I’m a very difficult person to love. And the reason is simple: I do not settle. I never ‘just settle’ for anything in my life. This means that what I think something should be or feel like is what it must feel like for me to accept it. If I think that friendship involves daily calls and text plus holding your own end financially, then you must meet that criteria before I can call you my friend. If I think it means giving me space and reaching out when it’s absolutely necessary, then thats that. It will be what I want as against what you think I should be satisfied with.
The problem with this is that most people have their own ideas of what it takes to be friends, and these differ from person to person. To some people, just finding time in their day to reply your whatsapp messages is them doing too much and for which you must be deeply appreciative. They want to buy you a beer when you need money for food and to give you money when you need sex. You can therefore imagine their consternation when after all that they do, you actually don’t see it as anything worth commending. If friendships are this exacting, imagine what love is like.
You always hear the phrase “to be loved a certain way”. What you think is an expression of love might just be random act of kindness to someone else. In order not to waste your time and effort, you must ensure that you understand the difference between ‘want’ and ‘need’ for them, and determine if whatever you are capable of doing, meets the ‘need’ of the person you claim to love. So as an example, if I am a practical person who measures worth in dollars and cents, giving me roses is ridiculous. If what I want from you is sex and companionship, all the gifts in the world will not do. You can laugh at my high standards all you want, but they are my standards and you don’t have to meet them if you are unable to. However, do not expect me to suddenly pretend that the low standards you came with should be enough only because you are incapable of doing what really matters to me. Love is voluntary and you are at liberty to leave or stop trying.
I remember when I turned 10 and my mum decided to throw a birthday party. At this age, my personality as a very serious nerd had already developed and I used to do everything to avoid crowds. I would feign sickness to avoid going to other kids’ parties and so I did not understand why she thought it would be a good idea to fill my entire house with random neighbourhood kids. Kids who were terrible to me usually when the parents were not looking and who I never got along with, were suddenly in my house making so much noise, touching all my stuff and making a mess of everything. By the end of the day I could not take it anymore and exploded. Of course I got the beating of my life from my dad with an order to go apologize to my crying mum who wondered how all her efforts were unappreciated. After that day, they learned to ask me what I really wanted and were super surprised that I never wanted anything (even gifts) from them because I loathed birthdays.
As an adult, things are easier for me now because I can insist to be heard and insist on what I want and how I want it. And I do insist on everything, including how I want you to be in my life. The role I want you to play and the extent I want you intruding. Its very hard for Nigerians in general because we have the mindset that everyone must appreciate whatever we do for them and should not be choosy, since it was not their entitlement. Love is an entitlement. I am entitled to feel a certain kind of way about you whether the attraction is physical or emotional or financial, before I can call it love. And you must consistently deliver the goods. If it comes naturally to you, then we are compatible and it will last but if you fake it then sooner than later it will become burdensome for you and we will part ways, it’s really quite that simple.
But I will never reduce my standards just so you can fit. I will not spend my life “managing what you can give” just so you feel better. Nah…Go and do it for someone else who’s standards are at par with what you are able to give… and leave me alone. Thanks for your cooperation.