’ve been through. Trust me, the last thing I want to do is hurt you again. I swear on my d**k.” I laughed so loud when he said the last sentence. “So you are sure about this?” I asked. “Yes. You are very respectful, and I like the way you always say ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’ I want to be with you and I am not coming to do trial and error. I mean business.” So I said him. Before I walk you through, my experience with yes to K, allow me to take you through my experience with the others before him.
My first relationship was with Mike. I was twenty two and he was a little older. We were so in love and I believed that he was the man I was going to end up with. In the fifth year of our relationship, he discussed a business idea with me. It was a foolproof plan and the only thing he needed to make it happen was funding. He told me, “Why don’t you give me a loan? I promise to pay you back when the business picks up.” I replied, “That’s a lot of money. I don’t have. Which other way can I support you?” He suggested that I should take a loan from the bank on his behalf; “You earn good money. The bank will easily give you a loan when they see your credit.”
As I said, I was sure Mike was the one. Plus we had been together for five years and everything was good between us. There was no reason to doubt him. So I took the loan for him and I bought him a container with my money to show him that I believed in him. Immediately after Mike got his hands on the money, he dumped me. As I was trying to understand where I went wrong, he started displaying his relationship with a lady he had introduced to me as his cousin. I had to pay off that loan by myself.
I stayed away from men and relationships after what Mike did. I enjoyed spending time with myself and the freedom that came with being single. However, things changed a year later when I met my baby daddy on campus while we were both furthering our education. I believed he was genuine so I gave him a chance. When we were together, he often complained about money because he wasn’t earning enough as a pupils teacher. He didn’t have any external support too. I was touched by his situation and paid his school fees for two semesters. While I was paying my own school fees too. This guy never offered to pay for my transportation when I visited him. I was the only giver in the relationship but I never complained.
A year into our relationship, I got pregnant. When I told him about it he snapped. That day revealed a lot more about him than I ever knew the entire time we were together. He told me, “You know that I don’t have money so don’t expect me to take care of the child if you decide to keep it.” His message was not direct but it was clear. He was telling me to either get rid of it or keep it at my own cost. I chose to keep the baby and that was the end of our relationship.
After delivery and healing, I met someone named Kwame. He seemed serious at first but after a few months of dating, he ghosted me. Up to date, I don’t know what I did to scare him off. After him, I got close to K. After everything I went through, his assurance meant a lot to me. Especially when he told me he liked me because I was respectful.
Unfortunately, six months into our relationship, I was laid off from work. I didn’t want him to feel that he was financially obligated to cater to me so I went out of my way to contribute financially to the relationship. I was depending on a monthly allowance my father started giving me after I lost my job. It wasn’t much but I made sure I cooked for K all the time. Sometimes he would be at work and I’d send him a bowl of a home-cooked meal for lunch. He knew I was unemployed but he never asked, “Babe, where do you get the money to do all these things?” Or “How are you surviving in this economy without a job?”
One day he was with me when my dad called to ask if I had received the money he sent me. Since then, K started finding subtle ways to spend more of my money. If I asked to see him, he would say, “I want to see you too but I don’t have money to transport myself.” I will then order Uber for him. Sometimes he would tell me he was broke and I would divide my money and groceries in two and give him half of it. K took everything I gave without a care for my unemployed status.
This went on for over a year but I was not bothered because I was happy to help someone I loved.
Somewhere in November last year, K broke up with me without any meaningful reason. We were together for two years and it all came down to nothing. He said the last thing he wanted to do was hurt me but he did exactly that.
I have cried and asked God questions because I don’t understand why men keep walking in and out of my life after I have offered them everything I could. I know that I am not perfect but I am also not a bad person. I always do things to make my partners happy but it’s never enough to make them stay. My heart breaks whenever I look back at the sacrifices I made that were never appreciated. I’m here asking, “So dear God, Is it wrong of me to be supportive? What is wrong with being a good woman to the men in my life?
How to start a new relationship: 6 tips to make it work this year
Starting a new relationship can be quite tricky yet exciting at the same time.
You will be excited at the prospect of someone loving you and caring for you, taking time for you.
The start of a relationship might probably be the best time of your life as you are starting a new relationship. However, as excited as you might be, it is crucial to know what to do in a new relationship and what not to do in a new relationship.
How to make it work
If you understand the dos and don’ts of new relationships, it will be easier for you to move forward and form a healthy relationship with your partner.
It would help if you respected each other’s independence and choices. Although it is alright to keep in touch, be aware of each other’s whereabouts, and communicate, continuously pinging each other can also suffocate at times.
It is just that how to start a relationship can be quite complicated and tricky and requires lots of effort. Once you get used to it and know about your partner, it is easier to form a healthy relationship.
Dos and don’ts for a new relationship can help you stop second-guessing yourself. It gives you a vague blueprint about what needs to be done, and it can enhance your bond further.
- Have realistic expectations
For a relationship to work, it is essential to be emotionally and mentally strong. You also have to be compromising and understanding. It’s not necessary that what you want in a relationship is the same as what your partner wants. So, be realistic about situations.
You can both have different thoughts and opinions, like how often you should text in a new relationship. While one person could enjoy the attention, the other appreciates space. So, it is crucial to find a middle ground.
- Show love and affection to your partner
You might have made a new boyfriend. And now you must be thinking about starting a new relationship with a man you’ve just developed feelings for.
You must first remember to show love and affection to your partner to strengthen the bond between you both. You must give attention and time to your partner and make eye contact with him.
- Don’t start talking about the future prematurely
When you start a new relationship, bombarding your partner with questions and plans for the future is not how relationships work. There is a big chance that you can put your partner off.
