Connect with us


Making Your Relationship Work – Part I



black_couple-bella-naijaRelationships are hard! You don’t need Oprah, a rocket scientist or your pastor to fill you on this fact. There is no perfect formula for a successful romantic relationship. So many people who are extremely successful in other aspects of life find themselves disheartened because they feel they ‘fail’ at relationships. No one has all the answers but I’m hoping we can work together to help one another out with this on BN. Lets go there!

So many women lament that ‘it never seems to work’…’something always goes wrong’ etc…
Maybe you think you don’t know how to establish a good relationship with that special somebody. But you can! It’s a give and take thing.
OK, let’s try a few things. Some of these might seem simplistic but sometimes basic advice is best!

Can you claim to be in a relationship and not be totally committed? I think not. If you don’t chose to “commit” to the other person, then it’s time to get stepping. We live in a society where we constantly hear advice like ‘you better have a backup in case he messes up!’. If you feel you need a ‘backup’ then that relationship is not worth being in. Genuine commitment is always a number one priority. Make up your mind to give your all to that special one and everything else follows and begins to fall in place. Being in a relationship is a serious affair. Like, it’s no joke and it‘s heartbreaking when one person is not investing in the simple act of commitment. Total commitment is a sign of mutual respect and responsibility. If it’s not there, you may need to start re-evaluating your relationship.

Quit Fronting, Be You
What is a relationship without freedom? A solid and meaningful relationship is the ability to express yourself. Seriously, you just need to quit playing Ms or Mr. Perfect. What is that? BE YOU!!! I beg of you. Fart because you can. Be free because you can’t afford not to! I know one married couple that the wife swears that her husband has never seen her without makeup. Seriously! Fake partners who can’t express the freedom to be themselves should not be in a relationship. Folks, enter into a relationship with the right to be yourself. Think about it like this, how can you choose to confine yourself? Your relationship shouldn’t feel like prison now. C’mon peoples! Shake it off and do you. This stuff really does happen. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how much people lack the freedom to express their true self.

Arghhh! Sounds cliché? I know but what is a relationship without trust? Let’s see, you don‘t trust your partner and you expect your relationship to work? Yea, sure. I think we underestimate the importance of trust in a relationship. It is vital and it’s creates peace. Women especially need to start letting go of the ‘men can’t be trusted’ mindset. It’s just draining. Don’t be a mugu, and don’t be super gullible either. Let yourself trust, and if you get burned, learn your lessons. Good news is trust and karma go hand in hand. You know what they say, karma is a b*t**. Did you trust your loved one and they let you down? You just relax and let karma handle it.

One last thing…

People’s Democratic Relationship
Gossip! People love to hear about other people’s relationship. If someone wants to dish to you about her relationship, then it’s cool. Just fine! But don’t let that someone be you! I know it’s super tempting to want to dish out to your home boys or talk to your girls but just don’t do it. I’m telling y’all. This is one thing that can actually save your relationship. It’s called the power of mute. Think about it like this, when ’wahala hits the fence. You want to know that it’s only you and him that contributed to the success or failure of your union. But what happens when you always seek a fifth and seventh opinion? What happens you call Titi and you vent, and Titi gives her two cents, and then Seyi comes over later at night and then you dish out to her again, tomorrow right after church, Tolu comes over to hang out and she starts talking about her man and dearest you added your own story too. Now that you have lamented, and Titi, Seyi, and Tolu have donated their opinion. Has it solved your problem with your man or your chic? I’m just saying…
Even if you don’t do “new year resolutions,” it’s 2009 and I urge you to do this one thing for yourself and your partner. If anything I think it’s sexy. There’s just something about y’all when nobody knows ‘jack’ about your relationship!


That’s it for now, I bet we’ve heard all this before but do we sincerely apply them? We’ll love to hear from you, feel free to share any of your own ‘home truths’ and any other practical advice.


  1. Omob

    March 18, 2009 at 12:45 am

    Gud stuff….I totally feel u…If I follow ur rules…does dat mean dat my next relationship wuld wrk.:)
    Can’t wait 2 read part 2..
    Keep it up

  2. mamichulo

    March 18, 2009 at 1:37 am

    very sound advice…but you know this is the hardest part to put into practise…the ones you’ve mentioned bcos the best of us fall prey to it most tyms…lyk criously, how can u not have backup?its jus insurance
    but that’s the thing, relationships r a work in progress…

  3. yves la rock**

    March 18, 2009 at 3:59 am

    iLove your advice…especially the last one. it’s soooo true but it’s hard.

    couples should just talk to eachother about their problems and not ask their friends to tell them the meaning of their partner’s actions…because only the partner knows what was going through his/her mind…

    …i guess it all balls down to lack of communication andd sometimes ladies are scared to confront their partners….

