This blog was created to serve as an inspiration to all who read aspire, to love and to live a life of purpose.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Dear NwaVic, Is a Long Distance Relationship Worth It?

Dear NwaVic,
There is this girl that I like and she lives three houses away from my house. Therefore, we live in the same neighbourhood. So far I have summoned courage to go and talk to her and she gave me a good audience. She gave me her number and I call her from time to time. Though we are just getting to know each other,on the long run, there is a possibility that I might ask her out. But I'm a bit confused because we attend different Universities and I'm thinking of the success of distant relationship. Please help me out. Should I still nurse the hope of we having a future together?

Yours Sincerely,

Dear Confused,

Thank you for writing NwaVic at  Your letter couldn't have come at a better time. I've had this post on how to make a long distance relationship (LDR) work on the back-burner for a long time and your letter was the nudge I needed to get it done. 

The idea of an LDR is intimidating. Scary, even. I mean, how do you sustain or further a relationship with someone who lives 3000 miles from you? The thing about distance is that if care is not taken the physical separation of it becomes emotional. According to raw logic, no matter how much you love someone, if you're not around them consistently, you start to lead different lives, met different people, do different things and before you know it, interest wanes. 

But true love defies logic. It applies both ways- You could live right next door to your significant other and it still won't work. In the same lights, LDRs are difficult but not impossible. Their success depends on the people in it. If you really like this girl, you could still nurse the hope of making a future together because with good effort on both sides, it will be worth the shot. But before you go in, here are a few things you should keep in mind; 

1. Commitment & Investment: 

First and foremost, to make a long-distance relationship work, both people need to understand and accept that it will be challenging both physically and emotionally. Then, make a commitment to put in the required work. It's all about the mind-set. Even with the Internet age, the cold hard iPhone/iPad screen won't sit next to you on the couch, it won't cuddle you at night, it won't take you to happy hour or dinner, and it won't be your date to the wedding or event your significant other can't make because they are miles and miles away. 

The only LDRs I've seen work are the ones where both people are on the same page. AND I mean, extensive planning put into plane/bus tickets. Ofcourse, it'd get expensive in time and money but if both people are making a committed investment, it'll be worth it. 

One of my family friends dated his then-girlfriend who lived on the opposite side of the country for 3 years. They are now happily married with children and he claims the secret to making their relationship work was the "once a month" rule they set. They were open with each other about who'd visit whom and who was paying. He was working while she was a student, so he paid for most of the tickets but they took turns visiting each other every month, even if only for the weekend. For them, planning ahead didn't only make the plane tickets more affordable, it helped him rake up travel points he used to get their free honeymoon ticket. 

2. Long-term goals:
No relationship can work long-distance indefinitely. Something has to change in the future...the lonely nights, the dateless events and the many tearful airport goodbyes has to count towards a target because when you have a relationship you're committed for the future, the end goal is the inspiration to stay on the rocky road.
I heard someone say once that long-distance relationships are not real relationships but the promise of one. While this statement isn't entirely true because anyone who has been in a long-distance relationship knows just how much work it requires, the success of your LDR hinges majorly on the goal of bigger whether it is marriage or permanent relocation. So in order to make your long-distance relationship work, while you don't want to pressure each other, at some point, as the relationship gets serious, there has to be a conversation about what each person expects from the other person down the road. 
3. Downtime:
One of my friends was in a long-distance relationship for a couple of years but felt like when it ended, she didn't know who she had been dating. Upon reflection, she realized that she and her ex had spent every time they had together on "Up-time". Basically, they saw each other so sparsely, that when they were together, they spent all their time going out and attending events; this put both of them on their best behavior because the va-va-voom of "fun" took the focus away from "who" they were on a regular day. The theory behind her reasoning is that relationships are more grounded when couples get to see each other in their down time. She said if she could do it all over, she'd take more time to know her partner without all the glamour. To do this, when your partner visits, don't offset your entire weekend. Instead, incorporate them into your regular schedule. Somewhere before or after all the events planned, take time out to watch TV, make dinner together or just talk. The goal here is commonality and community; if your downtime involves casually hanging out with friends, don't opt out when your loved one is in town- take them with you. That way, they get to see you in your element. 
4. Communication:
As with a short-distance relationship, communication is incredibly important with any LDR; texts, phone calls, Skype dates and everything in between. No matter how far away your boyfriend or girlfriend is, you should be able to account for where they are at any given time. Just because you can't easily drive up to check up on them at work, doesn't mean you shouldn't know they are there. The key is to be in touch with your significant other any time you can, no matter how little. For example, on your way to lunch with coworkers, you could shoot them a text or make a quick phone call to say so and maybe a later text or picshare during the meal to share what you're eating. Here, it is not the detail of what you're eating that counts, it is the sharing. The frequent communication makes your partner feel closer to you, like they are part of your everyday life and closes up the distance. It is inevitable and understandable that you'd be hanging out with other people, but once your partner starts to feel neglected, ignored or out of the loop, the relationship has begun to meet its expiration date.
In this regard, LDRs operating on multiple time zones are extremely difficult. My best friend and I can barely get time to talk to each other whenever she's in Japan, I can't fathom the difficulty for siginificant others who deal with time zones on the regular basis. When you're more than two hours out of sync, a schedule becomes crucial. To make it work, you and your significant other need to find a common baseline between your schedules.  

