Sunday, December 31

Meeting Mums, Brotherly Advice

Before I got too deep with Mr, I called my mum and told her about him. She said she was going to pray about it. Soon she called me back and said she felt at peace, so she was really pleased. She also told me that she would like to meet him as soon as she could. Apparently, Mr had also told his mum about me, and she was quite keen to meet me as well. Three months later, both mums came to England separately. My mum came for a brief holiday, while his parents came to attend his graduation.
Just after mum arrived, I remember telling Mr that my mum was in the country and she would like to meet him. So we arranged a time. After work, he picked me up from uni and we drove home. My mum greeted him like she knew him before. She sat him down and asked him lots of questions with a serious face. She asked him whether he was a christian, about his family, what his intentions were, how long he had been eyeing me on campus.... etc etc until the poor guy was blushing seriously and I was laughing. Eventually she was satisfied with all his answers and she let him go. Later on I asked her what she thought of him and she said he was a nice guy. So that initial meeting went well :-)
A week later, it was my turn to endure the questions. I was to spend a whole day with Mr's family including his mum! That morning I was so nervous. I got to his brother's house and met his mum and she greeted me very warmly. She asked the basic questions, and she seemed satisfied too. We spent the rest of the day together and she was already refering to me as her daughter, which I thought was really cool. So that was the mums' side of the introductions. It wasn't until much later that we got the dads involved. I think mothers carry more weight anyway. They can then do the job of informing the dads. I didn't tell my dad about Mr until a year later.

I have this uncle that takes the well-being of everybody around him so seriously. Whatever myself, my sisters or my cousins get up to, he wants to know and he usually dishes out advice. Whether we want to listen to him is another matter entirely. When he heard that I had a new boyfriend, he called me and grilled me very well about him. The he found out that he knew my boyfriend's older brother! So he must have called him and told him something like this: "I hear your younger brother is seeing my niece o. Make sure he knows what he is doing. I want you to call both of them together and advise them very well. Otherwise....!" LOL. Anyway one day Mr told me that we should visit his brother after church on sunday. I was quite pleased to, as it would give me an opportunity to get to know the family a bit more, and meet their 5-year old daughter again(she was quickly becoming my best friend).

One lovely sunday afternoon, we paid older brother a visit. We had lunch with the family and it was very interesting. Their daughter insisted that she wanted to sit beside me at the table. She ate her veggies because I ate mine and I told her veggies made me grow. Her mum was so pleased, she said I should be visiting every sunday so the girl would be eating her veggies more often! After lunch we played together until the adults called me for a chat. The chat was lovely. They asked us what our relationship plans were. We told them that we had every intention of going to the altar in the future. They asked us when that would be. We said we hadn't decided yet. They asked us if we had told our parents. We said we hadn't told them the full gist yet. They told us that if we had any questions or problems, we were free to come and ask them. They had been married about seven years at the time so that was good. They also gave us some advice. Sound advice that still rings in my head today. Amongst many other things they said: "You both have to put each other first. For you, younger brother, she becomes the most important person to you. As unfair as it may sound, even your parents become less important than your wife when it comes down to it. And to you lady, he becomes the most important person to you. No other human being (even your future kids!) should be more important to you than your husband. And your partner's opinion matters more than anyone else's. If you know that, then you will accord each other with the right amount of love, trust and respect. And no external party can come in-between you". Great stuff. That touched home for me because it was exactly what we needed to hear. It helps to prevent a lot of issues with in-laws and extended family too.

Monday, December 18

Getting What I Want

Sometimes my friends ask me what attracted me to hubby. Did I get everything I wanted in a man? Did he meet all my expectations of "husband material"? What's important and what's not? These questions are of course dependent on individual choices. But we should have a good idea of what we want.

One day my church organised a singles meeting which I attended. We were asked to do several exercises. One of them was to write out what attributes we desired in our future partner. We all wrote our answers on paper and gave them to the woman leading the meeting. She read some of them out. There was stuff like rich, handsome, charismatic, tall, cute etc. She almost laughed at all of us. She said that we had obvoiusly not given it much thought. Where were our priorities? We were thinking of the superficial stuff, not thinking about what really brings lasting joy, peace and satisfaction in a relationship. Whatever happened to characteristics like God-fearing, disciplined, focused, reliable, honest, hardworking, caring, responsible, kind, committed, gentle, self-controlled, mature, respectful etc....? She tore up our lists and asked us to write new ones, and this time we should think before we just wrote some random things that popped into our heads. The second time we submitted our lists, our priorites seemed to have changed. LOL.

That meeting got me thinking though. I realised that I had to define what was really important to me, and what I could compromise on. Each of us at that meeting had to. Truthfully, before I met Mr I just had a very hazy picture in my head of what I wanted in a man. I had decided I wanted my husband to be like my dad - someone kind, generous and funny. He would have to be as educated as I was, because I enjoy meaningful and stimulating conversations. I wanted a God-fearing man because I knew it would have to be a man willing to wait till we got married before I slept with him. I knew I wanted someone I could trust, someone that I could rely on, and someone who would be my best friend. These were things I knew I could not compromise on. Things like the car he drove, the brand of clothes and perfume he wore, the schools he went to or the amount of money he had, I could easily compromise on. As per physical attributes, I thought I wanted someone 'tall, dark and handsome'. LOL, I guess I read too many Mills and Boon novels when I was a teenager. I put these ideas into prayers. Actually I had defined what I wanted but not what I needed. I thank God that He knew my needs and met them. I actually got a better deal than I had imagined in my mind. I am not saying hubby is perfect, none of us is. But he is God's perfect choice for me.

