Written by Evi Idoghor
Remember shows like The Bachelor, where an eligible man is presented with a choice of 25 attractive women? No? Is it just me? Let me explain how this show works. The bachelor goes through an eight-week elimination process before deciding who he wants to spend the "rest" of his life with. Throughout their journey, they go on a variety of romantic dates, travel the world, meet each other's families, and create wonderful memories together. Each week, he gives the women roses to show his interest in them. This gesture ensures their continued presence in the Bachelor mansion for another week.
The show concludes with a potential proposal to the woman he chooses, and they live happily ever after. That is, until the glitz and glamour wear off and they realize they must face reality without the cameras rolling. I'm not saying that this show completely shaped my perspective on relationships, but whenever I watched it, I fantasized about my relationship with my future husband. Is he a romantic? Would he travel with me around the world? Would he tell me every day that he loved me? Or wake me up with breakfast in bed?
I've always been a bit of a hopeless romantic, and anything to do with romance and the opposite sex piqued my interest. I mean, I wanted to be loved by someone because I felt like I had so much to give. I thought I was ready for marriage at 23 thanks to shows like The Bachelor. For me, marriage was an escape from a reality I didn't want to face. My family wanted me to return to Nigeria and settle down, but I wasn't having it. "If I could just graduate college, get a good job and find someone to settle down with in America, 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 nothing wrong with that, it consumed my daily thought process to the point where my self-worth became tied to how much a man liked me back. If he didn't reciprocate my feelings, then I felt something was wrong with me.
I was smitten by the prospect of being in a relationship, which led me to guy after guy after guy. During Easter of 2013, I went to London from Manchester to visit someone. There was no genuine connection between us, but I desperately wanted things to work out. I met him at a wedding a few months before. He was appealing, and I wasn't about to pass up this "once in a lifetime opportunity." I didn't get a chance to talk to him at the wedding and assumed I wouldn't see him again. Imagine my surprise and excitement when I spotted him the next day at my cousin’s house.
"This is it," I told myself, “Make your move right now!" So, I approached him, spoke with him briefly, and asked for his BBM pin. We talked on BBM for a while before exchanging phone numbers. He returned to London, while I went to America. I was never one for long-distance relationships, but I reasoned that if this could ever lead to a relationship, I would make it work. We texted almost every other day for three months and spoke on the phone occasionally. In fact, whenever Mr. UK guy and I talked on the phone, it was news to my friends.
On Valentine's Day 2013, he posted a picture of a young lady, and I had no idea who she was. When I asked him, he said the lady was his "ex-girlfriend." His claim made me uneasy, but I had already made plans to visit the UK, so I stuck to them. After a few days with my family, I put together my best outfits and took a train to London. Although my nerves got the best of me at first, I relaxed as the day went on.
When I arrived in London, he said, "My mom and sister arrived from Nigeria yesterday and they are staying at my place, so, I reserved a hotel room for us." "Not a problem," I replied. I didn't give it much thought because I was just glad to be with him. That evening, we went out to dinner and then to the movies. At dinner, he kept on chatting away on his phone. Likewise when we were at the cinema. I watched the entire movie myself. I was agitated. So, when we returned to the hotel that night, I was adamantly opposed to having sex with him. He turned away, furious, and went to sleep.
Twists and Thorns: Part 2
The following day began solemnly. We went out to breakfast and barely spoke to each other. "You are a nice girl, but I don't think this will work between us," he said to me on the train ride to the train station where I would board a train from London back to Manchester. “We are not sexually compatible." I'm not sure I fully understood what that meant at 25, all it meant to me was rejection. When we arrived at Euston station, there were two trains departing for Manchester. One leaving in 4 minutes, and the other in 30 minutes. This young man forced me to sprint to the train that was leaving in four minutes and shoved my suitcase inside without saying goodbye.
I located my seat, placed my suitcase down, sat down, lowered my head, and began to weep uncontrollably during the two-hour journey back to Manchester. Those seated near me must have believed that I had received terrible news. After my return to the US, Mr. UK Guy finally found the courage to post a photograph of himself and the woman he posted about on Valentine's Day.
I experienced a sense of disappointment and defeat as I believed I had once again fallen short at this thing called love. My sole desire was to be with someone who loved and respected me. Nevertheless, I had been searching for the right thing in the wrong places. I hadn't matured enough to know what was right for me and what wasn't. I was attempting to fill a void within myself, but I was yet to learn my lesson.
Why I Think my Relationship Failed
Twists and Thorns is a retelling of my first short story series published on this platform five years ago. On the 5th anniversary of this blog, I have decided to bring back story telling. Two parts will be published weekly in keeping with the video story series I will publish on Instagram. Buckle up, its going to be a great ride! I hope you enjoy the series.
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