5. Trust:

Long distance relationships won't work if there is no trust. Like I mentioned, because you don't live close to each other, you can't be everywhere you'd love to be with your partner. If you're the jealous type, knowing your partner is hanging with others can be hard to deal with.  While you should trust your partner, building and keeping trust in an LDR requires effort and sometimes, the reassurance of security on both sides. It goes back to what I said about not letting your partner feel  "left behind". For example, if you're out having fun, it could help to send sporadic texts to say "I wish you could be here", "I miss you", "Everyone says hi" or "Dinner is going well. I'll order your favorite dessert and eat on your behalf". Sometimes, sending pics help. Even though this may sound corny or overcompensating, it goes a long way in letting your loved one know if you could have them there, you would. The little comfort it'd give them counts a lot and helps them feel secure. If you're on the other end, it helps to find fun things to do with your time while your partner is out having fun. This way, you won't be stuck feeling lonely and you know what they say about idle minds and devil's workshops. 
6. Simulate The Little Things:
Just like in a short distance relationship, in an LDR, the little things go a big way. Like I mentioned earlier, overcompensation sometimes is necessary to make LDRs work. You want to do your best to simulate what would've been, if not for the distance.  For example, no matter what, you want to keep the romance alive. When my sister's husband was courting her, he'd send flowers and love notes randomly to her workplace. It added spontaneity to their relationship and compensated a bit for his inability to pop in and take her to lunch. 
You want to try to do things together like you would in a short distance relationship. For example, if there's a show you both like, you could watch it together and text live about it. If you both like to cook, you could be on Face Time or Skype together while you both cook. I know a LDR couple that falls asleep on Skype- While I'm not that mushy, I'm all about whatever helps you get closer. 
All in all, if you meet someone you like and has potential of being a permanent fixture in your life, if both of you are willing to make it work, it will work, regardless of the distance. Even though not everyone can get a 50 year marriage after an LDR, it is not impossible. It will get frustrating, but if its meant to be, with an end goal and perseverance, you'd be thanking me later. ;-) I hope these tips point you in the right direction. Best of Luck!
Stay Inspired...

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Dear NwaVic, Is My Cheating Enough for the Boyfriend I Supported for 8 Years to Marry Someone Else?

Dear NwaVic,

I've been having issues with my heart. I can't seem to truly fall in love again since my boyfriend of 8yrs left me.  It is complicated though. I invested my time and especially money into it. Did crazy things for him. I met him when I was 16 and in SS3. He was 20 and in the University. Well, I loved him and I did a lot for him, even paying his fees because I come from a richer family but at some point, it became the norm. I kept on spending and lying to my parents to get money. I even sold my mom's gold to get money so we could go on vacation together. When I get upset with the love, I started cheating because I was choking but I loved him and I knew if I left, life would be miserable for him. I cheated 5 times in 8 years. Then, the last time I did, he said he can't forgive me. After a while, we broke up. He hit it big and got a good job. I pleaded to come back but he refused and said I am not worthy of his love, not minding all we went through. When he had nothing, I was there for him. Now I am torn as I saw his traditional wedding pictures, it dawned on me that he is gone. Please advice on a woman spending for a guy. What's your take on cheating and forgiving? How do I move on? Thanks as I look forward to read from you. 



