breakup

Now You’re Just Somebody That I Used To Know

I did it. I was one of those who deleted everything. It took a while, and he was over us much earlier than I was, but when I made the decision to move on, I took heed to a friend’s words: ‘Afua, you do whatever you need to do to get over him’, and I deleted everything.

every email.

chat conversation.

social media contact.

Gone.

.

Until recently when I stumbled over something that somehow slipped through the gmail clean out.

 

Drats.

 

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So… I read it. *shrug* I concede that I was thoroughly amused at my younger self… not being able to resist smiling (and shrugging at my stupidity naïveté) while reading the conversation, thinking to myself ‘…wow… I really did love this guy.’ Interestingly, there was no sadness, no regret or even anger anymore. Those ships have long sailed. I was just somehow thankful that I’d been able to go through an experience like that.

Now coming out on the other side, and even coming to terms with the fact that he never felt the same for me and was never the person I thought he was… I. don’t. feel. anymore. It’s funny cause someone slipped into my ear that he’s getting married soon, and I think it was probably the most liberating feeling to feel absolutely nothing about the information…

.

…because, now he’s just somebody that I used to know.

– – –

RR, is there a ‘someone I used to know’ in your life? Are you ever amazed at how you were ‘so’ in love with someone one minute and so… … not, the next?

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Engaged.

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aaa ya, not me. I know that’s what you were thinking, given my silence for the last few months. But no, the title refers to my friend’s ex.

You know that‘ ex, the one you always thought may would come back. That one that you can’t really put your finger on why ya’ll didn’t get your act together (simultaneously). The one that captured your heart and then went on to capture and permanently lock down another’s. Ya that one. He got engaged not too long ago and I had the privilege of producing the evidence.

. . .

“Afua, you up?”

{…I was, because somehow the wee hours of the morning are my friends}

“Si.”

“I just found out that XXXX is engaged. Can you stalk his Facebook page for me? I unfriended him.”

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{…hmmm… It’s in moments like these that one must assess your level of love for your friend. On one hand, you’re her ride or die… doing anything she would have need of you to do; on the other hand, you’re. her. ride. or. die., which calls for making tough decisions about things that could possibly bring her more harm than good}.

“Hun, you sure about this? I mean there is a reason you unfriended him, right?”

“I know, I just want to see what folks are saying and what the ring looks like.”

{Now that just sounds like cruel and unusual punishment to me, but let’s be honest… i get it. I’ll most likely be in the exact same position within a year or so, and I know the fight of wanting to not want to know is a losing battle. Given the question of how I would want a friend to handle the situation for me, the answer was very simple…}

“Fine, here you go.”

What followed next was a flurry of screenshots of congratulatory messages; twin statuses professing love for ‘the only being in the world to fully understand me and love me like I deserve’, and him liking it so much that he “put a ring on it”…paired with a gazillion nods of approval. You know the drill.

“I hope it rains on their wedding day.”

My reaction on the other end, a childish smile marred by a cloud of silence… Some things just don’t need a response.

.

 

.

 

.

“You okay?”

“…ya, I think.”

“I mean I knew it was coming, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I wasn’t just a slight bit hurt. I just thought…  ”

. . .

She didn’t need to finish the thought, because I knew.

I think what’s worse than not being with an ex anymore, is seeing them (seemingly) happily moved on while you haven’t quite yet. When no amounts of “You’re amazingIt’s his lossYou’ll find anotherThere’s a reason for everythingHe wasn’t the one for you” can mask the pain of flat out rejection. He didn’t pick you. Even if it was a blessing in disguise (even if you don’t want him anymore). It. still. sucks. that. he. didn’t. pick. you.

If you can remember this post some time back, specifically the article All the Single Ladies. There’s a story the author retells about her ex, which used to send shock waves to my system:

“After the worst of our breakup, we eventually found our way to a friendship so deep and sustaining that several years ago, when he got engaged, his fiancée suggested that I help him buy his wedding suit. As he and I toured through Manhattan’s men’s-wear ateliers, we enjoyed explaining to the confused tailors and salesclerks that no, no, we weren’t getting married. Isn’t life funny that way?

