What do you do when love turns sour?
Nkemji woke up that Friday morning with a feeling of gloom she couldn’t shake off.
She sat on the bed for a few minutes, thinking happy thoughts in a bid to lift the cloak of sadness that enveloped her, but it didn’t work.
Eventually, she got off the bed to prepare for work. Twenty minutes later, she grabbed her bag and picked her small phone on the drawer before heading out.
It’s been a week since she ended her eleven months relationship with Gabriel, so she decided to stay off social media by purchasing a small phone to replace her iPhone for a week or two.
The breakup was a tough call for her but she had to make it.
The relationship was headed for ruins anyway and had lasted that long because she kept silent and overlooked a lot of bullsheet he dumped on her.
They had met at a church anniversary she attended with her former roommate, Theodora, a year ago. Gabriel was the drummer for the live band that performed at the event.
After an intense dancing session, she had stepped out to receive a phone call when her path crossed with Gabriel who had been watching her dance in the first row where she was.
Read Also: Is Love Enough To Sustain A Relationship?
They had a bit of small talk and contacts were exchanged. That night, Gabriel reached out through a phone call that lasted for over forty-five minutes.
“I couldn’t help but notice how you danced freely in the church today like you had no worries in the world. I need that kind of happiness in my life.” He had cooed in her ears.
Butterflies found their way to her tummy and two weeks later, they began dating.
Everything was so fast-paced that in three months, she had met Gabriel’s friends, siblings, and mum.
He made her feel special and she couldn’t help but thank her stars for bringing such a fine man into her life.
Gabriel seemed like a perfect compensation for her past relationship that went awry and she prayed earnestly that their love would last.
Most nights, she would lay in bed, fantasizing about the white flowing gown she would wear on their big day and Gabriel in his dashing black tuxedo, waiting at the altar.
Read Also: How To Protect Your Heart From Heartbreaks
These fantasies always made her hopeful that nothing could possibly go wrong.
Five months down the love road, Gabriel’s jealousy that she had considered cute at the beginning of their relationship, became a bone in her throat.
It choked her of freedom and living. His calls and messages became excessive; he would video call at any time he deemed fit, just to be sure she wasn’t with someone else.
Her productivity at work took a hit, leaving her boss and colleagues wondering what went wrong.
Slowly, Nkemji’s interest in the relationship dwindled and she knew the end was imminent.
The end came in their eleventh month after he went through her phone and dialled the number of her male colleague, Tobi, threatening him to stay away from his woman.
Nkemji was beside herself with anger and ended the relationship before storming out of his house. She deleted his number and bought a new sim card and phone on her way home.
She was done.
After the breakup, he showed up at her house thrice but she would lay still on the bed, ignoring his yelling and banging on her door.
It’s been a new week now and the breakup has been going well for her, or so she hoped.
After a thirty-minute drive, she arrived at the marketing agency where she worked as the HR and signed in at the reception.
As she made her way to her office on the third floor, she noticed the lingering stares from some of the staff members but dismissed it as admiration as she felt she was looking her best in her lemon blazers atop a white trouser with heels to match.
She took the elevator and arrived at the third floor to more stares. This time, she knew something was off.
She checked her clothes to be sure there was no stain before proceeding to her enclosed office. Immediately she settled, she dialled Tobi’s number to express her observation that morning and his response made her heart freeze in shock:
I see you have not been on social media this morning, your ex called you out and posted some not-so-good pictures.
Nkemji ended the call abruptly and powered her laptop. She logged into Facebook to see fifty-eight notifications.
She tapped on the notification icon with trembling hands and saw series of mentions on the same post. Her heartbeat was racing faster now.
She closed her eyes for a few seconds to calm her nerves, then opened them.
“God, help me.” She muttered before tapping on the first mention.
Her heart was not prepared for what she saw.
She scrolled past the post first to see the pictures he shared and her heart sank.
They were bedroom photos of her that he had taken after promising to delete them immediately.
She had believed him and didn’t bother to remind him afterwards.
Her body began rocking back and forth, and the only thoughts in her mind came repeatedly:
The first time I read a call-out post was 2018 or 2019, I think.
It was posted on Facebook by a guy who wrote some humiliating things about his ex.
I read the post and couldn’t contain my shock afterwards. I couldn’t imagine what the lady went through reading such disparaging things about her on social media.
Since then, I have seen more ‘call out’ posts that seem to normalize the idea that when love turns sour, the ex-lovers can come on social media to wash their dirty linens for all to see.
Love is and will remain a beautiful thing, but when you see the hurtful things that ex-lovers do and say to themselves on social media, you begin to ask yourself if they were ever in love in the first place.
When love turns sour, some people become manipulative and vindictive. They trash the good memories they once shared with their ex and go all out to destroy their reputation.
In some cases, these call-outs are aimed at warning other prospective lovers from dating the person. But the true question is if there wasn’t a fallout, will there be a call out?
While some may feel justified by their actions, the end result of such episodes usually makes matters worse.
This is why I wrote this blog post, to share better options in handling the situation.
Read Also: Are Rules Important In A Relationship?
What can you do when love turns sour?
Take a well-deserved break:
This will prevent you from making rash decisions in the heat of the moment. If you have to leave your current location to clear your mind, by all means, do it.
There will always be the urge to ‘shame’ that ex because they hurt you but a well-deserved break will take your mind off the breakup for a while.
During this period, distract yourself with music, a new skill, exercise, or anything ‘healthy’ that can help.
If you have to stay off social media for a while, do it. Do what works for your peace and sanity.
Talk to your support system
Going through heartbreak can be very daunting, especially when you do not have the liberty to take a break or avoid the situation and person.
This is where your support system comes in. Your support system is your small circle of friends and family that you trust and can feel vulnerable with.
Tell them what you’re going through and enjoy the encouragement they bring. Talking to them will help you unburden your pain and grief without acting on the urge to retaliate or make a call-out post.
Have a conversation with the ex
This was suggested to me by a friend which I vehemently refused at first because I believed it can’t work. But on second thought, I realised that it might actually work for some.
The idea is to have a ‘friendly’ meeting with the ex to talk about what went wrong and apologize where necessary before you go your separate ways.
The purpose of the meeting is to help you know your flaws so that you can fix them before the next relationship.
This suggestion can only work between mature minds or if the conditions surrounding the breakup are not so messy.
Whichever option it may be, if avoiding the ex is a better alternative to having a conversation with them, then please, follow your heart and mind.
What do you think about this blog post?
What other steps can one take when love turns sour?
Please, share in the comments section.