Dear K,

Thanks for writing NwaVic at I can understand why you're hurt. This is a man you loved and invested a lot in. You were there for him from the beginning and you feel as though now he has made it, he should be yours. Logically, it makes sense. But life isn't about logic. The concept of "investment" is based on risk. When you invest in someone, you're taking a chance, knowing fully well that your investment may not reap benefits. More so, above all this is the fact that in order to guarantee that an investment becomes fruitful, you have to take care of it. By cheating, you did the opposite. While there's no guarantee that if you hadn't cheated, he'd have stayed true to you, the fact that you cheated 5 times is more than enough reason for him to not want to settle down with you. And this is because cheating kills trust and without trust, no relationship (marriage or not) can be healthy or grow. Even when people forgive cheating, it takes eternity to regain trust and that's the biggest challenge. But then, you'd need to ask yourself clarifying questions- why would you want to be in a relationship that was choking you? Is it for the sole reason of "collecting" on your investment? Why did you cheat in the first place? Seeing as though he is now married, finding answers to these questions are solely for your own healing and benefit because while a loved one's actions can "push" you to cheat, the decision to do so is ultimately yours. In order to move on, you'd need to first of all take responsibility for your part in the break-up and accept that there's nothing you can do to undo the past. Once you make peace with that reality, then take calculated steps; confide in someone you can trust whenever you feel down, maintain a distance from him especially on social media, learn from your mistakes and focus on self-improvement. For more detailed tips, here are tips for getting over your break-up. In all this, do keep your head-up. Best of Luck!

Stay Inspired...

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Art of Picking Your Battles

Last week, my hairdresser told me I was too much for her. She said I haggle prices, then I'm always looking in the mirror to make sure she's doing it right. I was shocked. I mean, little old sweet me. *bats eyelashes*

I was really tempted to be offended. I mean, that was a very unprofessional statement. I thought about flipping out on her. I think she even expected me to. Besides the fact that I was sitting in her chair with my hair at her mercy, I also considered the fact that this battle wasn't worth it. She's been doing my hair for years, she's close to where I live and I AM able to haggle her prices lower than all the other places. The relationship I have with her is important to me in the long term and for me to maintain it, I decided she needed to have this win. So I instead of the "what kind of nonsense  unprofessional statement is that?", I said, "Wow you must've been holding it in so long. I'm glad you let me know." Then I went back to watching Netflix while she anxiously waited for me to bark. The bark that never came.

It's the same logic in any relationship. My sister Oby always says "you have to pick your battles boo. Not everything is worth fighting for. Trust me, that's a key to making any relationship work". It's a lesson I'm learning. If you bark every time, your bark becomes stale and is less effective. But if instead, you let the little things slide, when you do bark, it'll carry more weight.  The person you're barking at will know that the issue is serious enough to be fought for.
Whether it is with your friend, at work, in marriage, with a stubborn child or in your relationship with your hairdresser, sometimes, you just have to let it go.
You may ask, how do I know when to let it go? Here are 3 tips.

1. Be honest with yourself- Why are you really angry? Does that issue really matter? Tomorrow, in a couple weeks, months or years, will that issue make a difference? How big is the issue? Is it a small annoyance or inconvenience? If it is an issue that threatens your safety or security especially in the long term or is a recurring enough, then it is big enough to go to war. If not, let it slide.

A friend of mine told me once that every sunday night, she would fight her husband because he wanted to watch sports and it was when her show came on. When she would go into the other room to watch it, he'd get upset that he was lonely. She said she couldn't understand it and would get livid at his selfishness. She confessed that the moment she realized how flimsy this fight was healed the bickering. She simply found a website that streamed her show, then sat next to him with her headphones on watching her show. The sacrifice was worth the peace.

I even remember as a child, my father liked to go to church at 9am on the dot. Left to him, he'd be at the church 15 minutes before. To him, being on time was being late and being early was being on time. My mother, on the other hand, would take her time to get ready. Often, we won't get to church till 9.30am which was fine with her and would make him so upset. The solution? When my dad couldn't wait any longer,  he'd go ahead to church and take those of us who were ready and my mom would join him later. No fighting, no anger, no hard feelings.

Sometimes, you just have to indulge the other person. If it is important to your wife that you wear a tie to church, do it. Is not wearing the tie worth smearing your Sunday?

2. Consider the flip side- Even when you think you're right and the other person is wrong, taking a second to consider that the other side may have a valid point is enough to dispel a fight. When my hair dresser called me "too much", I took a second to consider that probably my constant looking in the mirror was putting pressure on her or distracting her while she was working.
3. Think Before you Speak/Act- It seems simple but it is the hardest thing to do! Whether or not you are considering the other side's points, it is important to step back and consider "is this worth a fight?" "Is what I'm about to say worth the reaction it will get?" In the heat of the moment, we say things we don't mean and when the smoke clears, it is hard to take it back. What thinking does is make picking your battles less about fighting and more about choosing what is worth getting angry over. It dispels the "I won't fight, but I will be angry silently".  Instead, it is "I won't be angry at all". Because picking your battles is worthless if you are angry. You will erupt later over something insignificant.  In simple words, connect your mouth with your brain, innovate a filter for your mouth and then, use it.

