You. I want YOU. Yes, YOU. Not some 2.0 version of you, not what I think you could be after I fix you, not some idea of you. You. You with all your gunk, your craziness, and your flaws. You. I just want you. Isn’t that so sexy?
Not just that, but I think it’s actually called love… But hey, what do I know
I met a guy about 1.5months ago, and in the short time that I’ve known him, he’s made quite an impression on me. I met him through my cousin initially, and then through some
random not-so random events I met him again through my roommate (Accra is a very small city). During our second interaction, he did not waste any time chatting to me about our initial mutual acquaintance, my cousin.
“I’m pretty much in love with your cousin”
…Errmmm, *I’m looking around the room* ‘… Is this boy talking to me?… I don’t know him from Adam though…’
I remain polite. “Hmmm, Ok.”
The conversation continues to my bewilderment.
“Yup, I’ve told her I am going to be with her”
And yes, the words, “I want to marry her” did come out of his mouth during our conversation.
I continue to remain polite. ‘…Ok sure, mr man (whom I’ve only met twice in my life). Nice story.’ *side-eye*
Side-eye not because you’re kinda crazy to be telling me your business after meeting me twice, but side-eye because my cousin
is was in a fully committed long term relationship at that point in time. One in which discussions of ‘he could be the one’ had taken place between she and I.
“Ok, great, nice to meet you and aaaa good luck with that.” Second *side-eye*
Let’s fast forward to last week, shall we? We shall.
You guessed it. They’re dating.
Talk about surprise right? Well… Maybe not so much, and here’s why: this boy was determined and decisive. He knew what he wanted, and made plans to go about getting it. No, he wasn’t a home wrecker, but he made his feelings known to my cousin and showed her time and time again that ‘hey, I’m serious about this… I. Want. You.’ He also wasted no time to get support from family members. Case in point, my sister also met him, and later in a
random not so random conversation with me, she shared with me a similar interaction she had with him.
SIDE NOTE: I’ve glossed over the part where they’ve been friends for a bit and she is into him too, but I hope that at this point in time you would know that friendship is foundational to me.
. . .
I’ve been slowly working on a post about how to know when you’re wasting your time with someone, it’s sort of a rundown of red flags that I’ve picked up on from my own experiences, other people’s experiences and just reading things… It’s still a work in progress, but two things on that list apply to mr man’s situation: 1. Indecisiveness and, 2. Your relationship with his close friends and family. I’ll give you a snippet of my take on these two things:
1. Indecision is a decision. Don’t necessarily equate that you keep breaking up and then returning back to each other as a sign that he’s clear about whether he wants to be with you longterm. At a certain point, I can’t help you if you can’t make a decision of what you want. And there should be an expiration date on how long I can wait for you to decide. Ladies, when a man is indecisive about you, it’s for a reason. Or am I lying, men?
2. If you’re always introduced as a friend, he’s not that into you. If you guys are ‘together’ and every one of your close friends and family knows about him, but none of his close friends or family knows about your existence/relationship, it’s time to reconsider the situation. If you ask to meet his family/friends and he evades the question like the plague, it’s time to consider why. And don’t worry, this includes the lot of ‘I don’t tell people about my personal business’ folks too. Yes, some men don’t like to gossip about who they’re fooling around with, but this isn’t what I’m talking about. I’m talking about when he’s serious about you. When you’re special to him, he’ll want the other special people in his life to know about you. And vice- versa. Period.
. . .
So back to
my future brother-in-law mr man. I can gel with his approach, BUT Please don’t equate his determination for stupidity. I know for a fact that this guy would not have continued to express his feelings for my cousin forever with no response. There was a communicated expiration to his proposal:
“I’ve told her that if she doesn’t let me know within X amount of time, I’ll back off’.
And I think that’s fair. Just because you’re in love doesn’t mean you throw reason out the window.
Welcome to the fam, mr man.
I just had one of the weirdest occurrences tonight… apologies in advance, this post might be a little convoluted.
