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Toasting Etiquette



mansuit2Oh how I mourn the simplicity of my youth! I remember the good old secondary school days, when life proved ever so simple. A boy likes a girl, he ‘toasts’ her, buys her gifts and even gets his friends to tell her how much he likes her. The whole school knows that they are a couple or at the very least are aware that said boy is ‘toasting’ said girl. Uncomplicated nuances of life!


Now things are much more difficult to define. It seems for some reason, which I am yet to fully understand, the present day male gender have chosen to substitute this simple form of preliminary courtship with a more complex alternative. What is even more annoying is that the alternative does not even have a name, I can only describe it as ‘talking’. Its characteristics are less obvious. He calls you often, sometimes every night, takes you out for dinner, flirts with you enough to make you suspect he might be interested but never enough to make you certain he wants a relationship and sometimes buys the occasional gift. This scenario can go on for months, without him ever setting out in clear terms what he wants from you. The problem with this ‘talking’ method, is that there is never any real commitment either way and we women are left plucking at rose petals playing the he loves me, he loves me not game!

I remember last year, I met some guy who shall of course remain nameless (lets just call him Dele for the sake of this article).  Dele called me everyday, sent me flowers, took me out to dinner and was as charming as silver. If I sneezed he’d bring out his handkerchief, if I was cold he would offer his jacket, if I had cramps, he’d miraculously appear at my office with Paracetamol. He even went as far as acting jealous when other guys took me out on dates. He showed all the classic signs of a man in love. Or so I assumed. This went on for about 3 months and by then all my friends had started calling me “Iyawo Dele”. It all seemed like the perfect beginning to a fairytale romance. But because I am my mother’s daughter and I have learnt a fair amount from life’s cruel lessons, I decided to keep my wits about me and play it cool. No matter how much he protested, I still entertained calls form other guys and went out on the occasional date. Even though a part of me couldn’t wait for us to be ‘official’. Then one faithful day in October, I met up with an old secondary school friend. We hadn’t seen for ages, so there was a lot of gossip to catch up on. As usual I asked her about the men in her life and she started telling me about one Dele guy that she really likes and how the guy hasn’t formally asked her out…..I am sure you can unravel how this story ends.

When I approached Dele, his answer amazed me. “But Glory”, he replied with all the calmness in the world, “I never asked you out, we were just ‘talking’. Its not like we were in a relationship or something. I have always seen you as a very good friend”. I wasn’t sure whether to scream or laugh. But he was right. I didn’t have a leg to stand on. Dinner dates and Paracetamol do not equal relationship.

It’s been a year now since that day and Dele and I are still friends and we manage to look back and laugh over the drama the issue caused. But one lesson that has stayed with me is this, never assume a guy likes you just because he is nice. If he hasn’t said the words ‘I like you and I’ll like us to be in a relationship’, or something to that effect, he is nothing more than a friend and should be treated only as a friend. Life is definitely too short for unnecessary drama. Don’t say I didn’t warn you oh!!!!!

Glory is the host and executive producer of Inspire Series, the web talk show which uses the collective stories of everyday women to inspire others. She believes women are more than hand bags, hair, make-up and other externalities and is passionate about about pursuing purpose and living above societal conformities. She is also a day dreamer, and romantic at heart who loves TV, food and family. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @inspiredbyglory and read more from her on


  1. tutu

    October 9, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    u’re right i ve been through dat and i can tell u.dont ever assume for a guy it’s better u ask questions if need be so dat u can move on.

  2. Qees

    October 9, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    Talking indeed…learnt my lesson too, let him butter, honey, peanut you as long as he will toast you after

  3. sweetie

    October 9, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    beautiful!, absolutely wonderful!, someone sees my point finally!!! please if he does not open his mouth to say the words “i want us to be exclusive” or i want to date you or…well you know what i mean, pls DO NOT waste your time thinking there is potential, i have seen this happen to so many ladies….. but some men sha…..

  4. tosin

    October 9, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    You are perfectly right my sister it seems as if the both of us walked in the same part the same story i will say happen while i was in school during my undergraduate days to all wonderful ladies that are not married or still in a relationship please take note of this after that i make sure every guy opens his mouth and says whatever he wants even if am not going to date him good luck to all single ladies.

  5. ttttt

    October 9, 2009 at 10:17 pm

    Also, even when you are in a relationshiop, regardless of how long or the level of commitment, remember, If you aint married you’re SINGLE!

  6. Bebe

    October 9, 2009 at 11:29 pm

    Yay!! I’m first.

    True talk o….all this unnecessary stuffz boys are up to nowadays is so tiring!!!

  7. Tosin

    October 10, 2009 at 12:18 am

    Babes, i think you might quietly be hoping that ‘dele’ does infact fancy you and take you out…move on o..