Wedding shopping? Really? Hmm… so how can one get from praying for rain to that Things_Finger_Pointing_UP?

Perhaps I’ll discuss that in another blog at a later date… But for now, I’ll say this- I know my friend well, and I know she’ll be fine. There will be a time when the hurt is gone hurts less and the ‘what ifs’ subside. The key is getting to a place where you recognize that even being single trumps being with someone that you’re not supposed to be with. And if there are regrets, it’s about accepting things (because sometimes you’ll never really know if you chose the right path), and learning from the situation and moving forward… in any way you can (even if that means deleting him from social media).

– – –

Just in case you were wondering- Regarding my last post: I never called. He did, eventually. Just not in time for my interest to still be intact.

Everything I Asked For, Nothing I Wanted

photo (1)So…

I have been out on a couple of dates of late.

And I mean actual dates, as in food and conversation… Not whatever contrived version of dating people have in their minds.

And you know what?

 

Dating is very much like online shopping.

In fact, it is exactly like online shopping.

Imagine this:

You have been in desperate need of the perfect-est LBD (Little Black Dress for the less privy). You have been scouring the internets trying to find something that can be upgraded with a great statement piece but is generally versatile and fits your body like a glove. You are going to show off, obviously, and this dress needs to make every man, woman and boy jealous of your everything. I mean, there is a general return policy if it doesn’t work out, but you want something that will be more or less a life time commitment. Something classic, and you are really willing to splurge to make sure you get exactly what you want.

How I feel when I find the perfect dress!

How I feel when I find the perfect dress!

Then—- BOOM!

You find the most adorable knee length, backless number that looks like it will be the best purchase of your life. You read all the reviews (because you are a pro at online shopping and you know never to just judge a dress by its picture). For the most part, everyone agrees the dress is cut small so you have to buy one size above what you would normally buy. Otherwise, most past users love the dress and have even recommended great ways to jazz it up with jewelry and shoes.

You. Are. Elated.

After searching for what feels like centuries, you have finally found the perfect dress.

And then it arrives, and you realize…

This is everything I asked for and NOTHING I wanted.

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Now back to reality. I am sure you are already seeing all of the ways in which this analogy fits perfectly well into the discussion on dating. You spend what feels like forever, looking everywhere (or rather placing yourself in the right settings to be… looked for, lol!)… you have followed all the advice that has been given. And when you finally meet the guy who loves Jesus, is about 6 foot 4 in., has at least 2 degrees, makes at least double what you have earned in your lifetime, is kind and funny— even gets a hip hop reference from time to time … and happens to be a mean chef, you realize, this actually doesn’t fit. This is everything I put on my well-crafted list and yet… I am so bored. I mean… is it me?

So here are the three ways in which dating can be a bit like online shopping— gone wrong.

1. Fit

The number one reason for returning clothing purchased online is fit (I think… I made up this statistic, but I said it with authority,

True. Say. Had to learn the hard way.

True. Say. Had to learn the hard way.

so you probably believed it. bruhahahaa). Same with dating. I met this guy, he was all the things that I thought were important in building a strong relationship. Educated. Financially Stable-ish (I mean we are twenty somethings… how stable is stable reallly at this age, unless I am going for children of oil money— which I am wildly unopposed to… but I digress). Interested in Jesus (I mean, not exactly on the deacon board but willing to come to all four of my weekly church services— that’s basically love, right?). Worldly (in the… I have travelled and read books and listen to the news sort of way— not, like… secular, hedonist psycho sort of way, lol!). Understood my hashtagging and hip hop references.  Down to earth.

I was attracted to him and we could laugh, though not the kind of best friend- belly laughter… but fun nonetheless. And yet.

