I’m getting married soon but the one I truly love has now come proposing
Before I begin, I want to give them names so that I can share the story more easily. These are not their real names. So I and Ben have been friends for a very long time. We were close from our primary school days and we somehow managed to stay in touch when we went to different schools after JHS.
We met again on the same University campus and we continued being friends. Ben is a very intelligent guy and he used to sweep awards back in primary and JHS so it wasn’t surprising when I got to know he was doing medicine. We have never dated and people used to tease us that we were in love, but we always said that it will never work because both of us cannot see ourselves that way.
When we met at Uni, I started having feelings for him. I gave him all the signs and I was there for him, checking up on him, and even buying him things on his birthday. He was always so friendly and he never made an attempt to propose to me. I read the signs that he will always see me as a friend so I didn’t push it.
For my own sanity and to help me heal, I started distancing myself from him because it’s difficult to fall in love with someone and for the person not to feel the same way. It also helped that he got busy with his course and he later moved to the UG Korle Bu campus so the distance helped me heal and move on from him. Along the line, Joe came into the picture. He was my coursemate. We used to just greet each other and pass, but we got close through a group work we were given. He was very different from Ben.
He was very straightforward and open. It didn’t take long for him to tell me he was interested in me and he didn’t mind being friends with me to get to know me more. I honestly wasn’t having feelings for him at that time so I told him I wasn’t interested in him. But because we were coursemates we were spending more time together and I decided to give him a try because I mean, why not?
We were in a relationship for almost four years, but after his NSS he got a job in another region. At first, we tried to make it work, but we both knew it wasn’t working and we ended it. He is a good guy and despite the whole thing not working, he wanted us to keep being friends but I didn’t want it because it will make me feel more hurt, so I blocked him.
Years later, I met Frank. He is the brother of a work colleague and we met during a Christmas party held for employees and their families. I was thirty-five when I met him and as an African woman going through pressure from family and society to marry, I accepted him immediately he told me he was interested in me.
He was thirty. A year later, he wants us to marry. Both of us are doing well in our jobs and we’re not getting any younger. Now, this is the thing: Within the space of three months, Ben and Joe reached out to me through social media. It’s so weird how powerful social media is. If I’m being honest with myself, I never stopped loving Ben. Amongst the three men, he is the one I know through and through. He just wanted to meet and talk and I didn’t see anything wrong with that. We met somewhere and for the first time, he told me he was interested in me.
He had never married and he said my absence in his life made him realize that it is me he wants and he wants to marry me. Joe on the other hand has been chatting with me on Facebook. He has two children with his ex and he says he still loves me. I have told Joe that I’m getting married soon so it won’t work.
But I haven’t told Ben about Frank’s marriage proposal. He just knows I’m dating someone. I wish I was marrying him (Ben) and now that he has proposed, he has bothered me. He is the one I love and I haven’t told Frank about him. I don’t want to hurt Frank because he is a good guy and he has already bought the rings for our wedding even though we haven’t set a date yet. I don’t know what to do. I feel like I’m entangled in the web of three men.
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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