FOREWORD: Remember my friend, Eketi Ette, with her humourous ways of imparting wisdom on life and relationships… Well, after my people called her people, she has decided to be dropping some pearls of her wisdom in a column on MyMindSnaps. Yay! This is the debut piece, a post she has already updated on Facebook, but which you must simply read. Check on it and let us know your thoughts in the comments section.
Many of us are familiar with this phrase; I think it was part of the chorus in one of Brandy’s popular songs. I want to use this phrase to talk about something that some of us find or have found ourselves in, at some point in our lives.
There was this Bobo, let’s call him Fine Man. The brother made sense in every respect. I met him when I was 18 and violà, it was love at first sight (for me, me and only me). Of course, the guy was only aware of me as someone who existed on the periphery of his world.
For the next six years, I banked the feelings I had for him until one day, out of the blue, Fine Man told me he liked me and wanted us to see where this would go.
‘Let’s see where this will go’ doesn’t count as asking out or a marriage proposal.
If you see how happy I was, ehn! I didn’t know whether to jump on the roof and tell people he’d finally noticed me. When we were together, we talked for ages. At least, I talked. He listened.
I was busy designing wedding dresses in my head, when he’d only said, “I think we have a lot in common. Let’s see how this goes.”
So while we were having a lot in common and seeing how things went, I couldn’t categorically say that we were a couple. Each time someone asked, I was afraid to answer, because I didn’t want to say one thing and then my oga at the top would come and say another thing.
This went on for about eight months. I was doing all the calling and texting and generally stalking the dude. He was always either busy, unavailable, or working and couldn’t call or return my calls. When he eventually found the time to, I’d cherish those crumbs like a pilgrim breaking a fast of forty days and forty nights.
So and so would tell me he said we were in a relationship; he would tell me we were just seeing as things would go. Me, I was just as confused as a boxer in a dancing competition.
This went on until the day we “broke up.” According to him, we weren’t a couple and he heard I’d been telling people so. That he wanted to go back to being just friends.
Don’t worry, I didn’t cry. I was angry. Mad at myself for letting myself get entangled in that kind of situation, when my Mama taught me better.
From then on, I learned to be very clear about romantic relationships. No more ‘I like you, you like me, let’s hang out.’ Nope. I defined my relationships. Are we dating or not? Are we heading for the altar or not? Are we playing mama and papa or not? What are we doing?
There may be someone here who’s confused, wondering if she and that man are a couple, whether he likes you or is not that into you. Let me tell you something, sister.
Don’t be afraid. Ask him.
And when I say ask, I’m not saying you should go and say, “What are we?” If he replies, “We’re nothing but pencils in the hand of the Creator” or “We’re a chosen generation….”, you’re on your own.
Be specific and ready for whatever reply is coming.
There have been and are many cases where a man gets unnecessarily close to a woman and gives her all sorts of hope, only for him to tell her later, “But I never asked you out or proposed anything to you.”
Don’t let a brother establish a canopy ministry over you, when nothing is eventually going to happen.
Don’t spend nearly every waking moment with a man, when he hasn’t said what’s in his mind.
Don’t let someone string you along, and then end up with another Sisi.
And if you’re currently in these shoes, please set things straight or pack up and close shop. It’ll save you lots of heartache.
Define. Define. Define.
Eketi Aimé Ette © 2015