Dear Vivian,

You look in a mirror and see a soul in a body searching for the meaning of love. A gaping hole waiting patiently to be filled. Biblically, you are taught to love the Lord your God and love your neighbours. Why then do you feel like you don’t know what love is? I guess It varies in different circumstances and people; One minute you feel on top of the world in his arms. Another minute you refrain from speaking to him or at least you try.

Are they correct in saying a woman’s thoughts are complex? You dive in head-first at the possibility of love. Remember Tom who hit you? He never said he loved you and you never did either because you thought you had your walls up. However, he spent money on you, took you shopping, bought you designer clothes. You falsely interpreted that as love and stayed with him. You claimed that love is not just a feeling but commitment and sacrifice. Your eyes were red and swollen, lips and arms bruised, and he said it was a mistake.

A MISTAKE? How could he not show up or visit you in the hospital? How could he not call to check up on you? I stayed and cried with you. I wept with so much joy when you chose to leave. You decided to commit to your well-being, peace, and security, of which I am proud. Months passed, and you met Gerald the dashing personage. I do admit he brought back the smile I love seeing on you. You spoke to me of him nonstop and you seemed happy with your new-found family. The meaning of love became a quest when you finally admitted your feelings for him. You probed him with questions to discern what he truly felt for you. Upon confirmation of his feelings, you declared your love for him wholeheartedly because you felt safe that those feelings would be returned.

You missed him when he was not around and worse when he did not not express himself to you. Are you both playing a game of hide and seek? Where one person withdraws with hopes that the other chases and vice versa. You felt a distance between you two and asked me for advice on what to do. Maybe you expect me to encourage you to ‘play hard to get’ but that does not change anything. A woman cannot change a man because she loves him, a man changes himself because he loves her. Perhaps I should say ‘don’t let go of him, stay woke’ but then you might seem clingy and desperate to him.

All I can say is understand what your heart wants and follow it. Things might seem vague and unclear right now but ask yourself these things: what do you want? Does he make you happy or upset most of the time? Do you feel as though you sacrifice more than you should for the relationship? Do you actually love him or just the person you want him to be? Does he add value to your life? Follow what your heart tells you because the worst thing is to live a life with regrets.

Have a quiet moment to do some soul-searching, it might take you hours, days, or weeks, heck it might take months. Stay away from him if he distracts your thoughts much, lol. Love yourself more in the process: write down weekly goals, do some mani-pedi, take cooking classes (you love watching food network, might as well go learn new recipes). Basically, make your interests a priority for once and learn to love yourself because that is when you can understand what love is.

Remember, pain is only a phase that will pass. Don’t change who you are for anyone because the right people will love the real you. Walk proud as you are.

With love,