We’ve got mail: Is Lagos for me?

A special shoutout to everyone that reads from the ‘diaspora’…most times I am amazed when I check the stats and notice visits from places such as Kenya, Uganda, Malaysia and Italy… you guys absolutely rock! Anyway, today’s mail is from a reader in the diaspora who needs our input, so here goes:

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dear miss gidi

Hi Miss Gidi,

I’ve been up for a few hours reading your posts and I absolutely love you! I’ve never lived in Lagos but reading your posts makes me feel like I can trust you to always say the truth of what is going on in Lagos.

I am writing because I need your advise and maybe those of the readers who live in Lagos about my current situation. I got introduced to my current boyfriend a few months ago by a mutual friend and after 2 weeks of getting to know him, he asked me to be his girlfriend. It’s been 4 months now and even though most people think he is only interested in me because of my passport, I like to believe otherwise. This is the first time I’m dating a Nigerian who lives in Nigeria because I was born here and have lived here all my life.

Recently he started complaining about the distance in our relationship and has asked me to relocate to Nigeria so we can be close to each other. He has his own business in Lagos so him moving to America is not an option and he has promised to help me get a job in Lagos once I agree to move down. I’ve never been to Lagos and most of my friends who have moved back to Nigeria are in Abuja so if I moved down, I would be on my own and dependent on him which makes me a bit uncomfortable.

As someone who lives in Lagos, I would like to know what you think. It seems like you have lived outside Nigeria before even though it’s not clear from your posts so maybe you can compare both worlds for me and how you were able to adjust.  My family thinks it’s a crazy idea and disagree with my relocating because we have no family in Lagos but I have been giving it a lot of thought and I want to make this relationship work.

Please help me out

Tee

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Hey Tee,

Thank you for stopping by the blog and I really appreciate the trust you have in lil ol’ me, I try to be as unbiased as possible even though it’s very easy to only talk about the good things in Lagos.

It’s common knowledge that long distance relationships are not easy at all, so kudos to you for giving it a try. However, moving to Lagos is a tough decision, there is a lot of difference from what is projected in the media (fancy blogs included) and the reality we face here. Besides the usual poor power supply, bad roads e.t.c, you also have to worry about the cultural differences, expensive living, occasional angry drivers and many more.

It seems like you really care about this guy so I would recommend you visit  for about 3 months and have a feel of what it’s like living here. If you are a bit more adventurous then you could consider doing NYSC for a year, that way you will make friends, you won’t be completely dependent on him and most of all you get to experience the real Lagos while figure out if you can live here or not.

I know it doesn’t seem like I gave you enough options but that’s the best I can come up with. I grew up here, was only away for a few years for my university education and I came home every holiday so moving back was a smooth transition for me. I am sure there are a few people who may have been in your shoes and would be in a better position to give their opinion so I will put it out there  and hopefully you find the answers you need.

At the end of the day, please remember these are just opinions and the final decision is yours and yours alone.

Regards,

Miss Gidi

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I must confess this is a tough one for me so what do you guys think Tee should do?

If you want to reach out to me or share your own story on the blog, you can send an email to singleingidi@yahoo.com or follow SingleinGidi on Facebook, twitter and instagram 

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9 thoughts on “We’ve got mail: Is Lagos for me?

  1. I’d say visit for a month and see how it feels and then maybe for longer ( 3 months) just to climatise yourself.
    Moving to a different country even for someone you love is a big risk and you need to be certain that’s what you want to do and not because of saving a relationship.
    I think you should also let him know your fears or concerns about moving, I wish you the best as I know how stressful long distance relationships can be 🙂

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  2. It is very difficult to make the decision you need to make and whilst I don’t claim to have any answers there are a few things you should consider.
    1. Where will you live if you move to Lagos. If you do visit I’d advise your first trip to be to Abuja and he can visit you there and you can then visit Lagos. It is a very very risky th thing to move to Lagos as a foreigner when you have no family/ lifelong contacts here. I got my best friend to move here by pretty much holding her hand and crying with her when drama occurred and we’ve known each other for 15 years.

    2. I’m not sure how long you two dated before it became long distance. In my experience relationships that were well established before distance became an issue have worked out better. You still don’t know what he is capable of.

    In summary… Take things as slowly as possible. If this relationship is meant to be the two of you will work together and he will understand your need to be careful. If he is in a hurry…. RUN.

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  3. In my experience, if you give up something for somebody you eventually start hating the person for it. So i think you should do you. Move back for you not for him and if you feel that moving to Lagos is good for you, the do it, because anytime you have a bad experience in Lagos, you will blame him and i doubt the relationship will survive that. As most people said, come and visit for a month, keep your options open. Good luck.

