City of Boyfriends

Guest post by Briticoyemo

When I moved to Lagos I decided to put my romantic life on hold, after the last horror show of a situation I was in, I figured I needed a break and to put any signs of premature ageing that mess had caused me to bed. Moving to another country was upheaval enough and I had no interest in further complicating my life by trying to understand Lagos men and what made them tick.

When I told a friend about my decision, she laughed and told me not to worry about a boyfriend because soon I’d have boyfriends. Boyfriends?! As in plural? That was absolutely not part of the plan. Dating multiple men in Lagos, she elaborated, was standard procedure.

I laughed it off of course, until I got here and saw for myself how fluid the term relationship is and what it means to have multiple boyfriends. For every situation there is a boyfriend. The one who sends recharge cards, the one you call when you’re lonely, the one you actually like, the one who sorts out your car, the one you eat dinner with, the older one, the younger one, the rich one, the not-so-rich one, the cute one and so on and so forth.

It’s fascinating to see how these women handle and ‘compartmentalize’ all these guys without a second thought, it’s just part and parcel of being unmarried in Lagos.

I remain boyfriend-less, even though I’m not a romantic person there’s something about dating more than one guy I just can’t get into, perhaps it’s all the Disney I watched as a kid. Studies say women are good at multi-tasking but is it meant to extend to juggling people too?

I get the logic behind it; I mean there’s nothing worse than putting all your eggs in one basket then discovering the basket is a horrible, cowardly, City supporter that you want to set adrift far, far, down the Niger river.

Why not have backups? Backups make sense. Backups are smart. Except yuck, the term ‘backups’? Really? Like I said, I’m no romantic but ‘You’re one of many items on the menu this evening,’ is kind of a buzz kill. I mean really, how can you really get to know someone or invest in something if you’ve got other things on your agenda? Even if you’re multi-tasking, something will always take precedence.

And what happens when that happens? When you find the Thierry Henry among the Ashley Young’s, how do you extricate yourself? Maybe a polite ‘thanks for playing, better luck next time’ notice? How awkward. What’s the etiquette? Do you tell each guy he’s one of many from the beginning?  If you don’t, then isn’t there a lot of dl-ing/strategic avoidance going on?  What happens if there’s an identification mix-up? It all just seems rather tiring and Lagos is tiring enough as it is.

Perhaps it’s a cultural thing, in London, the ‘dating culture’ is really a big deal, people tend to fall into relationships courtesy of a Student Union night or a Christmas party and having one boyfriend at a time is pretty much the status quo. But the game is different here and not even necessarily in a bad way.  From what I’ve observed the girls dating more than one guy are almost always the ones comforting those hung up on just one. Maybe the key is not to invest until you find something worth investing in.

So maybe I’m doing it wrong, Disney got it twisted and Jasmine secretly had a bunch of dudes on the side incase Aladdin messed up.  Perhaps it’s a case of ‘when in Rome do what the Romans do’ and when in Lagos date a bunch of guys until you find the right basket.


Miss Gidi here

Like Briticoyemo, I have often wondered how any lady could date more than one guy at a time and I would like to say a huge thank you to Yemo for sending this in. If you have any stories or experience of living single in Lagos that you would like to share then send an email to But for the topic at hand, do you agree with the concept of multiple dating? what are the advantages of it and how different is it from cheating? share your thoughts below

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Admin- Single in Gidi

18 thoughts on “City of Boyfriends”

  1. hahahahaha.. the many mysteries of living in Lagos. I have found myself in several compartments in recent times and because i look out for them, and I enjoy them for a while, just to experience what it feels like.
    i have always been an advocate of putting all eggs in one basket when it comes to relationships and this is basically because it is the right thing to do. Give that relationship the best shot and if it does happen, fine and if it doesn’t fine.
    But Lagos is a Jungle and people behave like wild animals up in here.


  2. Dating multiple guys is a set up for disaster. When you end up with one of your 10 how do you truly stay engaged mentally by that one person? When you marry that one person how do you fully accept his shortcomings when you can no longer call the boyfriend who was good at talking to you?
    Or for instance you had the dude who would always show up when you had car problems, then you all of a sudden end up with the dude who only knows how to throw money at the problem but wont take your car to the mechanic?
    Sincerity is lost on a lot of people and folks assume that the end goal is marriage. You can get one of those 10 guys to marry you. The question is can you deal with him on a sole basis when the other 9 arent around?


  3. The term boyfriend in Lagos is loosely used. As an example,if someone asks me ‘how is your boyfriend?’ my response always always is ‘which my boyfriend?’ and now that I think about it, I probably wont respond that way if I had a BOO BOO. My friends and I use the term boyfriend for guys on our case on something along those lines. Main boo is for the main
    Also that there are 10 guys around doesn’t necessarily mean you are sleeping with or even kissing all 10 of them.
    About dealing with him when the 10 aren’t around, yes you will especially if you are hopelessly foolishly in love, you will be surprised at the things you effortlessly get accustomed to.


