Wednesday, April 25

Confused (2)

Continued from previous post -

After I hung up the phone call, I sat there thinking. "What this guy was up to? He was coming to England to see me? What do we have to talk about?"

I had thought we were good friends and that was it. Fine, we had a thing for each other, but it never developed so...? I contemplated telling Mr about it but I didn't. What would I even tell him? "Hey guess what, my old crush from Nigeria is coming to see me?" What would he think? So I decided against it.

I was also wondering if I should just ignore him and cut him off completely. But I thought, for the sake of our long friendship, I wouldn't be rude to him so I'll be nice. I would talk to him and make him realise that there was no way we could be together anymore. But there was no reason why we couldn't remain friends.

Sure enough, I got a call from him the next day. He said he would be around for three weeks. Men those three weeks were the most confusing time of my life! He wanted to see me, but I kept making excuses, giving him reason for us not to meet. I wasn't sure what I would say or do if I saw him face to face. I wasn't sure of myself, knowing that I was still attracted to him.

Nevertheless, we spoke to each other everyday. We talked and talked about everything that happened back in high school, we talked about our friendship and crushes. He told me about how he had really liked me from way back in high school. So one day we decided to retrace the events of the past years to see how or why we didn't get together. One conversation went like this:

Him: FG, you know I've always liked you, right from when we were friends in high school

Me: Really?

Him: Yes

Me: I guessed you liked me, but I also knew that you liked my friend (let's call her H)

Him: Yes I liked H for some time but in the end I still liked you more

Me: Well you see, I knew you liked H, so there was no way I was going to get involved in a love triangle. That would have been messy cos we are friends

Him: There was no triangle. I stopped liking her

Me: Ok, then why didn't you ever ask me out?

Him: I wasn't sure how you felt about me

Me: You could have taken the chance

Him: I know, but I didn't want to spoil our friendship if you had said no. I thought it would be better to have you as a friend than nothing at all.

Me: But I liked you, so I would not have said no

Him: I didn't know you liked me

Me: I did, but I was definitely not going to ask you out

Him: So you liked me all along?

Me: Yes, but I got tired of hoping you would notice, so I pushed you out of my mind and moved on with my life

Him: Awww

Me: Yep you had your chance but you didn't use it. Even after high school

Him: After high school you told me you had a boyfriend

Me: That's true, but I heard you had a girlfriend as well

Him: Who told you that?

Me: It doesn't matter anymore now, does it?

Him: Ok I had one, but I still wanted to be with you. But you left Nigeria not long after

Me: No, I left a whole year after high school

Him: And you were not sure when you would come back

Me: Yes but I saw you two years later

Him: And we both had partners but you promised that you were going to marry me

Me: Are you for real? I thought that was a joke

Him: No I was serious

Me: Well I'm sorry. Shortly after my holiday, I met my current boyfriend and now I'm engaged to him

Him: When I heard you were engaged, I cried

Me: You did what?!

Him: It's true. My mum saw me and asked what the matter was. And I told her all about you, how you were the one girl I really liked, how I was going to marry you but now you were engaged to someone else

Me: (shocked) Incredible

Him: That tells you how serious I was

Me: Awww, I see. I guess we just was never meant to be. You do know that I'll be getting married soon don't you?

Him: Yes, and I envy the guy so much. He's taken you away from me. You are the love of my life

Me: Stop saying that

Him: It's true

Me: Ok o. So will you attend the wedding if I invite you?

Him: I'm not sure. I might stand up if the minister asks if anyone has a reason why the couple may not be joined

Me: Eh, please don't do that o

Him: Or when the minister says "You may kiss the bride", I'll have to look outside the window instead. I can't watch another guy kiss you

Me: Sorry o, but he's about to become my husband

Him: That hurts

Me: :laughing:

Okay, I'll admit it. It was fun talking to him and it was very flattering too in a way because I knew that he liked me. Before long, all the old feelings came back and I felt drawn to him again. The thoughts of "if only I wasn't engaged to someone else" crept into my mind. (Now that's dangerous). Then I started feeling guilty. For one thing, I was spending more time talking to this guy than to my fiance. I was enjoying the trips down memory lane, his professions of love and the like. I wondered if this meant I was cheating, maybe not physically, but emotionally. But I was now more confused than ever before. I knew I had to stop it before things got out of control.

Around this time, it was Mr's birthday. I had been talking to this guy the night before when Mr tried to call me and I ignored his call. The next day I felt so guilty when I called him to wish him a happy birthday. We planned to meet in the evening after work. All day at work I was so restless and jumpy, even my manager noticed that something was wrong with me. After I left the office, the guy called me again and we talked throughout my journey to meet up with Mr. Eventually I had to tell him to get off my phone cos I was meeting my fiance. We went out for dinner and I gave Mr his birthday presents. To make me feel even worse, Mr was sooo happy and excited that evening. He was telling me how I was such a wonderful girlfriend and how he's been so happy since he met me etc. In my mind I was like "Oh no, why is this guy making me feel even more guilty now?"

