The Method To The Madness – Why He Married Her In Months After Dating You For Years

Either by coincidence, fate or whatever, in the last couple of days I have stumbled on over three different conversations on Twitter involving women trying to unravel the logic behind how men “choose” their brides. Let me start by quoting one of the ladies on one of those threads: “Its absolute madness. No one can tell…


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Either by coincidence, fate or whatever, in the last couple of days I have stumbled on over three different conversations on Twitter involving women trying to unravel the logic behind how men “choose” their brides. Let me start by quoting one of the ladies on one of those threads:

“Its absolute madness. No one can tell me these men don’t just cover their eyes and randomly pick one woman on a list.”

Incase you are wondering, the genesis of this particular conversation was a news headline about a certain guy who broke up with his girlfriend of eight years and then proposed to another in less than eight months.

Ouch. In any world, you would agree that this kind of behaviour warrants such a remark but having successfully gone through this proposal/engagement phase myself, I decided to put some serious thought behind it to see if there really is any form logic to the process of ‘bride selection’ for lack of a better term.

The short answer is no.

What then what am I doing here? While trying to figure out this process I discovered some things common to a lot of guys who have gone through this phase and today I will be sharing some of them as a way of starting our conversation.

Every marriage is transactional

Whether you like to accept it or not, the fact remains, every marriage is transactional. Let’s not think about transaction only in the form of money – when a couple come together, everyone brings something to the table – no matter how little. It could be your family name, it could be your job, it could be your potential to blow and it could just be your looks. The point here is for you to know, understand and accept that no matter who it is you’re hoping to get hitched to, it’s all going to start off with a transaction.

The major benefit of accepting this hard reality is that it allows you to make the effort to determine what your prospective partner is selling and what they are looking to buy. If you as a woman is fortunate enough to realize these things on time and you discover that you lack one of the key assets your potential partner is looking to buy, perhaps you could try to get it and if not, this knowledge could help soften the blow if things eventually end.

A man is only ready for marriage when he is ready

It has nothing to do with age, money or even news that you’re pregnant. A man is only ready to take the plunge into marriage when HE is ready. On the surface it may seem like some of the things I mentioned earlier influence a man’s decision when it comes to marriage. For instance, you’d assume a guy would probably feel left out if all the four other guys in his rat pack get married and he turns out to be the proverbial ‘last man standing’. But you see, men are completely different from women. The things that drive us, the things that motivate us are completely different. This is why married men don’t stop hanging out with their single friends even after marriage. Making money is a major motivator for men and whether you’re married or single has nothing to do with your ability to contribute to a moneymaking venture.

Age is another popular one. For whatever reason our society has come up with the golden age of 30 as the benchmark for guys to start considering marriage (please note, I said considering – society thinks very differently about this age for our women). But I have met quite a number of guys who got married much earlier – 28, 27 and even 26.

Lastly, I’ll talk about children. For many years I remember telling all my female friends that one of the greatest mistakes a woman can make is to think she can force a guy into marriage with pregnancy. First of all, with the level of irresponsibility out there nowadays, I’d say any chic who knowingly gets pregnant for a guy with the hopes of making him marry her is not only silly but also brave. Secondly, being a baby daddy is one of the ‘coolest’ things out there nowadays so please rethink this strategy.

On the flip side, the one thing I’ve seen which has direct or indirect impact on a man’s decision towards marriage is his father and how he was raised. But even with this, there are no absolute patterns. Contrary to what most think, I have noticed that many guys who come from broken homes usually don’t mind getting married early enough. However, this desire is also impacted by other factors and this is probably why it doesn’t lead us to a pattern.

Every thing you do before he’s ready kinda matters but also doesn’t really matter

This is the hard bit to explain but let me give it a shot. If we all agree that marriage is transactional and a man is only ready when he is, then it means he never really assesses the women in his life for marriage until he is ready. Yes, you may have been together for 8 years before he gets to this point of realization but truth is, to him, what you would probably consider a sizeable investment is merely a piece of the portfolio he’s looking to acquire at the transaction table.

Now I did say, the time you spent together prior to him reaching the point where he makes the decision “kinda” matters and this is why. While considering this transaction, he is looking for the person who has the assets he’s interested in acquiring. Some of these assets could be loyalty, patience, great bedroom skills, good paying job etc. It is important to note that time or rather; length of relationship isn’t one of these assets. Instead, time is probably the unit through which he measures all these other variables.

Let me break this down. If I want to know how loyal a chic is, I’d need to evaluate her over a period of time but again, it is important not to focus on the length of time. Your focus should be on what happens during this period of time. For instance, if a guy had one girlfriend for 3 years and another for 8 months, one could easily assume the one he had for 3 years was more loyal than the other but this isn’t the case. In that 8month period, the relationship could have gone through more tests than that of 3 years.

With this in mind, it is easy to see that even though time plays a major role in a man’s marriage decision-making process, women need to start looking at it from a different perspective.

I don’t have data to back this but I’m pretty sure that there are a whole lot more men who end up in unhappy marriages compared to those who brake off long-term relationships to marry other people. I’m a student in the school of no regrets in life and I try hard whenever I get the opportunity to preach this gospel. However, I can only imagine how crazy getting zero returns from a 5,6,7-year long investment is.

If prior to reading this, you have only considered time or length of relationship as an asset in the marriage transaction then I invite you to consider all I’ve written here and let’s discuss in the comment section below.



  1. OLA_C
    Couldn’t agree more… When the pressure started with my folks decided to do a survey of the guys I knew had just gotten married or been married for a while… And while most tried to explain how they came to the decision of whom or when they got married to… The central theme was you would know when you are ready.

    The only caveat to the above was you would know almost immediately whom you can’t get married to.. That’s why it baffles me why it takes 5 – 8 years in some cases. What I can only assume is that the effective time of being together is a miserly fraction of that….

    1. thetoolsman Post author
      A cold glass of chapman for you for being first to comment. -> c[_]
      As for your statement on why it takes 5-8 years to know whom you can’t get married to, I think I touched on it briefly in the post. You can get a job for which you haven’t been interviewed or considered for can you? Because two people are together for 5 years doesn’t mean the guy spent the entire time evaluating her for marriage. Perhaps he only made up his mind to get married in the 8th year and at that point he decided to critically evaluate her and realised she fell short of his expectations. I know, it’s a cold cold reality to accept but thats how it works.
      1. Uche
        Why would you enter into a relationship that is going nowhere?
        That’s what baffles me. I’m 22, I’ve never dated a guy I didn’t see a “future” with. As I grew, my ideas of future kept changing, but you had to fit into my grand world domination plans before I could consider dating you.
        1. Anon
          I have a bro that has been dating this chic for years since they have been in university. They have a good relationship but whilst he wants to get married in the future, i dont thinke he is absolutely has a conviction of marriage towards her. Apparently, he doesnt wanna break up with her cuz he enjoys their rship (of around 5 yrs) and she hasnt done anything wrong- they are still both in their early 20s. The way they are going, he will prbly end up marrying her becuz she is a good girl and they have history together or he will find someone he cant imagine a future without and marry her instead.

          That is why I dont advocate young people (late teens, frsh out of parents house) to get in a committed rship. It is easy for the years to roll by and before you know it, you are too comfortable…

          Posted from TNC Mobile

  2. OluOlu
    I am in a situation where proximity is being confused for closeness. We work in the same organization and live in the same neighbourhood so I pick her up every morning and we come home together sometimes depending on our schedules. At work, her unit is on my floor so we bump into each other quite often. We are both not in relationships, neither are we dating but since we come and go together, a lot of people have assumed we are dating, an assumption she is comfortable with. She feels I am yet to notice her and when I do, I will do the right thing.
    But you see, I have noticed her long ago, right from training four years ago, and I needed no prophet to tell me that she just doesn’t fit the bill on so many counts.
    Many times she drops comments like ‘I have tried a lot for you’ and my response is always ‘How?’ She has regarded our friendship as an investment of time and I am tired of correcting that impression. Sometimes, I think ladies just cling to hope and choose not to see certain realities.
    Some colleagues too are not helping matters, they keep encouraging her to hang in there and eventually, I’ll come around. Bottom line is, if a girl doesn’t have what a guy needs in a wife, no length of years being together would make him change his mind.
    1. thetoolsman Post author
      Thanks for reading and I love your comment however, I need to ask if you’ve sat her down to have that conversation. I know it’s an awkward one to hard considering the fact that there’s nothing concrete going on between you two but we live in a society where the unsaid things have a way of becoming more significant than the said things. Think of it as your contribution to her growth, heck, label yourself captain something something for doing it but whatever you do, let her hear those words from your mouth -> I’m sorry but I’m not just into you like that.
      1. OluOlu
        I had that conversation about two years ago when the hints had become as subtle as a brass band. I think that a refresher course will be in order now

