Reader Post: The Quest for Marriage by Ginika

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I had danced in front of audiences a few times before, but this time was different: I couldn’t hide behind anyone; it was just myself and two friends on stage. I was terrified. We walked out of the small changing room in a Hall at school. All three of us were just about to go on stage to perform a dance routine that we put together ourselves for an annual event. The entire time, before we went on stage, I was thinking of our performance and hoping that we would do well. The time finally came… and then it passed. It ended with the audience cheering and applauding. That was a really nice boost of confidence. I was so relieved, more because I didn’t have to worry about it anymore, than because they loved it.

As we walked off stage towards the changing room, two young men pulled us aside. They
introduced themselves as Olu and Ugo. We chatted with them for a bit and then we parted ways. After the conversation, all I could think about was how Olu sounded so arrogant. I was very irked by this man and the words that came out of his mouth. He made a really bad first impression. We got to the changing room, changed into our regular clothes and went back out to the hall to enjoy the rest of the event. The night turned out pretty nice – good food, great people, nice atmosphere.

A not-so-long while later, one of my friends that I danced with sent me a message, saying Olu asked her if I hated him. I just laughed and told her to tell Olu to reach out to me directly if he had something to say to me. He came to my church quite often, so I knew I’d see him soon. A few days later, he followed me on Instagram, but didn’t say a word. Weeks after that, he stopped by at my church, he approached me, we exchanged pleasantries, then he asked to confirm my number. I told him what it was. He had already gotten this from a mutual friend, who visited from another city, a few weeks back.

Did I explain how he got my number? I guess not. A friend of mine who went to the same
University as myself came to town to visit. He used my phone to make a call to avoid long distance charges. He happened to make this call to Olu. Olu saw my number (caller ID) and saved it. My friend went back home a few days later… then out of the blue, I get a “Hey” text message at about 10pm. I was already asleep at the time. So I woke up to the text from a number that wasn’t on my contact list. I dialled the number on my way to work. I hate not knowing things, so I had to figure out who this was. The phone rang, Olu picked up, and then I said “hey, who’s this?, I got a text message from you last night”. Olu responded with

“Oh sorry, I sent the message to the wrong number”.

We ended the call.

That explains how he got my number. Thus, when he approached me a few weeks later, he
asked to confirm my number because he already had it. As you probably guessed already, another few weeks passed by before Olu decided to reach out again. This time he asked to have lunch. I didn’t cook that week and I figured that a casual lunch wouldn’t hurt; so I obliged.

We got to the restaurant, placed our orders and sat down to have lunch. The food wasn’t bad at all and Olu seemed pretty nice. We chatted about a few things, but he kept going on and on about marriage. He talked about how most of his friends are
either married or about to get married and he felt so much pressure being around them. I couldn’t really relate. I do have a few friends that are married, but most of my mates aren’t.

As it turned out, the lunch date wasn’t too bad. So after that I thought to myself “He is not as bad as I perceived him to be initially, I guess we can be friends”.
He reached out again…and again… and again… and we started dating.

He’d cook for me, we’d go places together. He did a good job catering to me so it was easy to see that he really cared about me. I definitely loved knowing that. One day he said to me that he thought I hated him. I told him I never did and do not. That I
didn’t know him enough to hate him. I just didn’t like his attitude and that he always came off as an arrogant person to me and I am not a fan of such people. Then I mentioned that I have seen another side to him that I never saw before and that my perception had changed.

As the days passed, we’d talk, but it seemed like we talked less and less each time. I mean we could have a hour-long conversation and not learn anything new about each other or learn to understand each other better. The more we spoke, the more we talked about the things in our lives that had to do with our careers. Actually, the more we talked, the more I got lectures about how I was doing in my career. The whole time I thought to myself “I can’t believe I have someone like this who cares so much about me that he would put in so much effort and try so hard to help me move forward and up”. But, these conversations were always about what I needed to change, what I could work on, what I was doing wrong, never what I was doing right. I overlooked this.

When we did not have conversations about my career, it was usually quite formal and short compared to how it was initially. Less outings, fewer conversations, more ignored phone calls and messages. We discussed our frustrations and how things had gone downhill so quickly, but nothing changed. It only seemed to get worse. I overlooked this.

One day, we set off to have lunch with a friend of his. We went over to a Vietnamese restaurant, I believe. We sat down, chatted for a bit and decided to place our orders. Before we did that, he told me what I should order. He didn’t even bother to ask what I wanted. Did he care? I guess not. Sometime after, I mentioned that I felt he was controlling; He disagreed with me. I overlooked this as well.

Eventually, things ended. Before this happened, I actually dreamt that it would. This was God giving me a sign and telling me to let go ASAP. But guess what? I disregarded His sign. Bottom line is I overlooked a lot of things that I was not ok with, because of the things I held unto. Did I hold unto love? Did I love this man? Did I see this as my happily-ever-after? Maybe… Maybe not…

The truth is I didn’t love him. There was never a connection at such a level. There was mutual likeness. He was very much into me and he showed it… at the start… and I fell for what I got from him… at the start. I remember praying every night for peace and harmony and for things to get better and to get to a point where I didn’t have to keep praying the same prayer over and over and over again. I prayed to God to end it if it wasn’t right, regardless of how it ended and for him to enable me to accept it. But I still held on tight to what I knew wasn’t love. Even after God had revealed to me that he wasn’t right and that it will end. I still held on. What exactly did I hold unto?

