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Have you ever prayed so hard that someone would break up with you? It may sound absurd, but I once found myself in that situation where I got into a relationship I didn’t enjoy. And because I didn’t want to owe him anything, I had to turn to prayers to make it happen. I needed a reason to break up, and although it took a while to happen, he eventually gave it to me. This is my story.
In a few days, it will be three years since I broke up with Valentine. And each year, he makes it a point of duty to send me a text message – probably to haunt me – as a break up anniversary gift. The content of this text message is “I needed a reason to break up, thanks for giving me one”. It was my last message to him; the message that actually signaled our break up which should have happened months, or years before it did.
I met Valentine when I traveled to IMSU to write my Post-UTME exams. I was quite desperate to get into the university, and when I shared my fears with Ada (my friend whom I stayed with on campus), she offered to help. Ada took me to Valentine, who was a member of the SUG back then. He promised to help me, if I could just get a certain score in the post-UTME exam.
Luckily for me, I scored higher than what he set as target. He took my details and credentials and assured that I would be admitted.
A few months later, I got admission after three years of waiting. He was the first person I called to share the news with. I was very happy and I foolishly promised to make it up to him when I resumed school. Little did I know that little promise in my time of excitement would come back to haunt me.
When I resumed as a fresher, Valentine was there for me. He helped me settle down to campus, and also went about making registration easy for me. I was even able to skip some faculty and SUG payments due to his influence. In all, I had every reason to be grateful, and yea, he was my closest pal.
Many of my friends and classmates already thought we were dating before he formally asked me out. When he did, I couldn’t bear the thought of turning him down, because he reminded me of my promise, and also made me realize how much he had helped me. It seemed quite impossible for me to say NO. I didn’t want to feel like an ingrate, so I agreed to date him.
In all fairness, he was a good guy. He treated me well in the course of the relationship. I had everything I wanted courtesy of him. But after my first year, I started to lose interest in him. Everything stopped being fun with him. He was still the cool, gentle guy, but I had lost connection with him and was practically forcing myself to carry on with the relationship.
Sometimes, he would sense it, but I always acted like I was sick when he tried to talk about it. I was scared of just breaking up, when we really had no reason to. It was clear that I didn’t love him, and I needed to break out of the relationship.
By the end of my first semester in the second year, he was already talking about me meeting his brothers. He was making long term plans for both of us, and that got me scared. I couldn’t bear the thought of living the rest of my life with a man I didn’t love.
When I discussed my situation with Ada (who was in her final year with Valentine at that time), she advised me to keep on with the relationship. According to her, I might grow to love him over the years. I told her I will watch for another semester before deciding what next to do.
I met Valentine’s eldest brother over the holiday and he welcomed me well. He was already referring to me as ‘our wife’, and it only got me more scared, but I kept my cool.
Another semester ended, and nothing really improved. Valentine continued to be the loving guy, but he didn’t realize I was not on the same page with him.
I had to turn to prayers. If Valentine wasn’t going to leave, there had to be something that would push him away. I prayed through my first semester in part 3 for a miracle to happen, but nothing happened. Rather, the love from Val was waxing stronger. And it was becoming increasingly difficult for me to find a reason to break up with him. Even though he had graduated, he would come all the way to visit and spend days.
It seemed like the whole universe had conspired to make me end up with a man I was not in love with, but I was also not ready to bow to the order of things. So I promised myself that if nothing happened before my graduation, I will have to break up with Val after I graduate.
The next thing I started doing was to wait for graduation. I lost all my worries, and started feeling at peace with myself once again. Valentine noticed that there was something quite different about me, and he was happy. He didn’t bother to press me hard for it when I refused to tell him. We were both enjoying the ‘relationship’ as it were.
Fast forward to my final year. When I least expected, I found a reason to break up with Valentine.
I was working on my project and my case study was a business man in Lagos. I had an interview appointment with the man for a particular Monday, but he suddenly called and brought it three days forward – and that was to a Friday before the Monday. He said he needed to travel and he didn’t want to keep me waiting because he wasn’t sure how long his trip would be.
I didn’t have enough time to tell Valentine I would be in Lagos. It was a Thursday already, and I had to just travel by all means, so I could see the man the next day, which was Friday. I arrived Lagos in the night and went straight to Valentine’s apartment. To my surprise, I met a girl in his house.
She had her things all over the place, and it was evident that she had been staying there for a while. Valentine didn’t have any explanation, and he confessed that he had been cheating. He apologized and lodged me at a nearby hotel when I told him I couldn’t sleep in that room with both of them.
I was angry, even though I was meant to be happy. It felt like I had been wasting my time trying to break up with a man that actually wasn’t worth it. I managed to have my interview done with my case study, and I returned to school immediately without informing Valentine.
Two days later, I sent him that break up text. He called and called, but I didn’t answer. He also came to see me in school, but I ran away and didn’t see him. I got threats and several guilt tripping attempts from him, which I ignored.
Instead of brooding, I used the opportunity to break off the relationship, without looking like the bad one. It was the wrong relationship for me from the start, and it was only right that I put an end to it. I had to use his cheating as a reason to break up.
For almost three years now, he hasn’t forgotten, and I haven’t too. But I have moved on and I hope he does someday.