#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.
Pulse First Love: I let good sex trick me into a toxic relationship
We were great as friends and the benefits made sense. Should have stayed like that.
This edition of #PulseFirstLove centers on a relationship that should never have happened. The protagonist tells us about mistaking a sexual connection for something more, and how that was the first difficult and unforgettable lesson she learnt about relationships. Read on.
Can you remember the first time you ever had a crush on someone
Interesting because I was only thinking about this person few days ago. He was my elder brother’s classmate and closest friend at the time. Their friendship ended as a result of this crush.
Yep. So my brother is a very brilliant guy in secondary school. Still is actually. He and this his friend were the best students in their class. So I think that was the basis of their friendship. My brother used to visit their house a lot and he used to come to ours too. The boy was a cutie sha, he still is. I still check his IG from time to time sef. Don’t judge me. That was how me I started tripping for him.
Sure. You said their friendship ended because of you?
Ah. Yes. [laughter]. You know all this childish stuff now. They finished secondary school and were waiting to write JAMB. By this time, I was in SS3 too. I was 16 and lowkey made a move on him. Turns out he likes me too and my brother didn’t like the idea at all. So we began to run rings round him. He found out and he didn’t take it lightly. Jealous fool. Told the poor boy to not come to our house again. LMAO. His own friend o. Sha, that was the end of that. We could not date although we messed around a little before all that ended sha. The boy sabi kiss. Chai. I don’t know where a 17-year-old learned to kiss like that. Maybe the bar was low for me then sha.
LMAO. There’s that
I know right. The kisses felt mind blowing at the time though.
So when did you finally date anyone for real for real?
Final year. I was 23.
Tell me about it
There was this guy that had been pestering me for months. We had seen each other at one night class like that. He was in 300L and that was why I did not want to date him.
Well, yes. I was going to leave and go for service and he would still be in school and all that. I don’t know if that makes any sense, but that was how I felt. And in a way, I guess I was right to have held out for so long. Matter of fact, I should not even have dated him sef.
Yes now. Wait let me continue my gist jor.
So we met in the first semester of my final year and he was all over me. I know I’m pretty right. You sef look at all this chocolate goodness now.
Lol. Just go on
You’re rude. Anyway sha, I didn’t go home after that semester because I wanted to put a dent in my project and all. He decided to stay back too. All through that period, he was at his friend’s but he used to come to mine a lot. That was when we bonded really well. He was charming, we would talk for long periods, watch series, go to the local market together, cook… you know, it felt so good. And we were smashing. That could not be avoided for too long. And I have to admit, omo, it felt so so good. Like, that n***a knew what he was doing down there Lol. He was still asking me to date him all along o. At this point, I was like, what’s left? It’s like we are already dating anyway, let’s kuku put the label on it for good. That’s where I fucked up. I shouldn’t have.
Because things got bad?
Yes. But more because there were signs that I ignored. The euphoria of being friends with him, and that holiday we spent together plus all that good sex really did strong things to my brain. It was after we got into the relationship proper, and even after it,as I was trying to find closure within myself that I realised that ‘ah, this guy had all these things before o. I was the one that did not see it.’
You said something about closure. I will come back to it. But first tell me the toxic things that ruined the relationship for you
He was so insecure. He was also manipulative and did a lot of gaslighting but all those ones were not as pronounced as the insecurity. That was the thing I could not get over. So like I said, he was in 300L and I was in my finals. It’s not like he didn’t know this when he was pursuing me up and down o. When we now started dating, he’d be shutting down all my talks about my plans for after school, or even stuff about my final year programmes and projects. It always used to feel like he couldn’t bear to hear that I was ahead of him or that I was doing these things before him. And this was a guy that was older than me by two years. Shouldn’t he be more mature?
So sorry you went through that
Ah. Me, I'm over that one already o. It’s just annoying. Men and this silly insecurity. Many of you people are like that, shebi you know?
Err. Why did you have to drag me into this?