He didn’t fit.

All the ways in which I thought this could probably be a great relationship were suddenly turned upside down. I mean, he was really nice and polite. And yet I fear… I was bored. Hmpf.

So here I was, having spent my time and now I was going to have to return the dress— I mean, dead the situation. I think it was mutually agreeable (shut up Afua.) No feelings were hurt (shuttup Afua.) But like… how sad is that? Plus now I am thinking, maybe I don’t actually know what I want at all… which is horrifying really, don’t you think?

2. Misrepresentation

The thing is, when the dresses are on the websites and on these mannequins and the form and body is just right… and everything falls so perfectly, it makes you feel like you will look exactly the same way. And I mean, you think, ‘I am going to lose like 5 pounds next week anyway, so then all of my back fat will vanish and this backless number will look like something out of a Vogue magazine.’ I’ll baaasically look like Lupita, but lighter… and longer hair… and wider… but yeah, basically exactly the same.

Then you try it on and whatIthoughtyou are like, how could they have misrepresented the dress that way?! Why don’t they ever have ‘real’ models who are ‘real’ sizes like the rest of us on planet Earth?!

Maybe I am a little bitter. whatever.

But yeah, with dating… time reveals all manner of things. And you realize that what was glittering about a person is actually just the glass on his watch and not his actual personality. Social media does that though… people seem so much smarter and wiser and knowledgeable on their facebook profiles. It’s crazy how reality can sort of shatter everything about a person. Nothing like spending 45 minutes over a meal with someone and realizing you have spent the entire time thinking about what you will wear to work the next day (you know you gotta turn up for traditional friday’s!…)

Plus… maybe what looked right on another girl’s arm or in a Hollywood romance, isn’t actually what’s right for you. I guess you don’t know until you know… but Sanaa Lathan seemed to have it all in Love and Basketball… that’s all anyone really wants ever right? Hmpf…

3. Lowered Expectations

So now… all you want to do is run to your closet… with your old dresses and just find something you know is tried and true and

Start to hate all the advice about going back.. suddenly the ex seems like McDreamy!

Start to hate all the advice about going back.. suddenly the ex seems like McDreamy!

may have a few kinks but is generally gonna work out for the purpose for which you intended. And here… we are talking about exes.

Nothing like meeting someone new and playing the compare and contrast game. “Okay, he does this better than Elikem… but omg, Elikem definitely got this right”. But there’s an Akan proverb that says (essentially), “There’s no need to go deeper into water once you realize it’s coming up to eye level. You should just go back and stand where you are comfortable and where you have been already.”— ok, that was a lot of imagery, but … it’s true though… the devil you know is better than the angel that doesn’t fit.

I know I am not alone in this realization. There is nothing worse than wanting something really badly, and then getting it and being disappointed. I used to joke that, if I knew I liked strawberry ice cream and it tasted like heaven, there was really no point in sampling all the other flavors like strawberry choco champagne with macademia nuts and sprinkles— who needs all that in their icecream anyway? Monsters! I have always been of the mind that ‘dating’ isn’t about meeting people so you can figure out what you want, but rather making really good friends and deciding whether any one of them are particularly useful for the type of long term affair that marriage requires. But then… this experience, and the comparison to online shopping, makes it quite apparent that if you are not out there experimenting… you may actually jump into something that makes you look fat and lopsided with a second belly button…

Tell me, have any of you found in your experiences that you’ve finally met someone who seems to check all the proverbial boxes, but somehow doesn’t excite you in anyway? Did you have a quarter life, medium term crisis and wonder whether you had spent your whole life chasing the wrong things  moment of reflection? Do tell! (and by do tell, don’t like whatsapp us or send us messages but share in the comments so everyone can see ya’ll.. #sharingiscaring)

He Was Never Gonna Wife You, Afua: 6 Ways to Know Before You Know

photo (3)Harsh words, but a reality… he just wasn’t that into you.