  4. Anya

    March 18, 2009 at 5:09 am

    I love that line “Don’t be a mugu, and don’t be super gullible either”….my ladies need to heed that one. Because I seen lotsa gurls who willfully decide to play mugu & they end up heartbroken because they refused to see thru the smoke & mirrors. If a man is playing you, you will know. Men are not that great at covering up their tracks. Trust your instincts, because YOU WILL KNOW!

  5. tee

    March 18, 2009 at 6:16 am

    wooww..i love it!

  6. Oyin

    March 18, 2009 at 10:43 am

    Good to find someone thinking about helping others with their relationships, great work Ife.

    Personally my current motor is “with GOD all things are possible”, so get on your knees and pray. And when you do pray, remember to remove the log in your eyes before trying to remove the speck in your partner’s eyes. So don’t pray for GOD to change your partner, pray that he changes you first and makes you a better partner and as you change your partner will notice and change too. Seriously try it, it works……..

  7. Oyin

    March 18, 2009 at 10:46 am

    Next relationship…. ha ha ha….. very funny, stop dreaming!

  8. kelendra

    March 18, 2009 at 11:02 am

    Nice article. well written.

  9. Qed

    March 18, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    ‘the power of mute’ …am gonna so use that phrase
    I blv in seeking other people’s opinion, knowing thats its only an opinion. its my assumption that i can spot a lying b***** anyday which i’ll do for my friends but at the same time, am not very good at very being femine n understanding so friends come in 4 me (just shouldnt be on every single issue).
    tell me what you think and not what you think i want to hear…

  10. isitjustme

    March 18, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    Nice one…shaa very practical. Bella, I was wondering if you can do an article about the book “He’s not that into you.” A lot of women and men have gotten their hearts broken bcos they could not read the tell tale signs of a futile relationship. Perhaps people can share what to look out for when a partner is not committed to you. That should be an interesting blog. What do ya think?

  11. Yomi

    March 18, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    Man, Even tho this is a refresher and we all seem to know these nuggets already, We can’t help but wonder how we are so guilty of not using them..I guess everybody dosen’t mind failing but if we’d fall we’d all want a soft landing..i.e we go into relationships “half n half..” Man, this is deep!

  12. sasha

    March 18, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    i like the part about “trust and karma go hand in hand”. Your pointers are true esp. the one about commitment. You have to be committed for your relationship to work afterall it takes two to tango. If you want your man to show that he is committed then u have to do the same. There are no two ways about it.

  13. Bola

    March 18, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    About relationships, put it in Gods hands from the start, so that He leads u. As Ife’s article stated, there are not set rules, but there are the basics- trust, commitment [no back-up o, jokes 🙂 ].

    Also, there are issues (like giving money) that might seem strange to people on the outside. Some people will say “ah, how can a girl-friend, give her guy money, shouldn’t it be the other way round?”
    The issue with ths is that it all depends on trust. In some cases, u know the guy is straight up trying to GBA you. But in other cases, u know you’re giving that money as a freind to help another friend that’s in need.

    How do people stay in one relationship yet pray for a better partner. If thats the case, you shouldn’t be in that relationship o.

    Last issue, people tend to have orisirisi criteria set out for their ‘dream partner’. He must be tall, handsome, dark-skinned, rich, warreva… Dont go out searching for the perefect guy because only God sabi. Free your heart, be open minded even if it seems you and the guy / girl are not in the same social circle.
    One can find love in the nost unexpected places, and believe me, its beautiful when u do.

    God guide us all!

    Thanks Ms. Ife

  14. Bix Girl

    March 19, 2009 at 12:39 am

    variety is the spice of life jo…
    some relationships are only for fun, having a side course to the main meal is a sweet treat. it compensates what the other cant give. the arrangement cant last forever, but is necessary sometimes…PEA$E

  15. funmilayo

    March 19, 2009 at 11:34 am

    I want to share my story : I once was dating a guy all good and cool but I kept pointing out his wrongs to my friends and not to him.I later got involved in another guy making 2,all good.Stocked between the two and had to decide fast.I was getting different advice from friends instead of following my mind at long run friends, I lost the two guys.It was a painful scene but have learnt my lessons.Follow your heart ,never talk to friends because they will confuse you the more,dont get involved in 2 it doesnt pay, you are either in or out.PEACE.

