Oh how I mourn the simplicity of my youth! I remember the good old secondary school days, when life proved ever so simple. A boy likes a girl, he ‘toasts’ her, buys her gifts and even gets his friends to tell her how much he likes her. The whole school knows that they are a couple or at the very least are aware that said boy is ‘toasting’ said girl. Uncomplicated nuances of life!
Now things are much more difficult to define. It seems for some reason, which I am yet to fully understand, the present day male gender have chosen to substitute this simple form of preliminary courtship with a more complex alternative. What is even more annoying is that the alternative does not even have a name, I can only describe it as ‘talking’. Its characteristics are less obvious. He calls you often, sometimes every night, takes you out for dinner, flirts with you enough to make you suspect he might be interested but never enough to make you certain he wants a relationship and sometimes buys the occasional gift. This scenario can go on for months, without him ever setting out in clear terms what he wants from you. The problem with this ‘talking’ method, is that there is never any real commitment either way and we women are left plucking at rose petals playing the he loves me, he loves me not game!
I remember last year, I met some guy who shall of course remain nameless (lets just call him Dele for the sake of this article). Dele called me everyday, sent me flowers, took me out to dinner and was as charming as silver. If I sneezed he’d bring out his handkerchief, if I was cold he would offer his jacket, if I had cramps, he’d miraculously appear at my office with Paracetamol. He even went as far as acting jealous when other guys took me out on dates. He showed all the classic signs of a man in love. Or so I assumed. This went on for about 3 months and by then all my friends had started calling me “Iyawo Dele”. It all seemed like the perfect beginning to a fairytale romance. But because I am my mother’s daughter and I have learnt a fair amount from life’s cruel lessons, I decided to keep my wits about me and play it cool. No matter how much he protested, I still entertained calls form other guys and went out on the occasional date. Even though a part of me couldn’t wait for us to be ‘official’. Then one faithful day in October, I met up with an old secondary school friend. We hadn’t seen for ages, so there was a lot of gossip to catch up on. As usual I asked her about the men in her life and she started telling me about one Dele guy that she really likes and how the guy hasn’t formally asked her out…..I am sure you can unravel how this story ends.
When I approached Dele, his answer amazed me. “But Glory”, he replied with all the calmness in the world, “I never asked you out, we were just ‘talking’. Its not like we were in a relationship or something. I have always seen you as a very good friend”. I wasn’t sure whether to scream or laugh. But he was right. I didn’t have a leg to stand on. Dinner dates and Paracetamol do not equal relationship.
It’s been a year now since that day and Dele and I are still friends and we manage to look back and laugh over the drama the issue caused. But one lesson that has stayed with me is this, never assume a guy likes you just because he is nice. If he hasn’t said the words ‘I like you and I’ll like us to be in a relationship’, or something to that effect, he is nothing more than a friend and should be treated only as a friend. Life is definitely too short for unnecessary drama. Don’t say I didn’t warn you oh!!!!!