October 21, 2021 3 By Ian Elroy Ogonji

I wish I could talk about how black lives matter or maybe spank you with a few Corona virus conspiracies, but instead let me tell tou about Shawn. I really don’t know Shawn – I only know that he dumped my homegirl, Diana (we call her the big D, a story that I won’t tell you today) on phone.

Shawn and Diana were everyone’s mirror of true love. A facebook post could pop of them at serene locations having a good time, at times you’d bump on their pics on instagram feed in their PDA spree and on bad days, you’d always be fed with relationship motivational quotes on WhatsApp status – we all knew the targeted audience (in singular)of those quotes. The relationship was a whole telenovela and I was a loyal follower.

My shoulder was always ready to give her the comfort to lean on, as she vent – after all, that’s what BAEsties are for. This time round, Shawn was claiming that she changed, that she is no longer as fun as before, that she is acting cold and boring – last time, the issue was that she drinks too much and she needs to CHANGE.

According to a 2017 study on relationships by the PEW Research Center, it asserts that only 64% of couples are in a perfect, happy relationship. These couples fit together perfectly than a jigsaw puzzle. They have common interests, have healthy communication and a stable trust base. The study further states that healthy relationships are structured on your communication skills with your partner – how often do you complement your partner, do you open up, do you tell your partner when he wrongs and so on.

Millenials have turned relationships into a slavery spot. We want what quenches our desires, and ignore our partner’s. We give our needs a priority and forget that our partners also have void desires.

There is a question that we have all encountered. The question always strikes like the lightening of the southern end of lake maracaibo ( Geographers wassap!). The questions goes like, what do you look for in a partner? In my opinion, this is a question that promotes self-centred demeanor. Infact, if you woke me up from my sleep and asked for my take on this, I’ll still say it’s a question that powers narcissism.

I correct, everyone has a wish, and the wishes evolve as we grow old. When you were young, you once wished to have a foreign lover – international kind of love but with time we grow to accept reality and realize that all you can wish for is an African built guy with abs, well chopped jaws with a voice that Samuel L Jackson can’t beat – whereas the male version of you wishes for a lady wish curves like Monalisa, lightskin, soothing vocals accompanied with soft, red lips. Look at us now, in the right relationships with the wrong people.

What do you look for in a partner? Yes, you want all those qualities in your dream girl, but do you meet her qualification standards? Eeh? And if you don’t meet the qualifications, are you ready to change for her, or will you change her. Or…you’ll preserver the flaws? For a life time, maybe?

Before you think of an answer to that, the self proclaimed 21st Century Eisnteins claim, “if you are not dating for marriage, then you are dating for a heartbreak.” Over to you, will you persevere the flaws?

I watch Steve Harvey show quite a lot. Steve is a funny, wise guy – a very rare combo. I was watching one of his episodes and he went on uttering something worth quoting, “All men can change, but that doesn’t mean that all men will change. There’s only one woman whom we will change for. If a man is not willing to change, it means that you aren’t the one.”

Change comes from within. It doesn’t have a button that you press and oops! You change. It’s a process that involves the inner you. You really have to accept wholly that the new version will be compatible to your spirit – and not a forced intuition.

Love has forced many to change. Some change careers, some change habits, friends, character. This relationship-inspired changes come in two decisive forms. One, you might change because you want to be the best version for your partner. Two, you might change because your partner tells you to and three (oopsy daisy! I didn’t tell you there is a third one) you might change because of both the reasons. In as much as change is good (in favour of either you, or your partner) you should always have your mental health as a priority. Have it in the co-driver’s seat – buckle it up. You still have a life to live, you still have a life that depends on that change that you are about to morph.

Changing for love should come from within you, I repeat (I’d have two dollars now if I got paid a dollar for everytime I repeated this.) The committee in you must all sketch the signatures and convince your mind, body and soul that the decision is as worth as the person you are changing for. I will stick this famous line here as I close the door behind me, “if they want you to change, they don’t love you for who you are.”