I didn’t date early. I was 22 years when I met Nonso. He was a great guy who knew how to treat a lady. He knew what to say to get a yes from me and he knew what to do to make me want him more.
We agreed not to have sex until we get married but somehow our emotions got the best of us and it happened. He told me; “You don’t have to worry about losing your virginity to me. I’m your man for life and this is going to prove how much you love me.” I thought, “If that is to prove to you that I love you, why not?”
A year or two later, after I’ve built my hopes and dreams around him, he left me. I saw it coming. I asked questions. He kept assuring me that everything was alright and love would find a way. Love never did. He jilted me.
He told me times without number, “You are a good girl and you deserve someone better than me. Someone who has a better future than I do.” I told him, “I’m not complaining about who you are and I’ve never asked you to change who you are. You are enough for me and I’m content.”
Nothing I said could change anything. He got cold. He gave me the silent treatment and eventually avoided me totally. My only mistake was being a good girl.
Ike was the next guy to approach me. He was a friend and later expressed interest in me. I told him about Nonso and how he left me because I was a good girl. “He’s a loser, don’t mind him,” he said. “But I’m glad he left. It’s the plan of the universe for us to be together that’s why Nonso couldn’t stay.”
I liked Ike for his mind. He was a clever boy who had answers to every question bothering my mind. Plus, he had a good job and better future looking at the way he spoke about his future plans. We started dating.
He was awesome from the word go and looked like someone who could never do anything wrong. Even though being a good girl cost me the previous relationship I had no option than to be a good girl again. Ike deserved me at my best and I gave him my all.
One Christmas, he took me to see his family. His mum was sweet to me and his dad tried to be his dad. Something strange started happening after the visit…
Ike started missing my calls and never called back. When I finally got him, he gave me work-related excuses, “It’s been hectic at the office and I barely could get enough space to breathe.” “It’s a phase,” I told myself.
But this phase lingered until I decided enough was enough. I confronted him one evening and asked him why the change. He answered, “Dad doesn’t think both of us could make it together. I mean he’s not a fan of your tribe and insists I shouldn’t marry from such tribe.”
I spent two years with a man just so I would be disqualified based on my tribe? Something I had no say in choosing? I told him to allow me to see his father but he said no. He believed seeing the father would worsen the case so in short, he said, “I’m sorry it had to end this way. I don’t want to waste your time any further. You’re a good girl. Sooner or later, the right man will find you.”
“Good girl,” That’s all I got but unfortunately, eno bi good girl I go chop.
I moved on.
Then Emma came. He left because he found someone new. There was Josh. He left because I didn’t want to give him sex. And then there was Nkem. That boy had words. He could lie for Nigeria, I swear! Nkem would look into my soul and lie to me and then he’ll look at my face and say, “Trust me, I’m telling you the truth.” I liked his charisma but before I could fall for him, his girlfriend found out about us and attacked us.
Just when I’d given up on love, Ade came into the picture. He was a doctor I consulted when I went to the hospital. He was extra careful with me and went into details of what was wrong with me so he could get the right diagnosis. When I was leaving his office, he gave me his number and asked me to call just in case I reacted negatively to the drugs he gave me.
I didn’t react but rather got well in no time so I didn’t call him. And then some months later, I had to visit the hospital again so I called to book an appointment with him. The sickness got the better of me but he called to check on me and gave me other prescriptions until I was well. We became friends and later started dating.
It was so easy for me to date him because he made things easier. A year together and things got better each passing day. He proposed that we start making plans for marriage. We planned and even made timelines. “If everything goes well, we would have a traditional wedding in a year from now and continued with the white wedding.” He said.
From then on, my mind was marriage marriage marriage. I was thirty and I believed that was the time.
And then changes happened!
He didn’t call me like he used to. He didn’t pick my calls as he used to and he didn’t see me as often as he used to. But through it all, I made sure I was there for him, not to give him pressure but to be there and at the same time give him the space he needed. He told me his job was getting hectic. Some doctors had gone on leave and as such he was handling more cases than he used to.
Through it all, I was the one calling and checking up on him. Sometimes he would pick and sometimes he would not. One day I decided not to call until he calls. One, two, three, four days went by but Ade never called. That was when I realized it was deeper than just job being hectic.
I went to wait in his house all day till he returned from work late in the evening. I told him, “Ade, we need to talk. It’s been four days already and you seem not to care. What is going on?” We were getting close to the date we planned to get married but I never mentioned it. I wanted to know the demons he’s battling with first
He said; “I’ve hidden something from you and I believe you ought to know. I’m sterile. I can’t make a woman pregnant. I’ve traveled and sought the best of medical care but conditions haven’t improved. I don’t want to get you into this hoping it would be well and then it doesn’t. I know you won’t forgive me. So please, if you can wait while I find a cure, fine, but if you think you can’t wait, kindly find another man.”
“You can’t give bele? But we’ve been doing the thing all this time and you do it so well so why can’t you give bele?” I queried. “I can do the thing but it can’t result into pregnancy,” he answered. So I said, “Ok, if there is a cure then don’t worry, let’s find the cure together.” He said no because he’s not sure how long it was going to take before he got cured. Then he dropped the classical line; “You are a good girl, you deserve better than this. You deserve to have a family but it can’t be possible with me.”
Nothing I said could change Adedayo’s mind. So it ended there just like how the others ended.
Six months later, Ade got married to another woman who returned from abroad. Today, they have three kids together. Ade, whose something can’t make babies now have three kids.
A year or so after his wedding, he called me trying to make amends. I was nice to him and told him he shouldn’t worry about me. From then on he called almost everyday proposing outing and hangouts. I obliged and one night at a table he tried flirting with me; “I’m sorry how things turned out but you are the one I truly love and blah blah blah. I got the point. He wanted me as his side chick. I shook my head and left him there at the table.
Nonso wanted me back when I was dating Ike. He persisted like I was all he needed to survive. Ike wanted a come-back too when I was dating Emma or Nkem, I’ve forgotten. At some point, Emma wanted to also come back and make things right. All of them. Each one of them left me and later wanted a comeback. Surprisingly, it was only when you had moved on and enjoying life again that they wanted to come back.
So I ask, why do men leave only to return again at some point in time? They leave a bad girl and they leave a good girl. They leave those they sleep with and they leave those who wouldn’t allow them to sleep with them, they leave their tribeswomen and they leave the women of other tribes. When they want to leave, every reason is just a reason enough for them to leave.
But I’m happy about one thing; they left not because I was bad for them. They left just because they want to. Through it all, I’ve learned that men themselves don’t know what will make them stay until they find what looks like something that can make them stay. And when they do stay, they usually look back and realize what they are missing and wish they could have a bite.
But hey men, you can’t eat your cake and still have it!
-Efemena Adiobe, Ibadan, Nigeria
Do you have any relationship experience to share?
Susana Afrakoma is a Qualified Producer and a Senior Consultant at Herbalife Nutrition, and has also worked for companies including Amazon, Avon and Mary Kay. She enjoys the company of her 3 handsome boys. Shes on the journey of becoming a Philanthropist and an Entrepreneur.