The Smile for the Camera Relationships

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Growing up, I realized quite early that God made my feet annoyingly big. My dad and brothers couldn’t pass down shoes to me because as early as 17, I had outgrown everyone’s shoe size.

During Youth Service, the NYSC officials couldn’t provide me with a shoe that could fit. I wear 46/47 and the most they had in my camp was size 45 so I was the only corper exempted from wearing boots. I wore slippers and my own shoes around the camp. It was that bad.

Have you ever seen a shoe you like but heartbroken that it doesn’t fit?

I go to the market to get shoes and come back depressed. The gorgeous shoes I see aren’t my size but with anger coupled with optimism, I buy one or two that fit a bit.
I wear them out to occasions and get the “beautiful shoe” compliments left, right and center which should be enough to offset the pain my feet is feeling. Right? WRONG!!!
When no one is looking, I find a place to get the damn shoes off, stretch my feet and let them breathe. It’s never worth it.

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Does my shoe struggles sound familiar with some relationship problems?

She’s beautiful, hot and quite presentable. She’s like a trophy wife. People keep gushing about her looks and poise but inside no one knows what you are enduring. She’s difficult to handle. She’s disrespectful. She’s lazy. She’s contentious.
He’s handsome, hardworking and funny with a very healthy bank account. He’s every girl’s dream. Girls are envious of you both and guys are jealous but inside no one knows what you are enduring. He speaks to you in a condescending manner, shouts at will and strikes you when he can’t stand your complaints.

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Let’s look at this “smile for the camera” type of relationships we keep having from another angle.

You are to travel from Abuja to Lagos by road with your family and given two options;
First is an unpainted Sienna bus with a regularly serviced engine, tires and a well-trained driver.
Second is a 2017 Range Rover Sports Utility Vehicle with a faulty engine, tired looking tires and an aggressive Fast and Furious driver.
Which of the automobiles would you choose to travel in?

Easy choice right?

So why do we stay in abusive relationships because of what people will say?
Why do we stay in stale relationships that look good on the outside but toxic on the inside?
Why do we keep managing relationships that are leading to nowhere?
Why do we keep praying for the wrong man to change instead of praying for the right man to find you?
Why do we keep entertaining a promiscuous partner with the excuse that “the devil you know is better than the angel you don’t”?
Why do we keep forgiving a partner that slaps and beats you at will because he loves you and maybe “it’s my fault he slapped me”?
Why do we smile for the camera (family, friends, colleagues, social media contacts) like we have a perfect relationship when we are dying on the inside?

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It’s time you drop what people might think and stand by what you think because at the end of the day, “no one knows where the shoe pinches, but he who wears it.”
Don’t be the sad and bruised girl in a Range Rover Sport looking out of the window and admiring the happy and joyous girl in a taxi.
Life is too short to be unhappy.
A broken engagement is better than a broken marriage.
Stop sitting on the fence and take that leap of faith.
Who cares what the camera sees when you are hurting in camera (pun intended).
Get out now while you still can.

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Keeping Your Relationship Private

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With the advent of social media, there is not much room for privacy anymore. People post such private information from their last meal to pictures of who they are currently dating.

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It’s cute to flaunt your boyfriend on social media, its quite cute I must say but such private information is bound to come back and bite you in the ass.

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Should you keep your relationship a secret? Hell no. The key word is privacy not secrecy. Keep your relationship private without keeping your partner a secret. There is a difference between privacy and secrecy.

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A friend’s story springs to mind. She was fond of posting pictures of her boyfriend on BBM. His pictures and theirs littered her display picture with heartwarming messages on her pm. It was cute I must say but I thought it was too much info/publicity and I told her about my reservations. She took it in good faith and reduced the frequency of her posts. Less than 2 months after my advice, they broke up.  She already made her love life public so came the “what of your boyfriend?”, “we haven’t seen him on your dp for a while now”, “how are your both?” and “are you still dating him?” questions. How awkward talking about an ex. She’s currently dating someone else but I had to ask her to even know she was seeing someone. She obviously learnt from her mistakes.

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Stop taking your private matters to public platforms. Don’t complain about people being all in your relationship, when you’re personally sending out the invitations. The truth is that social networks don’t break up relationship. The shit you post on social networks breaks up relationship.

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Don’t involve the public, involve friends and family very cautiously giving out as little information as possible. When you put boundaries around your relationship, people learn to respect your privacy. You don’t need everyone’s opinion, so don’t open the door for folks to share their opinions.

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Be in love but also be wise.