I spent some time with a close guy friend a couple weeks ago while stateside, and a slightly inebriated trip down relationship/situationship lane concluded with some chilling realizations and some good insights for me going forward. I thought it was time to start turning wounds into wisdom, so here goes.

The conversation began with the acknowledgement that ‘yes, there are always signs when something’s not going to work out, but we choose to ignore them- While for men, ignoring usually involves a fight between both “heads”, a woman’s 308551_245290692199249_127001387361514_718090_1318263351_n_largefight is usually between her head and her heart. So given this fight, how does one pick up that you’re not ‘his wifey’ in order not to waste your time? Good q. For the remainder of this piece, I’ll try to recount John’s** side of the conversation in italics slash give my thoughts and list out six key findings in bold. Although these are personalized to me, they are general takeaways for everyone on how to know before you know.

In no particular order:

1. How many times did I tell you to let this one go? And not just me, how many people told you to let this one go? You put it down, you pick it up. You walk away, then turn right back around and RUN back. You let it half way heal, then with one little itch and you’re picking at it. >>> When your guy friends cry foul, it’s a problem. I know I’ve talked about this before, but I’ll reiterate it because it’s such a good test. Maybe even before ‘your man’ admits it to you or to himself, sometimes your guy friends can pick up on actions or inactions and let you know what’s really up with a guy. Listen to your guy friends when they tell you to keep it moving, especially when it’s multiple friends and said repeatedly. It’s not an exact science, but this is definitely better than listening to your girlfriends who tend to rationalize actions with you..

2. Not one? single one of his close friends, period, knew of the existence of his and your situation. And that is all on you, boo. As a relationship blogger, you really should know better. >>> I really should. I mean, I have a blog post that even discussed this… so no excuses on this one. Let me just copy/paste what I already ‘know’: His Family and Friends not knowing about you is a problem. If you’re ‘together’ and every one of your close friends and family knows about him, but none of his close friends or family knows about your existence/relationship, it’s time to reconsider the situation. If you drop hints of loving to meet his family/friends and he evades or shuts down the conversation, it’s time to consider why. And this includes the lot of ‘I don’t tell people about my personal business’ folks. Yes, some men don’t like to gossip about who they’re fooling around with, but when he’s serious about you, he’ll want the important people in his life to know about you. And for you to know them. 

3. And on that note… the ex never left the picture, so you better go take several seats, little girl. If it takes any man 6 months to break up with a chick, don’t think for a second that thing is going to die easily >>> When the ex never leaves the picture, it’s a problem. So you did your research once the two of you started talking… Who was before, how serious was it, is she outta the picture? But it’s not always about the past, you need to also consider the present. Even if others have opinions about what their situation was/is, even if he said ‘she wasn’t wifey’…trust your gut. If things don’t feel right on more than one occasion, maybe it’s for a reason. And things not feeling right can manifest in various forms: 1. They’re still really good friends (a little too good) 2. photo 4 (1)She’s someone who never let go: Checking in… ‘Hows your mama & ’em doing?… Did your pops receive the Christmas present I sent him’ Etc.*side-eye* 3. His friends never understood why he broke up with her, and continue to believe she’s the best match for him (See #2 again) 4. The general public/ his friends and acquaintances still associate him with her in a romantic sense… Everyone pause for a moment: I actually had a conversation once with someone who referred to the person I was currently talking to as ‘oh, you mean so-and-so’s ex’… Errr yup, that’s exactly who I was referring to… *side-eye*. For this one, John was stressing that perhaps I never lost him because I never had him to lose. That perhaps he was never the one, because he was always someone else’s one. If she’s got the best friends and family on lock, you’ll always be fighting an uphill battle; just don’t be surprised if in 2, 3, 4 years even they’re back together near engaged *shrug*.

