Opinions

I am The Villain

I have spent years whining about my ex Leo and what he did wrong; and now it’s about time I came clean about my own flaws. After all, it takes two to make or break a relationship. I have compiled a very long list showing where I went wrong; either by ignoring red flags, or by simply being the problem myself. They are in no particular order, so here we go!

1. New Comer: At the age of 23, this was my first time being in love. I was young, excited and irrationally optimistic. Somehow I was expecting a reward from the universe in form of my dream guy, as a token of appreciation for having kept myself pure. Leo on the other hand (25yrs), was a master in relationships, with a very long dating history. At the time of our meeting, Leo was grieving, fresh out of a sexual relationship that he thought was going to end in marriage. Clearly this was a mismatch from the very beginning. I was so naive. But you know us ladies, we think we are heroines with the  capability of changing the men we love. Needless to mention, by the end of the 3 years, I was just wishing I had never met Leo.

2. We wasted each other’s time: I told Leo when we had just met that I needed five years, and he was okay with it. In that time I planned to graduate with excellent grades, get a job, grow my career and then get married, -in that order. Sadly, five years is a long time to date. Within a few months, I must have broken up with Leo about a million times. It got to a point when he knew that I would always come back. As a result, Leo didn’t value me because he knew I would always take his bullshit. My fault here was always coming back, when I never should have. 

3. Different belief system: If you think that your relationship will be a walk over by dating a believer who is heavily involved in church ministry; you might want to think again. Personally, I had no intention of having sex before marriage, but Leo believed he could persuade me otherwise. When I didn’t, it became a point of contention in the relationship; with him claiming that I wasn’t meeting his needs. Eventually, I gave him a free pass. I told him to go and have sex with whoever he wanted since ‘girls are many’, _as he often stated. This was reverse psychology and I was hoping that if at all he loved me, he wouldn’t. Turns out he didn’t. When all is said and done; I’m so glad that I never had sex with him. 

4. Over texting and calling: I was insane in a way, given that I would send him about 90 messages, and he would  reply with an “okay”. Yet even then, I would still text him more. Sometimes he would blue tick me but that never stopped me from adding more messages. I clearly had no self-respect. Then there were calls. I would call and call and Caaaallll! There was a time I called him 25 times in a go because he wasn’t picking. To me it was like a game. After a few genuine rounds, I decided to call until his age number of 25 because I thought it was cute. Needless to mention, he did not pick and neither did he return my calls….and this later became his custom. Not that I blame him. Looking back, I wonder what I was thinking. I really had some serious issues. No wonder the relationship failed. 

5. Over sharer: There are actually two problems wrapped into this. The first one is that I had distanced myself from all my friends and I had built my entire existence around Leo. Eventually, he was roughly the only person I was texting. I found myself telling him nearly everything about myself, cause I wanted to keep the conversation flowing. I’m glad I did that though, cause there’s now no way I would ever do such a thing ever again! 

6. Unrealistic expectations: My expectations of a boyfriend where what I had seen in the movies; and what I read about in books and magazines. I wanted a relationship with a man who wore his heart on his sleeves; to know that he loved and wanted me. I didn’t want to second guess my place in his life. Furthermore, I wanted a guy that was a few inches taller than me so that if he hugged me, I would look up and gaze at his face. It’s something that looked cute in the movies, so please don’t judge me. In addition to that, I wanted a man who was willing to go the whole nine yards: I fancied a man who constantly planned dates, outtings and fun activities for the two of us. I also wanted cute gifts from him like flowers, jewelry, clothes, handbags and shoes. Occasionally, I wished to wake up to surprise deliveries at my door of takeaway food from my favorite restaurants,_ not those things of just asking if I have eaten, and then do nothing about it when I say no. On a scale of 1_10, Leo was at 1; and that’s if I’m being very generous; otherwise I would give him a score of negative five (-5)!

7. I was the first to tell Leo that I loved him: This remains something that I still regret to this day. I should have known better because I was now at his mercy. Telling Leo that I loved him just made him lazy as f***! Suddenly he released the reigns of the relationship, stopped trying to pursue me and everything just went downhill from there. By confessing my feelings to him, I literally ruined my chances at the kind of love that I deserved. But never again! I learnt my lesson well. 

8. I was manipulative: It got to a point when I knew that Leo only cared when I cried. So, sometimes I would fake the tears just so I could get some attention and sympathy from him. Desperate times, desperate measures. O the things we do for love! 

9. I was not kind in my choice of words: At times when Leo hurt me, my goal was often to hurt him back. I would use venomous words to water down his ego, and to make him feel small. In most cases, it worked. Of course I didn’t mean all those things, but I should have had the wisdom and self control not to say them in the first place. 

10. I loved Leo too much: One time in highschool, our Divinity teacher remarked saying, ‘Never love a man 100% …give him 75%. Give only God 100%’. Well, that was weird coming from a Christian married woman. Personally, I had resolved in my heart to love my man 120%, come hell or high water. And that was the exact mindset I went with in my first relationship. Phhhm, I will spare you the details, but just know that after what I went through, any man would be lucky if he even got 50% of my heart. 

