November 09 2017
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The value of emotional responsibility in romantic relationships

The value of emotional responsibility in romantic relationships
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Tiwa - September 18 2018

Thank ya I so much for this, I’ve been with a man for over a year now in the time he treated me okay, not very good but not very bad. I put up with it because I hoped he see that I was enough that I cared and loved him so much that he’d recognise what I had to offer and would reciprocate. Eventually it ended. We’ve recently decided to give it another go, but he’s still the same he says he loves me, that I’m the one but he’s actions are the opposite. I’ve fallen back into my old patterns and have given him too much of my emotional energy, I’m constantly giving with very little in return. The good thing is I now see the signs, I know that I deserve better. This feeling of hurt, paranoia and neediness isn’t okay. It’s only been a few months back in and I know this is not what I want. Thank you for your essay it’s come at just the right time, it’s reinforced what I’ve been feeling and has helped to validate what I need to do next, what I need to do for myself. Thank you

Anon - June 26 2018

GUYSSS, UPDATEE!! not that anyone was waiting for this anyway. lol. This is therapeutic to me.

So I figured out that underneath all that “super confidence” I had, I still had some insecurities I never had to face until now. I just piled “confidence and bossiness” on top of my insecurities to bury it deep. Most of the guys I’ve dealt with, honestly…were never “worthy”, so it was easy to put on this bold face, but really I still had all that misogynistic up-bringing that made me feel insecure buried underneath. I finally have a man that is truly worthy. He matches me in ways no other man ever has before and it shook me. I found myself immediately retreating back to all the things I was taught growing up “to keep a man” because this is a man that I truly connect with. This man thinks I’m as great as he is and I, all of a sudden, felt like a fraud, like I was not as good as he thinks I am. INSECURITY!

I’m glad I realized this, cause once I did… I was able to start to work on my issues. This has nothing to do with him, it just shows me there’s still a lot I need to work on. I have been hiding in my comfort zone. In a zone where it was easy to be confident because no one has measured up, no one has ever made me want to be better, I thought I was already all there. Now, someone truly wonderful has come in to my life, and for once, this person isn’t less than me in any way. I have to find a way to accept that while still being myself and not feeling small. Just because he’s great doesn’t mean I should ever feel insecure. He sees greatness in me so I need to see that in myself.

anon - June 20 2018

To be honest, I have read this before, but needed to come back and read this again. I’m just going to use this space to vent. I’ve found myself in a space I thought I had LONG left!

I’m used to being super assertive in ALL my relationships with men and have trained myself to unlearn a lot of toxic female oppressing thoughts we’re taught as young Nigerian women. I am the woman that knows her worth and isn’t afraid to show it and I don’t settle for less. I live my life completely free, without inhibitions or caring about what anyone has to say about it.

I say all this to say…I’m so lost and confused now. I was this wonderful, powerful woman UNTIL the man of my “dreams” came back into my life…We “dated” briefly YEARS ago and I was so smitten with him then. When I met him, I told everyone "this is the man I’m going to marry…the man that had been in the “picture” in my head growing up…as the father of my children and my life partner. I’ve ALWAYS been so drawn to him. So him coming back was just the highlight of my year! The reason it didn’t work out years ago…I’d chuck up to us being young and him being a typical young Nigerian man…not looking to settle at the time. I can forgive that…maybe I shouldn’t, but I do….we were both young.

The thing is…he’s kind, he’s sweet, he can be really romantic and we share a lot of the same views…but I feel…intimidated by him. This is so weird because I don’t remember when I felt this way about anyone…but HIM when I was younger, and I thought this time it would be different…as I’ve fully come into my own, but it’s not!

I’m not my usual free talking self around him. I am on my toes…not because he would be offended by anything, but there’s this fear I have…I can’t even articulate it! He is really sweet and hasn’t given me ANY reason to feel the way I do…but I just feel so intimidated…small even! I feel like I’ve reverted to a girl that centers herself around her man…trying to always do/say the right things…I’m shy when I talk to him, scared that I may say something stupid. When from all indications, he seems smitten with me! He flew thousands of miles (he lives in Nigeria now) just to ask me to be his girlfriend officially. He has stated the clear intentions he wants with me. He sees me as his wife and the mother of his children…he sees me as his life partner. BUT I find myself constantly in doubt and feeling…inadequate. This scares me because no matter how much I give myself pep-talks that I’m still that strong woman who is in FULL CONTROL of her relationships…I really am not. Not in this one. There are no red flags with him (well, none that I can see)…but I find myself taking the backseat. I’m sending this to you because I’m too embarrassed to say this to my friends. I am “the strong one” “the man-eater”…I can’t even start to tell them how I feel so powerless over this man. They wouldn’t even understand. What is happening to me? Maybe I’m really insecure and I don’t know this. Nothing else has the power to bring out this side of me, except him.

Maybe he’s just not right for me? And I’m in denial because I’ve wanted him for most of my adult life and I still do. Maybe the red flag is that he’s not taking more steps to make me feel comfortable around him? But what else could he do? When I sometimes say something insecure like “oh, I didn’t call cause I thought you’d be busy”, he’d counter with “no one is ever too busy, you should just call if you feel you want to talk to me, like I do with you”.


Blair - June 09 2018

You just read my soul!

Faith - March 27 2018

I’m in this position right now 😩. Worst part is we are not even dating, but I thought we were on the road to a relationship. I feel like I’ve wasted 7 months. How do I move on.. do I stop talking to him, can we still be friends. It’s been a constant battle.

Agaba Racheal - February 16 2018

Thank you for this..

Stéphanie - November 17 2017

Such an amazing write up

Enatare Raro - November 14 2017

I’m so touched by these words of wisdom Doreen. I find myself at this space now and it seems too late to turn back already. I wish I read this earlier , but thanks all the same. A lot of ladies need to know this.

Cheesy heiress - November 09 2017

Chai Doreen! I can totally relate and I’m glad I’m more emotionally responsible now, and know when to pull back…. Although it can be really hard, esp when you keep remembering how good it all used to be, can be really frustrating and you’d cry a lot but man’s gotta move forward! Ain’t there yet but I’m hella sure it won’t last forever!

Amanda - November 09 2017

Thank you for this Doreen!

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