Unexpected: the first 48 hours

Photo credit: Action Creation Studios

I’m really touched by the comments received on the first post of the Unexpected series, the story of how I met the man in my life, Sayo. If you’ve left a comment, I thank you; reading them warmed my heart! If you want catch up, please do so by reading how it all started.

After Sayo and I met that Saturday morning, we spoke later in the day. He wanted to know how I felt about the way that we were introduced to each other. He was direct and no-nonsense, just like my first impression of him. I probably enjoy more nonsense than the average person, but since reaching my 30s, single males to me are either a potential spouse or nothing; I had no desire for new single male friends because as much as I was a sucker for romantic movies, that whole “best-friends-turned-lovers” thing had never ever worked for me. Knowing that I had to decide to either see Sayo as a potential husband or stop talking to him. I told him that I wanted to get to know him better which meant that I was going to do my very best to find reasons to disqualify him, not because he was a bad guy but because that’s what I do. I asked him why he agreed to get matched—he saw it as another way to meet someone and he had been praying to find love so he was ready to be in this situation.

Getting to know each other

My great-aunt, matchmaker extraordinaire, didn’t tell us much about each other, only the things that she thought might be an instant dealbreaker. For example, one of the things she told me was that Sayo’s finances were a work in progress; one of the things she told him was that I’m fat (insert cry-laughing emoji). I have a love-hate relationship with my great-aunt’s frankness: I’m insecure about my weight so I’d rather a guy I’m meeting (online or otherwise) know before we meet. That being said, remember this incident? As long as she didn’t sound kind of apologetic it’s ok that she mentioned it, but I never asked Sayo how she “broke the news” to him.

Sayo and I spent a lot of time talking during the first two days of knowing each other. He had recently gotten a passport so my natural response was to ask what the date of birth on his passport was. From past experience, I knew how fluid age could be among Nigerians, with some (not all) people shaving years off their age in order to qualify for various programs or jobs. The broken system in Nigeria, ruined no doubt by corruption, leaves many people feeling like they have no choice but to lie about their age and I get that. At the same time, my healthy fear of the law means that incorrect official documentation makes me nervous; also, I had in my head the thought that if someone can lie about their age, what other things might they lie about? As I mentioned I was trying to find reasons why things wouldn’t work between us. He had the correct age though, which I was able to verify.

While I was busy playing the elimination game, Sayo was focused on figuring out if I was wife material. He wanted to know what kind of man I was looking for. I emphasized that I wanted a man who wouldn’t hesitate to change diapers or cook. He didn’t respond! Turns out he ran out of phone credit and it was too late at night for him to buy more so the next morning, he told me what he was looking for in a wife, and he also shared his vision for his dream relationship. His response, especially the part about his dream relationship was kind of romantic but I was more focused on the fact that he hadn’t responded to what I had said about diapers and cooking! When we spoke on the phone I made sure to get his thoughts on that because if he was one of those guys who believed that only the woman can cook and change diapers, I wasn’t interested; thankfully that wasn’t the case.

Our first date

I had brought my laptop to Nigeria because I thought I was going to have tons of time to blog and work on my business but I’m also a cheapskate: I went to inquire about getting an internet plan and a modem and the cost was more than I expected. I mentioned it to Sayo and he offered his modem to me to use; all I’d need to do is buy a data plan. I had decided not to put my limited funds into a data plan so I told him not to worry: I’d write my blog posts offline and publish them later.

We arranged to meet a couple of days after the initial meeting and I asked Sayo to meet me halfway between my great-aunt’s house and my grandmother’s house (where I was staying) because I wanted to avoid having other family members meet him and get involved and invested too soon as had happened in the past. This way, when things ended, I wouldn’t have to explain it to too many people; I was all about self-protection. When we met up, Sayo had his modem with him and he had bought me a whole bunch of data! My internet-loving heart was happy and that was the first thoughtful thing that caught my attention. He really didn’t have extra money lying around and he had just met me so I was particularly touched by the gesture.

At the restaurant, when our food and drinks came, he rinsed out our clean glasses before filling them with the beverage. I’m a germaphobe and I hadn’t thought of rinsing out the glasses so I found that endearing; I’m a sucker for attention to cleanliness! The date was off to a good start.

