Every two market days, you read or watch videos of people complaining about the terrible dating scene. Everyone is disappointed they’re not being treated right. Yes, it’s annoying to put yourself out there repeatedly without getting the love you’re looking for. If everyone’s complaining, then who’re the people giving the streets a bad rep? Maybe we should start taking responsibility for the part we play in polluting the streets? 

Game, set, match

A relationship is not a game. There’s no winner or set prize for whoever comes out of it unscathed. So, why do you treat it as one? Why do you calculate how many hours before you text or what to post on your story? Why are you so obsessed with playing people before you get played? 

This game you’ve decided to play involves real people with real feelings and emotions. You’re choosing not to do too much, so the other party doesn’t think you‘re down bad, but why are you so afraid of someone knowing you care? If you think they will manipulate whatever emotions you feel for them, isn’t that a sign that you shouldn’t even be dealing with them in the first place? Just stay on your own and navigate life. Why stress another person’s child? 

Do you know the past affects the present

You’re trying to justify playing the “game” by stating how hurt you’ve been in the past. People have broken your heart, taken advantage of your kindness, made you feel less than you are, and that’s terrible. But until you’ve fully processed what happened to you and healed from it, it will affect every single relationship you try to enter. You will project actions and thoughts onto someone who has not even had the chance to declare their true intentions. It’s giving self-sabotage. 

The carry-on luggage 

This is someone you don’t like or even see a relationship with them happening, but you like the attention they give you. You like that you’re important to someone, but they’re not that important to you; so, you carry them along because it makes you feel special. Drop it. 

You’re doing just enough to keep the person interested but not precisely what they need. It’s a cruel thing to do because nobody wants to be a second option. You don’t like when it’s done to you, so why are you doing it to someone else? Then when you eventually get tired of them — or they realise their self-worth — you’ve left someone broken, and that person will, in turn, break someone else. 

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Communication, comprehension, and grace 

You don’t talk about your feelings or how you wish to be cared for because you’re scared. You’re too hot-headed to listen to what your partner is saying because you’ve jumped to conclusions already. And you refuse to extend grace to the people you’re trying to get into a relationship with, just because they made one mistake. 

Nobody’s perfect, especially not you. So why are you expecting perfection from someone trying their best with you? Sure some things shouldn’t be forgiven — any form of abuse is unacceptable, for example. But if your partner has not spoken to you all day, there could be a million reasons why. Try to find out,  and if you don’t think the answer is good enough, then you can address it and work from there. Don’t just jump into assumptions.

You’re not the only prize 

A lot of people enter into relationships thinking they’re the prize. Yes, you are, and you should never think you’re not. However, in relationships, there’s more than one prize. In as much as you want to be wined and dined, you have to put in the work as well. When did you last buy  a gift for the person you’re doing talking stage with? When last did you send them a cute note on how much they mean to you? Are you putting as much effort as you demand?. 

You’re too scared to jump 

Falling in love is like jumping from a high place and hoping the person you’ve fallen in love with catches you. The place isn’t high enough to kill you, but may leave you bruised or broken. But you don’t want to jump. You’re too scared of being hurt, but you forget it’s a 50:50 chance. What if you get caught? 

At the end of the day, you need to stop putting yourself in situations where you aren’t ready to commit. If there’s too much doubt in your heart, stay away from people for a while and work out why you can’t seem to trust anyone. 

Maybe if we all took time to work on ourselves, we’d treat each other with a little more kindness, and the streets wouldn’t be as bad as it currently is. 



Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.