Love Bites


Another Look at the Othello Syndrome

Since the coronavirus lockdown, my High School Alumni WhatsApp group has been one of my favourite pastimes. Over the last four weeks, I have spent some time catching up on chats with my homegirls, and it has been an amazing experience.

About a week ago, I read a personal experience posted by one of the girls on the group, Chinelo. It was a story about her relationship with an abusive partner, and it opened up a whole new dimension to a very much ignored aspect of spousal abuse or Intimate Partner Violence. The overwhelming response to the story from other members of the group recounting their similar experiences got me wondering; how many ladies have been through this, and how many ever got the chance to speak about it? I was also very concerned because I could Identify with Chinelo’s story, it sounded very much like my account but for a few twists.

By Aditi Maheshwari

To every woman this is for you:

You are not always the best at expressing yourself to others because it entraps you into a feeling of guilt for outperforming or not-performing or simply for compromising on things you know you should not have. But I want you to give yourself a chance to see who you truly are. There is something incredible inside you wanting to be acknowledged by you – only you. Nobody has the power to see you the way you see yourself, so do not let this incredible authority go unravished. I can promise you a truly rewarding experience when you actually exercise this simple and readily available opportunity to unleash your true self. 

Lift yourself out of the crowd’s blindfolded opinions of you and others. For once at the least give yourself a reasonable opportunity to know yourself better. Wherever the secret that are buried in your heart, spill it out on the paper like landmarks to a treasure. Do not be scared to start, remember you are your own true companion for life; others are simply a reflection of your inner world. If you shake off who you truly are, you will never be happy and satisfied even after having it all.

Love letters have always been a magical and heartfelt experience shared by lovers. Be your own lover and write a love letter to yourself. Acknowledge your true essence. With a mixture of humor, scathing honesty and tenderness and the simplicity of bursting-at-the-seams dreams that cradles so many desires and passions, surprise yourself with the authenticity required to live your true self. You will eventually see the underlying courage to be executed to attain limitless freedom of expression and authority.

You can know the characters that you are interested in, the moments you want to explore, places you want to go, things you want to learn, people you want to meet, themes you want to deal with, music you want to make, songs you want to sing, dances you want to dance, basically you will greet yourself at your own door. You will love yourself once again.

Give your heart back to itself. Peel your own mask. Feel long across those words, make sure they are real. A true love letter will ignite a process of transformation within you. It will drive you to live an authentic life where you enjoy feeling liberated and happy being yourself.

Love letters are a lost art in today’s time of instant messaging and emails, yet there is a special power when you write on paper in your own handwriting. It not only clears the clutter of the mind but builds a special understanding of things as well. You do not need to be formally inventive or intellectually expansive when writing to yourself. The mere simplicity is rewarding and exhilarating. Moreover, when we write things down, we increase the chances of achieving them. You can re-read them numerous no. of times and it will act as a reminder to make decisions based on self-love and not manipulation of your true self.

Remember, you do not need to be hard on yourself in the process, gift yourself forgiveness of always keeping others desires and needs before your own, gift yourself forgiveness for the time wasted, gift yourself the time to make the transformation- it will not happen overnight, gift yourself the grace of making mistakes in the process, gift yourself the wings to fly again- this time higher than before, gift yourself the honor of individuality, gift yourself the freedom of coming out of your cocoon.

You will soon discover your self-worth and what you are truly deserving of. You will realize what makes you unique. You will set healthy boundaries while dealing with others. You will start to nourish yourself better. You will start taking care of yourself. And slowly and steadily your new vibe will attract only the best of things, people and circumstances to you. So empower yourself by walking through the doors you once prayed would open.

Happy International Women’s Day

Domestic violence can take many forms, including physical aggression or assault (hitting, kicking, biting, shoving, restraining, slapping, throwing objects, beating up, etc.), or threats thereof; sexual abuse; controlling or domineering; intimidation; stalking; passive/covert abuse (e.g., neglect); and economic abuse. 

The dictionary describes domestic violence as violence committed in a domestic setting, such as in marriage or cohabitation. In this article, we’ll be looking at domestic violence in marriage. There are different types of abuse that could arise leading to domestic violence in marriage.

Types of Abuse:

  • Control.
  • Physical Abuse.
  • Sexual Abuse.
  • Emotional Abuse & Intimidation.
  • Isolation.
  • Verbal Abuse: Coercion, Threats, & Blame.
  • Using Male Privilege.
  • Economic Abuse.

