The saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” is the only thing I can think of while narrating this. I met John on one of my frequent weekend visits to my sister’s house. I found that it was a very easy way to spend my weekends, after the long week of job hunting and moving around from place to place trying to get customers for my side hustle. Lagos is indeed stressful, I was always looking forward to the weekend because I get a break sort of but most especially because I get to spend time with my super cute nephew.
On one of those weekends, I was dragged out by my sister and her husband because they felt I needed a break from my weekly routine and just a good time in general. I reluctantly agreed and tagged along, we went to one of the private beaches for a picnic. I was prepared to spend all my time playing with my nephew, I wasn’t really in the mood for any social activity but I couldn’t say no, because I had already given countless reasons in the past as to why I would rather just sit at home, cook, eat and maybe just chill watching shows on Netflix while playing with my nephew.
It was a sunny Sunday afternoon and I was indeed enjoying the time out at the beach, Music blaring, the DJ was on point I remember but most importantly I had a glass of vodka mixed with cranberry in my hand, My trusted sidekick. I suddenly didn’t remember any of my reservations as my sister teased me, she kept saying that this was how I should be spending my down time and that it was the way to meet people and make new friends. I was just smiling behind my ray bans and enjoying the view, I couldn’t be bothered.
Suddenly, she threw a balloon at me trying to get my attention as I was lost in my thoughts, I looked up to notice that her husband was talking some guy. They were standing over us and my sister was so eager to introduce me to him. She whispered in my ears, saying ‘that’s John’ the guy I spoke about. I had this clueless look on my face as I couldn’t recall that conversation. She wasn’t having any of it though, she dragged my arm pulling me up and towards the guys now. I was getting angry now as she had disturbed my quiet time. I saw the guy and all I could think of was why would my sister want to introduce me to this guy.
He was short and not necessarily good-looking; his dress sense didn’t even help matters. Who wears a jacket and khaki shorts to the beach? I was already looking for ways to say hi and bolt, at least that way, everyone was satisfied. He smiled and introduced himself before my sister even said a word, I felt set up and very uncomfortable. He tried to make a good impression but I wasn’t just in the mood, I felt cornered and was already closed out. The remainder of the conversation was so awkward and mostly painful but he managed to get me to tentatively exchange numbers with him. I knew I wasn’t going to respond to any of his calls.
Over the course of the coming weeks, he kept on pestering me with calls and messages till I decided to go out with him on one very boring Saturday. He was nice and a gentleman all through the date and I was beginning to see him differently after that evening. We went on several dates over a couple of months, with him constantly asking me to be his girlfriend but I kept stalling, telling him we should just take things slow, but I was sure getting comfortable around him. I was drawn to his inner qualities, the way he talked, his confidence, his genuine kindness and respect for me, I felt I could depend on him, he was always there to listen. He was always ready to give unbiased advice about things that bugged me. Truth is I fell for him before I could even decide if I wanted to date him because he was truly selfless.
We became very close and practically started dating, he was my go to person whenever I felt overwhelmed and needed a candid opinion. He just was there for me and that made me want to spend more time with him. He wanted to meet my family to tell them about his intentions, which made me want him more because I was tired of all these fuckboys that were more interested in having their way with me instead of getting to know me. I was telling him to wait a bit and not be in a hurry but he was determined to make me his.
I was in for the shocker of my life when suddenly when I mentioned it to my sister, she was so against it that she told my parents so many things about him and how he isn’t a good suitor for me. I have tried to ask her why she thinks it is a bad idea for me to consider settling with him but she couldn’t give me any potent reason apart from her saying that he is not a good person and is a womanizer. All she says contrasts with the guy I am currently dating, I know I don’t know everything about him but still I am interested in getting to know him before I make up my mind about being his fiancée or wife.
The problem now is my parents are already biased about him based on what my sister has told them. I have tried talking it out with my sister and her husband who introduced me to him initially just to make sure he is genuine and validate their claims that they have my best interest at heart, but the more I ask, the more I find out that my sister’s reaction is baseless. I am in love with him and I am happy with him because he has been nothing but an ideal man, a genuine person, and a lover but I don’t want to go against my parents’ wishes as they now are already against him before they have gotten the chance to meet him.
This is a real dilemma for me, as I am truly in love yet I don’t want to go against my family’s wishes to be with him. I am always asking myself what if he is real and genuine? What if he is my real chance at happiness? Do I give all that up because my family says so? Or more so because my sister says so? I don’t know what to do because it is killing me to see him try so hard to be accepted, yet I know my family isn’t going to see him for who he truly is.
What do I do?
So, my question is when you find that someone who wants you to be a better person for you and not for selfish reasons, someone who is patient with all your flaws yet he corrects you in love. When you find this one person who looks beyond the physical and wants to know you completely and makes you happy, what do you do when the people who are your family are against it for no reason?
I know a lot of you will say follow your heart. Following your heart is not so easy. I feel I need to back out maybe cos I love my family and probably because I think I will find someone else like him but then what if I don’t? What if this is who will make me happy all my life, what if I miss it? Also, I have worries, what if he is not really the one? what if he is pretending?
So many uncertainties.
This is from one of our readers who is going through a dilemma and would like some advice as to how to move ahead with her current situation. Please feel free to give candid advice and remember to be positive and empathise with her.