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  4. I agree with Miss Gidi, come visit for 3months or try doing NYSC for a year then go from there. I was born and raised in Lagos, left at 18 and came back at 28 to try out living in Lagos. I did NYSC, I hated it but overall I loved Lagos. Lagos is not easy but I used to living in similar environment in Latin America so I adjusted fast. Whatever u do, make sure the decision is all yours. Good Luck

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  5. Oh boy. This is extremely tricky. But like Miss Gidi said, the choice is yours and it’s your decision to make. What I would advise though is for you to consider all the factors. I’ve never had a long distance relationship that led to me uprooting my life (because honestly, that’s what you would be doing), but, a very good friend of mine did. She relocated from Britain to Ibadan (that’s a city in Oyo State, not as popular as Lagos but it is well-known in its own right) because of her man. Got married to him, and then, things changed. He turned out not to be the guy she thought he was. Long story short, they separated. She was lucky though because she had family in Nigeria and she had a home to go to, etc. You on the other hand do not have that luxury. You’re thinking of leaving your family, friends, your home, your job (getting work in Nigeria is not a piece of cake o. Forget that he is saying he would get you a job, shit happens), your life and coming to Nigeria for a guy (not even your husband). Are you thinking of what could happen? What if you meet the guy and realize that no, things aren’t going to work out so well anymore? Are you going to uproot your new life in Nigeria to go and build a new life in the States again?

    Like Miss Gidi said, I will suggest you come visit for three months. Or make it a year and do your NYSC if you’re not yet 30. If you love the city and you want to stay here for you, not for the guy but for you, then you can conclude the rest of the relocation.

    Just weigh your options carefully. I’m all up for jumping into the unknown and embracing the unfamiliar. But let that thrill of getting a new life and perspective be for you, and not for a man you’ve dated long-distance for four months. It’s a commitment and you should be certain about. If you’re having misgivings about it, talk to him. He doesn’t want to give up the familiar and what he has for the uncertainty of starting over in the States, and he wants you to do the same. He should be willing to talk things out with you until you’re absolutely certain and he should respect whatever decision you decide to take.

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  6. For every negative story about “uprooting” your life, there are also positive ones too. I have had friends whose wives moved back for them and they are ok, like very ok.
    in fact i have a colleague, from the bahamas who came to Nigeria for christmas with her Naija friends ( ironically, it was her naija friends’ first time in Nigeria too) and met an igbo boy, and moved here for him and they are married today and she has an igbo name and she is expecting her first baby and she is happy!… as we are so different, so are our destinies.
    Please keep an open heart and visit first. open your eyes and be honest with yourself.. nothing good ever comes easy.. if your heart tells you to go. Just go. If your heart says no, please walk away.
    If we all knew the end from the beginning, this won’t be life anymore.

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  7. My mother a foreigner moved blindly to nigeria 34 years ago with my father after a year of being married to him. They are still married. Many trials along the way. My mother still is culturally unaware about many things. So the move can go either way.
    Now that said.
    You have to do a sort of trial run. Your so called bf is doing well right? I am under the impression you guys haven’t physically met. Pls let him cone visit you in the states first. If he cant get a visa, kindly ask for London or dubai. Find out if he is even willing to meet you any part of the way.
    Next if that works and you both get along in person, then consider visiting nigeria. however please do it on your own terms maybe 2 weeks initially. Ask your friends to connect you to their friends in lagos and be ready to house yourself in a short let so you arent totally dependent on dude.
    Since its a very early relationship I ask that you be very cautious in your approach.
    I left Nigeria fully @ 16, came back at 27 and to my father’s house, despite the relative luxury, lagos can be a mad town with madder people. So my dear please be careful. Very careful.
    Ps: you cannot use American sense to date a fully Nigerian man.
    http://www.pynk360.com

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  8. Miss Gidi has given you a good response, come for a few months first and see what its like. Nigeria is a very TOUGH country and for all the glamour and smiles you see on the internet, there are thousands of unrecounted horror stories, broken hearts and bitter women who just won’t tell a girl the truth.

    Not having support in a country like Nigeria is the difference between life and death here. If you don’t have friends or family you grew up with around, you’ll feel isolated and alone for a long time. Making new friends in Nigeria takes a lot of time and most females will never truly be your friend, they’ll probably just hang on to you for whatever benefits they feel they can get from you.

    If you’re moving here from America, things will be a little easier for you as Americans and Nigerians have a similar ‘hustler’ dog-eat-dog mentality. If you were moving here from Europe, I would say forget it, the difference in mentality is a wide as the distance in the Atlantic from Africa to America.

    One thing you should also be aware of is Nigerian men treat foreign women differently to how they treat Nigerian women – being born and raised abroad does not make you foreign, only whites and non-Nigerians are categorised as foreign – it doesn’t make a difference where you grew up or how long you were away for, he will expect you to understand what it means to be ‘Nigerian’ and he will give you no passes. So expect to adapt to the ‘Nigerian’ way and expect to adapt quickly.

    My suspicions are, he’s found someone he considers to be innocent from ‘away’, someone he thinks he can mould and that will fit into his plans, whatever those maybe.

    Be careful and proceed with caution.

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