One major or popular cause of family violence includes deeply held beliefs about masculinity. Perpetrators tend to blame other people, alcohol or circumstances for their violent outbursts. Perpetrators often minimize, blame others, justify or deny their use of violence or the impact of their violence.

Below is an illustration to describe domestic violence via a real-life narrative.  Angela (names have been changed) in her early thirties narrates a story of her experience, which demonstrates the different types of abuse I have listed above.

“My husband became a complete stranger when I became pregnant for our first child. His attitude towards me became very condescending. He became distant, uncaring and insensitive to my condition. He refused to register me for antenatal care as he claimed it was too expensive suggested I should give birth at home as women far younger than me did.  Out of desperation, I resorted to taking herbs which I gathered from friends as my parents were very far off from me. The herbs as prepared by a local midwife sustained me until I got to my ninth month, when I resolved to return home as my husband’s absence and neglect had gotten to me at this point.

My mother knew nothing of my situation and received me without complaints. She nurtured and cared for me the best way she could and even got me to a hospital. Unfortunately, I was rejected at the hospital for being late but then after some persuasion from my mum and other patients, I was allowed to register at a very high price. To cut the long story short, the baby didn’t survive. I was under too much pressure which affected the baby and it couldn’t survive it. My husband did not only fail to visit me but also hesitated with the excuse that he had no money. I was so ashamed especially when people started asking questions. All I could do was cover up for him to avoid raising suspicion.”  

This story demonstrates a different phase of domestic violence. It doesn’t say that there’s any form of hitting, beating or physical violence. The woman in the story suffered emotional or psychological violence. Her husband caused her emotional abuse using control, intimidation, isolation, and possibly verbal abuse considering that he was always drunk and keeps late nights. 

Domestic violence does not have to be physical abuse only because some men feel that because they do not hit women, every other form of abuse doesn’t count. In fact the worst form of abuse is the one that affects one’s psych (the mind). It’s more dangerous and can lead to depression and eventually suicide if not properly managed. 

The effects that the domestic violence had in the health of the fetus in the story was that the baby had a delay in prenatal care, and the risk for low birth weight had gone up. 

There are recommendable solutions to any form of domestic violence. Reporting to the authorities is one way but the reporting could be risky (depending on the kind of domestic violence in question). It could even distort a victim who already had safety plans established. This could cause the victim to make drastic decisions that could increase the possibility of danger. But one positive thing about mandatory reporting laws is that they can increase the detection and documentation of the abuse done to the victim. It can also help the investigation of the perpetrator. It can improve the data evidence on domestic violence as well. Also, knowing about the domestic abuse a patient is going through can help his/her doctor find better ways to assist the patient. Mandatory reporting can hold the perpetrator responsible for the injuries of the victim. Another effective way is to refer the victims to help within the community; a church or a community leader, an elder or even a friend. These people should be sworn to secrecy; they should be able to keep their victim’s information private monitoring and carrying out private investigations until justice has been served. 

The whole idea of creating domestic violence awareness is to reduce the risks in the nearest future while also correcting the ills already existing. It is also intended to give hope to those affected; it is intended to help victims find solutions and most importantly to avoid future occurrences. 

  Vivy K.

(Story from a radio program, Anambra state 2018)

In our previous article on the love bite segment, we shared an article on office romance which we promised to conclude. This week we have found eight important recipes for keeping a healthy office romance.

Kindly read below eight Golden Rules to Keeping a Healthy and Perfect Office Romance drawn from Good&Co’s.

Expect Attention -If you loathe the limelight, or tend to worry a lot about what people think, it may be best to keep romance for your private life. Word will get around, and people will talk, no matter how discreet you are. Good&Co’s research suggests that this aspect of office romance might be especially challenging for women, who tend to be more self-effacing and private than men. Similarly, older employees may be more discomforted by gossip than younger ones – workers of the ‘Baby Boomer’ generation tend to be more reserved and self-possessed than their millennial colleagues.

Maintain a Balance – Workplace romance has the potential to improve job satisfaction, but it can have the opposite effect on productivity if people become distracted by the mingling of their personal and professional lives. Millennials  who according to Good&Co’s research tend as a group to be a little more easily distracted and spontaneous than their older colleagues, may find it especially difficult to keep their attention on their work when love is in the air. Men in general may also find this challenging, as they tend to be less conscientious overall than women and may have more difficulty balancing their personal and professional responsibilities.

