SOME DATING TIPS FOR THE NIGERIAN MAN BY MR. SIMS

There are few things in this world more enlightening than being in the midst of a group of women as they chat; even more so a group of Nigerian women when they gist. Often times as a man, you need to be of serious constitution to sit there and “chop yabs” on behalf of Nigerian men. On one particular occasion I was in such a situation and I was listening to ‘war stories’ from the battlefield of dating which made me laugh, but also prompted me to come up with a list of “dating don’t’s” for guys.Before I continue, let me just quickly caveat that in reading these, assume that my target audience is at least a middle class Nigerian who presumably has a job and can afford or has access to a car. We cool? Cheers, now I shall proceed.

There are very, very few acceptable excuses for not having credit (airtime)

I’m not talking of a one-off situation where you unexpectedly run out of credit or you forget to top up, those happen to everyone. Sometimes you’re having such a good conversation that you don’t know it’s been almost an hour. Or perhaps you made an international call but you didn’t realise how expensive it would be. But if there is a habitual pattern of never having credit or you keep asking the girl you’re toasting to call you or you’re not resourceful enough to find another phone, then there’s a problem. It can’t be a case of “I really want to chat tonight, but you have to call me”. If you want something then you go and get it done! There’s also an element of responsibility in this sort of situation if you think about it. If there’s ever an emergency, for you or someone else, you never want to be hamstrung because you didn’t have credit. It’s just not acceptable these days. Even if you’re a man of moderate means, there isn’t any good reason to habitually be out of credit.

Having Credit (airtime)

As a man of moderate means myself, I know just as well as the next guy how difficult it is to get any car, not to even talk of your ideal car or a car you wouldn’t feel ashamed driving. We all want to drive that nice SUV or saloon car that makes the ladies swoon and the other guys nod with respect, but sometimes it just doesn’t happen that way! Having said that, if you’re a man who considers himself resourceful there are ways to sort yourself out, i.e. get a second-hand car. If at some particular point you don’t have the funds to get a second-hand car and at that point you come across a lovely lady that you want to toast, then do the honourable thing and borrow your friend’s car! Lot’s of guys do it and there really is no shame in it because life is tough like that sometimes. Better to have to explain why you had to borrow a car rather than have her pick you up; she’ll understand eventually. From what I understand about women, she will care more that you at least tried to make a good impression that say “yeah I’d love to really take you out but you have to come get me”. It completely defeats the whole purpose of a date. If you can’t organise your friend’s car, then organise car hire. This might all seem like a lot, but again, if you like a girl enough you will do the needful! Not sure how many people I speak for when I say this, but if I didn’t have a car or access to one, then I would simply not ask the girl out until I could sort that out.

Confucius say “A beat up car is better than none”

Being able to drive?!Then again, having a car or not might not even matter if you don’t know how to drive. Well, there could be some good excuses for this, to me anyway, but certainly not to that girl who you’ve been scoping for the past few weeks! You might even have a car and a driver who can take you everywhere, but what happens on the day when the driver is off? Or perhaps when you guys go out for a late night drink and then you have to release the driver? Who is going to drive her home? It’s possible that you didn’t ever have to learn or you don’t trust yourself driving in Nigeria, but then all these things are linked to women feeling safe and secure. I watched a video online about mistakes nice guys make and in the video the lady that was being interviewed mentioned the need for women to feel protected. Similar to a man who doesn’t know how to put together shelves or can’t change a light bulb if needed, she will write you off as not being ‘man enough’. Then again we men probably do the same thing to women who can’t cook and so I suppose it sort of evens out in that respect.

There are a lot of other do’s and don’ts but these were some that came to mind that I felt would be important to highlight, especially for the beginning stages of dating.


Mr Sims is bacckkk!!! well if you’ve followed SIG for a while you’d know that Mr Sims is a good friend of the family. Be sure to visit his blog for more fantastic posts. 

And if you would like your experience/story featured on SIG or if you have some fantastic dating tips, simply send an email to singleingidi@yahoo.com 
Till next time 

VACANCY: DATING ATTORNEY NEEDED

 

Thank you everyone for your honest advice, I really needed to see Mr F through the eyes of others without the bias of his broad shoulders and sweet words.

Long story short, he has been FRIEND ZONED but like most guys in denial, he keeps trying his luck and hoping I would give in, maybe out of loneliness or our of boredom… who knows really?

Every time we talk these days, I never fail to stress the fact that we are friends. Recently, he wanted me to cook one of his favourites, Afang, and I asked him to come get it from my office because I had some available. Imagine dude had the audacity to say he had to be there when I cook because he wanted to be sure I did not put any  “kopno-mi” inside (that means love portion for those who do not know) to which I responded, “My cooking is enough love-portion don’t worry, besides, I don’t want my friend falling in love with me” and as I expected, he replied “Ima, really? So I no fit come sit down your house, watch crime TV and watch you cook, I fit turn wheat sef make we eat”?

*raised eyebrow*

Naaa mate, the only man that can freely come into this single girl’s house is bae, Ima is not looking for male friends-with-benefit type-situation, I no dey house, mbok!

*sidenote*: what is it with Delta men, afang and draw-soup…Miss Gidi?

I no go lie, I’ve been a-tad-bored, sha. It’s either I am staying back late or running home to go cook and watch TV. I have watched Hustle, Empire and old house of cards, back to back. I am still trying to gather courage to watch GOT, it’s so bloody, and it scares me, but really want to watch it  as I have now become the only Jew in Jerusalem who hasn’t seen GOT.

Talking of TV shows, I hate to admit it but  “Baggage” has become my new guilty pleasure.  For anyone not familiar with it, Baggage is a dating show where contestants bring luggage bags symbolic of their ‘baggage’ that will be revealed. Each round has a larger bag (secret) they have to reveal, and the contestants are eliminated based on their baggage. Sadly, it stopped airing sometime in 2012 but hey, anything hosted by Jerry Springer, is drama and drama makes for good TV.

