I dated my university girlfriend for around 4 years, we met in my first year and we dated until the end of final year in. She was literally my whole life for that entire time. We talked often about building a future together and I thought that we both took a lot of pride in what we had achieved as a couple, like we were trailblazing.
She was the first real relationship I had in a lot of ways and she was way above my league (at least in my opinion), more beautiful than any girl who had ever shown any interest in me in my entire life. I was totally and utterly dedicated to making sure my life was compatible with hers. We spent holidays with each other’s families, we were building roots in each other’s lives, really in love. I really felt like she was the one, for a long, long time.
Then things started getting strange. I became more withdrawn because I wasn’t making my life about me, it had become all about “us”, and as a result I was secretly very depressed about the direction of my life. But I knew she was the one, so I just kept it to myself. I think it created distance between us until eventually we were reaching the end of another summer (right before NYSC) and she started behaving very strangely.
She would start going on and on about this new group of friends she had made at her summer job, one guy in particular, she would rave about conversations they had had. She was getting to know him really well and I extended my trust to her, I felt very confident in our relationship (we had been together and built so much together after all) and she had male friends. I don’t feel threatened by things like that, but there was something…really weird, like I just had a weird feeling about what was going on between them. I was so, so naive. Eventually one night as we were splitting off I asked her as I was heading out the door, “Do you like Kunle?” I just kind of blurted it out to be honest. The weird feelings were getting to me I guess.
I should have known something was up, because she exploded, she cried and told me that “NOTHING” was going on between them, that it was ridiculous to wonder about that, that she would never. But the feeling persisted.
The week after that, the feeling was stronger, she was growing more distant so I asked as an insane person would, “Do we need to take a break?” To which she declined vehemently. She was entirely opposed to the idea that something was going on between them. To be honest, I trusted her, surely she wouldn’t deny it, and then also deny the opportunity to save face. I actually grew much more comfortable about their blooming friendship, I asked more questions about him, I tried to get to know him through her.
Then about a week after that, we had planned on going to go for a walk, I happily open the front door, psyched to go and get coke on a really warm evening. But I was met with a grim face and, “…we need to talk.” That evening she broke up with me on my families parking lot, eager to simply say goodbye and break way, I begged her to stay honestly. She completely ghosted on me after that. No explanation, no nothing, she just said she was “going through some things.” She jilted me.
Almost four years of being in a relationship with her, telling each other we loved each other, building something together. My begging was met with silence and I suffered in my grief ALONE for a whole week in my room (my family was on vacation and I was the only one at the house). Honestly, looking back I think I suffered a serious psychotic breakdown. I didn’t eat or sleep. I started speaking to myself in order to try to stop the painful thoughts that had begun to overwhelm me. Two months after that, still dealing with the pain of our break up (which increased in it’s severity as time went on), I DEMANDED an explanation. I said, “WHO IS IT, WHO DO YOU LOVE NOW?” Finally she just told me, it was Kunle.
The year that followed the end of our relationship was very traumatic for me, as silly as it may seem, I was more depressed than ever. I woke up thinking about her constantly. The first thing I thought of waking up, her. Thinking about them, how happy they must be. Wondering what she was thinking about, what she was doing, who she was doing it with. Just constantly berating myself. I felt like I was ugly, like I would be alone, forever. That the pain would last forever.
It destroyed my life for YEARS after the fact, not in just dealing with the loss of her in my life, but now the problems which had grown as a result of my complete withdrawal from society. The day after our break up, I had to quit my job, because it would have been impossible to function. Money was quickly becoming an issue. Substance abuse which eventually caused a rift to form between me and my family.
Yep, all that over some stupid girl. It took me years to finally get a hold of my life.
But I owe a lot to someone else. After our break up, I was very lonely, I started reaching out to people that I hadn’t spoken to in a long time. There was this one girl who I had formed a very interesting friendship with, we had a lot in common growing up, we had met online when we were both in secondary school (close to the same age).
That was where our relationship began (She lived in London now). We had a lot in common with each other, especially taste in music and art. We just started talking again out of the blue. It was actually very natural, like we had just picked up where we left off. Out of everyone else in my life, it was her, just some random girl I only knew over the internet, that sat down and listened. She was so, so understanding, she gave me advice, she was ALWAYS there for me. ALWAYS. I could message her any time of the day and she would be there, for me.
Our relationship grew stronger and stronger as we continued to speak. She listened to my endless hateful and depressing rants with the patience and understanding of a saint. She almost never asked for anything in return. She gave me the support that I needed in my life, that everyone else didn’t have the energy for, and expected NOTHING in return.
Then one day she said she was going to be travelling, that she would be coming to lagos. We had already agreed that if we ever had the chance to meet, we would do it, without a doubt. But I was so nervous honestly, I almost didn’t go to see her. Just because of nerves. But I forced myself out of my comfort zone and I opened myself up to this experience. I was so glad I did, because it led to the most amazing and powerful relationship I have ever had in my life. She is the most amazing woman I have ever met. And she gives me so much more than I could have ever expected. She is so selfless and kind and beautiful. We’ve traveled and experienced so much together.
She is my best friend and honestly…now that I have had the chance to see beyond that first big relationship, I’m so glad that things turned out the way they did. We have been together almost 4 years now. We’ve almost reached the same stage I had been to before, where I wonder some time, is this where a relationship begins to crumble?
I am a more guarded person now, after experiencing that turbulent break up. Even though I know, when I was experiencing it, it felt like the end, the real end of my life. It felt tangible. Now I look back and I feel thankful. Because if my former girlfriend hadn’t left me, I know I would have never met this amazing woman. I still might even be stuck in that life that I knew I didn’t want. How would I have ever known what I was missing?
There is a lot that can be learned in life, even from the bad experiences. We can some time feel stuck, or like this is the final note being struck in our lives, but the truth is that nothing last forever. Good or bad. Things may seem bleak now, but they will be good again for you, one day. Everyone you meet in your life is an experience for you. My ex-girlfriend gave me what I needed during that period in my life, it wasn’t a waste of time, I learned things from it, I learned from her. That chapter in my life closed. It was Tayoe to move on to the next page.
Believe it when I say that there will always be a next page. You will find someone, even if you don’t believe it now. One day you’ll find someone to give you what you need. And as another poster said, the most important relationship you can have in your life, is the relationship you have with yourself. You deserve respect and happiness. There is a lot of wisdom in that, so please take it to heart and be kind to yourself. You will find someone when the time is right.