After our meal, our conversation got personal and he shared his story. The way he spoke about his dad (who had passed away just over a year ago at that point) made me teary-eyed; I’m an emotional person but this is a guy I had met just two days prior! I felt bad that he was the one who had lost his dad yet I was the one who was teary, but this was just one of several times that he’d see me teary-eyed. In retrospect, maybe that should have tipped me off that this was different, but then again, I can be emotional.

I learned a lot about him from his life story. I learned that he was a determined and hardworking person, I saw hints of leadership, and he definitely came across as mature, despite being the youngest boy and the fourth of five kids in his family (so, of course, I started calling him omo mummy—a mama’s boy). Oh! I learned that he could cook; a man who can cook has been a longstanding desire of mine.

The little things (sense of humour, observant, well-mannered)

Sayo also showed his light-hearted side which was important because I wanted a guy with a sense of humour. When getting to know anyone, I lead with my jokey side so if he was super serious and wasn’t responding to what I was putting out there, I’d have become disinterested.

He asked me what my favourite colour was—that’s not an exciting question but what I liked was that he answered his own question based on the colour he saw me wearing the most in my Facebook pictures—I liked that he was observant. During our chats he’d sometimes have to leave to attend to someone (often his mom!) and he made a point to excuse himself each time; he’s polite to a fault, which I liked—to this day I tend to vanish on him mid-conversation; I’m working on it though! He also asked me what gets me angry or annoyed; usually, I ask most of the questions at the beginning of a relationship so it was refreshing to have him take the lead.

But can someone tell me why (some) Nigerian guys, when saying good night to you, tell you to close your eyes before you sleep? Sayo’s not the first to say this to me—I find it corny (and I always ask why they say it); I don’t even know how it became a thing! But clearly it wasn’t grounds for me to stop talking to him; his kind gestures had me looking forward to our next meeting.

Read Part 3 here.

58 thoughts on “Unexpected: the first 48 hours

  1. “Oh! I learned that he could cook; a man who can cook has been a longstanding desire of mine.” 😁

    Oya, I’m buying my ticket to Naija right now! Lol.

    I’m sooooo happy for you, Jummy. Quick question though: at this point (after 48hrs), were you still playing the elimination game? Did you decide to go all in?

    Next part, pleaseeee!!

    • There is NO WAY, I repeat, n-o w-a-y that you could give up your love for Korean men that easily, Margaret: I don’t believe it!

      Thank you for sharing in my happiness.

      To answer your question (spoiler alert?) I was still playing the elimination game when I went to Nigeria last month!—the fear of being taken for a ride is very strong. It had nothing to do with Sayo—it could have been anyone—getting over all that baggage is serious work!

      • Looooool I do love my Korean men but not as much as I love being surprised. Yes, I love real surprises! A good man trumps any virtual eye candy any day :)

        Kudos for keeping the elimination game strong, haha! Just what I expected! 😁

    • Thank you, Moyinoluwa, and welcome to my blog! It’s been a long time coming so I give God all the glory and thanks.

  2. What a heartwarming story. He does sound like a genuine fella and the whole idea and thought that went into the first meeting is great. Wish you all the best on this new journey, take care!

  3. I am so bummed I’m only just reading this. Did you stop sending email
    updates?
    So glad for you. Can’t wait to meet him. Congratulations!!!!

    • I’m so sorry, Tomi—my email delivery service isn’t properly set up! Thank you for being so interested in the story and I promise to keep you more in the loop! ♥

    • LOL, thank you, Nitty! As you can imagine it isn’t always romance, so I’ll try to share a balanced story.

  4. This is so sweet! I love your story, it was engaging and I didn’t want it to stop lol. Sayo sounds like an amazing guy and I wish you all the best! Cant wait to read more…you have a new fan :)

  5. I really really really wish you all the best, I’ve been following you for yonks but never left a comment.

    You seem to have such a sweet spirit and there’s this honesty, innocence and forthrightness about you.

    Let Sayo be everything you deserve and so much more

    • Amen, iHeart! Thank you so much for the good wishes and your support as a reader all these years; I appreciate it. Your kind words about my character give me something to aspire to! ♥

  6. I’m so happy for you Jumoke!!!!
    Grateful that your story has a lovely ending or should I say new beginning.

    😍😍😍😍

    • Thank you soooo much and Amen, Toyin—I appreciate your support! I’m trying to remember if Sayo was around when we met last year or if he had gone for a walk.

