Dating in Lagos, Nigeria is fundamentally difficult. No one is sure of each other’s intentions. Even if you decide to be pro-active and ask questions, the reply you will most likely get, is what the other person thinks you want to hear. In some cases even if they believe what they are saying to you without of a shadow of a doubt, in a few weeks, or months… situation go make crayfish bend. People are people, human. Filled with volatile emotions, mood swings…we change our minds frequently, so you can never be too sure what someone might want or think they want soon after speaking to them. So here we are, in a state of hocus pocus, not really too sure who to trust, who to give your heart to. So how about I help by exposing a couple of open secrets…
In Lagos, broadly speaking, there are three sets of men:
1. The Non-Committers
These ones are smooth operators, expert at their craft. They know how to charm you, even if you have several barriers up. They know how to break each one down in one fell swoop with a few wise words, jokes, expertly crafted actions or reactions. Now don’t be fooled by this one ladies, there are so many of these guys out here, same guy, different packaging. Sooner or later they tend to expose themselves for who they truly are. Shortly after you’ve spent time together, gotten emotionally invested, they might have even met your family, you’re probably wondering what’s next right? Wrong.
You already asked him what does he want or what is he looking for? They were asked and answered well enough a while ago, so you ask him the dreaded question – where is this heading? What does he see for the two of you? I’m sure his heartbeat quickens, he looks you in the eye, or says softly to you, “I just got out of a relationship, I’m not looking for anything serious right now…” or “I am emotionally unavailable,” or “I have attachment issues…” what exactly that means, I have no idea. You see ladies; Mr. Smooth Operator here had no interest in going the long haul. It doesn’t matter how you try to frame the situation, fact is fact, and “he isn’t readyyyy!”
So you pick yourself up, thank God for the experiences you shared together, try not to become a jilted or scorned ex-lover and move on with your life, like most Lagosians do. Just be careful next time. The key is not in what they say but in how they act, not just with you, but how they have treated ex-lovers, ex-girlfriends. It’s also important to watch out for omissions, they are also quite relevant in this tale of woes.
2. Mr. Sweet
These guys are sweet, charming in their own way, but don’t have the usual packaging we women are used to. They might not be the cutest; they might not be the best dressed, or speak with an acquired accent. They might not be as funny as we would like but they are true gentlemen in their own right, gentle and kind. These ones should never be overlooked. They are the guys that will ride and die for you; they will love you and treasure you eternally. However, being the women we are, we would rather go for the guy with the swag, the one that seems a little bit dangerous the one that gives us butterflies in our stomach, but that never lasts ladies, that never lasts…when will we learn! Depending on what floats your boat, you might be willing to go for Mr. Sweet, but don’t go for him and then lust for another. However, in true Lagos fashion you might be tempted to do so, what the hell, ay!
3) The In-betweeners
These guys are the ones that have a bit of both: risqué yet stable. Not always the perfect balance, but balanced enough to peak your interest. They are a little harder to find around town, seeing as they might be lost in commitment with another, a woman that probably doesn’t deserve them. One hardened Lagos babe that knows how to catch am, hold am as soon as she sets her beady eye on him. These guys are 100, so if you are lucky enough to meet one of them, enjoy the ride, take things slow but secure your investment. Because I am 100% sure that if you don’t know what to do with him, another woman will be more than happy to take your place.
So what to do now that you are aware?
There are four rules that have to be followed:
- Stay true to yourself and your principles. Lagos is a treacherous place; people aren’t as forgiving or easily forget. One innocent slip up can ruin your reputation and in this State, it’s the women that suffer for it, not the men.
- Never believe what he says to you – first time. Actions speak louder than words. Ensure that you look at how he acts and reacts. What does he do? What doesn’t he do? Omissions speak louder than words – trust!
- Even then, his actions aren’t guaranteed to give you safe delivery into the land of perpetual bliss. Time is you’re best friend. The longer time passes, the harder it gets to put up a front. Slowly but surely you will win the race. He will mess up at some point – garra!
- You need to be proactive. Repeat after me: “I need to be pro-active!” – YES! In order to ensure you will get what you want in this crazy land of love, make sure you ask questions, and not just any question – the right ones, the tuff ones that might lead to awkward silence if not answered properly. Because at the end of the day when you stand there with your heart in your hand, he’ll just as easily say, “but you never asked me,” or “I didn’t realise this was a problem,” or “Oh, but I never said we were exclusive.”