I’ve been away traveling for a bit, and it’s been a very exhausting week AND weekend for me. After arriving at home and noticing that I did not have my keys to my place, one of my first reactions naturally was to call the guy I’m seeing and begin lamenting about my afternoon and not having my keys and wanting only just to be in my bed, etc etc etc. Which I proceeded to do: “babe, get this…I don’t have my keys… no, no one’s at home… no, no one’s going to be back until… and both my phones are about to die, so how am I going to…. and…” It continues like this for another few minutes. After I ‘finished’ my story, which quite honestly could be up for an oscar given it’s embellishments and exaggerations, I come up for air only to hear, ‘Ok, do you what me to go pick up the key for you from …” The next few exchanges that take place in my head are yet to be fully digested… dive in with me as I revisit my thoughts:
…. wait, what?… I don’t get it.
Why are you…why are you talking…
No, aaa… no I don’t want you to do anything
Did I ask you to do anything for me…
Again, why are you asking me such asinine questions
I’m. actually. not. finished. my. story. so. why. are. you. talking.
I don’t understand what’s going on here…
Yes. That’s pretty much the gist of what took place in my head… the more obscure thing was the simultaneous ‘conversation’ that also took place in my head…
friend*, you realize he’s being thoughtful and only wanting to help
why are you overreacting??
…are you okay?…
omg, what is wrong with you?
As I was having dueling conversations with myself, I managed to respond out loud with a simple, ‘no it’s okay, I’ll figure it out’. The sad thing was I was in a hurry to hang up the phone not to figure out how and when I could get into my apartment, but rather to figure out what the heck was going on with me.
It would seem only logical for a person to offer assistance when a problem has been communicated to them, right? So why was I so annoyed with his response. I was annoyed because I didn’t ask for it… as strange as that sounds. I called for his ear, I called so that I could talk out my problems to someone and be heard. What’s even more irritating is the fact that it wasn’t rocket science to solve my problem, so of course I could solve it myself.
I have a “work husband” who I complain about work to ALLLL the time. It took him a little while to figure out how to react to me, but it’s so interesting now…he’s figured out when to sit quietly…with an ‘uh huh’ and an ‘I understand’ from time to time, and when to offer actual input to the conversation. He’s actually told me that he’s learned more about how to treat women from working with me than in any relationship he’s been in before… You’re welcome, work husband.
Back to the point of my story… women can be so confusing. Half the time we don’t know what we want. In another turn of events, tonight I would have been just as annoyed if he hadn’t offered to help. Men, I think the best advice I can offer is to make an effort to learn more about your woman…because she is from Venus… or in my case, pluto….. a planet that doesn’t even exist. Take the time to understand when it’s appropriate to be a silent participant to the conversation and when it’s time to give feedback and solutions, and it will be well with you…. most of the time.
*this is myself talking to myself.
Towards the end of grad school, I had a friend who began to talk about babies all.the.end. I didn’t understand it. It got to the point where she told me once that she believed her womb was ripe for a baby… ‘Your womb is what now??’ Again, I didn’t understand. But somehow, I’m beginning to (Read more about baby fever here). Although many of my peers are getting engaged and married now, I’m not feeling that ripeness to do so (mind you, I feel it’s time to settle down in a longterm relationship that’ll lead to marriage, but I’m not feeling the ripeness to be married quite yet). What I am feeling of late is a little tugging of this baby fever…strange, I know.
My friend sent me the picture below with the note, ‘you know your child’s going to have attitude like this, right?’ I could only laugh… not because there’s a high probability that what she said was true, but because of late I’ve been thinking a lot of what my ‘mini me’ will be like. What characteristics will s/he take after me? My outspokenness? My attitude? Or, my slight OCD-leaning tendencies or other quirks, perhaps? Not only this, but what will my child(ren) take after from my significant other??
I’m curious, how much does baby fever influence dating choices – to date someone and not to date someone? And I’m speaking here for BOTH men and women…
“Hun, it’s not you… it’s
memy unborn child…”
We haven’t done a poll in a minute, so let me know what you’re thinking..
When I was initially sent this piece, I thought omg I’m going to have to preface this with X, Y AND Z so people don’t get their feelings hurt slash get mad at this blog slash think the author, me or this blog is racist. However, I’m not going to do that. I think editing this would have made the piece lose its authenticity and raw emotion. Take for it as you will… don’t worry, I’m ready for the backlash. This blog has been lacking some fire, and this piece definitely takes it up a notch. I will be responding to this piece personally… very soon.
- – -
Conversation overheard at a bar in Accra, Ghana… yes… Africa:
White boy: <notices cute white girl and steps to her> Hey, how are you?
White girl: <busy dancing her best version of the azonto> Ummm… good.
