Relationship & Love Series: I Would Like Us To Take A Break
“I would like us to take a break. Reflect on our relationship so far, sort out our personal issues before we get back together.” This was what I said to my ex-boyfriend as we walked past Sports Complex on the afternoon of 9th July, 2019. I was breaking up with my boyfriend of 18 months. Well, at that time, I didn’t know it yet. I was just asking for a break.
You see, this wasn’t the first time I would be asking for a break. But this was the first time my request wasn’t slammed down in outright objection. What was different this time? I didn’t know. And at this point, I really don’t care. But boy am I glad I got an “okay” back in return.
Like most stories, this story started once upon a time. Not too long ago, about 2 years ago. And it started on an actual stage, that of the Amphitheater in my school, Obafemi Awolowo University. I had left my room earlier on for a revival meeting. Little did I know that more than my spirit man would be revived. I didn’t know it then, but my heart was about to be stolen by the most beautiful man I had laid my eyes on.Asides his physical looks, he had the voice of an Angel. I marveled at it as I joined in worship. Throughout the meeting, I couldn’t shake off the lingering feeling that our paths would cross somehow. The meeting soon came to an end and I made my way back to my hostel.
Weeks later, I was coming back from church with a friend when I saw Mr. You-Know-Who (YKW for short. Yeah, that’s what we’ll be calling him in this story). So apparently, my friend knew him and they exchanged greetings. Bashful me just moved away to give them space. I wasn’t about to give my village people a chance to destroy something before it even started. Second strike, let’s see if a third one would materialize.
Around this time, I was looking to change my fellowship and decided to try a new church I had heard about. So this beautiful morning, I prepared for church and got on my way. As I stepped into the building, guess who I saw playing the keyboard? Yes, you guessed right. Mr. YKW. Oolalah! he not only has a beautiful face, with a beautiful voice, he plays an instrument also (make that instruments, as I would later find out). What were the odds? Third strike! There was definitely something happening here. And I was determined to get to the root of it.
Before I go further, I’d like to say that I’m a believer. Just in case you haven’t caught on to all the hints I’ve been dropping. And I very much believe that the steps of the righteous are led by God. That was the conclusion I made concerning the reoccurring path crossings. It wasn’t long before we became good friends. From many of our conversations, I could infer that Mr. YKW was the man of my dreams. Listening to him talk about the future was like listening to myself speak. This man was the definition of perfection to me. He was an absolute gentle man with all the specs I wanted.
It took 5 months of friendship before either of us made a move. This girl was bidding her time. She wasn’t in a rush to Soro Soke and neither was he. It isn’t uncommon to hear people say things like “date someone you are friends with”. I guess that is what we were aiming for. We wanted to build a rock solid friendship first. And we did that successfully. We were also both believers and wanted to be clear on what God was saying about the whole situation. It didn’t take long for him to answer. Big man G gave his blessings and support.
Now to the juicy stuff! We were finally dating, Mr. YKW and I. And it was wonderful. He was the man of my dreams remember? Whatever I saw for my future, he basically saw the same also. And so, it didn’t take long before he became a constant character in my future plans. We weren’t going to limit ourselves and start small. No, we were going all out. We would be together forever, so why not? We began spending a lot of time together. I mean A LOT. When we weren’t over at my place, we were at his. I stopped attending classes as often as I should. He wasn’t much of a class goer himself. Who needs classes when you can spend time with the love of your life? With so much proximity with one another, my cherry got popped. Mr. YKW was big on respect and submission. He had a way things had to be. A way I had to speak to him, a way I had to apologize, a way I had to relate with other people. A way I had to do a lot of things. And he got very angry when I didn’t do things his way. He was in control of my life. I was a wife even before I got to be a girlfriend. I would cook, wash his clothes, clean up his mess, share my allowance with him. And God knows I did all these because I loved him. I truly loved him. But love isn’t supposed to hurt. Love isn’t supposed to make you cry almost every other day because you were just plain tired of all the silly fights and arguments. Love isn’t supposed to use your past or words against you. Love shouldn’t be manipulative and controlling. Love should make you a better person and not suppress who you are. And everything that love shouldn’t do or be was what love was doing and being for me. It was torturous because I couldn’t talk to anyone. We were both pretty popular, our relationship was not private. We could have even been tagged as #CoupleGoals at some point or the other. The world had a beautiful picture of who we were already. Who would I tell about the stuff that went on when no eyes were there to see us? It didn’t make it any easier knowing that this relationship was in fact, God-ordained. Only good comes from God. So this had to be good too. It just had to be. How much I tried to convince myself.
