Why can’t married men have female friends? (and vice versa)

So there’s a video that trended on social media recently where a woman basically says her husband isn’t allowed to have female friends. The video has gotten millions of views and it’s scary that so many people think this way. 

Now I understand not having female besties because things can get complicated, besides your wife should be your best friend. However, I really don’t get why married people can’t have friends of the opposite sex. 

I remember when I sent a message to a married friend of mine just to say hi. The message was not inappropriate or suggestive in any way. Yet the reply I got back was like an attack and I knew it wasn’t him I was speaking to. He responded later in his usual tone and didn’t even mention the previous message. So I knew it was his wife who attacked me.

female friends
Photo: RHOA via Giphy

I know this is a widespread belief because when I read some Christian books about marriage, they tell women to pray for their husband’s friends as if he’s only allowed to have male friends. I believe differently. With the proper boundaries in place, married men and women should be able to have platonic friendships with members of the opposite sex.

READ MORE: My parents have been married for 37 years, here’s the only lesson you need to learn from them

If I was able to have male friends before I got married and I didn’t sleep with all of them, why can’t we remain friends after marriage? I have healthy male and female friendships and I like the variety of perspectives they give me. I recently discussed ghosting with my male friends and they made me see it from a completely different light. It gave me new information to work with. 

I don’t want to be the only female friend my husband has. I want him to have amazing women in his life who can speak wisdom to him. I believe he can do that and still be faithful to me. This is my sincere opinion. So what do you think? Women, are you allowing your husband to have female friends? Men are you allowing your wife to have male friends?

How to deal with the pressure to get married

The pressure to get married is real. I’m at the stage in my life where I’ve become a prayer point for my family. Like my mother’s pastor says, I’m ripe, like a mango. It’s especially hard when you’re a Nigerian woman because people really act like you have nothing of value to add when you’re single. You can’t even rent a house in peace without being labeled a prostitute. 

the pressure to get married
Photo: RHOA via Giphy

Apart from the external pressure, there’s also the pressure from within. Your mind plays tricks on you and tries to convince you that something is wrong with you. Everyone else seems to be married with kids and you’re still swiping right on Tinder. Like even Shrek and Fiona found each other so why is it so hard for you?

READ MORE: My life would be so much easier if I could just like the people who like me

Like I said, I understand completely. But what are we supposed to do, fall down and die? I know it sounds unbelievable, but it’s possible to enjoy life as a single person. You might not have everything you want but you can’t spend your days being miserable. I am determined to enjoy my life no matter what, so here are my tips for dealing with the pressure to get married:

Gain financial independence

Repeat after me, money stops nonsense. People are less likely to harass you if you have your own money. You’ll also be able to care for yourself and avoid rushing into marriage just because you want someone else to pay the bills. I’m not saying money will solve all your problems but it will make most people think twice before they harass you. Besides, if you’re financially independent, you can pay for your own space and avoid the people who are stressing you. Like I said, money stops nonsense.

the pressure to get married
Photo: Giphy

Build healthy platonic relationships

We all need a community of people who love us. I know you want someone to do couple goals with, but if you surround yourself with platonic love, your single season will be easier to handle. I have male and female friends that I can be honest and vulnerable with. If I’m feeling lonely, I can sleep over at their house, eat chocolate chip cookies, drink wine and watch rom coms. Sow seeds of love around you so you always have someone to lean on, bae or no. 

Love yourself intentionally

I know everybody screams about self-love but what’s more important is to love yourself intentionally. Pay attention to your love languages and your desires and find a way to meet your own emotional needs. I realized that I always fall for men who look at me with admiration and say sweet things to me. So I now admire myself in the mirror regularly and speak loving affirmations. 

the pressure to get married
Photo: HTGAWM via Giphy

Build strong boundaries

You can control yourself, but you can’t control other people. That’s why you need to set boundaries. Spend as little time as possible around the people who harass you for being single. There are phone calls I don’t pick anymore because I know they’ll make me sad. Why would someone call me on my own phone and be making me cry? No please, bad energy stay far away. 