Have Complementary Goals- Couples can make highly effective workplace teams, if they keep their eyes on the prize – but not if they’re competing for the same prize. Not everyone likes the idea of being one of a ‘power couple’, but at the very least you should ensure that you both have equal opportunities to pursue your career path, and that you aren’t stepping on each other’s toes to do it. Men, who tend to be more aggressively competitive than women, may find it especially challenging to balance their own ambitions with supporting the goals of their partner. Talking openly about your respective career plans, and what to do if they should conflict with one another, is a better strategy than wrestling secretly with your conscience. If the relationship leads to long-term cohabitation and/or marriage, however, scheming against each other is entirely to be expected, and perfectly normal

Respect Office Policy – An office relationship may not be killed by one or both parties losing their jobs, but it certainly will no longer qualify as a workplace relationship. Knowing your organization’s policy, and being transparent and clear about your relationship, may seem unromantic, but it could save a lot of problems in future. Older employees, who tend to be more straight-talking, less tolerant of ambiguity, and more respectful of the rules than their younger colleagues, are likely to find it easier to tow this particular line.

Respect Your Coworkers –Especially important if you’re involved with the boss(!), as we have seen, not everyone is comfortable about couples in the workplace. New couples in the ‘honeymoon period’ often have the habit of forgetting that the world around them exists! As well as keeping up with your responsibilities, ensure that your colleagues have no reason to resent your relationship. Be aware of their feelings, be discreet but not secretive, and remember that not everyone is comfortable around public displays of affection! Women, who tend to be more open to others’ perspectives, and less domineering than men, may find this it easier than men to keep their non-romantic workplace relationships stable.

Respect Each Other (especially if it goes wrong). Friendships often blossom into relationships; when relationships wither, however, the odds of the reverse happening are not good. A bad breakup can be soul-destroying; suffering through one at work, with all your dirty laundry on full display, could be career-destroying. Being open and honest with each other, keeping things amicable, and keeping as much of your private life out of the workplace as possible can all help to reduce the fallout if the worst happens. The same holds true for more minor fights and disagreements – don’t turn your personal spat into an all-out office war! Keep your laundry in the basket; don’t run down your tainted lover to colleagues or ask them to take sides at work.

Don’t Abuse Your Power –(or allow your partner to abuse theirs). As we have seen, one of the clearest themes to emerge from research into office romances is how risky it can be to date the boss. This doesn’t mean that true love can’t blossom between people at different levels of an organization – as the poem says, love is love, in beggars and in kings. If you do find yourself contemplating a relationship with a large power difference, it might not be possible to avoid the ramifications, but you can at least be aware of them, and discuss them transparently with your partner. Consider whether they are practical solutions which would suit you both, such as one of you transferring to another team or department – the less closely your jobs are connected, the less likely it is that your relationship will incur risks for the junior partner (so to speak).

While fairness and mutual respect are important in any relationship, they are absolutely crucial in this situation. The less senior person has the same right to pursue their ambitions and succeed in their career as the more senior; if the relationship is putting their job at risk, it could easily lead to frustration and resentment. If you are in the more senior role, ensure that you are sensitive to, and appreciate, that your partner is paying a price for being in a relationship with you – not only in terms of their career progression, but in the reactions of their coworkers. Dating the boss can be lonely. If you are in the more junior role, be prepared to deal with the attitudes of peers and superiors alike. Be open with your partner about these challenges, and how you feel about them; communication is key.

So, there you have it – Good&Co’s golden rules for successful office romance! Boiled down, they’re really the same as in any relationship – be respectful, be honest, be fair, and maintain a good work/life balance. With this in mind, the pros of office relationships can outweigh the potential negative consequences.

And there’s one more advantage to office romance: even when it falls on a weekday, like this year – you always get to be with your honey on Valentine’s Day.

By Good&Co’s

What comes to mind when we think about office romance? According to a 2018 survey by Harvard Business Review, the issues involved are likely to be familiar ones for many of us. 40% of respondents said that they had dated a coworker; 30% said they had enjoyed a one-night stand with someone from the office, and almost half of all office romances lead to marriage. Meanwhile The 2018 Vault Office Romance Survey found that only 4% of people found the idea of being involved with a colleague entirely unacceptable, but many voiced a note of caution: almost half of respondents were concerned about the ‘power issue’ of a relationship between employees at different levels.  A third believed that it would be problematic for colleagues working together on the same projects to be in a relationship.

Given the many potential professional and personal implications, are office romances delightful or devilish? Is a hurried romp in the water closet less impactful to productivity than flowers in the boardroom? And is there a recipe for the perfect romantic relationship between colleagues? 

