Connect with us


The Elastic Heart Series with Atoke: Part II – I Failed



IMG_1019{If you read the first part of this series, you can skip this introduction bit and head on to body below}
I always say to Glory Edozien, “You are the love mistress. Love is your territory. You love, love.” It is true; Glory IS the love queen. She has this glow when she talks about matters of the heart. Me? Not quite. I don’t care. My love is my writing. My heart? Chained away, padlocked and frozen.

So, when I found myself in a Situationship, I struggled with confronting the realisation that this is what was actually going on.

Wait, you don’t know what a Situationship is? Where were you when Isio Wanogho and Uru Eke were talking about it here on BN? Tsk, Tsk! Okay, I’ll help you out: properly captures it:
“A situationship is basically a pseudo-relationship. A placebo masking itself as a formative relationship. It smells like a relationship, it sorta looks like a relationship, and it may even feel like one, but it’s not. Urban Dictionary describes a situationship as any problematic relationship characterised by one or more unresolved, interpersonal conflicts. usually confused with dating.”

All caught up now? Good!

A situationship is that halfway place between talking and being in a relationship. It’s sha a whole lot of rocking chair style techniques. (No, not sexual, you perv!) I mean, it gives you so much to do, but takes you NO WHERE!

You’re talking to this person but you don’t really want to ask that dreaded question because you don’t want to come across as an Eager Beaver. So you just let the absence of definition drag on and on and on! Till you find yourself broken hearted. Then you’re told “But we were not in a relationship, ke!”

Dearly beloved, I’m here to preach one word of Rhema to you today…It is very okay to ask that question. The Love Queen, Glory Edozien also confirms it. In any case, once you’re in your 30s, you have the carte blanche to do anything you want to. You know why?

Because you’re an ADULT!

So, since I’m such a tough talker and a know-it-all, why did I fall into this pit of despair and become a bumbling mess when I asked the “what do you want with me?” question and got the “friendship!” response?

I was still going to be a strong woman, okay? I wasn’t going to let a man use me emotionally and tell me he just wants to be friend. No! I stood in my room, with all the righteous indignation in the world.

“I am going to need to dial this back a whole lot! I can’t do the kind of friendship you want.” I beat my chest King Kong style and decided to cut the man off!

The Elastic Heart Series is the result of my decision. It chronicles my walk through the pain of trying to clutch myself back from my Situationship. It has been a long, arduous journey and I hope that nobody will ever tell you that it is easy.

Because, that sh*t hurts so bad.
My emotions Yo-Yo’d from happiness, to relief, to anger, and back to intense sadness. Days of tears soaking my pillow, and me trying to muffle my sobs because I didn’t want my roommate to think this strong girl had somehow crumbled. I feel a little better now, and I’ve decided to share my experience in a 5-part series. If you have never heard Elastic Heart by Sia, please get acquainted, because this song got me through this very difficult period. I may not be as strong as I thought I was, but now I realise that what I have is an Elastic Heart.

I hope you enjoy this series and I hope it helps somebody.

I miss you.

I’m probably not supposed to say this out loud, but I do… and I’m going to be a grown woman about all of this. I miss you. I really do.

I miss just knowing that you existed in the periphery of my life. I miss your stale memes and over saturated shared social media jokes. But that’s the funny thing about all of this… you’re the guy who sends stale jokes and still makes me laugh like I’m seeing them for the first time.

I miss the raw honesty of your views about life. I miss how you surprise me with sudden bursts of knowledge of pop-culture. And I miss the purity of your heart.

You’re a good guy.
A really good guy.

You’re decent and you have no scruples about being good.

And I miss that.

I don’t want to, but I do.

I’ve been here before. I’ve done this cold turkey thing before. It was hard, but I did it. If you ever read this, it means I failed.

The last time I went cold turkey, it was to save my life. It took a lot of help from my friends. K.B ensured I always had Amala from a particular bukka. A-R constantly ensured that I remembered I didn’t have to remain grateful that a man wanted me.

A combination of food and revalidation helped. I then went on to have a series of successes in my career; what started as a pain that would never go away, ended up being a faint distant memory.

I soared.

I didn’t remember him with pain. Instead, I looked back and I appreciated the experience.

Then, I closed that door, chained it, and threw the key away.

It particularly helped because I had grown into a place of loving myself so much that it didn’t even matter that one guy didn’t love me.

It is this over-estimated sense of self that has led me right back to this cold turkey zone.

I love myself too much to be a crutch for someone. What will I get in return? What is in it for me? I can’t do that? I have to look out for ME.

I say this over and over in my head.

Day 1 of Cold Turkey – I love me too much to be okay with being a crutch.

Day 2 of Cold Turkey – Does he want me to justify why I’m worth it? Nah, I can’t do that for any man.

