a small short story about how Grey’s Anatomy elucidated relationships.

Five minutes of an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. That is all it took for me to understand and accept the depth of relationships. Not just relationships that one has with their partner(s) but with their friends, siblings, anyone they associate themselves with on that level.

I am an avid fan and lover of the series Grey’s Anatomy and I can always relate with an episode of it very easily. It is almost if I have an intimate connection with it, somehow. Yet, never did I imagine that Shonda Rhimes’ acclaimed medical drama would make a part of my life make sense to me.

“Just as organ systems are co-dependent for survival, so are human beings. Studies have shown that our happiness and health depend upon our relationships not just functioning but thriving … Sometimes the best we can do for one another is bear each others burdens, ease each others pain, and hold each others hands in the dark,” – Meredith Grey (played by Ellen Pompeo) was the narrator of this scene. Grey’s Anatomy S16 E1

I probably played that scene for about five times – replaying it, pausing it, replaying it again and again because something in me was identifying with those words so very deeply. And then it hit me, almost like an epiphany. The part of me that cared so very much about my relationship with my loved ones and those close to me was having an ‘AHA!’ moment.

Why is it that we feel heartbroken when a friendship ends or when one is going through a rough patch with someone they love? It is because that is not human nature – it does not bring out happiness and neither does it produce good feelings. We, as human beings are drawn to feelings of security and certainty that if there is any detection of uncertainty or disruption, feelings of worry come about. That was the first truth that I came to learn in those five minutes. The second truth was that, and this will be a hard one to swallow for some people, WE ARE ALL CODEPENDENT FOR SURVIVAL AND HAPPINESS. A human being is not an island, we cannot exist without one another, we cannot live without human interaction. Truth is, we all have people, even if it is one person, that we cannot imagine life without and we are dependent on them for feelings of security, love and so on (whether we are conscious of this or not).

Our lives are a series of moments like the one I had. Appearing unannounced and incrementally or instantly giving you the right perspective of something you were not aware that you needed.

Week Two of Consistent Gratitude – Meaningful Friendships.

It’s week two of my consistent gratitude journey and this week I send out gratitude for meaningful friendships.

I remember praying for a friend or friends that would love and appreciate me as much as I would them, because well, we all need friends that will share the same sentiments as us. I have that friend and most days spent with them is very meaningful and intentional.

On Thursday, the 26th he took me out on a date – a very simple and calm lunch date at an outdoor coffee shop. As people, we are constantly trying to make sense of our lives, our emotions, and our thoughts that we end up unconsciously carrying so much heaviness in our hearts. I had not realised that this was me until the lunch date. When we were leaving, I was feeling very light and good – and so was he.

We all need friends that will remind us of what friendship means and how meaningful friendships should be. I think that as people we do not realise that friendships should be treated like any other intimate relationship, when one is in an intimate relationship, they put in the work to make it work and I constantly find myself asking  myself why we do not do the same for friendships, I mean they are just as important – if not more.

As I was thinking about this friendship and what I used to pray for and long for, it dawned on me that we are the ones we have been waiting for. So this week I am really grateful for friends like these –  the love we both share and the times we share together which also remind us that we are more than enough and we are doing just fine in this life.    

this is a picture we took on our lunch date.

Relationships in the 21st century.

Men are trash, women just milk your pocket, being in a relationship is so exhausting – that is what you will hear from people in our generation. The woes of being in a relationship in the 21st century are so exhausting that countless new terms and lingo have been created because of it. There’s the classic ‘ghosting’ which I am sure we are all familiar with, then there’s the ‘I like you enough to hook up with you occasionally but not enough to actually be in a relationship with you and commit to you. This is just the tip of the iceberg that is romance these days – people partaking in unhealthy habits.

Now I am not here to give you tips on dating or tips on how to stay in a relationship neither am I going to give you tips on how to get your crush to like you. No. What I want to talk about today is dating in the 21st century for unconventional people like the amazing friend of mine (Nomxolisi), that I have featured in this post. What I want to share is that love is possible, relationships are not hard and being in a relationship is not exhausting. Nomxolisi and I have shared our experiences in/with dating and we are both currently in good and healthy relationships. So here is how we unconventional black women have gone against the odds and pursued relationships in a time where we are all weary of commitments/romantic relationships.

CHECK YOUR DM’s.

“Oh he’s in my DM’s but I am not interested” yes, we ladies love saying this but really you never know what may come out of that one Direct Message. Never did I think that the person I would genuinely and effortlessly fall in love with would be someone that slid in my DM’s. So I had put up that ‘ASK ME A QUESTION’ tag on my Instagram story and he DM’d me and asked me if he could take me out on a lunch date. I agreed solely because I was single and did not mind getting free food from a stranger and making small talk. Turns out that the conversation was more fulfilling and refreshing than the food AND my chapter on being single had been closed. Every time I think of our relationship and where we are at right now, it all seems so absurd that a simple direct message was the catalyst of it.

