As men contemplate whether to attend their little conferences or pass by the florist in the evening, I’ll be writing a letter to the men I shared previous Valentine’s Days with. ILLUSTRATION| FILE 

OFF MY CHEST: Open letter to all my exes on Valentine’s


In Summary

It’s that time of the year again when love is in the air, land and sea.

Love birds are about to choke us with envy as they share pictures of how they’ve been spoilt with treats.

As men contemplate whether to attend their little conferences or pass by the florist in the evening, I’ll be writing letters to the men I shared previous Valentine’s Days with. Here’s what’s was on my mind;

Dear 001,

I remember when I first saw you; I thought to myself, “Who is this kimbelembele?”. I thought you were too talkative, too jumpy for my liking.

Then you ‘chased’ me for months before I finally gave in. I have to admit you were one of the best partners I’ve had. I remember that time you surprised me on my birthday with chocolate and cake.

I was in the sunset stages of my teenage hood-meaning I would have appreciated anything, even a tea date at a ‘kibanda’, but you went the extra mile.

Unfortunately, our love was short-lived, thanks to the long distance that severed our ties. Thus we never got to share a Valentine’s Day.

I however believe you would have gone over and above to prove your love, as you always did. You didn’t strike me as the type to choose a meaningless, proverbial conference over love.

Even though I ended things prematurely, I now think I should have given you an opportunity to prove your love.

Dear 002,

First of all, I never liked your taste in shoes. And now that I’ve gotten that out of my chest, I have a couple of things to say about our relationship and the only Valentine’s Day we shared. When we first met, you had quite the impression.

“What a jackpot,” I thought to myself. You seemed visionary, mature and focused. Every time I described you to my friends, I could see their eyes lighting up with curiosity and bits of envy.

I knew my next Valentine’s Day was going to be ‘lit’. Remember that time you promised to take me on a vacation for a week? That set the stage for my expectations.

Unfortunately, my Valentine’s dreams were crushed little by little, over the course of our relationship. I wouldn’t be so wrong to say that our relationship woes were piling up in a crescendo, by the time we shared a Valentine’s Day.

By that point, I had realised how deceptive you were, not only with your words but also your actions. You had promised the moon initially, but you delivered nothing but a meteorite.

However, to say that you had promised the moon would be hyperbolic because as I’ve heard, people hear what they want to hear. Maybe I wanted you to be something you’re not.

And when you told me that love should be celebrated every day and not just on Valentine’s Day, I almost agreed with you. Maybe I was expecting too much. But then again, did I feel loved every day?

For someone so outgoing, spontaneous and spendthrift, failing to even send a warm message on Valentine’s Day was a clear indicator that I was not a priority in your life.

And to think that you wanted to settle down... However, I learnt one important lesson from our relationship.

I learnt to love and to gift myself whenever I needed a gift. I learnt to be responsible for my happiness because I can’t spread happiness and love if I don’t have such in my heart.

Dear 003,

From the onset, I knew you were a mistake-one of the best mistakes I ever made. You were quite crafty with your words. And the spot you chose for our first date wasn’t making my decision any easier.

Everything was calculated to make me fall for you. However, by the time I met you, my heart was hardened. Your predecessor had failed me enough times and I was expecting nothing from the world.

Taking over from him was a tough job, but you were quite the alpha. You enjoyed a good challenge. I liked your calm demeanour and your goofy jokes.

But to be honest I wasn’t expecting much on Valentine’s Day. You seemed to have commitment issue. But I can’t scold you over that given that I had similar issues.

When we shared our first Valentine’s Day, we were just a few months into the relationship. I understood when you failed to express your love in a special way. You weren’t sure and I wasn’t sure. So we were on the same page.

We were however lucky enough to share a second Valentine’s Day. I had learnt to trust you with my heart and thus I expected a lot.

I was entertaining the idea of a candle lit dinner, punctuated with glasses of wine and warm conversations. I wasn’t hoping for flowers though. Your mere presence would have been enough.

On my end, I wanted to get you a gift on that day-a nice fashionable sweater. I started window shopping for the right fit. I however realised that as it is your pattern, you were beginning to distance yourself as the day approached.

As I mentioned, you were crafty in your ways. You always disappeared and reappeared when it was convenient for you. I therefore wasn’t surprised when you reappeared weeks later to confess your undying love.

That was the last nail to our dead love’s coffin. Don’t get me wrong- I love as deeply as I despise and time has proven that I’m a “moving on swiftly” kind of girl. There was no excuse this Valentine’s day.

We were not broke and we were not too busy. But going the extra mile on this special day was too much of a commitment- a commitment that you were not ready to make.

Like your predecessor however, you’re a wind chaser. It’s been almost a year since we parted ways, but you still want to talk.

You both cry over spilt milk, yet when the milk is in your hands you do nothing to prevent it from spilling. I may not be a demanding partner, but I deserved one good Valentine’s Day Surprise.

What’s sad is that you didn’t get your surprise because you were not willing to give one. It’s your loss, not mine.