  7. I feel like a stalker reading this for the 5Th time in less than 10mins … but my heart seriously skipped a bit when I saw the update pop up on instagram and the blog is even more heartwarming…

    I have waited for this day /message for longer than I care to remember …I remember the days of the love lessons series internet dating etc and how I silently prayed in mY heart that one day there was be a romantic end to this story…that day is so near … sayo is rather handsome if I may say ..**na condition make crayfish bend **

    So here is wishing you all The best in the days and years to come

    • Mo…thank you! Over the years you have left the sweetest, most supportive comments and this one takes the cake. Thank you for the support, thoughts and prayers—I believe that God has heard and answered us!

      Amen and amen…looking forward to sharing only good news concerning this relationship.♥

  8. This is just so lovely Jummy! I am happy for you. It’s been a long time coming but see how beautifully everything is turning out! Can’t wait to hear the rest of it.

  9. I’m really enjoying your story about Sayo! He really seems like a lovely man. I can’t wait until the next instalment! ♥️

  10. How very exciting!! Can’t wait to read more about you and Sayo! Please don’t keep the cliffhanger going for too long, you’re killing me! x

    • Eeep, sorry, Tola: I’ll move more quickly now. I promise the next post won’t be “the next 48 hours” lol!

  11. “But can someone tell me why (some) Nigerian guys, when saying good night to you, tell you to close your eyes before you sleep?”

    Damn if I know! Am happy for you & sayo.

    Nigerian wives hardly allow their men in the kitchen. A wife’s ire can be aroused if a man dares serve himself from the soup pot.

    I pine to cook favorite dishes from my single days like concoction, vegetable yam porridge, beans with ‘kayan ciki’ but my wife will have non of that fanciful thoughts, the nerve of me!

    • Thank you so much, El Haj, for sharing in our happiness. Your comment made me laugh. I’m sure that Sayo hopes that I’ll bar him from the kitchen but that is not likely!

  12. To further add that I came across this blog on Sayo’s Facebook page, I’ve been hooked since then.

    We grew up in d same hood back in the 80s & 90s. Their family is decent & classy. Back then to be called an SU or born again is derogatory, but Sayo parents are good example of born agains.

    The mom is always a head turner even in the simplest of attires,she’s fashionable! Their late dad could have been a millionaire if he had misappropriates government funds while he was heading the state treasury. He was a neat & highly intelligent man.

    As the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree, am not surprised Sayo possessed these sterling qualities!
    Congrats Jummy.

    • I’ve been trying to figure out who you are from Sayo’s list of Facebook friends, El Haj—I’m going to email you and ask!

      It’s unfortunate that I didn’t get to meet Sayo’s dad but I know he must be a wonderful man because his children are all so lovely…and their mom is just lovely—inside and out! Everything you said about her is true.

      Thank you!

  13. To further add that I came across this blog on Sayo’s Facebook page, I’ve been hooked since then.

    We grew up in d same hood back in the 80s & 90s. Their family is decent & classy. Back then to be called an SU or born again is derogatory, but Sayo parents are good example of born agains.

    The mom is always a head turner even in the simplest of attires,she’s fashionable! Their late dad could have been a millionaire if he had misappropriates government funds while he was heading the state treasury. He was a neat & highly intelligent man.

    As the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree, am not surprised Sayo possessed these sterling qualities!

    Congrats Jummy

  14. He sounds like a great guy, but I’ll still have one eyebrow raised until I hear more ;)
    But truly, this makes me happy. Very happy! :)

    • Thanks Melly—you’re right to because he’s sure not perfect! Can you imagine some people are saying they’re on Team Sayo? The nerve!

    • By God’s grace he’s a great guy; I’m delighted that he can cook though some of the food combinations he likes aren’t my cup of tea!

  15. yes o. no one has the time for male friends at this stage.
    a single man at this stage also doesnt have the time for play play.
    Your aunt did a nice job by giving him a few disclaimer about yourself, that way, he’s not surprised.
    reading part 3 now :)

    • Help me tell them o, Adeola!

      Yes: I agree with my great-aunt’s strategy because what’s the point of us moving forward if he already knows he can’t even get excited about being with me (and vice versa)?!

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