Well, aren’t you a man as well? Abeg park well.
But jokes aside though. I think there is something about being a Nigerian man that breeds insecurity when they see a woman doing better. And she doesn't even have to be doing better, a semblance of doing well for herself and many men will just want to repress that growth. It’s like they will die if they don’t.
Yes. I say that because of the three guys I have dated after him, only one did not show signs of being insecure. I am a dreamer Like, I like to dream big and many times, I get shit done. At first they’d be cool with it, but later there’d be some stupid, unnecessary jealous comments or behaviour that’d just show how little and insecure these men were. I’m glad I left all of them sha.
I am glad to hear that as well. About that first guy though; how was the breakup? Messy?
Nah. I didn’t have much time to spend in school anymore so it was easy to cut him off.
Just like that?
Well, kinda. I used being busy with projects as many times as I could before finally telling him we were no longer working.
And nothing. I don’t know for him. He didn’t beg me, he didn’t say much. He just said OK and ‘is that what you want’ or some other rubbish. And that was that about that.
And you? How did you feel? Now would be the time to tell me about that closure thing you spoke about earlier
I mean, I knew I was going to break up with him before I did it but I wasn’t prepared for the questions that would come after from people that knew us together, or the ‘shebi I told you’ that I got from some of my friends. But like I said, he was toxic to me and it was after we broke up that I completely unpacked the full extent of it. My closure came after school ended sha. Lol. I didn’t have much time to wallow in my emotions for a long time because I was busy graduating.
Biggest lesson from that relationship?
Obviously that I should always learn to separate sex from emotions. I guess having good sex at 23 comes with its downsides. Also, that men are insecure and always need you to placate their egos, or make them feel bigger than you. And that they are allowed to do that while no one says anything. They are even encouraged. It’s so sad. I was willing to bear all that rubbish at some point because, you know, that is what we are taught. All that rubbish about don’t drive your car, no man will approach you or if your man is wack in bed, don’t destroy his ego by telling him. All those little things count. It fosters a generational belief in men that women are inferior and should be subservient. So when a woman seems to be bigger than them, they feel insecure about it and try to put you in your place.
I feel you. How old are you now?
What would you do differently if you had to be in your first relationship again?
I would have just taken the knacks and threw his relationship in his face. Simple as ABC.
It’s true o. I just messed up that dynamic. We were great as friends and of course the benefits made sense. I should not have let it move past that.
Let’s talk about sex a bit
Hahaha. I feel like I have said too much about my sex life as it is
Chill. Just wanted to ask what you knew about sex before then
Yo. I was 23 by then. I’d had sex couple of times o. Been dabbling into sexual things since I was like 15. Kissing boys here and there. Remember that my brother’s friend I mentioned earlier too. So, yeah, I had been doing things before him
What did your folks tell you about sex prior to all this experimenting?
Nothing significant. Just the usual. If you open your leg for boys, they will impregnate you and ruin your life forever. My dad said that. My mum used to tell him to stop. Not like she told e anything o. Lol. Her own is just that my dad should stop being dramatic.
I tell you
This your first love. When last did you hear from him?
Not heard from him like that. But he’s in canada now.
I usually ask one question at the end, hoping to unearth juicy gist from my respondents
All these ones are not juicy enough for you abi? Na wa.
Lol. Tell me something secretive you did while dating him that could have had serious impact on the relationship if he knew
Ah. nothing. But me I know something secretive he did sha.
Lmao. For real?
Yeah. He was still smashing his ex for a tiny little while into our relationship.
What? You knew?
Well, I randomly went through his phone one night and saw his message telling her that he was no longer interested in sleeping with her. That was how I even knew that anything like that was happening.
And you didn’t say anything?
Nope even till now, the mumu does not know that I know. In an odd way, it felt good that he told her off because of me. But like I have established in the course of this conversation, I was a little stupid back then. So you and everyone who reads this should not judge me, please.
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