I sit here in this park. Everybody is minding their own business, laughing, singing, dancing and enjoying life. Oh! They look all so lovely. I wish I’d have the same… my bad, let me introduce myself; I am Nosipho a 19 year old girl. I want to tell you a story of how I started dating older men, also known as ‘Sugar Daddies’.

At thirteen, when I decided I was ready for dating, I already knew who I wanted and I got him. But a few weeks later I realised he was not who or what I thought he was, so we parted ways.

His name was Viwe a 20 year old guy, doing his first year in Engineering at Gert Sibande College. He was the true definition of a bad guy. He drank to the point of not knowing his own name, smoked until his eyes could barely see and was an obnoxious cheat.

After this short relationship, I dated a guy by the name, Luyanda. He was nineteen and working at his uncle’s driving school. This is the relationship that taught me a lot, maybe because I had invested a lot in it and got nothing in return.

Luyanda, like Viwe, drank, was a serial cheat. And strangely I turned a blind eye to it all. He was emotionally abusive, to the point where my self-esteem was below zero if I had any.

He didn’t mind telling me how ugly I was, how I couldn’t dress, how uncool I was and all the horrible things you can think of. Why I never left earlier on, I too do not know. Our relationship was on and off for two years. He is the guy that took my virginity, but to this day he denies that.

After eight months of deflowering me, he got me pregnant (and that was only the third sexual encounter we had). I had an abortion because I wasn’t ready for a child nor was he. Well he didn’t even seem to care.

I liked to think Luyanda was my first love. I do not know why but then again many things are unexplainable during adolescence stage. I used to confuse my obsession and infatuation for love. I spoke so highly about him to my friends and people who do not know him. I even made up excuses and lies for him.

If Luyanda ever took me out, it was to clubs or to friends’ braai parties. He never took me out to restaurants or hotels, yet I was the most lady-like of all his girlfriends. He would make promises that he never kept and I’d never dare question him about it.

Even though I knew about the other girlfriends, I hung on, yet I was treated like trash. He never even once apologised about the things he used to do. I held a grudge against him after our break up.

I hated him for a lot of things. For wasting my time, for causing me so much pain and hurt, for making me lose my baby, for even have made me pregnant, for deflowering me, I just hated him. I wished him all evil and to me, he deserved every bad thing that would happen to him.

I would envy my girlfriends whenever they went out for dates or were picked up from school. It made me feel even worse when other schoolmates got the same treatment, because I spent most of my relationship as a single person.

Every other guy I met after that seemed to be interested in one thing only; sex. And I always refused and we’d break up. These relationships did not even last two weeks.

At sixteen I met a wonderful man. He waited seven months for my call, I still laugh hard at the thought. I accepted his love proposal on the 25th of January and on the 26th we had our first date.

To this day I speak fondly about this man because he opened my eyes. He treated me the way a lady should be, he opened doors for me, took me out to classy restaurants, gave me pocket money and was always there for me.

He was a gentleman. I met his children, his siblings and some of his colleagues. He made me feel loved and listened to.

He really raised the ladder for whoever was coming next. During this whole relationship course, I had both my parents who loved me to bits. I gave them a hard time sometimes, but they never gave up on me.

The latter man was twenty-five years my senior. So I figured older man treat woman better and decided to stick to them. Dating sugar daddies was a choice, influenced by the loveless young guys I first dated. But it was my choice.

Tell us: Would you date a sugar daddy or sugar mommy? Why? Why not?