To share the past with a suitor or not?

Natalie was 32 years old when she met Timothy. It was love at first sight for her; or was it lust and desperation? Well, she insists it was love.

Prior to that, she had been in and out of relationships; the thing about this trend is that it leaves one either equipped and forearmed or wounded. Every relationship that ends has lessons to the parties involved and experiences that leave bad or good memories. So she meets Timothy and gets swept off her feet, both of them were Christian so they decided to set a few rules clear from the onset. They were going, to be honest and truthful to each other if there were any secrets from the past with potential to harm the relationship, they agreed to come clean and together overcome whatever it was.

Natalie was pensive; four years before she met Timothy she was engaged to a different man. All was blissful until the day her fiancé was to lead a delegation to Natalie’s home to ask for her hand in marriage. Her family woke up early and got prepared, guests started streaming in as early as 9am, it looked like it was going to be a beautiful day, like any marriage ceremony. That was never to happen.

The man’s delegation was set to be received by their in-laws at 12pm, so at around 11am the person in charge of timekeeping tried reaching them to find out where they had reached but the phone was not answered. This was the case with a few more tries until eventually when the number was no longer reachable. It was now late and the reality had dawned on those gathered at Natalie’s home that the man and his team were not coming, the whole family was shattered, she was their firstborn, this was a milestone not just for her but the family.

It was going to bring pride to her parents that their child did things the right way, compared to her cousins that had first cohabited with men before making things official. Something like this had neither happened in the extended family nor the village, it was seen as a bad omen. How could she possibly come out of this? Who would ever marry her?

For long she lived in misery always feeling as if she was cursed and surrounded by evil. She never heard from the man again, and when she felt ready to try out a new relationship she was discouraged by an uncle who told her if she was stood up the first time then the second one might be worse. This instilled fear in her until she met Timothy. With him she was willing to overcome the pain of loss and fear, she was willing to open up and tell him all that happened on that day, two previous boyfriends were never told about the engagement ceremony.

‘Natalie, Natalie…..’ she got startled, ‘you seem lost in thought,’ Timothy said on realising she was absentminded. For the first time in years she recalled and narrated the events of that day to a man she hoped to spend the rest of her life with. He sympathised with her, was never judgmental and promised to protect her for as long as they both lived. Natalie’s truth liberated her. There are others that were abandoned on opening up. It is important to know what things from the past to share with a suitor because not all of it is necessary.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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