There are surprisingly few formal studies on office romance. A peer-reviewed paper published in Management Research (Pierce and Aguinis, 2003), enticingly titled “Romantic Relationships in Organizations: A Test of a Model of Formation and Impact Factors”, reported that office romances are potentially good for business: participation in a romantic relationship with a colleague was significantly associated with job satisfaction and commitment to the organization. More recently, in a 2015 paper in the Journal of Managerial Psychology, Doll and colleagues reported that the likelihood of being open to office romance is predicted by an interaction between the organization’s relationship policy, and the level of conscientiousness of the individual concerned. In other words, for some people office romances are about screwing the rules, while for others they are about the rules of…well, you get the idea.

On a more serious note, some office romances, with or without the blessing of the establishment, have the potential to wreak havoc on lives and careers. Some parties are more vulnerable than others – in a 2016 paper in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, Chan-Serafin and colleagues reported that ‘hierarchical workplace romances’ (i.e. sleeping with the boss) can be highly detrimental to junior employees. Contrary to the common trope of people using romance as a way to climb the career ladder, these studies showed that junior participants in power-imbalanced office relationships were less likely to be selected for training opportunities and promotions. Interestingly – and perhaps also at odds with expectation – they also found that negative career ramifications were more severe for men in relationships with female superiors, than women involved with male superiors.

Becoming involved with the boss is not only a career risk – it can affect your working relationships with other colleagues. A series of studies by Sean Horan and Rebecca Chory, reported in Psychology Today, explored how people would feel about their coworker dating a superior. Employees indicated that they would trust them less, felt they had less credibility, and would even be more inclined to lie to them. These feelings were stronger if the coworker was female. The same results were found for hetero and gay relationships.

If the implications are so potentially treacherous, why do so many people still become involved in office romances? A large part of the answer lies in practicalities: with people spending more and more of their time in the workplace, where else would they meet potential partners? Workplace relationships also have the immediate advantages of common experiences, shared goals, and mutual friends – in a sense, they come ready made, with none of the usual groundwork involved in dating. Plus, as Pierce and Aguinis discovered, office romances are associated with satisfaction and commitment of more than one kind.

Clearly there are pros and cons associated with being romantically involved with a coworker – the negatives being potentially much more severe if there is a power disparity. For peers dating peers, the picture looks rosier: colleagues do not show the same levels of mistrust, there are less negative career implications, and, if the relationship is solid, there are advantages in enhanced teamwork and productivity. Nonetheless, anyone engaging in even the happiest of office romances must be prepared for gossip, distraction, and the potential drama should the loving couple break up.

However are there recipes to keep a healthy and perfect office romance? Find out next week as we draw insight from Good&Co’s Seven Rules for Surviving Office Romance. To be continued…..

Source: GOOD&CO

By: Eloke-Young Splendor

Dating Lauren for about a year now has been an uphill task.

He never seems to take his eyes off his laptop, his hands are always glued to his pen, his phone, an annoying third wheel, and his coffee his other best friend.

I thought I could deal with this before now, until I realized I was dating his job and not him.

Dealing with a workaholic partner has threatened many otherwise great relationships.

Dating a very busy man can be so frustrating and tiresome and can even make you question your worth, while creating a dangerous gap in your relationship.  While others have allowed the situation cause avoidable rancor in their love life, others have found innovative ways to help their partner balance their work schedule as well as explore every opportunity to add fun to their relationship.

Have you ever considered that your boyfriend does not know his attitude towards work could be causing great harm to your relationship? He possibly feels he is doing all he can to secure a happy future for you two. Considering this, helps you not to approach the issue with a nagging attitude. On the other hand, this situation gives you an opportunity to think outside the box as you initiate better ways to spend time with your lover.

Therefore, you must decide to make it work. A popular saying goes that perspective defines our response to situations. If you attach a positive view to the very busy nature of your partner’s job, your reaction to his workaholic attitude will be a positive one.  This could be the time to support what he loves. Every great man adores a spouse who supports what they love and vice versa. Your decision to make it work will help you adopt romantic getaways that suit into the very busy schedule of your partner.

Additionally, you could also help him set up a work schedule. Assisting your partner with setting up a work schedule will show him that you value and understand the priority he places on his job. In doing this however, you need to make a sure point of taking your own work schedule into consideration and leaving ample me time for meditation and personal activities.

