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Okeroghene Egbi: Happily Never After



When I was a little girl, I loved fairy tales (who am I kidding? I still love them!). Cinderella, Rapunzel, Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid are just a few of my favourites. I loved their pretty faces and the handsome men in their lives who were willing to do the impossible for them. I loved the romance, the totality of love, the way it always ended happily ever after.

I started reading romance novels quite early. Aside from the James Hardly Chase series, I remember I was part of this novel reading clique of girls and we would exchange Mills & Boon novels with each other. I would painstakingly save my lunch money until I got the one hundred and twenty naira I needed to buy my M&B romance fix, and then I would walk quite some distance to Best Way supermarket to buy it. I can’t even begin to recall how many times I burnt dinner because I was too engrossed in the stories to remember what I was cooking. Just before my SSCE my lunch allowance was increased so I could buy the much more interesting (wink wink) Temptation series which were sold for one hundred and eighty naira.

With all this early infusion of love and romance, my standards were quite high. I knew exactly what I wanted from a relationship whenever I decided to enter into one. Apart from the compulsory Tall, Dark and Handsome physical specifications, He must adore me unconditionally, always beg when we fight (even when I’m wrong), sing love songs to me with his eyes closed and be driven to irrational actions just to keep me in his life. Yep I had it all worked out.
Bear in mind that I wasn’t the belle of the ball in my teenage years. In fact I was a very late bloomer so all the slick guys didn’t come and toast me like they did my mates. I was patient to wait for my Prince Charming.

Few years down the road I was still yet to date. All the guys I had met up until that point refused to cooperate with me by fitting into my specifications. They didn’t make grand gestures to win me over; they didn’t commit their entire lives to chasing me, when they annoyed me they didn’t run around in a panic thinking of the most romantic way to appease me. All I heard was “Ehn it’s okay”, “let’s just forget about it”, etc. Perhaps the most annoying part was that they refused to serenade me with love songs! How dare they?

I don’t know the exact moment I started to face reality. All I know is at one point in my life, I called myself to a family meeting and advised myself “Bia, nne wisdom is profitable to direct oh. If they won’t adapt to your style you sef calm down small and see if things change na.”

If I hadn’t had that talk with myself, my ‘Happily Ever After’ may have turned to ‘Happily Never After’ with me staring into the sunset waiting for my version of Disney’s Prince Charming. Even as adults, ladies love romantic movies. I hear them sigh in the cinema when the hero grabs his lady and kisses her passionately. I see them get teary eyed at weddings when the minister says “you may kiss the bride”. Admit it ladies, you’re all like me; we love the idea of love, being loved and being in love.

But could harmless Disney stories and fictional romance have played a part in how we perceive love? Can it be what dictates how we expect to love and be loved today? Can it influence us so much that we miss out on the reality of love? Not as only magical and full of songs and smiles but as a commitment that requires work and effort from both parties to keep it alive.

P.S. I met my husband a few years later. He is dark and handsome and yes he sang for me before we ever saw each other (Bruno Mars – Just the way you are)

Photo Credit: Dreamstime  | Pemotret 

Oke Chrissie Egbi is a PR consultant. She holds a BSC in Biochemistry, an MSc in Environmental Management & channels her creativity by writing short fiction and features. A wife & Mother, she shares her humorous take issues affecting women on– Follow her blog, Twitter - @keenkris11 and Instagram - @chrissieoke


  1. chioma

    December 12, 2014 at 8:55 am

    Yea girl we are all like u…*sign*

  2. Stels

    December 12, 2014 at 9:03 am

    I have always known that their is nothing absolutely wrong with wishing great and beautiful things for your self. But i also know that aligning your wishes with reality is the wisest thing to do especially when making your decisions pertaining to relationship or marriage

  3. Belar20

    December 12, 2014 at 9:35 am

    Too much Mills and Boom and too much Telenovellas has tainted the way our 9ja babes perceive relationship, love and marriage. I wonder if this is a western decadence via the media. I don’t understand

  4. Bookie

    December 12, 2014 at 9:46 am

    Oh, well! There’s no harm in having them daydreams… there is also no wisdom in not knowing when exactly to stop dreaming and get real. At the end of the day, reality may not be too far off from the dreams. Great stuff.

