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Nkem Says: The Issue with Friends Setting You Up

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I have always been averse to people setting me up with potential partners. This is not because I am stuck on the ‘original’ belief that a man findeth a wife, so things should be left organic when it comes to dating. It is also not because I find it embarrassing and super awkward. No. I have always hated the pressure that comes with it. At some level, you compel yourself to like the person any way and make it work. You don’t want to hurt or disappoint your friend, so you find yourself downplaying certain red flags or giving much more benefit of doubt than you should. And when you find yourself at the crossroads, there is no way to ensure your friendship with the one that set you guys up in the first place is not affected negatively. Furthermore, how do you know how and what information to keep confidential: what to say or not to say about the friend that set you up to the one you have been set up with, and vice versa.

Last year, a friend ( I will call her Chichi) called me out of the blues and said to me: “Nkem, I have given your contact to someone, I believe he is the perfect man for you. He will contact you, please just be yourself and all will be fine”. It was rather shocking because this friend had never spoken to me about her intentions to hook me up with anyone before the time. Chichi was also single; why hook me up with someone when she is available? I remember I said to her: “Tell me about him” and she said to me: “He is a beautiful soul, intelligent, witty, well-spoken and Insightful. And know this, he is not a fuck boy, so don’t play any games.” I remember thinking that she was literally gushing about him and I thought it was a little weird, so I asked her: “Why are you trying to set me up with him, clearly he is your type.” And she said to me: “Ah! No oh. We are just friends. The thing is, I was having a chat with him and he described to me the kind of woman he wanted, and you came to mind immediately. I knew I had to set you guys up.” It all felt a little rushed, but who no like better thing? This was a friend that I trusted, so I went with it.

I connected easily with the dude (I’ll call him Ebuka). I remember our first date was at IMAX Lekki. We went to see The Beauty and The Beast movie, it had just come out. We bonded immediately. It was like magic! In fact, I remember thinking I may have finally found the one. You know, the standard euphoria that comes with the honeymoon stage. And of course, I told Chichi.

Actually, Chichi had called in on our first date, and  all the other times she knew we had a date… to follow up on our “friendship”. She wanted to know everything and she asked so many questions: “have you guys bonded?” “How close are you getting now?” “Do you think you guys will date” “Have you guys done it yet?” Actually, that last question really irritated me, because it kind of put more pressure on me. I had known this dude for just about two weeks or so and you are asking me to have we done it? Done what exactly? While she seemed super excited and happy for us, I couldn’t help but sense a hint of falsehood, but I ignored it. I chucked it off to me being paranoid and overthinking as I sometimes tend to do.

Coincidentally, Ebuka hit me with a bombshell by the third week. I recall we had gone to Bay Lounge one of the nights to sit by the waterside and chat. I randomly asked him how he met Chichi and how long they had known each other. He confessed they had known each other for about 2 months before she introduced us. Chichi had slid into his DM on Instagram and confessed her attraction to him, asking him out on a date e.t.c, but upon conversations and meet-ups, he had told her frankly that they could only be friends. He went on, at her request, to tell her the kind of woman he would prefer, then she introduced us.

I was legit shocked to the marrow.

Chichi had withheld this information from me! Of course, I was upset with her for not letting me know all of that. As I always tend to do, I empathized with her. I figured it would be embarrassing for her, sharing the story of her rejection with me. On the other hand, however, I became a bit skeptical about Ebuka. Why would he give me this information so carelessly? Why didn’t he ask Chichi if she wanted to share this information with me before going on to tell me? Should I warn Chichi that this dude may not be the best friend to confide in? Had I made a mistake in telling him some personal things about me already?

I am not one to make rushed judgments when it comes to relationships and friendships, so I decided to sit on the information to see how it would all pan out. Perhaps, Ebuka sharing that information with me kickstarted the decline of my feelings for him. What led to the complete demise, however, were the updates on his side friendship with Chichi. Apparently,Chichi was still messaging him to know how he was faring with me, and in the process telling him how she still had not been able to find love as most of the guys she liked were already taken or did not want her (he showed me their chats); Chichi would go visit him at his work place to get the update on how we (Ebuka and I) were moving on. This was the last straw: Chichi asked him to invite her over to spend the night at his place and when he suggested we all have a sleepover at my place which she declined. Waawu. The worst part, she kept it all from me. All would have been unknown to me had Ebuka not kept me informed.