White boy: <starts to lay his mac down> So—
White girl: Look. Let me save you some time. I didn’t come all the way to Africa to meet white guys. So, thanks but no thanks.
***drops mic. exits stage left. done.***
I appreciate her honesty. After all, if she spent $1500 on a plane ticket to spend a semester in an African country where the ratio of white women to black men is 1 to a bajillion, then why should Katie waste her time on Ken when she came for Kwame? The discussion concerning white women and their love of African men has been discussed ad nauseum in every black relationship blog on this earth. However, this is not about the white woman’s obsession, and its not even about African men just dating white women. This is about African men overwhelmingly marrying them. This is about the lengths that white women will go to keep them. This is about asking, are we —namely returnees seeking to date men of our own nationality–doing
something most things everything wrong?!
Disclaimer: I can’t be mad at love. I recognize that it
don’t matter if you’re black or white can be colorblind. And in todays pseudo post- racial society it seems only right that we would be very taste-the-rainbow-esque given our status as post- apartheid, post-black-president-in-the-USA, post-MLK- on-the-mountain-top intellectuals. But as was discussed in a previous post, the overwhelming rate of African intellectuals marrying white woman has really given me and my comrades some pause. Take the following real life, real world scenarios:
Scenario 1: Tricked ya!
I walk into a bar with bff slash roomie. The roomie notices a classmate in the corner who is very much an African man with great credentials (above 6 feet, nice dark skin, beautiful smile, ivy league degree(s) and a sense of humor— you know, standard fare.) He brings up his wife. I ask my roomie who this lucky Michelle Obama-esque woman of high standard and… of color could possibly be. I obviously needed to get her take on finding— oh wait. She’s not black. Oh… she’s moving to Ghana you say? Oh no, he’s moving to the US to be with her even though he wants to be in Africa?! Oh cuz she said she may or may not move to Ghana depending on how she feels in the morning?!
I don’t get it.
Scenario 2: Comin’ for ya!
Walk into a gathering of a friend. Start talking to a friend of a friend. He’s flirting. I’m flirting. Everyone is having a good time. Suddenly he has to leave to go skype with his girlfriend. Bummed… but at least there’s a woman involved. Most likely an Akua who is getting her masters in the states and will be back in Ghana in the next year. Only to find out… her name is Ashley, not Akua. She is from Texas actually, and she will be moving to Ghana next year even though she has never even visited the country once. Ever. He says they might get married. He’s still trying to decide though.
She’s coming either way…
Scenario 3: Promises and Pipedreams…
Guy breaks up with a friend, says something about misaligned values. Says he’s met someone. But of course he has. Because living in Africa as a smart, eligible African bachelor undoubtedly means connecting with hoards of pretty, intellectual African women that are teeming on the continent. So how awesome was it to find out that she isn’t a pretty intellectual African woman, but rather a white woman. And not one of those ‘homegrown white African’ types, or one of those ‘white women on the continent because they are committed to the plight of all Africans and not just the men’ types either; but your ‘I move to Africa
primarily for my African man’ types. Again, with no ring. No vows. No promise of a functioning, long-term relationship. Not even a modicum of excitement on his part for being with her.
Conclusion: Is it US?
White women seem to do a better job of marrying our men then we do and they are more than happy to relocate across the world and/or say they might relocate to ensure they get who they want. So what’s wrong with us? When Beyonce sang, ‘if you want it then you shoulda put a ring on it’, she was throwing a catchy tune and some iconic dance moves behind a motto that has gripped the heart and mind of many an African middle class, well-educated woman. Because truth is…
I am not moving anywhere for a man that hasn’t committed to me in some long-term capacity.
I am not moving anywhere for a man that has strung me along for more than half a decade.
I am not moving anywhere for a man that is with me out of convenience and not out of genuine desire.
I am not moving to anyone’s country where I do not speak the language, cannot cook the food and burn every time I go outside unless there are ring(s) on it…
I am also NOT currently dating an African man, so I suppose there you have it.
You might say… or maybe you wonder… hey, that’s just some of the guys, it’s not all and it’s not even most. But truth be told, it is a
critical mass large enough number. If there are maybe 10 guys who meet the minimum bar of intellectual, down-to-earth and mildly attractive, at least 5 of them are dating or married to white women. Is this a legit statistic? No. But based on my personal sampling in the experience of my time here in Ghana, it seems pretty accurate.