In order to achieve this, you can ask your partner or his secretary at work for his schedule and try to compare it with yours. After comparing the two, you can work out a flexible schedule; especially one that does not also affect your progress too. Based on agreement, both of you can decide when to spend time with each other without the fear of hampering any of your work commitments. Trust me, your partner would be more relax at his job when he is assured that your desire for time and attention is not at the detriment of his career.

Another smart way to help improve your relationship with your work addicted boyfriend is by giving him a good distraction. A good distraction involves making an unscheduled work visit to his office. Everybody including a workaholic welcomes a bit of love and care when they have been stressed up with so much work. Giving him little quick visits with lunch packs will be a good distraction, it will also give him the support, care, and good feel after your departure.

As much as you make so much effort to support your workaholic boyfriend, you must also learn to listen.  The fact that your spouse’s job consumes his attention, time and energy does not mean that it also fulfills all his needs. He might not have the time to tell you about some of his emotional and material needs or even discuss with you how things are going on in his life, but listening to his needs will give you a better understanding of his schedule. It may even give you an avenue to become more supportive in helping him fulfil his career goals.

While your man may always be busy and have needs, be sure to address your needs in the relationship as well. Not every woman can deal with dating a busy man or has the commitment to change things in a relationship. It takes a lot of time to adjusting from being the needy lady and getting used to supporting a workaholic boyfriend but it is doable.

Getting busier yourself is a great distraction. The busier you are, the less likely you are to sit and whine about a workaholic boyfriend. You might just have him be the one trying to fit into your new busy schedule.

It was another Valentine day, and Sandra stood at the city mall, staring at a couple who came shopping. She wished she could be in the lady’s shoe but this will be very unlikely, and the thought left her sad, immediately.

She had met Clarke some months ago, and had thought that their relationship would have matured into romance. However, six months down the line, they had only become better friends and Clarke was yet to make any move about moving the relationship to the next level.

“I’m tired”, “I can’t wait any longer” she murmured to herself. This has been Sandra’s continuous trauma two months after she met Clarke. She wanted more and she was dying to have it.

Sandra is not the only one with such trouble; her situation is common with most ladies. Whenever they meet a nice guy whose manifesto befits their requirement (I.e. they are attracted to the person), first thing that comes to mind is romance and commitment.

Have you ever considered having a beautiful relationship with an opposite sex without expecting things to turn romantic or physical right away?

Is it compulsory to date every guy that comes your way as long as they are tall, dark, handsome, rich, or eloquent? Is dating the only way to know a guy intimately and enjoy good companionship?

The answers to these questions are up to you.

Meanwhile, there is nothing wrong with being friends for a long time without any motive of dating.

As impossible as this might sound to the hearing of some ladies, it could be the best solution or answer to all the failed relationships they have experienced in their life time.

You shouldn’t go out with any “good or great guy”, there is more to benefit from every relationship which might not be achieved when romance sets in.

Genuine Friendships helps you to make strong and wise decisions while considering taking the relationship to the next level.

Dr. Grace Cornish, a New York social psychologist, advises that romances that begin as friendships are more likely to succeed.

This could be true because after months or years of nurturing a genuine friendship you can solely take a stand on whether you wish to begin a romance relationship with such person or not without being scared about the result of your decision.

Many psychologists are of the opinion that marrying your friend or best friend is a guarantee to a lasting marriage because as friends, there is no pretense and everyone is open to each other. There is really no need to pretend to someone you are not attracted to, after all what would it cost you if your best friend finds out that you snore while sleeping.

In friendship, respect is cultivated, and both parties are kind to each other. Friends are always very keen on looking out for the best interests of their friends. Friendship-first creates space for mutual support and growth.

If these qualities are transferred into any marriage, you can trust that marriage to last for a lifetime.

You might want to ask “what if the friendship doesn’t lead to romance?”

It’s doesn’t always have to. Sad truth?

Situations where friendship-first do not lead to romance could be as a result of one person not finding the other attractive as a romantic partner but cool as a friend.  If that is the situation, there is really no need to worry because two people can be very cool as friends but may have so many troubles keeping a love affair. You should be more interested in what you stand to gain or become as a party to the relationship in terms of knowledge and growth.

You should also be interested in what you have to give or offer, remember friendship is not supposed to be a burden. It should not even amount to worries or headaches. Therefore knowing what you want and what you can handle is very vital.

In conclusion, it is always okay to be friends-first, all it takes is to be open-minded and real.

Friendship-first centers around making an impact on the lives of those amazing people we meet, with the impression of getting to know them better as we look forward to learning their stories and their preferences, while we lay aside our sexual or romantic expectations.


Miracle Nwankwo