Never has anything of use come out of watching this show except that it builds this fantasy and expectation of what the perfect man and woman should be.

That all changed the other day though

Over the weekend, the episode I saw was ground-breaking; so this correct-looking-total-package-babe; very attractive, intelligent babe, who was one of the contestants opened one of her bags to reveal that she made her dates sign…*drumroll*…a pre-sex contract.

My first reaction was, isn’t this babe a bit too full of gorgeous self? But then, she brought out a sample. It was a couple of inches thick! Then I thought, wait oh, this is brilliant idea. Not because I think it will stop guys from running away after we let them get lucky. But, I rather, I think it will make both parties think about what is really going on; no unfounded expectations, no bae in my mind only, no trying to get pregnant to force a broda down to Ikoyi registry. Just a simple, we-all-know-where-we-stand AGREEMENT!

Okay, the one-night-stand or super-good looking man you throw on your DP to chase away the ex who won’t let you be in peace is an exception to this contract, so!

But how about the guy who could actually be ‘the one’.

I think this has potential to make him realize that I need to be respected in the dating process, and yes, I am not a fly who is just going to be hanging out for no reason, is there potential for a relationship here?. And that, yes, I actually love sex and want sex too, but only the exclusive kind, as long as there is a mutual agreement on this.

So, here is your chance to spell out all of these terms, just like a legal document, you both know what you expect from each other, and how it should be carried out. If one of you breaks the contract, the relationship is terminated, with no drama. But we all know what happens here right? You know like it was in 50 shades of grey, if you haven’t watched it, you have issues, lol!

Why can’t life and relationships be this simple?

And while we’re on this subject, I would like to propose the idea of relationship reviews, like, every three months, we go for a drink and review what is working or not working for us, as two grown adults. So you don’t get carried away by how fine they are looking that day, make pointer notes on your phone on things you want to discuss for reviewing session. What you like about the relationship, what you don’t like, what needs to be worked on in the upcoming year, and most importantly where the relationship is headed.

If there are any questions or blurred lines, we get to go back to the original contract, and if we are still unsure, we bring in the relationship attorneys.

No more fighting about the status of the relationship, no more hidden agendas and no more being taken advantage of (kissing and posting someone else’s man as my MCM on IG and the humiliation of deleting after oga madam calls him out when you tag him).

Girls, Lagos is hard for single girls who have no time for games, let’s figure out effective ways of weeding out all of the one-night-stands, game-players, and professional single-guys.

That being said, I’ll be spending the rest of my evening, looking for aso-ebi styles, I have three weddings lined up this year…

Love,

Imarose

SINGLE AND STRONG

“Are you not a single mother? Should you not be even flattered that I’m asking you to marry me even despite this your burden?”

Had I known being a single mother would require me to deal with so many idiots I may have made different choices.

A little introduction to me, I’m Imoteda, 29 years old and as I’m hoping you’ve realized, a single mother. To be honest being a single mother isn’t as bad as television makes it seem. I lucked out. I have an incredibly supportive family who have been there since Day 1; my mother was beside me while I was in labour and having the baby (she even filmed the whole thing). My brother was there for three years helping me babysit when I needed it. My dad supported us financially when I needed it and still gives us little ‘gifts’ that seem to show up conveniently when I’m struggling.

So yea, all in all, being a single parent isn’t all struggle and food stamps and baby daddy drama. My story isn’t every single mother’s story obviously but for me generally after doing this for 8 years; I can confidently say I have a handle on it.

My daughter and I know each other, some days are more difficult than others and sometimes I wonder what life would be if I had done things differently. But all in all life is good, my daughter is amazing, my family is dope and I am happy. So what’s the hardest part of being a single parent??

Men… and their random asinine assumptions.

Now don’t get me wrong, I know it’s not ALL MEN and some men are perfectly sensible and I’ve been lucky enough to date one or two normal men but the number of ridiculous statements I have heard from men just makes me want to move to Mars.

Statements like,  “Are you not a single mother? Should you not be even flattered that I’m asking you to marry me even despite this your burden?”

This statement came from a man I JUST MET. Bro, I met you two weeks ago, we’ve spoken twice because you got my phone number by accident (I was giving his friend for business o). You called me then showed up and said “You would make a very good wife. I think we should get married.” Now you’re upset because I said “No thanks I’m working.”

Pele o! Uncle ‘Save-A-Single-Mother’. I didn’t mean to offend your sensibilities. Yes, I understand the huge favour you’re doing me. As a (semi) successful business woman and chef who has managed for over 8 years to raise a beautiful well-mannered, intelligent child I am extremely flattered that you (excuse me what do you do for a living again?) a man clearly in his late 30s or early 40s, never married, barely holding on to the English language, no clear lines of incomes or family ties, are proposing to me. No really I am so very very very very VERY flattered.

ARGH! I can’t deal.

So for the rest of you normal people who may or may not have stereotypes on single mothers, I’m gonna give you three things you should know about us:

  1. We are not all desperate – Forget all the stories you’ve heard about mothers abandoning their kids to be with mediocre men. That is not the norm. Most of us have been through the wringer and if we’re still standing it’s because we are strong. It takes a lot to walk with your head up as a single mum and I haven’t been through all that to fall at the feet of some weak man. You need to be exceptional to walk beside me on my journey.
  2. We actually love our kids – And that love means we are extremely selective about the people we allow around our kids. The screening process is serious. You will never be anything more than a random uncle to my kid. Just ask my daughter. As far as she knows mummy hasn’t had a boyfriend in 5 years and that’s okay by me.
  3. We DON’T OWE YOU! – You want to know what happened between me and my baby daddy; you want to know if I get child support; you want to know if I was loose as a young’un; you want to know if I have regrets; you want to know how much my child costs; you want to know if I date.
    Listen I understand your curiosity, single parent homes are at an all time high but somehow it’s like I’m the only single mom you’ve met and that’s cool. But understand that I don’t owe you an explanation for my life or my past decisions mm’kay? If I decide to share that’s cool but if I choose not to ,you do not have the right to get offended.