Now I didn't get everything on my wishlist. He is not 'tall, dark and handsome' the way I had imagined my husband would be. He is not yet as 'rich' as I would have wanted him to be. But my superficial judgement melted away as I got to know more of him. First, it was his confidence that attracted me. From the minute I met him, he exuded some natural aura about him that just draws people. Second, he made me feel good about myself. Third he was so easy to talk to. When we are talking, the conversation flows so easily even when we are not agreeing. Fourth, he didn't try to 'buy' or bribe me to like him by sending me loads of gifts, he just allowed me to get to know him for who he is. Fifth, he is a cheerful person, he knows how to cheer me up when issues are weighing on my mind. Sixth, he is driven and motivated, and he knows what he wants and he is willing to work to get it. And of course, he is a Godfearing, christian man. These initial attributes made me like him at the start. As time went on, I found out more and more about him that mirrored my deepest heart desires. One thing I realised after I had been going out with him for a few months was that he always brings out the best in me. And that is what a man is supposed to do for his woman. (Any guy that brings out the worst in me is definitely not Mr Right!)

Now the second half of this exercise at the singles meeting. After we had written our proper lists, the woman leading the meeting asked us a question. What kind of woman do you think the guy with all the attributes you have written would go for? Are you his type? If you have written that you want a guy that is hardworking, bear in mind that he is not likely to want a lazy wife. Or if you desire a man that is responsible and caring, realise that he is likely to be attracted to a responsible and caring girl as well! You as the lady, would have to step-up to meet his high standards. Then she asked us to write our own attributes that we think a guy would desire in us. (Gosh, more thinking for us to do). This time we took a lot longer to write our lists. Things like tall, sexy, cute and pretty didn't come into it. This made us realise that we had to be as good as what we desired. So when I met Mr, I asked him what attributes he desired most in his woman. He mentioned a few things. Some I could meet easily and some I am still working on. Thank God he was willing to compromise too (:-)

Saturday, December 9

No Sex Please

I was going to write this post later, but I mentioned something on my other blog that attracted interest so I decided to write it now. This is about how and why I waited till I was married before I finally had sex.

When I was just becoming a teenager, probably around 12 years old, I came across two small booklets titled "For Young Girls Only" or something like that. The booklets talked frankly about sex, the risks involved in indulging in sex before you are ready and many other things. The message in the book was clearly that abstinence was the best, fool-proof way of protecting yourself from diseases and unwanted pregnancy. So I decided that that would be the way for me to go. Of course at the time I didn't fully understand all the things involved, I just reasoned that it was a good idea, and I couldn't really go wrong with that. I didn't have brothers so I knew very little about guys. Now when I turned 13, my parents called me aside and gave me "the talk". Being a christain also helped because I was taught that God wanted me to be holy, and that sex outside of marriage was wrong.

I grew older and things started changing. I became aware of myself, feelings for guys and raging hormones. I started reading M&Bs, Jackie Collins, Hints, Hearts (hands up who read those mags in Nigeria!) etc. Started watching more movies. I became more and more aware of what sex was, but since I had made up my mind, I was not so curious. I knew when some of my friends started kissing and exploring with boys but I wasn't interested. However I knew temptation was heading my way when I started developing crushes on cute guys so I confided in some of my friends and we all made a pact to keep our virginity till we got married. If I remember correctly, we were 16 at the time and we were thinking we would have to wait about 8 years. We started making fun of the girls who had boyfriends and sexual encounters. We felt like we had something they didn't: self-control and virtue. All was well during secondary school. I even managed to leave secondary school without having kissed a guy because I didn't kiss my first boyfriend.

Things got more complex after secondary school and now I was in the big wide world. Gone was the protective cloak of my initial group of friends around me, now I had to stand on my own two feet. The pressure was now overwhelming especially in my college. I felt like all around me, my mates were exploring sex, having fun, enjoying themselves and I was the only one missing out. Sometimes when the peer pressure was getting to me, I would remind myself of the reasons why I was holding back. For me, some of the reasons were: (1) to please God (2) prevent unwanted pregnancies (3) prevent any funky diseases (4) Keep my respect and dignity (5) My business would not be the talk of the school (6) To give my future husband something really special (7) Something to look forward to when I eventually get married (8) No unhealthy soul ties to anyone (9) I won't be comparing past guys to husband (10) husband will trust me more (11) No issues with "so how many guys have you slept with?" type questions (12) No regrets about giving it up to ex-boyfriends etc ....

