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    Living while single

    By Ebony Laoye

    [dropcap]I[/dropcap] sat on the living room floor, back leaning against the sofa, staring at the television as if my life depended on it. I really wasn’t watching anything but I was lost in the transition of colors that came with the screen changes as it went from featured program to advertisements and then back again. I glanced at my watch, 9:30 PM, and it’s all over -the much awaited Valentine’s Day, that is.

    I smiled a bitter-sweet smile that teetered between relief and heartbreak. How could I feel both at the same time? I sighed, shifting from one buttock to the other as the hard floor rubbed against my joints causing discomfort.

    I flicked the channel one last time, thinking, if there was nothing worthy of watching, I was going to call it a night and go to bed. As I came across the channel, TBS, a female stared back at me from the screen, tears falling down her face like streams of water and her mouth twisted in a grim and rather sad gesture. Quite frankly, I don’t know why, but I burst into peals of laughter at the sight of it. Curious to know why she wore such a forlorn look, I listened for a few minutes to her dialogue with her friend at the other end of the phone. Ah! Alas, heartbreak! A cheating, boyfriend who forgot to tell her he got engaged that evening just before showing up for their dinner date.

    Why do men do this? I wondered. What makes men think they can do cruel things like this and get away with it, feeling untouchable? Then I asked the same question of women as I remembered my very good friend Kenny, whose girl had told him, only on arrival at their engagement party that she was no longer interested in getting married.

    Love, relationships, the joys, and sometimes, heartbreaks that come with that male and female drama that we can’t seem to do without and yet wish we could do away with it.

    I sighed again as I reminisced on my current situation that had put me in front of the TV, alone, on Valentine’s Day. A seemingly good relationship, then an argument that could not be resolved and, voila, here we go again!

    When the breakup came, it was inevitable, I knew. The quarrel was simply a means to an end, at least for him. A way out of something he did not really want in the first place but was too “nice” to say bluntly. As for me, a part of me felt relief. Relief, that is, from the endless feelings of inadequacy and torment of knowing he was seeing someone else simultaneously. I had cried myself to sleep many nights thinking, I deserve better, I am treasure and ought not to be anyone’s third wheel. And yet, I had hung on like my very existence depended on it.

    So, what is it that makes us settle for less than we really are worth or deserve? What brings us to the point where we feel that if we let go of an inevitably doomed relationship the world would definitely come to an end!

    The heart, no doubt, takes no instructions, really. It seems to act on its own accord and turns where it wants to (though we lead it by exposing it to what’s it’s drawn to, good or bad). In its adventurous stead, it leaves no prisoners, just victims, of joy or of heartbreak and you want to pray that you don’t fall in the latter category.

    Worse still is the fact that in some cases, we compromise, thinking that we can maintain and prolong, and eventually win with a little help from our arm of flesh. I for one found out a long time ago, quite painfully too, that you don’t get to keep anything you compromised to get – “for by the arm of flesh shall no man prevail.” (I Samuel 2:3). At least with uprightness and integrity, you get to walk away with your dignity intact:

    I do have quite a mouthful to say on the subject and I could go on and I know I would stir up much cross-commentaries and analysis of this thing called “relationship” or “love” or whatever other tag we like to give it. Whatever the arguments or individual thoughts, one thing is apparent.

    We cannot sit around and allow the absence of it dictate who we become or what shape our days should take. It shouldn’t be the determining factor as to whether I live or die, be happy or sad, make a success of my life or not. “I am”, regardless (I Peter2:9), and if I am not already complete in who I am, Romeo can’t help me find completion when he finally shows up. Moreover, what we portray is what we attract usually.

    My breakup forced me to look inwards and I discovered that I had some cleaning up to do in terms of some habits and behaviors, and regardless of who was wrong or right, I seized the opportunity to get better, be better. And you don’t have to wait for a tragic moment to do some soul searching and occasionally take stock of what you could do better and do it. By taking advantage of this precious gift called, “time of singlehood” to better yourself, you simply increase your value as a person and most likely would attract someone of greater value too. I know to someone who’s been waiting a long time singlehood may not seem like a gift but it truly is nonetheless for God allows it to prepare us (Job 23:10), perfecting our patience in the process (James 1:4)

    Treasure your time of single-hood, don’t get caught up in self-pity while you wait to be discovered (man and woman) – ¦ live, laugh, have fun, study, travel, fast and pray, work hard, work at achieving your dreams .. LIVE!

    And if I may speak from my faith perspective, grab knowledge in the word of God and begin to speak greatness into your awaited moment. Get doing for him and get involved with people of like-minds. Rather than stand still while waiting keep moving, keep living ¦.LIVE!

    (And with those thoughts, I turned on Fred Hammond’s “Blessed” and danced like a mad-cat to the song blaring from my stereo! LOL.)

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