3.5. Not to belabor the point, but you took too long to decide what you wanted and then to tell him, and in general there will be less encroachment on territory if it is clearly marked. One reason someone can come back so easily into a man’s life, is when he’s not locked down. photo 1 (1)You have a window of opportunity to lock it down with a guy, once that’s gone, you can’t really do much after that. >>>  When it takes too long to get commitment, it’s a problem. If you want something, decide quickly and take it. If you get hurt in the process, at least you can say you tried… But don’t allow a situation to float in the milky way undefined. One of the most eye opening lessons I’ve learned in the last year is the power of a decisive woman in a relationship. And this is all from the mouths of men too: ‘Women sometimes underestimate their influence over men (especially educated black women). A woman can have the power to make decisions for ‘us’, because sometimes we don’t know what we want or what’s best for us, and we need a woman to make a case/decision that ‘hey, we’re doing this’.’ What I’ve seen over the past year living in Ghana is that the purposeful/intentional/aggressive women be killing the game- and the laissez-faire, well…they’re not. And intentional here is not thirsty or manipulative, it’s just being straight with what you want.

4. Your values/ religion did not align, and no one backed down. Love compromises, so if yall weren’t willing to come to an understanding on this then there’s not too much you could do there  >>> I know this is a dicey one. In our favorite guest post on White Women, the author called foul play on African men brought up by traditional/Christian mothers who wanted to deviate from that with their own significant others. However, to that all I can say is: It’s. Allowed. God forbid men don’t want to marry their mothers, even if they think the world of them. You’re allowed to adore your mama and not want to date/marry ‘her’ per se, or allow ‘her’ to raise your kids in the world we live in now. And I find this true for a lot of African men who’ve grown up/ spent a considerable amount of time abroad. It’s the same thing really as marrying outside your race/culture. And I am fully aware that opposites attract and there are successful inter-faith and no-faith/faith couples, however if the two of you don’t see each others values/religions as assets (or at the very least not liabilities) to the other’s character, then its a red flag. And this is more than tolerance, it’s respect and a willingness to live with the consequences of that persons values/religion… Including (if you’re to get married) how you raise your kids.

5. Count for me how many times in 3 years, you TRULY felt this boy was going H.A.M for you, as in putting in serious time and energy to make the relationship work.

I’ll wait.

**Deafening Silence**

1, 2, 3 times? Maybe a handful? 

**Selah**

Actually that’s okay, you don’t have to answer.

>>> He likes you a little less than you like him. It’s the time tested rule passed down from Grandmama that we all heard growing up: You want a man who likes you a little more than you like him. For obvious reasons… or maybe not so obvious, so I’ll explicitly say it… Men like to chase and women like to be chased. It’s like the circle of life or something *shrug*. If you as the woman are driving things, if you’re the one  trying to manipulate situations to see him, speak to him scheming to make it work, it’s prob not supposed to work. If he shows unwavering commitment to his friends and family, and for you it doesn’t quite seem like he’s putting in as much dedication to show you how he feels… sooner or later, the truth always surfaces. And I’m not advocating for playing games here either… I do think women should make their feelings known, but after that if he’s not reciprocating on a similar level then keep it moving…  And I realize there’s a delicate balancing act one has to do between this and #3.5. 

6. WTF. Even as a man, I WAS confused of this guy’s actions. He’s in, he’s out, he’s up, he’s down. >>> Indecision is a decision. And I’ve already talked about this …. twice. Don’t necessarily equate leaving and returning as a sign that he wants to be with you… Because although he comes back, he still leaves again. If he can’t make a permanent decision about you, and it’s been more than 12 months…keep it moving – words from a man, not me.  And I can’t give enough stress to #1, if your guy friends cry foul… well, you know the rest.

