Changing the NARRATIVE
By Olivia Otigbah
Mr 2018 had been charming at first, cooked dinner and picked me up from work without having to ask. After starting to tell small lies about his whereabouts, I quickly utilised my womanly intuition and called it off (not without delivering a few home truths of course).
Sitting in bed minus the Ben and Jerry’s, which is even more tragic, I was angry at myself for having bad judgement yet again and quite frankly, I wanted to know why. I’m not usually an online love guru person, however, Derrick Jaxn’s five-minute video entitled “She won’t need another man to leave you” flashed up in my recommended section and I desperately clicked.
Unlike other online guru’s, there was no studio set up or overbearing book promotion, it was just a man sitting in a car giving an express lesson on how to detect bullshit. Perfect, what’s better than a good-looking male handing and teaching you the fuckboy psyche on a plate?
He lends himself as the older brother, father or male figure you never had. His words hit home like the tough love of a close friend, it stings for a second and then it makes sense.
Having digested his teachings over six months, I was back my content single self. I felt I’d reached the peak of self-love and didn’t need to watch his content as often.
It’s now 2019 and armed with the knowledge of the ‘fuckboy bible’, I joined my friends on Tinder swipe nights, vowing that I was just looking for some fun. I was in last year of university, worked two jobs and finalising my dissertation was my top priority.
From the first date, he unintentionally prewarned me about who he was – a nice, intelligent guy with a great career but spoke of some habits in a previous relationship which made me slightly wary.
I was under no illusion that this was a man who wasn’t ready to commit. Honestly, it didn’t bother me much and suited my circumstances at the time. That was until the time between texts started getting longer, the situation got complicated and certain behaviour which I’d turned a blind eye to started to irritate me.
You may be wondering why this is relevant, but after watching Jaxn’s latest counsel “How to see his true colours before it’s too late”, I started to wonder whether I’m responsible for my dating disasters.
Derrick talks about how in the beginning people are like optical illusions, they hypnotise us but change when we readjust our focus. The main point is focussed on what he calls “a constant”, the core of a person’s value system in relationships and how they respond when tested on these values.
He goes onto explain that this ideology can give us a clue about how someone may treat the relationship later and advises that we should assess examples of these situations reoccurring. Furthermore, he highlights how the continuous justification of this type of behaviour without action is merely an intention not a constant in that person’s value system.
We set our expectations early, in hopes that we meet someone who will better our life. It’s important to state personal boundaries but seldom do we stop to think whether that person’s boundaries are compatible with ours.
I honestly can’t count the times I’ve heard either myself or female friends say something along the lines of “I wish I hadn’t waited so long to realise X”.
Analysing my own dating scenarios and those of friends, a pattern began to emerge that perhaps, we as humans sometimes fall victim to our own narrative or expectation.
We all have a narrative, some want the gym junkie, some want a stable provider, some the adventurous traveller or maybe the intellectual. We all subconsciously set our intention before the first encounter and look to match that intention; that’s why we date.
Nobody goes on a first date expecting to attract late texts back, unanswered phone calls, a lack of effort or disrespect. We all go with the best intention but quoting a popular social media post, “if somebody shows you who they are, believe them the first time”.
You don’t need to be judgemental, clingy or outright crazy girlfriend but you’re more than entitled to assess whether somebody is a potential life mate for you. As natural caregivers, women tend to put their own emotions aside to support others, sacrificing their own needs in the process.
There’s a difference between compromise and sacrifice. Jaxn’s right, people tell you who they are early on and it's hard to break an attachment. But if something doesn’t feel right early on, don’t wait for the other person to dictate the outcome and your heart to be broken.
Appreciate the red flags as a warning signal. I know you’re probably thinking, “but you can’t help who you fall for” and that’s true. However, it is our responsibility to lay out the crash mats to soften the fall in the first place.
So, trust me, save yourself the time sis, it’s more painful to neglect a splinter than to rip it out and start the healing process to something better.
While this article is written from the viewpoint of a Heterosexual female, it can apply to any gender or sexual orientation.