  16. Bola

    March 19, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    I disagree, there is nothing wrong with talking to friends.
    what’s wrong is -possibly the kind of friends you have, AND not knowing when to seperate friends advice from what ur heart directs.
    Also, ur friends maybe lookin out for ur best interest, but might not necessarily support in the right way.
    To make things easy on urself, just talk to God, straight and simple!

  17. funmilayo

    March 19, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    Ok BOLA you right to some extence.Have made God my best friend ever since.

  18. Bee

    March 19, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    Love BN to bits but this is the firs time I’m ever commenting but this just seems like good old sage advice. Its what we all know and say to friends but never apply ourselves!
    On the topic of asking a guy why he behaved in such and such way instead of trying to decipher his actions with your friends, does this apply to a guy you just met? Shouldn’t you still be playing the ‘oh I’m so cool and totally not bugged that you said you were going to call me and didnt’ trick?

  19. tafia

    March 19, 2009 at 9:18 pm


    I agree completely, nothing wrond with talking to friends. You need to know what kind of friends you have & what u r telln them. And Funmi those friends shlda told you in the 1st place, not to mess with 2 “good” guys at the same time. U sound like u were greedy and at the end u lost both.

  20. funmilayo

    March 20, 2009 at 9:43 am

    Well at sometimes in life we want to have how cake and eat it.Have learnt my lessons and thats why am advicing those who cares to listen.

  21. funmilayo

    March 20, 2009 at 9:45 am


  22. sammy

    March 20, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    Don’t talk about your relationship, you kill it when u do. This is out of the suubject, but if he has no money dump him. No jokes. I’m not a gold digger. My professor once said “Only stupid girls date broke guys.” LOl

  23. Ewa

    March 21, 2009 at 6:40 am

    I tru sey make one soji b4 they enter the relationship, but omo…
    rich today doesnt guarantee future wealth
    and some not so rich guy today, might be rich tomorrow.

    not true in all cases sha, but u get my flow…

  24. mee

    March 22, 2009 at 1:10 am

    Those broke guys also deserve to be loved.

  25. alero

    March 26, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    i agree with bella, about let ur relationship be between u and ur man but sometime as a human we cant control ourselves wen sumtin happened and u want to share it wit ur friends or for example: maybe u went to visit sade and she said my husband has dis bad habit and u too we be like yes…mine too does the same thing, from there one topic leads to another. Again u have to know ur friends but the best thing i can say is leave everything to God or else people we give u different advise and in the end u urself will forget abt ur own want in a relationship. About d fart business lol pple always say fart in front of ur man to be comfortable….i think since wen i was young i have been brought up to know fart as a bad manners in front of someone so i still cant do it in front of anyone even my dad or sister..

  26. Rose

    March 26, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    Love BN

    My own case is deferent I meet this guy and he shown me love and I also love him though I am no nonsense person but when I meet this guy I summated to him I do everything he asked me to do I treated him like a king though I have never seen him with another person he is honest with me and me too but what surprised me most is that he has change for the past view week to me thing he use to do when we just meet he has stopped doing them and I have asked him several time he refused to talk and I don’t want to tell any body about it I have only been praying to God to change him for me because I loved him so much but if he refused to change this is my decision.

    I will leave him and I will tell me him to leave me alone then I will wait till I see another person.

    Thank you.


  27. Nneka

    March 26, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    Naa it’s not that the girls are stupid to date broke guys but it turns out to be a stupid decision if, of many instances, he develops an unhealthy dose of inferiority complex and starts acting up on you. Then abeg first watch and pray. If all else fail, cut that rod and start fishing in fresh waters, hopefully better off.

  28. cupcakes

    May 2, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    i have been with my boyfriend for over 8yrs now, we are in love and he talks about marriage everytime, he really treats me well, makes me feel special and all…..but the problem is his anger he gets really aggressive and acts psychotic soemtimes when he is angry, and i am really scared for my life..he hasnt yet but he is capable of hiting me one day and i am scared he is waiting till we catually marry before he does this…and what annoys him is the fact that he wants me to be more submissive, i am not that sort of girl and he knows that, i respect him and all but i am not what he reallywants and we have spoken about this, he still says he loves me….im scared he may kill me one day but yet he loves me…he disrespects me on the phonesometimes and shouts at me abusively then he calls back and apologises…do u think i should run for dear life before its too late, or do u think i can stick with him and help him chnage, so u thinnk its unfair if i live?

