The Right Man Was Right Under My Nose While I Was Out There Chasing Mr Wrong
Kwaku has been my best friend for the past eight years since our days in the university. He was the kind of friend who woke me up at dawn to study. When I had difficulty grasping certain concepts, he patiently taught me. He gives me a listening ear regardless of what I want to talk about. Our closeness made people wonder if we were more than friends. I didn’t know if he had feelings for me and I didn’t care to know either. What I cared about was that he was my best friend.
In the course of our friendship, I met men who expressed interest in me. Whenever I told Kwaku about them, he made jokes and teased me. Once, we ran into one of the guys in town and Kwaku poked me, “Look at your husband. He is a nice man. The two of you will have beautiful children.” This was something he did most of the time. Sometimes I joined in the jokes. He knew me enough to know that I wouldn’t be offended. Actually, he knows me better than anyone does. Somewhere in the third year of our friendship, I met someone that I liked. This guy’s name is Douglas. As usual, Kwaku teased me about him but this time he said, “If you want to be with him, I’ll pray so that you two end up together.”
That made me smile. Underneath his teasing, he wanted me to be happy. It didn’t take long for Douglas to shoot his shot with me. I already liked him so I accepted his proposal and we started dating. He was handsome, and a complete gentleman. We attended the same church so everyone in my circle approved of him. One of the comments we received from friends was “You two look good together. Your children will look very beautiful.” I was happy to finally be in love and with a perfect man moreover. As our relationship progressed I noticed that something was missing. I didn’t need to think too deeply to know that it was Kwaku. He had withdrawn from me completely. The realization made me quite unhappy.
I remember reaching out to him, “Why have you withdrawn from me? Did I do something to offend you?” He said, “No we are fine. I’m just giving you space to enjoy your first relationship. I don’t want your boyfriend to get jealous because of our closeness. If you ever need me, I’m here for you.” I tried to reason with him, “Don’t do that. You and Douglas can become friends. That way he’ll know that he has nothing to worry about.” He wouldn’t budge. It felt like I had exchanged my best friend for a boyfriend. It didn’t feel good. I had no choice but to live my life without him. When my relationship was a year old, I introduced Douglas to my family, and they approved of him. He also introduced me to his family, and they loved me. On the outside, we were the perfect couple but on the inside I was unhappy.
Douglas put a lot of pressure on me to do things I wasn’t ready to do. When I resisted him he complained; “Have you noticed that this relationship revolves around you? I am always following your timelines and your values. You don’t want me to hold you, and you wouldn’t even kiss me. When will my needs start to matter?” I always felt bad when things got to that point. But I wasn’t ready to get intimate with him and I know that it all starts with one unholy touch. The day we had our first kiss, I felt like I had done something wrong. It happened in my apartment. I remember how much I cried after he left because it wasn’t something I wanted to do. After that first kiss, he wanted to do more. This became a constant fight between us. He stopped visiting me because according to him, “What’s the point of coming to see you if you won’t let me do shuperu?”
At some point, he cheated on me. It hurt but I forgave him and stayed with him. I thought we could work things out and move past our differences but he didn’t feel that way. One day out of nowhere he texted me; “I think we should take a break. I need to figure some things out.” I replied, “I think we should break up instead.” He didn’t see it coming. He tried to convince me to stay but I realized I realized that I didn’t want to be with him anymore. It took me so long to learn that as long as our values don’t align, we would always have problems.
All the while, Kwaku was in the background. He wasn’t in my life but he was not out of my life either.
After the breakup, I took some time and did a deep self-reflection. The only thing that I wanted to do was to mend my relationship with Kwaku. Without him in the picture, my life felt like a lighthouse with no light. It just didn’t make sense. It took me five months to finally reconnect with him. We fixed a date and went out to talk. That was when he told me, “The reason I kept my distance when you were dating is that I am in love with you. And it broke my heart to see how happy you were with him.” I seized the opportunity to also tell him, “I was not that happy with him. I thought about you the entire time. I missed you so much it hurt. Being with Douglas made me realize that you are the man for me.” We all lay our hearts on the table that day.
That day we talked about our plans for the future and the love brewing between us. We gave ourselves three years to settle down. When we made those plans I wasn’t sure that they will come to pass. I was afraid that I would mess things up with my bad temper. However, Kwaku believed in us. We had conversations about everything including our finances, children, relationship with family, and intimacy. Kwaku’s values are even stricter than mine so I was the one who initiated our first kiss. Nothing had ever felt so right as that moment. I am happy at the slow and mutual pace we have taken things.
It’s been three years since we started planning our life together. And it has been the most peaceful and happiest years of my life. Our wedding is two months away and I can’t wait to finally call my best friend my husband. I may not be marrying my first love but I am marrying the love of my life. I am happy that at the end of the day, I didn’t compromise my values and my beliefs just to make Douglas happy. I have come to learn that relationships don’t need to be stressful and dramatic. Things are effortless when you are with the right person.
Source: Silent Beads
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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