At the end of the evening, I was so relieved when he dropped me off at home and I could do some thinking. I called my sister and told her what had been going on. She just laughed and said "How can you be confused? I thought you knew Mr was the man for you? How can you be drawn to another guy? Fair enough, you liked him before, but that's in the past now. Forget about him. Okay if you are really confused, pray that God should remove the feelings for this guy that is disturbing you".

I thought, well here's an idea! I could pray about it. Why didn't I do that before now? So first thing the next morning, I prayed to God to help me sort my emotions out. And God answered! It seemed like God was telling me some things:

1) Anything that takes away my peace is not God's desire for me.
2) I had more control over my emotions that I thought - if I stop encouraging the feelings for this guy, they would go away.
3) He did not allow me to date this guy because he would have been a big distraction for me
4) God's plan for my future was linked to my fiance and no one else.
5) It is not everyone I meet or feel attracted to that is meant to be in my life.
6) Of course I would get tempted sometimes, but it's what I do that determines the outcome.

Immediately I finished praying, I felt at peace again. All the clouds of confusion seemed to have been miraculously lifted. So God was still in control after all! I pondered everything for a long time. Sometimes I don't understand God's love for me. God loves me so much that He can prevent me from dating someone so that I would not miss the blessings in store for me. It made sense to me now.

Later that evening, I met up with Mr and I told him everything. At first I was worried about how he might react, but he just shrugged. It wasn't even a big deal to him. He said it was natural thing, and what matters is how I handled it. I loved him even more for that.

In the final week before my old crush left, I'm sure he noticed that my behaviour towards him had changed. I was now calmly telling him to forget about anything happening between us. I explained to him that we can be friends but nothing more. Knowing what I now knew, I agreed to meet up with him on the day before he left. It was nice seeing him, we talked for a while and I bade him farewell.

And that was it really. I went back to my fiance and appreciated him more.

Monday, April 16

Confused (1)

This is the story of how Favoured Girl got confused.

For this post to make sense, I'm going to dig up some historical archives. Where do I begin?

Right, let's go all the way back to senior secondary school. I had just started in a new school and I was quite shy so I didn't make friends with many people at first. But after a while I started to come out of my shell. Then I was introduced to one guy who was in my set and we became friends. We clicked well, we hung out and talked and walked together and stuff. Our friendship was nothing extraordinary at first although some of our mates thought we were going out at the time.

After a while though, I started liking him more and more, but I didn't know what to do. I didn't want to risk telling him that I had feelings for him. Sometimes I felt he liked me too, and sometimes I wasn't sure, so we remained just friends for a long time.

Then after a while I started noticing that he was getting close to one of my best girl friends and she seemed to like him too! Now I was stuck in the middle. Should I go for the guy seeing as I liked him? Would I lose the friendship with my best friend? In the end, I decided that my friendship with my girl friend was not worth losing over the guy (see, I'm so loyal! so I left it. All of us remained good friends until we left secondary school.

My girl friend and I ended up going to college together. Both of us still kept in touch with this guy. He even came to see us in college on Valentine's day to take us out. One day in college we were talking about secondary school with another friend of ours and she asked us about this guy that was our friend. As we started talking about it, I asked my girl friend if she was aware of the triangle back in secondary school. She said she liked the guy, he seemed to like her too but he never made a move and she was aware that I liked him too! We laughed about it seeing that both of us had been thinking the exact same thing all along and we hadn't brought it up before.

After we were done with college, I left Nigeria for England. Before I left though, I visited the guy and we hung out and promised to keep in touch and all that. After I left Nigeria, I didn't really keep in touch with him anymore. Between adjusting to a new environment, starting a University course, making new friends and so on, I had too many other distractions. Besides I thought there was no point keeping my crush on him alive, seeing as neither of us could do anything about it. So I pushed all thoughts and emotions of this guy out of my mind.

Two years later, I went home for a holiday and saw him. Everything just came flooding back. This time I couldn't deny there was still chemistry between us. Unfortunately (or not), we were both in relationships at the time. How funny is that! I knew I liked him but there was no way I would break up with my boyfriend in England to do long-distance with him. He also didn't want to break up with his girlfriend. So what could we do? Nevertheless, we spent a lot of time together during my stay in Lagos. By the time I was leaving, his girlfriend absolutely hated me. Apparently he had been talking about me non-stop and she was tired of hearing my name. She had even found my photo in his car!

The day before my flight back to England, we met up for the last time. He asked me if I had plans to come back to Nigeria after my degree. I told him I wasn't sure. He said that if I came back, would I marry him? I didn't know if he was serious or not, so I just said yeah sure I would. So we parted and I returned to London. A few weeks of phone calls back and forth and I was feeling so conflicted. I liked him, but I couldn't see him, I couldn't date him. I was frustrated with liking someone I couldn't have, so I pushed him out of my mind again.