  29. miss

    May 2, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    RUN!!! You can help me from a distance. People hardly change and you might be saving yourself by running now instead of staying and living in danger.

  30. Lynda

    May 12, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    RUN FOR YOUR DEAR LIFE!!! Why be in such a relationship? You need a man that makes you not to be afraid of anything, a man that will protect you in any situation NOT a man that scares you.

  31. mikel

    May 21, 2009 at 11:58 am

    there is no way u will not discuss ur relationship issues with ur “friends”,no matter how u try it.but know the type of friend u discuss ur relationship issues with and the kind of relationship issues dat u discuss with ur friend…above all make God ur best friend.remember that He knows ur future more than u know ur past.HE WILL HELP U.

  32. Tee

    June 22, 2009 at 12:49 am

    I think thats a great idea.. Hopefully bella will agree.. 🙂

  33. Helen

    October 2, 2009 at 11:57 am

    What if you dump and tomorrow he turns out to have enough even more, what will you do?Life is like a ball, it rotates, don’t look down on somebody bcos he has nothing today.
    some may even wish to spend but bcos of the responsibilities they have or they don’t have to money.

    Remember, tomorrow is pregnant!

  34. ife

    October 22, 2009 at 1:22 am

    Personally, i feel you could share your relationship issues with people but know the friend you disclose this to and most importantly have an open mind to other people’s opinion cuz other people see things you don’t see atimes. Always remember that God is the ultimate above all friends.

  35. esty

    October 23, 2009 at 12:32 am

    hi there i have a big question about mother in-laws what if your boyfriend’s mom hates you to the core because she thinks you are taking her son from her what do you do?how do you make such a relation ship work and to add the boy lives with his mom and is so close to her .and has no dreams of moving out yet .

  36. Staffie

    November 2, 2009 at 1:24 am

    YOU NEED TO LEAVE, because first and foremost if a man has to yell at a women to get his point across he is a coward. Secondly is you know hw has a temper like that you need to rethink your life with him because know women deserves that or need to be treated like that. Thirdly and most importantly you CAN NOT CAN NOT CAN NOT CHANGE ANY MAN, thats not your job in this relationship, its his to recognize that he has a good woman and learn how to treat her. SO LEAVE MY DEAR QUICKLY.

  37. tina

    November 8, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    How do you deal with a extremely controlling man or a cheating man?

  38. bailey

    November 11, 2009 at 2:17 am

    I think you should run, leave him alone, cuz once ur married and he shows u his true colors there is no going back o…………..

  39. PET

    December 2, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    what other word can be used asides from RUN…. i’ll let u know when I find out!

    All u’ve said points to the fact that this guy wants a slave and im sorry to say but i think u’re making your self just that!

    First you stick with a guy for 8yrs and he’s not thinkin of pickin a date to put a ring on it?! lemme guess, you cook, clean and caress him!
    If so, he has a wife and he hasnt even paid the dowry.

    I’ve been there, you think it will get better but then the years roll by and trust moi, he wont change, not now, not ever. Marrying him would be suicidal. End it now, take time out for personal development, you’re better than what he’s handing out so MOVE OUT and MOVE ON! Make friends that’ll help you identify your strenghts, boost your self esteem and meet real men that will treat you right.

    Dont hang on to the fact that he’s your first love or that he’s romantic or you gave it to him (virginity), all that is crap. A guy who abuses you either verbally or otherwise is not worth it!

  40. PJ

    December 23, 2009 at 9:47 am

    Nice article Ife. Does your friend sleep with make up?? that’s just wrong. If she’s been with her man for long then make up or no make up should be the last of her worries.
    At Esty, most women are scared of their mother in-laws, we always pray we have a nice one that would love us but sometimes they r not. If she thinks your taking her son away(his already a mama’s boy), you just have to warm up to her and let her know one day, her son is gonna leave her and start a family of his own. You cant drive her out the house. You have to make her see that its not like that. At least ur own is ok, most in-laws do not like the woman because of her tribe… What would do we do?

  41. Ronke

    October 23, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    hummmmmmmmmmmm Ife God bless u 4 dis word of advise.Gud stuff….I totally feel u…

  42. arthur

    November 29, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    my girl likes telling her friends about our relationship, she seek for their advice and it is making the relationship unstable..

  43. arthur

    November 29, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    talk to ur partner about the issues affecting ur relationship, and if u cant talk to him/her about issues or he/she is not ready to listen then be sure ur relationship is not worth it. Cos ur partner is suppose to be ur best friend

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Star Features