Now that you know these three points, I command you to go out into the world with them in your head, doing good with less ignorant statements and gentlemen, the next time you have a conversation with a single mother, remember you have to work twice as hard to get her attention!

On that note, I’m off to have a dance party with my offspring.

Au revoir!


We LOVE to hear your stories so if you would like to share your experience of being single like Imoteda or Ginika, simply send an email to singleingidi@yahoo.com.

THREE TYPES OF MEN EVERY WOMAN SHOULD DATE

Still trying to settle back into living on the island, haven’t gone on any date nor met any interesting guy yet. But, wow, the struggle to get a bae is so steep on this side of Lagos. Lately it has me praying “Dear Jesus, you know Ima is so laid back she is almost horizontal, fix it Jesus, bring a good man her way” *amen*

So this week, I am just going to look at 3 kinds of man every woman should date at least once.

  1. The Guy Who Has No Idea What The Hell He Wants

This is the average Lagos bachelor. He is professionally single. On the outside, he has it all together; nice job, his own place, a car, church boy, he is constantly on his buddy’s grooms men team. All his friends and family are hustling to hook him up. He gets invited to and attends all the singles-mingle and any events with potentials for him. But the problem is, dude is directionless when it comes to relationship. He tells everyone who cares to listen that he is “looking for something serious”. Yet when you meet him, he avoids talking about what he wants like a plague or he tells you that he’s afraid of commitment, he’s been hurt, he’s taking it slow, or he wants to see how it goes”.

Like Bobo Nkiti, men like this are exciting at first, because everything is so spontaneous and you never know what he will be up to next. But they have no depth to them, that’s why they float around; hopping from woman to woman.

So why should you date him? Knowing or engaging with a man like this can be draining and it’s very easy to fall into the trap of wanting to fix him by loving him back to real life. But eventually when you wake up and realise that you are not a special case and that their confusion has nothing to do with you, it can actually spur you to determine and narrow down exactly what it is that you want in a man. Then you leave him to play his stupid emotional games. I have known a guy like this, and every time he tries to creep back into my life, my experience reminds me that he is the opposite of what I want.

  1. The Guy Who Appears To Be EXACTLY What You Want

So now that what you don’t want has shaped your non-negotiable list of qualities in a man, you try to cross the road, whenever you see crazy coming make it your mission to only give your time to a guy who knows what he wants. This is the guy with Audu Maikori chocolate skin, 6 feet or taller, good sense of style, good teeth, educated, successful business owner or has a real job, goes to church, belongs in a brotherhood fellowship, will hustle you fuel during scarcity…you know, your dream man.

So why should you date him?  I am sure, you are wondering where I am going with number two here, right? When you set out to find this PERFECT guy, you will see that he only exists in dream land or the guy who ticks all your boxes then find that, they are cocky as hell or you have zero chemistry with them. The challenge with having a list for a dream man is, it doesn’t take into account that love grows with time and most times it makes absolutely no sense at all.  In the last 12 months, I have met three guys who had every quality on my list, except of course for the height, but we had zero chemistry, and two of them were either in relationships and playing the field or emotionally unavailable. Moral of the guy number 2 story is, sometimes, dating your ideal man might teach you that sometimes ideals don’t match reality…and reality is raw and even better.

  1. The Guy Who Played You For a Fool

We’ve all been there before though, and most of us know how it feels to realize that the guy we thought was so great, the one we had such high hopes for was a total jerk.  Whether he slept with you and never called again, or you found out he was wasn’t single like the impression he created, or he disappeared on you, when cycles like these come to an end, it leaves us wondering why we allowed that nonsense go on in our lives. So recently, I found out a sister-friend of mine, had been on a roller-coaster ride with this guy, whom I happen to know. Although he had been trying to ask if she has mentioned anything to me, seeing our recently public display of affection on Facebook. So, I decided to torment him a little, behind her back by calling him out on some of the evil things he did to her. Dude, refused to admit to any wrong doing. What was crazy about this conversation was the narcissistic traits highlighted in our conversation. By the way, my friend is getting married soon, and I was trying to get him to reach out and apologize, but the arrogant son-of-a-gun didn’t see what he did wrong nor a need to apologize, if anything he thinks he is the victim.

So why should you date him? He teaches you that only weak, insecure, little boys hidden in a grown man’s body treat women as crap. As Miss Gidi would say ‘Children masquerading as adults all over the place’ …I need to stop quoting Miss Gidi sha

 

*Side note*: I am actually long overdue for a date, y’ll already know what I like, arrange something!

THE QUEST by Ginika

Miss Gidi here!

We at SIG are open to people sharing their stories and experiences on all things dating, relationships, heart ache and much more.

Today we have a post by Ginika titled The Quest and I hope you enjoy it like I do


 

the (2)

I had danced in front of audiences a few times before, but this time was different: I couldn’t hide behind anyone; it was just myself and two friends on stage. I was terrified.

We walked out of the small changing room in a Hall at school. All three of us were just about to go on stage to perform a dance routine that we put together ourselves for an annual event. The entire time, before we went on stage, I was thinking of our performance and hoping that we would do well. The time finally came… and then it passed. It ended with the audience cheering and applauding. That was a really nice boost of confidence. I was so relieved, more because I didn’t have to worry about it anymore, than because they loved it.

As we walked off stage towards the changing room, two young men pulled us aside. They introduced themselves as Olu and Ugo. We chatted with them for a bit and then we parted ways. After the conversation, all I could think about was how Olu sounded so arrogant. I was very irked by this man and the words that came out of his mouth. He made a really bad first impression.

We got to the changing room, changed into our regular clothes and went back out to the hall to enjoy the rest of the event. The night turned out pretty nice – good food, great people, nice atmosphere.

A not-so-long while later, one of my friends that I danced with sent me a message, saying Olu asked her if I hated him. I just laughed and told her to tell Olu to reach out to me directly if he had something to say to me. He came to my church quite often, so I knew I’d see him soon.