        Posted from TNC Mobile

      2. Tobe
        I couldn’t agree more with you.
        I’m also glad I clicked on this link and read this article. It is interesting to note that a man is only ready when he is and would only consider picking his future bride based on his needs. While a woman at the very beginning of a relationship gets into it because she hopes it will end in marriage. So she’ll stay on for however long it will take to get to that stage this is because time is considered as an investment. I think its very important for a man and woman in a relationship to keep an open mind. The man knowing what he wants from his future bride should at some point break it to his current girlfriend. Tell her where she’s lacking and make her move on.
        1. thetoolsman Post author
          Thanks for reading. I think the challenge here still lies in the fact that though most men may have a very rough idea of what they want in their future wife while generally dating, a lot of us only really sit down to consider specifics when we make the decision to take the plunge..
    2. SeryxMe
      you really need to have that conversation with her. Talk about it and clear the air once and for all. I’ve dated at least two ladies without ever having to ask them out. Everything just sorta moved into that zone and things happened. Later I realized that I only kinda ‘respected’ one and I did have a thing for the other. With these sort of things happening, you can see why she would think there’s something there that might kindle after some time. You should really kill that off, and if she still hangs on after that (because you can’t really tell how strong some people’s faith is) it’s no longer your issue.

      Also, it’s curious that you haven’t dated since the time you guys have been this close. I know it’s not that much of an issue but dating someone else would’ve sent a clear message and also shut down the colleagues. You should not underestimate the fury of a woman who feels she’s been cheated in a long-term non-relationship.

      1. Seyon Hun
        My issue with relationships that ain’t defined sort of is that somehow you drift along on the river and one day, you wake up and you’re someplace you don’t want to be, with someone you realize you don’t know.
      2. Julez
        Some people really do have faith. I have this close friend who has been on my case for several years and I have said “No” in increasingly tough and firm ways but ‘e no gree’. Finally told him I’m in a relationship, and who it was and he’s still hopeful but the good thing is that he’s aware. I need his friendship, he needs mine and so we still remain friends, despite his hopefulness.

        Regarding men stringing a girl along, I wouldn’t go into a relationship without any clear plan otherwise I’m not in it. I’ll be the one stringing him along till I leave. If you don’t define it, I wouldn’t define it and would leave it wide open for any of us to bounce…never had a need to, but I know what I’m capable of. No point opening yourself to unnecessary emotional hurt.

        1. SeryxMe
          It’s always important to define what you have. For me, stringing along is very bad. But it wouldn’t occur if the other party asks questions. So sometimes it can be assumed that both parties are stringing each other along, in which case, well… You’re on your own. Lol.

          I like ladies who know exactly what they want and they talk about it early on. I think many guys will be more responsible if that happens often enough, rather than the ladies waiting for the guys to define the relationship.

          1. Angeliq
            Not everytime defining the relationship makes the guy responsible. I’ve been there and it seems like some people like to leave things hanging, you define it and things change.. and not for the better. I do think that one is better rid of that kinda person anyway, even though it may hurt at that time.
            In my case, after it ended, I discovered I was one of ‘many’, even though in his own words “I stood out among them all” lol. I had ended things myself cos he seemed to be toying with me, in retrospect, I realize he was subtly trying to push me to end things so that he would not be the “bad guy”.
            I heard from an outside source a scant 4 months later that he was getting married!
            Never again do I want to go through what I went through in those few days before i got a grip on myself and armed by the things I learnt about him began to get over the whole ugly scenerio.
            He said there was no deciding factor for him, he only sorta wanted a clean slate and it was just the person that was ‘in sight of his scope’ at the moment he decided, maybe I would have believed him if she wasn’t earning better than I was and I hadn’t remembered some hints he dropped once.
            I think it’s the fact our relationship was non-sexual and a divine ability to forgive that we are friends now.
          2. Julez
            That’s true. If you know you’re a lady that will fall even if it’s not defined, please don’t follow my method; ask!
            I’ve never been careless with my emotions; I wouldn’t be in a relationship where I know that I’m not interested in marrying the man or the man’s interest can’t be established, to conserve my emotional energy.
            In all sincerity, ladies- and even men- need to protect themselves emotionally to avoid being pawns in the hands of the other gender; also, it would save the old sob story of “love is wicked’ or ‘love does not exist’.
          3. SeryxMe
            that’s the point of defining it, so you know when the changes start. You can point to them and get him back on track or ditch his sorry ass. It’s not always that simple with emotions involved and all, but you’ll find that it’s only the truly cynical guys that will go ahead knowing what their endgame is while accepting your terms. Most guys truly don’t know what they want at certain points and will not hang around if you start with “terms and conditions” defining the relationship.

            I like you already! I mean, what’s the point dating someone you can’t see a long-term future with? It’s not always because you expect it to work out in the end, it is that if it is going to work out you don’t have stupid reasons to mess it up. How hard is it really to work out what you both want from the beginning of a relationship? All the emotional trauma can be avoided in many cases.

          4. O'Kel
            Bless your heart darling. There’s absolutely nothing wrong in asking “hey, so where are we right now…and where are we headed?” If the answers are not satisfying, then by all means bounce.
            Women should up already and play active roles in their relationships. Three-six months is not too early to start asking these questions oh.
      1. Twisted
        Okay! I just have to point out here that I didn’t write that. It’s obviously a tasteless joke by someone I know. M sorry.
      2. Twisted
        The avatars are different sef. M so embarrassed. The real twisted has an avatar wearing shades.
        Dear impostor…
        Not cool
          1. Seriously...
            Abeg how does one register. I need to stop guesting and upgrade my relationship status with TNC abeg.
      1. OluOlu
        That is a very good question. Now I will answer it. Lol!
        See ehn na so office dey taya person sometimes. People never mind their business, but what can we do?

        Posted from TNC Mobile

    3. Keiskwerd
      Grow some balls. the type it took you to put this down. Tell her you are no longer comfortable giving her a ride to and from work. Because, really, you aren’t ok with the sequelae. So get it done so there’d Be world peace. This shit messes with chic’s heads. 4years is damn too long to be the only ride giver to another person of the opposite sex. (P.s who hitches a ride for 4years without getting even an okada from all the saved funds. You have contributed to her lack of growth. If she was using bus since, she’d have bought a car by now. Free here from her dreams please. )
  3. eniola
    Okay, the length of time isn’t always considered by a guy when choosing a wife, but that shouldn’t be an excuse to waste people’s time or even lead another person on. I strongly believe after a year or two of being together, you should whether or not you want to be with her forever. You should know if she’s got the wifely materials you seek in a woman. Why wait 8years to drop the bomb?
    1. thetoolsman Post author
      Hi Eniola, please see my response to @ola_c above. It’s hard to accept but you just can’t get a job for which you haven’t been interviewed or considered for…
      1. Eniola
        Lol I get your point. The guy should sha get to the interviewing part fast enough to avoid stories that touch. Time isn’t something you can buy back.
      2. Og
        I totally get what you’re saying but you know that sometimes the boy is already assuring the girl they’ll get married for a long period. Maybe with stuff like he should chill while he makes more money. And then maybe like 3,4 years down he feels he doesn’t want to get married again. That one is just plain cruel. That was the scenario in one twitter story where the girl cursed the boy and everything he represents. They’d already picked out baby names n shii. Here, it’s safe to say that she’s already auditioned, yes?
    2. Jay
      Scenario: Baby boy meets girl, baby boy likes girl, girl wants something “serious” baby boy is driven by lust in his pursuits, they eventually get together, time passes and all is well in the world, baby boy becomes a boy and decides it’s time to look for a wife(while still dating girl). Like Toolsman said, she has always been seen as a “girlfriend” and nothing more. Sometimes too guys state their intentions before hand but ladies keep believing that he’d change or grow out of the baby boy stage eventually, while this may be true, the thing is what/who baby boy wanted wouldn’t be the same as what “boy” or even “man” would want