When I asked Chichi about initially asking Ebuka out, what her intentions really were and why she would rope me in on such a messy situation, knowing fully well that I hated drama, she justified her actions by saying that she only was being a platonic friend to him and wasn’t trying to sabotage what I was building with Ebuka in any way. As a loyal friend, I believed her, and I even went further to ask her to be careful what she says to him as he may not be the best confidant. The way I saw it, she was my friend first and my loyalties were first with her before Ebuka.

But, I may have been wrong in that assumption. Unknown to me, Chichi immediately went back to call Ebuka out for telling all that he told me, telling him that he broke her trust e.t.c . All without even giving me a heads up! As you would expect, Ebuka sent me a long stinker detailing how I have broken his own trust, I am not a nice person and how I had deceived him to believe I genuinely wanted something real e.t.c, then blocked me on his social media platforms. Worse, when I tried to talk to Chichi about it, her responses were flippant.

Clearly, Chichi had always had an ulterior motive from the start. She had not set us up from the kindness of her heart. She had decided to set me up with him so that she’ll have something to talk about with him, ergo more opportunities for face time with him.

I guess my point here is: Not all setups will end like Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s. The reality is that while having someone set you up can actually lead to a possible match, it can come with a number of detrimental situations and turn out to be one of the most awkward situations ever. Stay sharp.

Have you ever been set up and it turned ugly? Please, share your experience with me.

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.

28 Comments

  1. Ciyn

    May 31, 2018 at 1:13 pm

    Wawu. So what’s your rship with Chichi like now?

    • Nkem Ndem

      June 3, 2018 at 12:57 pm

      Hmmn… *sigh

  2. Moyin

    May 31, 2018 at 2:27 pm

    Hmnnn, this is interesting. I have been setup before. And I found out from the guy that he and the lady had a brief history, that they even shagged severally. She never told me this, she said they were only friends, and till date I never told her I know this truth.

    • Tino

      May 31, 2018 at 6:51 pm

      I have been set up three times, more like match making – first the girl ghosted me, second I declined, third and special one we are married.

  3. Sonia Paloma

    May 31, 2018 at 2:28 pm

    The first question you should have asked her when she called to let you know about the set up should have been “How did you know him”

    It was indeed a messy situation. Like you stated, it was just a way for her to get closer to him and see if he will do a 360 turnaround and realise she is the one for him (women are some times their own problem). That kind friend sef, keep her at arms length. She never had the intention of you having him, she was just using you to get to him.

  4. Puzzles

    May 31, 2018 at 2:28 pm

    My dear, i don’t like friends setting me up either.

    The friends that set up Harry and Megan are very different set of people, believe me.

    Some (especially the married ones) will set u up with people as if they don’t know u at all and when it doesn’t work out, they begin to imply that your standards are too high and worse tell the whole world. They would introduce you to people they would never ever accept to date for good reason and be telling you how you should humble yourself and manage them after all you are not getting younger. Then the guys they set u up with will now be interviewing you to assess if you are worth their time and give you the impression that they are doing you a favour.

    I cringe when anyone wants to set me up. Never had a good experience.

    • mee

      June 4, 2018 at 11:10 am

      Hmn….. I hope my friend that i set up does not feel this way.
      I meant well and unfortunately would have dated the guy myself.
      I met him first and I was really feeling him but distance plus he was slow to ask etc did not let us have anything beyond special friendship until my hubby came along. things happened so fast with hubby I forgot about him completely.

      By the time he came begging for my heart I just knew hubby was the one for me so introduced him to a friend a felt was good for him. Unfortunately they just never clicked it or it ended over trivial issues before they could make any sense of the thing.

      Unfortunately it was their relationship that made me see the guy was probably not as good as I thought he was. HE was probably just toying with ladies hearts and he felt more matured ones were less trouble. Matter of fact I think he was particularly looking for babes he could live off.

