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Nkem Says: Bestie or Boyfie?

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It is amazing how little things trigger old memories. These things then cause you to rethink actions taken years ago. Yesterday, while I was sorting out and arranging my books and documents (I do that when I’m stressed), a picture fell out of one of my old diaries. It was a photograph I had taken at the university cafeteria. I was making a silly face alongside one of my closest friends then, Chika (not her real name) and Ife, the boy I fancied at the time. Most surprising was the wave of sadness that rippled through me, just staring at the picture.

Ife and I had met in my second year, precisely at the cybercafé underneath the Covenant University Chapel. I had gone to complete my registration for the school year and he had somehow gotten himself behind me on the queue. I had purchased 1-hour browsing time before joining the queue but only used about 15 minutes. Ife, on the other hand, had forgotten to get browsing time before joining the queue and going back to get it would not only mean losing his space, but also regressing to the back of the line. Noticing that I had time left, he asked me if he could use my remaining time and also if he could send an e-mail using my account. Without hesitation, I gave him the remaining time and allowed him to use my account, asking him to sign out from my e-mail when he was done. To be honest, I don’t know why I trusted him like that. He thanked me and I left.

The week after that, when I checked my e-mail, I saw an e-mail from him where he gushed over my “rare generosity”, saying I had touched him and he wanted to get to know me better. He included details of his course and told me he would be sitting on a particular side of the chapel every service day hoping to run into me someday.

As cupid would have it, I ran into Ife the same day at the school cafeteria. He was the one that recognized me as I couldn’t recall his facial features and we had lunch together, talked… things kicked off from there. Before long, he would visit me at the hostel in the evenings, we would take walks, sit together during chapel service (on the day our hostels were scheduled to worship together.) Soon enough, we became very almost inseparable. Of course, we were never official with our relationship status, because believe it or not, I did not want to get expelled. But then …yes, we were basically dating.

At that time in my life, I was new to the dating scene so, I had not mastered the art of balancing my relationships with my friendships. I still had that horrible tendency of neglecting friends when a new boy came along, devoting the majority of my time and attention to the relationship. As you would imagine, in the process of getting to know Ife, I spent less time with my friends and ignored them a lot.

Of course, Chika who was closest to me (although I now suspect she may have been a little too needy) called me out on it. I apologized and made the conscious effort to give her as much attention as I had always given before Ife. This meant introducing her to Ife and inviting her to do things with us. Making us a trio was the only way I would not neglect any of the two.

The way I saw it, the relationships with Chika, and Ife, were completely different. The levels of affection, love, trust, loyalty were different, and I never thought would have to trade one for the other.

Unfortunately, with time, the two of them started getting into little arguments here and there. She would say something that offended him and then he would low-key insult or diss her. I couldn’t just place my hands on what it was and why they always got into little debates and arguments about really senseless things.

One of the days, Chika confessed to me that she did not like Ife and she would not hang with us anymore. When I asked Ife as well if he disliked her, he denied it at first, but eventually admitted it. The two most important people in my life at that time seemed to be at war with each other and I may not only have caused it, I was in the middle of it. It was a huge problem for me.

Chika started to give me some kind of attitude which actually hurt me a lot; worse, I started to notice Ife acting up whenever I mentioned doing something with Chika. I knew I had to cut one of the two off, but I didn’t know who and how to do it.

I finally was faced my worst fear just 3 weeks after Chika’s confession. Ife invited me to go out of school and see a movie with him at Ozone, but Chika and I had already planned a tutorial. Our exams were the following week; she had a course as a carryover and needed me to help her prep for it. I mentioned this to Ife; he just went crazy, then gave me an ultimatum. Unfortunately, giving me an ultimatum is and remains the quickest way to lose me. I chose Chika over him. It wasn’t an easy decision for me to make, but it felt right.

After all these years, looking at the picture of the three of us looking all smiley and happy, I am now wondering if I made the right call. No one should have to get to the point where they are forced to choose between their friend and their romantic partner, not if each of the relationships is healthy on their own.

Yes, your friend has probably been around longer than your boyfriend and has proven to be reliable, loyal and entrenched in your life…but what if this guy is your “one”? How do you justify whatever decision you end up making?

Nkem Ndem is an energetic and highly accomplished Media Consultant who loves to help small businesses, especially women-led, grow their online presence using the right digital strategy or transition from traditional organizational boundaries. With years of experience in Copywriting and Editing, Content Branding and Strategy, Social media, and Digital Marketing, she is clearly obsessed with Digital Communications. She is the Head of Content and Lead Consultant at Black Ink Media - an Ideation and Content Agency that excels in providing fresh, creative digital services to content-centric businesses. Find out more about her at www.blackinkm.com or send her an e-mail at [email protected] Also follow her on IG: @nkemndemv, Twitter: @ndemv.

