Hi Guys!!! November is here!!! And so is our 11th post!!! We are excited about the upcoming new year, and we hope you are too! We want to use this opportunity to thank everyone who has been with us since the first post, and encourage anyone who is seeing this for the first time to read other posts – then like, share and give feedback. As usual, don’t forget to share this with someone. As we always do, Barry’s contributions will be written in blue and mine in Italics. Enjoy!
What I have enjoyed most about this blog post series is discussions I have had with readers as a result of the posts. Such discussions teach me a lot and what we’ll be sharing today is something that enlightened me in one of such conversations. Today’s blog post is captioned ‘Responsibilities’ for lack of a better word – we will be talking about how we’ve worked through our relationship. In other words, the effort we make and what we do to keep this relationship working.
First of all, I think it is safe to say that it is not always easy trying to get to know another person. There are all sorts of characters and ideas that we may never understand, and yet ‘should’ be able to accept because we love them. Before I formed the habit of speaking to Barry often, I had to make a conscious effort to do that. (This was when we were still friends – it was a habit by the time we were dating.) Having a very good friendship with him really helped make the process easier. Now, when we haven’t had a full conversation in a day or two, it feels weird.
I think one major ‘responsibility I have come to realise in this relationship is making Rabby happy and not adding to her misery. One thing Rabby really values is when I spend time with her. In the beginning, I didn’t think it was an issue – I mean, man had stuff to do; playing FIFA with my boys, having my personal prayer times, playing soccer, having my alone times, I mean… the list is endless. I thought she could find ways to fit into the schedule I mean, there’s no harm in sitting by my side while I play FIFA with my boys, right? Wrong. (Very wrong,🙄) Her way of seeing things was totally different from how I saw them, and I grew to learn that.
Talking about learning, another learning point for me was in our second year of dating. We came across the book, “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman and did the test to find out our most important love language is. The results really checked out with what we already knew about each other. Barry’s primary love language is acts of service and that showed when he once complained that I had changed😂. So, in our first year of dating (or just before, when we were friends – I’m unsure), I used to help him unpack his things when we came from home. By the second year – I barely had the leeway to make time for these “little” acts of service and he had noticed. Lol I remember paa. It was after you became Vice President of the ASC (Ashesi Students council). I remember him saying very coolly (almost in a passive manner as if he didn’t really care), “You’ve changed, oo – you don’t do the things you used to do.” It was after the third time (I doubt I said it so many times🙈) he said it that I took it seriously and made a conscious effort to do the “little” acts of service through which he will feel appreciated and or loved. At that time, when she was not doing the things that she used to do, I began to develop a conscious effort of trying not to let this become a problem by folding my clothes into my locker myself when she does not have the chance to do it. Similarly, when Barry needs to do him and have some time to himself, I have come to know and understand that it doesn’t mean I am any less of a priority.
Society has crafted a manual on the responsibilities of both parties in a relationship. For example, the man is supposed to foot the bill on dates, the lady is supposed to cook for the man, the man is supposed to take care of the lady’s physical needs, etc. I however think it is necessary for the two people in a relationship to decipher what ‘roles’ and ‘responsibilities’ to take up in order to make each other happy and or meet each other halfway. I’ll try and put this in perspective with an example.
The other day, Rabby and I went on the dinner date, and I had enough money to cover the bill. I was about to take out money from my wallet when she insisted that we split the cost. I wasn’t for the idea initially but she explained that she didn’t see it as my sole responsibility to cover the bill and it made sense to me. Through conversations Barry and I have agreed to help each other in situations where society would rule it as a ‘man’s responsibility’ or a ‘woman’s responsibility’. Do not get me wrong, there are things that men should be able to handle, however it should not be an issue when the other person wants to help out. That’s one way to keep each other happy – don’t hold on to things when they won’t matter in a year’s time.
Another thing I remember we used to do in school was spend time together… a lot. There were times where we would have study dates, dinner dates, prayer dates, a whole lot of them. Outside of school, life got real, and we had to sacrifice a lot to come through for each other. An example that readily comes to mind; I could be exhausted and ready for bed, and that’s when Rabby will have a severe case of chatting. Hmm – in such a situation, I have to sacrifice and stay awake and have that conversation. In such cases, when he falls asleep on the phone, I know it’s not his fault because he was tired from the onset (hahaha!🙈)
In relationships, (of all kinds, actually) it helps to keep at the back of your mind that you have some level of responsibility or commitment to the other person. However, it is the two people in that relationship that determine what those ‘responsibilities’ are. No matter how close you two already are (or how busy), it doesn’t hurt to sacrifice time to spend time with each other, or do nice things for each other.They say relationships are not easy – maybe this is why. Having to do the unusual or go out of your comfort zone is never easy, but it is worth it.