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Tolu Falode: Lust’s Expiry Date

Tolu Falode



dreamstime_l_31073527Sometimes I wonder why good women stay in bad relationships. Sometimes I sit and I try and look at their stories through their eyes. As their words shift and mix and mingle with the air of deception and the sweet scent of lies and try and suffocate the presence of pain, and hide from the stare of truth, as they stutter with shame-I somehow get confused.

Well, we’ve all been there. We have all been that woman who was too good: you know, the one that held on to pieces of a crumbling castle; the one that refused to let go even when the story was clearly old. We have all been the woman that refused to open the next book as we glare longingly into a chapter that stubbornly refuses to move; it remains unchanging. We have all stared intently into the eyes of a lie hoping to find a glimpse of truth.

We have all been that woman.

And yet, when I listen to the lies fall so easily from a female comrade’s lips, of how his love was pure and he promised it was sure; when I listen to her tales of his stories that he swore will keep running forever more – I see a tale drenched with deception, bound to manipulation, threatened with deceit and blinded with cunning.

Do they not see it? I ask myself.

Can they not smell the deception, hear the cunning, feel the loose ends of a carelessly woven script? I honestly want to know and so I raise my hand in question. I ask but what is the main aim of this conversation? Is it because you have refused to face the truth you so clearly see, or is it because you want me to join in your dance of deceit?

I ask because I am curious. I empathize with the pain, I understand the shy wince we refuse to face when truth speaks solely of shame. I get it.

But do you fail to see, is what my voice silently speaks-in some shape or form I try and communicate from the other side of pain. I try to say, it will be okay-but first, you have to leave the side of decay. I try to shelter them from the sounds of deceit as it throws another dagger into an exposed heart filled with the limp passion of dead dreams. I try to speak with sincerity to convince them its okay to let go of his lies-it will not poison your truth.

You see, because I think women face this dilemma of internal defeat.

They are afraid of the truth on the other side of dead dreams.

After spending their time, sweating and sheltering and spoiling a man that promised a palace of peace, they somehow get lost in his prison of pain. And in that space, they fight for a battle they already know is lost. They fight for a love that was truly only lust.

Somehow in that battle of words to silence the inner voice of truth, in that conversation with denial, they realize his loss is their gain. But the bridge between that moment of validation and the point of realization, is a very long, unpredictable space of confronting the figures of resurrected memories that whisper with the tone of decay. And she has to stare each and every one of them in the face. And that is where the fear lays. That is where she cannot confidently face.

So she speaks to me about a man that has somehow failed to carry actions into his words, and she laughs uncertainly, shifting uncomfortably in the heat of her own diffused dreams stinking with wretched reality.

And she asks me as a friend speaking to another of the different dilemmas we face as women-she asks, how do I get back to that place? That space where he made me feel safe? How do I leave this maze of confusion, because I run around searching and hoping to bump into the gate? The gate that protects our memories, our cherished moments when we first began weaving our stories, those words that conveyed sincerity and lay the platform for endless opportunities…how do I get back to that space? She never really says it as she tries to hide the glint of loss in her eyes behind a shattered smile that pants with pain and speaks of a determination to push ahead, to ignore the red flags as she faces the war surrounding her lost cause.

I try to say: the gate was a façade. And then gauge how she would take, this pinch of salt that holds so much truth from the other side of pain. I try to communicate you are worth more than he will ever understand-as long as you occupy this space of holding on to a lost embrace, as long as you try to speak some stale truth into fresh lies, you will remain captive to a path that holds no answers to his lies. I try to make her understand, you need to step away from this place. He is not worth the cause you have embraced.

I try to wake her from the nightmare and cold sweats and poisoned promises he fed her.

So I say, you need to look each memory in the face and blow it away with the confidence of a woman’s grace.

You need to confront the pain. You need to walk that bridge to find yourself again.

And on the other side, is a truth so deep your soul will sing with release when you find it but it is not in this place-this place is a dark dungeon that holds your soul hostage.