About the same time too, my second boyfriend was hinting that he wanted to take things further. When I told him I hadn't had sex before, he told me that I should prove it to him by sleeping with him (now how does that make sense?!!). I found that really funny. I told him that if that was the way I was "proving it" to every guy that asked, there would be nothing left of me. And I told him that if he married me, I would sleep with him. He tried to use the classic lines: "If you loved me, you would do it". Ah! I wasn't having that one. But I made sure I didn't put myself in any compromising situation. I never went to his house, he always came to mine (that way I could kick him out if things got slippery). When we went out I made sure he brought me back home early, or I had adequate transport fare on me, if I needed to escape. At every other time, we were on the phone, or hanging out with my friend and his cousin on double dates. And thankfully, before things got out of hand I told him I was leaving Nigeria. He said I should make sure I keep my virginity for him. I told him I would try.

Got to England and soon had more guys on my case. It seemed like some guys could tell I was innocent and they wanted to take that away from me. The "Sly Wolf" in my earlier post was just one of them, but there were two other guys. All I can say is, God was watching over me so they didn't succeed. Soon I started going out with the guy that disappeared and faced more temptations. I told him where I stood on sex, and he seemed to understand. After he disappeared and the relationship ended, I remember telling my friend that I'm glad I hadn't slept with him. That would have just made me feel worse.

Then I met Mr and one day the conversation strayed towards past relationships. I told him I had nothing to confess and I was proud of that. He then told me that he had slept with his ex-girlfriends, and he asked me if it would matter to me if we started going out or got married. At first I was not so sure, but later, I thought that if God had sent me this man, then it would not be a reason to throw him away. Since he had repented and recommitted himself in his walk with God, I could let it go as past tense. In essence I told him that I wasn't going to sleep with him until we were married and he agreed! So we could help each other to stay pure. I must admit it was really hard, but I will talk more about it in future posts.

Thursday, November 23

Case of the Ex

At first I wasn't so curious about Mr and his past escapades with ex-girlfriends. Like most people, we both had previous relationships and I had figured out, hey everybody has done some things they are not proud of. The important thing was to get to know each other at the early stages and the revelations would come later. But I didn't have to wait long before an incident prompted me to dig into the archives. The story goes like this:

One day Mr told me that he had been invited to a 21st birthday party at the weekend and asked me to come with him. He said he would rather not go, but he had promised the celebrant that he would be there. When I asked him why he was reluctant to go, he told me it was because he used to go out with one of the celebrant's friends, and the relationship had not been a good one and it didn't even end well. He was worried about meeting her or her group of friends there. I guess most of them knew about their turbulent relationship. I was wondering if he should go at all, or if I should go with him because I don't like going to parties where I don't know anybody. In the end, we decided to just go and "show face" for a short while. When we got there, the party was in full swing. It was a typical Nigerian gathering, with lots of people, food, loud music etc. Mr found the celebrant, we said hello to her, and then we went in to chill for a while. He started introducing me to people, and I could feel the eyes burning into me. I asked him if his ex was there and he said he couldn't see her. Soon a girl came to meet us, she said hello to me and started chatting with Mr. I didn't hear most of the gist because of the loud music. We stayed a bit sha and left the party. About 10 minutes later Mr's phone rang. He looked at me and said "that's my ex-girlfriend calling". I asked him if he knew why she was calling him, he said no. I said he should pick up the call. I listened to his side of the conversation but could not understand most of it. When he hung up I asked him what was going on. Then she called him again, this time, she sounded really upset and he sounded guilty. After she finally hung up the third time, he told me that some of his ex's friends were at the party and they had called her to tell her that 'her man' had brought another girl to this party, and was even proudly declaring that I was his girlfriend. So she had called him to confirm and spark. Apparently, him turning up at the party with me was a major disaster. He had embarrased her in front of her friends. She had hoped that they would get back together and she was already on her way to the party when she heard he was going to be there. But her friend (the girl that came to chat with us) had called her to say she should not come anymore because I was there. Mr was feeling guilty and was trying to calm her down. He told her that indeed, he had met someone else, and he confirmed that he had told her friend that I was his wife. I just felt really uncomfortable about the whole story. I guess it took a while for me to get the confidence to believe that it was over with that ex-girlfriend, and I was the one he had chosen to stick with.

After this incident, I sat down and had a talk with Mr asking him for every single detail about his past relationships. I didn't want any more surprises of that kind. What was more important though, was achieving closure with those exes, if need be, apologising and stuff.

For me, I wasn't on talking terms with any of my exes. I didn't even know where they lived or their phone numbers, so it would take a serious co-incidence for me to meet them. And anyway, I didn't think I needed to keep in touch with them. I would find it really awkward to be friends with an ex. Afterall, it didn't work out, so drop it and move on. If you are in a relationship with someone special, you don't need a cloud of past relationships hanging over your head. That said though, my second boyfriend is on my yahoo messenger list, but that's about it :-)


I remember the first time I told my aunt about my new bf. She smiled as she listened to me narrating how we met and proceeded to a relationship. Then she told me that she saw us the day we met in my church in April and she had known that there was something more at the time. I was like, seriously Auntie! What did you see? She said she saw the looks in our eyes and the way I smiled at him when we exchanged numbers. I thought she was kidding. But you never know! Anyways she said he seemed like a nice, decent guy and she knew his older brother, so she had no objections. She cautioned me not to get too excited, but I should take it one step at a time.