– – –

Well, that’s the list I uncovered can remember with John. Perhaps he was a little hard on me, but I needed to hear it and I think many women need to as well. What’s worse than being in love with someone who doesn’t love you back, is wasting time on being with someone who truly doesn’t want to be with you, so use the 6 tests above… I think they can save you a lot some of the head heartache. The guy may like you (even care for you deeply), but the key here is that he’s not into you enough to stay permanently… Enough to tell his fam/friends about you… Enough to pass the smell test with objective guy friends. I think more than this being a therapeutic post for me, I also don’t want anyone to ever spend too much time on a one-sided love, or ever have to hear a guy say to you after three years, ‘you know, you don’t exactly fit in with my whole life situation’… *shrug* It happens.

**Name changed obvi

A Love that Conquers [Response to ‘Love Does Not Conquer All’]

Afua’s ‘Love Does Not Conquer All’ Post found HERE.

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Let’s revisit the story, shall we?:

Man meets woman.

Man and Woman fall in love.

Man and woman agree to spend 5 yrs in the US and 5 yrs in Ghana after marriage.

Man and Woman Marry.

Woman defects.

Man and Woman divorce.

So was that love?

**shrugs**

In my understanding of love, I know it to be patient.
I know it to be amenable to inconveniences and flexible.
I know it to be sacrificing.

In this version of love, I know that ol’ girl should have packed up at year 5, kissed her peoples farewell and moved to Ghana. Love doesn’t reneg. Love has integrity after all, and it recognizes the importance of covenant. Yes it is very possible that circumstances in their lives changed, as is the nature of people over periods of time. But I am sure she knew that would happen. And they agreed that they loved each other enough that whatever the circumstance, they would leave after 5 years. The love I know, would honor that kind of agreement.

It’s not that simple, Amma.

It never is. But love is about choosing to do what love requires, even when it seems impractical. But Afua says, before she even meets you at the love junction, she wants to make sure that you all are walking the same road. Her argument is that love is not enough in the face of logistics. To this I say: pish posh! Here are our two arguments in a nutshell:

Afua’s Argument

afua

My Argument

amma

Ok… so maybe I have exaggerated  Afua’s decision tree a  teenie- tinie smidgen in order to make my truth the most obvious right answer. I mean, there is nothing wrong with wanting to raise the next crop of talented tenthers. But I mean, it’s just that crazy in my mind. Afua’s tree automatically invalidates most people in a way that mine does not. I am always going on about how people really can change people. I have too many friends who were once diametrically opposed to certain dating principles, but faced with someone who is so closely aligned with their life dreams, these things aren’t as important. I knew a guy who wouldn’t believe that two people could meet and be ready for marriage in 6 months. He was preoccupied with investing a ‘sufficient’ amount of time getting to know the person, and he felt 6 months was way too short. He is now engaged. He bought a ring by month 6 and popped the question by month 8. If you knew him, you would know why this is major. Anything is now possible… including world peace. This shows that certain restrictions we think to be hard-and-fast fall away in the presence of meeting someone you couldn’t possibly see yourself being without. Someone who makes you believe that being in Ghana without them is a worse sentence than being anywhere else in the world with the person you love.

So… what kind of love is this exactly? Agape love. Unconditional love. This should be a precondition to marriage because it certainly overrides logistical factors like proximity in the short term. The truth of the matter is that, even in the marriage covenant these logistical issues can arise. Let’s say Afua were to marry a man and both of them agreed they wanted their whole lives to be in Ghana. Let us then say that she receives the chance of a lifetime, World Bank President mayhaps (look at me claiming it for you girl!), obviously a new discussion will have to happen. If the two of you are as supportive of each other’s dreams as one would hope, I know NO ONE who would stop their spouse from achieving that type of position and influence. If Michelle Obama was all ‘ Hey Barack, I am not about that DC life… Chi-town ‘till I die. Love me or leave me’, how might that shrughave changed their course in history. But again… I am getting ahead of myself, because these are considerations that should follow the marriage covenant. Yet if you preclude yourself from love because of these types of things, who’s to say you are not missing out on an opportunity to be partnered with someone amazing to do something amazing… in an eskimo village in Alaska?