Speaking to a Ghanaian man seemed to shed a new light on the situation. According to him, the returnee is the worst type of mate. The white woman is an outsider and acceptably so. The Ghanaian, born-and- raised is the prize and highly desirable. But the returnee is the lukewarm, mediocre, watered down version of the prize. A guy would much sooner bring a white woman home because her ignorance is excusable but the returnee’s one foot in America, one foot in Ghana situation makes them a bit like a house divided—it just can’t stand.
So herein lies the dilemma…
Is it that we are not Ghanaian slash non- Ghanaian enough?
…That we don’t compromise (never mind the paradox of our compromised identity)?
…That we are so quick to lay down all the things we won’t do that he can’t see all the other great things we offer?
The bit about our identity, to me… doesn’t even make any sense slash is its own spate dialogue. So maybe I’ll address that in another guest post (my fingers are itching for the dada b v. returnee version of real world/ road world challenges—blog style).
But the one about compromise gives me the shivers. Explain to me in what world it would be okay to ask women to compromise on values that are very much the ones your own mother raised you with and still has?! Perhaps this shows you the stark contradictions and very real gender dynamics at play in Ghanaian culture. As women we are supposed to compromise on our ideals, dreams and expectations in order to ensure we can have a family with a man who complains about this very problem in his parents’ relationship. I wonder what kind of life these white women are giving up to live in Africa slash pretend to consider this option? How many of them wanted to go to law school, or raise their kids in Nantucket or be closer to their parents or
have Justin Beiber looking babies? Our parents taught us (men and women) that the holy trinity of life priorities is: Education, God and Family… in no particular order. So excuse me if the mix of these things requires:
1. A commitment to a career or livelihood that I cannot abandon on a whim or hope that maybe if the sun rises in the west one day, you may propose and/ or commit. My father sacrificed his everything to ensure I get some degrees and a useful job in the world because that’s his legacy, and my apologies in advance for wanting to honor that. Does this mean Career Rules Everything Around Me? No. It just means you better be talking kids and white picket fences before I consider any such diversions.
2. An expectation of love, desire and full commitment instead of a relationship of convenience based on shallow markers of compatibility. We have all seen those sad, tragic relationships, especially amongst African couples, and that’s just not the life we are about. We have also seen functional black relationships brimming with love and pride in one’s partner, and that’s what we want: Black. Love.
3. A Christ-Centered value system that means that many of my actions and choices will be based around my relationship with my God. The same Christ Centered values your mother lives by and probably tried to instill in you. However because you are a man, somehow the fruits of the Spirit become elusive.
Am I saying that we returnee women are perfect and just sitting there flawlessly waiting for hoards of Ghanaian men to throw stones at our windows and whisper sweet nothings in our ears?
Hell yeah. No! Am I saying that white women compromise their values for African men? No. I am pointing out that they don’t have the values we may have because they were not raised by the parents we were raised by. The same parents that the African men were also raised by. All I am doing is crying foul for the hypocrisy of the situation… asking us to compromise on values that we got from mothers very similar to those of these African men is unfair.
Compromise is important, but no one should have to compromise his or her character. No one should have to compromise his or her values. No one should have to neglect twenty some odd years of upbringing because there may be a fairytale-esque ending in some distant (unknown) future…
Or maybe they should. <KanYe Shrug>
I’m finally getting around to responding to Eli’s guest post… It’s taken me a little while to finish this… starting and stopping several times. As Eli knows, this is a sensitive topic for me. Something I’ve struggled with in the past.
Vulnerability is scary and often unnatural to many people. I find the latter even more-so true with Africans given that our culture encourages us to suppress (and sometimes not even acknowledge (certain) emotions). One of the main reasons for this is that being vulnerable is viewed as a sign of weakness and exposes flaws…and within a relationship dynamic, this can translate into very real negative consequences, ie. your significant other discovering that they do not want to be with you anymore. So people keep quiet. They conceal themselves. Or become who they believe the other person wants them to be. And this is why many relationships/ marriages have shaky foundations.