Mr on the other hand wasn't taking it easy o. Barely two weeks after we started going out, he started introducing me to his friends as his wife. Then I would get funny looks from the person. And a conversation like this: "Are you his wife?" Kind of. "How long have you two been going out?". Answer? Two weeks. "Two weeks! So how come he is already calling you his wife?". I don't know. He is excited I guess. The same thing when I introduce him to my friends. "Stop calling him your husband". Or "how are you so sure you are going to marry him?". Or "he is your boyfriend, not your husband".... etc. I would explain that our goal was not to break up, but we would be together till we got married. After a while I just stopped explaining. And I started calling him my boyfriend. I also told him to just call me his girlfriend. At least that would put an end to the awkward looks and questions from people.

About two months later, he said it was time for me to meet some of his family. He has two older brothers in England and both of them are happily married. He had told them about me and they were keen to meet this girl that their little brother was ranting about. So one day, Mr told me that he was going to pick up his brother from the airport, and I should come along. I was slightly nervous, but he told me that his brother was cool, so there was nothing to worry about. We got to the arrivals lounge and waited for his brother to come out, but the flight from Lagos was delayed. Eventually he came out, and Mr made the introductions. I greeted him nicely, and he smiled, said hello and offered a handshake. He said I should not kneel down, cos that would make him feel old. Throughout the journey to his house, brother was teasing us and making jokes. I liked him and he seemed to like me too. That went well! When we got to his house, I met his wife and the kids. His wife was very sweet and welcoming. The first thing I thought when I saw her was, she's beautiful! Then they asked the kids to "come and meet aunty". There was a 5-year old girl and a 3-year old boy. They liked me immediately and started chatting away, sitting on my laps, investigating the contents of my bag and playing with me. Even their mum was surprised that we got on so well immediately. It was getting late when we left their house. As we were leaving, I remember looking back and waving at them, thinking they were such a lovely family. On the way back, Mr said he was happy that the family liked me, and he was even jealous that the kids were all over me so soon.

Meeting his older brother was slightly different. The family had been on a summer holiday to Nigeria, where they were followed home by armed robbers. Everything they had was taken from them. They had just come back, and Mr decided to go and visit them, so I went with him. This time I was more nervous. His brother and kids were around, but his wife wasn't. They had guests and other family members around when we got there. As I got in, I greeted everyone and sat down. Everyone started talking to me at once, asking questions and stuff. It was a bit scary, but I soon relaxed as nobody was horrible to me. I remember some of the things they were talking about. His brother was saying to me, "I'm glad this my brother has finally brought a good girl to meet us, so that you would know he's got family...". One of his in-laws said to Mr, "I know it was God that gave you this girl, because left to your own devices, you won't choose a fine decent girl like this. You would have brought home one old woman singing in a pub...." LOL! I met the kids too, a 9-year old boy and 7-year old girl. They told me about their trip to Nigeria and how the robbers came into their house with guns to rob them of all their stuff. I got on well with them too. When we were leaving, they said they wanted to follow me home! I promised to come back to visit them another time, and meet their mum. (I later met her when Mr and I went to their house for his brother's birthday. She was so warm, we got on immediately. If she was my age, she's the kind of person that would be my best friend. So that went well too).
Some days later, I asked Mr about the verdict from both brothers. Thumbs up all the way. You just know that God is on your side when things go smoothly. Since both our parents lived in Lagos, it would be a while before we made the introductions. I'll continue in my next post.

Thursday, November 9

It's Official

Now we had officially started our relationship. I sent my friend EG a text some days later. She called me back at once. Screaming her head off. She was so surprised and happy. She was like "Wow!! The guy I introduced you to! How did you start a relationship with him right under my nose and I didn't suspect a thing all along!!" On and on she went, until I told her how it happened. She hung up and called our other friend, who also called me at once. More screams. We were due to resume for our final year at uni in a week, so we agreed that I would spill the beans when we met after resumption.

The next week, we went back to uni and they dragged me out. Over lunch I told them the whole story. Over the summer, "Mr" had graduated from our uni, so we wouldn't be seeing him around campus anymore. But that afternoon, he came to pick me up after lectures. EG was there and she told him, "You have just come to take my friend from me!". The guy just smiled at her and told her that he had his eye on me all along and he only used her connections to get close to me. (But till today she still takes the credit for hooking us up).

From day one, I knew this relationship was different from all my previous ones. So this called for a different approach from what I used to do in the past. For one thing, I had to define the relationship in my mind. Was this a "let's just see how it goes..." relationship or a "this is going to work out" relationship? In the past, I was involved in "let's just see how it goes" relationships.This meant that if it became inconvenient for me, then I would just end the relationship and move on. However, if I wanted this relationship to work out, I must be prepared to stick with it, even when it got inconvenient for me.