      Posted from TNC Mobile

    3. Twisted
      my point exactly! Why wait so long.
      During my service year, i got a marriage proposal and i had known the guy for less than 6 months.
      Crazy thing we weren’t even dating but we were close enough for people to assume that we were.
      I liked him but I was pretty sure i wasnt ready to settle down. still i was happy he proposed and told him to give me some time.
      It didnt take me long though because i told a mutual friend of ours that he had proposed and OUR FRIEND told me to stay away from the dude.
      Not because he wasn’t good for me or he didn’t think he loved me genuinely, but because my ”proposer” had been seeing someone for …wait for it… 17 FRIGGIN’ years!
      17 Years and he wanted to just bounce. I felt the pain on her behalf.When i asked why did he waited so long he said he didnt want to lose out at the end of the day. just incase he never saw anyone, he’d still have her.
      The devil of a man!
        1. Twisted
          I blame them both and society. But I blame the man more because he led her on for so long. Making her feel like she was the only one. They were even living together but she schooled and worked in another state.
          Bottom line is there’s a huge chance she already saw herself as the wife and all that remained was the ring and wedding. She probably has forgiven many of his sins and vice versa ! Don’t forget we’re talking 17yrs. M pretty sure if she heard about the proposal, she’d attack me for coming to seduce her husband forgetting that he was never really hers to begin with.
          I blame the society cos no one really talks these days. We go with the flow.
        2. Miss James
          I was just going to read through and pass but this one got to me. First off, I enjoyed every bit of this write up and i’ll like to give you a very be thumbs up . Why do people live life as though marriage is some sort of “destination”? Life is what it is, LIFE! Live it, find what you love and do it, don’t make a human being your PURPOSE of living, ahn ahn!
      1. LOST
        Wait o! NYSC is for people not more than 30years. Assuming the guy was even on the upper limit “30” at that time and he dated the lady for 17 FRIGGIN’ years, does that by any chance mean he started dating her when he was 13years old?
        Just curious and still LOST!
          1. LOST
            I get t now. But 17years relationship, isn’t that some form of long sh*t? That’s like 17 years a slave! I can’t deal mehn. See finish go don enter.
      2. datmac
        seventeen years of her life,wasted! Some women self. A man that keeps you for that long without marriage will never marry you. Why would he,you’re already old and comfortable with the crumbs from his table? She let herself be deceived. It’s more her fault than the man’s
    4. Arhuedoh

      I currently have a friend who has been in an 8years old relationship and is still waiting on the buy. I have told her overtly n covertly to leave the guy or stop complaining about his unreadiness to marry her. She’s 33yrs now and I’m really pissed withthe guy… How do I help her
  4. Faerie
    Very insightful. But it almost comes across as this is the way men are, like it or lump it. Where is the room for common decency and consideration. Most men know how women think. You know that that woman who has been dropping hints and taking the position of a wife in your life wants marriage. That is the point where you need to consider whether she “qualifies” to be your wife. It’s unfair to claim that because you’re not ready, you chose to be blind. Then you suddenly have an epiphany eight years down the line. That’s the height of unfairness. You guys need to learn to be more present in your relationships and let go firmly the minute you realize that she doesn’t have the goods you require in a wife. Stringing someone (male or female) along will never be excusable in my books.
    1. thetoolsman Post author
      Yes you are right.. even though I was hoping no one would notice. But you see, this is where exceptions come to play. Trust me, if a guy goes out of his way to modify this model, he’s an exception. Why? Because it’s easier to just point at several other instances where women also offer no consideration when dealing with men. You know most of us love football, so why not just accept it? These things I wrote about are almost fundamental to our gender – heck, it’s probably written into our DNA or something.

      Trying to challenge them would probably start a gender war. It’s true that I have proffered no solutions here because honestly, I have none right now but if your suggestion is for men to take “hints” then why don’t women also come out to state their terms from the get go instead of relying on “hints”?

      1. SeryxMe
        “if your suggestion is for men to take “hints” then why don’t women also come out to state their terms from the get go instead of relying on “hints”?”

        Spot on! This is a major problem for me. It is “hints” that has now turned into what people are fighting against in rape issues. “I know she wanted it, she just didn’t want to say it.”

        I’ve deleted all my ‘hints’-perceiving intelligence a long time ago because I know how faulty guys can get in sensing ‘hints’ and how misinterpretation can get you in trouble. I know what I want most times and I tell you from the start. Maybe the ladies should help us (and themselves) by converting these ‘hints’ to direct verbal communication. Maybe then we’ll see some progress in this type of situations.

        1. Larz
          Someone once told me that “If it is that important to you, you wont rely just on hints to get your message across”.

          Posted from TNC Mobile

        2. O'Kel
          And my answer is, why won’t women wake up and smell the coffee already? Oh I know. We’re emotional beings and all that, but trust me peeps, when relate don dey pass one year without a clear google map positioning, then it’s time to do a big review. The review would point you in either of two directions “exit” or “forward”.
      2. Miss James
        This is something I do, something I will teach my girl-child. If I am going into a relationship with you, it has to be leading to marriage, and no, we must not get married if we aren’t well suited for each other.
    2. highlandblue
      To your surprise men do not know (m)any of these things you speak of. If in doubt, consult your physician. Sorry, if in doubt have a honest sitdown conversation with the guy.
  5. highlandblue
    It’s like there’s a switch in the head of men when the time for marriage comes. Start to behave like werewolves at the crack of midnight. How does this help? Should marriage be the end game for ladies? Do you win when you unlock the Ring level? Should you just be with someone who makes you happy and have fun without thinking of marriage at all since it is totally a different ball game? Or should you just refuse to be exclusive with anyone who is not committing to a life forever together with you? Questions questions questions.
  6. OluOlu
    See ehn, when they say ‘love’s a bitch’ I know what it means. You were wondering why I haven’t dated someone else all this while. I have just come out of recovery…
    The story of how I was curved is not for this thread.
    I have always been an advocate of ‘soft-landing’ i.e remaining friends with a girl even when you have told her you have no interest in a relationship so that at least, she knows you have nothing against her person. The big disadvantage of this so-called soft landing thing is that you send out the wrong signals. Like a female friend put it to me a while back; ‘you say you don’t care but your actions prove otherwise’ and she was right, cause if a greater percentage of communication is not verbal, it simply means most of what we say doesn’t come from our mouths. But what we say brings clarity to our actions.
    1. SeryxMe
      Lol. I know what getting curved is like. Take your time bro.

      That’s the issue with this kind of situations. Maybe because I’m not a big fan of ‘hints’ or ”non-verbal’ communication, I tend to shut down on ladies I’d like to date who eventually turn me down, or those that I am not fully interested in giving wrong signals to. We may stay friends (the once-in-a-while type), but you can’t get as much of my time as someone I’m really committed to, so you don’t confuse that with me leading you on. Luckily, I’ve not really been in a situation where I have to see such a person on a very constant basis as in your case.

      I have a close friend who has lots of these situationships (he has a steady gf, mind you) and I personally think he just enjoys the attention or the fact that ladies fall for him because of his actions. He knows it but he still does it over and over again. With my kind of ‘clarity of mind’ I keep asking, “Can’t you see that this person is falling/will fall for you? Why lead her on?” Basically, every action you carry out is laced with a touch of care/tenderness that makes them think you care for them deep down and maybe want something more.

      I help people, anyone. I do what I can when I can but I do those extra things for people I really care about so they know the difference. One needs to be careful with these things, I think.

  7. Kolawole
    This article is a must-read for everyone. Brilliant analysis.

    you have put into sound words how the minds of many men works. Length of relationship these days has become a thing of concern. I don’t understand why some people will date for the duration it takes to qualify as a medical doctor (housemanship included). The moment a relationship crosses the 3-year-old mark, the lady should have known where she is headed with the guy. Don’t assume all is well. If you have given 3 years already to the relationship, you should begin to know where you are headed with him and also know where you stand in his life. Ask him subtly. Ask him nicely. Ask him during make-out sessions. Ask future questions, questions of commitment and responsibility, not questions like “do you love me?”. Ask and know for sure.You are not a perennial crop.

  8. Moe
    This is the first time I’m reading a Toolsman article and I don’t regret it. The headline caught me because I completely relate to this scenario. I was actually planning on writing about something similar myself. Thanks for sharing the transactional nature of marriage hence my question. Since marriage is transactional, let’s assume the man has clear expectations in his head. Why does he have to wait so long to share or act on these expectations and wait till he gets a profile fit to move on not minding the casualty -the girl he’s been with for years?

    Posted from TNC Mobile

    1. thetoolsman Post author
      High praise. Thank for reading. To your question, I think I already touched on it in my response to @ola_c above. In summary, its two things, he wont evaluate her till he’s ready and secondly, if he’s taking too long to get there, why doesn’t she also ask questions or better still, leave him before he does?
    2. SeryxMe
      From the post and some comments, I think the answer is clear. He knows exactly what he wants WHEN he is ready (which could be any length of time dating someone). Sometimes the long-term lady eventually fits the bill and, naturally, marriage follows. To clarify further, he was most likely in ‘baby boy’ stage when he entered the relationship. This stage can last for however long and the current lady fits what he wants at that stage. By the time he enters the ‘man’ stage (ready for marriage), what he wants then most likely changes and the long-term chic most often will not fit, so he switches.

