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Conflicting Signals

January 16, 2024

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He said he wanted to marry her

At first, she didn’t take him seriously

She felt she was just one of those guys who would use the promise of marriage to get in between a lady’s legs, but he proved her wrong

He kept in touch, took her out on dates, and kept his eyes on his mission until their conversations began to scare her

By the third date, he had asked her when she would like to meet his parents

She had been in relationships before, quite a lot of them

Not all of them led to sex but she dated for fun for about three years of her life, the years she referred to as the wild years

Waking up beside strangers was not a new thing to her

Only two of those she dated ever made it to the “Meet the Parents” stage

The first got her pregnant when they were in the University and felt the right thing to do was to meet with her parents while she was still in the hospital to take responsibility and make them a promise to marry her as soon as she recuperated

Unfortunately, she had a miscarriage and as soon as she was discharged, she broke up with him for daring to expose her to her parents the way he did

Who sent him and his tender conscience on that sort of errand?

The second time, she met this guy at the club

A medical doctor

By then she had kicked off her own law practice and was doing quite well for herself

On Fridays, she and some friends would go clubbing, not necessarily to meet up with guys but to just have fun and unwind

If a cool guy came along, it was fine

If none came along, it was awesome too

They had their money and they were not looking for sex

She had been celibate for six years by this time

This guy had the hots for her and she had the hots for him too

As soon as she saw him, she said to herself. “There sits my husband” It was as if her instincts saw the future and brought it to her present

As soon as she sat down, he walked over to her

He introduced himself and said, “Join me at my table”

She followed him meekly

She had no resistance to the guy, no retorts

As they were rounding off at the club, he said, “I would like to meet your Daddy, can I have your address Pls?”

She typed it into his phone and drove home with her heart pounding

The next morning, by 10 AM, he arrived with two friends

He came to lay down the gauntlet

She felt shivers running through her spine

Her life was getting wrapped up before her own very eyes

She knew marriage would mean losing a level of independence and her spinsterhood

She had been enjoying her life alone and doing quite well without any encumbrances whatsoever

She was not sure if marriage was the next thing on her agenda

Plus, she didn’t know the proposer quite well

They had that kind of chemistry that dulled her brains and made her compliant effortlessly

It was as if she couldn’t say no to him naturally, she didn’t know if that was a good or bad thing

Her father sent for her

The moment she saw him and his friends her legs began to buckle, her head started swooning, and her heartbeat was beating like Fela’s Konga drum

It was not normal, she was not in control

She couldn’t remember a word that was said

Her father was smiling and laughing

The proposer was smiling and laughing

Her mother was smiling and laughing

Everybody present was smiling and laughing

She must have said Yes and whatever

She was not feeling what they were feeling, of that she was sure

They were happy she was getting married but she was filled with dread at the thought

He sent her three million Naira the following day to shop for herself and twenty million Naira to rent any apartment she liked so that they could begin to plan for their wedding

She found the apartment, rented and furnished it

He had schooled abroad and worked with an international agency

It was work that brought him to Nigeria even though he was a Nigerian by birth and heritage

The weekend he moved into their apartment, she dressed up to go clubbing

He looked at her and said, “That life was over the moment I met you. You are not some wild street babe, anymore, you are not a baddie anymore, you are now my betrothed and you cannot go clubbing alone

When I am free, we will go clubbing together but when I am not free we will stay at home, I will work and you will do other things.”

Wow! He was a wings clipper

She told him she wanted to return to her parent’s house that very night

When she got home, she broke it off

She couldn’t explain why to her parents

It was not as if this guy made an unreasonable demand of her

She just wanted to breathe and lose the foggy head

Since she met him, it was as if she was underwater and drowning

She was doing everything to make him happy

She was docile and homely and wifely and submissive and ladylike and “Yes-siring” him at every turn

She just wasn’t comfortable being that person

After she broke it off, she was able to breathe again

That was when she concluded that she was not the marrying type

She made peace with it and decided she would enjoy her life as a single woman, build her career, and serve her God Until this new guy burst into the picture

With him, she didn’t lose control of her senses

She liked the chase and the interest

She knew it was not likely to go anywhere as long as she didn’t encourage him Even though she was okay being single, marriage still held a certain appeal for her and if she could get away with it, she would have it

