The life-changing realisation hit me after yet another breakup that left me feeling totally empty.
I know how ridiculous that sounds but believe me because it’s true... very, very true.
I read many romantic novels, saw romantic movies, loved all the love songs available, and loved the idea of falling in love and feeling it someday.
So when I was in the University, Cupid attached this great guy to its arrow and shot directly at me. Of course, Cupid doesn't miss.
Gosh! This guy, his name was Mark, he was everything I ever thought my soulmate would be.
Seems like the perfect recipe for our love to thrive, right?
Mark was so good to me, did right by me in all the good ways you can imagine but I couldn’t just be like him – I couldn’t really love him back.
I loved him, but I just somehow failed at loving him the way he loved me – or anything close.
Mark was the life of the party, he was popular on campus, in his penultimate year, he was his class rep, was as good looking as fine guys come, I didn’t need to be told that girls threw themselves at him, and here he was, loving me.
I was just average, not as gorgeous as the girls that always seemed to be around him, not as intelligent and certainly not as popular.
And that messed me up.
I felt I was not good enough for him; every time I saw him with some of his female classmates, It’d feel like he was already cheating on me and sometimes I blamed it on him, other times I blamed myself. At all times, I was damned miserable.
I could not share ideas with him because I thought I wasn’t intelligent enough. He’d tell me how gorgeous I am, and as response, I’d talk about how I wasn’t as fine as the girls in his class; the ones that always seemed to be around him.
Nothing he said felt enough, and nothing he did filled the void that seemed to expand with each fine girl I saw around him - I thought he was cheating on me with them.
Regardless of all this negativity, I still couldn’t think of being in my own. I needed him to complete me, to validate my standing on campus – I was the girlfriend of one of the most popular guys around.
All I wanted was to be with him, but when I was, I always said the wrongest things, acted in the most detached manners, for some reasons I just could not understand.
If this sounds stupid and dumb as you read this, that means I’m telling my story right because even I have come to realise that everything I was, and everything I did to Mark back then was truly stupid and dumb.
I’d get angry at stupid silly things and he would be the one to apologise – like this one time when he bought me the substitute to a drink when the exact one I asked for was out of stock.
When we kissed and made out, I would ask him if I’m as good as the other girls he kissed, even though that used to frustrate him more than all other things.
It still surprises till date that I and Mark lasted 8 months.
It hurt when he broke up with me. He said he was fed up with me being so childish and too difficult to love.
My next four boyfriends thought the same thing about me because my relationship with them was the same as the one I had with Mark, even though I’d ‘grown’ and graduated uni before dating the last one.
I might have been a little childish in those relationships but that was just a little part of the problem. The problem was bigger than that.
The real issue was that I had not found myself. I had not truly known who I was… and because I know better now, I know that the issue had nothing to do with age.
As I type these words, I’d be getting married in two months to Ndubuisi, my fiancée – The guy I met after I stayed off relationships for 7 months after my last breakup in June, 2015.
Those seven months have now defined me as what I am now.
I did not set out on a voyage of self-discovery but I found myself nonetheless. And what joy it is!
I am now capable of true love, and though Ndubuisi loves me so much, I think I can confidently say I love him more, and I am not even scared of him leaving me – I’m sure he won’t but even if he does, it’d be his monumental loss, not mine.
I know my worth now. I can do stuff by myself and of course, I was by myself for 7months nonstop, and I did not die so that taught me a whole lot about who I am and what I am capable of, without any man’s assistance.
I have to add though, that being in love is so sweet and I hope my coming wedding marks the beginning of a great marriage that only death can break apart.
But if something comes and breaks it [God forbid], I know my life will still continue. The beauty might dim a little bit without the spark that love brings, but I’ll still have a beautiful life.
Ndubuisi and I are now set for our life together forever, but at some point no one wanted to have me as a girlfriend let alone a wife.
This story tells of how I found myself… how I found the real essence of my existence… and that’s when everything changed… that’s when I truly became capable of true love.