13 Comments

  1. NoWar

    May 26, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    My partner or friend will never put me in a situation where I have to choose. However in any worse scenario, I would choose my Boyfriend over my friend. WHY? Because Friends come and go. My partner is already MY friend and probably the only TRUE friend I need in this Life of Sin, After God and Family of course. Lol

    • WarriChic

      May 26, 2017 at 8:56 pm

      Boyfriends come and go. Nothing is guaranteed till there is a marriage – and even then, husbands can go too!

  2. Amaa

    May 26, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    Its difficult for people to understand but what you did is rare amongst women.
    A man will less likely not choose a girl over his home boys this is not to say that it is wrong or right that is just how it is.
    A woman on the other hand is more emotional and sensitive and will tend to gravitate towards what feeds her emotional needs which isn’t necessarily wrong. The ability to balance the two is tricky especially when its a new relationship.
    Women also have to weigh in the odds of loosing both relationship separately in your case you used your head not your heart and unfortunately this severed the other relationship. His dislike for your girl friend didn’t let him see the noble thing you where doing helping out a friend who needed you.

  3. Ochuko Tonukari

    May 26, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    I think you should have been the one giving the both of them ultimatum, letting them know what the two of them meant to you and how much it affects you whenever they begin their little squabble. Well, such a touching story I must say.

  4. Ms Jayee

    May 26, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    I once picked spending time with a boyfriend who visited (we were in a long distance relationship) over attending a high school friend’s wedding. I have known this girl for over 10 years and him, less than a year. Guess what? I regret the decision! He is now an ex and I sit and wonder why I sacrificed my girl friend’s wedding over him. *sigh*

  5. Papacy

    May 26, 2017 at 5:38 pm

    Anyone who understands what it means to care about someone wouldn’t put you in that position. My closest friends are a guy and a girl. Been friends with the guy longer but you know with a girl, even if it’s normal friendship there’s this “territorial?” thing about them. My homie noticed and of course he wasn’t going to “drag” me with a chick. Lol. He just told me straight up he didn’t get her attitude since he knew nothing was up between us. I had a hard time trying to balance it out, but I made it clear nobody was above the other in my life and I will not chose one over the other. The calculations I had to do man. I had good news or bad news, I’m typing the same message and sending it a minute apart. I’m going to hang out, we are all going. It took some time but it worked eventually.
    My point is, the “chose me over her” thing was wrong. Don’t feel to bad though, it was 200 level, he’d probably act differently now.

  6. Peter

    May 26, 2017 at 8:23 pm

    Am sure your purported mistake is not worth dying for now because he should have been able to understand how to get you through liking your friend. Am sure he never came back because he never wanted you, If I may say from his own thought, “why should I prove a point when Covenant university have more girls to flirt with.?’ You’re lucky he was not your first choice, your name for be sorry. Nkem, forget it; you were rather a saint than a sinner.

  7. rizo

    May 26, 2017 at 11:08 pm

    Any relationship with an opposite sex at that stage of your life my dear leads only to an end called HEART BREAK.So you chose right.Im sure you are still having a great time with the one you chose over him till date.#righttake #wisdom

  8. Nunulicious

    May 26, 2017 at 11:32 pm

    I have an aunt who eventually chose her best friend of 30 something years over her husband of 20 something years and 4 kids.
    After all the tongues stopped wagging, I concluded that Such is life. Nobody died.

  9. Susie

    May 27, 2017 at 5:36 am

    I would totally choose a boyfriend over a best friend anyday because no matter how much I love her, she can’t keep me warm at night & neither can she give me kids. And said friends last forever? I bet everyone reading this has bosom friends from their childhood they’ve not heard from in years. Such is life. The only 2 people you can bet will love you forever are Jesus & your Mama even that one some moms have killed their kids so it’s not guaranteed.

    • zaza

      May 27, 2017 at 2:45 pm

      It also means that your boyfriend won’t love you forever

  10. john

    May 27, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    There is more to this story but knowing on how their fish brain works
    1) I can bet your no longer friends with that your female friend

    2)I can also bet that after looking at that picture you went ahead and Googled or ask about him and found out he is doing wella for himself probably married or had move on happily with a more stunning chick which now brings me to my 3rd bet

    3) I bet that after you have googled or asked around about him and if he was poor or divorced etc..u wont have written this article or the article would have another different meaning ..example… making the right choice or having confidence in yourself , importance of sisterhood or escaping or knowing a a controlling boyfriend early in a relationship bla bla etc

  11. LadyDee

    May 27, 2017 at 1:19 pm

    John don’t forget your meds

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