“It’s gonna burn for me to say this but it’s coming from my heart, it’s been a long time coming until things fell apart, I really wanna work things out, but I don’t think you gonna change, I do but you don’t think it’s best we go our separate ways, tell me why I should stay in this relationship”… just kidding! Did you think I was going to type out the lyrics to the entire song? This was my jam back in the day.
The beginning lyrics to Usher’s “Let it burn” is somewhat related to what I want to share with you guys. I have been a little nervous thinking about sharing this story with the world, but it is something God has been leading me to do recently. I am going to be as open as much as possible. I also want to put it out there that I own my part in all of this. I had many opportunities to leave but I didn’t, I was more or less mentally incapacitated, I was my prisoner.
The Back Story
You remember shows like The Bachelor where an eligible man is presented with the option of 25 good looking women to choose from? No? Just me? Okay, let me share how this show works. The bachelor goes through the process of elimination for about eight weeks; then he finally chooses the one, he wants to spend the “rest” of his life with. During this journey, they go on all sorts of romantic dates; they get to travel the world, meet each other's family and make sweet memories together. With him each week giving the women roses to signify his interest in them, meaning that they are safe for one more week in the Bachelor mansion.
The show ends with a possible proposal to the one he chooses and they live happily ever after. Well, that’s what they hope to happen until the glitz and glamour come off, and they realize that they have to face reality without the cameras rolling. I am not saying that this show shaped my view on relationships, but whenever I watched the show, I always dreamed of what my relationship with my one day husband would be like. Would he be romantic? Would he travel the world with me? Would he tell me he loved me every day? Or wake me up with breakfast in bed?
Where it all Began
I have always been a bit of a hopeful romantic, everything that had to do with romance and the opposite sex intrigued me. I mean I love, love and wanted to be loved by someone because I felt like I had so much in me to give. Thanks to shows like The Bachelor (sad to admit I still love it lol), I thought I was ready for marriage at 23. Marriage for me was an escape from the reality I did not want to face. At the time my family wanted me to move back home to Nigeria and settle down there, but I did not have it. “If I could just graduate college, get a good job and find someone to settle down with in the US, then my life will be made.”
Those were my general thoughts, I always dreamed of a household with a loving spouse, filled with kids and not lacking anything. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, this kind of thinking consumed my thought process daily so much so that my self-worth became attached to how much a guy I liked, liked me back. If he didn't reciprocate my feelings, then I felt something was wrong with me. "Maybe I wasn't smart enough, pretty enough or physically fit enough to land the kind of guy I wanted in my head." My self-esteem was at an all-time low during those years, and I didn't know it.
I was in love with the idea of being in a relationship. This then led me to guy after guy after guy. During Easter of 2013, I went to Oxford from Birmingham to see a guy who treated me poorly. There was no genuine connection between us, but I wanted things to work out at all cost. I met him a couple of months earlier at a wedding. He was attractive, and I wasn’t going to miss out on this “once in a lifetime opportunity.” I didn’t have the chance to talk to him during the wedding and thought I wasn’t going to see him again. Imagine my surprise and excitement when I spotted him the next day at my cousin’s house.
“This is it,” I said to myself “make your move now!” So I walked up to him, talked to him for a little bit and asked for his BBM pin. We spoke on BBM for a while, then exchanged phone numbers. He went back to Oxford and me to America. I was never really a long-distance relationship type of person, but in my head, I felt if this could ever lead to a relationship then I will make it work. Over the course of 3 months, we texted almost every other day and spoke on the phone once in a blue moon. In fact, it was news to my friends whenever Mr. UK guy and I talked on the phone. I was thrilled in those days, I was in a weird way getting the attention I wanted.
On Valentine’s Day 2013, he posted a picture of another female (every girl's nightmare), and I was wondering who she was. I asked him, and he claimed the lady was his “ex-girlfriend.” I still went ahead, applied for my UK visa and eventually took a trip to Birmingham. Initially, the trip was supposed to be about him. We had plans to see each other that year, he was supposed to come to the US but always came up with excuses about how he couldn’t make it. I took the bull by the horn and decided to go there instead.
But when he posted that other lady’s picture and started acting weird towards me, I switched gears and went to see my brother in Birmingham. I still kept aside a day to see him. I got my best outfits together and headed out to Oxford after a couple of days with my family. Although my nerves got the best of me initially, I relaxed as the day progressed.
When I got to Oxford, he said we couldn’t stay at his house because his family was in town. So he got us a hotel room instead (oops sorry dad). I didn’t think much of it; I was just happy to be with him. He took me out on a date; we went to see a movie then dinner afterward. At dinner, our conversation was not flowing. It was as if there was a wall between us. Because of how the day went, when it got to the “physical” part of the relationship later on that night, I didn’t want to give up too much because I was scared that nothing good was going to come out of the relationship and I was right. After a difficult night, the next day he told me how we were not sexually compatible and how I wasn’t the one for him.
My trip then ended with him yelling at me at the train station for something that was his fault; he also couldn’t wait for me to get on my train back to Birmingham. In fact, he rushed me off on the next available train without saying goodbye. I balled my eyes out on the 2-hour trip back to Birmingham, the people who sat next to me thought I was crazy. After I returned to the US, he posted a picture of that same girl I had questioned him about previously on Valentine's day. Then I knew that was no Ex, that was his girlfriend! I was so mad that I sent him a long text message tearing him down, and that was the end of his chapter in my life.
I felt that I had failed again at this thing called relationship; all I wanted was for someone to love and treat me right. I was seeking the right thing but in the wrong places. I had not matured enough to know what was right for me and what wasn’t. There was a void in me that I was trying to fill. God wants good things for His children; He just wants them to happen at the right time. Before He gives us those gifts, He does a work in us to prepare us for them. You wouldn’t give your car keys to a 14 yr. Old or you wouldn’t buy a car for them.
A car is useful alright but the 14 yr. Old is not matured enough to handle the responsibilities that come with owning a car. If they were given a car at that stage of their life, it could be their demise. It’s the same thing when God withholds certain things from us. It’s not like He doesn’t love us or He doesn’t want us to enjoy our lives, it’s just that some of us at different points in our lives are not ready for some things that life brings. We have to wait, develop ourselves, before receiving what God has for us.
After the UK guy, there were two more guys I got involved with, in 2013. That didn’t lead anywhere as well. I didn’t want anything to do with one of them, to begin with, I wasn’t attracted to him, and he was too "razz." Then one day my guy friend advises me to give it a shot “you never know what will come out of it” he said. I agreed and did just that, and it became a vicious cycle of me now chasing after him for attention and him ignoring me most of the times. The relationship with the second guy came to a screeching halt when I ended it abruptly.
I was sick of the way he was also treating me and needed to move forward. He kept on calling me and apologizing for his actions. Honestly, I forgave him, but he wouldn’t stop calling. After I went through a horrible experience the following year, I thought to myself that the guys I had dealt with in the past in hindsight were prince charming compared to the next guy; I met and fell for in 2014. As I previously mentioned, I own my part in all of this, no one forced me to stay in the relationships I was involved in. I thought I had seen it all in the eight years I had been dating, but things were about to get very interesting.
Have you ever been in such a situation as mine? Comment below and share your stories with me! Remember this website is an interactive one; the purpose is for us to have conversations and grow together as a community. If you haven’t subscribed yet, please do, to be up to date with what's happening on Let's Talk Nation it promises to be exciting as we move forward. Make sure you come back for the next part, Girl Meets Boy.
*The names of the characters and locations in this story have been changed to protect the identities of the parties involved*
Picture Cred: Unsplash.com