“Leave room for disappointments” that’s the advice my old girl gave me when she noticed I had taken an interest in a certain guy. I never quite understood what she meant by that, I knew she meant I should be careful not to get my heart broken to the extent that I would lose hope in love but it was not until recently I learnt that the old girl just wanted me to manage my emotions. I used to be very enthusiastic about love and its prospects. I would sit for hours, day-dreaming about the guy I even had a crush on. I must admit that I feel silly now just thinking about the hours spent on day-dreaming. Enough about my day dreaming silliness, back to the main issue of managing emotions.
When you first fall in love it’s amazing, you feel good, every love song sounds like a message from your loved one, everything reminds you of your loved one and you literally see his face everywhere you go. It’s an amazing feeling (at least from what I remember) but after a few childish mistakes of falling too hard too soon and expecting a fairy tale kind of relationship I have come to appreciate the wisdom in my mum’s words.
This reality hit me on April 8 about four years ago, it was a Sunday afternoon. I got a call from him, let’s just call him Koo, he sounded very serious and when he said “we need to talk” I just knew he had bad news. He began by espousing my attributes and telling me how lucky any man would be to have me, then I knew for sure he was just softening me up for something bad. He uttered the words I was not quite ready to hear, he said it was not working for him and that he thought it was best if we broke up. I asked what I had done wrong but he was not willing to share, till date I still do not know what the main cause of the break up was.
I broke down and began to cry uncontrollably after the call, first person I called was my sister who asked if someone had died because all she could hear was her baby sister crying and trying to utter words that were inaudible because of tears. After she managed to calm me down, I called one of my best friends and I went over to her place for some girl talk. By the time I left my friend’s house, the pain though still there, was manageable. The pain of the break up got worse when I found out that Koo had started dating a girl who he said was just his friend when we were dating, I began to wonder if she was the reason why he broke it off with me. He would go and visit her for a whole day and I would not have a problem because, I trusted him and thought they were just friends. Maybe there were, but upon hindsight I am inclined to think that, their relationship started long before ours ended.
The days after that unfortunate call were difficult, I was not myself. I lost appetite and it was painful for me to even smile let alone laugh. Everything had come to a standstill, it took me months to get back to myself, during those difficult months I remembered my mum’s words, “leave room for disappointments”. I had totally forgotten about that advice. I was too much in love to even expect the worse, I had not left any room for disappointments and that is a mistake I have vowed never to repeat.
I still have issues with the break up over phone, I felt I deserved the respect that came with a face to face break up. In fact I still can’t get over the fact that he said he broke up over phone because he did not know when he would be in Accra (he was out of town then) only for him to attend a friend’s wedding a week after the break up. So what? The break up was such an emergency that he had could not wait seven days to give me the respect of a face-to-face break up? But after three years of moving on, living my life , finding love again and throwing it away only to find it back, I have realized that the relationship thought me a lesson I had failed to learn, a lesson my mum foresaw I needed years before.
Managing my emotions has not been easy especially trying hard not to let it turn me into a cynic or a cold hearted person. I must admit I get confused a lot, I find it hard to distinguish between managing my emotions and putting up walls that prevents others from loving me. But I am getting there, little by little the difference is becoming clearer and clearer. Leaving room for disappointments is like getting shock absorbers, something to cushion you when the hurt comes. When I say shock absorbers, I do not mean getting a second boyfriend so that when one leaves you, you have a backup plan .Two timing is emotionally exhaustive and you are likely to lose all of them in the long run, it’s not worth the time and effort.
I mean get a life outside your relationship, do not let your world revolve around him, love him with all your heart, YES, but keep in mind that he is human and he can hurt you. Once he is human, he is not perfect. Only one man can’t hurt you and that’s God.
The most important lesson I have learnt is that to realize that managing my emotions meant one thing, giving my heart to God and trusting that HE will give it to the right man who will not break it.