Wednesday, February 22, 2017

What Men Don't Do for Love


The other day I glanced at two relationship books I have and they got me thinking. One of the books talks about things that women need from their husbands and looking at the book, I thought to myself that it is interesting that I, a woman, bought a book like that. Granted it was on sale but it also piqued my interest particularly because it was written by a man. But what really got me thinking is the fact that in the quest to finding and more importantly keeping love, it seems to me that men don't put in as much effort as women - they don't read a lot of, if any, books on relationships and they hardly attend relationship-enhancing events. It seems like a pretty general statement but unless proven otherwise, I believe it and it worries me.

It worries me because in addition to seemingly not reading and acquiring knowledge about love (when you compare it to women), the burden of making love work appears to also be put on women. Every time I see one of those "How to keep your man" books, I cringe because I don't see any "How to keep
your woman" books and contrary to what many men think, they actually need to know how to keep their woman because women are doing the unthinkable these days but I digress...

I also hear something that makes me a little upset and makes me wonder what in the world is going on. I hear statements about how "it is the woman's responsibility/duty to keep her marriage" (although I don't know if this is a Nigerian thing) . Say what!!! Since when? I ask. Since when did the responsibility of keeping a marriage rest solely on the woman? What is going on?

Women are expected to prepare and equip themselves with knowledge before marriage by reading books and attending singles' seminars. Then after they get married, they are expected to continue reading and attending women's meetings to keep their man and marriage. Or maybe women aren't expected to but they have chosen to because they see the value in these things. Oh, and don't get me started on the prayer points women pray regarding their husbands and marriages. Some are quite interesting. Am I saying they shouldn't pray? Of course not! But I don't see men praying similar prayers or making similar statements regarding their responsibility for making it all work.

All of this makes me wonder why it seems men aren't held as responsible for making love work and why men don't see the importance of reading and acquiring knowledge about love. Remember that these same men will read a book about finance and acquiring and building wealth in a heartbeat so why doesn't love rank high up, if at all, with business and finance? Misplace priorities? Lack of interest? Disbelief in the importance of acquiring knowledge on love? Seeing love as trivial?

If you've been reading my blog for long enough, you know that I don't bash men. Instead what I do is try to help both genders understand each other better so I have a few questions for the gentlemen:

  • Straight up: Why don't you read books about love and relationships?
  • Do you agree that in some way, it is in fact the woman's and not the man's responsibility to keep her home and marriage? If yes, why?
  • If you have read/do read books on relationships, what were the most recent 3 you read?
  • What role do you think you play/should play in making your relationship work?

Please share your answers in the comments and feel free to respond to all or some of these questions. Either way, your responses will be greatly appreciated as I want to know how men see love and what they would be willing to do for it. Remember I stand corrected but this is from my observation.

And ladies, what are your thoughts?

Friday, February 17, 2017

"How We Met" Wrap Up: Love At First...




We wrap up the "How We Met" series with these two stories that highlight that sometimes, a love story can start with the good ole love at first...something! (Lol). 

I really hope you enjoyed the series and that the stories truly inspired you and reminded you about what is possible when it comes to finding The One.

To share your love story, please send me an email at TheLoveChest@gmail.com I would be delighted to hear from you!


Here's A.O's story:

You’ve heard about “Love at first sight”? Well, mine was “Love at first hear”.
I was home in Lagos on one of those indefinite strike periods that plagued higher institutions in 1996/7 - it was the days of NITEL and a male friend had called my house and left his neighbor’s telephone number for me to return the call. Something I had done a few times in the past but that day when I called I got a different voice – this one was quite different from the heavily-accented voice of the Calabar houseboy who usually answered the calls. This was soft, well-spoken and had a slight English accent. Turns out the son of the house had just returned to Nigeria after living in the UK for 5 years. Kai (laughs) that voice sha! … “Maybe it was the accent or maybe I was just bored…. either way I fell and fell hard!! One conversation led to another and another and before long I was calling not to speak to his neighbor (who was in the same school as I was) but him. We spoke about everything and anything non-stop for one month before we finally met. Till today, I still get teased by my family about how I fell for a ‘English voice’!

~ A.O.


Here's Sola's story: 

My sweetheart and I met at her sister-in-law's wedding reception actually. Her sister-in-law happened to be my good friend's sister. I couldn't believe my eyes when I met her. I thought she was exquisite, sophisticated and poised. We talked about her career and her plans to start a new job in an organization I was very familiar with. I offered to help her along with my "advise and connections". You might say I was staging an opportunity to meet her again and get better acquainted. She agreed and we met for drinks twice in the same weekend. The rest as they say, is history...