      What I really agree with in this analysis is the fact that many times, the ladies know what’s going on but just keep hanging on in hope that he will change from ‘baby boy’ to ‘man’ without changing them. Needless to say, most times, they’re wrong!

    3. krysty
      I think the answer is quite simple, he does not want to lose out on whatever benefit he’s getting from her in the meantime; it could be sex, free food, good advice, good friendship etc. painful but its the truth, so he goes with the flow till he is ready to settle down and finds the one whom he can’t live without. At this point, losing the above benefits for his new love interest is only a small price to pay.

      N.B; just discovered this blog and really loving it; would love to share some posts in the future if possible.

  9. ybbil
    Okay, I am going to rant… Permit me

    I feel men should be men enough and tell a lady the moment they know they can’t marry her. Don’t be a coward, after all you guys are men right. I respect a man that can say as it is, instead of acting up like a bitch baby. A simple, ‘Nahh, I don’t love you anymore, you aren’t wifely enough’ will suffice and if the girl is smart enough, she gets a-going. Trust me, it happened to me, infact we were engaged sef, met his parents, he brought wine, we fixed date for intro, but bobo has always been insensitive and not caring enough, he doesn’t even cuddle, nothing. And I noticed, but was still like maybe he just like that, maybe he isnt mushy, you know the way ladies like to make excuses for the man they love. But as time went by, behavior didnt changed, I started thinking, like God, will I be happy in this at all, would he care more when we get married, tension was a lot, friends were calling us Mr and Mrs, couple goals ( because he can pretend when we out, you would think he carries my shit) and I was having double thoughts. I started acting out on my double thoughts, wanting to get more care and show of love, to at least pacify me, to assure me. And like devil was using him, he kept doing more thns that was so insensitive. Out of anger one day, i said I was done, m not doing again. Maybe I half expected him to beg, at least we were planning to get married. But no, he didn’t, my parents even called him to talk to him, he started saying stuffs, like he loves me 60-40%, that he is confused and all (he was having fin issues during this time),he turned his fam against me, when I tried telling them what happened. I told him to choose, either be with me or not, cos I can’t play for his attention or try to get him love me 100%, either he don’t or not, for 2 weeks the same story, more excuses of not being womanly enough ( he expected me to come over every weekend and cook food). We even started a lil side biz together,that was making money o, but he was like not every time online work, sometimes cook ( God knows I cooked, but no praise, only more nagging) wash clothes (nahh, couldnt do that). I asked him the last time, with an ultimatum, and he didn’t keep up, so I zapped and haven’t looked back since. My Mr Man is out there being prepared by God and waiting for me. Long story short, when you fall out of love, tell your girl, if you cant marry her, tell her, do not string people along, because it hurt, I demanded answers, becos bobo was ready for stringing me, infact he has even bought the rope.

    1. thetoolsman Post author
      Thanks for reading and sharing your story. I’d just like to highlight a point you made … You “demanded” answers!!!… Can there ever be anything better than having control of the course of your own life? Why would anyone wait for some guy to tell them they’re not interested in getting married to them if they can ask by themselves. It’s even more surprising you didnt do it sooner in your case because you saw all the red flag, but you chose to give in to external pressure and fall for the same old.. “you know the way ladies like to make excuses for the man they love” excuse. You should count yourself lucky because your bravery has possibly saved you from a terrible mistake of broken marriage. This not something to rant about but something to be extremely proud of.
      1. ybbil
        Yeah, I know. I should have bolted out sooner. Especially the day I had an accident on my birthday and he didn’t show up till three days later. He begged and I forgave, but by that time I was already borrowing myself brain.The good thing is that everything didn’t pass one year.
    2. OluOlu
      Somebody should pour champagne for this girl…

      If as a girl, you feel the guy is stringing you along, sit him down and ask him pertinent questions; What are we doing? Where are we going? Don’t be afraid to be seen as being ‘too forward’. It’s the precious years of your life at stake here.
      I like how you were able to pull the plug when the guy started acting up, and it is at this point that some ladies become sentimental and begin to consider the length of the relationship, the fact that both parents had met, or that friends had already made the pronouncement of man and wife. It hurts because love is not a switch that can go on and of at will, but that temporary hurt is far better than being pulled on a string to the edge of a cliff and dropped off.

    3. LOST
      This reminds me of something both silly and blunt I did back in 2011, on 1st January, 2011 precisely. There was this babe I dated during service year, a very good babe o. We kinda broke up before the end of NYSC but was still in communication with each other. As fate will have it, we came back together and I observed the seriousness in her but the FILLAGE PIPU that were pursuing me will not let me settle down. So to avoid wasting her time, i sat her down and we spoke down to earth. Asking what she wanted and she gave a sermon of how I’m that husband figure she wanted and all, but I was blunt and nice enough to inform her that I don’t see her in the same light. WE ended it there!

      I’m still LOST!!!

    4. Seriously...
      *Panting from running to get champagne to pour in line with ‘s suggestion*

      Please take and drink *Hands over glass of chilled champagne*. Congratulations on dodging a bullet. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

      *Raises own glass* Here is to you finding love and happiness abeg!

  10. Tokunbo

    What happened to just falling in love? Love is the real barometer for getting married, if marriage is a transaction where all the indices for choice are subjective, and based on your predictions for the future. She will maintain her good job, her the looks you married her for and her figure, she will be able to conceive (that is if the fault is not the yours). We should all know by now, that neither you or her can determine the future and love is what enables you both to go down the uncharted waters of your lives together. The same reasons why your good friends remain your good friends even when they never pay you back money they’ve borrowed or whatever evil thing ‘your friend’ does to you. In most cases that is. When you are in Love you will know it.
    1. thetoolsman Post author
      A ha.. good ol’ love. Where does it fit in this mix. Valid question. If we are being brutally honest with ourselves, it’s there somewhere but it’s no longer centre stage. No sire. Little wonder why many in this generation now believe you can influence love. I have written several posts about the type of love you described – the genuine form which can never ever be influence or manipulated but more and more I’ve come to realise (maybe not accept), that most of us in our generation probably won’t have this type of love. Sad but true. But then again, there’s always be the lucky few who genuinely fall in love with each other and damn all consequences – to them I say, cheers.
  11. t3ni
    Good article, I understand all the points that have been raised here but I do feel it all summarises to a bit of an excuse.

    One would hope that both parties have sense and know the reasons why the other is with them, spoken intentions or not.

    Women have a biological (and social self) clock. If a woman is with you past 2-3 years, despite the fact that you may not be ready, you HAVE TO know that she’s most likely waiting for you to pop the question.

    This is where me I think women are stupid and men are inconsiderate. As the one with the clock and the invested time, she should be asking questions to determine what exactly is going on, not just be hoping. On the man’s part, in the absence of such questions, he should be able to be honest and say “look I’m not ready for marriage, I may not be ready for awhile, and I honestly don’t know what I want in a wife just yet”. That way she can decide whether to take the risk or not.

    Difficult conversation to have but being a decent human being is difficult. You can’t just as a man, be in a relationship for 8 years, knowing fully well this woman thinks it’ll end in marriage but since you’re not ready, ehn shrug. That’s mean!

    Both men and women need to do better.

    1. thetoolsman Post author
      I like your last sentence. Yes, the post could have come off like an excuse for guys because I was writing from their side of the coin but if you place this side by side with the female side then you realise both genders need to do better like you so rightfully concluded.
      Thanks for reading.
  12. Seriously...
    For me, it is just not Kosher to date someone for years without clearing defining your relationship and where you expect it to go. *Peering (mostly) at you guys over the top of imaginary glasses*

    That said, ladies, the ball is in your court oh. and our guys here have made a few very important points we cannot now pretend to be in the dark about.

    1. Nothing you do will make a guy marry you if he does not want to marry you (including the length of time in a relationship). It is like expecting to get a promotion just because of the number of years on the job.

    2. Know what you want and state your terms. Are you looking to get married within the next two years? Or happy to roll along? Then at some point you need to initiate the conversation and make that clear. Trust me, it is practice for when you get married. You will need to learn to bring up issues for discussion. Start now.