Time is the unassuming key factor in this equation. Rightfully, it should have a multiplying effect on vulnerability in order to achieve intimacy. In my opinion, opening up to someone gradually makes for a stronger bond- there’s just something about getting to know someone intimately too soon which screams warning signs (that crash and burn scenario). I know people wouldn’t be able to handle all of me in the first conversation, nor would they be able to understand certain things about me unless there had been a foundation set over time… for example, appreciating that I’m really not as tough as I want people to think I am, first, will allow you to better understand that my feminist roar really masks my burning desire to be an amazing wife to a great man one day… To take care of him… be his support… his best friend and the mother of his children…
One of the tough questions that Eli touched briefly on in his piece is how long should one wait to become vulnerable with someone – emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically- and is there an order which guarantees success? Is it best done all at once? My roommate and I were discussing the romantic landscape of our current lives, and she said something I really connected with: there’s something unnerving about meeting someone out and beginning the relationship on a romantic level right away. Her desire, and frankly mine as well, is to develop a friendship with a guy and for things to naturally blossom. Is this too idealistic? Who knows. But in my experience, the best relationships last when a foundation of spiritual and emotional intimacy is laid first. If I’m to be frank about things, I can accurately predict whether a relationship will be short- or long-term depending on how quickly we’re physical.
Opening up has been a journey for me, even with close friends. I’ve been guarded a lot of my life, because there’s always been an implicit persona that needed to be kept up… ‘the academic one’ ‘the good girl’ ‘the tough girl’ ‘the African daughter from a respectable home’. How exactly does one admit to their fear of rejection when she’s known as the ‘haaard girl’, you know. Although I’ve become better at opening up, I still stick to the premise that one does not necessarily need to share everything with everyone, and that means your partner too. Some things are just for you and your Creator. However, your significant other should be the one person on this planet earth who knows the most about you and who you feel the most comfortable sharing things with: not your best friend(s), not your colleague(s), not even your family, but your significant other- that’s just how I feel.
But to eli I would say this, a lot of people do not share
your our view that love blossoms out of vulnerability. I can “love you”, be married to you/be in a longterm committed relationship with you, and that have nothing to do with my emotional, spiritual (and even physical) fulfillment in life. Rather, my love for you is in how I take care of you- monetarily… it’s how I respect you as a woman and the mother of my children… but not that I necessarily share my feelings with you (perhaps because I don’t even acknowledge my own feelings to myself). Do we look at that couple and say that the man doesn’t love his wife if that’s his definition of love?
A little bob marley came my way today, and I thought I would share… it’s nice to hear these things sometimes…
And yall enjoyed my last marley post.
On a side note, I’ve been quite mute lately, but I’m hoping to get out a few posts (including guest posts) in the next couple of weeks. I’ve received feedback that I don’t really write about myself… so I’m going to start opening up in my posts..
“Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colours seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all. A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.”
― Bob Marley
-and, because every woman wants to feel worth it-
The caption reads, “Think ‘Sex and the City’ meets Africa! Five beautiful, successful African females return to their home continent and confide about love and life.”
When I have too much to say, sometimes I feel a question does the trick: Bandeka, are we feeling this?
I’m sorry, I can’t help myself… just one thing: “you can directly correlate the drive a country had in stealing African territories with the amount of drive its modern-day countrymen will have in the bedroom…” …ok let me not begin actually, #ican’t.
My friend wrote a tweet a couple days ago that really struck me:
vulnerability x time = intimacy
I wanted to hear more on the matter, so he sent me this:
Just my thoughts…
So, vulnerability x time = intimacy
Intimacy is born out of vulnerability. A person needs to allow themselves to be seen before they can cultivate anything real with someone else. The degree to which we do this is the degree to which we get intimate with another person. Unfortunately, many in our world (particularly in our generation) think of intimacy as solely physical. I don’t. It’s emotional, mental and spiritual before it’s ever physical. When we’re invested in ego, invested in reputation, invested in power and status… rather than invested in allowing ourselves to be seen as we really are — complete with chipped paint and all the requisite chinks in the armour — we sabotage our relationships. Many of my “close friendships” over the years could’ve very well grown and fluorished into a connection of the romantic sort… but in at least two or three cases, I made an executive decision and placed the woman on the bench… on account of her inability (more so, unwillingness) to be vulnerable.
Now all this is under the assumption that one has the time to achieve this. One of the things I’ve been reminded of since returning here [Ghana] is that intimacy comes quickly for me. Whether the relationship we have is platonic or not, I often get deep on the first or second question of the conversation. I’ve had people joke about how excruciating times with me can be… but also, how they end up being genuine, authentic and refreshing once they clear the hurdle of being reluctant about vulnerability. Most “normal” people take time to get “deep” however. It’s a gradual process. Even in long-standing friendships, when people have been apart for a very long time, once they reconnect, they’re usually slow to get back to the same level of intimacy. So a person has to be patient (to a degree) and wait for enough time to pass that a person can develop trust and confidence in the relationship… and feel comfortable opening up.