~ Sola

The moral of these stories...sometimes love really does start with good ole love at first sight and first impressions so don't fight what you're feeling but ensure that once you acknowledge that the spark is there, you dig deeper to be sure they have the substance to match the spark. Ain't nothing wrong with some butterflies but don't let that alone be the deciding factor.

Thanks for reading this "How We Met" series! I hope you enjoyed it. Let me know your thoughts in the comments about what you garnered from the stories!

A big THANK YOU to all my friends who so graciously sent me their stories. You guys rock! I appreciate it.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

How We Met Day 5: When the Time is Right



It's Day 5 of the How We Met series! These stories have been heart-warming, encouraging, and reassuring. I hope they are awakening the possibilities in your mind about how and when love can happen.

Today stories highlight the importance of timing and how different it can be for everyone's love story.


Here's A.A.'s story:

NYSC Batch C 2008 was an interesting period. I made new friends, some of which I am very close to till date. The most important friend in that mix ended up being my wife and mother of our beautiful daughter.

I met M.O. through Bisade on one of those nights at "mammy market". Being ex-high school mates, they all had a common hangout spot where they met. I remember I was a bit tipsy that night but sane enough to notice this cute, nerdy-looking girl sitting across the table. I asked for her name and we got talking. FYI, I love nerdy-looking girls with intellect.  


After that episode, we never saw again until one of my visits to the NYSC office.We exchanged numbers and went out on a date once. I liked her then but for an NYSC Corper on meager salary and a shaky career, I felt a relationship at that point in my life wasn't a priority. I painfully had to let go to stay focused.


We kept in touch though through game nights,charity work, etc. Two girlfriends later plus "Lagos Big Boy Status" confirmed (lol), I found out she was still single so I made my move. 

We started dating officially on January 1, 2013 (my birthday).We got married September 20, 2014. Our baby girl arrived on November 21, 2016!


~ A.A.


Here's Idia's story:



My husband, Osahon, was good friends with my older sister and our cousin, Osasuyi, so I sort of knew him growing up. We met again as adults in 2003 when Osasuyi’s sister, Efe, was getting married in Benin City, where Osahon lived at the time. So when everyone came from Lagos to Benin for the wedding he was the one friend who knew his way around town. 

On our first night in town, Osasuyi and Osahon took my sister and me out partying. Osahon and I danced all night during which time the chemistry was hard to deny. For the next two days, Osahon essentially hosted the entire cohort of young people who came for the wedding in his home. He gave up his own bedroom for the girls while he and the guys crashed in the living room. He was a complete gentleman throughout but we parted knowing that we’d made a special connection with each other. 

Over the following two weeks, before Efe’s Church wedding, Osahon and I spoke everyday for hours. On the night before he arrived in Lagos for the wedding he announced over the phone that he had a really important question to ask me. Of course I had a good idea what it was but that didn’t dull the suspense or my thrill at the prospect. True enough, on the night he arrived in Lagos, he asked me to marry him and I had no doubts when I said yes. Two years later we were married!

Two weeks! Yes, it may sound impulsive but I just felt an assurance in my heart. He was well known to members of my family. My Aunt, who is one of the most loving and wisest people I’ve ever known had called me in Benin to tell me that she considered Osahon her son and encouraged me to ‘give him face’ so to speak. My uncle, who generally ‘doesn’t put mouth’ in such matters gave Osahon his stamp of approval after meeting him a couple of times and has never regretted it. My sister, who has been friends with him since high school assured me that Osahon was a stand-up guy. Most importantly, they were only confirming what I had seen with my own eyes and felt in my heart.

Now after over ten years of marriage, I realize that we were both very much diamonds in the rough. God had lots of work to do on each of us through the other. He’s still working. Our marriage has grown more loving and Christ-like over the years and I’m so grateful to God for bringing Osahon and I together exactly when He did, otherwise our lives would probably have taken very different turns. I can still say confidently that we made the right decision in choosing each other. Even we didn’t know how right we would turn out to be!

~ Idia


The moral of these stories...Sometimes the only reason why you haven't found love is because it's not time yet. Maybe you're not ready for that chapter just yet and you need to spend more time on becoming a better version of yourself. And for others, when it happens, things may go much quicker than you would have imagined. At the end of the day, listen to your gut and God to figure out when the time is right and when it is, every thing will fall into place. Remember, "you can't hurry love...you gotta trust, give it time, no matter how long it takes."

