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TONI THORNE: Before none, any

Toni Thorne

TONI THORNE: Before none, any

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“Before none, any” is what I would always hear the members of my female-dominated household say whenever a discussion arose about someone who they felt were settling for less than they deserved in a relationship.

The concept behind this sentiment is when people prefer to have any partner than be alone. Being alone is different from being lonely. Being alone is more than often a choice. It is a certain level of contentment with oneself and a comfort with being and entertaining oneself. Many of us “Single Pringles” are either lonely or alone. Those of us who are alone understand that self-love is important before we seek to enter into a relationship. After all, we cannot pour unless we are full. We cannot give one hundred per cent to a relationship with another person until we have given one hundred per cent to the relationships we have with both God and ourselves.

There are many instances of “Before none, any”.

• When the sex (and everything else) isn’t good but the money is.

• Some of us try not to judge whilst others see no distinction between gold-digging and traditional prostitution. I recently saw a cartoon meme on Instagram with a beautiful looking young lady posing on the beach and an old, fat, wrinkly man in the background saying “I paid a lot of money for this vacation…you should at least ‘tag’ me”. This hilarious meme was referring to many young women and men who choose to be with a person simply for their money. They are often too ashamed to have an open relationship with the individual under the guise of being ‘private’. However, if the person looked like Idris Elba with the same bank account, they would be showing him or her off like a 15-carat engagement ring.

Just for the kids

 We have all been privy to countless situations where persons stay in a relationship “for the kids”. I wish more of us who make these decisions would understand certain elements. As a child who grew up with unmarried parents who were not together, children like myself can and do have normal childhoods with loving parents. Just because parents do not love each other, does not mean that they cannot simultaneously and exclusively love their offspring. Staying or being in a relationship with someone who does not love you, simply for the child, is pointless. Children are young but they are not silly.

For status and social media ‘likes’

 The pressure of social media is astounding. Every week persons post their engagement ring pictures or silhouettes of bachelorette parties and wedding ceremonies. Looking happy is not being happy. When we become so consumed with the approval of others, we neglect to focus on our happiness. Guess what, we cannot cuddle with Instagram ‘likes’ at night. This category also includes being attractive or being with someone who is attractive but is bringing nothing else to the relationship. If we look like a “10” and have a personality of a “2”, then we are a “2”.

• Forced decisions due to a ticking biological clock.

• My 58-year-old mother always says she is not choosing to be with a man out of fear of growing old alone. Many of us make this mistake. We fear growing old alone, not having children in a stable relationship, or are tired of seeing all of our peers being married. As a result, we operate like a game of “Pin the Tail on the Donkey” and just pick any donkey out there.

“Ein busy”

I had two male friends who would always give this response when asked: “Why are you with this person?” It is important for those of us who are in ‘situationships’ such as these to understand one basic thing. According to my grandmother: “if yuh giving free milk, doan expect him or her to buy the cow.” If someone is with us and getting all the benefits of being in a relationship, why should they make an effort to make things official? What will the difference be? There must be a difference between being in a relationship and simply ‘flamming’. We should know our worth.

When the sex is good but nothing else is

We should never fool ourselves into thinking that there is only one person who is capable of providing great sex in this world.

Being in a relationship with someone you love and loves you is a priceless experience. For those of us who are not fortunate to be involved with a wonderful significant other, we should simply focus on our goals and aspirations and being the best versions of ourselves. After all, the flower does not dream of the bee, it blossoms and the bee comes.

Toni Thorne is a young entrepreneur and World Economic Forum Global Shaper who loves global youth culture, a great debate and living in paradise. Email [email protected]