  5. nola

    December 12, 2014 at 10:16 am

    If I recollect vividly, the first half of the M&B novel had the male character acting a fool, always proud, arrogant, rude,rough, non-chalant and even when he supposedly likes the girl, its always some strong sexual chemistry et all…before he starts professing love.. I think the novels epitomized more of chemistry and sexual attraction .It may have distorted some people’s idea of love though that is why some girls are always seeking some ‘bad-guy -girl- turns -him -to -good guy’ GUYS, forgetting that only the potter can mould the clay.

  6. Nike

    December 12, 2014 at 10:17 am

    No, I am not like you. I am a realist and not really into all the romance jazz; LOL!!!

  7. Lilola

    December 12, 2014 at 10:22 am

    Thank you for your honest story, we as women should stop having a set idea of what love is supposed to look like. Some certain standards are fine of course, but there is no standard Prince Charming! Someone’s mismatch is your prince and vice versa

  8. Phorlakemi

    December 12, 2014 at 10:22 am

    Lovely post…still waiting for my fairy tale love story to happen thou.

  9. ST

    December 12, 2014 at 10:27 am

    oh…i can remember that kind of fantasy just asif twas yesterday…tho some of dem happens and even happening to me nau…buh a reasonable amount aint tru… it makes u romantic tho…lolz so a blend of disney love and reality mks a perfect relationship to me….nice writeup ma’am

  10. Olayemi

    December 12, 2014 at 10:43 am

    Waoh !! I almost believed you were actually writing my story, started with Pacesetter series @ 8yrs old, I am also married now to my own prince charming who treats me like a queen. A question though ! are you still a voracious reader ? I cant seem to let go, good write up.

  11. cleo

    December 12, 2014 at 11:22 am

    I loved all the romance stories and all. But men, i was quick to grow up, when life hit me in the face. Life is not a fairytale

  12. Tosin

    December 12, 2014 at 11:36 am

    Some self promotion here, I write some amazing love poetry, and I’m not like that at all. Check your millionaire romance novelists, many are not ‘like that’ either. It’s a product.
    So now you want to check out Big Girl, right? and if you come back here and say it’s rubbish I will bite you 😀

  13. Emerald-Fashion Blog (plus-size lifestyle)

    December 12, 2014 at 11:44 am

    Fairytales many times influence our whole idea of life… But its better to have an idea of what you want than to not know what you want at all…..

  14. Frances Okoro

    December 12, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    Ah the mills and boon era…I admit, those things distorted my thoughts oh, but thank God for God and what i’m learning abt relationships and marriage right now.
    A lot of those things were just plain unrealistic…

    Ps:thank God you got your prince charming. Atleast your hope nor waste, 180naira nor loss

  15. cath

    December 12, 2014 at 12:37 pm


  16. pipi

    December 12, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    In a way I think is a good thing because it teaches the essence of value of a woman. A standard needs to be set, because if you really wait for your prince charming ypu would get it. Most times we settle and settle for the wrong things, you date a guy who doesn’t call u to ask at least how ur day went or sometimes go out his way to show u he cares; then u expect by some miracle 4 years in the union he dramatically changes no way. I waited for my prince charming and he fortunately bolted into my life with the start of the year and every single day makes me feel like Cinderella loving my flaws and supporting my vision. Please ladies don’t give up on the Idea man u really know you want cause that’s the key to your happiness. PS: Love love love ur blog Okeroghene, guys run there now u wont regret it at all!

  17. Isha

    December 12, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    I read romantic novels a lot. Half of me is hopelessly romantic but the other (better) half is a realist

  18. Gold digger

    December 12, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    I was waiting for prince charming too, he never came and then i realised maybe just maybe i could be someone’s princess charming.

  19. Noms

    December 12, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    I read romantic novels in my secondary school days. I got tired of the “oyibo”scenes and started reading Thrills and Booms (Naija version of Mills & Booms). I would rent from my classmate over the weekend( I dare not buy because I couldn’t keep them @ home).
    Do I still read them? NO. Not because I stopped believing in romance but I came to reality.
    I now read inspirational books on becoming a better partner to my Prince charming because I expect him to have a list of what he wants in his Queen and hope to meet @least a reasonable percentage of what he wants/expects (flaws and strength alike). . .
    I believe love is a two way thing and it shouldn’t be one sided.
    Nice write up!

