The men I never dated – Nigeria edition*

(*Could also be referred to as:

  • The men I never dated – Jealous sister edition
  • The men I never dated – “Pride goes before a fall” edition
  • The men I never dated – Life is just not fair edition)

When I mentioned that I’d be going to Nigeria, a few friends asked me if I thought I was going to meet a dashing Nigerian man who would sweep me off my feet. I told them that this was unlikely to happen and even if it did, living over 8500 kilometres apart, a distance that includes two small bodies of water (also known as the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea), would tend to put a wrench in our plans of you know, going on dates.

I’m sure I said this in a very matter of fact and practical way, but deep down I did hope that I’d come back with a tale of romance to tell.

Well I didn’t, but my sister has a tale. Now why would I be sharing the story of my sister’s romance? Because it happens to be a new installment to one of my favourite features of this blog, The Men I Never Dated (tmind). If you have some time on your hands, you should go and read those entries. But here’s today’s story:

Seven years ago, when my sister was last in Nigeria, she and our second cousin, Biola (who is one year older than my sis and one year younger than I) made a sort of pact that they would meet again for one of their weddings. Well Biola chose 2008 for her wedding and that was one of the reasons we went to Nigeria when we did (the other reason was to celebrate with my grandmother, as explained here).

A few days into our stay, Biola, her fiancé and her brother took my sis and I out for suya and drinks at a cool patio. While drinking our Smirnoff Ices and waiting for the suya to be ready, the groom to be, Michael, told us he was going to call his friend who wanted to “meet us”. We spoke to him and he seemed very cool: just a normal guy who seemed to have a good sense of humour and was generally easy going.

When we got home that evening, my sister and I compared notes on him: we thought he sounded like he was a big guy, which might be funny to some of you but since my sister and I do not seem to have inherited the familial gene that makes us less than 5’4 and quite slender, we tend to go for guys who are tall and who have some meat on their bones rather than the skinny fellows. I guess we based our conclusion solely on his voice and the way his laugh seemed to come from deep down within him.

Anyway, this guy, let’s call him Tunde, somehow got the number of the cell phone we were using in Nigeria, and would call us pretty much daily, just asking us how we were enjoying the city and our time in Nigeria generally. This went on for about a week and a half, until we met him in person. I was in charge of the phone, so I’d usually talk to him first, then he’d speak to my sister and often my mom as well. While hanging out with my cousin Biola one evening, I told her that I thought Tunde appeared interested in my sister, but she said as far as she was aware, he wasn’t sure who he was interested in, and we’d see how things went when we met him at her wedding. When I combined this information with the fact that he and I seemed to click on the phone, and had good conversations, I thought that Tunde might be a really interesting fellow to get to know.

We didn’t see him until the wedding, and I can’t remember now who introduced us finally, but both of us met him and thought he was cool in person. We didn’t really get a chance to talk to him much during the wedding reception, but the groom’s parents were planning an after party, so Tunde literally begged us to please come, as he was leaving the next day. Anyhow, I got the vibe that it was my sister who appealed more to him so I pretty much did my part to throw them together and stand back.

But the thing is, I had sort of started to fancy him. I wanted him to like me too, but I was so sure that if given the choice between my sister and I, the average guy would pick my sister that I totally acted like I was a matchmaking mother and worked on giving them as much time together as possible. When we arrived at the after party, Tunde took us out for suya and drinks, so we could get to know each other better without so many others around. I made sure my sister was sitting beside him in the backseat, while I sat in front with the cousin who was driving us. And at the suya place, I made sure they were sitting together (although in my opinion, he would have made sure that happened anyway).

But I won’t lie: while a matchmaking mother would not have felt any jealousy and envy, or felt her self esteem plummet as she was completely ignored, I did. And that led to some uncomfortable moments between my sister and I later, because she couldn’t understand why I was upset (especially when I was encouraging them to get to know each other), and I didn’t want to talk about how my pride was hurt because I wasn’t “picked”. It seemed so unfair: I was the one with a genuine interest in Nigeria (language, culture, slang, etc), who was interested in marrying a Nigerian guy, while my sister was less particular about the nationality of the guy she’d date.