A few days later, he followed me on Instagram, but didn’t say a word. Weeks after that, he stopped by at my church, he approached me, we exchanged pleasantries, then he asked to confirm my number. I told him what it was. He had already gotten this from a mutual friend, who visited from another city, a few weeks back.

Did I explain how he got my number? I guess not. A friend of mine who went to the same University as myself came to town to visit. He used my phone to make a call to avoid long distance charges. He happened to make this call to Olu. Olu saw my number (caller ID) and saved it. My friend went back home a few days later… then out of the blue, I get a “Hey” text message at about 10pm. I was already asleep at the time. So I woke up to the text from a number that wasn’t on my contact list. I dialled the number on my way to work. I hate not knowing things, so I had to figure out who this was. The phone rang, Olu picked up, and then I said “hey, who’s this?, I got a text message from you last night”. Olu responded with “Oh sorry, I sent the message to the wrong number”. We ended the call.

That explains how he got my number. Thus, when he approached me a few weeks later, he asked to confirm my number because he already had it.

As you probably guessed already, another few weeks passed by before Olu decided to reach out again. This time he asked to have lunch. I didn’t cook that week and I figured that a casual lunch wouldn’t hurt; so i obliged. We got to the restaurant, placed our orders and sat down to have lunch. The food wasn’t bad at all and Olu seemed pretty nice. We chatted about a few things, but he kept going on and on about marriage. He talked about how most of his friends are either married or about to get married and he felt so much pressure being around them. I couldn’t really relate. I do have a few friends that are married, but most of my mates aren’t.

As it turned out, the lunch date wasn’t too bad. So after that I thought to myself “He is not as bad as I perceived him to be initially, I guess we can be friends”.

He reached out again…and again… and again… and we started dating. He’d cook for me, we’d go places together. He did a good job catering to me so it was easy to see that he really cared about me. I definitely loved knowing that.

One day he said to me that he thought I hated him. I told him I never did and do not. That I didn’t know him enough to hate him. I just didn’t like his attitude and that he always came off as an arrogant person to me and I am not a fan of such people. Then I mentioned that I have seen another side to him that I never saw before and that my perception had changed.

As the days passed, we’d talk, but it seemed like we talked less and less each time. I mean we could have an hour-long conversation and not learn anything new about each other or learn to understand each other better. The more we spoke, the more we talked about the things in our lives that had to do with our careers. Actually, the more we talked, the more I got lectures about how I was doing in my career. The whole time I thought to myself “I can’t believe I have someone like this who cares so much about me that he would put in so much effort and try so hard to help me move forward and up”. But, these conversations were always about what I needed to change, what I could work on, what I was doing wrong, never what I was doing right. I overlooked this.

When we did not have conversations about my career, it was usually quite formal and short compared to how it was initially. Less outings, fewer conversations, more ignored phone calls and messages. We discussed our frustrations and how things had gone downhill so quickly, but nothing changed. It only seemed to get worse. I overlooked this.

One day, we set off to have lunch with a friend of his. We went over to a Vietnamese restaurant, I believe. We sat down, chatted for a bit and decided to place our orders. Before we did that, he told me what I should order. He didn’t even bother to ask what I wanted. Did he care? I guess not. Sometime after, I mentioned that I felt he was controlling; He disagreed with me. I overlooked this as well.

Eventually, things ended. Before this happened, I actually dreamt that it would. This was God giving me a sign and telling me to let go ASAP. But guess what? I disregarded His sign.

Bottom line is I overlooked a lot of things that I was not ok with, because of the things I held unto. Did I hold unto love? Did I love this man? Did I see this as my happily ever after? Maybe.. Maybe not.. The truth is I didn’t love him. There was never a connection at such a level. There was mutual likeness. He was very much into me and he showed it… at the start… and I fell for what I got from him… at the start. I remember praying every night for peace and harmony and for things to get better and to get to a point where I didn’t have to keep praying the same prayer over and over and over again. I prayed to God to end it if it wasn’t right, regardless of how it ended and for him to enable me to accept it.

But I still held on tight to what I knew wasn’t love. Even after God had revealed to me that he wasn’t right and that it will end. I still held on.

What exactly did I hold on to?

Almost 10 years ago, I remember having a conversation with my friends back in secondary school. We talked about our futures: our preferred careers, how we’d like to live, and getting married. I remember saying I’d love to get married young. I even remember the age I mentioned; I said I’d love to get married at 23. So I held unto my word.

I held unto my word from years back when I knew nothing about relationships, nothing about what the right foundation for a great marriage is, nothing about life after the ceremony called a wedding.

I held unto my word and assessed everyone that approached me; age was always a factor. He had to be a certain number of years older in order for me to take him seriously. I convinced myself that the older the man, the more prepared he would be for marriage; the more willing he would be to get married in 3 years or even less; the more stable he would be, financially and career wise.

So, I held unto my word despite the fact that things were not right, despite the fact that I was unhappy, despite the fact that I wanted true love and I didn’t have it with him, despite the fact that I wanted a friend and a lover, despite the fact that I wanted peace, despite the fact that my goofiness was unacceptable to him, despite the fact that I had to kill a part of me to please him, despite the fact that I was talked down to, despite the fact that my opinion was usually dismissed and disregarded, despite the fact that I was in pain, despite the fact that I was belittled, despite the fact that…

One thing I have learnt from this experience is to always trust your first instinct. I had a negative perception about him initially. I thought he was arrogant. I may have been wrong about that, but I wasn’t wrong about knowing that he wasn’t right for me.

A man will do anything to get a woman he really desires. He doesn’t even mind leaving himself behind, taking on a whole new persona just to get you into his back pocket.

Marriage is a lifetime commitment. Would you rather get married young and be unhappy or get married later than you expected and live happily?

Before getting into any relationship, put God first. Pray to him, and if you don’t get an answer immediately, pray harder, seek him harder. If it’s meant to be, it will be, so why rush it? It is a lifetime commitment, so you will be together for life, happily. So, please wait. Do not rush into anything because of the unrealistic goals you may have implicitly set for yourself or because everyone else around you is married or getting married.