Now, some people are able to speed up this process. Particular demeanors, personalities and dispositions lend to this. Similarly, if you’re the opposite of these (cold, frigid, intimidating, arrogant) then you’ll cause people to clam up. So the speed can be varied.
But intimacy can’t be had without vulnerability.
And in most cases, vulnerability can’t be had without time.
Some people spend “years” in a relationship, but have no intimacy with their partner… because they spent those years putting up fronts and/or interacting on a functional level — “how was your day?” “who’s going to pick up the kids today?” “what’s your ePack fund looking like?” — rather than a vulnerable level — “what are your hopes? dreams? fears? what about yourself gives you pause? why does that quality in that person irk you so much?” etc…
So lessons I’ve had to re-learn since getting back to Ghana: intimacy is a lifeblood for me, and relationships are (more often than not) personally useless to me without it; vulnerability requires putting in the time, rather than expecting things instantly; the more the tendency to front, the weaker the connections between people will be. This is true at work, church, home, etc.
Hope that gives you an overview of where my mind was when I came up with the equation?
I’ll be responding to his thoughts in Part 2 of Vulnerability x Time = Intimacy. Stay tuned.
Could You Be Celibate For Your Partner?
Let’s be clear before you read the results: I. don’t. believe. them.
I’m thinking it could have been the wording of the options (a friend noted that of course no one wants to be the douche that says, ‘hell no’). My other thought is that maybe people actually believe they could wait (…though they’ve never done so before), or maybe they believe they wouldn’t have to wait long – however, what are you doing a year out from now without sex?? Honestly how long could you ‘sex isn’t life or death’ers’ wait? OR, perhaps single people who aren’t having sex right now believe that they could keep up the same song and dance for someone they really like.
*The original poll was posted on July 3rd, 2012,
Having witnessed a flood of people getting engaged and married in the last 6months, I think I’m going to start a mini-series on marriage… so here begins the first piece. Enjoy!
If I had a dollar for the number of times I’ve heard of a young African couple getting married abruptly, and then <9months later welcoming a new child into their home, I probably wouldn’t be rich, but at least middle class status There’s no judgment, but I do find the differences in the African approach and the American approach to pregnancy before marriage quite intriguing.
Take Lady #1- a woman in her mid-20s who has been dating her bf for a few yrs. They were married this past year and recently had a child. The kicker isn’t that people know the couple got married because she was pregnant, but rather that it is common knowledge that this lady got pregnant on purpose because the guy was taking a long time to marry her.
Take Lady #2- a woman in her early 30s dating a man in his mid-30s for a couple years. Recently she has become restless about the guy not wanting to make a decision about getting married (his MO being, ‘what we have is good, let’s just continue what we’re doing). Her response has been, ‘I’m about to be out of this piece, why wait on someone who is just wasting my time?’
The stories are loosely based on the lives of women I know. I don’t think I have to tell you which of the two women is African either*. Again no judgment. Although there are some differences in age and how long each woman has been in their relationship, I think its okay to compare the two (dating for 5yrs in your mid-20s can be some-what comparable to dating for 2yrs in your 30s). Knowing the 2nd woman very well, I know she is very serious when she says she’ll be out very soon if this guy doesn’t express interest in marriage soon (and side note: I fully agree with her stance- in your 30s, after dating for 2yrs, you need not to be taking a ‘let’s see where this goes’ stance). This lady would NEVER, and I can emphatically say NEVER dream of getting pregnant to corner her bf into marrying her- she just wouldn’t.
Men hold out on marriage for various reasons (not ready financially, finishing school, looking to get to a certain place in their career), but sometimes it simply comes down to the belief that there could be something better out there. So if your guy gives you that spiel, should your action plan be to reel him in (through various means, including pregnancy), or should you let him go? Thoughts?
UPDATE on post – since I initially began writing this piece, lady #2 has in fact ended her relationship, and has a new fabulous bf who is serious about marriage.
*people, please no hate mail on this. I know American women get pregnant on purpose to trap their men too. However, from what I have seen, African men are more likely to respond to pregnancy with a proposal than American men. Correct me if I am wrong though.