Almost 10 years ago, I remember having a conversation with my friends back in secondary school. We talked about our futures: our preferred careers, how we’d like to live, and getting married. I remember saying I’d love to get married young. I even remember the age I mentioned; I said I’d love to get married at 23. So I held unto my word. I held unto my word from years back when I knew nothing about relationships, nothing about what the right foundation for a great marriage is, nothing about life after the ceremony called a wedding. I held unto my word and assessed everyone that approached me; age was always a factor. He had to be a certain number of years older in order for me to take him seriously.

I convinced myself that the older the man, the more prepared he would be for marriage; the more willing he would be to get married in 3 years or even less; the more stable he would be, financially and career wise. So, I held unto my word despite the fact that things were not right, despite the fact that I was unhappy, despite the fact that I wanted true love and I didn’t have it with him, despite the fact that I wanted a friend and a lover, despite the fact that I wanted peace, despite the fact that my goofiness was unacceptable to him, despite the fact that I had to kill a part of me to please him, despite the fact that I was talked down to, despite the fact that my opinion was usually dismissed and disregarded, despite the fact that I was in pain, despite the fact that I was belittled, despite the fact that…

One thing I have learnt from this experience is to always trust your first instinct. I had a negative perception about him initially. I thought he was arrogant. I may have been wrong about that, but I wasn’t wrong about knowing that he wasn’t right for me.
A man will do anything to get a woman he really desires. He doesn’t even mind leaving himself behind, taking on a whole new persona just to get you into his back pocket. Marriage is a lifetime commitment. Would you rather get married young and be unhappy or get married later than you expected and live happily?

Before getting into any relationship, put God first. Pray to him, and if you don’t get an answer immediately, pray harder, seek him harder. If it’s meant to be, it will be, so why rush it? It is a lifetime commitment, so you will be together for life, happily. So, please wait. Do not rush into anything because of the unrealistic goals you may have implicitly set for yourself or because everyone else around you is married or getting married. Love is much more important than an early marriage.

As for me, I still hold unto my word of getting married early. I’ll still like to of course. But, the difference is that now, this doesn’t control me. I know what matters now. I know what I need to focus on now. And this is my happiness.

***

This is a beautiful post written by an MCLA reader, Ginika. I hope you enjoyed and learned from it. Have a blessed week ahead.

Temiville.xoxo

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The Estate Gate in ‘Lere

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I live in Surulere.

Tired, I stroll home from the estate gate. Mayowa had graciously offered to pick me up every morning and drop me ever since my 5-year-old Camry decided to die on me.  Thankfully, the house was only 10 minutes’ walk from the gate and I had refused Mayowa’s offer to pick from my front gate. I needed those moments of reflection. In the mornings, I would think about my To-Do list and pray as I walked to the gate and in the evening, I’d think about how much I had achieved and how my day had gone.

Today was a different day, however. I had received Bolanle’s call as early as 7 am as I walked to the gate. My ‘Ara Nbe’ ring tone blared and vibrated in my hands, rudely bringing me back to the earth as I was lost in prayers. I had been so tempted to put it on silent and ignore the call but it was Bolanle calling and since I had not spoken with her in a while, I decided to pick. I also figured that it must have been urgent for her to be calling me so early in the day.

‘Hey boo’, I said attempting to sound chirpy.

‘Wasssaaaaaap?!’, she screamed. She sure sounded excited for a 7am call and no, I was not disappointed.

‘I’m engaged.  Dipo proposed’, she gushed.

I was stunned. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am always excited at news of people deciding to be together forever. But with Bolanle, I just couldn’t get past the shock and into the joy zone.

‘Molly, are you there?’.

Nothing.

‘Omolade?’, her voice woke me up from my reverie. I didn’t realise I had been quiet for a while.

‘Babes, I can’t lie to you. I am shocked. Like seriously? Shepe that dude has proposed, just like that?’, I asked.

‘As in Molade, I don’t know. It came as a shock to me too. I’m just like in a state of shock too. He did it last night and then my battery died and as soon as I woke up, I said to myself that I had to tell you first after my family. This kain God sha’.

‘Wow’ was all I could manage.

Bolanle, oblivious to my total shock went on,

‘There’s so much to catch up on my love. Let’s do dinner tomorrow at Cactus. I know you have issues with your car so I’ll drop you off afterwards. Is that okay by you?’

‘Cactus is fine. I’ll make sure I close early tomorrow. Can you be at my office by 6?’

And that was how we firmed up plans to go over how on earth she got proposed to so soon after a major breakup. Not only did she get proposed to, from the way she spoke, it was also a well thought out and well prayed over decision.

As I say my prayers, preparing to sleep, I still cannot get over the shock of it all. Omobolanle Ajibade? Engaged? Getting married? Wow. I can’t but remember past happenings…

***

Bolanle Ajibade is an amazing girl. We had met during one of the CD days at Eti Osa II LGA. She was a Batch C corper of the past year and I was a fresh Batch A corper. She was just impossible to ignore. She had been driven to the Local Government in a company car still wearing a business suit and I had wondered what she was doing there. She had tried to get some document signed but the Zonal Inspector told her she could do no such thing without the proper NYSC gear. Without arguing she left and reemerged about 10 minutes later in her khakis and white top.

I said ‘hello’ to her and asked her where she her Place of Primary Assignment was. She didn’t look like your average corper plus the fact that she had a company car and driver intrigued me even further. She mentioned one of the best consulting firms in the world with their head quarters in the US. She had already been working in the States and basically hustled/begged for a transfer to Nigeria where they had recently open shop. She looked so focus, driven and when I learned that she studied at Yale, I was blown away. We became fast friends. That was 3 years ago.