Love is much more important than an early marriage.

As for me, I still hold unto my word of getting married early. I’ll still like to of course. But, the difference is that now, this doesn’t control me. I know what matters now. I know what I need to focus on now. And this is my happiness.

HAPPY

We sat for a long time in the dark. Cynthia was curled up in my laps, her head resting on my chest, rising and falling when I breathed. The glow of the TV screen cast shadows across her features.

I felt my left leg begin to go numb and I shifted a bit to get circulation going again.

“Am I too heavy?” her voice was muffled by my shirt.

I shook my head, and then realised she wouldn’t see.

“Don’t flatter yourself,” I said.

“If I was though you’d tell me, right?” she wanted to know.

“After what I have told you, you think I’d be afraid to say if you grew too heavy?” I tried to chuckle, but it sounded forced even to my ears.

She sighed, letting go of the air she had drawn into her lungs and held there.

At some point during the evening I had told her things about me I had never told anybody. I had no idea why I did, but it felt good talking about it all, talking to her. For what felt like three hours I talked, calling up names and memories I had buried over the years.

She listened and sometimes jerked her head up to ask questions. Each time she looked at my face, I faltered, my words falling over themselves. So I took to holding her head down each time she tensed like she was going to raise it.

It also helped that the room was in semi darkness.

I lifted a handful of her locs, pulled them off her face and kissed her temple.

She sighed again.

“I’ve got to go in a bit,” I said.

“Do you have to go?” she asked. “You know you can stay the…”

“Shhhh…” I didn’t let her finish. “I had an amazing time in Abuja, time with you. But all of them put together do not hold a candle to the magic of tonight. For that I thank you.”

“There it goes again, your act to lock people out.” she said.

I wanted to disagree, but I knew what she was talking about. After baring myself to her like I did, letting her look in and see my vulnerable, I reset my wall.

“O…kay,” I groaned, stretching. “Down you go.”

She stood up and took my hands to pull me up from the sofa. I let her.

As we descended the steps from her apartment, I held out my right hand without looking at her, and she took it.

Just before I got into the taxi, she reached up and kissed me. A brief brushing of our lips. I fold myself into the taxi, every fibre of my being begging to go back with her and stay with her.

I smiled at her and waved as the taxi pulled away. I sensed that she might stand and wave a bit, but I do not look back. If I did, I would ask the taxi to stop. This was my last night in Abuja, I had no idea if or when I would see her again and I did not want to ruin what we just shared.

Back at the hotel Rolayo came to my room, and when I walked back to lean against the window she followed me. She tried to kiss me and I waited till the last second before turning and presenting her with my cheek. I didn’t wait for her reaction, I just pulled her close to me and held her there, my chin resting on the top of her head.

When we got into bed, I held her but couldn’t sleep.

The next morning I woke up to sounds of water running in the bathroom. Minutes after the water stopped, she came out of the bathroom wrapped in a towel.

She sat at the edge of the bed, her profile to me.

“How was your night?” I asked her.

“It was okay,” she said. And as I watched she let her towel drop onto the bed around her waist.

I inhale and turn away, my back to her. I look up into the mirror just above the table and I catch her eyes. There’s a smile playing on her lips.

Clearly she wants me to look, so why look away?

I walked to my favourite spot in the room: the window. I planted my hip against the sill and watch her apply lotion to her body.

When did she bring a bath bag here?

Her breasts sway and jiggle with the motion of her hands. My pants began to feel tight and I thrust my hands in my pocket.

“Excuse me.” I don’t know why I said that. I made my way to the bathroom where I rested my palms on the sink, trying to clear my head.

I was still there when I heard the bedroom door squeal open, and then click shut.

I collapsed against the bathroom door; I didn’t realise how tense I was.

I brushed my teeth and was about to shed my clothes for a shower when I heard the intercom. It startled me.

Why so jumpy? I chuckled.

“Hello?”

“Mr. Bobo, this is reception. There is…” I hear the receptionist ask someone “what is your name?” I didn’t hear the response. “Ehen sir, Miss Cynthia is here…”

“Send her up,” I didn’t let him finish.

I hung up and looked around the room. The bed was unmade, my clothes from last night were where I tossed them when I changed into my sleeping clothes. I picked up the shirt and folded it, placing it on to of my already packed box. The pants I drape over a chair back; I planned to wear them to the airport.

I pulled the duvet off the bed and proceeded to make the bed when I heard the knock at the door.

Three knock close together, tentative, then a bolder one.

“Coming!”

I flipped the duvet back on the bed and walked towards the door, stopping to cast my eyes over the room.

Not too shabby.

I opened the door and stood there a moment, my heart doing a dance.

“You came.” I said.

Cynthia walked the two steps between us and put her arms around my waist. I bowed my head to meet her upturned lips. I walked backwards into the room, not daring to break the kiss. I continue walking backwards until the back of my legs hit the bed. I lifted her off the floor then, lowered myself onto the bed and then placed her across my thighs.

The kiss deepens and my head swims. There’s an urgency to her kiss, and it mirrors how I am feeling. I take her hand and place on the waist band of the pair of joggers I was wearing. She let them rest there till I take her thumbs a stick them inside the band.

“Eager are we?” she asked, her lips moving against mine.

I feel laughter bubbling inside me, starting to rise.

No, I’m just happy.

AGAINST THE FLOW

Single and very open to mingle? Yes! Single and willing to go with the flow or stuck in an emotional rut? No!! thanks. What I want is something meaningful. I want a man who is ready and willing to share his life as I am. Not making sense? Let me explain.

Most single people like me are all looking for that “happily ever after”, we all have in our heads an ideal about what our complete package should be and look like, but wahala dey; these days’ relationships aren’t defined the same way as they used to. Recently, my friend, on trying to defend his commitment phobia said “Ima, it’s so hard for us guys to commit these days, girls full everywhere and are too available, and so we don’t even know where to start from”. In other words, our generation has found new ways to accommodate the complexities of the new age-living; the alternative lifestyle by accepting the convenient in the midst of the available.