Then my current boyfriend at the time disappeared, and you know the rest of the story. I stayed single for a while until Mr came along. I was finally in a happy and wonderful relationship so I had no reason to think of anyone else.

After I got engaged, I received a funny phone call one day from this old crush. He said he had heard I was engaged through some friends of mine and he was very sad. He was calling to confirm if it was true that I had dumped him for someone else. I thought, "What is this guy on about, we were never in a relationship". I told him, yes it is true I'm now engaged and I'm sorry for not telling you earlier, but I didn't dump you". Then he reminded me that I had promised to come back to marry him. I was like, "Wait, I thought we were both kidding that day, you have never asked me out, you had a girlfriend, in fact you still do, so did you expect me to put my life on hold waiting for you?" Fortunately I was on a bus and I told him we really couldn't discuss it, so he should call me back some other time. He didn't call back that day so I forgot about that conversation.

Fast forward to three months later. I saw a missed call on my phone one morning from a Nigerian mobile number. I didn't know who it was, and I thought - if the call is important the person would call me back. Later that evening, my phone rang again. This time I picked up and the conversation went like this:

Favoured Girl: Hello?

Caller: Hi, Favoured Girl, it's me (it was him)

Favoured Girl: Oh hi, how are you?

Caller: I'm good. Guess what, I'll be coming to England tomorrow

Favoured Girl: Oh, erm, that's nice.

Caller: I need to see you, we need to talk. I decided that we can't talk over the phone so I'm coming over to see you in person.

Favoured Girl: Why?

Caller: Can't talk right now. I'll call you when I arrive. We need to talk about us.


To be continued...

Friday, April 6


One thing I have touched on before, is the idea of having mentors. I think I should write a bit more about it, since it is so important. The idea of having a mentor might seem weird at first. Nobody wants to feel like their relationship or their decisions are influenced by some external party. Then there is the issue of confidentiality - how do you trust that the person (s) will keep your gist confidential? Or how about trusting that they won't later use that information against you. And how can you guarantee that they will not be partial in their advice to you and your partner? All these are valid concerns. I still believe though, that for any young person in a Christian dating relationship, having Christian mentors is really important.

In my case, when I first started dating Mr, I realised that going to my friends for advice was not helping, in fact it was making things worse. My friends were well meaning people, but at the time, they were just as unwise and as immature as I was. I soon realised a few things: my friends couldn't give me better advice than I could give myself, most times they only said what I wanted to hear, they always took my side even when I was wrong, and at the time none of them had been in a long-term committed relationship so their knowledge was severely limited. After Mr and I had had two arguments early in the relationship and advice from friends was getting me nowhere, I decided to go somewhere else.

I started speaking to my aunt instead. I was quite close to her so she was the easiest person (in the absence of my mum) that I could discuss with. I thought, since she has been happily married for more than 20 years, she must know a thing or two about making relationships work! I found out that when I talked to her, she always made me see things from a point of view I would never have thought about. Even though she was my aunt, she was very impartial. Unlike my friends, she was not afraid to tell me bluntly if I was in the wrong. She taught me so many things: keeping myself from losing my temper during an argument, putting my issues into prayers, expressing to Mr that I love him, how to practice submission, avoiding sexual temptations and so on. Sometimes when I just wanted to get a load of stuff off my chest, she would sit down and listen to me. Afterwards she would advice me and we would pray together. As time went on, I became wiser and started recognising what I had been doing wrong. Now I'll always be grateful for her guidance.

Later on, I got close to a couple in my church and they became my official mentors. I used to admire their relationship so much. They were always smiling at each other and I could tell that they were very good friends. I became close to them after we were put on the same table at a wedding reception. They were teasing me that I was next. Thereafter, they asked about my relationship and how it was going and we started gisting. I liked the fact that even though they were older than me, they were still young at heart and they could come down to my level.

Over time, I learnt so much from them as well. They were very honest and open, there was no topic that we didn't discuss. We talked about everything: from facing sexual temptations to dealing with in-laws to managing finances and their funny experience on their wedding night. Some of the stories they told me about their courtship were hilarious. Mr got to know them too and he liked them at once. Whenever I saw them we always had fun talking. I still try to keep in touch with them now cos they helped me so much.

I think mentors have a role to play in helping young people with relationships. Having mentors really helped me and that's why I think they are so important. They can fulfil the role of giving you practical advice. They can speak from their own experience. They can correct you if they think you are making a mistake. They will look out for you and pray with you. I also think it is the best way of passing down wisdom from one generation to the other.

Choosing a mentor can be quite difficult though. Ideally you should choose a couple, so that you can hear from both points of view. They should be people you look up to and admire. They should be happily married, who have successfully gone through all the stages you are currently going through and have stayed together. Choose people you can see or speak to on a regular basis so that you can keep in touch easily. And choose people who are not biased so they can be impartial in their opinions.

And above all, trust God to lead you because human beings can only say what they know, but God knows everything.
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