We were each other’s confidantes through series of bad relationships. She was there for me 2 years ago when I broke up with my boyfriend of 5 years. I, too, had been her shoulder to cry on when 2 serious relationships failed.  Well, with Bolanle it was always a serious relationship or nothing. She was never the type to ‘sample’ or to ‘see how it goes’. She was a serious minded lady who put that into everything she did. Bolanle and I weren’t your typical ‘see each other every day or even every weekend type of friends’ but when we did see, we shared deep things that our everyday friends were not privy to.

Bolanle’s last relationship was pretty sad. She had dated Chinedum for about a year and theirs appeared to be a rock solid relationship. They were friends first and later it developed into a strong attraction. She had invited him to her Church and he managed to convert from his Catholic faith and even became an Usher in the Pentecostal Church. From Day 1, Chinedum had been honest with her about having had a child whilst in University with his then girlfriend, Princess. His son, Jonathan was about 4 when they met. At first she has struggled with the idea but after praying about it, she decided to let it go and even asked to meet him.

Princess was only 20 when she had Jonathan and he lived with her and her parents up until she finished university at UI. When it was time for her to proceed to obtain her Masters degree, he moved to Abuja to live with Chinedum’s parents. According to her, he was a cute, well-behaved young man and she could already imagine him as hers. The fact that his mom was away and that he was with his dad’s family made it easy for her to envision life as a family unit. She would always buy him toys whenever she went with Chinedum to visit his parents and she would call to speak with him often. She loved him already and it appeared the feelings were mutual.

To cut a very long tale short, Chinedum broke up with her. According to him, he wanted to make right his wrongdoing of impregnating Princess at 19 despite the fact that she was a very good girl back then thereby subjecting her to ridicule from all fronts and exposing her devout Catholic parents to shame. He said that by them getting married and raising their son together, the shame of it all would be, in a way, less impactful. Princess, he explained, was a decent girl who had prayed to God for them to get back together and had refused to even date after him.

Bolanle later discovered that Chinedum eventually returned to Catholicism as Princess is also Catholic and their young son had been raised in the Catholic faith. She was devastated and inconsolable. She would weep at every slight memory of Chinedum. But through prayers, fasting, constant support and the realisation that they could really not remain friends, she bounced back. A bit too strongly, I think.

This happened just about a year ago and last I checked, she was not serious with anyone but merely going on mild dates maybe to the movies and the occasional dinner. I really couldn’t wait to get the details of how she managed to get proposed to so quickly.

Bolanle and I planned to do dinner by 6:30pm. I work in VI and her office is in Ikoyi so the arrangement was for her to pick me up by 6pm and then we go to Cactus which is not too far from my office. By 5:30, I was all packed. My boss had given me a task at about 3:30pm that should ordinarily take about 1 and a half hours to complete but I made sure I lingered till when Bolanle pinged me that she was in the car park to send it off and then I was out.

‘Babes, how na? How was your day?’ she asked as I settled into her car.

Just there, same ol’. Yours?, I responded leaning over for a kiss on both cheeks and a tight hug. I hadn’t seen her in a while and she looked good, slightly chubbier but good all the same.

‘It was great o’, she said as she began navigating her way out of the car park.

Excitedly, I declared, ‘enough of story abeg lemme see your ring!’.

It was a single stone ring with a rectangular cut diamond sitting within a high four-claw setting, with tapered shoulders. It was beautiful. Simple. Elegant.

She was so happy and her happiness made me happy for her too but I was so scared. I had only met this dude once and I thought things were a bit rushed on his part but from the look on her face, I could tell that she was in perfect peace. It was a look of contentment, the type of look that would be found on the face of a sojourner that had arrived at his destination.

As we arrived at Cactus and she put the car in park, I held her in a tight embrace and the tears came pouring, of their free will. I was so moved by it all.

I had skipped lunch and so had built up a ravenous apetite so I had pasta whilst she had a chicken Caesar salad.

‘I’m trying to fit into a size 8 wedding dress o,’ she announced.

‘What? You guys are already talking marriage?’ I don’t why that made me surprised but it did.

‘Ahn ahn, ore, you see ring on my finger, won’t you be shocked if we are not talking marriage’. She had made a fine point.

After being overfed at Cactus with portions that look like they were designed for three, Bolanle needed no urging to come out with her tale…

‘Molade, you know it all nah. All the weeping, gnashing of teeth, sleepless nights all because of man? After that whole Chinedum episode dear, my mom gave me some sound advice and I will do you great justice to pass on these nuggets of wisdom’.

By this time, I was caught up. I couldn’t wait to receive these wise words.

‘You see’, she went on, ‘my mom never understood why I would be so into a guy thereby giving him the power to hurt me so much when it’s not like I’m married or even engaged to him. She just didn’t get it. She reminded me of how things were done in her days where different men would woo her and the only heartache or inconvenience she would face would be in deciding which of her suitors she wanted for a proper courtship.

By this time, I was enthralled though words like ‘woo’, ‘suitor’, ‘courtship’ were kind of alien to me.

She went on,

‘Mom told me I was silly for investing so much in a relationship that had no guarantees whatsoever. She said I had tried things my own way for so long and failed at it and that I should simply humour her and give her own mechanism a shot. And that my dear Molly is what I did.