    3. Invest in yourself. Too many of us sit down dulling ourselves and make our lives about what we think some guy (who has not shown that he is ready to be a permanent part of your life) wants. You pass up career opportunities, refuse to go to school, invest in business because they have told you that “men do not like independent women”. Better be true to yourself. Set goals for yourself in relationships (see point 2) and for other aspects of life in general. This will help you out with the next point.

    4. Learn to cut your losses. Easier said than done. This ties in with point 2. If you know what you want and the dude is not sure when he will be ready, then free yourself (and him) please.

    At this point, my comment is almost as long as a post, so I will leave it here.

    1. thetoolsman Post author
      We dont frown at long comments especially when they make so much sense like yours. let me just highlight this part f your second point…

      “Trust me, it is practice for when you get married. You will need to learn to bring up issues for discussion. Start now.”

      That right there is golden. If you can’t have the difficult conversations before marriage you’ll definitely struggle to have them after.

    2. Toby
      Exactly. Women shy away from stating their terms because they don’t want to be seen as desperate, but what good does that do us? Better to have some plan, and see if the other person fits into that plan.

      Investing in ourselves is also really important. I don’t even know how women sit around not doing anything, just waiting for marriage.

  13. Toby
    This issue of men marrying someone after dating someone else for years touches a nerve in me. (Disclosure: I’ve been dating the same guy for five years now, and marriage is on the cards if we can get our jobs/careers figured out. If he broke up with me out of the blue to marry someone else in a few months, you bet I’d be pissed.) Here’s why.

    The first bone I have to pick is that this post is very generalizing. I suppose it can’t be helped, but humans are more than “every man does this, every man does that.”

    Stringing people along is despicable. If a man realizes that the woman he’s seeing doesn’t have what he’s looking to buy, the honorable thing to do is to end it as soon as possible. Loiterers should be arrested.

    A man is only ready to marry when he is ready… True. However, if a man is seeing someone and he knows he’s not ready, he should be able to talk to the woman about it. “I don’t know when I’ll be ready, and I don’t even know when I’ll be ready/I think I’ll be ready in two or three years when I have X and Y projects under control. What do you think? I don’t want to waste your time or leave you hanging.” It’s a reasonable conversation to have.

    Concerning age, men have a lot of latitude in this aspect. However, it’s a highly personal trait. Some men want to marry earlier in their twenties, some feel more comfortable getting married in their thirties. It doesn’t really factor into why a man would end a long term relationship and marry someone else in rapid succession. It’s the same age he used to marry the second woman that he would have used to marry the first one, barring any unforeseen circumstances.

    Finally, a man who doesn’t assess the woman in his life until he feels he’s ready to marry is a man without foresight. The same goes for women. I’m not talking about accosting someone with the Marriage Checklist on the first few dates.

    When you’ve been with someone for a while, once in a while- especially when all these marriage talks come up- you’ll probably start thinking, “Is he…? Is she…? Can I make a life with his person?”

    I started dating my boyfriend when we were still in medical school. I didn’t think about any of this then, we were just trying to be together and pass our exams at the same time. Things started feeling really forward-looking around our housemanship. I had been thinking about this sort of thing for a while, but I didn’t really say anything because I thought, “What’s the hurry? Besides, it’s not like you’re ready, or you’re desperate.”

    He told me he was aware that I was starting to get a lot of pressure to settle down. We started talking about it, when we would be ready, what we think we’re supposed to have before we say we’re ready. We even argued over division of house chores when we finally get married (story for another day). It’s not written in stone that he and I will get married but if we don’t, it will be a case of best-laid plans not working out, and not that one of us awoke from a trance and realized that the other isn’t worth marrying after all.

    Most women plan to get married at some point in their young adulthood. With the specter of fertility issues and societal pressure so heavy on women, it’s only fair to consider the future plans of the woman you’re dating.

    It’s not really about the time or length of the relationship. It’s about the people involved, their future plans and how those plans fit together.

    Tl;dr: The important thing is to conduct oneself with honor, and treat others with compassion. Discuss and deal with issues as they arise, and end things as soon as possible when necessary.

    1. thetoolsman Post author
      Lovely comment. Thanks for reading. let’s talk.
      On generalising.. I keep saying this is a curse that comes with the blogging profession however I did try my best to state that most of my conclusions were based on my interactions with friends and acquaintances within my circle.

      On this statement — if a man is seeing someone and he knows he’s not ready, he should be able to talk to the woman about it — I’ll say the same thing I said to others above.. Who made it a man’s responsibility? If he doesn’t talk, shouldn’t we also fault the woman for not asking questions?

      You also said “a man who doesn’t assess the woman in his life until he feels he’s ready to marry is a man without foresight”…. I agree with this and here’s why. I never said men don’t assess women in their lives until their ready – the point is, that assessment changes at every point in time. When you jump into a relationship and marriage is far from his mind, he’s probably assessing you based on looks, your interaction with his friends etc… Yes, a few things marriage related might come up but trust me, even he doesn’t even know himself well enough at that point to make conclusions marriage-wise. When I was younger, I thought getting married to a lawyer would be awesome (don’t ask me why).. when I got to that point, profession was not even a consideration for me.

      Im glad your relationship has worked out the way it has.. remember I wrote about exceptions, perhaps you are one of them or perhaps when your housemanship started, your bf had already made up his mind hence the conversations he was having with you. Either ways, good luck and I hope things work out 🙂

      1. Toby
        Oh, I agree with you on the first point- it’s not the man’s responsibility alone. In fact, for societal and cultural reasons, it’s more prudent for the woman to start talking about it first. If he doesn’t talk, the woman also shares the blame for not asking questions. Two people in a relationship should be able to talk about these things. I just posted another comment imploring women to bring up these discussions themselves. My initial comment ended up being very long, so I didn’t address it there.

        Re: assessment, I think I kinda said something similar in a comment. In the initial stages of a relationship, looks, sexual attraction are probably the variables of assessment. As things begin to get more serious, or as people get older, assessment changes. If both people are of reasonable marriageable age (by which I mean an age that they know themselves to some extent), within a few years, they should naturally be thinking long-term: Can I live with this person’s character flaws? Could they be it? Someone who wants to marry soon or in a few years will have these thoughts at least occasionally. As time goes by, the assessments will crystallize, and it will be clear if this person is a Yes or a No for you.

        It doesn’t have to take 7 or 8 years to realize that things will not work out or the person falls short of your assessment. It should be evident within a few years, max. Anything other than that is at best stupid, and at worst, wicked.

      2. Olayinka
        “You also said “a man who doesn’t assess the woman in his life until he feels he’s ready to marry is a man without foresight”…. I agree with this and here’s why. I never said men don’t assess women in their lives until their ready – the point is, that assessment changes at every point in time. When you jump into a relationship and marriage is far from his mind, he’s probably assessing you based on looks, your interaction with his friends etc… Yes, a few things marriage related might come up but trust me, even he doesn’t even know himself well enough at that point to make conclusions marriage-wise. When I was younger, I thought getting married to a lawyer would be awesome (don’t ask me why).. when I got to that point, profession was not even a consideration for me.”
        Going by this logic , then I guess even in marriage, the man will definitely continue to wonder if he made the right choice and where he decides he made the wrong choice, he can just up and leave. This excuse that it is when he is ready that he will start considering the girl’s attributes to decide if she’s marriageable is weak. In Nigeria, marriage is a topic hammered into your as soon as you can talk. So, even a child in this country knows that when two people say they are together, a lot of times, it’s presumed they are planning to get married. No man can say he never considered the possibility of marriage with a girl he has been with for years. Maybe it is not solely the duty of the man to bring up the topic, but then where it was the man who approached the woman for a relationship, it is his duty to let her know he doesn’t consider the person you have marked territory with for so long as being a worthy life partner.
        Besides, whatever the man saw in the woman that made him decide she isn’t marriageable 5 years after will also resurface in his new attraction 5 years into their marriage. What will he do then? Leave his wife and marry another one? Please don’t excuse wickedness abeg.
        I know I’m late to the party sha.
        1. thetoolsman Post author
          Better late than never.
          You’ve made one ‘not so little’ omission. Marriage comes with not just religious and traditional commitments/implications but more importantly, Legal. As if those are not complicating enough, add a kid to the mix and tell me if walking out of a relationship (of whatever duration) is as simple as walking out of a marriage. The obvious answer is no. And every single man knows this, this why I often tell people, for me, every freaking thing goes until a couple exchange those vows and sign those dreaded dotted lines.

