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Abisola Owokoniran: Settling Down Palava & the Right to Be Picky



Don’t you just hate when everyone seems to have an opinion of what is good and bad for you? Don’t you just hate when people in relationships suddenly turn to relationship experts? Or when people make assumptions about your life…

I was recently at a friend’s gathering, relaxing and having a good time. It was Friday and I was just happy the weekend had finally arrived after such a hectic week. With drinks and food flowing and music in the air, I was ready to turn up and let my hair down. I was mingling in the crowd when I ran into Tope, an old acquaintance of mine who I hadn’t seen for years (thank God for that). She was there with her fiancée who she happily showed off like some sort of trophy, even to strangers. They were getting married early next year in a small and intimate ceremony. I was happy for her; she had met the man of her dreams and was about to start a new life with him.

Her constant and over exaggerated flicking of her left wrist drew my attention to the huge rock on her finger. I congratulated her on her upcoming nuptials. After the usual pleasantries exchanged, she asked about my significant other. When I stayed quiet for a while, then she followed up with, ‘don’t tell me you do not have a significant other’. (I love how people automatically think you have a significant other after a certain age. Don’t get me wrong; I am looking forward to finding that special person to spend forever with. I just hate when people automatically assume a person is single and so they must have done something wrong or are doing something wrong).

I replied in the negative; further stating that I was waiting on God to let me cross paths with my own husband (still very much my prayer). On hearing this, she spoke the words which I have come to dread, she said, ‘No man is perfect, you just have to compromise because we are not getting any younger’. (I hate when people state the obvious, of course I was not getting any younger. Just as I know there is no Mr. Perfect out there, and that I have to compromise. But I would like to compromise with the right man and not just any man).

To say I was shocked by Tope’s utterances would not be true. Ever since I could remember, she had always had a brash insensitive way of talking. In University she had a bad reputation due to the way she spoke to people. Her lack of regard for other people’s feelings has led her into many misunderstandings and fights.

Not one to create a scene, I spoke to her for a few minutes longer, after which I excused myself, however not without a promise to keep in touch with her (keep in touch ko, keep in touch ni).

The conversation left a sour taste in my mouth as I spent the rest of the evening pondering over it and at the same time analyzing myself. Am I being too picky? Am I the problem and the reason I am still single? My mind flashed to the many suitors who had come and gone for one reason or another. Even though the reasons differed, there was one common factor in each situation: me.

In that instant I reflected back on one of my past serious relationships. He was a nice guy, caring and he paid attention, actually too much attention and was constantly checking up on me by phone calls, text messages, whatsapp messages, you name it (now when I think about it he was controlling). He could literally call over five times in an hour without saying anything important. At first I thought it nice, sweet… and a sign that he was really into me. What girl wouldn’t be thrilled her man was attentive and caring?

It, however, came to a head one afternoon; I was catching up with my friends from University who were in the country on holiday and had put my phone on silent. It was on getting in that I saw that I had over twenty missed calls, over fifteen whatsapp messages and even messages via snapchat in a space of four hours from him. When I returned his call, he demanded to know where I was and who I was with and started accusing me of going behind his back. It was then that it dawned on me that it was not done out of affection, but out of obsession and control.

The warning signs were there and it was up to me to either accept the relationship for what it was or reject it in its entirety. I saw the danger signs, so I chose to end the relationship that night. However, walking away from that relationship was not easy, because of what most people would say.

The fear of condemnation is what kept me in the relationship for so long. I knew I was not getting any younger and every time I complained to my friends, I was told to think about his good qualities which outweighed his bad qualities. Aside from his need to know my every move, he was a wonderful and generous person. According to a friend of mine, I was indeed lucky to have a man who showered me with attention. With everyone telling me what a good catch he was, I had decided to manage the relationship and ‘stick it out’ – after all no one is perfect and the devil you know is better than the angel you don’t.

It was at the end of that relationship that I vowed never to stay in a relationship for the sake of being in one, regardless of what anyone thought. So whilst Tope’s speech hurt my feelings, making me question myself, it was not going to push me into making irrational decisions which would have an effect on my future.

To most people around me, this means I am waiting for Mr. Perfect to come and sweep me off my feet and sail away into ever after. However, I call it looking for a man worth waiting for; someone I can build with and share my dreams with; a man that is not perfect, but who is willing to learn from me and teach me at the same time.

I just would like people to realise that being single does not equate to being picky.

I know there is no Mr. Perfect, but I refuse to settle down… just because.