Another thing I did was, I stopped taking relationship advice from my girlfriends. Why? Not because they were bad people or I didn't trust them. But because I knew that they had the same level of knowledge and experience as me, so they could not give me better advice than I could give myself. I decided to start taking my relationship advice from people who had gone through this stage of life successfully and were now happily married. At least they could speak from experience, and their experience counts! So I appointed two married couples in my church as my mentors, and my happily married aunty as my relationship adviser. Over the years of our relationship, I gained wisdom from them, until I could learn to spot my past mistakes and avoid them. I remember one instance. At the beginning of our relationship Mr and I had a quarell. I asked my girlfriends for advice. I took their advice and things got worse. Then I asked my aunt, and took her advice. Things got sorted out! Go figure.

Tuesday, October 31

First Date and Next Steps

I was writing this post two days ago, but my computer froze and I couldn't finish it. So anyways here's the continuation from where I stopped.

He invited me to a youth party organised by his youth club in church. I decided that was harmless enough so I agreed to attend. When we got there, every one was wondering who I was, and I kept on saying we were friends from school.

After the party, he asked if he could take me home and I agreed. Two other girls asked him for a lift as well. On the way, one of them was calling him "her husband", and then she suddenly stopped and started apologising to me. I found it amusing because I wasn't his girlfriend at the time, so I wondered why she was apologising to me. Anyways after he dropped them off, I asked him and he claimed he didn't know why she thought I was his girlfriend. (Later I found out that he had told them I was!)

Some days later, he invited me to see a movie with him during the week. I was working late that day, so we agreed to see an evening film. I left work later than usual and got delayed on the tube, so by the time we got to the cinema, the movie had already started. We decided there was no point going in to see the film anymore. He suggested we should get some food and go and sit in his car to talk. This was fine by me. And it was while we were sitting and talking that he told me what was going on in his mind, and asked me to be his girlfriend. I can't remember his exact words, but he made it clear that he wanted a long-term meaningful relationship. So this was not just a fling, not just a "let's see how it goes" relationship, but something that would work out. I knew that he was asking in effect if I would agree to be his wife sometime in the future. I sat in silence for a while. Then I told him I would pray about it and let him know my answer when I'm sure. That evening was lovely, we enjoyed each other's company so much that we ended up sitting in the cinema's car park talking till 3.00am in the morning! When we eventually realised the time, we laughed at ourselves. Then he dropped me off at home and I stayed on the phone with him until he got home too. Sweet eh :-)

At work the next day, I'm sure my co-workers noticed that I was smiling more than normal, and I was receiving loads of text messages. I was thinking about him all day. I had prayed about it that morning, and I told God I wanted a clear sign that I should start a relationship with this guy. I wanted to be 101% sure that I was doing the right thing. Then I remembered that I had prayed for a husband. Was God answering my prayer already? I decided to wait and see. That evening, when he called me to ask for my response, I told him I was waiting to for God to confirm something to me. He understood. So the next few days I kept my eyes and ears open to hear from God. Sure enough I got my response. And I felt so much peace.

So one fateful day in September 2002, I called "Mr" and told him I had agreed to be his girlfriend! He was really pleased (obviously). We committed ourselves to God there and then, and asked Him to guide us down the path we were taking. And that marked the start of our wonderful relationship.

(Recap: met him in January, became friends in April, grew closer over the summer, became his girlfriend in September. Pretty straight-forward eh?) LOL

One thing that strikes me, as I look back now, is that I can't think of which point I started falling in love with him. We started out as platonic friends, but somehow the love between us grew, and before I knew it, I was well and truly smitten.

Sunday, October 22

One normal day

The first time I met hubby was nothing special. It wasn't love at first sight, there was no initial spark, no butterflies, or anything else that romantic writers talk about. It was just a normal meeting, one normal day.
It was in uni, during those annoying January exams. A friend (let's call her EG) and I had taken a break from studying, and popped out for lunch. When we entered the restaurant, a group of guys were at the counter placing their orders. As I didn't know any of them, I took no notice. EG knew one of them, and he came over to say hi to her, and then she introduced us. We said hi to each other. EG and I chose a table to eat and left the guy to go back to his friends. Some time later, the guy come to our table to have a chat with EG. He seemed quite friendly, and he even invited us to a wedding. We both said we had to study for our exams, so we declined the invitation. After a while he left and I remember thinking he talked too much (lol). After that initial meeting, we would see each other around campus once in a while but nothing developed.
Then some months later, one sunday, my church had a service where all the branches in London came together. I saw this guy during the service. I was surprised, that he was even a christian, and that he was in the same church as me. After the service, he came up to me and I asked him if he attended the church, he said yes, just a different branch. We chatted for a while, and exchanged phone numbers, promising to keep in touch and look out for each other on campus.
The next day I told EG that I had seen her friend in my church the day before and she was surprised. Anyway from then, whenever I saw him on campus, he would come and have a chat.
Some months later, it was my birthday and I had planned to go out for a meal with my girl friends, including EG. She wanted to bring her boyfriend too, but she didn't want him to be the only guy attending. So she asked me to invite other guys. I told her I didn't have other guy friends. Then she said, "what about..... 'this guy', isn't he your friend?". So I asked him if he wanted to come along too. He said he didn't mind, so I told him where and when to meet us. On my birthday, he called me at midnight and played the birthday song to me on his guitar, which was sweet :-) . Soon we grew closer, and my sister commented that I had started spending more time on the phone chatting to him. One evening the conversation steered towards relationships and what we wanted from our future partners (typical eh?). But it was all good stuff.

