Dear Nigerian Women,
Ever since my early teens, I have always known myself to be a hardcore romantic – the idea of a relationship where I go out of my way to do the sweetest, most creative things for someone I love is one I have always been enamored with. Dinner dates, spend on gifts, go on walks in a garden, park a car by a small lake and spend hours talking and looking into each other’s eyes – I could go on and on. For me, being a partner to my woman was all this and being her rock, her encouragement, her push to help her achieve her dreams, the first person she talks to in her moments of distress and shares her moments of joys with. Interestingly enough, I hardly ever considered if my partner will do the same for me.
And it was with these expectations I have of me that I entered into my first relationship and I received quite the rude shocker – it actually does suck if you are the only one doing it in a relationship. It drains you when all the effort comes from only one direction.
I came to realize that a lot of Nigerian women do expect that the guy does all the doing in a relationship – the communication, the calls, the paying of bills, playing the supportive partner, doing the romantic stuff and all else that is necessary to keep the spark of the relationship.
I feel that too many of you are content with playing second fiddle, and being the willing passenger in a relationship, to be dragged hither and thither as the driver, the man, so wishes. I have lost count of the number of lost relationships I have seen or heard of because the man dropped the ball he has been carrying for so long, and you did not pick it up.
Of course, often, you feel that in return, all you need to do is to perform tasks such as show up at his place and cook for him, or wash his clothes, or even worse, make love-making which you both ought to share as something you are giving him as your duty in the relationship. It is why it is quite common to hear a lady complain that “I even slept with him” when complaining of a relationship that went south.
You see, many of us want way more than this – we want to be in relationships where we know our partners will meet us halfway. When we don’t call, they will call. When they feel something is wrong, they will speak up and not sulk in silence, expecting that we magically know something is wrong and fix it.
We want partners that will not just exist in the relationship or be dormant partners – you are as much a driver in this as we are. Why don’t you also seize the initiative on what you think we should do or where the relationship should be going?
We want partners that we can talk about our issues and share our problems with, and get more than just boilerplate answers and cliché advice like, “God is in control” and “Don’t worry, it will be fine” in response. We are with you for many more reasons than just your beauty – it is also because we find you smart and we believe you can bring those smarts to the fore and give us quality advice and insight. How else are we going to achieve our dreams of building those empires when we feel we are practically dragging you along?
There are times we will feel low; after all, we are only human. We want you to also be there for us to give us strength and encourage us, and to lift us up when we are down. We want to be able to run our ideas by you, to sit with you and plan world domination together, to be that power couple that we so fantasize about because we know it is possible.
Understandably, your laid-back nature in the relationship largely comes as a result of our patriarchal society where the man is expected to take the lead in everything. But times have changed and times are changing and many more men desire partners, not appendages. They desire that you build them up as much as they build you up. They desire to receive from you as much as they give you – love, affection, friendship, and yes, financially too.
There is only so much we can continue to give without reciprocity from you, and it does get exhausting and takes its toll on us.
More than anything, we want you to be our partners and not leech on us.