  4. If the person you are dating is aware that you are dating multiple people then full speed ahead. If they’re not, I think it’s foul. I’d hate to be dating someone who was dating multiple people. I don’t think I’d be able to handle more than one person. It would be too much.


  5. I think this is the height of deceit: on other people and on yourself, which by the way is the worst form of deceit. This is commonplace in Lagos and those that successfully do this are seen as “sharp people”. I leave each to their own, whatever works for you, but when the chickens come home to roost, nobody should cry foul.


  6. abegi, dating is not the same as been in a committed relationship! When a guy gets a girl’s number and asks her out on a date, do you expect the babe to drop all the past ones taking her to chop free food? (yes oh, I no get food for house!) Babe, better enjoy the experience of getting to know the people you meet before jumping into the relationship. With regards to Dam!, I totally get you. I go on dates, I don’t kiss, I don’t cross the line with anybody, I simply date and let things flow. Allow the sweet innocent gestures of holding hands be a big deal, shoot most folks don’t even get to that level sef. Whomever of the bunch that remains on point for how ever long and comes on point could then graduate to proper ‘boo’ status. The term boyfriend has been scattered in naija…any human pikin rhyming for you likes to form boyfriend and peeps around are too quick to jump on that label for the guy they see you hanging with. There is nothing wrong in taking the time to simply hang out and get to know different people, when the time comes for you to pick one, you know who to commit to (hopefully, he is a serious one). Now, if you open clothe and yansh for all of them, nah for different matter oh!
    From my experience, I have learned not to put my eggs in a basket before at least 3 months of trial and error. I feel like peeps nowadays are too quick to jumping into things that may end up wasting their time and emotions. Most times, the ashewo ones don’t stick around for long, then you can focus on the ones with correct sense. Until ya’ll have the DISCUSSION about what you are doing and both decide to focus fully on each other, do not fool ya self and allow person to chop you. By the way, I always let them guys know that as long as I am not in a relationship, I am going on dates with other peeps…if they want to go all ape shit about that facto, then they better park well and start coming correct.
    Side note:
    Errrmmmm madam what happened to the juicy post you were supposed to let us read last Wednesday before you got the other submission? Please don’t cheat us oh.


    1. @ Yolo, you are a funny young woman.. totally enjoyed your comment.. however, you know dating in the Nigerian context is used to refer to the actual relationship. In Nigeria, you really don’t hear people say “I was in a relationship for 2 years…”, you would usually hear people say “Oh I dated her/ him for 2/ 3 years” etc..
      I believe that is now beyond the casual “getting to know someone” stage.
      However, while your reasons are genuine as they are, people do it not to ensure they end up with the best person for them. They do it so they can gain from multiple people while playing with their emotions and time.
      Truth is, there is that guy for good sex, there is that for social functions, the handyman, the moneybag, the work/office thing, the fine boy, the popular one.
      there is the girl that cooks, the tiger in the sheets, the one with money that can boost you when you are broke, the friend with benefits etc… these compartments are clearly defined and i have seen it rolled out by both male and female , who unashamedly told me it’s the way to survive.
      Personally, I do not subscribe to this.. while all eggs in one basket has not worked all the time for me, i will still stick to it.


  7. That’s a whole lot of “multi tasking!” and I have to wonder about the high risk of contracting and passing on diseases.


    1. There’s a lot of disease going around this town. Many people are just to scared to end up alone, hence the need to have so many partners. They end up feeling sharp.


  8. So everybody knows somebody who knows somebody who is juggling balls but no one here knows how to juggle balls? Come on gals! Keep it real and start confessing before I start calling names!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What no one has put in perspective here is the long term, despite the population, Lagos is very small and the men here judge you by your past. Knowing 2 people you have dated is enough reason to dump you when things are getting serious, let alone finding out you were juggling nuts like squirrel.


  10. For me if I were a girl I wouldn’t have a sexual relationship with anyone till I was sure we both meant something lasting to each other. In that vein I’d feel free to go out with many guys just to know how they reason and to have fun generally. Boys aren’t serious. All they want most times is to sleep with you and then they leave you in search of the next challenge or newest model.
    The scary thing about the picture you painted is how it leads seamlessly to cheating in marriage, which Durex says is at a global high in Nigeria. Thanks for this


  11. When in Rome, act like a Roman. In Nigeria, men don’t believe good women exist, until you’ve passed several tests and he’s checked out your past, this makes it difficult for your relationship to get to second base, when there is no trust. Unfortunately, in Lagos, being seen with a guy automatically means you are sleeping with him, so go figure… I support the notion of multiple dating until you have the TALK, if not he will dump your ass as soon as he sees smoke without fire, remember Nigerian boys don’t do real research, so if people tell him you’re a hoe, you’re a hoe period, there’s no defending yourself. Putting all your eggs in one basket is risky before you decide to commit to one another, especially since he is likely to have multiple chicks he is seeing too. So if you want to survive and get down the aisle be a Nigerian in Nigeria, don’t bring your Oyinbo tactics here, they don’t work. Bad girls get down the aisle first, remember that.


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