A Story To A Face meets Hawa- Relationships either ‘+’ or ‘-‘

Saturday evening. Myself and a good friend of mine (Hawa) find ourselves in Costa (Hackney Central), ordering a pineapple and coconut cold shake and lemon cake. We talk about life, and then Hawa’s past relationship experience comes into conversation- a moment of her life that shaped her as a person. We hope the story inspires!

How was growing up like for you?

“Growing up I had a good childhood, my parents provided a lot of things for me we didn’t really lack much. I remember we moved around a lot, I was born in North London then we moved to Kent and then we moved to Hackney when I was 11 years old. Growing up I had a lot of conflicts and arguments with my siblings and I never really understood why we would move around a lot.

So I came to Hackney when I was in 11 years old (Year7), I went to an all girls school and I remember feeling the need to find a ‘click’ of girls to fit in with. I had a few fears, but my biggest fear was failing my education as a whole because I never really invested much in it. My family had so much hope in me to do well in my studies and part of me didn’t want to disappoint them, but at the same time I didn’t invest much in my studies my main focus was fitting it. I was really influenced by friends- I just wanted to fit in with them. To top it off, I was very insecure about my image and size, I always felt really big and like I was the odd one out because my shape. Day and night, thoughts about my size would bombard my mind and those closest to me would comment about my weight and this would put me down. As I became older these experiences would plague my mind and it really marked me, I was a quiet person.”

How did you get into the long-distance relationship?

“The long-distance relationship started online, I received a message from the person and we started talking, we exchanged numbers and we kept in contact. I felt like he understood me and loved me for who I was, because growing up I was often put down so I found so much acceptance with his words and believed everything that he would tell me. I took a big step and decided to travel abroad to see him, if I be honest with you even when we were talking there was a lot of red flags about the relationship. Deep down I knew the best decision was to end the relationship, but I just brushed these thoughts and feelings under the carpet.

When I visited him for the first time, he made me feel like a Queen I loved the country he welcomed me to his family- I felt so special that I wanted to stay even longer. But the second time that I visited, I realised that this relationship wasn’t going to work out, I had found out he was cheating on me and we had two different mindsets- two totally different ways of seeing things that it just was not working properly.”

Why did you end the relationship, and if there was wounds how did you start the healing process?

” I ended the relationship because I just wasn’t happy, I was trying to find happiness in the relationship rather than from within. I started to see how much I didn’t value myself. I was loosing a lot of weight but I became so blind that I still saw myself as big rather than apppreciating myself.

I learned that I needed to be healed from the inside out, I learnt to accept what had happened rather than beating myself up about it because that is what I was doing and it would weigh me down.

So I took a decision, to accept what had happened and to take ownership for it. With time, I started to realise my worth and how special I am…

I’ll break it down into two catergories: firstly physically- I started to let go of things that reminded me of the relationship, so if it was jewellery I would get rid of it, it was hard but essential… I cut off all ties that I had with the relationship.

Finally, spiritually- I started to understand that my value and worth stems from God, I learnt and realised what God’s will for my life was and this completed me.”

Hopes for the future?

“I look forward to graduating from my nursing degree, to be happily married in the future and I hope to work within nursing to give advice to clients as I’m a strong believer that prevention is better than cure.”

What makes you get up every morning?

“There’s a purpose for my life and my family are a massive source of my motivation.”

Hawa’s top tips for relationships

1)’ Why?’- why do you want to be in a relationship at this moment of time? Analyse what your intentions are.

2) Wait and don’t rush

3) Work on yourself, be the best that you can be. This is because you are not entering into a relationship for someone to give to you, but instead you are aiming to give and add to the other person.

4)Make sure you match what you want in a person- if you want the person to be a giver, make sure you are a giver.

5)Find out about the person from friends and those around- do your research on the person.


Hawa’s story just goes to show how much of an impact that relationships can have on a person, they are so fundamental to the point that relationships have the power to takeway or add to a person.

Any questions that you’d like Hawa to answer leave your comment below? What’s your thoughts? Have you ever been in a long distance relationship before?

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