#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.
This week is about another university romance. Our 25-year-old subject speaks on enjoying the giddiness of her first relationship; the panic she felt when she got pregnant unexpectedly, and the ordeal of doing what she had to do.
So hit me. When was your first relationship?
It was in 2015. I was 20 then. My first proper relationship.
There were others before?
Yes. But more like friends with benefits.
Tell me about this
I had people I dated that I liked or loved, but they never felt the same so we just had sex and deceived ourselves.
Haha. I like how you say 'decieved ourselves'. So how old were when all these fake love was going on?
17. I really learnt the hard way. Trust me. There's so much I'd change if I could.
You can share if you don’t mind
I feel like we don't get the relationship talk when growing up. You don't get taught about how to know when someone likes you and when someone doesn't, you don't get taught about how the world views sex, what it means to have sex with the friend of someone you've already had sex with, what happens when you have sex with multiple people in the same sphere of life and how you would be viewed when you do... The world just assumes you know. And most of the time, you really don't. You have to learn the hard way because you've made all the mistakes and you're a villain already.
Hmm. True that. So you eventually got into a real relationship
Yes o. I even thought we would get married one day.
I was a student in Uni when I met him. We were from two different worlds. I was an ajebo and he was a pako but I didn't care. I loved him to pieces. He was in school then. I earned little but I was willing to share everything I had to the last dime. He couldn't afford to get me gifts or take me on dates, even sex was hard because we had to budget hotels, but we found a way and we were happy. But after a while things started going wrong. And then to make matters worse I got pregnant. I wasn't going to keep it because he could barely take care of us, not to take care of a kid.
I spent a lot because I imported pills from overseas for my safety but he didn't even send a dime or even any gifts. I felt like he was just looking forward to being with me again. And then he would talk about money he has already spent and not give me a dime out of it, while growing a sense of entitlement for my money. My mum already canceled him because of how my pregnancy went.
I also had problems with his attitude. He was manipulative, emotionally abusive, and he slut shamed me a lot for my mistakes. Him not taking job acquisition seriously, us still doing street strolls as opposed to dates became exhausting especially considering my background. The last straw that broke the camel’s back was him talking about how he flirted with a girl and then comparing himself to my mother in the same breath.
How old was he at this point?
2 years older than me.
So he must have been 22 at the time the relationship began
Just to be sure. So at the point of breakup, y'all were done with Uni, yeah?
He was done. I was about to graduate. Mind you, he also had a son without my knowledge and was double dating 6 months into our relationship because, according to him, we were not 'serious' yet.
Ok. Tell me about the breakup. How did it happen? How did you both take it?
It was pretty nasty. He narrated the night before about how he flirted with a girl at a concert he didn't take me had stolen his phone. He wanted me to go help him retrieve the sim but I refused saying I had to follow my mum to the market.
He got angry and asked me if he was more important than my mother. And he began to raise his voice. I got very angry. I yelled at him one the phone and told him to geddifok. And that was it.
And the aftermath?
He tried to get back a year after but I saw he hadn't changed so I refused to take him back.
How did this affect your outlook on love and relationships? What changed? What lessons did you learn?
I learnt that we should learn to be careful who we fall and you can't love toxicity away. It made me less willing to share and made me grow up with trust issues.
I feel you. What attracted you to him in the first place?
His gentleness and kindness. How seriously he took me and his charm.
And then he suddenly switched up on you?
Do you have any good memories from this relationship?
Yes. I have good memories of Christmas time because his family would travel and I'd visit everyday and we'd be together. I miss having someone I could complain to about the things that make me sad. I missed our happy strolls.
How old are you now?
How many more relationships have you had after him
Just one officially.
Looking back now, what would you have done differently? I mean, as a 25 year old, if you're to relive that relationship again, what would you do differently?
I think I would have ended it sooner. I would have invested less in the relationship knowing he would not invest as much as I did. I probably wouldn't have said yes to him.
I feel you. Let's talk about sex a bit?
I know you already mentioned how many parents didn't do too well with educating kids about certain things. So, what would you say your knowledge of sex was before entering this relationship?
I was quite naive actually. I was raped growing up so I stayed away from it all till later. Everything I knew about sex, I had to discover by reading, doing, asking. All that.
Man. So sorry to hear about incidence. The pregnancy though. Do you mind talking about that?
No I don't.
So how did that go, the whole pregnancy thing? How was it for you? How did he take it?
Not so well. He kept asking me to keep it. Making me feel like I was doing the wrong thing. When I found out, I spoke to my friends, we found an NGO site in India. They shipped the drugs and I paid for it. I was distraught, afraid and confused especially when I decided to abort. I thought I would die. Plus I couldn't go anywhere because I didn't want people detecting that I was pregnant.
I took that decision because I was in year 2, broke and unable to take care of another human being apart from myself at that time and nobody was going to manipulate me into thinking I could.
So you mentioned that your mum knew about the pregnancy. How?
I told her myself.
Someone had to know what happened in case I died. I felt she could at least get me to a hospital in time or protect me if anything happened.
Thank God you didn’t die. What was her first reaction?
She cried. Of course she then complained about how I've gone to embarrass her again and wondering what she had done wrong.
Nigerian mums. Normal.
I let her know the emotional blackmail won't work on me and this is what happens when your children don't get THE TALK.
I'm actually fascinated at how your relationship with your mum went from her being unable to talk to you about relationship and sex to you having to tell her you were pregnant. it's interesting to say the least.
Lol, she didn't speak to me for two weeks. It got awkward but it eventually made things better.
On a parting note, do you have any secrets from that relationship?
That's my last question o
Ok. So I wasn't sure that kid was his. He broke up with me four times in that relationship and that was the third time. So I had a fling with someone. I strongly believed the kid was his but I can't say I'm completely sure. Which is another reason I knew I was never going to keep it because I don't have the conscience to pin someone's kid on another person.