A month after I had said yes to him, he took me home – his home to introduce me to his parents as all serious boyfriends do.

He sought to say, “I brought you home. I’m not hiding you from the most important people in my life. That means you’re very important to me.”

At his home, his father liked me and his mother called me an in-law instantly and even took my number which she called very often to ask how far the relationship was going.

She often told me, “Make sure you don’t allow him to escape the marriage. You’re a good woman and can be a good wife to him. Bring his mind home and push him to settle with you.”

His mother was obviously in a hurry to see her grandchildren but marriage is a forever journey. You don’t rush into something you’re going to spend forever living with the results. You take your time. You observe.

You ask questions to know what you’re getting into. You give each other space to explore in the present what the future would be like before you decide that this one is who I’m ready to spend my forever with.

I observed and realized one thing about my boyfriend; He didn’t like to give. Not that I went into the relationship expecting him to look after me. Far from that.

I had a job that pays well. I’m content. But no matter what, a time comes in the lives of people in love where they are both expected to exchange gifts. One of these times is Valentine’s day. I bought him a gift, sent him a lovely message to tell him how awesome he had been in my life and how I would choose him over and over again if I had to.

He took the gift and gave nothing back. He responded to my message in equal terms, promising me unending love and a great future together. He ended his message with, “Long live my love. Long live Catherine.”

That was our first Valentine together. I didn’t make much of it. You know guys are not usually into things of such nature. It’s us women who are sentimental about events and celebrations. I let it slide.

His birthday was September. He spent weeks reminding me of his birthday so I was prepared for it. On that day, I bought him new pair of shoes and socks. He needed it. Not only that. He’s a lover of ties. I bought him a pair and added a beautiful wristwatch to it.

He told me, “All my life, I’ve never had a girlfriend doll on me as you’ve done on my birthday. Thank you so much. I love you.”

“I was happy he loved it and to date, he still uses that watch I bought him, calling it his favorite wristwatch. Not that he has other watches though. December was my birthday. I woke up to a very long message assuring me of forever love and care and future greatness. He ended it with, “Long live my love. Long live Catherine.”

Nothing came afterward; no gift. No outing. Nothing! “Well, my birthday is closer to Christmas. Maybe, he’s planning to give me a double dose of a gift. Let’s wait and see.” Christmas came. I sent him his gift and sent him the usual Christmas messages. I waited till Christmas was over.

All I had for Christmas was a long message that ended with, “Long live my love. Long live Catherine.”

I started getting uneasy. I told my mom about it. “Mom, I like Prosper very much but I think he’s stingy. Could you believe we picked a dropping to his house and he asked me to pay for it? Not once and not twice. Even when we pick trotro I pay for the fare. He will tell me, “I don’t have small denominations, so give him money. Everyday!” My mom laughed at me.

She said, “You ladies of these days are spoilt. You want to find everything in a man but it’s not possible. If you find a man who gives you everything. That man might be a womanizer. You may find a kind and loving man. In the end, you’ll see that man is a drunkard or authoritative. You can’t have it all my dear. You can’t.” 

When your mother loves your boyfriend, they love them wholeheartedly. Giving you positive vibes to keep going. They wouldn’t like to be the women who destroyed the relationship of their daughters so they always direct your eyes and focus on the positives. 

It’s been a year and a half in a relationship with Prosper. I had learned to live with his stinginess after several failed attempts to get him to change. You’ll talk to him about it today and he’ll promise you that he will change.

When the opportunity arrives for him to show the change he promised, he fails. I also decided to play to his own tunes. If you give I give. If you don’t, I don’t. It was stressful for me because living that way with him was against everything that I am.

I thought of leaving him on many occasions but mom’s voice came to me to change my mind; “Look at the positives, my dear. Look at the positives.”

I didn’t even know what the positives were so I had to accept the basics as the standard. 

One day, Prosper was coming to our house for a visit. He called to tell me in the morning and I told my mom about it. Whenever he comes around, my mom would be in the kitchen, putting things together so she could serve him some delicious meals.

Left to me alone, even water, I wouldn’t give him. Prosper was coming from town. My mother needed a medicated soap which we didn’t get in our neighborhood so I told her, “Why don’t we tell prosper. He might get some on his way coming.”

My mom picked the phone and called prosper. He agreed to get the soap; two pieces of bar soap. Prosper got to the house, greeted, and sat down. My mother came to welcome him with a drink and later serve him his food. That was when my mother collected the soap from him and thanked him.

Prosper said, “It’s only GHC20.50p. My mom answered, “Oh then it’s cheap where you bought it.” He ate everything from the plate. Drank all the drink and belched on top. By then my mom was ready to leave for town.

She came to tell us she was leaving and Prosper said, “Should I take the soap money from Catherine?” Obviously, my mom was stunned but she behaved it was alright. She said, “Yeah, Catherine would give it to you.”

When it was time for him to leave, he didn’t ask me about the money and I also pretended I had forgotten. The next day, he called my mother to tell her, “Yesterday Catherine refused to give me the money ooo.” My mother screamed, “Oh really. Why would she do that? Don’t worry, I’ll give it to you myself.” He responded, “Thank you very much. You can even send it to me through MoMo.”

My mom came home that day and told me, “When next Prosper comes here, he shouldn’t expect me to cook for him again. He doesn’t know courtesy and that’s a no for me.” I called Prosper. I was very angry. “Prosper, you went that far?” He answered, “But you people didn’t tell me to buy the soap for free. At least when I asked about it in the house, your mom should have told me that she wasn’t going to pay so I forget about it. What is GHC20.50 that I can’t let it go?” 

He lost my mom and lost the foundation on which the relationship stood. I must admit. I went for two years with him just because my mother liked him. When my mother’s love for him waned, I slowly allowed the relationship to deteriorate until there was nothing left. We hadn’t spoken for one whole week when he called me; “You don’t call me these days.” I said, “You also don’t call me these days.” He asked, “Are we really together?” I said, “We haven’t been together for a long time. I thought you got the message.” We both hang up and that was the end of us. 

September last year was his 40th birthday and he’s still single. That should tell you he’s the kind of man no woman would like to spend their forever with. I got married a year and a half ago.             

– Catherine

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