READ MORE: My parents have been married for 37 years, here’s the only lesson you need to learn from them

Enjoy your life

You have only this one life and time is passing. Please enjoy your life. Take yourself out on dates, go to the movies alone, travel and explore. I am determined to enjoy my life. God forbid that I will waste my precious time wailing and crying because I’m single. Yes it’s hard. I get sad and lonely and sometimes I wonder if I’m doomed to be single forever. But I’ve decided that my life is a gift and I will enjoy it. I hope you’ll do the same.

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How to love an introvert without losing your mind

It’s hard to love an introvert, I know because I’m one. How do you love someone who wants to be alone most of the time? They don’t pick your calls, almost never want to go out and even when they do, they can’t wait to go back home. First of all, let me apologize on behalf of all introverts, it’s not you, it’s us. It’s not personal and we don’t hate you. 

to love an introvert
Photo: The Recording Academy via Giphy

It’s a waste of time to try to change an introvert. Even if they managed to change to please you, they’d be miserable and you’d know. Instead, what you can do is learn to love an introvert just as he/she is. I know it sounds ridiculous and selfish but it’s the only way you can enjoy any kind of relationship with them. So ask yourself, is the connection more important than your ego? If your answer is yes, you can continue reading.

Respect their boundaries 

Most introverts don’t like random phone calls, so text before you call to know if it’s a good time to talk. We don’t like surprise visits either. I for one have to mentally prepare myself for somebody’s arrival into my space. So don’t just drop by because you’re in the neighborhood. 

to love an introvert
Photo: Giphy

Understand their limited capacity for social interaction

Introverts get drained by social interactions. Whenever we go out or engage in long conversations, we need time to recharge. This means that if we spoke for two hours yesterday, you probably shouldn’t expect an equally long conversation today. If I went out with you last weekend and spent the whole day, I’m unlikely to want to hang out again this weekend.

READ MORE: My life would be so much easier if I could just like the people who like me

Don’t take things personal

It’s not you, it’s us. We zone out and forget to reply WhatsApp messages until it’s too late to do so without looking silly. Sometimes we even read the messages but can’t reply because we don’t have the emotional bandwidth to do so. We dodge calls and cancel hangouts because we really don’t have the energy for it at that time. It’s not a testament to your worth as a person. We don’t hate you, we just can’t. 

to love an introvert
Photo: Mean Girls via Giphy

The best thing you can do for an introvert is to understand them and give them space. If you try to force your way in, you’ll get locked out. Yes, a person who loves you should make time for you, but when you’re dealing with an introvert, the rules are different. 

So more than anything, if you want to love an introvert without losing your mind, you have to be patient. We’re not perfect, but if you try your best for us, we’ll try our best for you. 

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Money shaming: Why do people shame women for liking money?

I like money, and I intend to make a lot of it. So I intentionally surround myself with images and affirmations of wealth. Sometimes I share these online and some responses I get are amusing. It seems like people expect me to be shy about liking money. They think being open about my desire for wealth makes me materialistic. 

liking money
Photo: AGT via Giphy

Apparently women are not supposed to like money so much. They say it scares men away and makes you look cheap. LOL. I find this so amusing because a lot of men complain that women are always asking them for money. So they don’t want us to ask them for money, but making our own money is a crime? Please stop.

READ MORE: My parents have been married for 37 years, here’s the only lesson you need to learn from them

I’m not ashamed about liking money and I never will be. Money is a force for good. I’ve seen how much it can change my life and the lives of people around me. I know how much impact you can make with a well-timed financial gift. I’ve also seen how much damage poverty can cause. I know what it’s like to need something desperately and not get it because there’s no money. I refuse to let that be my life’s story.

liking money
Photo: Giphy

So yeah I like money. I desire it and I will take action towards making it. I want money to know that we’re friends and it will always be welcome around me. There’s a quote by Grant Cardone that I can never forget:

“Money is like a jealous lover. Ignore it and it will ignore you, or worse, it will leave you for someone who makes it a priority.” I don’t want money to ignore me, so I won’t ignore it.