Our first outing was to a party organised by the youths in his church. The plan was for us to meet up halfway and he would take me with him. On my way I was wondering what I was getting myself into. But it turned out to be nice. More gist in my next post.

Saturday, October 21

Time out... to Think and Grow

After I broke up with "the disappearing guy" I finally had some space to think. I realised that I had been drifting from one relationship to the other and I hadn't defined what I really wanted in a guy before jumping into relationships willy-nilly. Time for a break to discover myself and define what I wanted in a man.

At about the same time too, I knew God was calling on me to take my relationship with Him more seriously. Having been raised as a christian all my life, I had "played by the rules" and didn't indulge in sin (or so I thought), I went to church regularly, I behaved myself and so on. But I knew I had to start taking it seriously because I came to a crossroad: follow God fully or go my own way. So when I became single again, I thought it was the best time for me to get back in touch with God, get serious as a christian, become active in my church and define my relationship goals. Soon I re-dedicated myself to God and joined a ministry. I was happy and at peace with myself.

Later, as I looked back on this period in my life, I think God was actually working on me, making me a better person emotionally and spiritually, because no one who is immature in those areas should go into a marriage relationship. I think God wanted to show me that I was a woman of value to Him, and therefore I should not just give myself to any guy who would not appreciate my value. A person who does not know the value of what he has, would not take good care of it. Same thing with us ladies, the man that does not know your value will treat you like rubbish. God also showed me that I didn't need a boyfriend to validate me or make me whole or complete. My validation and completeness are only in Christ. A man in my life is supposed to complement me, not complete me. And I should trust God completely to guide me in my life, because He knew what was best for me. I learnt most of this stuff from christian books I started to read (The Lady, Her Lover, and Her Lord by T. D. Jakes, Let Me Be a Woman by E. Elliot, Not Even a Hint by J. Harris, Love, Sex, and Lasting Relationships by Chip Ingram and many others) and these books shaped my outlook on healthy relationships. I realised that I had to put the matter in prayer so that God would take care of it.

One day while I was praying, I prayed about my relationships and I told God that I wanted my next relationship to be with the guy I would marry. I didn't want to experience any more break-ups and disappointments. After I finished praying, something told me "Be careful what you wish for, because you will get it". At first I was surprised, but then I thought to myself, yeah why not? I won't mind meeting the right guy for me now, at least that would save me kissing more frogs. I soon forgot about the prayer and went about my normal activities. Little did I know that my prayer was going to answered so soon.

Monday, October 16

The Disappearing Boyfriend

Moving on to the next boyfriend, number 4. This is the case of converting your best friend into your boyfriend. Myself and this guy were very close friends for years and years, through secondary school, college and uni - about 5 years. We had such a nice rapport going on. I always felt safe with him. He was the guy I used to confide in. I told him all my secrets, about the guys I had crushes on, money worries, mood swings, everything. He would always listen to me, offer help and advise and I trusted him. He also told me about his own relationships, struggles with his family, etc. All my girl friends knew him and sometimes they wondered about our friendship, but I always insisted that we were just close friends, and anyway I had 'proper' boyfriends, and he was there to help me decode what goes on in guy's minds.
He knew when I broke up with BF2, he knew about my silly escapades with other guys, and finally when there was a gap in my busy love life, he decided to make his move. The morning of Valentine's Day I was at uni when I got a call from him that he wanted us to meet up in Marble Arch for a movie after my lectures. This wasn't unusual cos we had gone to see movies together many times before so I just thought it was his way of consoling me for my lack of a boyfriend to treat me. No worries there, so after lectures, I dashed home, changed my clothes and headed to Central London.
On getting there, we saw the movie and he insisted on seeing me back home, and just as we were walking up my street, he pulled out some things from his backpack and presents them to me. I took them and was about to stuff them away, but he wanted me to open it right away. I opened the package and there was a card which he had written a poem in, a perfume and some other items I've forgotten.. lol. Then he kissed me and declared his love. I was like "What did you do that for? You have just spoilt everything!" and I stormed off into my house. I was trembling with anger, shock and confusion. When did my best friend start falling in love with me? And why? How will this change our friendship? Eventually I calmed down and called him two hours later. He apologised profusely and explained that he had loved me right from the start of our friendship, but he wasn't sure how I felt about him. So he waited and waited for me to realise that we should be together, instead I was busy with other guys. I laughed at this point and thought that maybe he had a point and since we were already good friends, a relationship would be the next logical step. Our first real "date" was a bit funny cos I was thinking, am I supposed to act differently now as a girlfriend?
Anyways after some time we settled down and the relationshp progressed. My friends were all chanting "I knew it!" when they found out he was now my boyfriend, like they had suspected all along. We had a blast, he treated me nicely, he took me shopping and bought me loads of stuff, we had long conversations, saw endless movies and had a good time. I thought we loved each other and everything was good.
Then after the spring/summer term in 2002, I went to Lagos for a four-week holiday. We were cool when I left England. I spoke to him just before my flight took off and he called me a few times from London to ask how my holiday was going. I was looking forward to coming back and seeing him after my holiday was over. But things went funny after that.
I arrived back in England and called him to tell him I was back. He didn't pick up so I left a message and asked him to call me back. Later that day I met up with a friend of mine, and I persuaded her to allow me stop at my boyfriend's place. When we got there, it looked like there was no one living there anymore. I was quite surprised since he hadn't mentioned he was moving. Anyways I kept calling his number but he wasn't picking it up. I sent him text messages and emails, all the while getting worried, then angry. After I had been back for two weeks without hearing from him, I went to a phone booth and called him from there. This time he picked it up (probably because he didn't recognise the number calling). I was so angry. What was he playing at? I asked him if he had seen my missed calls and messages and he said he had. I asked him why he hadn't bothered to respond and all he could tell me was that he was busy. Busy? For two weeks? Now I was really angry. He said we needed to talk and he promised to call me back later that evening to explain. Sure enough he didn't call me back. At this point, my friends were wondering what's up and all sorts of thoughts were running through my mind. What happened while I was in Lagos? Did we have any disagreements I was not aware of? Why would he just disappear like that? Why was he avoiding me? What is wrong?!! After another two weeks, I still hadn't seen him or heard from him, I decided to call him from my work phone so he would pick up. Of course he picked it up again, and I told him that since he had decided to ignore my messages, it was over between us. And that was it really. He didn't argue, and that was the end of everything, the friendship and the relationship.
For a while, I was upset, but mostly disappointed at how somebody could just change completely. But I didn't dwell on him for long, there was no point. Some months later I got an email from him, chatting something about "what could have been". I read it and deleted it. I changed my phone number some months later. I moved on and just took it as one more of life's experiences.

