Stringing along is such a common thing in the Lagos dating scene. How can we truly differentiate between someone who is trying to get to know us and a time waster so we don’t waste our time or close the doors to other potentials just because we are hung on this guy or girl who is string us along many others to see if we can fight hard enough to earn our place as their “main”?
Well, I am NOT a relationship expert ooooh abeg, I am just sharing things my crazy mind has overtime picked up and assume to be a working formula and so far, works for me.
Ok. so, How do you know a timed-waster?
First of all, to be fair, I speak only for myself, I have been guilty of wasting someone’s time when I was hurt, but they always knew from the beginning because I told them, I wasn’t in a good place emotionally to even consider a relationship. That didn’t mean I didn’t enjoy having someone call me to see how work was or waking up to a text in the morning….. it feels good to have someone. So, I have done it, but it wasn’t intentional and eventually I had to admit to myself it was unfair to take a great guy’s attention knowing fully well my thoughts were blurry and we had ZERO chemistry to begin with. I wasn’t proud of it, my conscience didn’t let me rest…I apologised and moved on.
It happens often, men string women along, women string men along too for convenience or maybe the fear of being alone. Often times stringing along feeds the ego and satisfies that longing in men to get high on the thrill of the chase. Stringing along, completely disregards the lack of intentions of pursuing a relationship with the “bait”.
Identifying time wasters is easier than you think if you are a realistic person.
Some people are master-gamers and have a doctorate at what they do. So how do you know someone is wasting your time? Well, do they ever mention you and them in the context of “we” sometimes? Do they ever plan for a “real date” with you or is it “hanging out” “when are we seeing?” “when are you coming over?” or just texting and phone conversation type-situation? Do they make an effort to REALLY get to know you by wanting to know your background, present and past because getting to know someone is about collecting data, if they are not, then maybe they are just using you to pass time.
Do they disappear for days and then pop back up after a while? Do they have history that they are unwilling to share about past relationships? Does it feel right? I think I can stop here because I think you get the picture.
Avoiding time-wasters starts really by first knowing who you are as a person, what your values are, what values you can add in the life of another and what you are looking for in a mate. Sometimes, people don’t even know why they want in a boyfriend or a girlfriend other than the fact that it’s almost time to get married and they need to find that man or woman.
I feel it’s important to know, that way, you go into it with the right mindset and expectation and with the grace for the faults of another human being as no one is perfect. If you are just looking to hangout, hookup or whatever else they call it these days then you shouldn’t bother when your game meets someone’s game.
If you are looking for nourishing relationships like I am, then, you need to invest your time wisely by only giving people what they give back to you. For men, only pursue a woman who knows who she is and what she wants and make sure she can stand on her own.
I say that because a woman who doesn’t know herself could adjust temporarily to suit whatever you require of her, usually because there is an incentive; you represent something she lacks and is in need of. It’s very easy for a woman to pretend to love a man for the incentive (my taxi driver recently told me a story I can’t wait to share). For a man, if he is not making an effort, he is either newly hurt or not that into you, in other words, time-waster.
It doesn’t mean everything should turn into something serious, some people in the journey to finding love will be used as an experiment to see how it is..just make sure the lab rat is not you.
For example, last year I met this dude who chased life outta me, I just always thought he was too vague, so I put him on “watch and see/too good to be real list” and went into a lot of exploring data collection convos, eventually, this guy, popped out unknowingly saying “gosh is it true what they say? I can’t wait to experience what a Calabar girl feels like” well I dismissed the calabar part with “I’m not Calabar,I’m Ibibio and I am not a car and I will not be test-driven, sorry”. He cut his looses eventually on notice that ImaRose was bad-market.
Girls, until you have had that conversation of understanding the kind of relationship you both want and are currently pursuing, keep your legs closed!, unless of course you too are using the guy for sex or whatever (I don’t support it but I guess it’s a free world). Now that tinder has made it to Nigeria, trust me, to a guy, sex doesn’t mean he is serious so be wise.
What else can you do to avoid time wasters when dating? Here are some more tips:
- Be clear about your dating intentions and expectations
- Be selective about who you talk to and date (just because they’re interested or they’re attractive doesn’t make them an ideal partner)
- Give it time, true intentions are exposed with time
- Some people are actually just busy, rather than assume, ask questions
- Assess people on their actions and not their words (time wasters will promise the world and deliver nothing)
- Pay attention to the frequency and quality of their contact with you (are they actually trying to get to know you in a real way?)
- Are they more interested in getting in your panties?
- Do they talk about other people they’re “talking to” in the same way as they’re talking to you?
- Trust your instinct (it’s your spirit trying to WARN you of something)
Finally, LIVE! Don’t focus too much on the outcome, focus more on the experience in the dating process , every now and then, assess how you feel and only continue if you feel good, the rest will fall into place when it’s supposed to.
Right now, I don’t care if someone sends me a text and if I do get one I’d text back when I can and not wait five hours just for the heck of it.If I have a question, I will ask and I expect nothing in return.
Until then, I’m simply appreciating the experience of getting to know interesting people, whatever the outcome.