Last year, I was driving my mother’s car when some guy hit me and broke one of my lights. I didn’t know when I blocked him and ran out of the car to yell at him, maybe my confidence came from knowing I could easily call for help if he wanted to beat me up because I was close to my office… Lagos drivers can bring out the worst in someone sha. As I was yelling and beckoning the guy to come down, another guy parks and comes out to calm me down and find out what happened. I knew the guy that hit me won’t buy the headlight, but I wasn’t going to spend that kind of money without making trouble, hiss. So that was how I met Mr F.

Mr. F, was FINE  but too buff for my liking, most girls like buff guys with defined arms, six-packed hard as rock and all, but buff built is not my cup of tea. I find it scary and cannot imagine all of that on top of my small frame. Anyway, his chocolate skin, height and correct set of dentition more than made up for it. Mr F was intelligent. As a sure Lagos boy, he smooth-talked the hell out of me, wined and dined me, once took me to his church, attended his friend’s wedding with him, but in my mind I was like “he is probably doing this with like 3 other chics, so I didn’t even bother reading meanings to it. I mean look at our own Bobo Nkiti, steadily running a consistent game with Cynthia, Rolayo and Keme. Until a man has laid his cards on the table, I don’t read meanings to anything.

After like three months, I, of course wanted to know what Mr F wanted to do with me, as he was taking too much of my time and not allowing me focus on being available for other guys. I am the type of woman who will tell a man the truth if I am hanging out with other guys if the question arises. This was up and running for like three months, I needed to know if I should like him or  keep my options open.

I preferred having this conversation in person, so we had arrange to meet up for dinner after work, we went to Yellow Chilli and ordered our favourite starter and by the time the main course came, I had no space let. One of the things I really liked about Mr F was that he didn’t have an issue with me dipping into his plate, like most guys do so we would often order different dishes and share with one another…romantic too

After climaxing on seafood okro and garri, Mr F asked “you wanted to talk about something?”. I almost changed my mind about bringing up the topic, because, I knew such conversations, could mean the end of a friendship, and I liked his company a lot.

So I started off the conversation with such hesitancy but eventually, got it out. “I think you are a great guy, I like hanging out with you, enjoy your company, we hang out a lot, in last three months, you have become a big part of my routine and I will like to know, what you want us to do, and I want you to be honest with yourself, what are your plans and what do you want to do”?

As expected Mr F froze for a bit, fiddled with my hair and then goes “you are a great girl, I like you a lot but to be very honest, I initially had no definite plans but I don’t want to lie to you, so please give me a couple of days to think about this and get back to you, preferably over text, as having this conversation in person sort of threw me off-balance”. So the evening ended with me requesting the no contact rule from Mr F, I didn’t want to confuse nor influence his decision.

After 8 days, Mr F texted me on WhatsApp, saying to let him know when I could talk. I responded and we booked a WhatsApp chatting time for Friday evening when I got home. Yes booked, because, he used to get upset if I took time to respond to his messages. We chatted, I was sad, of course I liked the guy, but he decided that he wasn’t emotionally stable enough to give me want I wanted and didn’t want to let me down like he did his ex. So we un-dated and stopped going on dates. It was weird at first, I would hold my phone and wait for him to accidentally message me, even though I asked him not to, I still religiously scrolled through his WhatsApp, read old chats, zoomed in on new profile pictures but managed to avoid messaging him. After a while, I got over it.

So recently, I moved to the island and ran into Mr F at a car wash. At first it was a bit strange but then I remembered he lives in Osborne estate which isn’t so far. Anyway, since our ‘chance’ meeting, Mr F has  suddenly become interested, and has been calling and texting me every day like old times.

I liked this dude and as you can tell I was upset when he gave me that ‘line’ , the kind of line you give to someone you have assigned to the friendzone.I felt like he led me on and then backed out but I  am sorta curious to know much more about him…I don’t think Miss Gidi would be in support of this one.

So my people, ImaRose needs your advice oh, what would you do?

 

ONE FOOT

As I floated up, out of the embrace of sleep, I became conscious of a softness against my back. I froze, confused.

It was warm against my bare skin, and it moved. I relaxed as memories of last night flooded my mind, my lips curved in a smile.

Sheets rustled as I slid out of bed and padded, barefoot, to the bathroom. At the sink I looked at the face looking back at me in the mirror.

What in the world got into us last night?

The running water did not hide the creak of the bedroom door opening, or the soft click as it closed.

At training that day Rolayo was her usual self. Nothing in her demeanour let on that things had changed between us. I was happy to play along.

 

After the first night she came to my room, Rolayo slept in my bed every night.

If I wasn’t walking a razor’s edge, it would be funny: wake up to the sound of Rolayo leaving, spending the day in training with her, spending the evening with Cynthia, and going back to Rolayo in my bed.

***

“Earth to Bobo, come in Bobo.”

The voice snapped me out of my reverie.

“Sorry,” I gave a sheepish smile. It would have been more than a little embarrassing explaining how I was with one lady, but was thinking of another. Especially since the lady I was with was the one I would rather be with if it came down to choosing.

“I asked if you weren’t going to take your call.”

My evenings with Cynthia consisted of a meet up at the mall where we then decided on what to do for the evening.

Because it was Friday, my last night in Abuja, and new movie cycles started on Fridays, we decided on the cinema.

I set my phone to “silent” at the movies, and had forgotten to change it right back after the movie, so I didn’t hear it ring, but Cynthia had seen the screen light up when the call came in.

“Thanks babe,” I said and picked the call. “Hello?” I frowned. I didn’t recognise the number.

“Hello, is this Bobo?”

“It depends on who’s asking.”

“It’s Ronke,” she said.

Ronke? Ronke…

“Sly’s wife. I got your number from Keme. I hope you don’t mind.”

Keme.

I felt that now familiar quickening of my heartbeat.