Dear woman, there’s nothing wrong with liking money. Desire it and take action to get what you want. You don’t need to beg a man for money. You can make your own. I believe in the Bible and in Deuteronomy 8:18, it says that God has given me the power to create wealth. He has given you the power, you can do it. 

liking money
Photo: BET via Giphy

I leave you with my favourite quote from the book ‘The Science of Getting Rich’ :

 “Whatever may be said in praise of poverty, the fact remains that it is not possible to live a really complete or successful life unless one is rich.”

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My former mentor’s fall from grace has taught me a valuable lesson

Last year, two of my mentors turned out to be the complete opposite of their public personas. If it had just been one person, I would have dismissed it and moved on. However, seeing that both of them had the exact same character flaw made me take a deep dive into my own heart.

mentors
Photo: Unsplash/Samuel Philipps

If two of the people I respected and admired turned out to be arrogant and inauthentic, what did that say about me? Was I looking up to them because of their positive impact on the world? Or was it their hidden narcissism that called out to me? 

I found out that it was both those qualities that appealed to me, and that scared me. It meant that I was susceptible to the same arrogance that beset them and crashed them to the ground. My former mentors started with a sincere heart, but wealth and fame corrupted them. They began to see themselves as bigger than the people they were called to serve. And so began their decline.

mentors
Photo: Pexels/Vlada Karpovich

The Bible says that wealth is a deceiver. Having an abundance of resources and the adoration of multitudes can make a person think he or she is God. The major lesson I learned from all of this, is to remember. I need to remember my purpose and remember my weaknesses. I need to build a structure that can check my power and remind me that I’m not God. 

No human being is perfect and we get into trouble because we overestimate our capacity. Whatever you do and wherever you go, make sure there’s someone around who can check you. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. We’ll all do well to remember that. 

I’ve met 3 billionaires, here’s the one thing they had in common

I met my first billionaire about 10 years ago. I was an intern at a radio station and he heard me on air and sent for me. I was surprised because I was a newbie in the media and was basically just having fun. Our conversation was even more surprising, he had no airs at all and he spoke to me like an equal. 

billionaire
Photo: Unsplash/Tamarcus Brown

He told me how one of his children brought me to his attention and how I reminded him of Christiane Amanpour. He encouraged me to keep giving my best to my career and that was that. The meeting was over but that experience was plastered on my mind.

I met my second billionaire about 5 years after that. He watched me on YouTube and asked to see me. I remember the day I got the call, I was like yeah right, get off my phone scammer. Our meeting went very much like the first one, he spoke to me like an old friend. He was impressed with an interview I did and wanted to encourage me. He considered giving me a job but decided I was better off staying in the media industry because of the exposure it gives. 

READ MORE: My life would be so much easier if I could just like the people who like me

My third billionaire meeting happened because a friend recommended me for the job. My friend had raved so much about me that this individual offered me opportunities for four years consecutively. Once again, I was treated like a friend and given access to the inner circle. 

billionaire
Photo: Pexels/Tima Miroshnichenko

So what’s the major takeaway from this? What’s the one thing that these three billionaires had in common? They recognized my potential. They saw a seed of greatness and decided to water it. They looked beyond the current reality and saw future possibilities. This is why the rich keep getting richer, because of their ability to see what no one else sees. 

If you wait for everybody else to sign off on an idea before you pursue it, you’re already too late. If there’s anything I’ve learned from reading about billionaires and meeting a few, it’s that immense wealth comes from being a pioneer. If you’re the first to get there, you’re likely to have the lion’s share.

READ MORE: Life is like a pot of jambalaya jollof rice

As a side note, I want to warn you that meeting a billionaire will not make you rich.  They’re not just going to hand you their money because you were lucky enough to make their acquaintance. Also, if you ever do meet a super wealthy person, don’t beg them for money. If you ask for money, you might get it, but you’ll lose access. Access is more important than money if you know how to maximize opportunities. If you have continued access to a rich person, you’re more likely to get rich yourself. 

billionaire
Photo: Pexels/Karolina Grabowska

Finally, I want to encourage you to do good work. These people noticed me because I was passionate about my work and I gave it my best. I didn’t need to lobby or scheme my way into meeting them. The opportunities came to me. I’m a Christian so I believe in God’s favour but the same Bible tells me that those who do good work will stand before kings.