Day 3 of Cold Turkey – I CAN’T DO IT! I’ll take whatever scraps fall from your table. TAKE ME BACK! Friendship, WhatsApp… anything beats this loneliness.

I don’t know whether tomorrow will be a better day. I hope it is.

I hope you never get to see this note, because if you do… it will mean I failed.

And I am not a failure.

Big Girls CrySia

Photo CreditCharity Adetiba-Howard

You probably wanna read a fancy bio? But first things first! Atoke published a book titled, +234 - An Awkward Guide to Being Nigerian. It's available on Amazon. ;)  Also available at Roving Heights bookstore. Okay, let's go on to the bio: With a Masters degree in Creative Writing from Swansea University, Atoke hopes to be known as more than just a retired foodie and a FitFam adherent. She can be reached for speechwriting, copywriting, letter writing, script writing, ghost writing  and book reviews by email – [email protected]. She tweets with the handle @atoke_ | Check out her Instagram page @atoke_ and visit her website for more information.


  1. mia

    August 23, 2016 at 3:13 pm

    The first few days are the most difficult because you’re already used to the communication but with time, you’ll forget him. By the way, have you heard that the best way to beat an addiction is to get another addiction? channel your energy into something else, something more productive, something you’ll remember some months down the line and you’ll praise yourself for.

    This too shall pass.

    • bella

      August 23, 2016 at 3:35 pm

      give an example of another addiction to forget someone and please dont say exercise or reading a book or any of that something solid something that will work…anyone can answer….

    • beenthere

      August 24, 2016 at 2:15 pm

      I registered for ACCA and book a holiday after every diet to take away the stress of result day anxiety. I also work and most times i am too tired after a long day. This has made me prioritise. Fuk boys are now like bottom of the priority ladder by default. This is a routine I have become addicted to because I MUST pay my rent, pass my exams and I love travelling (I skydived during my last trip, over the Mediterranean) I failed my first 2 diets and cried like a baby after spending like £600. That kind of experience will make a situationship break up look like counting sessions on Sesame Street. Situationship break up heartbreaks are stupid I swear lol.
      Find a challenging goal in your own environment, turn it into a routine and stick to it.

  2. Gorgeous

    August 23, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    Your brain is the most important organ in your body! Use it! we are responsible for how people treat us because we let them. When someone shows you who they are, believe them. Stop trying to convince people that you are the one for them. We all know what we want. Just like you think you want him, he doesnt think you are the one for him. And he has every right to decide who he wants to be with. You cant make anyone love you! Even if they did at some point. People change, feelings change. Its hard but move on!

  3. my question is

    August 23, 2016 at 3:41 pm

    My question is that do you people have other things you do with your life other than bf, men, husband and marriage?

    It seems to me that this is your goal in life. Yet anything like this, you bash men upandan

    You no go leave the men alone and face your front?
    uche onise, face your work o!

  4. Aysha

    August 23, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    oh..Am soo glad you’re back! and I feel your pains sisi,it’s almost like a raging fire,it consumes.There is absolutely no shame in letting out and blurting out the pains,it’ll only help you grow.Take heart dear,we Miss You!!!.May God the comforter,comfort our hearts!Amen

  5. B

    August 23, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    That was how I kukuma found myself in one ooo. How It happened, I can’t even tell. It started with boy likes girl, girl likes boy. We chatting a lot (not one sided), he rarely calls but he can chat for africa. We got really close and we were heading into dating( so I thought and that’s what he made me believe, I swear it was not just in my head) but he was asking me out. So I had to do what most ladies dread, asking the Question (it is very important you do). I requested we meet to discuss where we were heading and he fixed a date, dude kept mute after then and I never asked again.

    You are right Atoke, that sh*t hurts. I cut him off, I deleted his number but it took me a while before I deleted him off BBm ( I did not want to look petty, crazy me). I was at peace when I finally deleted him and I was grateful I deleted him when I did. I kept holding on to the good memories that’s why I asked so late.( please ask early to avoid stories that touch). This too shall pass and you will definitely get over him or her.
    A friend of mine found herself in a Situationship after I did and she felt she was never going to get over it and I just smiled .One day at time is all it takes.

    • beenthere

      August 24, 2016 at 2:17 pm

      One major red flag is they don’t like calling but prefer instant messaging.

    • Asher

      August 25, 2016 at 11:57 pm

      This is false.