I read somewhere recently that everytime a situation happens, it is your choice as to whether you will let it steal your joy away. In essence, you can't control every situation in your life but you can control how you react to it. That is what you can control.

If you don't remember anything else, keep this in mind....
Stay Inspired...

Monday, October 7, 2013

Dear NwaVic: I'm 21 & My Girlfriend is Pregnant for Me. Should I Marry Her?

Dear NwaVic,
Your writing is truly inspiring. I was just gonna pass by but I’ve decided to share my experience so I would get earnest advice from you.

I am 21 year old 300 level student. I met a lady in April 2012 who I've grown to love. At first, I didn't know how to express my feelings because I was a virgin and I just wanted a girl to have an affair with. The circumstances surrounding how we came to be together is kind of funny. After I got her number, I visited her and she decided to follow me out because she was bored. She wanted to see where I lived and even though I wasn't comfortable with it, we went and we had such a good time, she stayed 4 days. She was very attracted to me because of my character and how I cared for her. 

Eventually, my initial intentions for just sex shifted and I fell in love. Hope my story isn't too boring,lol…we didn’t have sex for 8 months. Even when I tried, she refused because she was a virgin. I’m not saying I’m proud of this as a christian but I’m not perfect. The relationship grew well: the sex was great, the love was magnified and I really cared about her. 

I have a couple of other female friends, just as you used the Michelle and Beyonce illustration, in 7 Keys to Finding a Good Husband, she is a Michelle and my friends are Beyonces. These girls are attracted to me and flirt with me because I am very cool, tall, dark and handsome. But this girl has shown me much love- she's caring, understanding, patient, open, and not demanding. Her family and I talk regularly I do more of the spending because I’m more bouyant but when I’m exhausted, she steps in and buys only the necessary stuff because she's considerate of me. Unlike most girls, she doesn’t have any maga she collects money from. 

Like I said, she's not the prettiest girl but her good virtues supersedes all.  For the past month, I've been thinking she's the one. I don't think I will ever date anyone like her. She's also having a baby for me. It happened mistakingly but children are a gift from God and I can't abort my child oo. Our families have finally accepted the situation although it was difficult and tough. I will take care of the child. He or she will be with my mum while I’m at school. 

This responsibility got me thinking, so I have started a business. By God's grace, in 3yrs after school, I'll be able to stand on my feet without my parent's support. I see myself marrying this girl because she has shown me she is wife material. Even men with the most beautiful wives still cheat, so why overate beauty as a criteria for marriage?

So please from your experience and profound knowledge, give me the advice you would give your younger brother. Help me point out if I have gone wrong or going you think I’m on the right path with my decision..I haven't promised to marry her yet because I don't want to put up hopes in anybody’s mind. I will talk about marriage when I finish university in 3yrs time…Thanks pls pour out your heart just as I have taken my time to pour out mine.


Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for writing NwaVic. At first glance, it looks as though you know what you want. But looking closer, it seems more as if you're trying to convince yourself to marry a caring, understanding, patient, open, and not demanding girl who's pregnant for you but not as pretty as your flirty female friends. You seem uncertain as to what you want as is apparent in your constant reference to her looks and a follow-up reassurance of just how good of a wifey she'll make. More so, your comment that "even men with the most beautiful wives still cheat, so why overate beauty as a criteria for marriage?" is a dead give away because while you seem to believe the validity of the statement, you don't know if you believe that it applies to you.

But you're only 21. Yes, you've acted way out of line by getting a girl pregnant at this age. You didn't mention how old she is but I assume she's as young as you are, if not younger. But you have done the right thing by committing to be there for your child. But amidst all this chaos, you need to step back and truly assess what you really want. Tradition would require that you marry a girl who you impregnated but then it'll be a disservice to both you and her if a couple of years down the line, you step outside your marriage into the arms of a "prettier" girl. Marriage is a serious commitment. You shouldn't marry a girl only because she has proven to be wifey material. You should marry someone because you don't see life without them WHEN you're ready to commit to her and your child.

I say all this to say, if you were my younger brother, I'd tell you to focus on finishing school, taking responsibility for your child and figuring out what you want your future to look like. Make those your priorities. You should also care for and maintain a relationship with the mother of your child, if for nothing else, for the sake of your child. When you graduate in three years and you still think she's the one you want to commit to marry, do it.

Stay Inspired....