THE PERSON IN YOUR HEAD THAT EVERYONE TELLS YOU DOES NOT EXIST, ACTUALLY DOES EXIST.

Okay let us get a few things straightened out – there is no such thing as ‘thee perfect relationship’ but the person you dream about and think you will one day settle with (that the world has told you to forget about) actually does exist. They obviously won’t tick every single box but they will tick most of them – the important ones. This is what my friend Nomxolisi had to say about her relationship:

“I met a man inside the lift in my building, I had just come home from work, he was in his work clothes as well, looking extremely cute. Lift doors close, lift went up and he greeted me. Straight after greeting me he then shouted at me for not greeting as soon as I walked in, I was shocked and confused and I’m busy thinking “who does he think he is” but I still thought he was cute and because of that, I wasn’t too mad at him.

Next day I see him again and I greet him because I didn’t feel like being shouted at again. He greets back and then a day goes by. We meet again, for the third time now and exchange numbers and we’ve been talking from that day till now.”

When you and your man/woman have a genuine connection, speaking on a regular happens effortlessly because everything is flowing. You know when you have to pinch yourself every time you think of your man/woman and the type of relationship you guys have – that is a sign that you have dreamed about this and it is actually happening. That is exactly what happens to me when I think of my man and the relationship we have – I am not a conventional person. I like the classic type of love, where I handwrite letters and they mean something to my man, where he cooks for me, and our love is pure and true.

RELATIONSHIPS ARE EASY AND ARE A BREEZE.

When I asked Nomxolisi if she is finding dating and being in a relationships to be hard, this was her response, “STAY AWAY from people who show you that they don’t care from the beginning. I think relationships are meant to make life easier. From advice, to coming up with solutions, to making me laugh, to being thoughtful, to helping if they can.” We are not experts but all we know is that it should be a breeze, if it isn’t then LEAVE. Your 20’s are already so tough, now imagine adding on relationship stress onto your life, it really isn’t worth it.”

This is what I had always thought myself. When you are with someone who genuinely wants to be with you and is committed to you, that relationship becomes a walk in the park. Doubting yourself and your partner is a sign that you should step back and evaluate everything. Now we are not saying that it will be easy but it should not be hard to teach your partner how to love you or show them where they are missing the mark. I think one of the things that hinder us from experiencing good relationships is that we do not want to put in the work. CONSISTENCY IS KEY. Be consistent with your partner, never get too comfortable because the moment you stop trying to make your partner happy that’s the moment things start to deteriorate. My boyfriend still sends me a voice note every morning on WhatsApp reassuring me of his feelings and it is mostly because I am an unconventional person stuck in a conventional world where people wake up and decide to ghost you for no reason – so I need the reassurance.

LOVE DOES EXIST IN THESE VERY CONVENTIONAL TIMES.

Nomxolisi is an advocate for the ‘men are trash’ movement and another thing we have in common is that we both believe in dating for a purpose.

My boyfriend met me during a time of my life where I did not believe in love neither did I want anything to do with men and dating. But from the way he spoke to me, the way everything was flowing during the lunch date, he has had my heart and continues to make me feel like magic and unicorns galloping across Saturn. In basic terms, the way a man treats you is everything you need to know whether he is serious about you or not – from the way he texts you, to if he does what he says he will do. It is simple, if a man wants you, he will make sure to get and keep you, same applies with women.

Nomxolisi and I are not saying that we are in perfect relationships neither are we certain that things will last for as long as we hope but what we are saying is it is possible to be in a good, healthy, relationship and be so happy you feel like you are on cloud nine. 

“I am still in my “Men are trash” state and want nothing to do with men but the way he treated / treats me just didn’t allow me to push him a way. Never in my life did I ever thing I’d experience something like that and he does it so effortlessly, he’s also very romantic and affectionate which is something I’m not used to because I’m slowly getting the hang of it and it has become so easy to follow his lead. His actions speak way louder than his words and that is definitely the reason I choose him every single day” – Nomxolisi.

Don’t let your guard down, have one foot outside the door, don’t give in too much – it never ends but honestly speaking you cannot know love and experience love without being vulnerable. If there is anything I fell in love with when it comes to my boyfriend is that he is not afraid of being vulnerable – carry each other’s burdens, walk besides and behind your man/woman.

END NOTES.

When you are in a relationship, you are choosing to be with another human being – who is complex and is also trying to figure out life as they go – so consistency and honesty is key. Be vulnerable. Love exists for us unconventional people living in the ever-changing conventional times. In Nomxolisi’s words, ‘relationships are meant to make life easier. From advice, to coming up with solutions, to making you laugh, to being thoughtful, to offering assistance if you can.’ We are not experts but all we know is that it should be a breeze, if it isn’t then LEAVE. Your 20’s are already so tough, now imagine adding on relationship stress onto your life, it really isn’t worth it. Love is beautiful and life is more magical when you are in love but never settle for someone that disturbs your peace.

Are you in a romantic relationship?

Are you happy?

What are your thoughts on relationships in the 21st century?