11. Jealousy: I don’t know if one can love deeply and passionately, and not get jealous when triggered. Surprisingly, it’s always over the small petty things. For example, I would cry whenever Leo posted other girls on his status. I would even fall sick if he set them as his profile picture. With time, it got to a point when I became suicidal. No matter what, I always felt like I was not good enough: not even after losing 25 Kgs of excess weight. Somehow I didn’t feel beautiful because only Leo’s opinion mattered. And well, it was quite obvious from his actions that I was not good enough. In this way, I suffered terribly both emotionally and psychologically. 

12. Anger issues: I used to get mad at Leo a lot. Even when I knew that he was lying, somehow I preferred being lied to than being ghosted. Leo was a guy who would look you straight in the eyes and still lie to you. Sometimes I simply wished that I had super powers to punch him through a wall. 

13. Dated-ish his friend: Leo’s friend was everything that he wasn’t. He loved me and he cared. Unfortunately, later on I discovered why they say that birds of a feather flock together. All Leo’s friends later turned out to be assholes. Soon after that, I made up my mind to stick with the devil I knew. I purposed in my heart that I would only date Leo, and that if it didn’t work out, then I would just move on. True enough, the moment Leo got married, I blocked all his friends and deleted their contacts from my phone. 

14. Haunted by my past: Somehow, I never felt good enough. So I kept selling myself short.  However, later on I discovered my worth and even added outrageous tax to it. I have refused to settle for less. Hook or crook, I have to end up with the man of my dreams that effortlessly loves me the exact way that I desire to be loved. 

15. Terrible listener: Someone once said that the reason we have two ears and one mouth is because we are supposed to speak less and listen more. One thing that haunts me is that I didn’t try to know Leo from the very start. It’s him that I had to interview and place under the microscope, but I didn’t. Now I know that I should have spoken less about myself, and encouraged him to tell me more about himself. After all, it is the man who finds a wife that finds a good thing, not the other way round. 

16. Sanitation and hygiene: I simply hated where I was staying at campus. And that, in a sense, affected my hygiene and sanitation. I know I did my best given the circumstances, _even when my best turned out not to be good enough. Fast forward, I’m glad that everything has changed favorably since. 

17. I was broke…or simply unwise with my finances: I was the type who would go out frequently and spend about 60k on a meal with a friend. This is cash I could have used on my hair, nails, dressed better, cooked proper meals for myself etc….but just like that, I wasted all my money away on people who have never even lifted a finger to help me in a crisis. And I think Leo saw that too and possibly concluded that I was still young, dumb and financially unstable. I bet he chose someone else who wasn’t. 

18. People pleaser: Yes, I had people pleaser vibes. I always showed up 100% for other people and ignored my own needs. One thing I have learnt since then is that for as long as you’re giving, people will keep on taking and taking. I guess I just wanted Leo and everyone else to see me as the modern_day Mother Theresa. This of course came at a very high cost. As I was busy saving the world, I often had nothing left for myself. 

19. The idler: I had so much time on my hands. I met Leo in my first year and I only had lectures from 9:00am to 1:00pm on weekdays. From then I was free for the rest of the day. My weekends were also free apart from church. Leo was already working class. No wonder I suffered; because while I was there idle thinking about him and craving for his attention, he was busy working and getting paid. It’s ironic how guys always make time at the beginning of relationships, then suddenly out of the blue, they are always busy. 

20. A fair cook: I have cooked great meals before. However, each time I tried cooking to impress Leo, something would always go wrong. All the meals I ever served him were average at best. For this one, I’m going to just laugh and move on without any further explanation. 

In conclusion, relationships expose us, and I am so glad I got the opportunity to view myself from different lenses. I want to believe that I have become a better person since. I have grown and now make way smarter decisions. I am not yet where I wish to be, but I most certainly deserve a pat on the back for the far I have come. I definitely love and cherish myself now more than ever. 

As for Leo, I believe he made the best decision for himself; for I was definitely not ready for marriage. And I want to believe that he made an informed decision when it came to whom to marry, since I was always honest and open with him. 

Lastly, I want to congratulate Leo and myself because we both dodged a bullet. Had we ended up together, it would have been a match made in hell.

The End.

Disclaimer: The names that feature in this story are fictitious. They were made up to protect the identity and privacy of those involved.

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4 Comments

  1. Barbara

    December 10, 2023 at 3:14 pm

    Ahhhhhh calling 25 times🤣🤣🤣🤣very dramatic
    What we do for love ehhhhh

    1. Echoes Over Coffee

      December 12, 2023 at 8:40 am

      😅😅 He can deny receiving one call or two; but 25?! I didn’t want to hear those things of “Sorry babe, I didn’t see your call”.
      I guess those are the guys who call us “Satan” behind our backs, and save us as “Lucifer” or “the monitoring spirit” in their phones.😅

      But jokes aside , now that I’m older and wiser, I don’t do those things anymore.

      “Allow space in your togetherness,” is a relationship hack I discovered later on. We all have our own individual lives, and so I allow myself to do the things I love and thrive therein…. without always trying to suffocate the person I’m dating. It’s hard for someone to miss you when you’re always in their face, inbox…or calling all the time.

      It plays to your advantage when the person you’re dating sees that you can live happily and successfully without them.

  2. Winfred Maneno

    December 11, 2023 at 9:14 am

    Wow wow so much to learn from here. I hope every young person reads this. Go girl

    1. Echoes Over Coffee

      December 11, 2023 at 10:00 am

      Thank you Winfred😊
      I’m looking forward to when you’ll start sending me your personal stories for publication. You have amazing stories to share with the world.

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