Photo Credit: Jason Stitt |

Abisola Owokoniran is a lawyer, fashion designer and a writer whose interest includes writing short stories, poems etc. Abisola has always had an interest in writing and inspiring people through her works. She is in the process of publishing a children's storybook. Abisola is also in the middle of completing a five in one book which should be published by next year. She recently started her blog called, ladybeesblog, which is currently under construction. Follow her on Snapchat beebae16 or on Instagram bee_the_virgewww


  1. Nammy

    February 26, 2017 at 7:19 pm

    Well said. People just feel you are too picky but if something doesn’t click for me and that somebody, it’s a big no no to start with and even if it clicks and I notice other things I can’t live with, its farewell.
    True no one is perfect but compromising has levels

    • Anne

      February 27, 2017 at 12:28 am

      Nothing wrong with staying prayerful and waiting on God. You won’t miss it. As for people, you need to be disciplined enough to trust God. Everybody gets pressured from people regarding different matters in life. Yours may be marital for others it may be financial or infertility but to assume people will not talk, you are not being realistic. God is the one who works in your life such that the same people who spoke based on your previous circumstance have no choice but to change their words and even celebrate with you by force. At that point, no arguments. The miracle will speak. I was very sensitive regarding an issue in my life but now no more because I have seen God change my story.

  2. Yahoo

    February 26, 2017 at 8:24 pm

    I love the fact that u’re not an hypocrite(we sabi them for this blog). No human is perfect and there’s no Mr perfect, but there is possibility u can get a soulmate(don’t rule that out), u know what u want and u will get what u want insha Allah. ?

  3. meelikey

    February 26, 2017 at 8:52 pm

    Gbam! The most annoying is the one that will marry for 6.5 days and be asking “when are we coming to eat your rice na”?

  4. teekay

    February 26, 2017 at 9:11 pm

    Mern I can totally relate with this, I left my ex coz of the same reason as yours. People thought I was mad and all. There are times I meet people and all they say is there is no perfect person and no fairy tale lifer am aware that there is no perfect person but fairytale there is fairy tale with the one who loves you unconditionally and vice versa.. I really want to settle with someone that shares my dream and all not someone I would regret compromising for. and people won’t stop reminding you about your age like its based on age and not happiness as marriage is forever. God help us all. Thank you for this write up God bless you

  5. Lailatu

    February 26, 2017 at 10:51 pm

    I know girls like that, so annoying. Hang in there, he’ll come when it’s time.People will always talk because talk is cheap but you can’t live your life for them.

  6. Mahka

    February 27, 2017 at 9:49 am

    Everyone deserves to be with their Mr right n not Mr right now.
    This whole article just feels like my story. I have had good suitors in the past but we never made it that far n then these guys go ahead and get married in less than six months. One of friends is always quick to remind like Amaka that could have been you o. So annoying.
    Am going to keep hanging in there and keeping faith with my God cos he already said it n I believed it so…
    To everyone waiting to be found ,God is aware ,he doesn’t forget.

  7. Allie

    February 27, 2017 at 11:00 am

    Thank you for sharing this. I also appreciate your sharing the fact that her comments got to you. Now I know I’m not overly sensitive.

    You have every right to be cautious about who you share your life with. Better to be by yourself than to get married cos of societal pressure. A lot of those who say those things may have married just to bear the tag of Mrs.

  8. association

    February 27, 2017 at 11:28 am

    Association of single girls seeking validation from each other

    yall kontinu

    • Smh

      February 27, 2017 at 4:19 pm

      Ode, Oponu, if we see your horse and now, the creature will look look like Nonka turtle. But you won’t let those that can never settle like you rest. Big fool. Retard.

    • Smh

      February 27, 2017 at 4:20 pm

      Ninja turtle, horseband*

  9. Bigzoum

    February 27, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    The devil you know is better than the angel you don’t, if you don’t wait for a perfect man so you want a right one. Some ladies want their dream men who is not most of the time perfect but a right to how they are going to meet him nobody knows only God knows it. Good luck my dear and stay in prayer

  10. Ever Green

    February 27, 2017 at 3:12 pm

    I know how you feel because that is the question most people are asking me these days. I got my heart broken and I am still dealing with the pain and hoping God can format my emotional memory card because it is very painful when someone you love betrays you……… I know one day it won’t hurt anymore.
    Bisola , one day yours truly will find you very soon and I hope my own will find me too.
    Single Bellanajarians, I am wishing us all the best because we are going to need it.

  11. Single Shalewa, Bitter Bintu!

    February 27, 2017 at 8:53 pm

    It’s perfectly OK to be picky or set standards, don’t allow anyone make you feel horrible for wanting certain things in men. But I’m also an advocate of realistic standards. Let your ‘pickiness’ be realistic. In the meantime, work on yourself – we’re not perfect also, so while waiting for the right person, let’s ask ourselves “am i the right person also? Would i date/marry me?”

  12. caramel chic

    March 1, 2017 at 6:10 pm

    You know what, I definitely acknowledge what you are saying Abisola.I acknowledge your innate desire to establish a great foundation for marriage. I also understand how the example you have given could of been a turn off in the long run.

