Sitting on the comfortable couch at my nail salon, as I waited for my turn, I couldn’t help but overhear two women chattering. Both of them were talking about their partners. After a few minutes, I now knew their names- One of them would be in her early 20s- Rashi, and the other one was in her late 20s- Ruchi. Ruchi couldn’t stop talking about how her husband was a busy man; and she would get bored at home all day; and how he would sometimes even work on weekends and avoid their shopping time. Rashi had also jumped on the bandwagon; and started describing her boyfriend who’d rather be indoors on weekends and play video games than go out with her.
As my turn finally came, and my nail artist started working on my nails, I couldn’t help but wonder if the lives of these women really did revolve around their men? At least that’s how it did seem from their talks! I thought about some other important women in my life, to gain a little perspective. My friend, Anamika, would always talk about how her husband who gives her too many gifts. My colleague, Devina, wanted to dump this guy she had been dating for 7 months now, because he started to put in extra hours at work as appraisal neared. Alisha, another colleague, couldn’t stop complaining about her fiancé who was overprotective of her.
I quickly thought about the last 5 conversations I had had with any women that day. And, things became even clearer as I realised all 5 of them had been about men. Even the lady who serviced me at the nail salon hadn’t hesitated to tell me about her husband’s ill health while greeting me. Is it really the truth? Are we, as women, so obsessed with the men in our lives that we’ve run out of topics to discuss with friends and family? Are the men all we can think about? Do our lives just really revolve around them?
Picking out my favourite classy red nail paint to do my nails with, I wondered if Samir would like it. I quickly came back to reality when I realised I was doing it too. I was being obsessed with my man too! Every single time that I painted my nails, or did my hair, or make-up, or wore a nice dress- I would always think if he would like it; and would even send him a picture. Samir, as a man, would probably not know a thing about nail shapes, or lip shades, or dress lengths; and even if he would know, would he really care? He always complimented me- but that’s not the point. What was I doing?
Just like me, Ruchi and Rashi were also constantly obsessing over the men in their lives too; instead of focusing on building lives of their own. We, as women, need to understand the importance of building our own lives; and not being so focused on the men we’re with that we see nothing beyond them.
Years back, when I had broken up with Dhruv and he had decided to move across the country, I had no friends, social life or hobbies. It was then, that I first realised how important it was to build your own personal life, even though relationships can be all consuming. Coming out of that break up was undoubtedly the toughest thing I’ve had to deal with; but it could have been easier, if I had a life outside of my relationship.
Were Ruchi, Rashi, Anamika, Devina and Alisha making the same mistake that I had made years ago? Sadly, yes! Instead of having a life outside of their relationships, they were just getting sucked into their relationships; and constantly talking about their men.
Ladies, you need to understand- sometimes relationships work and last, and at other times they don’t! Build your support system, have friends who dote on you, pursue hobbies and arts, do what you love, spend time with people who’re important to you aside of him! Remember- men may come and go, BFFs last forever.
And for god’s sake, when you talk to others, talk about your friends, your parents, your health, your likes, your dislikes, your hobbies, your interests, your weekend, your weekdays- but rise above talking about your man!- not because he’s not an important part of your life; but because there are other things that matter too. Don’t make your life all about him. Want to shop? Go with a girlfriend. Want to check out the latest movie? Take your sibling. And lastly, be understanding- understand if your man showers you with gifts, he probably loves you that much! Understand that if he’s being over protective, it’s because he cares! Understand if he has to put in all those extra hours at work- his job is as important to him as yours is to you!
When you don’t see the men in your lives quitting their jobs for you, or asking you to play video games with them, or expecting you to take them out for haircuts; why do you behave in a manner that seeks approvals and validations? Why do you burden them with tonnes of expectations?
Having said that, remember that building your life outside of your relationship doesn’t mean you ignore your man- the investment has to be equal in both things. You man deserves you time, attention, love, care, affection as much as you deserve his. Hence, I think I will paint my nails red today, just how Samir likes it- not because I need a compliment or an approval stamp; but because he will appreciate that I thought about his choices! So you do something too, to bring a smile on his face- but don’t forget to bring one on your own face too- that’s what matters!