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.

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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 singleingidi@yahoo.com. 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