The after party was one of the longest nights of my life: many of the party goers I knew and could have talked to, other than my sister and Tunde, had been in the wedding party and were exhausted, and were sleeping anywhere they could. The other friends were outside dancing the night away (the music was awesome), but I didn’t know them. Nevertheless, as Tunde sat beside my sister trying to get her know her better, I tried to amuse myself with strangers, and generally stay out of their way. When I got sick of dancing outside, I returned inside to where they were cozily chatting, and sat a bit apart from them to give them privacy and tried not to look bored out of my mind. It was an all night party and finally when our cousin woke up at around 5 in the morning, we were able to get a drive home.

All my life I’ve always said that I don’t want someone who doesn’t want me, but knowing and believing that is not a guarantee that you won’t feel like crap. I fully wallowed in that feeling. There were quite a number of tense and awkward moments between my sister and I. I no longer felt comfortable talking to Tunde, and it was always clear that when I picked up the phone he wanted to talk to my sister (though he was still the same nice, teasing and jovial person with me). So very soon after our cousin’s wedding, my sister became in charge of handling the cell phone. And Tunde called her constantly, or she’d be calling him. And they would be sending text messages. And with every ring of the phone or buzz to indicate the receipt of a text message, I felt worse. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, once they knew which sister he was interested in, family members were constantly asking my sister if she had talked to him that day, and how things were going and what she thought of him. They had totally set the two of them up, it seems, from the first time we talked to Tunde. Our great aunt was only too happy to give my mom details about his family and assure her that this guy was a great guy. Our cousin Biola also told us how he’s the best guy they could have ever asked to be her husband’s best man. I can’t lie and pretend I was totally cool with everything and worthy of the prize of world’s best sister during this time, because I really, really wasn’t.

Tunde is currently working about eight hours away from where we were staying, so we only saw him that one time. However, he was working close to Abuja, and we had planned to go to Abuja to see the capital city, so there was a chance that we could meet him while we were there. A number of us were supposed to go, but the others ended up deciding not to go. Tunde begged my sister and I to still come on our own, but I just couldn’t do it: the thought of being the third wheel for a weekend while Tunde and my sister tried to pretend they were glad that I was encroaching on their only time together was too much for me to deal with, and I told my sister this. Also, our family was not keen about the idea of the two of us, completely unfamiliar with any of the area we’d be traveling through, getting into a public transportation vehicle for five or six hours, and I don’t blame them. So that meant we never saw him again, but he totally understood.

So now we’re back in North America, and things are pretty much the same between my sister and Tunde as they were in Nigeria. They talk nearly every day, and send emails to each other too. When she didn’t hear from him one day recently, she was worried that he may have come to some harm (especially since he’s in the North). She likes him. They’re taking things slowly, and are not officially dating (though I know he wants to). We’ll see if things change soon.

And what about me? I’m happy for them, and I want things to work out in the best way possible for them both. He seems like a fantastic guy, and they seem compatible from what I saw, and seeing my sister who isn’t big on talking on the phone having a reason to use the phone almost daily makes me think there may be something special going on between them.

We’ll see what happens! In the meantime, I’m on the lookout for some frogs to kiss.

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31 thoughts on “The men I never dated – Nigeria edition*

  1. its normal to feel the way u do. but make sure it doesnt hurt ur relationship with ur sister.

  2. This was so funny, eya..look on the bright side..long distance sucks butt. You'd find a great Nigerian frog/prince here in Canada…lol

  3. Wow!…my respect for you increased a notch higher…am impressed with how you handled the situation and I respect the fact that you are able to share how you felt about the whole "shizzy"!

    Well lyfe happens jare…@ the end of the day a man is a man and your sis will always be your sis regardless…I hope you guys are cool again though…

    Whatever you do,be sure to NOT kiss the wrong frog!!!

  4. You're not feeling anything out of the ordinary, but I hope it doesn't affect things with your sister as well.

    -Frog kissing or general surveying, God has His person for you.

