It is important to remember that as a woman, you should pick the relationship that suits you and be very clear about what you want with your partner. Ultimately, it is your business how you conduct your personal affairs and that should always be the top of your mind when it comes to how you view yourself and your life. A relationship, I believe, is a way in which two or more people talk to, behave towards and deal with each other. In a relationship, the feeling should be mutual, there should be mutual respect and it should be beneficial. The Ghanaian societal beliefs and culture puts women in a very tight corner when it comes to romantic relationships. Women are not able to express themselves and their feelings clearly in relationships. We put certain ideas in our heads, which does not help us.
It is mostly clear that women only look for love in a relationship, not sex. Anyone who has been in relationships throughout their lives know that every relationship is different; sometimes you want the sex, the relationship and all the responsibilities that comes with it, sometimes it’s just the relationship and the comfort that it brings while other times, its all about the physical. Therefore, most women who only look for love in a relationship are bound to be hurt and heartbroken because it may not be what their partners are looking for. Love does not usually define a relationship since the love will one day fade away. The thing is, even when women just want a relationship to be about the physical, they risk their reputation being ruined and various labels like ‘slut’ being tagged to them, which should not be so. We make our cultural beliefs eat us up so deep that we are not as happy as we ought to be.
Even when it comes to sex, it is believed that a woman has to use sex to keep her partner, which is very wrong. People have sex for different reasons, some for love and others for respect but women should not have sex because they feel indebted to the man or because they want to keep a man. The belief that women have to use sex to keep their men, I think, stems from how sex is positioned, as something women give and men get, rather than a sharing between the two which is a healthier way to view it. These beliefs make men use various methods of pressure and coercion to get women to have sex with them. This whole idea of sex being the only way to keep a relationship secure is a particularly powerful method, more because it often does not work. The strength of a relationship is not based on whether there is sex or not. Many women all over the world give in to the pressure and their relationships end up dissolving, anyway. Sex, however great it may be, is not always enough to keep a relationship going.
The belief that women are naturally faithful than men also make women endure things they are not supposed to endure in a relationship. We put it into our heads so much that men are naturally polygamous and so even when we catch them red-handed cheating on us, we forgive them and endure but have we ever sat to think a man will ever forgive his cheating partner? Hell no.. We give the men so many opportunities to ride on us just because of social pressure. It is funny how the society ensures that women stray less but then, accepts and applauds a cheating man. Women who have affairs out of their relationship or marriages face harsher treatment. They could be ostracized, beaten or even killed yet the men walk scot-free. The reality is that anyone can potentially have an affair; it has very little to do with gender and far more do with circumstances, the state of relationship and how someone feels about themselves and their partners.
We women always want men to take control of the relationship, by so doing, we give them the right to boss us around and yet we give them so much space to flirt with whomever they want to. We must note that everything in a relationship should be mutual, from respect to benefits. We should have sex because we want to and enjoy it. We should give men as much space as they give to us. We should never tolerate a cheating man with the belief that he will change after marriage because a cheat will always be a cheat. Women should not complicate their lives with the wrong partners; we should make all our needs and concerns clear to our men. Communication is the only tool used to build a relationship. Our worth should be seen and felt and more importantly, never stay in an unhappy relationship. If you are not as happy as you want to be or ought to be, JUST LET GO.
BY: Minawaratu M. Musah (L300)