When you meet the right person, it most often happens that there are no formalities to how you run your relationship. Things just happen of their accord, and you both just keep advancing without really having to deliberate about it. Such is the case with proposals. Not all of us will need formal proposals to signal the switch from casual dating to courtship. This story from my friend, Kufre is a good example of what I am trying to say above.
Please enjoy the story below.
I met my wife, Eunice in Lagos in late 2004, shortly after I moved here to Lagos to settle. At the time we met we were both involved with other people. Her boyfriend of the time was a drummer with a music band who play in one of the exotic fun spots on the island. I was also a singer, and I also joined a band shortly after I settled.
Eunice’s band often collaborated with the band I was then playing in. In February of 2005, Eunice came along to a show both bands were playing in a club around Ikoyi and that was the first time I got a deep impression of her. I often saw her over the next few years. She was the queen bee of her band guys’ girlfriends and wives; it was clear they took fashion cues from her, she always had the funniest jokes and the quickest rejoinders, and the others clearly saw her as the alpha female.
In June of 2009, I was involved in an accident and life changed for me very dramatically: I left the band, started working as a content provider and editor at a digital marketing company, broke up with my girlfriend whom I had been dating for a few years, and began dating colleague where I worked.
Until I started a new band in early 2011, Eunice’s band was the the band I was closest to: I helped them out here and there with sponsorship and loans and what-not. The band guys and their significant others would often socialize with me and my then-girlfriend, who took a shine to Eunice and often told me she regarded her as the most attractive and coolest girl she knew. (I secretly concurred but had better sense than to say so at the time). lol.
After January 2011, when I co-founded a new band, I saw Eunice and her band guys much less frequently. I did run into her occasionally, but as she was still involved with her boyfriend and I was still together with my then-girlfriend, we were only very casually friendly. But mid 2012, unbeknownst to the other, both Eunice and I went through breakups. Some months passed. It was just after Christmas, and both of us were now single. I had had the requisite rebound fling with someone way too young for me. I had just decided I was ready to start dating seriously again and arranged to meet a woman I was possibly interested in at a bar, but she and her friends had already moved on to the next place, lucky for me.
Eunice just happened to be at the bar with her sister. We saw each other instantly, and she asked, “Where’s [my ex-]?” I told her we broke up in October. Naturally, I asked her where her boyfriend was, and she said they, too, had broken up. I couldn’t suppress a grin. She asked, “So, are you going to introduce me to some nice guys?” I said, “Absolutely not. Oh, I do know one guy. Akwa-Ibom guy, plays guitar, well-educated…”
We spent much of the evening talking there, with Eunice reminding me repeatedly that she’d sworn off dating musicians forever. But I persisted. She told me that she was only interested in someone who was a serious marriage prospect. I told her I was at that stage, too. She assented to a date and made me really work for her heart: She was chaste for many a date, and never even let me come further than the gate of her compound and refused to come into my place.
I had dated a number of artsy women before (Eunice graduated from the University of Ibadan and was from a family all in the performing arts), and one thing that always disappointed me was the slovenly way they tended to live at home: piles of clothes, dishes not done, magazines strewn all over, books bulging out of bookshelves, and many others. So the first time Eunice finally invited me in, I was completely blown away by how spotless and cleverly arranged her place was. This was a huge plus for me. The fact that our chemistry was terrific only sealed the deal.
My parents loved her, and they get on famously. Actually my mom, who basically hated just about every woman I’d ever dated, was super cold to her the first time we all had lunch together and it freaked me out, but she summoned me later to the family homestead to sit me down and ask me what my intentions were with her. I told her that I was crazy about Eunice and wondered why she practically ignored her and why it was that they couldn’t see what I saw. My mom said, “Actually, we really like her. We just don’t want to emotionally invest if she’s just going to be another woman you just date for a year or two.”
To this day, neither of us can remember when we decided to get married. I never actually proposed. There was just this tacit agreement that if we kept on together and things clicked well chemically (that wasn’t in doubt; I think one knows these things without actually sleeping together) we were just going to get married. Both of us were eager to have children, there were no insurmountable ideological or philosophical differences, and we were mad for each other, so it just seemed unnecessary to formalize it. One night in June 2013, less than six months after we’d started dating, we got together with both sets of parents, and told them together that we wanted to get married that year. They got out calendars and started picking a date.
We got married in December 2013. We had about hundreds of people in attendance, and my own band actually played at the reception which was kind of odd but also exciting.
No marriage is perfect of course: I am Efik and can’t express myself at nearly 50% in her Igbo Language, so there are a few communication problems and cultural differences that need to be ironed out from time to time. We don’t always see eye to eye on issues involving raising our children. But I’m very even-tempered by nature, and while she can flare up quickly, she’s generally good at conflict resolution, and never allows resentment to pool, so on balance we get along marvelously. Our children are a constant source of pure joy and pride.
It’s been so far, so good!
– Kufre. A
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