          And my logic is not flawed but perhaps I just need to clarify a point. In marriage, a man doesn’t continue to wonder – he KNOWS. Afterall he made the decision. At the point where he made the decision, he knows what he’s compromising on. And so he doesn’t wonder – sure he can get positively surprised if for whatever reason, his wife changes in a certain area he didnt think she would but by and large he has a good idea of what he’s getting himself into and it is based on this he makes whatever decision he does during marriage. I have another theory that most men who cheat in marriage already knew they was a possibility they would at the time they chose who to marry – Im still gathering facts for this one so don’t quote me just yet.

    2. Toby
      Addendum: Everything I’ve said above applies to both men and women, it’s not a one-sided gender bashing. Women need to be honest with themselves and the men they’re seeing.
      Ladies, open your mouths and talk about the future, talk about when you want to get married, ask if/when he wants to get married, if he sees himself being married to you. Nobody is a diviner to be picking up the hints you drop. Talk about your plans for the future, and be ready to leave if his plans don’t gel with yours. If anyone wastes your time, you share the blame, for allowing someone to waste it.
    3. Larz
      I am a woman and here is what I honestly think…

      If two people start a relationship, say for arguments sake one want marriage, the other is just happy kicking it, I feel the onus is on the person that wants more to speak out and ask for me. I have never heard of a guy decide not to marry a girl because she respects her self enough to ask where their rship is heading. If he says it does, then it really is a big lie.

      This reminds me of a time when I joined a team and was working really hard. I was assistant to one of the Business Partners. I will produce the month end reports and sometimes publish reports on our website externally co-ordinating with several people across the organisation and project managing it. Then this senior BP moved internally and I assumed my line manager will approach me to take on that job. He didnt. I found out two weeks later, a lady from another team in our dept spoke to my line manager and he decided to offer the role on secondment for 6 months and make her permanent if she wants it. It was too late by the time I spoke to my manager. He a) didnt realise how much of the work I was doing on that job b) that I was interested in taking my career un that direction. A year later, another job opportunity came up and I got the job.

      Would you say my boss was mean for not considering me for that job? Not really. Whilst it would be a nice thing if he did, it simply wasnt his responsibilty. My happiness, career, goals etc is my responsibility alone.

      Of course, I could have told him I wanted that job and he could have given my a list of things I need to improve on to get the job, that would still be a job worth considering. Or worse, he could have been a complete a*** and told me how would never consider me for the job in which case, I know where I stand and I can decide to dust my CV and leave the organisation. The fact is I owe it to myself, just like everyone owes it to themselves to ask/ verify and confirm if the rship is going in the direction the want it to.

      Posted from TNC Mobile

  14. fabsomebody
    I read this article and as shitty as this sounds to we women, its the darn truth.
    I was mad a few times cos it brought back memories. I felt the change and tried to get away but bobo will show up and embarrass any guy that i hang out with, call my siblings and even report me to his mum that i’m misbehaving. I caught him a few times with other girls and ended the relationship but he always came back begging and as mumu as i was i kept thinking “its been 6yrs na, can i just walk away?” I kept fooling myself for 1 more year till i finally decided I was worth more than that. Less than 1yr later bobo got engaged. LOL.
    We got the shitty end of the deal on this one but what can we do about it?
    1. Twisted
      That’s the point m trying to make. Many ladies feel they ve invested so much time they can’t just up and leave.
      Yours was six years. Imagine the lady who stayed for 17!
  15. LOST
    Why is it that it is topics that concern Relationships, Weddings and Marriages that get the most comments here? Just curious.
    but I’m still LOST!!!
    1. thetoolsman Post author
      haha.. and I thought it was because I wrote the post :(…
      PS: I’m starting to think this your LOST is a brand – Admin, can we charge him for advertising?
    2. Skeptic
      Our species is wired to prioritize companionship and sex. The most potent force in nature or “life” is the desire to survive right next to the one to procreate. Which is what “life” is all about really, surviving long enough to pass on our genes to the next generation.
  16. Skeptic
    That’s just a thing people say. When you think about it, it all boils down to companionship and sex. What would you say you make the money for? Your answer will likely still boil down to companionship and sex, you just took a detour is all.
    1. LOST
      I will make money to enjoy life. Not everyone is cut out for companionship and sex. Of a fact, SEX feels dirty to some of us.

      I’m still LOST!

  17. Skeptic
    That’s why I said “likely”, meaning there’s a high chance of it being the reason. My point is, ‘sex and companionship’ is the rule, and like with most rules, exceptions exist.

    Incidentally I happen to be an exception. People tire me so much that I find myself Pretending to be Alone a lot (Chapman for you if you catch the Keane reference). But then again, it’ll probably always just be an idea, if I were to try it I’ll probably miss companionship and run coming back.
    I also find sex to be dirty and having a lot of drama that I don’t need attached to it. (It actually is dirty when you think about it, just that it’s hard to think you know?)

    1. LOST
      Companionship and Sex is not all that there is to life, hence focus shouldn’t be much on Relationships, Weddings and Marriages. But what do I even know aside being LOST!
  18. Skeptic
    There’s really no need for this back and forth as we’re more or less saying the same thing. You asked why people are drawn to this topic, I told you why, it’s in our wiring, most of us anyway. I mean I hate to use the cliché but sex is literally the reason we are here. (When I say sex I don’t necessarily mean the act, more like procreation)

    Of course there’s more to life than that, but I don’t think it’s in our place or anyone else’s really to dictate what people should focus on, we can suggest it and leave it at that. (I’m referring to the “should” in your comment).

    To some people, sex and companionship is going to be a priority, to some, it won’t be. That’s just the way it goes. Nothing wrong with either way.

  19. Ngamsi
    “In that 8 month period, the relationship could have gone through more tests than that of 3 years”. This is the short answer and an apt summary of the answers in this lovely post. I dated someone for 4 years and refused to meet his mother and in my next relationship, i met his entire family within 9 months, these things happen.

    That said, sons of baal need to quit stringing unsuspecting women along for years with the excuse of looking for ‘assets they’re looking to acquire’ and women need to quit playing the victim when all the signs are evident from day one (even when he says otherwise). It starts from identifying what you both want out of a relationship, stating the terms and both partners working towards it. Anything short of that is play. You can’t make anyone do anything they do not want to do.

    People often see marriage as an end (after years of dating and struggle and doing all sorts to get him to put a ring on it, he finally does and you exhale, we eat jollof and komole so you can start your lives together, halleluyah) but i see it as a beginning. It’s sad that age, societal pressure and whatnot are factors to making such a monumental decision.

    1. Priscilla Joy
      “People often see marriage as an end (after years of dating and struggle and doing all sorts to get him to put a ring on it, he finally does and you exhale, we eat jollof and komole so you can start your lives together, halleluyah) but i see it as a beginning…..this is so me, I wonder why men and women see marriage as an end instead of a beginning, maybe if it’s seen as a beginning women wouldn’t feel like they should struggle and do all sorts to get him to put a ring on it, they would take the time to build their life, their one actual life, learn to stand on their feet and build an identity for themselves first; then when a guy comes along and they get married it wouldn’t be the part of the woman’s life that sums up the entirety of who she is but it’ll just be that she has someone to do life with, having a partner should make things easier and fun especially when it comes to giving life the middle finger whenever they overcome challenges together, making mistakes, learning and growing together.

      But I have to ask, is the woman who got the ring after 3 or 8 months better off? The way I see it he would have been dating her while also dating the not-good-enough-to-marry girlfriend or maybe she was in his radar, so how is she better off? the guy is all sorts of conceited and deceptive and the jilted one got the better end of the deal in my opinion. One thing I’ve noticed is that people tend to hold off their, let me call it awesomeness, when they’re with someone they don’t think they’ll be with for life, it’s like they’re reserving it for someone who they feel is “worth” it forgetting that when a person gets so used to treating the opposite sex like crap just because they’re not the one, they would still treat “the one” like crap when they meet him or her because it has become a part of their character. There shouldn’t be a group of special people who deserve to be treated with kindness, consideration, compassion, etc and others who deserve whatever callousness is in you. Please if you’re reading this and you don’t know what being a good person is:

      “I think a great way to be a good person is to get in the habit of consciously thinking about the fact that almost every stranger, co-worker, friend, acquaintance, fling, customer service representative, driver, waiter, customer, client, neighbor, and person on the internet or elsewhere you come across:

      Has a family who loves them and vice versa
      Has hopes and dreams and regrets and frustrations
      Has as many thoughts going through their head at all times as you do
      Is dealing with random health problems, trying to make ends meet financially, and is probably tired
      Might be supporting one or more other human beings
      Might be just a little sad all the time about a tragedy in their past
      Might be the most important person in someone else’s life
      Is just trying to figure out how to be happy

      i.e. They’re a full human just like you.