Don’t wear yourself out trying to attract the attention of the high and mighty. I’m not against marketing and networking, but there’s no substitute to good work. Do your work and do it well and word will go round. You might not know it, but people are watching you. There’s somebody watching you now who can give you a life-changing opportunity. Are you giving them a good show?

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Someone accused me of misandry and I’m just tired of learning unnecessary words

A guy accused me of misandry yesterday. I didn’t even know the meaning of the word so I had to Google it. He called me a man-hater. So funny. Me Jola, a man-hater, LOL. What was my offence? The videos I post on my YouTube channel are mostly targeted at women. That’s it. My crime is that I don’t create content for men.

misandry
Photo: Netflix via Giphy

We first had this conversation a while ago. I shared a link to my video with him and he told me I was wrong to only create content for women. According to him, women just talk, they don’t buy. I informed him that I had no context for what goes on in a man’s head, so I couldn’t possibly speak authentically to men. Then he went on and on and attempted to bully me into agreeing with him. The conversation ended abruptly and I thought that was the end.

READ MORE: My life would be so much easier if I could just like the people who like me

Then yesterday he made a snarky comment about how my intentions don’t matter because women only hear what they want to. And that’s when he dropped the M word – misandry. I should’ve known from the beginning that this guy was one of those insecure men who need to disrespect women to boost their testosterone levels. For some reason, I gave him the benefit of the doubt. I was so wrong. 

misandry
Photo: OWN via Giphy

It’s because of men like these that we’ve been forced to learn all sorts of big words. Now I need to know what mansplaining is, and manspreading and hepeating. It’s all too much for me to be honest. How does a woman’s attempts to help other women become an attack on men? Is it that we’re not allowed to have opinions or what?

READ MORE: Now that you’re all asleep, let me tell you everything that scares me about marriage and motherhood

I had a very good answer for the guy. It was so good that I would’ve shut him up for life. But the Holy Spirit said I should follow the path of peace. So instead I wrote this post for everybody, including him, to read. Now I drop my golden pen in the basket of petty. Good night. 

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Life is like a pot of jambalaya jollof rice

I made a strange type of jollof rice today. It was something like what a Nigerian university student would call concoction rice. But my rice had all sorts of meat and vegetables in it so it was definitely next level stuff. Let’s call it jambalaya jollof rice.

jambalaya jollof rice
Photo: Sisi Yemmie

As I put in the ingredients, it struck me how ugly everything looked. There were bits of meat floating around in a halfway red, halfway orange sauce. There were white onions and purple onions. The tomatoes were trying to find their rhythm alongside the jalapeño peppers. It was a hot mess.

READ MORE: A person can look at you like hot Agege bread and still not want to be with you

By the time I was done however, everything had come together nicely. I added an extra layer of tomatoes and onions on the rice, just like my daddy taught me, and the aroma filled the kitchen. I was proud of the finished work, and it tasted good too. My mother raved about it so much that my father, who doesn’t like rice , ate a whole bowl of it. 

jambalaya jollof rice
Photo: Unsplash/Richard Bell

It struck me how much my pot of jambalaya jollof rice resembled life. Life presents us with different circumstances, some pretty, some ugly. But if we find a way to make things work and keep going, we’ll see how beautiful everything turns out in the end. 

READ MORE: How I got arrested for giving someone my number in church

Some days are bad, and some days are good. Some months you’re rich, some months you’re trying to figure things out. Somehow it all works together to give us beautiful and interesting stories to tell. I always find strength in Romans 8:28 and God’s promise to make all things work together for good. 

jambalaya jollof rice
Photo: Pexels/Nappy

The purple onions might not look good on their own, but when you add them to the jambalaya jollof rice of life, they end up contributing to its epic deliciousness. It might not look like it right now, but everything will be okay. You will be okay. 