Only you have the courage to say-I am worth more than this space of disgrace, I carry more value than his face will ever be graced to contemplate, and when you realize that truth is at the end of pain, you will finally have the key to unlock this prison of decay-because you hold the key to your destiny and it is not tied to a man that refuses to see the beauty in your courage to face this unnecessary fight for respect and peace and protected promises. He is not worth this debate that is pregnant with delay.

You need to step out of that space and walk the path that moves away from pain you will slowly gain the strength that has been wasted on this battlefield of disgrace only when you begin to leave that space, when you walk on that bridge that moves away from pain, will you find yourself again.

But welcome to lust’s expiry date, you are free to still drink from its stale pungent paste, but please walk away so you will encounter love’s true cherished embrace.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Bevan Goldswain

Tolu Falode is a Relationship Counselor with over 5 years experience counseling couples and singles on having an amazing marriage. She shares dating tips on Instagram: @fantheflame and YouTube: Tolu Falode. You can also reach her via e-mail: [email protected]


  1. Abena

    October 18, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    I always ask myself the questions asked above when I read some dead beat chronicles on SDK! Like Saturday’s chronicles. I mean how do women stay in an overly abusive boyfriend/girlfriend relationship and still claim the guy loves them? HOW! How can you defeat yourself like that? Are you mad?
    I sincerely think it’s starts from parenting, teach your child especially your female child what love of self means, what self worth is.
    It’s not even sad, it’s pathetic

    • Femfem

      October 18, 2015 at 8:20 pm

      Yes this is what I always say. When I read those chronicles I am flabbergasted. How can you not have any love for yourself at all. Someone beats you up, calls you ‘prostitute’, abortions upon abortions , is generally a nasty piece of work. Yet you say you love him. You must hate yourself. Believe me I have been known to cling on to relationship for too long. It’s just the first proper love thing, but he would have helped me leave much much earlier if he had as much as raised a finger to me and believe me I didn’t have much self esteem..

      I jus wonder what happened to these women to make them end up and stay in such situations.

    • Di

      October 19, 2015 at 7:05 am

      Yes! Keyword – self-love/actualization.
      Dear writer, please speak for yourself, I for one have NEVER clinged to a dead/ destructive relationship. Please don’t put all women in one box. I sight bullshit from afar and walk away with anger steaming off my ears but never clinging.

  2. Suwa

    October 18, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    I love you Tolu. Beautiful article.

  3. jess

    October 18, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    Very well written,at some point it sounded like poetry.j

  4. Luvnaija

    October 18, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    Thank God I walked out of the lies, then met my soulmate/hubby 4yrs down forever to go…

    • Tosin

      October 18, 2015 at 8:21 pm


  5. DangerofASingleStory

    October 18, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    Until we start looking at relationships from both sides we will continue recycling the same issues. It takes two to tango male and female. Lust and Love happens to both genders.

  6. yinka

    October 18, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    its better to be alone than to be unhappy.

  7. Mariam

    October 18, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    What an inspired article it is!

  8. uloma kasi

    October 18, 2015 at 5:26 pm

    I hear you Abena, but don’t forget that it’s the same parents that would advise their children to stay and work things out if the relationships/marriages are going awry. They will admonish their children on how their own relationships/ marriages have remained ‘solid’ because they stayed strong and endured. They will quote all the Bible versus known to man just to save face amongst their peers. Self worth to most people is to weather the storm in a tumultuous relationship, because you don’t want people to see you as a failure in marriage.

  9. Mz_daniels

    October 18, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    It starts from upbringing all these advice about proving our worth to men so we struggle to prove we’re not cheap. Once it hurts, take a walk. Let him call you whatever he likes, just take a walk

  10. Bbbreezy

    October 18, 2015 at 6:21 pm

    Hi Tolu, checking out ur write up for the first time and I must confess, I really love ur style of writing.It’s somewhat distinct from the usual. Keep it up dear.

