Don’t trade dignity for running shoes

Mo Phindi

Relationship strategists Mo and Phindi say that if you have to chase after him, it is impossible to feel good about yourself – so don’t trade in your dignity for a pair of running shoes


Sunil and Vashna had been dating for a little over a year when they came to see us over what she called challenges they faced in their relationship.

She had been pressing hard to meet us. However, it came as a surprise that she had postponed the initial appointment twice at very short notice.

When they eventually came, Sunil behaved as though he was doing us a favour by coming to see us. He was quiet and disengaged for the first few minutes until we challenged him to speak.

He said outright he had told Vashna he did not love her anymore. But she insisted that she loved him and that she believed it was just a phase he was going through as he apparently was having a challenging period at work.

While we appreciated that he might indeed be going through some trying times at work, we could not get over the way he said he did not love her anymore. After about an hour of probing, we saw a man whose future genuinely did not include her, but she would have none of it.

In our old-school mentality and sometimes approach to relationships we always tell women never to allow a man to tell them more than once that he does not love them anymore.

If the thrill is gone, there is no amount of cooking, sex, having his children, surprise gifts or loving his mother that will keep him. It will all be meaningless. If you have done your part, you cannot make him do his.

Love is not only a word

Let him go in peace, and tell him to close the door on his way out. Love is not only a word, but a choice as well.

A woman, because she is not yet ready to accept, generally tends to grovel and ultimately displays the worst form of disrespect for herself trying to win him back. If your partner has already made up his mind to leave you for whatever reason, never beg him to stay. Never cry or plead with him. Maintain your dignity and self-respect. Otherwise you will just be feeding his ego.

It may be very hard. But you will have plenty of time for grieving after he has gone. You will also have the time to practise detachment and take care of yourself.

See a counsellor, write a book, vent to a trusted friend, see a lawyer, protect your assets and get support from family.

If there are kids, it is important to maintain composure and do all you can not to break down in front of them. They are suffering enough and are in dire need of security.

Never give your uncommitted partner the satisfaction of grovelling. Set aside your grief and make room for righteous anger. Let it fuel you forward. By your self-respecting actions, you would be communicating that you are not anyone’s consolation prize and you will beg for no one’s second place.

Don’t trade in your dignity

Chasing after a man is humiliating, exhausting and downright bad for your self-esteem. It is impossible to feel good about yourself if you are willing to trade in your dignity for a pair of running shoes to chase after any man. Your dignity and self-esteem are never worth surrendering, for anyone or anything.

If you have to chase him, he does not want to be caught. A man who wants to be with a woman will always be running toward her, not away from her. Let him go.

Furthermore, he will not keep playing games with your heart or keep you hanging around as his backup plan. That is cowardice.

Importantly though, you are missing out on things, people and relationships that are meant for you by wasting all your time, energy and emotions on the someone who is not even yours. When you stop chasing things that are not for you, you give the things that are a chance to catch up to you.

But as long as you are caught up in the drama of an on-and-off-again endless pursuit, you are blind to all the amazing things already staring you right in the face.

Lastly, even if you catch him, you will never really have him.

We had to bluntly share this with Vashna. You can catch his body but still not capture his heart. And yes, by that we also include sex.

But the really amazing thing that sometimes happens when you catch someone you have been chasing, is that it opens your eyes to why you should not be together anyway.

Sometimes it takes getting what you wanted to fully understand that it is not what you needed, nor what you deserved. You would have wasted a lot of time in the process.

We hope wherever you are in your journey you will realise that you are worth being pursued as a woman. You deserve a man who is willing to do whatever it takes to capture your heart.


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