      Remembering that will make you kinder and more empathetic.- Tim Urban

      if everything that is happening around would teach us anything it’s that not all proposal and ring is a crown or a blessing.

  20. B
    my own was two years. he got engaged after 8 months of saying i have “high expectations” because i told him to talk abt the future now or walk away. I didnt eat for 3 days straight. I went crazy. i slumped, my life suddenly lost taste..during this 8 months he called, texted, told me he missed me…we basically carried on but without the title..sigh..MEN! God help me. i still think he was my biggest love tho..sad
    1. Thetoolsman
      Sigh. I always preach the no regrets mantra. It’s hard but instead of thinking you were dumped why not think of it like you dodged a bullet. Perhaps God or someone up there was just looking out for you.
      1. Arhuedoh
        U said it all. I still haven’t found d my soulmate as I ha energy erance really fallen in love.I on e ended a seemingly great relationship as I knew I wasn’t happy or exicted about the prospects of getting married so i ended in with him. Funny though coz it took him only one month to know I was the 1 after years of being with another. I just wasn’t convicted i was even right for him I believe at that point in his life I had all he wanted. Sometimes I wish I said yes . .. Who knows, I migh have turned out happier or at least had kids by now B-)
  21. Raymond
    Late to this party but ….

    I see this as rather a definitional problem. It would appear like most people including most of you in the comments section see dating and relationships as a precursor or prelude for marriage. foreplay with marriage as the expected endgame if you will.

    When a guy and a girl hook up therefore the assumption is, they are evaluating each other for marriage which is regarded as the “next step”. There is however the possibility that dating is an end in itself and not a means to a so called higher goal of marriage.

    Because as social beings we all crave some level of relationship with others and there really isn’t any universal rule on how close this relationship should get or if it should subscribe to some idea of growth and transformation into something else subsequently.

    In an egalitarian 21st century therefore, I can say, “I like you, lets be friends.” without somehow taking on the additional responsibility of “I plan to like you enough to get married on xyz timeline if you agree”. Not EVERY relationship has to be an audition for marriage should it? In my honest opinion (I fully understand I might be wrong) it only counts as leading on where there is a prior mutual understanding that marriage is the goal. Otherwise its just emotional blackmail guilting somebody into marriage because of “investment of time” when they only wanted a non-contractual relationship with you.

    1. Thetoolsman
      Great comment. I believe I once wrote a post here on this. You are not wrong at all and it only amounts to leading on if the objectives of the relationship are not communicated between both parties. Most times its women who usually jump to this assumption – they get in a relationship and see wedding bells when the dude is just trying to have fun so the responsibility of defining the relationship automatically shifts to the guy and for many guys, expression isn’t our strong suit hence the drama.
    2. B
      see we all get your point, we all know this. the problem is MEN. im playing that card. you see, you drop hints here and there. i travel to 4 different states to see you, no i wasnt forcing myself. You introduce me to your mum who gives me clothes and money as gifts..i have met with almost every family and friend you have alive.. and i am making “assumptions”? Normal guys dont say stuff like ” when we have kids” “dont be like this when ure old i wont even allow u” you know, generic stuff that make girls lie at night and think of white picket fence!! girls can handle shit, if the sex is so good, we will stay and ask for nothing, you know..if the sex was good we will even be afraid to ask for commitment.. we can hadle that and if we cant, we walk.. dont tell us stuff cos u need our company or p*nany!
  22. Asia
    I like you post, but here is my situation, I met a guy last year, we will call him Chad, when I met Chad it was just business at first and I was dating and he also was dating, but along the line, my relationship ended and his didn’t; it didn’t mean anything to me, we just became very very good friends, we saw every single day, and we spoke every single day, he will tell me about all the ladies that were bothering him, show me their messages and how he even canceled a trip because one of the ladies was waiting for him to have his baby lol I thought that was funny, he became my safe haven and unknowingly we became one, he traveled to Nigeria for a couple of months and then it occurred to me I was in love with this by mistake, his gf lives in Abuja and we stay together here in LA, so when I get off work, I’m chilling at his house, or we are out eating, he has been in a relationship for 3 years and when we met I kept asking him why he has not asked her to marry him and just kept saying he was not ready and he didn’t think she was the one and I’m like so why are u still with her and he would say well he feels she has invested all this time, I would roll my eyes and laugh but now that I’m in love with him i feel stuck, he’s an amazing man and I don’t think we planned this to happen, he does every thing for me and I mean everything, he won’t even let me stress over anything, people here feel like we are dating or a good match but then I just keep looking like what are we even doing, what am I even doing? Please advise, because if he knew he does not want to marry her then why still be with her? Not like I’m fighting my case with him but at the same time it bothers me that people will rather be with someone cause they ‘have invested time’ and the fact that he kept on referring to their relationship as a ‘thing’ or a ‘ ‘situation’
    1. Ybbil
      You, my friend, are a wicked child. Leave that guy and let him figure out his ‘thing’ himself, so someone else won’t help him figure out his ‘thing’ with you. #NuffSaid
    2. Thetoolsman
      If you’re being honest with yourself you know the answer to your question here but if not, let’s help. You know he has a gf, he hasn’t come out to ask you to be his so why are you sticking around? You love the attention and you’re probably hoping he will realize you’re his soulmate and make a move? But you see, this is how people lose track of time. You’ll blink and 5 years would have gone by. Years you should have been out there actively looking for your own soulmate. He probably hasn’t ended his relationship because she has one two or more qualities better than you but since she’s in Abuja, you’re who he has around – the convenient option. And you’re offering your services for free with no drama so why should he stop? The decision is yours to make. I know it will be tough but please make it now. Let go.
      1. Asia
        Thank you for being nice enough with your reply. Yes it will be though several times I have let it go, he keeps coming back, but yes I will let him go. Is there anyway you can delete my thread? Please if yes can you? Thank you I’ll appreciate it 🙂
          1. Olushola
            This should remind us how much our “innocent” actions affect others.
            Saying the truth is one thing, but hurting people is another thing… Anyways… We’ll all just be alright after all..
        1. Asia
          Okay. Thank you for being so nice, I promise you I’m not a wicked person I promise, I don’t know how I got here, I don’t know how i let myself get here, I have never been here my whole life, I’m not a wicked girl I promise! I swear I’m not.
          1. Twisted
            We know you aren’t. You need not convince anyone!
            Ybbil was probably talking that way cos she has been hurt before?
            Dont judge her please.
            I’m glad you shared.

            And like Tools said, Let go.
            And stick to your decision this time..

          2. Olushola
            Hey girl, just relax okay? Fine, people will judge you but the truth is, for every 1 who judges is 10 others who probably learn from this, understand your situation, relate to your story or admire your courage for putting this up.
            I root for you dear, I root for you.
    3. Og
      He’s a fuckboy. Don’t take him seriously. It’s possible that he might eventually propose to you and come out tomorrow to say that the girl in question has not auditioned room any other witty excuse. Or maybe he genuinely is in love with her and wants to use you. In the end, he’s bad news. This is because if it eventually goes south, it will be said that you knew of his current status-situation or relationship, whichever he calls it. You, my friend owed either be the other woman, that is if he loves the current girl; or the wicked girl that snatched him away from his relationship of 3 years. Anyway you see it, it’s a lose lose situation from where I’m standing.

      You know the right thing. Just on it. Cheers!

