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Today, I want to lend my voice to the question, “Should we really bid dating goodbye?” by speaking about a common occurrence that leads into intimacy without commitment without you even knowing it. I call it, “Ok then, let’s just be friends.”

Let me tell you a story:

Once upon a time, boy meets girl. Bade asked Sade out but Sade wouldn’t agree. Bade being afraid of loosing her extended hand of friendship which she took. Now, when Bade got rejected, he moved on with his life as per the relationship but consoled himself with her friendship. Truth be told, Bade was unconsciously nursing an emotional seed each time he sees the traits he so much desired in Sade. Sade on the other hand seemingly had moved on from the idea of relationship though still friends with Bade. Here is what happened. Bade would call, and never gets tired of asking about her welfare, family, work, etc. She considered him caring. This guy would buy her gifts in the name of appreciation and would say, “I’m not expecting anything in return. After all, we are just friends.” She believed him. He was always there for her, supporting, encouraging and all manner of the sort.

Bro has successfully sown the seed of kindness, sacrifice, encouragement, care, and whatever you can think of. Then one day, Bade introduced his newfound love to Sade. Hell broke loose. I know you must have heard something like this. We are quick to judge the stupidity of a lady who fell in love with a friend who she rejected in the first instance. What was she thinking? She is mumu blah blah blah. The simple truth was that they weren’t sincere with themselves, they claimed to just be friends but the realities of their relationship had actually crossed the line of friendship. Sometimes the parties wouldn’t even accept they’ve crossed the line until one of them begins to see another person and then the partner begins to get jealous.

Sometimes, we act, say things that send a message of love to the other person. At times we do this unconsciously. We indirectly or directly deposit something into the other’s emotional bank account; which awakens love inadvertently or prematurely.

Many of us have stirred others both consciously and unconsciously.
You may currently find yourself in a relationship with someone and when asked who the person is to you; you say something like ‘a friend’ ‘she’s JUST my friend’ ‘we are JUST friends.’
Just friends? Did I hear you say ‘JUST FRIENDS?’. Hey! Just friends she cooks for you have your apartment spare key. Just friends, yet you call her names; ‘my love, my baby blah blah blah’. Just friends, you hug and never want to let go like a magnet? If care is not taken, soon there’s going to be an emotional implosion. Someone’s heart will be broken.

I think the gist of today’s talk is the conceptual contradictions of so-called friendships that are actually founded on the culture and practices of dating which will ultimately lead to someone getting badly hurt. You may call it Self delusionary friendships.

You really like him/her but deep down in your heart you know there can’t be any intimate togetherness but you don’t want to lose this person. So you take comfort in the company of each other to an extent that is actually outside the line of “just friends.” You keep talking regularly, providing emotional support but no commitment in view. One of you is hoping that something will take shape. Soon, someone will be hurt. The foundation was wrong in the first place.

It’s the same self-delusion that makes people who have just broken up an intimate romantic relationship to re-invite each other into friendship – intimate friendship and yet there is no intention to reinvent the wheel.

As my brother, Peniela wrote last Sunday, “Since dating approaches a relationship from a non-commitment angle in most cases, it promotes intimacy; physical and or emotional without prior assurance of lifelong commitment.” This has caused many to find themselves in a ‘situationship’ and not ‘relationship’ because while one of the partners is hoping that something good comes out of this Nazareth, the other partner is thinking “Ebenezer.” Why? Based on the cheap intimacy dividends that such relationships breed, there’s nothing too long for anymore, there’s nothing to desire anymore. Nothing opaque, honor has been sent on an errand a long time ago. Value had been thrown in the trash bag. Respect is now a scarce commodity and commitment is definitely NEVER in view!

Please be sincere with yourself; this thing called EMOTION, how e dey do you for the body? If you need help, please seek one really fast.

I have learned to disengage from any relationship that could drain me emotionally. The first thing I do is to either cut-off or reduce communication. Abi what is the essence of emotional servicing when there is no future in it?

The implication of constantly communicating is that one of the parties keeps using the other to fill the gap, satisfying his/her desire for companionship, feeding the soul with a substitute, not the real thing.

That is why it becomes very easy to let go of the person the moment you come in contact with someone that your heart settles with. You have successfully used someone and dumped the person unconsciously or maybe consciously. You have left someone in pain and heartbreak.

Someone would have to pay for your inability to make a decision and stand by it, lack of sensitivity to the other person’s emotional sacrifice, your refusal or let me say lack of readiness to confront your fears for making a commitment. So you begin to make excuses, trying to defend your immaturity and inability to be manly enough to take the lead.

Please, don’t allow yourself to be used. Many people just want a means to satisfy their emotional desires, they have no intention of committing to you. Some don’t even know what they want. You hear things like; I like you (not LOVE) and I know you like me too, can we give it a trial? That’s a red flag!
Trial? Why? Why trial when there’s clearly no intention for a life long commitment.

In case you know someone who’s been depositing a huge amount of ‘you know wharamin?’ please clear it out, except you are also enjoying it; ‘Friends with benefit. Lol’ So please stop giving out emotional loans and don’t expect emotional dividends in return, especially in a relationship when there’s no intention of commitment from both ends.

So maybe we should make this an anthem ”Intimacy without commitment is a selfish act.’

There are certain “Ok then, let’s just be friends” that you should walk away from. It will lead you into “intimacy without commitment.”

I hope this instructs you.

Your Sister,
Benjamin Omobolanle.

(If you didn’t read our last two talks on “dating”, please check the “dating” segment of the website and lay hold on them for a more wholesome understanding of today’s talk).

God bless you.

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