In my final anecdote, I will put one of my best friends on the spot. This is a girl who is a hundred percent accomplished in every right. This is a girl who hates EVERY city that is not Miami, Florida. She generally dreads travel, largely because she needs to know she can access spaghetti and meatballs on a whim. She is not really the risk taking type, and is calculating and meticulous in every possible way. I mean, she uses decision trees in real life. Like. Real. Life. She is also dating a guy in London. Not even another state… a different country. And suddenly, her priorities are shifting and she’s considering all types of things she never would have considered even a year ago.

So here is my point. There is a love that conquers all. It is agape love. It recognizes the importance of the person and your mission with them, and makes accommodations for that. In the initial story that broke the proverbial camels back, something might have brought her to the point of the initial pre-marital agreement about moving in 5 years but it did not bring her to the point of keeping with that agreement. Agape love will do that. It allows you to do crazy things like commit your life to one person forever… and do even crazier things like honor that vow. It is also a really good ‘prioritizer’. We are humans and muddle through this life with imperfect information. Though economists (and other academic crazies) would have us believe in a set of perfect preconditions, the truth is, we don’t actually know much about what we truly want and need. Though we may think we absolutely must be in New York City living lavishly on Park Avenue with a child and nanny in tow by 35, the truth is perhaps that’s not what we need at all. Agape love allows us to know and understand this by causing us to make real sacrifices. By choosing to love unconditionally in spite of differing logistical factors, we might discover there are actually other places and circumstances that can offer us true joy. And if you are truly meant to be in the place you are in, agape love will make it possible for that to become a reality. Really you have nothing to lose: either you fall in love and find happiness elsewhere or your happiness comes to you. Agape love conquers.

ca

Love Does Not Conquer All

photo (3)First off, I want to give a shout out to all those who listened to Amma and I on Yfm 107.9 last Tuesday. We had an absolute blast with Ms. Agnes and DJ Snoop, and we hope to grace their presence with more ramblings soon!

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Although I planned to write this blog some time in the near future (like many a blogs I have in my mental pipeline), Amma and I had a peculiar encounter on Saturday, which has hastened the writing of this. On Saturday, the two of us and another friend were approached by a gentleman in an eating establishment in Accra. Strangely, the way this man approached us wasn’t creepy, so we obliged his request to join us and 4hours later we all walked away with a new friend and stories and laughs for days. Everyone pause for a moment though: this is not a normal occurrence… we usually don’t talk to strangers 🙂 In any case, at some point during our discussion we got on the subject of relocating for your significant other and our new friend had a lot to say about this: his marriage had fallen apart due to this very issue. In a nutshell, what had happened was that he had been married to an African-American woman in the US, and had an agreement prior to their marriage that the two of them would spend five years in the US and then move to Ghana for at least the next five years after that. However, the lady reneged on her part of the deal and just couldn’t bring herself to move to Ghana. What, you may ask, changed her mind? It’s quite ironic actually, because the lady ended up becoming closer to her family throughout the beginning of their marriage BECAUSE of her husband, and after doing so couldn’t bring herself to move to a strange land far away from them. Throughout the beginning of their marriage she saw how her husband had a strong connection to his family back in Ghana and would do a lot for them, and once he encouraged her to become closer to her family in the US… it kind of backfired on him.