And then there was the sex. It was sweet. Sex is a sweet thing, and it’s even sweeter when you know you’re doing something you’re not supposed to be doing. I think it is important that I am very honest with you. We met in church so you would think we would be praying all throughout the night, right? Four months after we started dating, we had our first kiss. There was a lot of pent up hormones waiting for expression. School had been on some sort of break so we had not seen for quite some time. So when we finally saw, it was a climax. Sparks flew. We kissed and then kissing became a norm and our bodies wanted more. And so he started spending nights at my place. A few cuddles here, snuggles there. I mean, what was the point in resisting him? He was absolutely perfect. He was my Mr. Right, future goals, 100% alignment. At a point, it was no longer a matter of “if” we’d end up together but “when.”
With that settled, boundaries were crossed. We went all the way in. We had sex. Not once. Not twice. Halfway into the relationship, sex had become a regular thing. It had become as regular as going to Mainbowl or SUB. And we were church guys. People saw us in church as Brother YKW and Sister Me. We were used as examples of perfect relationships in church. Michael, I would mention his name but if I did, you would know. He was very popular in campus fellowship circles.
There was guilt beyond measure. Imagine sitting in church and seeing him across on the piano and all you could imagine was the things he did to you last night? It was gross. But at that point, there was no going back. You don’t speak English to your hormones. They don’t care. The guilt was unbearable because I was a firm believer in “no pre-marital sex.” Also, I did not want to disgrace and disappoint my mum too. But I was already into it. We were already having sex for more then eight months and we were the dream couple of everyone in campus fellowship so how could I stop?
So I kept holding on. Hoping that things would get better.Hoping that the good days would outnumber the bad ones.Hoping that I would someday become the perfect wife he wanted. But that wasn’t me. What he wanted wasn’t who I was. And I began to realize, that maybe he wasn’t so perfect after all. Maybe, he wasn’t the man of my dreams. It took a few months but I finally stood my ground on that faithful day. And because I really loved him, I asked for a break. I honestly just wanted us to become better persons so we could have abetter relationship when we got back. That afternoon, I poured out everything I had held in. I hadn’t been one to talk about my hurts or emotions. I had just buried them deep within me. I let it all out that day. I didn’t shout while doing it. I wasn’t rude. I was strangely calm and polite. I just wanted this man to see how he had been hurting me and prepare to go make changes. And just like that, I was free.
This new found freedom was strange and painful. I had spent a good part of 18 months of my life with just one person, and I suddenly realized that I didn’t have any other person in my life. I had unconsciously kicked every other person out to make room for his needs (read wants) and whims. So I had no one to cry to. Abba, being the sweet Father that he is, brought a dearest friend along. She became my sanity and anchor in the months that would follow. It didn’t take long for me to see that there was no way I was going to walk back into that relationship. With the veil of love off my eyes, I began to see things more clearly and see I had been hurt more than I cared to admit. I made the decision not to go back, and it was the best decision I made in 2019.
I’m healed now. I’m happy. I do not wish what I went through on any woman out there. I honestly pray that Mr. YKW has grown beyond who he was. If he hasn’t, oh well, it’s really not my jurisdiction anymore. That relationship broke me. But it also helped me heal in gold. I’m a much better person than I was before and after the relationship.
One last thing worthy of mention. God could ordain a thing. But if the humans involved are not mature enough to handle it, it would become a disaster. And it’s not on God. It’s on the humans. A lot of people are staying in bad relationships because they’ve received countless words of knowledge and wisdom about it. They’re hoping it’ll somehow work out. Unless both parties realize their issues and work to solve them, it’ll remain terrible. And they’ll be an unhappy couple.
15 months post break up, and the only regret I have is that I didn’t do it sooner. I hope sharing my story helps someone out there who may be in similar shoes. You’re strong and you can get through this.
– Anonymous. Student at Obafemi Awolowo University.
I want to share stories about love and relationships on this space for the rest of the month. It does not have to be that it ended in tears. It could be that you guys are still together or it could that it was simply an entanglement. So, I want to listen to you. Let’s peel the formalities. Send me a DM. +234 704 714 7081. Pepe will greet you at the door. Stay beautiful.