So apparently I am what they call an overtexter. I just cannot help it. I never leave any message unreplied, even if I don’t like you. If you send me a hello, I shall send you a hello right back. If I like you and haven’t heard from you in a while, I shall look for you. I never consciously keep a record of who looks for whom first all the time. A great facet in building great relationships with friends and family. An apparently very unattractive trait when courting. Hmm.. Who knew?!
I have always dated wrong and never realized it. I have had a couple of relationships/flings and just went on with life thinking I knew what I was doing. In my defense, no-one ever sat down with me and gave me a talk on how to date, so well.. My dating formula was simple, the less Shona you were, the better. Now by this I mean, the less you acted like a shona person, the less you spoke the language, the less cultural you were, the better. That was the starting point.
The way I was brought up was this, relationships are about you giving. I mean any relationship. Friendship is all about you giving. Family is about what you can do for them. So using this philosophy I approached my relationships, armed with two things, the less cultural the better, and the more I gave the better. Insert a head rolling cackle here! Not only is this philosophy bad! It is the perfect recipe for abuse, self hatred, self loathing and everything a relationship is not supposed to be.
Now don’t get me wrong. There is merit to giving. I have some of the best friendships anyone could ever have. I make a great friend sometimes, I do have my faults, but generally my friends know they can count on me when the need arises. Iv just been lucky I guess to have friends who give so much more to me than I could ever imagine, and also to have a family that pulls its weight and gives just as much to edify the relationship. But but but! Big but! A relationship is as much about receiving as it is about giving. It’s very annoying to try help someone who doesn’t want to be helped. One has to be in a position whereby he/she can receive the love he/she is giving out to edify the relationship. Whatever form the relationship.
I recently started rethinking about dating. This year has just been a strange year, a year whereby I have not at all thought of dating. In fact, all I had planned for my future was my two dogs, Mukudzei and Mavambo, and maybe my two adopted kids. I am a dog lover, and dogs love me back. I have rented at two different properties with dogs my adult life, and both times by the time I was a month in, the dogs would have defaulted to treating me as their defacto owner. Lol. My last adopted dog was Duchess, and she loved me fiercely. She would even sulk when I left town, and would continue to sleep on my doorstep each night till I returned. Lol, talk about devotion. And, the night I would return she would refuse to sleep anywhere else save for right next to my head, just in case you thinking of leaving me again Missy! Lol.
I mention Duchess because I think she really taught me how to receive love without having to empty so much of myself. But just to be appreciated and loved as a companion nje. Recently finished reading a book by Mike Todd on relationships, great book, and his wife wrote a chapter right at the end of the books which was meant for the guys, but tjo, that chapter jumped right out at me because it suddenly became as clear as daylight to me how it is I have always dated wrong! She says, women have certain needs, not wants, needs! That must be fulfilled in the relationship for it to work. The same way guys also have their own needs.
So apparently a woman needs security. Financial, emotional and physical security. Whoa! This blew my mind, because all along, I have dated like security was a want. Dating people who do not give me the security I need, because in my mind I was playing down all these needs as wants. I want financial security, I don’t need it. Big mistake! Because you see, when I do not receive the security I need, I cannot open up and unlock the inner me that can flourish in that relationship.
Please stay with me. I’m not saying we should be gold diggers. No. But if you are a go getter typa chic like me, then downplaying your need to feel like your man has what it takes to pay the bills and take care of you, will only lead one way, down the road of frustration. But because I put myself in this precarious position whereby my inborn God given needs, I downplayed them into carnal wants, I time and time again found myself cozing up with the wrong sort of person for me.
I mentioned earlier that to me, the less Shona the better. Very strange considering I am a shona girl. It is only recently, and I mean in the last two years of my being single, that God has really been opening up my eyes to what I shall deem self hate. Hating absolutely everything about myself, so much so that the very thing God created me as, a Shona girl, is the thing I was trying hard to wash off of me. Anything to me, was better. Why on earth honestly I have no idea. But as a person, unless you learn to love yourself, and I mean love yourself the way you are, absolutely fall in love with yourself, everything abt you, you shall never be in a position to receive love well, and hence culture and nourish good relationships.
One of my most favourite musicians of all time, Oliver Mtukudzi has a song in which he says kusvikira riini? Tichinyara mimvuri yedu, kusvikira riini? Ko zvaingori tsika nditsikewo.. Nemumvuri wacho tsika nditsikewo?? This loosely translates to for how long shall you waste energy trying to outrun your shadow?
I don’t know how to end this blog post. I have so much to say. I can say for now, I’m really glad I’m single. God is opening up my eyes to what it means to learn to love. To learn to give and receive love. To love absolutely everything about me and not feel the need to empty of myself in a bid to try and earn love. Oh, don’t worry, no cats have come knocking on my doorstep as yet, so perhaps it means not all hope is lost as yet in the dating scene, lol