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Here’s why I’ve stopped praying for Nigeria

I believe in the power of prayer. I’ve seen stunning results so I’m too far gone to think otherwise. However, I’ve stopped praying for Nigeria. If I’m in a meeting and they raise a prayer for the country, I either speak in tongues or pray for myself. 

praying for Nigeria
Photo: Unsplash/Diana Simumpande

I know it sounds selfish, but I don’t pray for Nigeria because I believe it’s a waste of my time. I believe God still does miracles, but Nigeria doesn’t need a miracle. What it needs is for the people who care to have the power to make a difference. 

 READ MORE: How I almost became a welder to escape Nigeria

Nigeria’s problem is that power is in the wrong hands, and it’s going to take more than prayer to fix that. I know people pray for God to kill corrupt politicians but in case you’ve not noticed, God doesn’t like to kill people. And even if he kills them, then what? The spot will be filled by someone exactly like the person who died. 

praying for Nigeria
Photo via Giphy

Fixing Nigeria will take strategy and resources. It will require crowdfunding to sponsor campaigns. We saw the power of unity firsthand during the End SARS protests. If we did it once, we can do it again. A lot of money goes into elections in this country and we’d be naïve to think citizens will just vote for the right person without being prodded. 

READ MORE: I’ve not been okay since October 20,2020

We will also need to change the mindset that politics is for evil people because that’s what got us in trouble in the first place. I attended a church service where the preacher criticized politicians and then asked us to pray for God to give us good leaders, all in the same breath. If politics is for bad people, who are we expecting God to put there? Are we going to be ruled by angels? 

praying for Nigeria
Photo: RHOA via Giphy

It’s okay to pray, for those who still have the emotional bandwidth for that. I don’t. The only prayer I’m praying for Nigeria now is that I can somehow be a part of the solution. Obviously I will be creating that solution from a different country because I can’t come and kill myself. 

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How I almost became a welder to escape Nigeria

Just to be clear, there’s nothing wrong with being a welder. Every legal occupation that pays the bills is noble in my book. This story is funny because I can’t even go near the changeover switch in my house. And I still believe that looking at the flames from a welding torch will blind you. Somebody told me that story as a child, may God forgive that person. 

escape Nigeria
Photo: CBS via Giphy

Anyway on to the story of how I considered becoming a welder to escape Nigeria. It all happened in October 2020 after the Lekki toll gate massacre. I was suddenly struck with the realization of how terrible a place Nigeria is. I felt suffocated and trapped. I knew it was time to leave for Canada. 

READ MORE: I’ve not been okay since October 20,2020

Unfortunately, the express entry process takes forever. I had the extra misfortune of using IQAS because apparently they give lawyers extra points. Nobody told me that using IQAS is like dealing with the Nigerian ministry of education because till today they haven’t found my transcript. Is it not somebody whose transcript has been found that will get extra points? Just in case you’re thinking of using IQAS, please don’t try it. It will end in tears.

escape Nigeria
Photo via Giphy

Anyway, I tried the usual route and got stuck. Then I read about some in-demand jobs that could make the process quicker. It included truck drivers, farm workers and welders. So for a split second, I considered becoming a welder. I am not even kidding. I saw it as stepping out of my comfort zone and being brave. I imagined myself doing what no woman I know has done before. Then of course I snapped out of it and came back to the real world. 

READ MORE: My life would be so much easier if I could just like the people who like me

It’s a funny story but it’s also sad. I finally understand the desperation that makes people walk through deserts to escape Nigeria. I’ve been asking myself lately why I stayed this long. Like what was I waiting for? Unlike most of my friends, I had no reason to stay. I have no husband or kids to consider. I could have left ages ago. 

escape Nigeria
Photo: Aki and Paw Pa via Giphy

Ah well, the milk has been spilt so we move. Just in case you have any single male friend that is a citizen of a real country, please send him to me. I’ll pound yam for him sef if he wants. God bless you as you support the vision. 

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