I prayed to God and decided to get lost in His love instead of focusing on the love man had to offer. I decided to let Him take the wheel. Then I started going out more. I’d go for events, fashion shows, birthday parties, karaoke nights with friends and their friends, singles’ meetings and dinners, the whole works. I met loads of people, loads I say. I gave out my number and gradually started selecting the ones I could relate with properly. I ignored the faffers and the obviously crazy ones and then gradually, the ones whose craze manifested with time. All those times I was going on dates, I would go on 4 dates in a week. In three weeks, I’d have been wined and dined by 6 different guys. Eventually, over time, I whittled the number down to three: the three I liked the most.

I never lied. Never promised nothing. I let them do all the hustling over me and I did all the watching, praying, studying and of course, enjoying. I was not technically going out with them but I knew they liked me and were thinking seriously about me’.

‘There’s something I must mention, babe’, she said with a glint in her eyes. ‘Go on’, I responded, almost impatiently.

‘Their presence in my life acted as a balance as I had a tendency to hold on too tightly to someone I like. But seeing three people allowed me to be able to turn down dates, be unavailable and pretty much have a fulfilling time instead of just always being there for that one person. Since I never so much as pecked them all that while, I felt not an iota of guilt.

After three months, three became two and then it was I who was faced with deciding who I wanted to be with.  I could have decided alone but I chose to decide with the help of praying people such as my parents, my pastor and his wife and my grandma. They didn’t give me any names of who is right or wrong but they told me to trust God and keep praying.

Within 2 months, my likeness for Dipo grew to deep love to almost match his for me. I gently told the other guy I was getting serious with someone else and lo and behold, on Friday after a dinner date, he proposed to me and I knew without a doubt that he is my man.

‘Wow all this under 7 months?!!!’

‘Yes oh, Molly’.

She then dropped me in front of my house gate as she wondered aloud if it would be a Kosibah gown or a Pronovias one.

***

It is a Monday morning.

As I walk to the estate gate to meet up with Mayowa, I reflect on events of the past few days. Could Bolanle’s mom be right? Is it okay to keep your options open even after the guy(s) has made it clear that he likes and that he wants to be with you? Is this not cheating, even if not in the strict sense? Maybe if I had practised this method with Tunji, I wouldn’t have been totally crushed when we separated.

The method does have its appeal I must agree. It helps us women not focus too much on any one guy thereby turning him to a husband before he even understands how he feels for us. It helps us maintain a happy, carefree, demeanour that isn’t overly clingy or expectant.  It takes away any semblance of urgency, desperation or need to always be with one man which then gives him the ammunition to hurt you, even when he doesn’t mean to, like with Chinedum and his going back to Princess.

Now that Detola from the office is beginning to show interest, I’d go out with him and see what he is about and then on Thursday, I’ll accept Mayowa’s invite to go to the movie premiere. I’ll go with Alex and his sisters to the programme their church is organizing. By the end of next month, I should have my top 3 contenders. This definitely has its appeal.

***

Dedicated to all the amazing people I work with.x

***

Happy Easter people. If Christ rose on the 3rd day, doesn’t that mean He rose on Monday? I’m just wondering.

What to do with the ball?

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Yesterday Ola got rude to me. Well, not quite rude but he gave me one of these his famous frank responses that hurt to the marrow. Truth be told, I can’t stand his straightforwardness. He comes off as rude a lot of the time but I’ll keep quiet. No use ruffling feathers and waking the sleeping Rottweiler and to be honest, that’s just one of many issues I have with him. Ola is my boyfriend.

Last week, Enitan got engaged. The man of her dreams finally proposed to her. To be honest, only Enitan was amazed at the news. We all saw it coming. Her boyfriend, Moses (wow Lara, you need to get used to calling him her fiancé) had been the serious type from Day 1. He’s the exact type that seems to elude me, the type who wants to settle down forsaking all others. Enitan is my sister.

Enitan is my only sister but in between us are two boys, Olumide and Olufemi. So you can understand the little tinge of pain I felt when baby Enitan called me screaming/crying/hyperventilating over the phone that her boyfriend of 16 months proposed. I was glad for her but sad for me. Moses was 28 when they met and she was 22. But he was your very mature type of 28 year old male; the type whose maturity extends to his dressing. I hardly saw him in jeans and when I did, they were smart looking jeans. His idea of casual dressing was Chinos and Polos.

Enitan had always been the luckier one with guys. Though there is a 4 year gap between us, I had to admit that she had a way with men, they just couldn’t get over her. Of the two of us, I’m the prettier and more academically inclined but she is more street wise and discerning. All through our growing years till date, it was never unusual to find me, the elder sister, calling up Enitan for advice. Even our dad found in her a buddy. She was the stronger one and whilst I was daddy’s pet, she was daddy’s paddy. She and dad would discuss issues on politics, football, F1 etc. for hours. They would argue, fight, and laugh into the night sipping on Brandy while mom and I retired to bed. We were the girly girls who were more concerned with watching the Kardashians on E! than CNN.

Enitan was very firm with Moses from Day 1, firm but loving and kind. I admired their relationship and it was very clear who the stronger person was in it. After their 16 months together, Moses could now hardly make a decision without dialing Enitan’s number to seek her opinion.

6 months into Enitan and Moses’ relationship, I met Ola. Ola was 29 and was self employed. He was running a catering business. I found this weird at first but that was before seeing the passion with which he handled the business. It was his mom’s business before she passed on 3 years ago and ever since he completed his MBA, he totally immersed himself in the company and has single handedly worked on its expansion. Now, they operate in three states-Lagos, Abuja and Calabar.