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

How We Met Day 4: Twists & Turns!




It's Day 4 of the How We Met series! Today, it's all about twists and turns and unplanned encounters! I hope these stories and the others make you smile and remind you to keep an open mind and heart.

Here's D.O.S.'s story:

I was at Roberts Cafe per usual on th‎is night, sometime in the year 2009 and having been bereft of my usual sitting space just inside the restaurant area by the large windows (a group of girls were having a baby shower), I went to sit outside on the garden chairs (my second favourite spot) .

One of the ladies from the event, known as So-Hi, came ‎outside for a cigarette break and asked if I minded. I looked up from the novel I was reading and said 'Of course not! You can sit here with me if you like.'

She smiled and sat down and introduced herself, as did I. After a short silence I said to her 'Tell me your secret.' she was surprised but smiling broadly. 'Are you serious?!' she asked in her polished British accent and I said yes. 

"Naaaahhh! You're crazy!" she said laughing, but not before the pause that told me she was considering doing so.

That's how we got talking. She never went back into the Baby Shower. One by one her friends left and for four hours we gisted like old friends and laughed with interlocked arms to our cars.

'There's a thing I do for women here every Friday. We just gather and talk, cos you know we have and go through many issues as women and Nigeria doesn't help at all with its own wahala.' I was like 'really?!' (i didn't have a lot of female friends). I was clearly unsure. 'No, seriously, they are prominent women in their own right who have gone through some major issue or another. We learn a lot from each other. You should come. I really like how your mind works.'

So I was there the next Friday and that was my first time properly meeting the Smokers Room Family. The women were powerful! I learnt so much. 

I noticed that guys would come in, peep, see the group and nod like 'Oh, you guys are here.'. Two of those guys were "Jay" and "Tee" (who became my husband) .

It became So -Hi's mission to 'get you (me) married!' and she said 'I have boys you know, fine boys! There's Jay and there's Tee...but Tee is too smooth; he's a fine boy that's too quiet and smooth joor...so maybe Jay. I think Tee is even engaged or something.'

That's how she introduced me to two of her 'boys ' with an 'isn't she just beautiful?! Brilliant lawyer ooo!' (she didn't know that, she just liked me. LOL) .

They said hello but not much else. 

Thing is I'd seen them check me out once before I was even introduced to them but neither of them said anything to me.

Fast forward a few months and I'm now used to seeing them and one day, Tee is sitting in front of me and was just joining in the conversation anyhow! Lol. 

Apparently, he'd been watching me all that time and had decided he liked me. He said he knew from my conversations that I was serious-minded (his polite way of saying I was too stiff ‎and strict), and knew he could not approach me from the 'toaster' angle so he decided to become my friend. 

I was at the end of a bad relationship myself and so it was easy to be friends. Because he was quiet I could pour myself out. He was also relieving himself of the relationship quagmire he was in.

So we just dished out our hurts into one another's ears and by the 28th of May, 2010 we both had a long talk where we decided we did not want to be side anything to either of our nearly ended partners and would be together. I said I was there for fun; to rest because I was broken - badly so. He said on that day that the way he felt, he knew it was for marriage. I stopped him from speaking and said life was full of broken promises and even he did not know if he'd hurt me - he only knew what he felt right then. He affirmed his position and I made to walk off. He pulled me back and said he'd go at my pace.

There were a number of issues - many, but when he proposed 3 years later on 16th February, 2013 at a Maxwell concert in Lagos (he is one of our very favorite musicians), I was honest enough to say 'Maybe yes' and he was gracious enough to say 'I'll accept that, "Dee". From you I'll accept that and thank you'. 

We talked for 6 hours immediately after and I said 'Hey, guess what?' he said ' What?'... then I said 'Yes. '.

We didn't walk in blind, not completely blind anyway. We were both broken in many different ways and I brought a lot of baggage, but 4 years after we are loving and living and I'm thankful for both of us. 

~ D.O.S


Here's Ronke's story:

So... here goes...my sister's sister-in-law and his [my husband's] sister were at Uni together. So Sister A, the sister-in-law, had tickets to this Donnie McClukin concert. I went by Sister A's place to pick mine up. Suddenly found out that I'd be chauffeuring them to the concert. No worries...small price to pay for free tickets, right?

