Navigating life as a woman in the world today is interesting. From Nigeria to Timbuktu, it’ll amaze you how similar all our experiences are. Every Wednesday, women the world over will share their experiences on everything from sex to politics right here. This is Zikoko’s What She Said.
Last year I spoke to a woman who had just gotten a divorce and was learning to live on her terms. She’s back this week to share some fun, hilarious tips on dating after again after her divorce.
How are you? Anything new?
I wish I could say a lot, but not really. I officially moved to Abuja to be closer to my sister and farther away from my parents. I have a tiny catering business now and I don’t joke with because that’s what’s paying my rent and feeding me. I’m also finally dating again.
How’s that going?
Hectic! Men are mad and I’m here to tell them. I’ve been dating for a couple of months now, mostly because my sister has been pushing for it but also because I’ve been very lonely. I feel like a third wheel in my sister’s marriage. I was living with them when I first came to Abuja, but even after I moved out I’ll find any excuse to be there. So she started setting me up with her husband’s friends to get me out of her hair, she didn’t even sugar coat it.
So I went out with three of their friends before begging them to stop matching me up. I don’t know if it’s that all their good friends are already taken or they just have very poor taste in friends. The first one won’t stop talking about sex. From the very first date, I was just dipping my toe in the dating pool then and wasn’t even remotely ready for sex, so I fled.
The second one was 15 years older than me and I couldn’t get past the age difference. There’s ten years between my sister’s husband and her and while it works for them I don’t want. 5 years older is my current limit.
The third one was just not fine. He didn’t have anything going on for him. No charisma, no swag, nothing. I used to find myself rolling my eyes a million times out of boredom during phone calls with him. Eventually, I just stopped picking up his calls.
It’s tough out there.
Tell me about it and I’m the most awkward person. This is something I’m only just realising about myself. I didn’t date at all before my ex-husband and our parents introduced us. So I had zero experience playing the game when I first started.
Did you try going out on your own?
I did, with my sister as my wingman. I don’t have a lot of friends here. My sister’s friends are my friends and they are all married women so I’m alone in this hustle. Anyway, we went to a bar and only the most disgusting perverted looking men came up to us. Before that day I had been telling her about how hard it is on these single streets and she said I was just being picky. After we left the bar she apologised that she had been married too long and didn’t know how bad things had gotten. The next thing I did was to try dating apps.
I can already tell that didn’t go well
Funny enough it went better than when my sister was setting me up, but I haven’t met my Prince Charming yet. I use Tinder and Bumble and I do FBI level investigations before even swiping right on anyone. I’ve been on a couple of dates. There was one guy I liked. I’m not now sure if it’s his body and face I liked. He was the first person I had sex with after my divorce. I was taking the whole thing pretty seriously but he wasn’t. He wasn’t looking for anything serious at all, so I had to break things off.
Any horror stories?
Nothing particularly horrifying, but one that sticks out to me now is the guy who turned the date to a morality lecture once he found out that I was divorced. He kept asking questions about why I got divorced and saying I was probably to blame, that women are hard to please. I ended up walking out on him in near tears. He texted me the next day that he didn’t understand why I was so upset. I blocked him.
So what are your top tips on dating after a divorce?
First of all, don’t let any of your married friends hook you up. They want the best for you, but the truth is any single friends they have left are the worst of the crop.
Take it slow don’t let anybody rush you into anything you don’t want to do. Be self-aware you’ll find yourself drawn to people who suspiciously remind you of your ex-husband because that’s what is comfortable and familiar. Fight it, there’s a reason you divorced him. Just have fun with it, you just got divorced it’s not time to start plotting who your next life partner is. Go with the flow.
Finally, make sure you are ready, don’t let anyone push you into dating. I took some time for myself after the divorce and even before the divorce we had been separate for 3 years, I didn’t see anyone throughout that time. So when I started dating I was truly ready.
How are things looking these days?
Bleak. I’m even taking a little break now, Corona has been quite good for business, I’ve been getting more orders than ever from people who are tired of cooking, soo I’m quite busy. I also can’t risk my life to go out on dates. So I just spend all my time swiping, matching then proceeding to ignore the men I’ve matched with because I can already tell that they don’t have sense.