  5. Ouch.

    Well, look @ it this way, love….he's not yours because he wasn't meant to be yours. And like someone already commented, long distance is a pain!!! Don't worry, your prince charming is on his merry way.

  6. I know sometimes if i see a guy showing more interest in my friend, i might try and push them together and sorts, but i cant do that anymore, and neither can you. Yes its your sister and you want her happiness but you have to get yours too. If you keep helping others out that perfect man will just pass you by.

    i am glad that things between you and your little sis are ok, I dont know if i were in your shoes if i would have been able to handle it with such class like you did.

    On another note… so you don't feel awkward about getting involved with someone that is located in naija? I have heard some horror stories so I'm kind of iffy about it.

  7. chiefo said it right. You handled the situation very well inspite of ur feelings and I think its great that you have said this out loud and not kept it in.

    The right man will come at the right time and it will just be perfect :)

  8. Have to admit you handled the situation pretty well.. Knew two brothers a couple of years ago who almost became sworn enemies over a young lady.. Thankfully in that instance commonsense prevailed and the brovs decided their brotherhood was more important than chasing a lady…….. Guess for people who believe in God, God works all things together for good.. so chill and let him run things…. while you keep shining ya eyes too o…… LOL.. njoy…

  9. my sista na so e dey happen. those who want it sometimes dont get it. those who dont get it thrust it their faces. thats life. btw u handled it with maturity

  10. Very interesting story and reminds me of the movie 27 dresses. It seems to me you have something for the guy. Just let whatever happen happen, the guy wants your sister and it is clear. Let her have him to herself and explore other guys around the area. Have fun kissing a few frogs, hopefully you kiss ya prince charming.

  11. Danmmm…You acted really mature, I would have spoiled the occasion for everybody…

    Something like that happened between my kid sis and I…the guy picked her while I had been having wet dreams…needless to say I nearly beat her up and accused her of throwing herself at him…

    was extremely glad and gave her my shoulders to cry on when they broke up….haaaaaaaaaaaa (evil laughter!!!)

  12. hmmmm…. give you props for being honest about it. no-one really wants to be down with OPP, especially if it's family. ush, ush!

  13. You just blogged about the one topic that's so unfamiliar to me. Me and my sisters are three years apart have have ABSOLUTELY DIFFERENT tastes in men….I'm so sorry you were put in this predicament. I wish there was a more delicate way of handling this whole situation. (I just finished watching Anne Brolyn not too long ago). I just hope you find someone of your own someday to make you go "what did I ever see in "Tunde'" I know this goes without saying, even if he and you sister don't work out, you still shouldn't go there. And just because he picked her means absolutely nothing as far as who is the prettier or more interesting one (cos I know how you think), I personally believe that God has your own man out there for you and it's not Tunde. Hang in there sweetie. I felt so heartbroken for you reading this.

    @ Afrobabe….you're crazy for reals!!

  14. Hey GNG! I am glad you're taking things the way you are. It's a sign of maturity to even admit to feeling guilty. Like Abbie, I wouldn't know anything about thses situations as my closest sister is 4 years younger than me and we definitely do not have the same personality and/or taste in men.

    With that said, this sentence jumped at me:

    I was so sure that if given the choice between my sister and I, the average guy would pick my sister

    I think you should think twice about having these kinds of thought. Every pot has a lid. What is actually an "average guy"? Who is he? You need to stop downplaying yourself so much and realize that you're beautiful because you are you.

    Much luck to Tunde and your sister. Open your mind, your eyes and your spirit, and you'll see the abundance of possibilities around you.

    Take care.

  15. well I thought you handled it gracefully! But yours will come as well. And from personal experience, long distance loves SUCKS!!! I know I would have handled it with musch less grace than that.

  16. Ok, you guys are really too kind. I wrote the entry because I wanted to remember this time and although I knew you'd feel bad for me, I wasn't expecting so many to comment (positively!) on the way I handled it. I didn't feel like I did a good job of handling things but thank you.