      The last time I tried to tease her I sensed she was very sensitive so I just don’t go there anymore, but we are still friends sha. Incidentally the guy also ghosted me.

  5. Baymax

    May 31, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    There are friends who deliberately set u up with a guy just to ensure that the guy they have their eyes on who they think has an eye on you never has anything to do with you.

    This happened to me personally. A so-called friend deliberately set me up with a guy who i later found out was in a complicated relationship. My dear friend pretended she didn’t know. Later events showed that she had set me up with the guy to ensure that a guy she had her eyes set on doesn’t approach me. She thought he was interested in me but turned out the guy had his eyes on some other lady. Girl drama. Abeg, i jump and pass.

  6. olajumoke

    May 31, 2018 at 3:46 pm

    This is a very interesting read… Fortunately for me, a guy friend introduced my hubby and I and we are married today. Guess the drama is with the ladies…

    • Seriously

      May 31, 2018 at 5:14 pm

      The drama is with women. A guy set up my sister and her husband without any drama involved. I will never feel comfortable with a woman setting me up because she will pretend, be sneaky and even try to sabotage it. Worst part, they will act like you owe them something now. And I don’t want to introduce anyone either.

    • lee boo

      June 1, 2018 at 4:38 pm

      Hmm were you shagging ur guy friend first

  7. Ije

    May 31, 2018 at 4:13 pm

    Very interesting read. I guess it’s safe to say that your friendship has lost some, if not all of it’s flavor? I’m sorry, but your girlfriend was foul for that.
    Some years ago, I gave a girlfriend of many years (since high school) a piece of my mind. Why? Because she tried to set up another friend of ours with a guy she has been/still booty-calling with. She swore up and down that their amorous relationship was over, hence the attempted hook up, but I knew that was a lie. Of all people to hook your “friend” up with, a booty call? i just made me start side eying her from then.

    • Ije

      May 31, 2018 at 4:22 pm

      *had been

    • Hmmm

      June 1, 2018 at 11:03 am

      Why would a lady set her friend up with someone she slept with or wants to sleep with? A guy WILL NEVER set his friend up with a girl he sleep with. He won’t even set his friend up with a girl who another guy he knows of slept with. Women sef!

  8. Chibaby

    May 31, 2018 at 4:33 pm

    OMG! It be your own people sometimes.
    Once had a friend who was nearly a sister, set me up with a guy. And then woke up 3 months later to tell me she just realised she was in love with the same guy all along. LOL. I left the guy for her oh. Turns out the guy wasn’t into her at all after all the drama.
    Or is it the ones that manage to secure fine, successful men for themselves and then attempt to hook you up with their ‘not so great’ friends. Like sis, you carried your eye to the market when you were finding your own man, why must my own be different?
    Or the ones that hook you up with their ‘leftovers’ in hopes that things don’t work out with you and the guy, so they can be reassured that the guy has still not gotten over them.
    Sigh! Life is just a pot of beans

  9. mz_daniels

    May 31, 2018 at 4:48 pm

    I’ll never forget the day I told my colleagues that I don’t do referrals. it was as if I had committed a cardinal sin.

    Right from sec schl when boys used to toast us and drop letters by the flower pots, If you go to my friend and tell me you like me, my answer will be no. I liked to attract my own men and keep my relationship to myself biko.

    That said, there are people who genuinely love you and if they set me up for a date, I go for the food. Referrals just rub me the wrong way and take away the mills and booms in my romance story abeg. The over involvement of a third party plus the feeling of being under scrtiny, plus the fact that if it doesn’t work out, people will be justified that you are 28 and single because of …….. Referrals also deceive a girl that she has suitors as sometimes the guy might just be polite, taking you out and hoping for a nice way to end the relationship.

    To each his own sha.

  10. I may be weird

    May 31, 2018 at 4:56 pm

    I used to set people up with relationships with the purest intentions. But I realized none of these friends ever set me up, so I stopped jare and started thinking of myself alone. Also, if I set you up with someone whom we dated, it means I have no feelings for the person. I actually don’t mind my friends dating an ex. When I move on, I really do.

