I am a 28-year-old woman and I have been crying for the past few weeks because of the situation I’m in. My problem started a few months ago.
I have had feelings for this guy for many years but have only admired him from afar. He usually ignores me. One day, he texted me. He said I looked beautiful and he wanted photos of me.
I was shocked because all this while, I didn’t even think he was aware of me. He is friends with my relatives and has even dated one of my cousins. They are good-looking and he always tells them that they could be in beauty pageants or become models because of the sexy way they dress.
After feeling invisible for many years, I decided that I wanted some attention. I started to dress like my cousins. That was the day he texted me. Then he went quiet for a while.
We go to a community centre once a week for activities. On one of those days, he was also there and signalled to me to meet him outside the hall. We went to the stairwell and he asked if he could hug me. I said yes. When he did, he complimented me about smelling good. He started fondling and kissing me all over.
But then he stopped and said he was sorry. He texted me later to say he would never do it again. He said he was facing pressure at work and needed to find release. He also said he felt lonely, so I told him to forget what happened. He asked me not to tell my friends and relatives as he was afraid about what they might think.
A few weeks after that, we were again at the community centre and he asked to see me again. I went with him to the stairwell and he started kissing me and pulling at my skirt. Then he pulled down my blouse and groped me. He touched me intimately. Again, he stopped suddenly and said he shouldn’t be doing these things with me. I embraced him but he pushed me away and asked me to leave. Then he texted me to say that he has no feelings for me and that he only saw me as his younger sister. He told me not to tell anyone what had happened.
That evening, he texted me to ask if we could do a video call. At first, I refused. But he persisted and I eventually relented.
He asked me to take off my blouse, and I agreed to do it. This went on for a few months. One day, he showed me his genitals and we had phone sex.
I feel so sad because as someone who believes in God, I know we shouldn’t be doing this but I love him so much.
A week after that, he started to ignore me. When I was with my cousins, he would speak to them but not to me. When I called him, he would answer the phone and say he was busy. But I’ve seen pictures of him on social media with other women at lunch, having fun and playing games.
I called and asked him why he was avoiding me. He said he was trying to distance himself from a few people and wanted to start over. He asked me to do the same. I then confessed to him that I had been in love with him since I was a teenager and I didn’t mind waiting for him. He said he had a new job and would be travelling a lot and he didn’t want to be in any relationship.
I told my cousin about everything that had happened between us but she refused to believe that he was that kind of man. She said guys don’t like being pushed into marriage and advised me to wait, be friends with him and maybe he would fall for me.
Thelma, I can’t help it, I still love him and want to be his wife. I know I have to move on since he doesn’t want to be in a relationship, although I have seen other girls trying to get close to him.
I am tired of crying. It is worrying my parents. The most difficult part is seeing him at the community centre every week and how friendly he is with other women. I’m deeply hurt.
My dear, brace yourself because I’m going to summarise the important points and it’s not pretty. He said he has no feeling for you, he doesn’t want to be in a relationship but he’s happy to use you for groping and phone sex. These are not the actions of a nice man. He is using you.
Put away the tissues, because he’s not worth your tears. Now, let’s have a chat about what you want. You’re looking for a relationship that has meaning and value, right? And you enjoy the physical side of things, so you want passion as well.
Those are very normal things to long for and that’s great news because there are loads of men out there who are looking for exactly that kind of relationship.
So, how will you find the man for you? The first thing is to ignore your cousin’s advice. There is no reason why any woman should put up being treated like a dirty secret. Also, to dismiss you as a liar is not a pretty act, either.
Ignoring that cousin, be practical and sensible. Start with putting together a clear idea of what sort of person you want in your life. Clearly, you want someone who is honest, upfront about his intentions and proud to have you in his life. That’s not negotiable.
But what about his other qualities? Imagine your ideal marriage. Do you see kids? Pets? A quiet home life or an active social one? Which of your hobbies must he share? What are your deal breakers?
Build up a reasonable idea of what kind of person would suit you, and then get your parents, friends and family to start introducing you to men who they think will be fun dates with potential.
This is important: Many men find dating an absolute nightmare, so be kind, fair and open. Pay your share of the costs, and if you’re set up with a date you know is going nowhere, tell him gently that it was lovely to meet him, but that you don’t suit.
Look, dating is a tough gig, especially when you’re no longer a giddy teen. At your age, relationships tend to be more serious and any difficulties hit harder. So be sure you get a bit of support. Enlist your mum if you get along, a favourite friend or aunt, and lean in.
Also, I strongly suggest you stay away from phone and video sex. While these acts are the modern version of the love letter, they are horribly liable to being shared publicly by accident or on purpose.
Do write again and let me know how you’re doing. I’m looking forward to hearing you’re meeting up with lots of lovely potential life partners.