I saw Ola as the ideal husband for me and would do all in my powers to make him happy. I took it as my assignment to ensure I keep him happy. My mom has always been the perfect wife to dad and I dreamed of being able to do all that for my own husband someday. I cook, clean, wash and even learned how to make Calabar dishes for him (His dad is Yoruba but his mom, who he was closer to, was from Calabar). Despite my efforts to please him, he ended up cheating on me…

Beeba, my cousin and best friend, thinks what transpired is not cheating. She says guys are really bad out there and I should be grateful for the kind of man I have. Then I ran what happened by Enitan who told me in her ever straight shooter fashion that it didn’t get any worse than that.

I found out Ola was ‘talking to’ another girl. Well, she was actually the one doing the talking but he was not exactly fighting her off. She was one of those extra wealthy girls whose fathers have a hand in almost everything going on in Lagos State. She obviously felt she has something to offer and it was painful to see that he was falling into her trap. I told him I wasn’t comfortable about the frequency of their communication. She calls him almost every day and they would exchange BB messages endlessly. His response to my concern was that she was merely a business contact and he was looking into securing some contracts through her dad and that it was high time I started seeing her as a sales lead and nothing else.

I went through their chats in his presence. Yes, he told her point blank that he is in a relationship. Yes, he told her he was happy in it (the useless girl actually asked). But how happy can you possibly be in your relationship if you always respond to her messages? I saw some chats timed at 1:05 am and he responded by 1:07am! Even if you are awake, it’s only decent to reply in the morning. I think.

It didn’t stop at this. The real thing that got me mad was that she invited him to an event hosted by her father’s friend at his residence. It was painful enough that he went with her as her date but even worse that he lied to me about where he was that day. I just didn’t have peace all through that evening and the next day I drove to his house. I saw a BBM that read thus,

‘Thanks so much for being my ‘date’. You looked really dapper in that suit. I know I kept on telling you but I just have to say it again. Btw, everyone says we’ll make a cute couple. I think so too. Goodnight hun. ‘BBM kissing smiley’

His response made me go red (yes, I literally went red as I’m very light skinned).

‘Lol @ making a good match. You’re very pretty so that cuteness will majorly be contributed by you. I had a great time too. Thanks for inviting me. ‘BBM hug smiley’.

I immediately confronted him and told him that it’s either he deletes her and stopped further communication or it’s over. Ola looked into my eyes and told me that if I’m not mature enough to see the whole thing as mere networking then maybe I’m not mature enough to be in a relationship with him. He said to me that I’m very insecure and the very thing that made him like me was my confident gait,  carriage and demeanor and that I was beginning to lose that and he’s not sure what to say about that because a confident woman is very essential to him.

He told me that at my age I should know that if he was intending to cheat on me, he would do it easily and I would never find out. When I asked him why he felt it right to lie to me about his whereabouts the night before, he claimed that it was because he knew the kind of woman he was with-the type who would never understand and would be unreasonable and ask him not to honour the invitation. I asked him why he didn’t accept and then offer to bring along his girlfriend. He said it was ‘bad for business.’ Bad for business?!!!

***

Enitan has come to her conclusion-let him be. But I guess that’s what would work for her. I love him but would be happier if he were more loving and less mechanical and brash. He says he can’t let go of friendships because of me and now I am being forced to humble myself and accept it when he picks her calls and BBM her in my presence!

Is this not akin to him selling himself? Is this not like some degree of prostitution where you lead someone on with the hope that you gain something from them because they think you are a potential? Is this not wrong? I’m really unhappy about this but I don’t know if it is enough to let go of him for. He says he still loves me and that the ball is in my court.

What do I do with this ball?

Putting her foot down!

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Hey guys! How are you doing? I have a question to pose today and I need your candid opinion, as usual. Here goes…

A friend of mine got married in November last year. She has this amazing job that enables her work from home. That’s every homemaker/wife/career woman’s dream job. She has been given all the tools she needs and she need not step out of her house except for the day long meeting that holds every other week. Her husband, on the other hand, works on the Island and has to leave the house as early as 5 am everyday to go to work.

Two weeks ago, her husband mentioned to her that he would now be picking a colleague to work and bringing her back everyday because she lives just before the estate gate and so it was very convenient for them both. She didn’t think anything of it and thought, ‘sure, why not?’

She calls me on Friday afternoon going on and on about how she is going to stop him from picking her henceforth. I asked why and she told me that that morning, she had to attend an impromptu meeting with a client on the Island and her car had problems, so she went with him to work and together, they went to this his colleague’s house to pick her up. Lo and behold, she saw a slim, pretty, tall girl rush out with one button undone in error. She still had her bendy rollers in her hair and was wearing bathroom slippers with her office shoes in hand. She says this girl is the finest girl she has seen in a while and she could help feeling threatened and uneasy.

innocent young girl

Immediately, she felt offended by her husband for having not made it clear to her that this his colleague wasn’t just ‘any’ colleague but a very very attractive and single girl. I thought that was ridiculous but she insisted that had she known that that was how the girl looked, she would never have agreed to the plan. She had thought it was a woman in her 40s or so who was a happily married woman and he could see as an aunty figure. I told her that was no assurance of faithfulness or harmlessness but she insisted that this particular girl might make it hard for a person not to stray. She was that attractive. I then asked how the girl reacted to her and she confirmed that she was very polite to her and courteous too but weirdly that was all the more reason why she was uncomfortable.