But she just was not sure this guy was the right one

Anyways, he did everything right

She began to like him in a strange way

One month after they met, he took her home

She met his parents and even spent the weekend with them

They loved her genuinely

She was comfortable with them

She was thirty-three and her desires had long wandered off clubbing and losing her freedom

She had money in the bank and his family and her family were in the same class His love was real and pure

They got close, she would tell him stuff and he would tell her stuff

She told him things she had never told anyone just to shock him and get him off her scent

He laughed everything off like she was a comedian

He told her stuff too, even though he had not been as adventurous as she had been with relationships

It was not a bad deal, being with him

She settled into it and began to think of him as her husband at the back of her mind

He had made no demands of her in terms of what she could and could not do as long as she was with him

He left her to live her life

She was the one with the rules,

“I cannot bear secret messages between you and any woman, put your phone on speaker when you are on a call so I can hear the conversation!”

“What is your phone’s code sir? I want to be able to check your messages at will”,

“Delete all the pictures and contacts of all the girls calling and showing interest in you Pls, you are in a serious relationship now”

“I will walk away from this relationship if at any time or in any way you make me feel uncomfortable or insecure while I am with you”

He complied with everything she demanded

She went through his pictures and videos and ensured he deleted even the pictures he had with individuals who didn’t register in his brain as a threat to her or his feelings

They got into the ninth month of their relationship

It was a Saturday morning and they were both coming out of the gym in his father’s house

She said, “I cannot be dating someone and then burn all the bridges I have built over the years for the sake of that person, I am not a fool. Relationships are not that deep, when I meet the person, I want to marry, maybe I will do that but unless I am sure this person is the one, I keep all my contacts and my doors will remain open to all the opportunities I might need out there to meet new people and get into something new”

She used to say things like that when she was single but saying it that morning and to him was odd in many ways

It was not really how she felt within

Later that day, he asked her to please unlock her phone for him

She did

He asked her to open her picture album and walk him through the pictures

She did, innocently thinking they were just having fun

When she was done, he had seen pictures of her and some of her university friends, exes, toasters, crushes, all the works!

He looked at her and said, “You just confirmed to me that I have been wasting my time with you, I hope you had fun but I will no longer indulge you. I am done with this travesty. It is over!”

It was the last thing she expected would happen that day

They were supposed to be flying to Spain together later that evening

Wow!

She sat on the sofa, stunned by his outburst her brain went back to the events of the day and she realized he had a point

All the things she demanded of him, she didn’t think to do

She felt she was the lady and since she had made up her mind to be with him, that was enough

He was the guy, and guys were the weak ones who can easily be carried away by female attention either from their past or present environment

He felt she was making a fool of him

It was a misunderstanding that could be resolved amicably if he would give her a second chance

He didn’t!

He felt hurt because she didn’t take him serious enough as “the one” despite his best efforts

She felt she could make demands of him but was unwilling to do the very things she demanded of him

She wept because she discovered she loved him after he had called it quits

The relationship took her by surprise and she didn’t do all the things she ought to have done to keep it

She wrote to him stating this

She asked him to give her another chance

Technically, she had stumbled in words and in the preparation of her heart to be with him

She combed through her phone and deleted all the pictures and messages

She even blocked contacts that were no longer of any profit

She changed how she saved his name

Made his picture her DP (First time ever)

She asked him out on a date

She had fantasized about having a date with her husband (If she ever got married) at a particular restaurant in Victoria Island

She booked a table there and asked him to please show up

He did

She could barely hold herself together until they sat down

She apologised and explained herself to him as simply as she could

She promised him she had made amends

After the dinner that night, she asked him to come and look at the temple in the synagogue

He examined the veil that tore from top to bottom on the day of crucifixion

He saw the tomb and angels all around it

He saw the stones being rolled away

He called her by name and she screamed, “Rabboni”

She had to let him know she would go all the way

It was a trip that saved her heart from dying

Two weeks later, on her birthday, he proposed and She said yes

PS: Adeola and Emeka are celebrating their 12th wedding anniversary today I met them in Dubai, on a yacht

We were at a wedding ceremony I officiated

They were guests of the couple who flew in from Ireland

We sat down all night and they told me their story: how they met, how he chased and chased and she kept acting as if he was just one of the lot until he gave up the chase

How she came after him with everything and how sexual frustration affects decision-making in relationships and marriages

I hope you learned a thing or two

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