  23. Esther
    Great post. My only two pence is the woman that remained in the relationship for 8 years was wasting her own time. After a year or two (if that) with no clear relationship goal, she should have cut the relationship off. If the guy really saw her as “wife” it wouldn’t have taken him 8 years to figure that out. And He kuku ended the relationship himself at the end of the day

  24. Dickson
    Well done Toolsman. This piece was thoughtful. However, I humbly request you or a lady write a sequel.
    This piece looks at the time wasted in a failed long term relationship from the perspective of the man being the ace holder.
    What about when the female holds the ace? I hate to bring gender into discussions but objective evaluation of any issue demands that we factor in all variables.
    I think you covered all grounds here on this topic. I would love to read about long term relationships in which the guy eventually decides to pop big question but the lady all along has been seeing him as a brother.
    In today’s lexicon, friend-zone is appropriate here. Some times, a guy might have invested much into what he thought/assumed was a relationship but apparently, the babe didn’t get the memo.
    At that point, dude feels so silly, stupid and short-changed.
    I await the sequel…..nice piece once again.
    1. Thetoolsman
      Thanks for reading and also for the kind words. No way we can discuss such a topic without bringing gender into it. I’d rather a lady write for the other team so I’ll see which of our in house columnists is interested in going for this.
    2. Arhuedoh
      It’s common. K.knowledge that women are morning emotional than men. That’s why u find a girl taking even a mere ‘hello’ too seriously. So they are more hit when the relationship goes south. Men on the other hand have a way of finding a rebound girl that help them get over the heratbreak. So the girl should take time to ask questions before it’s too late. That’s what has kept me going. Discover there’s no future and move on notwithstanding what pains I have to go through.
  25. Igbogirllie
    When I and my bf got closer, I made it so clear to him, ‘I’m on my masters, u have finished yours, I know we both want to further, so we can make the next couple of years a period of self development’.
    I also went further to tell him that marriage is not a reward, and if at anytime it’s not working, we dnt have to over-patch things and create deep wounds just cos we feel obligated to stay together.
    Went further to state that if he stays more than four years with no plans of marriage, I’m joining opus dei 😉 cos I want a family with the man I love.
    It was a painful and difficult conversation to have, but i had to cos when u define things, u can re-evaluate from time to time to know if u r still on d right part.
    In essence, I think the major problem on d part of d girls is spending years discussing everything but what u shld discuss.
    Finally, the rest of ones life is bigger than 8yrs. Marrying based on length of time spent dating is like giving up 50 to preserve 5.
  26. Zita
    Maybe I am weird, I am the girl who enters relationship as an end in itself and not a prelude to marriage. Maybe I have not found the love of my life or something..but I am perfectly happy in my relationship, marriage gives me cold feet, there is no better way to spoil a relationship with me than to talk marriage from day one. I want to know the man, explore our personalities, then we can see if this could be, I am not 22, I am 31. I feel no pressure at all.
      1. Zita
        Lol! , I am very Nigerian! My exes and family thinks I do not want to get married. But, I really want to..however, the fear of making the wrong choice is greater than the bite of public opinion. Besides, I am a very private and solo person. It is who they see, they ask questions!
  27. Celeb
    Great post, I think marriage should be a 1 time thing in a life time, so getting it right or almost right before saying the words “I DO” should be with the 1 you call and also calls you his/her soulmate.
  28. OluwaPRtoyosi
    I totally fell in love with this work right from the title and it’s quite educative. The part where the writer said a guy settles for what he feels matches up to his qualities his totally true. I also agree it is indeed a transaction.

    We all date/marry someone for a proteinous reason, just be sure it’s always for a right and sustainable reason…gracias

  29. Vintage girl
    I can totally relate to this as i dated a guy for 5yrs since I was 19yrs, and we planned marriage already, picked baby names, had location for our apartment, the kind of cars we would drive… trust me, everything was ready. He even flew all the way to where I was doing my masters abroad for Vals day…. Guess wat??? Two months later an old girlfriend was pregnant for him… which made me wonder if he wasnt dating us both all this years.. Am still baffled how he could pull that off honestly…. I just dusted my slippers and left, I cant be in no baby mama drama… and guess wat, hes still not ready to marry…. Guys really are one hell of a specie
  30. DE007
    1st of all, this is a great write-up for people at this stage of my life, I totally agree with this piece, and we all know ‘truth hurts’.
    2ndly I’ve never seen a more matured and well communicated comment section on a Nigerian blog/site.

    It’s high time 9ja ladies express themselves in situations concerning their emotions, cos most of we guys even with our experience tend to be novices on that.

    It was a long read! but interesting and worth it.

    1. thetoolsman Post author
      Oh wow… thank you so very much for the comment. I assume you’re new to TNC so let me welcome you aboard. We have worked hard over the years to create what we now call ‘positive internet’. We help community members break stereotypes and develop a respectful engagement culture. I hope you’ll keep coming back.
  31. Basiliea

    TheToolsman…thank you, thank you and thank you. Brothers abeg, I take God beg una, define the damn relationship ASAP. Do your assessment fast Na. Save a soul today. Sisters..wise up! Haba! Don’t wait for him to talk. Ask him. If possible, everyday. Turn it to ringtone. And I just saw 17years! an igbo man will ask you..’imakwa ihe? I bu ewu?’. If you want fun, then have fun. When you are ready it business you talk. Don’t feel too comfortable for nothing. I take God beg us.
  32. Pingback: Men, Dogs, and Old-Wives Tales - DamiLoves

  33. ME
    I totally love this post. I’m a little late for this parry tho, buh ‘I go still talk my own. The comments have also been as educative as the post itself. BT being a lady, I personally think that the ‘sistas’ should learn to take more responsibility in relationships. For d brodas, d lenght of time u spend in a relationship may not really be a biggie, buh it is for d sistas; reason being that ‘U DON DEY OLD, and ur biological clock is gradually winding up. The thing about long time relationships is dt they usually begin when both parties are still very young (late teens, early twenties, while still in school. U hardly find an 8yrs old relationship that started when one of d parties was 30). So at this time, the idea is usually jst for fun and companionship. Now as the couple grow older, their ideas abt d future and who to spend it with begins to take shape and one of this two things happen: They either GROW into each other or OUTGROW each other. That’s where d sistas miss it. After a year or two and the dude doesn’t say anything abt a future with YOU in it and everytime u bring up d issue u still get dt ‘let’s jst see how it goes’ response, my sista, dust ur Dunlop slippers and take off! Don’t make the mistake of thinking he will come around, cos what’s actually happening is dt he’s ‘outgrowing U’. As he keeps growing and his views abt life and d future takes shape, unless u are also growing in YOUR OWN LIFE and investing enuff in urself, u may never fit into his idea of a future partner, cos what a guy wants at 19 is totally different from what a man wants at 28. So sista, u need to take d initiative and ask questions abt what he wants in d relationship when u have both been togeda for a yle. And don’t make d mistake of thinking dt marriage is some kind of reward that u get for dating a man for 5years or more, u couldn’t be more wrong! So quit that ‘I have invested xyz years’ BS and do ur due diligence. I don’t even want to begin to talk abt how many abortions u may have had for him in ur ‘methusela’ relationship or how shiity ur reproductive health would have become after such a relationship (cos most of dem usually start during d experimental stage of life when hormones are raging and there’s bound to have been one or two ‘mishaps’), so d earlier you knw where ur ship is heading, the better for both of you, in fact, it’s best for u as d sista cos u have waAay more to loose than d dude. I do agree that there are guys who actually string d sistas along, they do everything right, make d lady believe she’s d 1and even pop d question, only to have an EUREKA moment after 8yrs and decide she’s not d one. The case file for such sons of baal will be open anoda day. BT all I’m saying is that a as lady, decide what u want, when u want it and if ur present ship ain’t heading in dt direction, use ur tongue to count ur teeth. Many men usually shy away frm awkward conversations like dt, so u need to learn to initiate it and discuss those important aspects of ur relationship when u see d need, trust me, u need that skill even more in d marriage u are hoping to get into. And stop droping ‘hints’ and ‘clues’ thinking ur man will catch them, it’s a relationship girl, not Gulder Ultimate Search! ….thanks for this great post
  34. Raquel
    I’ve been reading articles by TheToolsman and this is my first time commenting here. Good read; the comments are spot on. One of my exes told me after months of dating that his family didn’t want a non-yoruba lady. This from a guy that had been on my case for years and I finally agree to date him and then, poof, our relationship doesn’t have their approval. His family didn’t know me. I dunno if it was an excuse to break up with me, but I’m grateful he was gracious enough to let me go on time, instead of stringing me along
  35. henry
    Nice Post. i like the part you said ‘A man is only ready to take the plunge into marriage when HE is ready”
    This is the stage when a man actually start considering whom among the ladies in his life to go the next step with. I know this guy, he has been dating this girl for about 5years now .. they are still together, although he has other girls around him , He is financial okay and ready for marriage now. He is yet to decide whom to tie the knot with. i keep asking him what happens to your girlfriend of 5years. His response was like “When you are successful and of certain age, every girl around you tend to pretend to be wife material.. that is why its hard to choose”. this got me thinking…
  36. qwerty
    I like this write up and it is true. lemme share my own story
    one of my friend’s ex suddenly starts showing interest in me and telling me he loves me and wants to. marry me and all that but what baffles me was he once dated my friend that I even tried to settle things between them before they eventually broke up. then I asked him why did he suddenly creates interest in me and his reply was that he’s now out of school, grown up and needs to start planning his future and am the one he sees that fit into a wife material for him. I told him point black that I can’t, at least I was there when he was dating my friend and besides am in a relationship though not considering marriage with anybody any time soon. and funny enough the guy am dating is not even considering marriage though I don’t know if he wants to but when I feel like am ready for marriage am going to ask him

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