“Nah, it’s alright. What’s up?”

“It’s Sly o,” my heartbeat spiked again as I braced myself for some bad news. “I’ve been trying to reach him but he’s not picking my calls. Is he with you?”

I let myself breathe again.

“Sorry, what was that? Hello… He.. can… hear…” I waved the phone across my mouth to simulate a bad connection before ending the call, then I dialled Sly’s number and listened to it ring.

He didn’t answer the call.

– Dude pick your phone. Talk to me first!

Ping!

I called his number again, checked the time, and then called Wale.

He picked on the first ring.

“Guy what’s up?” he asked.

“Is Sly there with you?” I didn’t bother with pleasantries.

“Yes, anything? ”

“Give the idiot the phone.”

“Okay.”

“Bobo wants to talk with you,” I heard him say before Sly’s voice came on the line.

“Hello?”

“Dude where’s your phone?” I asked him.

“It’s charging in the corner.”

“Ronke’s been trying to reach you…”

“Shit!”

“Exactly. She had to get my number. Call her back. Oh, and tell her we’re together. Talk later.” I hung up.

“Wow,” Cynthia applauded from where she sat, “I’d heard guys cover for themselves, but I’d never seen it before today.”

“I wasn’t covering for him,” I smiled. “It’s just that it’ll be suspicious that he suddenly saw her calls after not answering them earlier.”

“Did you consider the truth though?”

“What truth? Women say they want truth and openness, but in my experience, not a lot of people can handle truth.”

“Maybe you have a point there,” she said.

“Maybe? Really?” I raised an eyebrow and waved her away.

“Why are you sulking?” she got out of her sofa and walked towards me. She stopped where I was sitting, and lowered herself onto my knees.

“Whatever it is you plan to do, just know that I have plans of my own too,” I tried not squirm. “Also, let down your hair, I like the way it frames your face and brushes against your shoulder.”

“Lines,” she teased even as she reached up and pulled at the black elastic band and her locs came tumbling down. She leaned forward and kissed my lips with a loud smack.

“Hmmm,” she licked her lips, “your lips taste funny.”

“I was just going to say the same,” I said with a wide grin.

She leaned in again, and this time the kiss was longer and less noisy.

I felt her warm moist breath on my upper lip and my eyes closed. My hands travelled up her back to caress her neck before getting lost in the thicket that was her hair.

We we broke the kiss our breathing was ragged, and I could not see too clearly out of one eye.

“How was…” my voice was thick, the rest of my question got swallowed by her lips which had returned to mine. I pulled her closer against me, and the kiss deepened.

I reached beneath the loose t-shirt she was wearing and the heat from her skin seared my palms. She did not try to stop me. Instead she tugged at my shirt and I moved this way and that to aid the freeing of the shirt from my trouser band.

Her palm was cool against my feverish skin she raked her nails down my spine and I shivered.

I heard my belt buckle clink from a distance, and I took my hands from under her blouse to cover her hands where they were on my belt.

She broke the kiss and her eyes questioned me.

I shook my head without saying a word.

Her eyes widened, and I shook my head again. In silence she struggled to free her hands, but I held them trapped in my bigger ones.

Her shoulder drooped and her body relaxed, and when I let go of her hands, she made to get up. I held her down.

“I’m not going to apologise,” she said.

“I’d have it no other way.”

“What is your hang up?” she asked.

Images of Rolayo, Keme and the other girls whose names I couldn’t be bothered to remember danced before my eyes.

SELLING THE LAGOS FANTASY

I am no glamour puss, I wear makeup on special occasions like dates, weddings, church sometimes and to work only when I have important meetings. I am not exactly sure how tall I am nor do I care, a while back I told this guy I was 5’7″ and he laughed so I thought I needed to verify my height but haven’t been bothered to.

Recently, my boss sent me to meet this lady to review something and write recommendations for a federal government project. On getting to Oriental to introduce myself, the lady looked at me with a little disappointment, calls my oga and says you sent this little girl with natural afro to me? I was expecting someone older with the way you talk about her.

Surprised? Well not really, I get that a lot and I am used to it. By the end of the meeting, she was telling me of her nephew who was single and needed a girl like me. Almost immediately, she called her nephew and that my friends, was the beginning of the journey with Mr. E.

Mr E and I talked daily on Skype, FaceTime and WhatsApp for two weeks. As most guys, he wanted to see my pictures so I directed him to my Facebook and Instagram account.

After I returned from my usual trips away, he began planning our first meet/date. Mr E went all out (I mean till date, I am not sure how) but we had a private picnic at the Eko-Atlantic, formerly known as bar-beach. I remember my nerves rushing in as I was pulling off bar-beach road, trying to sort out the confusion of the boys hustling to park me.

Maybe I should’ve won a dress not jeans and plain tee. I checked my lipstick, ran my fingers through my afro and wore my 5 perfume mixture, (yes I use five different perfumes, don’t ask why, that’s just how I wear it) . I got to the entrance and there was a guy waiting to walk me to where Mr E was; seated facing the sea…what efizzy won’t we see in this Lagos.

And there he was, beautiful to the eyes as he stood up towing over me for a hug…he smelt so good so I held the hug a bit longer to keep sniffing him. There’s something about a man who smells good and how he brings me to my knees. Note to self – tall enough, dark-skinned, good set of teeth, just my physical type, a little underdressed and wore slipper, so I relaxed about wearing jeans and flat sandals.

Dinning style sitting for two, but asked if I wanted to seat on the floor, so we sat on the floor. There was laughter, great conversation and good eye contact. For a change, he was the one asking all the compatibility questions. He says he’s dating with a purpose, not just to be dating. In my mind, I was like “thank God not another GROWN man who doesn’t know what he wants, or wants to “go with the flow” and “doesn’t believe in titles.”

Then, he proceeded to showing me this cropped picture of my lip and said he had been obsessing about kissing it. I found it funny, but felt a bit weird about him asking to kiss; nothing is sexier than a kiss I didn’t see coming. As soon as he said that, I stood up from my initial laying position and sat, poured myself a drink while praying “God please let this glass of champagne make me tipsy”. I happen to be very light-headed.