So that's that. Soon I was to make some big changes in my life..... Stay tuned.

Sunday, October 15

The Sly Wolf

I think one particular guy is worthy of mention, one of the guys that tried to take advantage of me. So here goes:

I was at uni one day when I saw this guy who looked really familiar. He looked like a guy that attended my secondary school but was in the set above me. I thought I should go and say hello to him, but then decided against it because I didn't want to look silly if he blanked me completely. So I ignored him and thought nothing of it. I saw him two more times after that but nothing happened. Then one day I was on the tube and an old school mate from a set above me (let's call him HB) walked into my carraige (I know, what are the odds!) and I recognised him cos I had bumped into him a couple of times at friends' get-togethers. We chatted and he asked me where I was off to, I told him I was going to uni, he asked what uni, and I told him. He then looked surprised and asked me if I had seen the familiar looking guy on campus. I said I had seen someone that looked like him but I wasn't sure. He then confirmed it was who I thought, so I decided to say hello to him when next I saw him on campus. Later that afternoon, the guy (let's call him AB) walked up to me while I was on campus and said hi and he said "Did you meet HB on the tube this morning?" and I said yes. Anyways as the story goes, we became friends, we started hanging out on campus, he would take me to lunch sometimes, we saw a few movies together etc. All was well, except for the fact that one of my close girlfriends hated him. For no apparent reason. She just told me she didn't trust him.
One day, while we were hanging out as usual, AB asked me if I could cook, and if I would be willing to help him out with cooking for him sometimes. I thought it was a bit patronising, since I wasn't his girlfriend or anything. But to be a good friend I just might help him out once in a while since he was a single guy who didn't know his way around the kitchen. Then one day he came to campus and told me that he had just moved into a new flat and had no food at home and I should come with him, to help him cook dinner. I told him I was busy with coursework and stuff, but he pestered until I agreed. When we got to his flat, lo and behold, his new flat-mate had cooked dinner for both of them. They invited me to stay and join them for dinner and a movie, but I declined thinking it was getting late and I had a paper due in that I planned to work on that evening. So I left his house.
A few days later, I was in the library frantically trying to complete my paper so that I could hand it in on time when this AB guy turned up and said I should come and cook dinner for him that very day. I was so angry, I forgot to be nice. What did he think, I have nothing to do other than wait on him to keep me busy. I told him in no uncertain terms like "Are you the one paying my school fees? Am I here to be your cook? Will I just drop my assignment and be at your beck and call? Please leave me, I have work to do!". He begged and begged but I wasn't having it. He looked so disappointed that I almost changed my mind, but I didn't. After he saw that I was not coming, he left me to continue my assignment.