  11. BlueEyed

    May 31, 2018 at 6:12 pm

    Nkem this chichi girl reminds me of a unhealthy friend I cut off from a few years back. I was so genuine and loyal in my friendship with her that it was like a break up when I decided to cut her off. Time after time, we’d hangout in her social circles and the guys she’s had her eyes set on would be asking for my contact as they instantly liked me, in the beginning she’d lie and claim that I was engaged, then when more and more guys were interested, she’d proceed to give them my contact but issue a disclaimer that I was of questionable character, that they should follow at their own risk. In fact, when I sensed that pattern with her male friends taking to me, I stopped meeting with her when there were other men around,out of loyalty. I remember one occasion with some dude from PH who I met on a neutral ground as he had seen a photo of me on her Instagram and DM’d me without telling her, blindly I mentioned it to her, she sounded so excited and even asked me to invite him over let’s all hang, telling me how he was a good guy and a gentleman and they were just friends as he was her boss on a project she had in PH some years back, foolishly I believed, truth is my “friend” had been desperately trying to seduce the guy (on more than two occasions ) and he wasn’t just into her like that. Dude now came and met an ambush, because they had not even spoken in a while they just only followed each other on IG, aunty saw the him as one that got away and wanted back in, she proceeded to collect (steal) his number from my phone and started calling him after that day, dude just dropped the whole situation and stopped contacting me altogether, I was left so confused back then. It was later I heard the real story from the same dude when we met again in London, human beings fear them oh.

    • BlueEyed

      May 31, 2018 at 6:16 pm

      Forgive my small errors, I was typing fast. ??

  12. Truth-be-told

    May 31, 2018 at 11:28 pm

    Wonders shall never cease. Back in Uni, there was this really hot guy that literally every girl had a crush on. Myself inclusive *wink* Fast forward seven years, my “bestie” casually mentions that he had asked her about me severally and wanted to ask me out on a date. Dear friend was of the opinion that my “shakara” was too much so she “felt” i wont be interested.

  13. FuchsiaFrocksnFabrics

    June 1, 2018 at 10:32 am

    If I tell you my own ehn…chai

    • Nkem Ndem

      June 3, 2018 at 12:44 pm

      Please tell us! lol

  14. meme1

    June 2, 2018 at 4:05 pm

    hmm well last year i did try to set up my “ex” who is muslim with one of my girls..we went to school together..we party together and we have a good time once in a while..but we aren’t close… she has been very vocal about settling down with a muslim guy and i thought of him!. i mean.. the reason we broke up was because of our different religion and we went our separate ways.. no hurt..just us being realistic.
    he also wants to settle down..so i told him about her after bugging me i called her and told her about this muslim man and she might like him. i later told this dude that I was going to tell her that we’ve been together for a while now and we’ve been intimate.
    this dude begs me not to tell her! like wth will i keep that a secret ?? its a small city and i’ll like things to be in the open..he didn’t like that.. i did tell her anyways and she was thankful i did..
    do they talk, are they dating ? i have no idea as I just chat with them at random times..
    Thinking back, why would he have liked me to lie about being intimate ? guys and their wahala

    • bolintin

      June 4, 2018 at 3:18 pm

      I think it might be because he liked her and cared how she would feel about that info .esp, if it could ruin their relationship.

      At the same time I like that you saved your own head too anyways.
      Maybe I would have left it at we dated fully… let the babe figure out the rest.

  15. Tosin

    June 3, 2018 at 1:35 pm

    when it’s not Africa Magic TV.
    i’m even lost with this whole story. all of una get time, power, fuel, and money to be enacting drama.

    • Tosin

      June 3, 2018 at 1:37 pm

      and airtime/credit, and bandwidth/internet and full stomach and no any major problem 🙂 , praise God.

  16. Jude

    June 3, 2018 at 1:53 pm

  17. The worldview

    June 27, 2018 at 2:14 pm

    This brings back loads of memories.
    I hate been setup and if I know about it,I won’t go for it.
    Please friends, if you’re planning to set up your friend let them know as this will really help and because you like someone doesn’t mean we will automatically like that person.
    Mine almost scattered my friendship as I was very annoyed with how my friend took things.

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