    I am really so glad to be married and off the dating scene – oh what palava! i suppose it makes life somewhat interesting..

    Good luck sha and thanks for the article

  8. Anon

    October 10, 2009 at 12:55 am

    Are you kidding me? “Talking” for 3mths? After the 1st month or so, if I’m very sure that my feelings for the guy are “real” and he still hasn’t said anything abt being a relationship with me, i will be upfront and ask him where all this “talking” is leading to. If i don’t like what I hear, i’m moving on. Sheez, there is no need to waste time if the guy wants to be on a “long thing”. Thats my 2 cents.

  9. You aint said nothing but a word!

    October 10, 2009 at 1:55 am

    GIRL YOU CAN SAY IT TWICE!!!!!!! Gone are the days of guys being straight forward, now that women are serving “it” up without the men asking, guys don’t feel the need to be outright (but there are mature serious men out there so no cause for too much alarm. Like Gloria said, if he has not said I would like to be in a relationship with you….biko, do not assume shi shi. Let us not be so over analytical( well he bought me flowers and held my hand…he must definitely be in love with me) and keep throwing ourselves into endless realms of drama. If he is being nice, thats good but till he states his purpose…he is a friend and that is that. It took me plenty months of crying to get this one straight. Thanks for pointing this out.

  10. Chudy Bonanza

    October 10, 2009 at 6:29 am

    Lookin at ur story & its adjoinin lesson, one would be tempted to say, “i concor, i have nothin to doubt” but do to visible existence of potential liars who can by the power of their word subvert the truth & stultify a lady, i will generally & proudly recommend to the people who wants true & lastin relationship to look at the mind of the applicant through his conduct to ascertain her answer.A true relationship comes from mind not from word…

  11. niyi

    October 10, 2009 at 6:37 am

    what? no comma, semi-colon or period? how in the world is one to make any sense of this?

  12. Uzo

    October 10, 2009 at 8:56 am

    I got burned by this years ago , so I definitely agree he has to say those words or else nothing for him. Single ladies be warned. And I agree with you Tosin, Thank God I am married the drama of that dating scene though exciting can give someone nervous breakdown.

  13. Zaine

    October 10, 2009 at 10:25 am

    my sentiments exactly…

  14. sweetie

    October 10, 2009 at 11:05 am

    but there are also potential liars who” by the power of their actions and conduct subvert the truth and stultify a lady ” the applicant has a mouth right???? so he should say the words and ask the lady outrightly and not expect her to us telekinetic powers to ascertain if he wants a relationship, she will the be the judge of his intentions putting into consideration both his conduct and words. 🙂

  15. mansa

    October 10, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    From a guy’s perspective, how can I committ to a woman who insist on still going out on dates with other guys. Show me you can be exclusive and are really interested before I show my hand. On the other hand what about committing to someone and she still insists on going out. That happened to me.

  16. The truth

    October 10, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    looollll…. u mad funny mehn… how did u write such a comment.. You forgot the sister’s comment is so deep in her she forgot to put those things u asked for. can’t stop looooollling on this.

  17. pamela

    October 10, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    but ure making it seem like a competition…if u like someone say it and be with them lives too short to waste

  18. gbekun

    October 10, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    lol! ur ryt o, i felt d same readn d damn thing

  19. gbekun

    October 10, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    lol! ur ryt o, i felt d same tryn to readn d damn thing

  20. Naijababe

    October 10, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    This story is just like mine, except I took it way too far, making up excuses for him. It took me two years, yes I know I was that dumb to realize he was just using me, and a “good friend” will never do that. I had to cut all ties from him, and it hurts, but I know that’s the best thing for me.
    Love the article!

  21. Chudy Bonanza

    October 11, 2009 at 12:59 am

    Sweetie, what ar we arguin on? I do not say that words ar not direct declaration of one’s mind, but in all ramification, actions & conduct of a man ar the complete outward manifestation of his mind which requires no further proof, it’s stronger than mere words which may when spoken mean different thing from mind’s status. In fact, we should not be misled by this “toastin etiquette” it’s a mere mirror of accepted usage, which has fundamental bases. Who told u that, it’s men’s responsibility to say the words anyway? Why not the other way round? Or do girls devoid of original emotional feelings too? Don’t u know the truth when u see it? Why die in silent when u know u love him? western world, it’s rather outdated to hold on this ur etiquette. What’s of essence is the meetin & consensus of two mind in an intimate relationship & not who says what… I found myself unable to concor with ur notion.

