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The Elastic Heart Series with Atoke: Part IV – Smart & Stupid



IMG_0722{If you’re just joining us, you’re almost late to the party; but better late than never. If, however, you’ve been with me since Monday…you know what to do *wink*}
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?

But, 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 beat my chest and 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.

If I come out of this alive, I am not going to talk to any man again. Yes, I’m being overly dramatic now. It’s allowed. I’m allowed to be petty, be silly, and to throw tantrums.

So, I will not talk to men any more.

No, I’m serious. Men are bad for me. They hurt me. All the time.

Actually, that’s stupid. That’s a stupid thing to write. Why did I write that? That’s a stupid wide-sweeping statement.

See, missing you is making me talk stupidly. I’m not stupid. I’m smart.

Yes, a smart, funny writer. Quite a catch, actually. Yes, trumpet blowing.

I am hardworking, talented, and smart.

Smartness recognised you in a crowd.

Smartness made me ask you what the hell you wanted with me.

But where was Smartness when I was hurt from not being able to tell you how my day was?  Look, I wanted to tell you about lady on the train who told me my hair was beautiful! She chuckled when I explained to her how I finally got the curl definition after several YouTube tries. She smiled and said; “Oh, the trick is to put the curling pudding when the hair is slightly damp? That’s smart!”

Yes, smartness!

Smartness isn’t here to console me because I’m sad from the knowledge that I have to watch last week’s episode of The Night Of without you.

I saw something funny yesterday and I was going to show you, then I remembered. “Not talking to that man!” So, I sent it to KB instead.

My dearest friend, KB!
See, I have good friends that are men. Men are not stupid. I take that back. I have loads of male friends.

See, this is why I don’t NEED another friend with a penis.

I have loads of friends, but I don’t watch Marco Polo real time with them. I don’t care that they cut their finger on a gate! I don’t worry that they may get shot on their way to work, because they live in racist America! Okay, wait, that bit is not true. I worry about all my friends in America… but that’s not the point.

The point is that I miss you. This is hard… harder than I thought it would be. I am not going to force you to give us a chance. I know that there can probably be no ‘us’ ever.

I am angry with myself for missing you, since I am sure I don’t want the half slice of unbuttered bread you’re offering.

Everything feels so difficult now; but it will get better.

I know this, but it doesn’t make it hurt any less.

I want to laugh at your dry jokes. Dammit!

But, I am smart. I deserve better. I will be fine.

Why isn’t the knowledge of this soothing me?

 How can someone who’s so brilliant as you are be so completely stupid about this? Us? Our vibe?

So, so, so, so stupid!

All men are not stupid. You are currently being stupid!


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.



    August 25, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    Too long to read.. Got TARGET TO HIT THIS MONTH AT WORK??

  2. iyke

    August 25, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    Poor Atoke – Agreed, you may be book smart. But you see, you don’t intellectualize love in most cases. Lol. The heart doesn’t work like that – The miserable heart of the matter is that when your parts crossed initially, you saw potentials but he saw a pastime in you. A sad..unfortunate fact of life that what people look for in each other does not always align.
    How much do you know yourself Atoke? Perhaps, self understanding and acceptance might be the best defence against further emotional cruelty by others. Why not make it a duty to know yourself, to explore all your dark corners..uncover every fear and flaw of yours. I believe that if you know where you are weakest, those who wish to harm you,(emotionally) will find it much harder to hurt you. I strongly believe that what you know and embrace can’t hurt you.
    Anyways, good thing about this sort of pain though is that the cure can be as simple and earthly a thing as lying back under the warm, soft rays of the sun, dancing in the rain or exploring the wilds. You step outside and immerse yourself in the world ,fly up to somewhere for splendour with a small circle of kindred spirits. (Call Mz _Socially_Awkwarz and Bleed Blue et al) .You will come home feeling more of yourself than you have been in years.
    We got you baby!