To make her more worried, as they drove, her husband goes to her, ‘babe, I’m changing the station, Ayodele doesn’t miss her favorite gospel programme at 6am each morning’. At that point, she knew she had to do something. In her words, she knows her husband is a sucker for good girls and that he has a liking for respectful ones too and this girl was very respectful. In addition, she was tall and slim, just like her. Those are his things too. He is a good Christian but she insists that she will not ‘lead him into temptation’ and that their spending hours together and talking about work and all made her very uneasy. She also mentioned many times that her husband hangs out ‘with friends’ waiting for the Island traffic to die down after work and she shuddered at the thought of both of them hanging out so often. She intends to tell him this weekend to let her know that the arrangement can no longer continue from Monday. She has also stated that she doesn’t care if it’s obvious to all (including the girl in question) that she is the one that has stopped the transport arrangement.

My suspicious friend

What do you guys think? Put yourself in the following situations:

* As a girl, who is innocently seeking a cost effective way to go to work, would you accept to go to work with your newly married colleague or would you seek alternatives? If you had no ulterior motives whatsoever, how would you feel if you are stopped from accompanying him and you now had to go by public transport?

*As a newly married lady, would you feel comfortable if your husband picks up a hot girl to work each morning and takes her home each night and sometimes has to hang with her after work somewhere waiting for the traffic to die down? Even if the girl is ‘born again’, will you be able to handle it?

*And you, as a married man, would you suggest or accept to take a girl to work and back each day knowing she is your exact spec and you might be exposing yourself to temptation? Conversely, would you accept your wife’s words to stop taking this girl especially when you know there’s absolutely nothing going on and the girl is a nice and harmless girl? In fact, through her you get to listen to the Word every morning something you never used to do before and on Wednesdays, you go to Church for midweek service on the Island at her suggestion instead of hanging with colleagues doing nothing productive. How will you tell her you can’t take her anymore? Will you be able to go to work each day without her knowing she must be stranded or have to take BRT when taking her will really not hurt you in anyway?

Let’s discuss guys!

Temiville.xoxo

If you call it ‘settling’, then yes, I have settled

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I’ll be getting married on the 3rd Saturday in May to a man I am not in love with.

***

An ideal romantic, I have always believed in love. I looked forward to being swept right off my feet by Prince Charming. I’m the type who would weep over a love tale well told and cheer as the couple in the movies kiss and live happily ever after.

Now, however, after a really bad relationship and 28 years in the bag, I have realised that that feeling of being in love is overrated and is the final and most negligible consideration in looking for a mate. Any guy I loved never loved me back to the degree I loved. They were bad guys, sharp guys that special kind of fine guys. It never lasted. Most relationships I have been in, I have been the 70% giver, while I’d make do with whatever measly 30% the other party offered now and then. I’d lap it up like a thirsty kitten, grateful for the occasional love thrown my way.

Bode was the worst of them all. Everyone warned me against him, even his sister who loved me as her own. I stayed with him for 26 months of my life and even when we split, it was he who did the breaking up. He had cheated and cheated, it got to the point that I was now grateful to be called or visited. I stopped checking his phones because I knew what exactly I would find there and I could not bear the pain anymore. I would complain and scream and he will get mad at me for snooping on him and eventually, I would be the one apologising for not ‘trusting him enough’.

I would purpose in my heart to break up with him but find myself staying on the minute I heard his voice and he talked that talk to me. He turned me into a shadow of myself. I became a crazed out girl keeping tabs on his every move. I’d go out weekends with him just to ensure he does not hook up with any other girl. I’d randomly show up at his because I heard a lady’s voice in the background when I called. Eventually, he did the breaking up himself telling me he doesn’t deserve me. I never thought I’d beg a guy to stay with me but I did. I begged Bode, told him I wasn’t complaining. I even told him that I understood that because we are age mates he might feel the need to spread his tentacles and that I would patiently wait for him to outgrow his ways. He passed on my offer.

***

I’ll be getting married to Tayo. Tayo is born again. He doesn’t have the ready sweet words to speak. He doesn’t dress so nicely. He doesn’t get me or keep me excited. But in him, I’ve found peace and joy. Tayo would leave whatever he is doing if I need his help. He would ALWAYS drive down to the airport to pick me up when I come visiting him in Abuja. It would have been more convenient for him to have me take a cab. The day he offered to do that, I was surprised. Bode would NEVER do that. At his kindest, he’ll ask his driver to come get me. He’ll probably simply ask me to get a cab and he’ll pay. Tayo would never sleep until he has spoken with me, prayed with me and wished me a good night. With Bode, I’d be the one calling and calling.

Tayo has showed me that it is possible to have a good guy, a guy who cherishes and respects you and most importantly, loves God and puts Him first. His level of consideration towards me still baffles me. I never knew such was possible and this is why I shied away from a relationship with him initially.  It all seemed too good to be true. But it has been 11 months of courtship and he has remained the same steadfast, loving, caring man I first met.

As I walk down the aisle, I am sure my belly will not have butterflies in them but I’d walk down confident of the fact that I am placing my life in the hands of a good man. A man who takes instructions from God and passes them on to the home with love. A man who values family and togetherness and would put me before anything and anyone else. A man with whom I am sure I play second fiddle to no one but God. A man who would be a good role model to our children. A man who would stand by me no matter what happens in the home.

