That first relationships are unforgettable is a universal belief; an experience of sentimental value to many. Every Tuesday, this pulse series – My First Love - will try to capture the emotions people felt, that very first time they were the object of someone's romantic affection.
The subject of this second episode is 22, and in a happy place emotionally. But it wasn't always like that, particularly when she started off exploring her feelings with secondary school boys in Lagos.
Can you remember the first time you ever had a crush on someone or that anyone had a crush on you?
Those are two very separate events. The first time I ever had a serious crush on a guy was when I changed from an all-girls school to a mixed school and my feelings were literally all over the place. So on my first day of school, I sighted and liked someone in my class. And till date, I have no idea why. The boy had the worst case of acne you’ll probably ever see but I just thought he was super cute
These things are inexplicable. Don't beat yourself over it.
I guess. Soon enough, my crush become obvious to everyone in class including him. So one day, I noticed that this useless girl started being flirty with him and was always hanging out with him. Like a respectable young woman, I saw this and bowed out. I was in my feelings for a very long time about it but I moved on.
A couple months down the line, one of my friends who also happened to be friends with the other useless girl told me that she never really liked him. That he actually liked me back but he told her to be flirty with him so he could know if I liked him enough to fight for him. What?! So I guess I failed that test drastically.
Lmao. Maybe because queens don't struggle for stuff?
Osheeey. Be whining me. I sha never got with him after that, but on prom night, like 3 years down the line, I saw him in his tux and everything and feelings just started flooding back.
Back up a second. Where was this? And when? In this Nigeria?
It was in Nigeria now.
Fantabulous. Now talk to me about your first relationship. Hit me with all the sweet details.
It was in 2014, I was like 16. He was an ugly boy of about the same age, who was so nice to me. I actually started off liking his best friend but while the friend didn’t like me back, he did so I settle for him. Funny thing was when we broke up, I ended up dating the one I always wanted to date. Lol.
So your first relationship was with a second choice.
How do you feel about that move thinking about it now that you’re 22?
I feel absolutely nothing, to be honest. I mean, I was only 16 at the time, I didn’t even know what I wanted. Let’s call all that childish exuberance.
How was it? You know, being the first relationship you had.
He was kinda boring, I’m not gonna lie. We eventually broke up though because he wanted sex. And I obviously couldn’t have given him that.
How was a breakup like for a 16 year old?
It was sad o. Of course it was sad. My mum had to help me get over him and stuff. But after like a week, I was done being sad.
Wait this means your mum knew you had a boyfriend – at 16
[For context, yeah, Nigerian kids don’t go around telling their parents about relationships at 16. Now continue reading.]
I realize that a lot of people can’t talk to their parents about that kind of stuff. I guess my mum is great, yeah. She was young when she had me. She’s kinda still young now and she understands what if feels like.
So you're like sisters
Yeah, something like that. She’s still annoying sha. All mums are like that regardless of age.
Pretty much. Tell me about the first kiss
My first kiss was on Feb 10 2013, with this guy like that. He was an asshole.
Lmaooo. Please do you always save the time of everything you do? Because...
Most girls cherish these days, they spend the first half of their lives planning it and how amazing they want it to be, so when it does happen, we take note. Lol.
This idiot kissed me and afterwards stopped talking to me. He literally moved back to US at the end of that term, without talking to me or saying a word to me. And I proper liked him.
So gist me. What relationship problems did you have at 16?
Umm, not really a relationship problem. But I was worried about my looks.
I had just started adding weight and I hated that. I had always been skinny before then.
And now? Are you still worried that somehow this affects your attractiveness to people who would otherwise find you attractive?
I’ve realized that my weight isn’t particularly the issue. My issue with my body is not knowing how to style it or make it look attractive. Most girls my age  know how to do make up, I don’t. I don’t know how to do anything concerning beauty. My wardrobe isn’t as exciting as that of most people my age. So I always end up looking boring and plain. And that wouldn’t be so bad if I was skinny but as a big person, I feel like I have to try extra hard to look attractive. And I don’t have the time, money or the knowledge to look how I want to look.
How have you grown emotionally since the first relationship?
I’m stronger, I think now I know what I can stand and what I won’t. I have a lot more self-respect. Previously it used to be: oh, what if I’m not cute enough for this guy, or good enough or what if I’m just not enough? But now I’ve realized that I’m more than enough
I’m also a lot better at communicating my feelings. I’m not one of those girls when they ask, are you okay, that will say I’m fine even when I’m not fine. When I have problems, I’m always keen on letting them out, not just for problems but also for good things. I realize that people appreciate it when you talk about the good things they’re doing, not just the bad things. It makes them feel like you see them on a balanced scale.
I’ve also learnt how to manage my anger, in terms of refraining from saying things I might regret. This is still a work in progress though.
Yeah. The other day, during an argument, I told my bf that he was too dumb to understand what I was talking about. I immediately felt bad and apologized. Also, I’ve found that women are so scared of apologizing!
Lol. Happy new year.
It’s actually so funny because I never knew it until I started seeing skits and movies about women not apologizing even if they’re wrong. I also saw it in relationships around me so it’s obviously not just bants. So whenever I see that I’m wrong, I always apologize. I’ll add that to my aspects of emotional growth.
How happy are you in your current relationship?
Super happy. Lol. 1000%
Obviously you are older now. Done with uni, a woman of your own and with more knowledge and experience. What would you have done differently in your first relationship?
This would sound soooo cliché -
This is the place for cliché stuff.
Ok. So back in the day, I think I fell too hard, too quick and got back up way too slowly. Wouldn’t repeat that mistake now. Never.
If you loved reading this, then you'll love this, too: "My First Love: Trying out a relationship without commitment at 18."