My dearest Nadia,
I did not wish to reply to your persistent questions about how I overcame my ‘hot served’ broken heart, because I did not want to remember what I had gone through.
However, I am not oblivious to how your recent break up with Nana Yaw has affected you. Your sister tells me that you have refused to eat or to step out of the house. I understand how utterly disheartening it is to lose the love of someone, whom you dreamt of spending the rest of your life with.
From the first day Osei asked me to be his girlfriend, I imagined everything from the threads and all of the stitched corners of my wedding dress to the jewelry and shoes which I’d wear on my big day. Before long, I had concluded on the colours and the venue for our wedding, without his knowledge.
In my mind I was thinking; Why date someone, if it will not lead to marriage? This is the one-track mindset that took me through five solid years of a relationship and broken heart that was hard to recover from.
Throughout the relationship, I would blame myself for every misstep and would make excuses for his behavior. All of my female friends either had fiancés, or were getting married. Thus, I would rather be in a lonely relationship than become single. I felt as though I was responsible for whether the relationship survived or not. In the unfortunate situation where it didn’t, then I wouldn’t be good enough or I lacked the ‘skills’ to keep a man. So you can understand how getting dumped destroyed what little was left of my self-esteem.
In the beginning, I was in denial; I convinced myself that the relationship was not over.
I reminisced over the good times and the things we shared together; our hopes, our fears, our bodies and probably our souls. I cried that I had lost the love of my life. I prayed that this would turn out to be just a nightmare. I hoped that he would realise his mistake and come back to me.
Listening to love songs from Celine Dion and Westlife became a timely hobby that unfortunately did nothing to lessen my grief. I took to stalking him on all social media platforms including Snapchat (where I couldn’t fathom why people would want to parade every second of their life to the world). Friends and family kept prescribing their own versions of how I could overcome this ‘tragedy’. All the while I was brooding over him and hoping he would come back, he had moved on quite easily and taken on other ‘projects.’ And so, after 10 months of moping around in self-pity, I started off by deleting messages, pictures and every reminder of him.
I discovered how to accept myself and to cultivate my self-esteem, in order not to give in to the temptation of finding another boyfriend, simply to fill the void in my life. So instead of a rebound relationship, I involved myself in productive activities at work and in church, to occupy my time.
If you would remember, that was the time, during which I joined Citi FM/TV’s Heritage Caravan on a tour of Ghana where I had so much fun and consequently made new friends to build my social circle. I also began to enjoy my alone time and learnt not to seek recognition or happiness from others.
Fairy tales about love and marriage have been delivered to us since time immemorial on TVs and in Harlequin books, for those who liked to read. The concept of finding ‘The One’ otherwise known as ‘Soul mate’ is a lifelong mission of many people. Honestly, who doesn’t like the Kumkum Bhagya kind of love?
I have been in a total of three relationships in my lifetime, but I am still not married. I do not believe it is because marriage doesn’t like me but the truth is, not all relationships end in marriage. One reason why I still held on after the break-up was not because I loved Osei too much, but because I had been conditioned to think that no matter what happens, we must end up together.
Nadia, right now you might think love is painful but I don’t think self-love can hurt. Get to know yourself in these moments and learn to lean on yourself for love, so that there isn’t the need to depend on someone to feel good about YOU. Fall and stay in love for the right reasons; at least you will know you did your best if things go south. Do not be like the people who stay in abusive and toxic relationships because they don’t know any better. Yes, it is likely you will not find someone like Nana Yaw again, but you could certainly find someone better than him.
Be good to yourself and be happy. I love you, girl.
The writer, Akosua Asor Amponsah, works with Citi FM/Citi TV. She enjoys fiction and relationship writing.