@WANDER WOMAN: I had a few mutual understandings that turned out to be misunderstandings back when I was in college. When I was in my mid-20s, I found myself cast in not one but two relationship dramas. Both had the same ending. I was dumped. They all labeled me as clingy. Me? Can’t they see the sheer brilliance of my heart? I’m the GF pulsating with ingenious ideas to make every moment unforgettable. Picture me orchestrating a cute surprise on their birthdays. Even their loved ones, too. I’m practically a wizard of thoughtfulness. Adorable, right? I possess a sixth sense tuned to the frequency of my partner’s needs. Why can’t they see that? I know 2024 will be a happy one. I’m claiming God’s promise — a prince charming. Can you help me?
DJ: My lady, if God Almighty already promised you a prince charming, why seek my help? Seriously, it’s cute imagining how much love and thoughtfulness you brought to your relationships. However, were these what your partner really wanted? Or were these already sneak attacks on his personal space? Something he did not sign up for. You can make 2024 different. Being self-aware is the first step.
See if you can relate to certain red flags. Have you ever sent a “hi” that turned into a flurry of text messages when he’s not lightning-quick to reply? Did you spy on his online life like a detective on caffeine, keeping tabs on every activity, on every friend, on every comment and emoji, on every account he followed, even raising an eyebrow when he dared to appreciate another girl’s photo? Was it a high alert if he smiled at his phone? Did you want him to spend time with no one but you? If this checklist hits home, I suggest you think about other recurring behaviors.
What were the triggers? Where did they stem from? Don’t hesitate to seek professional help if needed. Growth requires healing from past hurts. If ever there were. Do it in memory of your failed relationships. Don’t get me wrong. Being affectionate is cool. But aspiring to be the air your partner breathes is too much. Air is everywhere, mingling with everyone, never settling down. Yes, guys want someone who cares for us like no other. What we don’t like is someone who suffocates our everyday life. I don’t even think this is gender specific. Clinginess, in my book, makes just about anyone want to hit the delete button on the relationship.
Let the air be and give your relationship some breathing room. Have a life of your own. Stay away from social media when you’re at work. Let him call you first sometimes. Allow him to miss you. Make time for your best friend or your family. Find other things and people besides your love to spend time with. Make room for hobbies that bring you joy. Start with that appointment you have been pushing for a while to avoid becoming too codependent in your romantic relationship.
Now regarding God’s promise, pardon me if I ask. As a friend. Did He chat with you on Teams? Or was it through a burning bush? Seriously, I get that faith is personal. It’s between you and God. I just want to caution you from thinking only having a man can make 2024 a happy new year. Even when you’re in a relationship, it’s still a duo. There are two individuals in it who need space to grow. There is still such a thing as me-time and me-and-you-time. It stings but his happiness doesn’t always have to include you. Rather than defining yourself in terms of your relationships, characterize yourself by your goals, values, interests and personality traits. And even if the guy is smart and handsome, never lose sight that you are an awesome person too, okay?
To be a good partner is to ensure you are comfortable as an individual first. True giving lies on the impact to the receiver. Not the giver. Happiness isn’t something we obtain from others. It’s a natural flow that emanates from within. So today and in the coming new year, continue loving yourself. Keep growing as a person. So, when the right person comes, you’re more equipped to give and not take.