My mom has assured me that the sweeping love will come once the sex begins. Apparently, once you start sleeping with a man, the love grows. I look forward to it. But right now, I’m in a happy, content place.

I might not be with the handsome charmer I longed for as a young teenager. He might not have the best physique in the world. He might not have funny things to say to me all the time. He might not be able to make my heart do somersaults. He might not have the latest clothes and shoes nor know the latest slangs young peoples say. He might not understand my love for E! news and Yoruba movies. But of this I am sure:

I am with the man God selected, handpicked for me. I’m with a man with whom I feel safe, secure, looked after, cared for, pampered. I’m always relaxed. I don’t have to check his phones or wonder who he is speaking with. My heart doesn’t have to skip beats when he is not with me. I don’t have to call him 10 times before I get one call back from him. I’m not pressured to do anything ungodly instead I am challenged to draw closer to God and know Him more that I might be a deserving wife to the man God designed for me and that I may bring him as much joy and bliss as he does me. If you call this settling then yes, this girl HAS settled.

Regards,

Folu…

***

I’m not saying this writer is right and has selected wisely but Tayo clearly seems like a better choice than Bode. Many times, we ladies prioritise the wrong things. We place the cart before the horse. We look first for butterfly feelings and put that feeling of security, warmth and peace aside. We put God second and put feelings first. We dismiss a good guy for a fun guy. We dismiss the voice of wisdom, that small still voice telling us not to go ahead, or even to slow down. We damn the consequences and end up getting burnt. I pray God leads us and that we follow His leading. Amen.

Love,

Temiville.xoxo

The love I never had

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I’d always loved Onus. He was what everyone would call the perfect man. Every female loved him. The three month old gurgled and laughed at his every tickle. The three year old cried excitedly, ‘Uncle Onus cawwy me!’ The 13 year old thought he was the best big brother figure in the world. I mean who else will let you drive their car from the car park to the gate. The 23 year old was in love with him. The 53 year old wished him to be her son in law. He was just almost perfect.

We were close. Too close. Despite this closeness, he kept details of his relationships to the barest minumum. The only give aways on his love life were the ‘I’m with her’, ‘we’re having problems’, ‘it’s over between us’ statements. I never probed.  He’d always been a man of few words and this is among the qualities that endeared me to him. It always felt like there was more to him than he gave off and there was.

He was with Slyvie for almost 4 years. Theirs was a rocky relationship, off and on. Secretly, I was the happiest person on earth when he announced to me that they had finally decided to go their separate ways. She had found someone new and although he was still single, he had a few ‘maybes’ on the side and wasn’t too keen on anything serious for now. I was very elated by the news though I hid it well. I comforted him and called on him as often as I could manage. He seemed to be dealing with the break up quite well.

Why couldn’t Onus just see that I am perfect for him! Veronica and Simeon my other best friends said it was my fault that Onus just couldn’t see me as a potential. I was not sexy. I would drive to his house in my unbathed body wearing yesterday’s clothes. I would fart in his presence and carry on talking like nothing happened. I looked at the line up of girls he had dated. Ayomikun was the least pretty and she was pretty. Well, maybe not pretty but what she lacked in facial beauty, she made up for with her toned, athletic physique. Shola was the most beautiful and she was always well put together. His most recent ex, Sylvie, was the most intimidating of the lot. She is mixed race so in a way hers is an unfair comparison.

I decided to take the advice I was given. ‘First ditch this ‘Team Natural’ business and invest in a relaxer. You don’t even need to fix. Just have straight hair. Wear less boot cut jeans and more skinny ones. Add on a few heels and for the love of God, shapen those brows that are threatening to merge’.

This makeover cost me my entire salary for the month of August. I went to shops in Adeniran Ogunsanya and bought some fitted skirts, skinny jeans, sheer blouses, high heels and even make up! I never used more than powder and lip gloss but now I had a full make up bag along with some training on how to use my new purchases. God bless that attendant who took out a whole hour to show me how to use a mascara, eye pencil and blush!

My next stop was Make Me, also in Surulere. Blessing almost passed out when she saw me holding a pack of relaxer.

‘You are not planning to use that, are you?’ she asked.

‘Actually, I am’.

After almost 10 minutes of finding out if I was sure, she put the first scoop on my virgin hair. I had been natural for 23 months. But if having natural locks was making me lose out on what could be the best thing in my life, then it’s gotta go. I must admit the result was impressive. My hair had grown so long. I had them put rollers in it and straighten the curls out after. My makeover for Onus’ love was almost complete.

We attend the same Church in Yaba and so the next day was supposed to be my day of showing forth. I picked out skinny brown pants Veronica had given me six months ago which I just didn’t know what to match it with. I decided to wear one of my new sheer blouses, the cream one. As much as the idea of colour blocking intrigued me, I was going to play safe today.  I completed the look with my four inch beige platformed shoes. After almost 30 minutes of making up, I was ready to go!

It was a Sunday morning so I figured if I tell a lie, I could go to Church and ask for mercy and so I told a lie. I dialled Onus’ line. ‘Hey dude, wassup? (Shoot! Veronica warned me against calling him ‘dude’. Too tomboyish, she said. ‘If you don’t have the courage to say ‘babe’ then just call him his name’)

‘Hi Temilade, how are you doing?’

‘Good good. Onus, my car is having issues (I figured saying ‘issues’ made it less of a lie)  and I was wondering if you could come pick me up to Church or maybe Aunty Gbemi can drop me at yours on her way to her Church’.