  6. Sonia Paloma

    August 23, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    One thing I know helped me through my break up few years ago was constantly talking about it after a few days when it actually dawned on me it was over. This stage comes after the “F-Him stage/I am better off without him” lol
    I am a very private person. So, i only confided in very few people close to me like my best friend, sister and close pal. With time he/she starts to slip your mind. you go from thinking about them every seconds, to minute, to maybe 5,10, 15 mins then hours then days and before you know it, it becomes a memory

  7. It's me C

    August 23, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    It’s difficult but it’s all in your hands. The reason why you are still there is because you chose to. If you understand that the decision to leave is in your hands, you will start feeling better. Whatever we are going through in life is a product of the decision we took at some point. Decide to move on and you will see the product of the “moving on” decision you took.
    You will be fine though.

  8. "changing moniker"

    August 23, 2016 at 6:24 pm

    Ahhh Atoke, I thought I knew who this was about but I was wrong……
    I’m sure smart folks here know why

  9. NaijaPikin

    August 23, 2016 at 7:21 pm

    As a certified queen of cold turkey, I’m here to tell you, you can do it.

    You always have to remain the reason you decided to remove from the situation. keep that as your focus and it’s easier to not go back.

    To the person that asked what do you do as a secondary addiction, gym, reading books are definitely worth considering. They take up your time and before you know it, its bed time. Get active with your social life. meet up with friends for drinks, have potlucks, google or bellanaija search things to do in your area on a weekly basis, teach yourself a new skill (Sewing, braiding, beading, etc), volunteer with a cause you are passionate about, watch TV/online series. just fill up your day with anything but the situationship.

    remember the heart only bends, it doesn’t break. You’ll bounce back and be ready for your true love when he/she comes along.

    • bella

      August 23, 2016 at 9:37 pm

      thanx for a response but why i said not reading or exercising or the usuals is because when ur exercising e.g running on a threadmill lool your mind can wonder its frustrating.and they say the more you tell ursef im not going to think about the person the more you are actually thinking about the person i dunno why my mind keeps going there but it does i try hard to focus on something else it just seems like it is not working….

  10. Mahka

    August 23, 2016 at 8:39 pm

    I miss him, I still do. Even after three years.
    I miss his curly hair n his last born charm.
    My situationship hit me hard,I thought we had a great thing going until dude just decided to upp’d n go without so much as a call or text. Things went sour quickly(never knew why till date). Few months later,I started hearing parables of how dude has janded n started coupling with one oyibo.
    These days am cold turkey to the max. Am fine sha, I think but like iyke said am so ready to be devoured but he better come correct. No time for hanky panky,who’s ready?,till then ??hillsong-Christ is enough

    Hey Atoke,you are not a failure,I really wish the right better dude finds you ok…??’it gets better'(Fun).

    BN,half of your readers are ‘heart broken cold turkeys’,be the Cupid in our stories;hafaa the match making services na.. do you want us to be?? ‘chasing pavements’ like Adele.

  11. Halle

    August 24, 2016 at 10:00 am

    Well…. I dance….
    It makes me so happy!
    I joined a cause for women and children… (rape victims, orphans,hunger) etc… After this, i didnt even remember i had issues sef..LoL
    It helped me realize how small my issues are and how there are real big problems out there
    Also, It helped me give myself away to help people who are not even expecting it
    i found purpose, i found that my life was bigger than me…
    #littlejoys #purpose

    • kachi

      August 24, 2016 at 1:24 pm

      Hi Halle,
      Are you in Lagos please? If yes, can you give me details about the cause for women and children. I would like to be a part of it.
      Thanks in anticipation.

  12. Quintessential African

    August 24, 2016 at 10:35 am

    Hi Atoke!

    I’m glad you are writing about this “situationship” business, and I would like to share one of my
    experiences. Since I’m commenting for the first time, I will drop one experience now and the rest as your series unfolds. So here goes…

    Last year, after a bout of loneliness, I was introduced to this guy by certain friends who described him as sugar and spice and everything nice (figuratively speaking), and I believed them because they are good people and I could never fathom that they would set me up with an eff boy. So things got poppin between us and gbam, he reveals to me (after questioning) that he has a gf whom he thought I was aware of. At this point, the sensible thing would’ve been to chuck my deuces at him ba? The spirit was willing but the body was weak.

    He was filling a deep void in my life at the time and I just wanted him there, selfishly so! Never in my life had I ever been a consenting side chick!!! Anyhow, he acted like he was into and at some point went cold turkey on ME. How can??? Couldn’t imagine that anyone would ever treat me this way. So after a while of forming bad guy, I finally decided to talk to him. We discussed and while we were talking I really just wanted to slap him across his head for “making” me like him so much and welcoming him into my life.

    I started the situationship with the understanding that not all stories are the same and with the hope that it could start off casual and end up with us living happily ever after…or at least he would provide me company and fulfill my sexual needs. How could I be allow myself to be so ignorant? Hmm…

    Judge me if you wish, but this is my story (one of my stories)!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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

Tangerine Africa

Star Features