Hi, I am Laju, a fashion designer with a thriving business.
I just broke up with my boyfriend. Yep, today of all days. It’s not for the reasons you think. I got amazing gifts – iPhone 8, fresh roses and cupcakes to die for. But before you judge and call me crazy, hear me out.
I grew up with an absentee dad who assumed that money was the answer to everything. He was always working and when we complained, he sent us on luxury vacations. This had an unexpected effect on my sense of self worth. I grew up equating money to love and feeling like I was not worth a man’s time. My mum tried to tell me otherwise, but her words and my experiences did not match. I wondered why she didnt just leave, if she was that unhappy.
When I left for university, my parent’s relationship degenerated, and when the divorce was finalized, I was angry at my mum for initiating it, and at my dad for moving on so quickly. I swore to find myself a man who would love and adore me, and spend so much time with me. I would literally have to beg him to go to work. However, I seem to only attract the same type of guys – they had strikingly similar traits with my dad. Always buying expensive gifts, but never there when it mattered.
Leo was different, we met at the cinema; where we argued about which movie was better – “Girls’ Trip” or “Get Out” – totally unrelated right? We just had a way of making a big deal out of random topics. We hit it off immediately. Leo is a business consultant, this made his work schedule very flexible. He would stop by my store unannounced and even offer to come with me for consultations and fittings. A typical case of be careful what you wish for, ‘abi’? But I loved it! Finally, a guy who wanted to be involved in every aspect my life. Who was always there – literally.
And we lived happily ever after – I wish.
Leo is gradually taking over my life, he literally stalks me, hand-picks my friends and tries to censor my cloths. His excuse is, “I don’t want to share you with anyone else”. I went from “Miss Independent” to “Miss No-air”, within one year. My social life died a natural death, as most of my friends found his hovering presence very unsettling. My clients are all a certain gender as my male clients have been told to stay away from me.
Finally, it’s St. Valentine’s day, and instead of feeling loved, I feel trapped! Instead of butterflies in my belly, my stomach was in knots as I dreaded Leo’s arrival. I found myself looking in the mirror to ensure that I was not showing too much skin. As I waited for him to pick me up, I called myself to a quick family meeting (me, myself and I). No amount of money/gifts is worth loosing myself, my identity over. There has to be a balance between the extreme personalities of my dad and Leo. Leo took me to an amazing restaurant, gave me the gifts he bought and was about to delve into his usual love mantras when I found the courage to blurt out the words – “I think we should break-up”.
His expression went from shock to confusion to anger, but before he found his voice, I walked out of the restaurant, leaving him and a table full of gifts behind. I just kept walking and didn’t look back. It’s over, and I am determined to keep it that way.
There is a saying that ladies always marry a version of their dad, however, I let the fear of one extreme lead me to another extreme. Love should be a balance and I am worth the effort required to find it. I will not settle for less!
So, walking down the streets, newly single, on a day meant to celebrate love, I celebrate my love for life, love for my family and friends; my love for my work, and my love for a chance to find true love. My pace reduced as my initial happy thoughts slowly turned to mixed feelings. Or was I wrong, did I just walk away from my chance at happiness? Should I have stayed and worked it out?
Maybe I should see my mentor/pastor’s wife for that talk she’s been trying to have with me? Perhaps it’s high time I shared my mind and listened to all she wants to say.