‘No issues. I’ll come get you. 9:25 cool?

‘Yes. That’s fine’.

It was 9:05. So I spent the remaining 20 minutes refreshing my makeup . I added more blush then reduced it then added a little more. I dabbed on red lipstick thinking my nude colour was too boring. And then, I went to the living room and looked at myself in the floor to ceiling mirror for almost 3 minutes. Just as I was smiling at my reflection, a BBM came through. It was Onus telling me he was outside.

I quickly picked up my clutch and my Bible and jotter and almost tripped as I reached for the door. Mental note to self: you have to walk carefully in these instruments called heels. As I asked Musa, the gateman to open the door, I patted my hair down for the umpteenth time staring at my reflection in my little sister’s Picanto. Calmly, I walked to the gate and opened it to see Onus’ tinted red Mazda. I carefully navigated myself to the right hand side and opened the door ready to place my heeled left foot in. To my shock, a girl was seated there. Not just a girl, a beautiful girl. Onus had outdone himself this time.

I sheepishly proceeded to the back seat. I had to move an overnight bag in order to be able to sit properly. I also had to ask the girl to adjust her seat as my legs are quite long plus the heels added more inches. To make matters more awkward, the babe goes, ‘can you stretch out your legs to the back of Onus’ seat so that way you are less discomfited?’ Discomfited? Who uses such words except in books? I wonder internally.

After a few minutes of putting into action her suggestion, Onus says, ‘Lade, meet Ibiso, my girlfriend. Ibiso, this is Lade’. She turns around and gives me the brightest smile I have ever seen. ‘Hi Lade, I have heard so much about you’.

I was mute.

 

***

Disclaimer: *a piece of art on a lazy Friday morning*

Stay blessed!

Temiville.xoxo

It’s over now…

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My ex and I had been having off and on moments but generally, we were a happy couple. The thing is this: I am a strong willed girl. I am not easily influenced and I can be very forthright, dishing out my opinions whether or not you ask for them. Some love me some hate me. People are hardly ever indifferent to me. I have a presence everywhere I go-a strong one. For a girl, I guess it means that I need God’s special grace to be submissive, have a meek and gentle spirit and the whole Proverbs 31 works. I take after my dad. We are close but when we argue, even my mother excuses us.

I met Yimika through my friend and I was especially drawn to his calm and reserved nature. I also liked the fact that most of the time, I had my way with him. He might put up a show of disapproval but in the end, it was always done how I wanted it done. We had arguments-many of them and I always ‘won’. Yimika was so gentle to the point of apologising when I was wrong.

We had one of our famous fights but he offended me this time. I took it really personal and said some hurtful things to him which I knew were uncalled for but I guess the Leo in me never permitted me to back down and apologise. You know one of those situations where you believe you guys are tight enough to receive stingers from each other…yea, that’s what I thought. So I dropped the phone on him and hoped he would come round and beg me. He always did. You see, Yimika was like that. He’s Pisces. Pisces are like that. They want peace and would sacrifice their pride and ego on the altar of love and romance. It had always been like that for the 8 months of my relationship with Yimika.

 Anyways, one week of not speaking went into 2 and 2 weeks easily became a month. It was already July and Yimika and I had not spoken in a month. Eventually, I realized I was hurting no one but myself so I went to his house to see him and talk things over. I noticed changes right from the gate. The mai-guard who will usually greet me in a cheerful and bubbly manner was a bit formal. My friends think I exaggerate when I told them this but I could have sworn that Limo, the dog barked angrily at me too.

To cut the tale short:

–          It is over between us-he says he cannot be with someone who constantly brings him down. Now, I had absolutely NO idea I do this. I’m just a very assertive person. And he can be really chilled a lot of the time. So I assumed that what made him like me is because we are different. I thought he was loving the fact that I take charge.

–          He is still single but has decided that there is no need for us to see any longer at least not until we are both totally over each other.

Thinking back, I do realize I might have taken him for granted once or twice but he NEVER complained. How was I to know it was all building up? Now he lists out all my faults and I wonder: why are we in a relationship if you can’t steer me on the right path? Why must you wait till you can take no more and then you explode?

I’m not really trying to win him back because to be honest, I’m a firm believer in the principle: what is yours is yours. But I really would like to pass across two lessons:

-When you’re unhappy in a relationship, tell your partner. Please don’t chill and then break up because you are ‘fed up’ when the other party had no idea something was wrong in the first place.

-Never ever take quiet people for granted. They are DANGEROUS. You might think you can easily walk all over them but the truth is this: they record every step you take over them and they are storing it safely in a box, once it is full, no amount of pleading can take things back to the way they once were. All I had to do was look into Yimika’s eyes to know it was over. Hopeless. He was done.

Anyways just thought to dish out my own nugget of wisdom and hope someone learns without having to experience it firsthand.

***

Let’s call the writer *Busola*. What do you guys think of Busola’s situation? Should every loud, assertive, no nonsense girl aim to be calm and gentle or did God create us all differently for variety sake? Are you a quiet person or do you know any quiet person? How do you relate with them in peace without being too boring or cautious?

Random Info: I am Pisces but I really would not consider myself ‘dangerous’ or unforgiving. The younger me used to find it difficult to let people know I was offended and I did have the tendency to sacrifice myself for peace sake. But now, I’m more refined and mature in my approach. I am still sensitive but I’ve learned to speak out rather than expect people to read my mind.