I’m not sure how this topic keeps creeping up on me, but I’ve had at least 5 conversations around spousal relocation in the last couple of weeks (hence the mental note to write about it). Although these conversations will be sprinkled throughout this piece, I had to lead off with this one, because it was the straw that broke the camel’s back. The way our new friend described how much he loved his wife, but that there was just no way to get around the relocation issue, was really telling. I mean we pressed grilled him on all the possible ways he could have made it work, but he assured us that all options were explored. **Side note: location is not a deal breaker for everyone**, but for him it was. This man is also an Ashanti man, and if you know anything about Ghanaian culture, the Ashanti’s are the most ride or die, family-oriented people of all Ghanaians. I totally understand where he was coming from, because for me, this is one of the factors into my move back to Ghana ‘so early’ into my career.  Because I am now at the age where the man I marry will most likely be already established wherever he lives, I didn’t want a situation where I fell in love outside, and I had to deal with choosing between being with my man abroad vs living longterm in Ghana. A family member of mine is going through something similar to this right now, and it’s sad to watch because I know her heart is in Ghana. Her situation is more of a bait n switch setup (if you ask me) so it’s even worse. Her fiance resides in the US, and during the course of their dating expressed his openness to moving to Ghana within a few years after their marriage. Now that they are engaged, the moving back rhetoric is changing and to be frank, last time I talked to her, she didn’t sound like he was willing to budge. One thing she pointed out to me was that, once she gets married, she has no leverage to say, ‘I don’t want to move to the US’ … and expect to keep a happy home. I feel her too, because her desire to stay in Ghana is just like mine, and I don’t know how I would feel about leaving Ghana for an unforeseeable amount of time for my man right now.Yes, my love for this country is a little disgusting.

keep-calm-because-all-you-need-is-love-18So to the title of the blog, I don’t think love conquers all. Don’t get me wrong, love is a beautiful thing, but when it comes to spending YOUR LIFE with someone, you need more than love. In this case, you need to get your logistics in order, because down the line you don’t want any kind of resentment over this or for your spouse to be miserable in a foreign land. #nobodysgottimeforthat

A family friend of mine recently got engaged to an American lady. And as exciting as the news was, one of the first things I thought when I heard was, ‘this girl is going to move to Ghana without ever having lived or visited the place, I pray she loves it here when she comes’. We are a global society, yes, and home is literally a 6hr hop over a ‘small’ pond, sure, and Ghana’s the most amazing country in the world, obviously, but living here longterm (and in Africa in general) is not the easiest thing in the world, and it is not everyone’s cup of tea (even those OF African descent), so this isn’t just a small change in physical surroundings.

I dunno… perhaps this could also be the African woman in me talking (remember our guest post on Foreign White women)…cause there are some folks doing it successfully I guess *shrug*. What do you think? Does love conquer all? Would you marry someone who wasn’t about relocating for you?

Before I turn this over to Amma, I also want to know when should this conversation come up? Cause I feel like this conversation needs to be had from jump, NOT when yall are just about to have the marriage talk. A few months ago I was considering a Ghanaian guy who, like me, has been dubbed by society as an ‘Afropolitan‘, however when he confessed in passing that he wasn’t married to living in Ghana necessarily, I already knew this was not gonna work. Your “I’ll go wherever the wind takes me wherever is right for me at the time; and if that’s Ghana, great, and if it’s not, great” was not common ground for us, and that’s cool… so I didn’t follow through with it, because I knew hey, we’re not compatible on this… and being in Ghana is actually THAT important to me. But this happened in the very beginning stages of us getting to know each other, and I think rightfully so, because what I was not about to do was get into a relationship with him, possibly fall in love, and then now get to the marriage stage before realizing, ‘hey, you’re not tryna be about that life in Ghana… and that might be a problem’. This would make the decision harder for me, because I’ve gone and fallen in love already. I think some relationship decisions need to be head decisions, NOT heart decisions… particularly in this day and age. Perhaps one of the reasons divorce rates are so high these days is because folks delude themselves into thinking love conquers all, when maybe sometimes it doesn’t…

From time to time, I get told that I’m heartless… so Amma, am I being too pragmatic? Should you allow your heart to fall in love and figure out the rest later? Ie. What if Mr. Afropolitan could have been ‘the one’? Or are people being too naive these days? Everything just doesn’t fall into place because you love someone, does it? Should there be these parameters around love? Sadly, I have a feeling I know what Amma is about to say, but for you the reader watch this space this week for her full response, you might be surprised!

Amma’s response can be found HERE!