I got home that evening and got a funny phone call from a friend. The guy was in a total panic, almost hysterical on the phone. I was wondering why and I told him to calm down cos he wasn't making sense. After a few minutes he finally calmed down enough to ask me "Did you go out with AB today?", I said no, he wanted me to come and cook for him, but I was busy. My friend asked me again, "Are you sure you didn't go anywhere with him today? Are you sure?". I was wondering what all the fuss was about, until he told me that AB had planned to rape me in his flat that very day! AB had told HB (the guy I met on the train) about his plans to get me to come to his house, then he would lock me in and won't let me go until he had accomplished his unholy purposes. My friend had met HB that afternoon and HB had bragged to my friend about AB's plans. Said friend had been trying to reach me all day to warn me but my phone was switched off. To say I was shocked would be an understatement. Oh my God, I was so close to going to his house that afternoon! I could not imagine what would have happened if I had followed AB home that day. I also felt foolish, because I'm usually a good judge of character, and I had been blind to AB's character flaws that my girlfriend had seen. The guy was horrible! After I hung up, I went to my room to thank God for saving me. After that I imagined the nasty things I would say to AB when I see him on campus the next day. Funny enough I never saw him. I think he found out I had heard of his plans, so he dared not show his face to me ever again. I later heard through some people that he had failed his exams (he he he) and transferred to another university in a different town. Good riddance to him.... the perv.

Tired now, so I've got to end this portion here. More stories to come....

My relationship history

Looking back at my growing up years and the relationships I've had with guys, I think I have been very, very blessed. I have had my share of frogs of course, but nothing really bad. I never got into a destructive relationship where a guy would cheat on me and I will go back to him, or a guy will blatantly disrespect me, or (gasp!) hit me. There's no way I was going to let that happen to me. And God being so good, He didn't allow me to be led astray. I'm quite sure this blessing is a result of my mum praying for her daughters, so that we won't make mistakes in our relationships and marriages.

I had 4 (more like three and a half) boyfriends before I started going out with the man I got married to. Like most girls, I also had guys I had a crush on, guys that had crushes on me, guys as my best friends at some point, toasters and the guys that purely want to take advantage of you. I was a quiet girl (I still am) and sometimes, guys thought it meant I was easy to take advantage of, but thank God none of them succeeded.

I had my first 'boyfriend' when I was 16 which was kinda late as most of my friends had been in relationships since they were 13 or so. The 'relationship' was mostly over the telephone and I remember my dad grumbling at some point then because our phone bills sky-rocketed during that time. The guy was my friend's cousin and he saw my picture with her whilst visiting their house one day and he said he liked my picture and wanted to get to know me. She introduced us, and that's how we started talking. The guy was nice and the 'relationship' was short and sweet. It lasted almost a year. It ended without fuss or tears when I got bored and that was it.

Boyfriend number 2 was more interesting. I was 17 at this time. One day a girl friend of mine came to visit me and we were gisting when my phone rang, and it was a guy asking to speak to Michael. I told him there was no one called Michael and he must have the wrong number and I hung up. Two minutes later, the guy calls back and asks for Michael again. I told him again that he has the wrong number and then before I hang up he says he likes my voice. I said thank you. He stored my number and started calling me often and we became phone pals. Then one day we decide to meet up so I ask my friend to come over in case there is any scary stuff (you never know!). Thinking about it now, it was quite risky but at the time it was all fun and excitement. To cut the long story short, he came to my house with his cousin, who fell in love with my friend and all four of us started hanging out together. He was nice, tall and good looking and the relationship was progressing well. Then about 6 months later, I had to leave the country to go and read my books and things changed. The guy started pestering me to sleep with him before I leave. I told him that I wasn't going to. I asked him what would become of us when we are in separate countries. We agreed to give it a try to stay together and keep in touch as much as possible. So we said our goodbyes. I came to England and of course we didn't keep in touch properly and things went downhill. In any case, we broke up after a year and I moved on.

You guessed it, by this time, I had several other guys on my case who were only too glad to take BF2's place. There was this guy (the half) who was a former classmate from secondary school in Nigeria who was quite keen. We used to hang out, gist on the phone, go to the cinema together and stuff, so he became my unofficial boyfriend, even though I saw him as a friend not as a boyfriend. Silly me eh? One day I visited him at home and the guy came on to me so strongly that I bolted out of his house and never went back. He kept on calling me to apologise and beg but I wasn't having any of it and that was the end of that.

That will be all for now. I'm going to continue in my next post....

The point of this blog

This blog is to detail the last few years of my life charting the course from the single girl to the married woman. I stopped writing in my diary in 2002 and I wish that I had continued because it would make interesting reading to me later, and it would be something to show my children in future. But it's not too late and I can still write down the important events and occurences on this blog. I will try to be as accurate as possible, and give details where I can.

These events are things that have already happened to me, so I will not be making things up or changing the pace. It is for me to look back and see how those few years have changed me and how my life will never be the same again.

Another reason why I'm starting this blog is to give my younger sisters (I know you will read this!) coming behind me, an insight into my relationship and what those first months after marriage is really like. I got married relatively early, at the ripe old age of 22, so most of my friends and cousins are not married yet. To them, I am their first mate that is married. So I keep getting questions like: what is married life really like? what do you guys now do? what has changed in the relationship? how do you now make decisions? Do you still go clubbing? how do you share the housework? etc. Most of my friends claim that married people are secretive. So I aim to tell it like it really is. Not the picture that newly-weds paint, like everything is fine and dandy and there are no adjustments to make. So I will tell my side of the story, from my point of view. Bear in mind though, that every couple is different, so what works for me, might not apply to everyone.

So here's the journey: from the single girl, to girlfriend, to fiancee, to bride, to newly-wed. Enjoy, feel free to make comments and ask questions!
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