I scrolled down my contact list. I wasn’t looking for any contact in particular. I was just scrolling through. It is a habit I have one because it is my phone and I can look through my contacts but secondly, because I love to just check who’s on that list. Sometimes as I do that, I’ll find a contact that I have not used in a while and I’ll check up on them. Oft times, I will find a contact that I no longer need or use and I’ll delete it. My rule of thumb is that if I don’t use a contact in three months then it has no business being on my contact list.

So as I scrolled down, I saw this contact, Christie. I had not talked to Christie for about two months now. Christie and I had been friends for close to five years now. We’d been close friends until she relocated to a different city about a year ago. Since then, we’d drifted and become more of acquaintances than friends. We’d chat once in a while, glossing over issues and having those mundane, very dull conversations that would end abruptly without warning. Our relationship had morphed into a one-off-on-a-need-basis relationship that could very easily be forgotten.

But I had kept this relationship alive.

I had sedated it and put it on drip. When it refused to recover, I put it on a respirator and even though it threatened many times to die, I put it on life support. I didn’t want it to die. For some reason, I couldn’t let it die. So once in a while, I would use a defibrillator to shock it to life. I would chat Christie up and say “Hi Christie! How are you J” She’d blue tick me for no less than 12 hours, sometimes a whole day and when she’d finally get to replying the chat she’d unenthusiastically be like “Hi!” I would ponder whether to pursue the conversation and finally decide to just let it be. It was that kind of a relationship.

So this particular day, I scrolled down and saw Christie’s name. I went to our Whats App chats, looked at her status updates, scrolled to see what we’d said last and realized that she had left me on read the last time we’d spoken. I went back to contacts and decided to call her. The call went unanswered the first time. I was going to press the dial button on my phone again when I stopped myself.

I decided not to call a second time. There’s a reason I didn’t call a second time. I thought about that relationship and as I thought about it, a number of things occurred to me.

Firstly, I wondered why I was the only one who was always reaching out. I asked myself when last Christie called, texted or checked up on me. I couldn’t remember. So I wondered where reciprocity was in this so called relationship. How could I be in a relationship with someone who is only interested in receiving and never contemplates giving back? I realized, albeit all belatedly, that you cannot have a relationship that has one person giving and never receiving and the other receiving and never giving.

It is interesting that God never created anything that only took and never gave back. The plants take minerals from the soil then produce fruit for the man, and then the man replenishes the soil so that the cycle continues. Anytime you have a situation that allows a player in the cycle to take without giving nature is defrauded. So I understood that I needed to feed whatever feeds me. It is only fair. Did you know that the Dead Sea has no outlet? Well, now you know.

Secondly, I came to the rude realization that people make time for what matters to them. They can tell you that they are busy and have a lot on their plate. They can tell you that they are not good with chats or prefer to call instead of texting. They can make up excuses as to why they can’t be available for one thing or the other. But truth be told, if they are into you, they will do things that are totally out of their comfort zone just to be with you. Lovers chat till the wee hours of the morning not because they have insomnia but because they are interested in the vibe they are getting. If you have to force it, let it go, relationships work best when they flow not when they are forced.

Thirdly, it is wise to audit your life from time to time. See, most of the relationships you have right now are situational relationships. For example, some people are in your phonebook because you went to school with them, others were in church with you, some are former workmates et cetera. Importantly, you need to know that just because you work with someone, go to school with them or attend the same church with them doesn’t make them a friend.

Ask yourself this question at all times “If I left this school, job, church would they still be my friends?” This question will help you know which relationships matter most. There are people who will never talk to you after your graduation and that’s fine. Don’t fuss over it, they were there for your school life and they have no use in your after school life. Someone said, “edit your life frequently and ruthlessly, it is your masterpiece after all!” I strongly agree with them.

Fourthly, no one is irreplaceable! Please know that people can, in the words of Adele, “find someone like you.” Actually, people can find someone better than you. Do not ever walk around with an air of pomposity and think that you are irreplaceable. Constantly remind yourself that before you someone else was and after you someone else will be. Don’t ever let the glory you get from the stage today cloud your judgment so much that you forget that we all will exit the stage at some point. If they no longer call you as much, no longer text you as often, are no longer interested in you as much as they used to be, maybe you got replaced. Sad, but fact, we are all replaceable.

Lastly, learn when to let go! This for me has to be the biggest lesson learnt in life so far. Listen, some friendships are going to die regardless of what you do to keep them alive. You can put all you want into a relationship or friendship but if it ran its course, it will die. If a relationship dies, please let it go. You can’t hold on to a dead thing. You have to realize that regardless of how much you give towards this or that person, they’ll never be what they were before. So, let them go!

Here’s the thing, as long as you hold on to what’s dead, you will never be able to embrace what’s alive. You can’t have what you are meant to have in your present if you hold on to what was in your past. You can keep the memories, you can reminisce about it from time to time, but you must know that yesterday and today cannot exist in the same space. Yesterday no matter how grandiose it was must make room for today. If you keep looking back, you’ll never move forward.

So I didn’t call a second time, no I didn’t. Instead, I realized that my friendship with Christie had run its course and had now died a natural death. And so, I decided to do what we do when things die, I buried it. I deleted our chats, deleted her number and moved on. Maybe you need to do the same.

  1. Some reads at just eye opening … as I read ,am just watching a series of how I’ve been clinging on people that don’t even care or value my effort and I just have to burry a relationship I have been saving for the longest time …🤦🏽‍♀️🥲🥲🥲 hard but worth it …: let me take care of me . Thank you girl .. burying my Christie today

  2. The writing skill always on point. These are hard facts to embrace but so helpful. Roll the wheel when you have to. Its your masterpiece anyway….

  3. #Letgo 😊 It’s hard to let go at times but like you say if it ran out of coarse it will die. Always a pleasure reading your interesting pieces. I learn Alot. Keep doing this, keep them flowing

  4. Oops, wasn’t Christie given an opportunity to call back (maybe she’d changed her ways😁😏)? All the same, you’re right- some things can’t be forced, resurrected et al. Great read; great having you back!

  5. Don’t suffer from Oneitis,as Rollo Tommasi would call it,plus genuine desires are never negotiated for.
    Well written, Mr boss.

  6. The truths that we don’t get to hear often. Powerfull. I need to take audit. It will be hard, heart breaking but it needs to be done.

  7. Wow,l love it. It’s true that,”people create time for what matters to them.” The “busy thing” is just but an excuse. Thanks

  8. Great read.. It’s always exhausting when any kind of freandship/relationship must be sustained from one end.I need this Audit coz I feel am a victim of all this.

  9. A relationship is two ways, if there’s none coming from the other side ‘kadie’. Kitambo it used to hurt me to lose a friend , nowadays I run away without looking back.

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