  11. louie

    October 18, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    Tolu, your write up is so charming. You spoke the heart of a broken lady…I was once in one and glad I got out of it, although it wasn’t easy. I guess I had sensitive friends who noticed I was long gone #lol.. Thank Goodness .

  12. kim kim

    October 18, 2015 at 8:04 pm

    Great article. Well presented and written. Humans should learn to walk away from abusive relationships. It isnt always easy though, but life goes on

  13. Tosin

    October 18, 2015 at 8:19 pm

    who else loves this? in the first half, the lively, dancing words. the poetry. in the second half, the kindness.

  14. Boothang

    October 18, 2015 at 8:46 pm

    Gosh! I love how this article is beautifully woven. It reads like poetry but still drives home the points you were trying to pass. Welldone Tolu

  15. Suwa

    October 18, 2015 at 9:41 pm

    I’m walking away from my boyfriend today… kai!

  16. Aisha

    October 18, 2015 at 9:59 pm

    Sometimes love is sooooo hard. I regret marrying

    • Tola

      October 18, 2015 at 11:38 pm

      What? Don’t say that. Your marriage can’t be that bad.

    • Ozyy

      October 20, 2015 at 10:06 am

      kept trying, do everything in your humanly power. If it doesn’t still work, take a bow…GOD help u. life is too short to be unhappy. SHINE.!!!!

  17. Justbrokeup

    October 19, 2015 at 4:34 am

    My boyfriend and I recently just split. Prior to him cheating, we had been arguing very regularly mainly because I wasn’t satisfied. He didnt open up to me, wasn’t half as invested as I was in the relationship, neither was he ever there when I needed him nor did he ever go out of his way for me. Long story short, he was emotionally available. I found myself making excuses for him and hoping he’d realize how much of a good girl I was and change but that never happened. I stayed longer than I should have even though I wasn’t satisfied and my guts kept telling me to leave. Your deep gut instincts never lie! Listen to it. I stayed in that relationship not because I had low self esteem nor because i didn’t wanna be single, but because I was IN LOVE and I loved him way more than he loved me. When you are in love, you are blind, become selfless, always hope and most of all, don’t wanna lose your significan other. But when enough was enough, I left. Experience shows that the more you love him and the more he treats you badly, the more you wanna Stay.

    • Spectacular

      October 19, 2015 at 3:52 pm

      Did you write this on my behalf!? 🙂

  18. Dee

    October 19, 2015 at 7:12 am

    When you’ve loved and felt loved with a person before, it’s not easy to walk away and not feel like you’re giving up the chance to fight for and get back to that initial bliss. Maybe this is a bit of what keeps people in abusive relationships.

    Plus the fear of loneliness- it’s real men. You get to a point in your life and you just cling to everything and every relationship not to be alone

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  19. Omagold

    October 19, 2015 at 11:38 am

    Great post! I am glad i was able to realize and walk away some 3 years ago… it takes a strong confident woman to do this!

  20. jinkelele

    October 19, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    I struggled with the punctuation on this one. Sentences were too long especially because it read more like poetry. It needed a few breaks here and there, especially commas and semi colons. Better still alternating between short and long sentences to give better structure. I’m sure you’re reading this so take this as positive criticism because I love your writing but this was difficult to read

    • Sky Blue

      October 19, 2015 at 3:59 pm

      Thought I was alone. I stopped reading half-way.

      Love that you gave constructive criticism.

  21. Lolade

    October 19, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    “When you know your self worth, you won’t settle for less”
    The day I understood these words was the day I let go. I had some fears and uncertainties but I decided to face them than stay put with the ex. 4 months down the line, I met Ifemi….and I haven’t regretted letting go of the ex. I have come to understand the true meaning of ‘I love you’, not just in words but action wise also.

    Ladies, please for God’s sake, don’t stay in an abusive relationship (Abusive doesn’t mean beatings……anything that aims to reduce your self worth including insults). It is better to be single than to be tagged as “she is in a relationship”. Title without function is an error

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