Then it happened. He leaned in and we kissed passionately, I kept breaking in between to reaffirm my position “this will not go beyond a kiss”. He agrees but carries on (of course). Thankfully I got disrupted by my phone ringing, a wake up call to remind me of my vow to celibacy.

Attentions shifted from my lips to my hair when my call was over. He touched my hair with fascination, stretched it down my chin, tried measuring how long it was, smiled and then said “You’ll look more beautiful with straight hair, how about you relax it or wear Brazilian more often like in your pictures”. I smiled and asked so “you think I’d look better without the Afro?” to which he answered, “definitely!”. smh

Men never know that some questions are an opportunity to take back the stupid thing they said. Anyway, I was a little ticked-off and pondered if I should explain how I felt? Or just move on from it, after all, such conversation was too deep for first meeting.

Mr E never heard from me again and this is because I knew I would not be able to keep up with his subtle demands and suggestions on what he ‘thought’ made me ‘more beautiful’. I could have continued and gone out of my way with the weaves and all to look acceptable for Mr E but it wouldn’t have been long before he found out that ImaRose is a simple Ibibio woman who loves to cook, read, listen to unconventional gospel music, loves good old jazz and loves her hair in a bun.

This is why I believe, Lagos men are so easy to deceive, but they get what they deserve, there are plenty of women who fit “the Mr E look”, are Instagram famous but when you see them at Sari’s salon and spa, you’ll cry for their bald heads and acne rid-face which 6 bundles of Brazilian hair and professional makeup hides. In short I bow for these women…

Dear Lagos men-hustlers, changing who you are to get a man will NOT keep him but that’s gist for another day.

Side-note: Do you know that in Lagos, a girl who has been around the block, in a bid to start ‘afresh’, would develop an overnight water-tight Christianity, acquire new friends, cut old ones off, join a new church preferably one where there are eligible young men (most on the island and appealing to ijgbs), scope a potential, find out what he likes, manipulates him into a relationship, becomes who he likes and then turns back to her old ways when things don’t work out?

Like this chic I know that went natural because she was dating a guy who claimed didn’t like weaves and makeup only for her to go back to wearing her full makeup and weaves when he dumped her counterfeit ass for a better woman.

Dear Lagos men, stop buying fantasy, let real women be who they are and not what media tells you is the definition of beautiful.

ImaRose is a real woman; she’s not every guy’s cup of tea. She is vintage Chinese tea with an old soul. And she is waiting for the man who appreciates her just as she is.

SLEEP OVER

It feels like years since my last post. Work has got me in a choke hold. I’ve finally come up for air.

***

I sat there a moment looking at the message, going through excuses in my head.

– Hey! Hectic last two days, you don’t even wanna know about it. I got in last night after a horribly delayed flight and literally passed out. I’m good now sha.

– Sorry. What airline? They’re all the same.

– Thanks. How’ve you been? What’s your week like?

– Work, then home for the most part.

– Fine, I’ll find out what the rest of my schedule is and I’ll let you know so we can see. I’m ecited.

– *exired

– *excited

– lol. I’m excited too, she typed.

– I’m super knackkered, I can’t even spellll straight, I wrote. There was a knock at the door.

“One sec,” I called out.

Let’s talk in the morning.

– Okay. Get some rest o.

I set the phone down and went to get the door.

As the door swung in, a smell of flowers and something else, something fresh, hit my nose.

“Hey you.” I said.

She stood there a moment, her features cast in shadow by the light from the hallway. She clutched a laptop to her chest.

“Do come in,” I stepped aside to let her pass.

She was wearing a nightshirt that reached just above her knees.

She made straight for the bed where she sat cross-legged. I averted my eyes while she arranged herself in the middle of the bed. She powered up the computer and her face was eerily lit up by the glow of the monitor.

“Oya,” she said, “what movies do you have?”

I pulled out my laptop from the backpack on one of the chairs in the room and slid it to her where she sat.

“It’s not passworded. Check on the desktop for Bobo’s New.”

I went and stood by the window, hip against the sill, hands in my pocket, legs crossed at the ankles.

“So you’ll just stand there like soja Idumota?” she asked.

I shrugged.

Wo come and show me what movies make sense, and stop creeping me out.”

I plopped down on the bed beside her.

“I see you have a lot of animation…”

“I love cartoons,” I said.

“Me too. I’ve seen most of these though.”

“Have you seen Rio 2?” I asked.

“Nope. How about we watch that?” she asked.

I looked at the time on the computer, 22:32.

“Why not?”

Halfway through the film she yawned and rubbed her eyes.

“Mehn, I’m sleepy.” se said.

“Want me to walk you to your room?” I asked.

“Ahn ahn, are you driving me?”

“Sorry,” I apologised.

“I’ve already warmed this side of your bed, why should I go to a cold bed in my room?”

“No reason at all,” I agreed.

“Could you be so kind as to turn off the lights?” she asked, worming her way under the covers.

“As soon as I’m done shutting down the laptops.” I said.

I returned my laptop to my backpack, and set Rolayo’s on the table. I turned off the lights before slipping under the covers myself.

I lay there for minutes, face up, listening to her breathing. They were even and peaceful. I was drifting off to sleep, lulled by the rhythm of her breathing when I heard my name.

“Bobo?”

“Uh-huh?”

“Won’t you hold me?”

The sheets rustled as I turned on my side to hold her. I felt myself begin to harden as she burrowed into me, her soft flesh pressing against my not-so-soft one.

I moved my hip back just enough to tuck my manhood between my thighs.

She wriggled some more and then stopped. I could have sworn I hear her chuckle, but between the sound of blood rushing in my ears and my heartbeat I was sure could be heard three doors down, I couldn’t be certain.

I slid my hand beneath her arm and she moved it to allow me cup a breast.

My last thoughts as I drifted off was what Cynthia would think of this, all of this, if she found out…