So off we go and again there are a change of plans...apparently need to pick up Sister B's brother on the way. Don't think I suspected anything at this point. Until he started to talk to me at the concert. I was civil but not overly warm. 

I got a bit cold though when I found out I needed to drop him off at home afterwards. I gave him my number anyway...not that I was interested!! Really I wasn't but didn't see the harm...he didn't strike me as the stalker type.

He called me and a friendship of sorts began and the rest as they say is history!!!

~ Ronke



The moral of these stories is you just never know what a random day out and about might bring in terms of finding love! The possibilities are endless and your love story might not play out as you have planned or hoped. Perhaps there's a far more interesting plot that awaits you! ;)

Friday, February 3, 2017

How We Met Day 3: Business Unusual

I have to say I'm getting a kick out of reading and sharing these stories! I hope you are enjoying them as well. Please let me know in the comments.

It's Day 3 of the How We Met series and today's stories are all about Business Unusual. When business interactions bring you more than you bargained for! ;)


Here's A.O.'s story:



A few times in passing, my sister gisted me about a friend of her boyfriend who had a nice, well run auto shop. She had serviced her car at the location a couple of times and complimented the place. I got rear ended a few months later. My car had gotten rear ended the previous year and I had gotten it fixed in Agindigbi. I had a frustrating experience logistically and their customer service left much to be desired. My car ended up being out of commission for 2 weeks longer than what was committed to. So this time around, I thought checking this guy’s shop out was a good idea. Worst case, if there were any issues, I could whine to my sister’s boyfriend to step in.

I got the mechanic’s phone number and gave him a call to ask him for a quote per my insurance company’s instructions. I took the car in to get evaluated and decided to get it serviced since I was at the auto shop anyways. As I sat in the waiting room, the guy came to check on me periodically to update me and offered me a soft drink and water which I declined. He was so polite and even offered me an unsolicited discount when he was done. I felt his customer service was on point. I told my sister how great his customer service was and how he even offered me drinks. She looked at me and was like “he didn’t do that when I went there o.”

Sure enough as she thought, a few days later, the questions about me started. He remained professional for the duration my car was getting repaired and went the extra mile in fixing up my car….even things I didn’t realize were wrong. Once I had my car back, the ‘drinks meet up’ requests started. After sometime, I yielded to the requests and that was the beginning of an amazing friendship.

~ A.O.


Here's Kiki's story:

My sweet Uche.
I met my husband 18 years ago. I was working part-time with a foundation and was trying to raise funds to buy Christmas gifts for the children. This led me to where he was working. We spoke that day and became best friends by the end of the week. It wasn’t love at first sight and it took us a long while to realize we were meant for each other - 11 years to be precise - but at the end, I married my best friend!

~ Kiki


The moral of these stories? You just never know who you'll meet when you go about your day-to-day business. Get busy, stay busy, walk in your purpose, and in all things and at all times, keep an open mind and don't limit what is possible!


Thursday, February 2, 2017

"How We Met" Day 2: First Impressions Aren't Always Last!



You know they say "First impression is last impression". Well, when it comes to finding love, that might not always be the case. It's Day 2 of The Love Chest "How We Met" campaign - A collection of love stories to inspire and awaken the possibilities!

Today's stories highlight the fact that first impressions aren't always last!

Here's Fola's story:

So AB and I meeting is an interesting story. I was working as an investment banker and desperately wanted to pursue my dream of setting up a production company. I was in the process of setting up the company and looking for partners when a good friend of mine mentioned his cousin who is a super awesome director, NYFA, works in Bloomberg, blah blah. Super excited I asked for his number, I called him and he sounded snobbish and uninterested. 

After the painful phone call and the agreement to meet up for a meeting, I called his cousin back and said "I can never work with that guy". His cousin tried hard to convince me that it's a front and that he is a great guy...yeah right. 

On the day of the meeting, I went out of courtesy, half expecting anything sensible but it turned out to be a great meeting. We kept in touch, started working on projects, and became great friends. So when he asked me out on a date it was a little weird cause I didn't know he had it in him. 

Long story short, fast forward three years after, we own this amazing production company. That snobbish dude from three years ago turned out to be my husband, my business partner, and best friend. Love him...

