Dear Aunt Lisa,
I come from Masvingo seeking your wisdom on an issue weighing on my mind. I am a security guard. For many years I cared for a young woman and sponsored her education from primary school through university. I hoped one day we could build a life together.
However, Aunt, shortly after she graduated she met a wealthy man and ended our relationship. While I provided for her needs for so long, she did not see me as a suitable partner long term.
Now I have begun caring for another young woman who reminds me of the first. I could support her education with the hope of building a future together. But I worry history may repeat itself.
As someone wiser than me, what counsel do you have? Should I continue sponsoring this woman’s education and risk heartbreak again? Or preserve my own peace of mind and end this relationship now, before investing further?
Any wisdom from your experience would be most appreciated. I seek only to avoid unnecessary pain while acting with compassion and discernment. I value your perspective as someone who has surely navigated complex relationships with care. Your guidance will provide much-needed clarity during this uncertain time.
With deep humility and gratitude
Aunty Lisa responds:
My dear Munyaradzi,
I understand your struggle with this complex situation. While you cared for these women with good intentions, reaching different understandings of the relationships has caused pain.
As an aunt who cares for your wellbeing, I advise the following:
With the new woman in your life, have an open and honest conversation about your goals. Explain that while you’d be happy to support her education, you do not wish to invest further without clarity. Ask what she hopes to gain from the relationship and what role she sees you playing, both now and in the future.
This discussion may bring clarity or it may end the relationship. Either way, you avoid heartbreak through open communication. While some women may take advantage of your generosity, not all do. Give this woman the benefit of the doubt but proceed with caution.
Most importantly, Munyaradzi, always value yourself. Your worth does not depend on being in a relationship. Focus on helping others with pure intentions, without expectations of reciprocity. Let go of hopes for specific outcomes.
If this woman sees a future with you, have another honest talk about roles, needs and compatibility. Only a true partnership based on understanding, care and respect can last.
Go forward with wisdom, Munyaradzi. Avoid unnecessary pain through clear communication and self-worth. You have much love to give – give it with openness but also discernment.
Call on me again if you have need of further guidance. You have my love and support always.