Get ahead | Succeed | Career | Love
It’s an open secret, I’m a die-hard romantic
There’s not much I haven’t done in the name of “love”, I’ve hopped onto long haul flights, caught last minute trains, sneaked into a high security army barracks, and racked up eye-watering cell phone bills to try and weed out, that one guy who might be special. I appreciate that 18 months ago, I was
a mess emotion led – and leading with emotions is a recipe for disaster when it comes to relationships. There are plenty of juicy stories I can share, but for now…
Let’s go back in time and discuss the guy who first shaped my outlook on dating
I began my first relationship at the tender age of 15 which pains me to write because I was so young! Though I had just hit puberty, I thought I knew it all, even though I knew nothing about life, yet that didn’t stop me from diving in head first, at the deep end, with him – James. I met him in church – he was Nigerian and almost a couple of years older than me. I used to go to service with my sister, and he would show up with his boys.
I should tell you that, I attended a girl’s school, in my teens and boys were taboo. I rarely came into direct contact with guys on weekdays, apart from the men in my family, (who were very protective) and my teachers. Even when I did, I wash’t always their first choice, so naturally I couldn’t wait to go shopping at the weekends and stare at the boys.
Meeting James was no different
During service, he would hang out in the hallway, right in front of the ladies bathroom, wilding out and laughing with his friends. They were all from the streets, but weren’t involved in crime (to my knowledge), James was the alpha in his group and by all impressions the ‘coolest’, if he said “jump” they all “jumped”.
I can’t remember whether it was the 2nd or 3rd time at church, that I happened to walk past James in the hallway while he was alone; I was wearing a brand new white dress, and he boldly stated, that “I looked nice in the dress”. But I was so nervous, that I murmured thanks and quickly scurried off into the bathroom.
From that moment onwards every time I attended service, I would catch his eye, and in all honesty I lived for those moments. Even though we had barely spoken, and he was undoubtedly checking for other girls, I intuitively knew he was interested, and his gaze spoke to my inner desire for him.
I was soon pulling out my best outfits, experimenting with make-up and taking twice as long to get ready for church
Because I secretly hoped to catch his gaze again, even for a second, as it was in those moments, that I felt most powerful and desirable – remember I was only 15. I longed for his attention when he wasn’t there, and sadly over time, we started to see less and less of each other.
Until 3 months later, when he asked me out
There was a church function in a different part of town and a coach was hired to drive us there. As I was venturing out of the building, I saw James walking towards me, he grabbed my hand as I walked past and pulled me back, to ask me what was going on, I told him, and it was then that he asked for my number.
We were polar opposites, from day one and he’ll cringe when I say that he dressed like a typical thug, which suited me down to the ground, as I loved hip-hop and in my mind, his sagging pants just added to his “sex appeal”.
We lived in different neighborhoods, we spoke differently, we dressed differently, we led completely different lives, yet we were both utterly besotted with one another, and dated for 4 years. We had that Whitney and Bobby vibe going on…
I wasn’t thinking about the future when I fell in love with James
I was far too young to understand that without planning for a future, the relationship was doomed; all I cared for, was how giddy I felt around him at the time. We spoke every day without fail. What I loved most, was his consistency – when he said he would call at 9pm, he would call at 8.59pm, and he was great at listening too.
However Vivien loathed his clandestine calls, and would regularly barge into my room, catch me, and cut the call off. What she couldn’t stand was the fact none of our family members had met face to face, and she would often remind me that any man with serious intentions would do things properly.
Vivien was right
Nonetheless, James and I spent every available waking hour together. When I did ask to meet his mom, he fobbed me off with excuses like, “she’s strict”, and that “he would move out”, and I believed him.
So one thing led to another and I ended up…
In fact the first time I met her, was when she cornered me in her kitchen, after catching me in the middle of the night! James had to physically restrain her…the whole episode was soooo embarrassing.*shakes head*
While I spent a lot of time at school, studying, he was with his boys almost 24/7. Granted he always made time for me, and went out of his way to prove himself, but that didn’t stop my suspicion that he might be cheating. Everyday, I would drive him nuts with millions of questions.
In hindsight we were far too young to really grasp the intensity of our feelings
Which lead to mistrust on my part, and extreme possessiveness on his. He was a guy with a big heart, and I invested a lot of energy encouraging him to do more with his life. But we ended up fighting like cats and dogs over the future, and this carried on for months until we both grew tired of the dysfunctional cycle.
By the time I started college…James dumped me. To say I was heartbroken, is an understatement. I was devastated. They say the first cut is the deepest, and it really is! The first 6 months were brutal, I felt as if my heart had been ripped apart, I wouldn’t wish that type of emotional pain on anyone. I’m pretty sure I begged him to stay, but he refused.
Then a funny thing happened
Five years later, he re-contacted me, and thanked me for helping him turn into a better man, as he had graduated from the streets, to become a chartered accountant. He even suggested that we should try again! Fortunately for his new wife, we decided, that would be a lousy idea, although there are no hard feelings.
Do men wake up and see the value you bring to their life?
The problem is a lot of men don’t recognize the real value of womanhood. They see women as a means to an end, to get their immediate needs met, rather than an asset, to help take their vision, to the next level.
They don’t know what they have until it’s gone
Only time can teach a man he’s lost out in a big way, as we live in a society, where men believe that women are disposable. What they come to appreciate over time is, they can get any woman in bed, but good women who fit in with (and support) their vision, are hard to come by.
Sometimes he may need to go through 5,6,7,8 women to understand that he will never find another you again. So you will be vindicated, sadly not when you want. In most cases, you may have to wait for years, and even decades (if we’re talking about a prideful man) for him to evaluate his life, and finally confess that you added value.
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