  20. wunmi

    December 12, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    I envy all you ladies who have been able to transition from head-in-the-cloud-girl to a realist. I’m still finding that very hard and God! how I try. I cant seem to stop relying on chemistry & attraction in choosing a life partner. I still want to feel a certain feeling (which by the way I cant explain) before committing to any man. Mehn I’m 33 already and still haven’t felt that for someone who feels same. Its always one way: he feels it I don’t, I feel it he doesn’t. wheew! I don tire biko.

    • Ifunanya Chukwu

      December 12, 2014 at 11:32 pm

      @Wunmi, I seriously believe God just has to lead you to the dude oh. Personally we are on a similar journey, except for the fact that ‘im about 5 years younger than yourself. To make matters worse, i moved to a new city with almost no black single dudes. Every dude here is in a relationship, plus i believe chemistry like yourself. Babe just pray to God to bring him your way ohh

    • Beegal

      December 15, 2014 at 6:29 pm

      Wunmiiiii! I am 32 soon and same thing. D ones that will do somersault for you, you are not into them. Then the one you will do cartwheel for you will almost be begging the person. There is God!

  21. D

    December 12, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    Ahhh you would have saved more money by buying them books second hand at yaba…N180 gini??? I read and still read romance novels. But yes I was one of those girls that exchanged Romance Novels and sought more clientele (More people to exchange with) as I went along. Now thank God for E-books. But I always knew that all those rich fine fine bobos with unrealistic expectations were exactly that, unrealistic.. I mean which strong and well balanced woman would stay with a man like most of the heros in them books after the way he has treated her???

  22. Iris

    December 12, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    Honestly, I’ve decided the best thing I can do for my future daughter(s) is discourage them from reading romance novels (no Judith McNaught, Nora Roberts, Lisa Kleypas, Julie Garwood, Sherilyn Kenyon etc)- or at least ensure they understand that these are tales created to make you love the characters and pay good money for them. Those books have just messed with my head. Men like that simply do not exist. They just make you have unrealistic standards for love.

  23. many women believed those Mills and Booms characters.


    December 12, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    Go Chrissie! Goo Chrissie!! So proud of you. Mark Bateman & Co would be proud of u too…hehehee. This write up is beautiful and I can totally relate
    I started reading romantic novels when I got to jamb lesson after flunking the first attempt. I never got why girls used to steal novels from each other in secondary school. Serious fights sometimes erupted when someone found their missing novel in the hands of another whom they supposedly had no connection with. So…I started reading & got oh so hooked that I stayed up most nights to read them all, M&B, Danielle Steel etc.
    It did affect my relationship expectations so much that when the reality of the real dating world @ uni hit me, I couldn’t read a single book anymore. I can’t even get past the first two pages of a novel these days. Haven’t read a book in 7 years.
    But I got married at last and Yes! I had to shove 80% of those oh so delicious M&B memories out of my head to be happy in love.

  25. Myne Whitman

    December 12, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    It’s funny, we don’t like romance novels anymore cos we’re all grown, and yet, most of us teenage romantics are married to our heart’s specs. Abeg, I thank God everyday for my awesome man, straight out of our own romance story. And for the romance books, the thousands of them, that I read on the way to finding him.

  26. Zaraflychic

    December 13, 2014 at 10:50 am

    Nice one Oke my dear paddy… trusth is …while some of us painstakingly took to the advise we gave ourselves in our “inner rooms”, its sad to know that some ladies still believe that time would send them their supermen just as it was with the Charming Disney Princes. For your Infomation ladies… men, especially some “Hard Knocked” 9ja men would rather have you spoil them silly, seek your attention and do everything in Reverse psychology than give em to you. Cheers to all of us that did not lose our men to those Misleading Romantic Novels… for the single and searching, mbok change your metalities of seeking for ideal men or perfect husbands….cos there aint such things as those oh! else you become “SADLY NEVER MARRIED”

    • oj

      December 13, 2014 at 7:21 pm

      Which is better? Being single or sadly married?

  27. Efosa Aigbe

    December 17, 2014 at 12:20 am

    Oke, this is just so enlightening. God bless your home and family. Keep at it

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