~ Fola


Here's P.O.'s story:

It was during the RCCG fast of 2013. I was with a consulting firm at the time and my husband worked with the client I was assigned to. The cafeteria was serviced by Eko Hotel and as tempting as it always was to break my fast early, I avoided it. My husband had seen me on different occasions but I hadn't seen him until after the fast in March when I went for lunch and he walked in with his friends. He had a haircut that made me assume he was a bad guy and so I was not interested. I eventually gave him my BBM pin but refused to give him my number.

I didn't read his BBM messages on purpose until 2 or 3 days later and hardly chatted so he felt he was disturbing me and stopped checking on me. This was about June or so. I realized he wasn't sending me messages anymore on BBM or even calling so I decided to call and I accused him of not being a good friend. Lol. He asked me why and said that I didn't understand what he went through in making the decision to not contact me as much anymore. And we laughed about it.

We still hadn't seen all this while we were just chatting and talking on the phone. For my birthday, he bought me two coffee cups shaped like a camera lens. That's when I realized this guy was for real (I'm a passionate photographer).

We finally went on our first date in October and he tried to take a picture of me (lol) and I refused (he shows me the picture now and I laugh at how I was trying to hide my face). It was the best date. Nothing flashy, just real talk and good food.

By December, I saw that it was worth getting into a relationship with him and that he was serious about us and shared core values with me.

I thank God each day for helping me be spiritually sensitive. I had made it clear from the beginning that there would be no sex before marriage and he said he had no intentions of that. That is key because once you engage in such activities, it can blind you from the beginning.

~ P.O.


The moral of these stories...you really can't judge a book by it's cover so give people a chance and don't be too quick to dismiss someone who just might be your forever love!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The Love Chest Presents HOW WE MET - A Love Story Campaign!




On the quest to finding love, many people have discovered that forever kind of love has a way of sneaking up on us when we least expect it.

The Love Chest presents the "How We Met" campaign - a collection of real-life stories of finding love in unusual circumstances and when it was least expected.

The stories will make you smile and hopefully remind you that God writes the best love stories! So sit back, relax, enjoy, and be inspired and encouraged as you wait for your true love, remembering to keep an open mind and an open heart because love might just be right around the corner ;)


We start things off with two stories that highlight the power of UN-FRIEND-ZONING!

You've probably heard the saying "marry your friend" a gazillion times and rolled your eyes each time because when you think about all the 
friends you have of the opposite gender, none of them seems to fit the script of how you believe your love story will play out. So you friend-zone them and keep an eye out for the knight in shining armor who you believe will come from a distant land and sweep you off your feet. Or that beauty you'll bump into on a busy street in your cosmopolitan city and fall in love with instantly. Well, sometimes, it doesn't play out that way. Sometimes, your true love might have been there all along!


Here's Mide's story:

The Hubbs and I became friends while we were in secondary school. SS3 or so. There was no attraction whatsoever, from either side. We swapped seats cos I was ill and needed somewhere warm to sit. Stayed friends since then. We went separate ways after high school but kept in touch through college and NYSC. He says he started looking at me differently in 2012. I was clueless. He asked me to be his girl in 2014; I said "Haba. No now, let's not spoil our friendship". He said, "I'll grow on you". I called back about two weeks later and told him to take me on a date - One of the best calls I ever made! 

~ 'Mide A.


And here's T.I.'s story:

We happened to have known each other as kids because our parents attended the same church. We really didn't have any communication between us, I just knew him as one who attended the same church as I did. At about age 10 my parents left that church and I didn't see him again for many years.


I happened to meet him again at a fun fair organised by the church I was then attending, and I would describe our meeting like.... Ah! I think I know you and stuff. We just greeted and that was it.


A few more years went by before I would see him again. I was on my way out of church and this time we exchanged numbers and then began our relationship.


A thousand messages must have passed between us within two weeks, we got acquainted really fast and shared a lot about each other. I liked him instantly. I'm sure my colleagues must have wondered what had gotten into me as I was always with my phone and giggling.   


I honestly wasn't interested in a relationship at the time because I had just ended one but it so happened we were on a fast in church at that time and I decided before things got too serious to seek God so as not to waste each other's time. 


Well I got the confirmation I needed in my spirit and my husband also wasn't beating about the bush. Within one month of us exchanging numbers he came out clean that I was the one he had been looking for and he wanted no other. He was certain he wanted us to get married and a year from when we started dating we were married.


~ T.I.


The moral of these stories...don't disdain the amazing love possibilities that might be waiting for you on the other side of you un-friend-zoning someone!




Wanna share your story? Send an email to TheLoveChest@gmail.com

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