    To answer some questions:

    1 – My sister and I are totally cool. I'm still debating whether to tell her the story from my perspective because she's the type of person that if she knew I had liked him she would have totally taken herself out of the "game".

    2 – My sister knows about the blog but she finds the internet boring and would never read my blog without teling me. I've been trying to get her to read my blogs for years but to her spending this much time online is unhealthy. What does she know, right? :)

    And now to respond specifically to comments:

    schic

    Where's your comment jare?

    chiefo

    It hasn't hurt our relationship

    Femi B

    lol I think the funniest part is the part where I was so sure that he'd like me and then BAM! He liked her better. It's funny in retrospect sha. Amen on finding a prince in Canada :)

    NoLImit

    You are too kind, honestly. And yup, we're cool again. But perhaps I'll have to kiss the frog before I discover whether or not he's the right one? ;)

    pink-satin

    I checked it! Thank you. I wrote you back :)

    La Reine

    (like the name!)

    Amen o! God knows best.

    Vera Ezimora

    I agree with your logic. I just wish someone would buy this prince of mine a jet or something lol.

    dat1orikababay

    I agree with you 100%. Let's make a pact to not do that anymore ok?

    You'd handle it well, I'm sure. I appreciate your comment though.

    And yes, I'm one of the most suspcious people about getting involved with someone based in Nigeria but this guy is 100% ok. I'd bet a lot on it.

    Oya

    Amen! You keep saying this…you berra be right!

    Danny Bagucci

    Thanks! Wow, that story about the brothers is serious. lol I'll keep shining my eyes o!

    jaguda

    You're so right that that's how life works. What a pain still!

    ync

    Even though I've seen 27 Dresses twice I didn't even think of the movie until you mentioned it! Anything I had for the guy died when I saw that he's more interested in my sis. Yes, I would have loved to explore it but that time is gone.

    Afrobabe

    Ok, you just cracked me up! lol I can just imagine you spoiling the situation for everyone, maybe getting him alone and tempting the heck out of him, then tossing him aside! Lol at you nearly beating up your poor sis. Men, my sister is lucky you're not her sis!

    You're awful…but still lovable.

    kmplx

    Thanks so much and yeah, it's not worth ruining family ties for!

    Abbie

    Amen to me finding my own perfect (for me) guy. You do know how I think so thanks for that reassurance.

    mssula79

    Thanks for the tip…this sort of thinking is not helping me yet I seem to always do that. I have to work on that for sure. I love that idea of being beautiful and being "enough" simply because I am me and there is no one like me. I feel like raising a glass to your last line.

    Naija Bunny

    Thanks lady! I appreciate it :)

    Temite

    Amen! You're right about long distance sucking; I'm not a fan myself but perhaps it would have been worth it? ;)

    Thanks for the compliment too.

    ShonaVixen

    I appreciate the comment and the compliment!

  17. That must have sucked majorly. No worry my sister, ur sugar banana is on the way. He's just walking instead of taking the bus. Seriously, i hope u find someone who lovesssssssss u and makes u happy. I'll be so thrilled. I can't wait to hear the gist.

  18. u r strong. and u acted like the big sister u are. letting ur sister 'have' and be 'happy' before you. look on the bright side. YOu will get urs. and a nigerian since r interested. cheers.

  19. Small bodies of water???????? Are you referring to the Atlantic and Meditterranean as small?lol

    Well, GNG, I understand how you feel. I do! …but you really need to let things slide. …try closing your eyes STIFF…and be happy for your sister…you never know how much bigger the opportunities you have later would be! Like I said in another comment,…just relaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaax

  20. My husband and I have been happily married for four years. Ours was a long distance relationship. It was the toughest yet most fulfilling relationship ever. It was tough for me, because I always rushed things. My husband was very patient and loving. He would always encourage me when I was readjusting to life in the U.S. I was surprised when he called me to let me know that he received his DV lottery. He surprised me with his arrival in 2006. So long distance relationships require patience and trust. It is not for everyone.

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