Valentine is around the corner, yayy!
Last valentine, I got a bunch of white roses – most romantic gesture ever. This year, I’m just hoping the elections go well and people don’t get killed. Too much to ask for? You tell me. So in the spirit of the ‘impending’ *sic* valentine, let’s talk security.
I am talking about security or insecurity in relationships. What does it mean to feel secure in a relationship and whose responsibility is it?
Now when I say security, I can imagine that people’s thoughts might immediately zero in on (in)fidelity. Haha. That one dey. But that is a small matter really. There are other aspects to security in a relationship, some of which are financial security, loyalty, the future of the relationship, will you allow your sister insult me? And yes the elephant in the room, fidelity.
I would loosely define security as confidence. How confident you feel in a relationship with regards to different aspects. This confidence adds up on the whole to the ‘health’ of the relationship. What that means is how good do you feel about each of these items? And whose place is it to ensure this good feeling – yours or your partner’s?
Mfoniso’s husband assures her that he will take care of her, that they will be fine. He insists on picking the tab whenever they hang out with friends which is often; and taking her on vacation; and buying a second car for his mother. Meanwhile, he is still awaiting payment for the contract he executed a year and half ago. And the money they have been spending is borrowed. Which loans are being called in. No, he doesn’t want a regular job! No he doesn’t believe in savings. Yes, he and Mfoniso will be fine, because he says so.
Ingrid met Yemi three years ago. Yemi loves Ingrid. Ingrid loves Yemi. Yemi has never met ingrid’s friends. Or colleagues from work. Ingrid ‘has to run’ whenever Yemi initiates a conversation that begins, ‘…where is this leading?’ Ingrid’s best friend, Simba, was surprised to discover that Ingrid had a boyfriend when she stumbled on Ingrid and Yemi in the supermarket. But Yemi took it in stride. Yemi is confident that all is well, that their relationship is moving along swimmingly. Because Ingrid says so.
Amaka returns from a weekend visit to her mother and finds a hickey on Bami’s shoulder. She didn’t put it there. She drops her eyes. Later, cuddled in bed, Bami’s phone rings. He excuses himself from the bedroom mumbling ‘work stuff’ and takes the call in the living room. Bami registers in a gym and Amaka finds that she can’t find his spare key in her key ring anymore – the one he gave her, saying she could come and go as she pleased mi casa es su casa. He is also working many late nights lately. She won’t ask any questions because-
-Bami says she can trust him not to cheat
-She is a confident woman who knows her position and her place
-suspicion is beneath her. She will not demean herself so
-insecurity is not my portion IJN
So I ask, is there a fine line between security and foolishness? Granted, some people are naturally crazy suspicious, paranoid, and keen to look for trouble where there is none. But when signs stare you in the face, blinking red alert , is it still confidence or trust to turn a blind eye. Or is it foolishness and maybe fear?
Now, when in a relationship, one of the parties is feeling a tad insecure about an issue, is it their place to get over themselves already, or is it the place of their partners to do everything to restore confidence? And is it sensible to carry on as though nothing were wrong when all the signs point to the contrary?
Which brings us to the question of trust. Is trust earned, or is it implicit, without qualification? If you are with someone and you are asked why you trust them, can you say why exactly, and not just because they asked you to? Or because you think it is ‘cool’ to trust the person you are dating. Can trust be faked? And is trust, like respect, reciprocal? (By the way, I do not believe that respect is reciprocal. Sorry to burst your bubble. Respect is only reciprocal between two people who are both worthy of each other’s respect. That you deem me worthy of respect does not translate to me deeming you worthy of mine. Quite simply, you have probably not shown yourself deserving of mine while I may have earned yours. Brutal hunh?)
Dwell on these things my dear brethren, as you polish your rose-tinted glasses this valentine and peer through carefully. I bring you this charge early so that you have time enough to dump that undeserving person wasting your time right now and still be able to get yourself a new lover in time for valentine.