  3. Quintessential African

    August 25, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    “I want to laugh at your dry jokes…But, I am smart. I deserve better….How can someone who’s so brilliant as you are be so completely stupid about this? Us? Our vibe?”

    Atoke, are you in my head or what??? :O

    My second (or first, depending on the angle) most meaningful/hurtful situationship was brought about by yet another bout of loneliness! The guy had been asking me out for donkey years, I had been forming singe super woman for a long time and somehow decided to give dude a chance.

    Too many red flags slapped me left and right, but I carried on till one day, we were hanging out and he teased me about not having a bf because I must be seeing someone new to which I said no. When I teased him in the same manner, I received the shock of my life. Dude told me he was back with his ex but wasn’t sure how to inform me. Yes, just like that!

    Since then he broke up with the ex and made up with me, acted stupid towards me, silent treatment, made up with the ex, then broke up and decided she is the spawn of the devil (because he cheats and she equally cheats, shocking! lol).

    Anyway, my final straw with him was when I ran into them at an occasion, when the guy had told me he doesn’t trust her and can never be with her blablabla. The disgust was too much and all other salient details of how he treated me started replaying in my head. I have not spoken to him since, though he has reached out several times. With all his selfishness, I wonder why I still miss him sometimes, why I want him to make me laugh, why I want to fall asleep watching tv with him and yet punch him a million times in the face!

    C’est la vie (??)

  4. Millie

    August 25, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    Sigh… Men sha. Everything is a game.

  5. Kay

    August 25, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    I don’t even remember how I found myself in a situationship for 4 years (on & off)
    I couldn’t let go. We would communicate for many hours everyday and not get tired of talking to each other..
    He was the only person that could wake me up with a phone call at 3 am & vice versa… (this happened often btw, and it was ok)
    I thought he was my soul mate…
    Only that he won’t define things. Each time I asked the famous question “what are we” and he couldn’t answer.. we would stop talking for a few months, but somehow we were back again

    There really wasn’t a better option so I guess it was always easy to go back to him. Once debe lol
    Anyway, sometime this year my eyes finally opened o. We give God the glory
    This was before I even met my present bf. I was done for good, and I did not look back.

    I’ve never met anyone this amazing! Now I understand how some people meet someone and just know this is their future partner… #InnerPeace + he isn’t interested in anyone he cant marry & have kids with.

  6. Sisi

    August 25, 2016 at 10:14 pm

    I hate myself for missing people (him), shut that ish down quick for my own sanity and dignity

  7. Californiabawlar

    August 26, 2016 at 6:14 am

    Atoke! You have finally struck a cord with me. Me I’m not joking o! I don’t talk to boys no more! After my last ‘almost lover’, I quit acquiring friends with penises. I have a cupboard full of them already. Common I’ve been working in a male dominated field for almost 15years. Yoruba people will ask what are they using Bello to do in Ilorin? So my dear, January 2015, I made my resolution. Now, almost 2years later, NO NEW MALE FRIENDS. And guess what? I’ve been in the best mental state ever. No grey lines. No building castles in the air. Now I’m back to being chased. And even with that I’m cut throat….no time for serenren.
    Yes girl it’s doable… Acquaintances? Yes. New colleagues? Yes. But if I meet you at a conference or in a non traditional dating setting, I will not be returning text messages after 9pm or staying or staying on the phone for over 5mins. Ko jo mehn.
    I wish you all the best with this one… Sh*t happens. Now if to say I fit, I’ll make you my special heartbreak iyan and egusi…forget fitfam…ALL my friends swear by it…from Lagos to Kigali. If you chop am, the poundo will glue all the pieces together fiam! Lols.

    • [email protected]

      August 29, 2016 at 4:51 pm

      Californiabawlar, Biko I want the special break-up Iyan and egusi soup, even though i’m not heart broken….but it sure would do a single girl some good to her soul

  8. Princess P

    August 26, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    Whoever this guy is….he did you ‘stong’ thing

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