Right after moving to Nairobi, I met a man I thought was the kindest human being ever. I was seated in a matatu one early morning and next to me was this well-dressed man. We went almost half the trip without talking to each other until the tout came round asking for bus fare. That’s when I realized I didn’t carry my wallet. In a panic, I asked the tout if I could pay via M-Pesa but before he could answer the man next to me offered to pay and we became friends from that day.
“Thank you so much,” I said to him.
“No problem. I’ve been thinking how to start a conversation and this must be a sign from God.” He replied and I chuckled.
I introduced myself and he asked me out for lunch that day. He was the only thing I could think about the whole day. Not because he was attractive but because of how kind he was to me. My perception of Nairobi was the complete opposite of what I experienced that day.
At lunch, we got to know a lot more about each other. Then, the first red flag popped up.
“I live with my mum.” He said.
That was all I could say at the moment. I had heard about a mama’s boy and how pompous they can be but he didn’t seem like one. I assumed that his mother needed some kind of help or maybe their house was really big that you wouldn’t notice that his mother was around.
Anyway, that story ended quickly and I agreed to a second date. I really liked him plus I didn’t think that living with your parents was such a big deal. We dated for about a month then he dropped another bombshell.
“My mom wants to meet you.”
I didn’t even know this guy’s last name and he wanted me to meet his mom. Truth be told, it was getting a bit strange for me especially since every time we’d go out, his mum would call and they would talk for over 30 minutes. I was getting irritated by all the mommy interruption but again, I didn’t think I was dealing with a mama’s boy.
He literally begged me to meet his mother and couldn’t say no. That same night we drove back to his home with some takeout because he didn’t let me finish my dinner. Well, the house wasn’t that big. In fact, it was a two bedroomed rental and his mother had truly made herself at home.
“Hello,” I said uncomfortably as I stood by the door.
“Come in, I want to see you.” She answered as her peculiar way of welcoming me.
Brian was standing like next to me equally frozen as if he didn’t he had entered the wrong house which made me more confused. She walked up to me as I went to sit. Thinking she was coming to hug me, I stretch out my arms. Instead, she grabbed the brown bag containing my food then went into the kitchen.
The night only became more awkward until I excused myself and called an Uber while I was in the bathroom then made up an excuse to leave. But I still hadn’t learned my lesson. I still continued seeing the mama’s boy for several months. He somehow convinced me that his mother wasn’t going to be a problem – that we caught her on a bad day. I believed him but I never went back to the house. We’d mostly hang out at my place which I didn’t mind. In fact, he started helping me out with the bills and shopping.
We talked about him moving in with me. Again, I didn’t mind at all. I jumped at the idea. I would have done anything to avoid spending another awkward night with his mother. Even with all my support and encouragement, the mama’s boy was still hesitant. He made enough to send his mother an upkeep allowance and maintain our house. But money wasn’t the problem.
“I talked to mom today.” He said lying in my bed.
“Is this really the right time to talk about your mom?” I asked. I wasn’t in the mood for more disappointments. She had strongly objected to Brian moving in with me.
“Well, I have some good news.”
My face lit up. This was it, finally. The moment I had been waiting for. I couldn’t wait to hear the words coming out of his mouth.
“She’s accepted for me to move out.”
“Yeeees!!! Hallelujah!” I exclaimed in excitement and disbelief. I hugged my sweet mama’s boy and congratulated him on cutting the cord but he interrupted my moment.
“She wants you to go see her before I leave.”
No.” I said firmly. “I’m not going. Remember what happened last time? All she did was tear me apart and make fun of my coastal accent. She doesn’t like me. I think this is her desperate attempt to scare me away and you have to choose because if we go to that house I guaranteed you we’re not leaving together.”
He didn’t seem to understand how unhealthy his relationship with his mother was. He was a 34-year-old man who still consulted his mother about everything in his personal life. Additionally, he made excuses instead of owning up to his childish behaviour which became a big problem for our relationship.
“Babe, she’s my mother.”
“I know she’s your mother. I have a mother too but do you see her here?”
“I’ve told you she has nowhere else to go.”
“And that’s why I asked you to move in with me. But if that’s going to be a problem as well I don’t think this relationship will ever work. I don’t have to explain to anybody why my 34-year-old boyfriend shouldn’t be living with his mother.”
“Just talk to her. That’s all.”
“I don’t have to talk to her, Brian. You’re a grown man. Deal with your own issues.”
We ended things that day. Well, I ended things. It felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders knowing I didn’t have to deal with a mama’s boy and his overly controlling mother. Once in a while, he checks up on me and sends greeting from his mother who’s still living with him. I guess once a mama’s boy, always a mama’s boy.
The singlehood series is a collection of real-life stories and opinions from different people. It looks at the current world of dating in Kenya and experiences that people have gone through. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the contributors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Potentash.com.