One of the advantages of living in the neighbourhood and having neighbours, is the tendency to be seen. The chances that we could strike a conversation that could lead to something special is always there. Sometimes our neighbours want something more and we are not interested. Well, I think it is always very good to define the relationship from the very beginning and I dare say that romance in the neighbourhood also has its rules of engagement like romance in the workplace.
So shortly after I arrived and settled in the United Kingdom, I was faced with the challenge of accommodation. One of my former housemates got married and by the time the better half came around, it was no longer convenient to continue living in the house. A good friend of mine who I had told about the problem later told me that one of her friends (let’s call him Ike ) had advised that his housemate (let’s call him Wole)was relocating to Nigeria and as such he would need another housemate.
I am not sure whether I went alone at the first instance when I went to view the house but by the time, I decided I would be staying there, I went with the guy I was dating then. There was something about Ike that made me feel it would help if he met the guy I was dating because he was sending some vibes at the first meeting. I did not for once think about him in any romantic light because he was simply not my type. I knew I could not be tempted at all, so moved into the house.
Well, the other occupant (Wole) who was supposed to leave did not do so immediately. I noticed that the two guys hardly talked to each other. I had conversations with them separately and heard different sides of the story. Honestly, I should have kept myself away from their issues but because I do not like people cheating others and Wole had painted a certain picture, at the end of the month, I gave him my rent. After all he was the one whom the house originally belonged to.
I agree that was my bad as it was Ike who invited me. Well, what I did not know was that action caused further trouble in their ongoing feud. I was surprised to learn later that Ike had accused Wole of being able to do this because he was shagging me. I confess I had never heard of that term before and had to go look it up. Fast forward to some months later, Wole eventually left and it was now me and Ike in the house. This was when more drama started.
ke never really asked me out but kept making suggestions. What was annoying was that he had a girlfriend who usually came in from time to time from another city. This babe could cook. I tell you, she would come around, cook all manner of dishes, fry plantain and gizzard, make eforiro and in short, whenever she left, the fridge was fully filled and that was when my work started.
My neighbour, Ike usually worked during the day and in the evening whenever his girlfriend was not in town, he would give me a call on his way back from work, with a request. Usually, it was for me to help him put a cup of rice on the fire so that by the time he arrives home, he will be able to have his food ready. Initially I obliged him on some occasions and after sometime I began to resent it and did not pick up calls from him in the evening.
What exactly was I doing and why did I have to start preparing his food before he arrived? I was not dating him and had no intention of doing so. This was definitely not part of my neighbour job description and I could see the lines almost getting blurred.
One of the things that made me stop was that my neighbour always had a way of acting like it was his right. Secondly, he kept acting like the girlfriend who came from the other town was the one who wanted the relationship and gave the excuse of how the girl’s mother and his sister had a business relationship back home in Nigeria. She was forcing herself on him and he just used to return from work and find her around. I pointed out to him that I also met her whenever I returned to the house without any evidence of the door being broken to. It was obvious he was leaving the key of the house in a safe place for her. He however then defended that he did not really like the girl and he found her “behind” too big. Excuse me!
I think that was what got me really mad. This was a fellow lady who would come over, wash his clothes, do wifely duties and cook all the time she was around and make sure she cooked enough soup and stew that would last for a reasonable period till she returned. I even remembered one Christmas I peeped into a card which she bought for him. it was a readymade “To my husband with Love at Christmas” .
Hmm, so much for romantic neighbours. Somehow, it seems most of the betrayals I have learnt about love has come from observing neighbours in love.But I would be the first to say that I have seen people who have found love in the neighbourhood . If you must engage in neighbourhood love, play by the rules and what are the rules really?
Well, I would just give one here. You could DM me for more. If you must date a neighbour, remember that they still need their own space. Don’t turn up in their home, uninvited and unannounced everytime. You would weary them out and the romance off your relationship. Give them space and do not automatically make their house an extension of yours.
Romance in the neighbourhood is possible just make sure you play by the rules.