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‘Back-up’ plan as panacea to heartbreak?

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‘Back-up’ plan as panacea to heartbreak?

I met a woman at a speaking engagement recently and she asked to know the most feasible way to avert unpredictable heartbreaks which she said she had suffered twice. She’s in another relationship at the moment but she wanted to guide her heart with all diligence from another stroke of disappointment. According to her, the first experience left her dejected for months; it took her close friends and parental counselling to overcome the shock. She started another affair that looked “very promising” only for her fiancé to break communication with her for reasons best known to him.

This happened two days after they both agreed on a date for their formal introduction. She got admitted into the hospital for five days as a result of that. It took her over a year to enter another relationship which she’s in now. She has vowed that “should this fail like the previous two, it’s bye, bye, to love affairs with men.” A 32-year-old educationist asked to know if double-dating is wrong in view of the prevalent sense of insecurity and flagrant disappointments plaguing many relationships. She narrated how her friend who “steadied her relationship with an extra affair” had been fulfilled without much stress. “Whenever the main guy (fiancé) tried to misbehave or attempted proving to be larger than life, my friend would simply ignore him and maintain composure. He noticed that she no longer quaked, fidgeted or begged for his attention unlike before because my friend had dispensed her worries and loneliness elsewhere.

That was how he behaved responsibly until they got married,” she stated. Can a married woman also consider a back-up option? Asked a mother of three whose husband has distanced himself from her over eight months. “Since I contracted syphilis from him last year November, he has been wearing a long face at home. Rather than apologise and move on as we have been doing, he wanted me to recant a barefaced truth. He said until I tell him that I did not contract the STI from him and apologise, he won’t touch me again. I became bewildered! He knew the truth that he too got infected through one of his girlfriends.

I saw the text message where he accused the girl of risking his life with the infection. Yet, he wanted me to recant the obvious. The heartbreaks arising from relationship breakups apparently is making the ‘back-up’ plan in vogue and a feasible option. The emotional trauma associated with disappointments and marital breakups affects the womenfolk the most. Reasons for such discomfiture and abysmal impact on women are not far-fetched. Naturally, women tend to be more trusting and faithful in relationships. An average woman can stay faithful to her partner until her trust and hope begin to wane due to changed attitude, suspicion and dispassionate disposition of her partner. My understanding of this issue of ‘back-up’ plan in relationship is basically friendship without sexual string attached. It is a way of keeping admirers or friends without actually dating.

They serve as a ‘reserve bench’ or ‘standby’ in case of any eventuality. For real, ‘back-up’ option shouldn’t be tantamount to double-dating. People engage in ‘back-up’ plan because it provides soft-landing and cushioning effect for the brokenhearted.

It makes disappointment less painful by providing immediate emotional succour, arms that will embrace and bosom to lean on at such helpless moments. However, it is sad to discover that some ‘back-up’ friends, in some cases, do have their way with the women especially in their vulnerable state. I know some men who became romantically involved in the process of comforting their jilted friends. A few sustained the affairs while others fell apart shortly after. Every human relationship is bound to have some doses of hiccups but the ability to surmount the bumps on the highways of love is the needed tonic to succeed. Truth, faithfulness and trust are the tripod upon which enduring relationships stand. Since some men rarely tell their women to go, their actions and body language say it all. I hereby suggest that the moment you begin to notice that he’s creating a distance in communication, giving short responses to serious issues, offering excuses for not visiting, and lacklustre interest in the relationship; simply leave him alone, after you have tried all you could do to normalise the situation. If he’s your destined man, he will return a more focused and committed fiancé.

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