It’s been a while since I shared a new TMIND story, and that’s because I thought I was done. There aren’t many men that I got close to dating. So, let me tell you the story of…we’ll call him Olu…and the craziness of him.
My oyinbo friend was into making e-penpals all around the world and exchanging cards, gifts and stuff with penpals from Australia to Portugal. Along the way she fell in love with some of these penpals but I wasn’t going to be that susceptible (I loathe long distance stuff): I just wanted a penpal who lived in Nigeria so that I could learn more about Naija from them, full stop. In fact on my profile on this website for people seeking penpals, I indicated that I was looking for a female around my age for this purpose.
Well I guess the guys who contacted me thought I was kidding or being coy, because I think only one girl wrote me and the rest were guys. The girl didn’t live in Naija but we exchanged a few emails before she stopped replying. I pretty much ignored the guys who were emailing me until I saw Olu’s profile. Olu seemed like just the person I wanted to talk to: humble, gentle, and when I told him that I was only looking for someone to teach me more about Naija, he still seemed interested in talking, and learning about Canada. Perfect!
So we exchanged emails for a few weeks, sharing general details about our lives, then suddenly he stopped writing. He came back a week or two later and told me that his mother had passed away. I felt horrible for him! I told him he could talk to me about his feelings, I’d pray for him and his family, etc. He shared some details of the day she died and I tried to be comforting. Anyways, shortly after that, he declared that he was in love with me! This was the first declaration of love from a Naija guy online so I was a bit shocked and I believed him (lol). I didn’t see it coming because of the very normal way our emails had been going. There was no talk of girl/boy stuff prior to his declaration; for all I knew he could have been a woman. I think he felt strongly connected to me because I was the person he talked to about his mom.
I was surprised and I immediately told him that I wasn’t kidding when I joined the e-penpals site; I was only trying to make friends. I told him that I totally understand if his deep passion for me (har har) would prevent him from talking to me as just a penpal so if he wanted to end the friendship, I understand (I’ve liked guys who didn’t like me and usually when things get really intense on my part I have to take a break from talking to them and get over them before resuming the friendship).
He said no, he’d put his feelings aside, we could continue as friends so we did for a bit longer. He read my old blog and would comment occasionally, always in a friendly tone. He started reading the blog of one other girl I read and after a while he told me that he thought I was her (even though she had details of where she lived on her profile and she lived in a different country) and trying to confuse him with this second blog. I told him I wasn’t but he kept insisting.
Anyways, I wasn’t sure how to deal with him so a few months after I joined my first Nigerian forum in 2005 I thought: Hey! Olu’s looking for love, this forum has some women based in Naija, let me give him the link and tell him that he should join for that reason. So I gave him the link and he said he would join. He said he’d pick a nickname that I’d never assume was him and for a while I didn’t know who he was. We continued to exchange emails and then once I figured out who he was, the occasional message on the forum, as friends.
And then, he dropped his second bomb. On the forum.
He posted a one page post about how much he liked me and how we met before the forum and what we’ve gone through (his mother’s death) and all this stuff. I can’t even remember most of the details sha but basically it was posted in a way that had most of the regular members of the forum telling me to give the guy a chance. Call me a heartless woman but:
a) I already told the guy, in private months before that I wasn’t interested in him
b) Why was he using people that I knew before him to pressure me to date him?
c) Why was he putting all this stuff out there for anyone to read?
Well, the whole thing led to this big mess. I ended up feeling like I had to defend myself, and explain my side of the story to people who thought I was a horrible woman and weren’t particularly interested in hearing what I had to say. I introduced Olu to the site to help him find someone he could meet and fall in love with! I never encouraged him in any way, never flirted with him or gave him hope. And then on top of that, he started going a bit nuts on the forum too, messaging random women and telling them that they were me, or telling me that I was these other women. I think “love” made him go a bit nuts.
Anyways, all of this led to a falling out with the forum owner and I (I guess he felt he had to take the side of his “brotha”) and that is how I ended up leaving that forum and Olu behind. It was the best decision I ever made and the only thing I regret is the fun conversations I used to have with the others on the forum. Thankfully, I remain in contact with most of the members that I was close to on the forum.
So tell me: what did I do wrong? I guess I shouldn’t have believed him when he said he could put his feelings aside and we could just be friends ehn?