    But one thing II would like to share from my mistakes is the ability for us not to be hasten to throw people away and more importantly, to not project your insecurities on the other person as the deal breaker for your relationship. Last week my ex got married and I found myself in buckets of tears. Pictures all over the internet. He had met this girl two months after we broke up and got married within 9 months. Ironically we were trying to progress our relationship for up to two years. I was the one with this list of demands. I just had something to say about everything he did. He didn’t work hard enough, he was too quiet. He was too this and too that.
    He didn;t lead enough or he was too passive.

    Over two years I had created these ideas in my mind and emphasised on his weaknesses. Sadly it took me a year later to realise that he wasn’t the one with the problem I was. I had been in a bad relationship where my boo had cheated previously. Sadly I thought I had gotten over it but I hadn’t. So this relationship turned out to be really tough. I had built up walls around me. HIGH WALLS. I wasn’t open to him and made his whole life tough. I made the little things the big things. And showed him no grace and compassion. So I always like to share my mistakes with others. Abisola you potentially could have gone through counselling or a relationship book to deal with why he had control issues. You would be surprised many people do not know their own sin or faults until they enter a relationship. A lot of us need work, deep work. If after you have tried to help him deal with the controlling issue then I would say end a relationship.

    But lets not fall into this social context of’ if something is broken don’t fix it.’ That story line is the opposite of what true love is. We all need each other to be better. The most important thing in a relationship which I’ve been learning is the importance of commitment not compatibility. Comparability can change. Just because a guy is a great communicator today, doesn’t mean he will be tomorrow. But if he is committed to learning, to growing to persevering. Hold unto him/her. That will keep you through the storm

    Constant lying/cheating/beating/abuse is not to be accepted in dating or marriage.

    But if that is not the issue and you have broken up with someone or considering breaking up with someone. Look at that relationship again and see how you can put into practice ‘iron sharpens iron’. See how you can put in practice the ability to overlook the annoying personality.(event the perfect guy is annoying at times) See how you can become the ‘committed’ couple. Who nourishes and encourages each other to be better. I messed up because of my pride and personal issues. I was so self righteous I couldn’t see how wonderful he was. Don’t be me.

    God Bless

    • timib

      March 2, 2017 at 7:10 am

      “I was the one with this list of demands. I just had something to say about everything he did. He didn’t work hard enough, he was too quiet. He was too this and too that.
      He didn;t lead enough or he was too passive.”

      This is my life right now.. exactly how I feel about my ex bf….he still loves me ..everything is on pause atm,, 🙁 ..mum says I will regret it if i let him go..

    • caramel chic

      March 3, 2017 at 2:35 pm

      @tIimib girl go sort that out.

      Have an adult conversation with him get a close couple that you both know who can help you work through the issues.. Real love isn’t easy. Love him in hope and with grace. The road to LOVE is a JOURNEY not a bus stop. Suck your pride in.
      Sending you love and prayers..

    • Tootsie

      March 12, 2017 at 12:11 am

      @caramel chic, good thing you realized your mistakes and acknowledged it. That’s definitely a step in the right direction. May the right guy come along for you. God bless.


  13. beevee

    March 10, 2017 at 3:11 pm

    Hello Abisola! My namesake!!! i feel you were a bit too brash and quick to end that relationship, if what you narrated up there is the full and only story behind the breakup.

    Did you sit down with him, when you were calm, to explain to him how his behaviour and constant calling made you feel? Like, have an open and honest adult conversation with him about it. Why were you so quick to break things up? Didn’t you love him at all?

    Go ask couples that have been together for donkey years? The secret is not throwing your spouse away at the first instance of discomfort or an annoying behaviour. It is working through it with love and patience and understanding. Putting yourself in the other person’s shoes and thinking the best of him/her. Knowing that he has your best interest at heart and that he did whatever he did because he thought that was the best way to handle it and because he simply didn’t know any better.

    Why do you think couples are always advised to go into their marriages with virtues of patience and tolerance? That’s because there are some annoying attributes in your (even God-ordained) spouse that wouldn’t just go away because they are now married to you. Some attitudes need time and molding and patience and love. That is called life. Everybody is a work in progress. We all need mending and forming and re-forming as we go on in this journey and what joy it is when we find that person who is willing to stick with us and love us through this forming and re-forming process called life.

    If you haven’t completely closed that chapter, I think that you should put pride away and try to re-connect with him. Apologize for being brash and have an open and honest discussion about his ‘controlling attitude’. Only if after attempts on your part, where you can boldly beat your chest and say that you tried, are you then free to call it quits.

    Otherwise, please go get your man. Sending you lots of love and bear hugs!!!!

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