At that age, you already know what you want. No games.
#PulseFirstLove is a weekly series that captures the emotions people felt, and the motions they went through the first time they tried being in a relationship.
Today’s #FirstLove subject, a 36-year-old mother of two, talks about discovering love for the first time, a lot later than most people. And how finding it has made the wait very worthwhile.
The first time you ever had a crush on someone or that anyone ever had a crush on you?
SS2. This was what? 2000? Not so sure. But yeah. It’s been that long.
I’m not that old now. Come on. I’m only 36 not 66. You, where were you in 1999/2000?
Hahahaa. Wow. Maybe I’m old. But just a little sha.
LMAO. Ok. Whatever you say. So can you remember how that crush felt?
I honestly did not know how to feel. I was conflicted, I can remember that for sure. So I am from a very, very religious background. When I say religious; I mean super-religious. No earrings, long skirts, super strict guardians and parents. This was 1999/2000 in Lagos, being brought up by super-zealous, hell-fire-fearing Christian folks. Boyfriend and girlfriend was a mad taboo and that was all I knew. So even though it felt somehow nice to have that attention, the fear of hellfire and my folks didn’t allow me enjoy that experience at all.
Omo. That must have been crazy
Thinking about it now, yes it was. I could not be seen with him because my siblings were in the school as well. And when I say siblings, best believe they were like 8 of them.
So I lived with my uncle. He was in the same neighborhood as my parents anyway and he was the owner of the church we used to attend then. His kids are my siblings, if you know what I mean. My own real siblings too are my siblings. We all attended the same school, attended the same church, lived few streets apart. So there were always eyes to be dodged so none of those little squirrels would run off and report me. It wasn’t even as if they used to let us go out sef. Only on errands and they always made sure I went with one of my siblings. For obvious reasons.
Ah I see. That arrangement must have held you back a lot
You have no idea. Ask anyone who has plenty of junior siblings how their romantic life went in their teenage years. Lol. Horror stories. And mind you, there were no phones yet. So… the wahala was just insane.
So when did you finally get a boyfriend?
[Extended laughter] I was expecting that.
Why 2014? You must have been how old by this time?
29 going on 30 actually. And as for why? Nothing felt right until I met him. We are married now with two kids.
Wow. Fascinating. Tell me how you managed to stay free of men before 30
Stay free of men? Not exactly o. I had guys after me now. But many of them just weren’t good enough. I mean, when you grow up being churchy and learning of how light does not mix with darkness, I guess it shapes your standards in a way and you always want nothing that’s too far from perfection.
You were seeking perfection?
No. That is impossible. But I just wanted a good man. A christian, of course. A real one o. Not like the one I met in church and later discovered that he used to smoke and drink. Or the one that was toasting me and like four other bab es at the same time. See ehn, church men can be crazy o.
Because, for someone like me, most of the guys/men I met were in church, some at work and all. But mostly in church. And I can tell you that they aren’t so different from the guys you find out there. Shebi it’s even the same people you see on the streets that come to church.
Facts. I am curious. What about when you went to school? How did you escape university romance?
Actually I did not. Tried JAMB many times. Folks spent a lot of money. It just didn’t work so I accepted it wasn’t for me. Learnt to be a nurse sha.
Water under the bridge. Thanks though.
You’re welcome. Tell me about this first love. How did you meet?
I guess you won’t be surprised to hear that we met in church. They transferred him to our parish as a junior pastor. I was in the choir. Our ideas on life and God and family just seemed compatible so… we gave it a shot and here we are.
I guess at that age, one already knows what they want
Definitely. There were no games. We both knew that any relationship at that point was geared towards marriage and even when he asked me to be his babe, it was from a marriage angle. We were married in 8 months.
Yes nau. What could we be waiting for when it was clear from the onset that that was what we wanted? He was honest from the jump, told me everything I needed to know. I told him everything. We did not hide anything from each other. Believe me, it felt right. So far I am not regretting it.
I am so, so happy to hear that. Sounds so refreshing
Tell me though. How was the pressure? Was it internal, external or both? Or there was no pressure at all?
You mean pressure to date and marry? Internal mostly. My folks were not bothered. Their own is ‘God’s time is the best’. They have always told us that it is better to marry late than marry wrong. If you go to church you must have heard that over and over again.
Definitely. Better single and happy than married and miserable
Ehehn. Exactly. That thing. My folks are really into that. So it was mostly me occasionally just thinking about it and wondering if I’ll ever get married. But look at us now.
I know right. Glory to God
LMAO. Do you mind talking about sex?
What do you want to know? I will tell you if I can answer or not.
What did you know of sex before you met your first love, or should I just say husband?
Lol. All join. First love, only love, husband, forever love. Gbogbo e, same ni.
Yeah. I hadn’t had sex before marriage. Been told to keep myself for my husband for as long as I can remember and at some point, it just made sense for me personally to not lose my virginity. It wasn’t as if there were even people that could have tempted me to lose it sef. Although I did kiss a couple of times when I was younger sha… when I was doing my nursing apprenticeship.
Yeah. But it was only kissing sha and they were brief and far in between. And that was just out of curiosity. Didn’t know much about sex apart from that. Until I got married. I have two children now so I think I know a little.
Lol. I agree. If you could go back in time and change the course of your love life though, what would you change?
Maybe not my love life directly but going to uni would have definitely taken me through a different love route. I know that for sure. Maybe I’d have had more people to crush on, moreeople to crush on me, more guys I would have really considered dating, maybe I’d have had a few failed relationships… I just know the journey wouldn’t have been this straightforward sha.
Do you sometimes wish it wasn’t this straightforward?
Well… maybe not all the time or too intently. But yes, I often wonder how it must have been to have gone to uni. And among all the school things I would have loved to experience, university romance is surely part of it. My kid brother for example, he married the babe he had been dating from uni.
I feel you. Advise 16-year-old you on love
Don’t change a thing about yourself or make yourself feel any undue pressure. The right kind of love always comes sooner or later. If you’re patient and lucky enough, you won’t miss it.
That’s how we roll in the 30-plus club.
There’s more where this came from. Get all First Love Stories here.