Every relationship requires time, and you cannot imagine your boyfriend being head over heels from day one.
You should remember that you are new to this and just starting a relationship. It is okay to be on cloud nine. However, if the question, “How to have a good relationship?” lingers in your mind, you must know that it’s all about taking things slow, one thing at a time.
- Don’t mention fears prematurely
At the beginning of a relationship, you and your partner are still getting comfortable with each other. Therefore, one of the crucial new relationship dos and don’ts include not mentioning your fears prematurely.
Allow your partner the chance to discover your fears and limitations gradually. Mentioning things at the get-go can make them feel intimidated and overwhelmed.
You can mention your fears when they become relevant to the equation you share with them.
- Enjoy moments
One of the big dos and don’ts in a new relationship is enjoying the present moment.
Don’t let your past experiences and concerns about the future take away the sheen of the exciting present you are sharing with your partner.
The best part of a new relationship is often the excitement and fun that you can have with someone. The chemistry between you two should be your focus, not the stress and anxiety about the past and present.
- Communicate effectively
Entering a new relationship can seem daunting as it often involves opening up to someone and sharing your life with them. However, this can be a cakewalk if you let clear communication guide you through this process.
Treat effective communication as one of the most important dos and don’ts in a new relationship. It can make or break a relationship depending on whether you do it honestly, respectfully and openly.
5 healthy boundaries every relationship needs this season
Every relationship needs healthy boundaries.
Topics such as the boundaries you wish to have can save you from heartbreak down the road.
These are simple dos and donts that you expect your partner to abide by. They could be as simple as how you expect them to communicate to whether or not your relationship is exclusive.
Setting boundaries can determine the success or failure of your relationship.
Even as you enjoy the butterflies that materialize in your stomach at the sight of your new partner, consider talking about the following:
- Communication style
This is very important information to give your partner. Tell them whether you like them to call or text, how often you need to hear from them, which pet names you like and which you don’t, etc. This will ensure that nobody gets offended when their communication preferences aren’t met.
In the same vein, talk about if and how you will address your relationship on social media. Some people are comfortable bearing it all online while others would like to keep it off social media.
- What to do during conflict
Disagreements are inevitable and so, you need to know whether your partner needs time alone when they’re angry or they prefer to hash out your disagreement there and then. Communicate this clearly, preferably before you have your first fight, so that you know what is expected of you.
- The type of commitment you want
To avoid any misunderstandings, clearly state what you expect as far as your relationship is concerned. Will you be exclusive or would you like an open relationship?
As you talk about commitment remember that you can’t change your partner. Even if you’ve clicked and you want different things from the relationship, it won’t end well. Be strong enough to let go if your expectations as far as commitment is concerned.
It’s very important to set sexual boundaries. Tell your partner what you like and don’t like in the bedroom, how often you’re comfortable having sex, what level of intimacy you like on a first date or in public and when you’re alone, etc. Do you mind holding hands while you’re out and about? Are you a chronic hugger?
A partner who won’t respect these boundaries or tries to coerce you to break them even when you try to remain adamant risks becoming abusive. This is a relationship red flag and you need to run.
- Personal space
Tell your partner when you need personal space and what you require from them during this time. Do you need a few minutes alone when you wake up in the morning or do you like some quiet time when you come in from work?
Here’s just one of the examples on boundaries you should set early on in your relationship. Don’t be afraid to speak up if you feel your partner is crossing your boundaries and making you uncomfortable. And remember, some boundaries can be negotiated such that you’re both happy and on the same page.
4 best tips to avoid getting pregnant during s*x
There are many ways to avoid pregnancy if you are having active sex.
Sperm can live inside your uterus for up to 5 days after having sex, and pregnancy can only occur if there is sperm in your uterus or fallopian tubes when you ovulate.
You have many tools to prevent pregnancy. Birth control options are plentiful, but some work better than others. The key is to make sure you’re using them the right way.
Here’s what you can do:
- You’re on birth control
Hormonal birth control methods such as the pill, patch, ring, implant, shot, or IUD significantly decrease your chances of getting pregnant, but they don’t eliminate your chances.
These experts say methods work in various ways. For example, IUDs block sperm from reaching the egg, while the pill, ring, and patch prevent ovulation.
- You’re on your period
While it’s not impossible to get pregnant while on your period, your chances are pretty slim.
Your lowest chance of getting pregnant while on your period is during the first day of bleeding. But the chances increase with each passing day as you get closer to your ovulation window. If your typical menstrual cycle is close to the average 28- to 30-day cycle, then the likelihood of getting pregnant while on your period is low. But if your cycle is shorter, your chances of getting pregnant while on your period go up.
- You use the ‘pull-out’ method
The pull-out method may be the world’s oldest form of birth control.
The pull-out method, also known as withdrawal, involves pulling the penis out of the vagina before ejaculation.
While some studies have found that withdrawal can be as high as 96% effective with perfect use, it isn’t easy to maintain perfect use with this method.
- You use a condom
When using a condom to avoid pregnancy (or sexually transmitted infections, for that matter), it’s vital to use it correctly. Correct usage means the condom is rolled onto the penis (or inserted into the vagina in the case of internal or female condoms) before there’s any contact between genitals and skin.
According to research, the chance of getting pregnant with male condoms is about 18%, and with female condoms, it’s 21%. With perfect condom use every single time, those odds decrease to 2%.
Some nursing parents use the lactational amenorrhea method (LAM) or “breastfeeding method” to prevent pregnancy after giving birth. LAM as a form of birth control relies on the temporary pause in ovulation that often accompanies breastfeeding in the first several months postpartum.
While breastfeeding, the hormone estrogen, which is responsible for getting your period each month, is suppressed experts say, hence, preventing pregnancy.
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