I started going out with K after a series of painful heartbreaks. He was a colleague at work and an acquaintance. Sometime during a long chat, I told him about my past experiences with men. I had bottled so much pain in my heart and I needed to talk to someone. The day I told him about all my heartbreaks, the most painful of which was with my baby daddy, something shifted in our friendship. Some kind of bond was created and we became closer than before. We spent a lot of time together, and I found his company enjoyable. On 24th May 2019, he asked me to be his girlfriend. I liked him but I didn’t want to ruin our beautiful friendship by getting into a relationship with him.
I explained my concerns to him, “I haven’t had a friend in a long time so this friendship means so much to me. If we try a relationship and it doesn’t work out, I’ll lose a friend forever.” I remember exactly what he said in response; “Maame, I know all the painful experiences you’ve been through. Trust me, the last thing I want to do is hurt you again. I swear on my d**k.” I laughed so loud when he said the last sentence. “So you are sure about this?” I asked. “Yes. You are very respectful, and I like the way you always say ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’ I want to be with you and I am not coming to do trial and error. I mean business.” So I said yes to him. Before I walk you through, my experience with K, allow me to take you through my experience with the others before him.
My first relationship was with Mike. I was twenty-two and he was a little older. We were so in love and I believed that he was the man I was going to end up with. In the fifth year of our relationship, he discussed a business idea with me. It was a foolproof plan and the only thing he needed to make it happen was funding. He told me, “Why don’t you give me a loan? I promise to pay you back when the business picks up.” I replied, “That’s a lot of money. I don’t have. Which other way can I support you?” He suggested that I should take a loan from the bank on his behalf; “You earn good money. The bank will easily give you a loan when they see your credit.”
As I said, I was sure Mike was the one. Plus we had been together for five years and everything was good between us. There was no reason to doubt him. So I took the loan for him and I bought him a container with my money to show him that I believed in him. Immediately after Mike got his hands on the money, he dumped me. As I was trying to understand where I went wrong, he started displaying his relationship with a lady he had introduced to me as his cousin. I had to pay off that loan by myself.
I stayed away from men and relationships after what Mike did. I enjoyed spending time with myself and the freedom that came with being single. However, things changed a year later when I met my baby daddy on campus while we were both furthering our education. I believed he was genuine so I gave him a chance. When we were together, he often complained about money because he wasn’t earning enough as a pupils teacher. He didn’t have any external support too. I was touched by his situation and paid his school fees for two semesters. While I was paying my own school fees too. This guy never offered to pay for my transportation when I visited him. I was the only giver in the relationship but I never complained.
A year into our relationship, I got pregnant. When I told him about it he snapped. That day revealed a lot more about him than I ever knew the entire time we were together. He told me, “You know that I don’t have money so don’t expect me to take care of the child if you decide to keep it.” His message was not direct but it was clear. He was telling me to either get rid of it or keep it at my own cost. I chose to keep the baby and that was the end of our relationship.
After delivery and healing, I met someone named Kwame. He seemed serious at first but after a few months of dating, he ghosted me. Up to date, I don’t know what I did to scare him off. After him, I got close to K. After everything I went through, his assurance meant a lot to me. Especially when he told me he liked me because I was respectful.
Unfortunately, six months into our relationship, I was laid off from work. I didn’t want him to feel that he was financially obligated to cater to me so I went out of my way to contribute financially to the relationship. I was depending on a monthly allowance my father started giving me after I lost my job. It wasn’t much but I made sure I cooked for K all the time. Sometimes he would be at work and I’d send him a bowl of a home-cooked meal for lunch. He knew I was unemployed but he never asked, “Babe, where do you get the money to do all these things?” Or “How are you surviving in this economy without a job?”
One day he was with me when my dad called to ask if I had received the money he sent me. Since then, K started finding subtle ways to spend more of my money. If I asked to see him, he would say, “I want to see you too but I don’t have money to transport myself.” I will then order Uber for him. Sometimes he would tell me he was broke and I would divide my money and groceries in two and give him half of it. K took everything I gave without a care for my unemployed status.
This went on for over a year but I was not bothered because I was happy to help someone I loved.
Somewhere in November last year, K broke up with me without any meaningful reason. We were together for two years and it all came down to nothing. He said the last thing he wanted to do was hurt me but he did exactly that.
I have cried and asked God questions because I don’t understand why men keep walking in and out of my life after I have offered them everything I could. I know that I am not perfect but I am also not a bad person. I always do things to make my partners happy but it’s never enough to make them stay. My heart breaks whenever I look back at the sacrifices I made that were never appreciated. I’m here asking, “So dear God, Is it wrong of me to be supportive? What is wrong with being a good woman to the men in my life?