  22. Chudy Bonanza

    October 11, 2009 at 1:03 am

    Sweetie, what ar we arguin on? I do not say that words ar not direct declaration of one’s mind, but in all ramification, actions & conduct of a man ar the complete outward manifestation of his mind which requires no further proof, it’s stronger than mere words which may when spoken mean different thing from mind’s status. In fact, we should not be misled by this “toastin etiquette” it’s a mere mirror of accepted usage, which has fundamental bases. Who told u that, it’s men’s responsibility to say the words anyway? Why not the other way round? Or do girls devoid of original emotional feelings too? Don’t u know the truth when u see it? Why die in silent when u know u love him? western world, it’s rather outdated to hold on this ur etiquette. What’s of essence is the meetin & consensus of two mind in an intimate relationship & not who says what… I found myself unable to concor with ur notion. Thanks

  23. mary

    October 11, 2009 at 1:48 am

    Lovel Glo! well written speaking the minds of so many ladies , this is one of the good reasons why married women who love their single friends pray they find a man soon to call their own. The dating wahala too much and I love the fact you were still open to other dates as if he was serious he would have at that point told you …something like ” Girl I am in this for the long haul, I dont know about you ” and I am sure of cos you would have ….. you conclude it

  24. Nneka

    October 11, 2009 at 3:59 am

    But…..ehm…there’s some underlining message here that suggests one should be open, exercising options though “in a relationship, regardless of…….”. Like have a cheat sheet incase of…….Just my intuition from reading your comment. If I’m correct, I don’t think that’s ideal. A recipe for cheating.
    I do agree that you are not married until you are married. However, in a truly MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE relationship, there is a deep level of committment that makes you surrender your ‘cheat sheet’, your insecurities about the future, your assumptions and stray thoughts on what the other (possible) girl/guy can (supposedly) deliver beyond what your woman/man gives. If you all really sit back and deeply think about that word -commitment- you’ll break a sweat. But ofcourse I dare say we use it rather loosely and insensitively these days. You can only hope it’s truly reciprocated and you are not pitching tent with a complete loser/cheater. Life is a gamble even when making informed decisions like who to date. At least know you gave it an honest shot without external gambles.

  25. GamGam

    October 11, 2009 at 8:15 am

    uh huh, So automatically when he says ‘i like you blah, blah’ he is sincere?

  26. 2 gems (Dith)

    October 11, 2009 at 9:14 am

    Glory I am loving your articles. U are sooo always on the money. I was doing the ‘talking’ crap with some guy for TWO YEARS!! Now ain’t that some ish?? It was sorta kinda fun at first…that is until u start develping real feelings.
    Learnt my lesson from that crap and ever since, ain’t no talking around here, more like DOING. Ya digg?? lol
    I shall be an advocate for this article. Some girls stay “just talking” for ever and really it is just yet another way/scheme for most guys to mess around.

  27. Tolu

    October 11, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    Very interesting and accurate article. I believe us ladies needed something like this. Ladies like to cling on to a guy’s actions (all of it). I truly believe if he has not voiced his feelings, then you are not dating o! Don’t presume, be sure.

    In response to Chudy, I’m an old school lady and live by the bible which states, He who finds a wife finds a good thing…..not for me to be chasing a guy around! If a man really wants to be with a lady, all this we are discussing would not even be an issue.

  28. are there still single ladies

    October 11, 2009 at 6:36 pm

    I thought single ladies are now a minority, and most young ladies over the age of marriage (over 28) are now married (I know wrong misconception, but that appears to be the message most magazines are potraying). Therefore, if you are still single and still hovering around this age, what lessons are there to be learnt. When most likely your status was not by choice, but through a string of long “talkings” :); or rather bad luck.

  29. strong thing

    October 12, 2009 at 12:25 am

    true story!!! there are some animals out there that would sell you and ask you for change cos u were not worth the sale price…lol @ my expression. but really have one goat on my case that even has a girl friend, i really wish she knew but from what i’ve heard she’s one of those people that believe they have the perfect relationship and their Romeo can do no wrong…(emm maybe I should a anuty bella on this but people know people)

    all I can say don’t spend 2 or more years with a guy that’s not gonna marry you asap…cos the longer the relationship the more difficult for the girl; whilst it becomes more boring for the guy

  30. strong thing

    October 12, 2009 at 12:29 am

    Ok seriously ladies don’t be talking to a guy for long if your are not sure (not that you think) you’ve got control…and only life lessons and gisting with ur gals can teach you how

  31. bc george

    October 12, 2009 at 10:24 am

    women; always wanting to eat their cake and still have..tins dnt work dat way can happen frm both parties..gurlz do kep guys waiting endlessly too with their theatrics and unstability..they keep tellin u stuffs lyk why dnt we take tins easy n let’s see ow it goes most especially they are btiful n gettin enuff attention frm many boyz…so two can play d damn game…aint it?

  32. bc george

    October 12, 2009 at 10:41 am

    women; always wanting to eat their cake and still av it…it’s obvious most pple talkin on dis issues are women thus making it looks lyk men are d only d guilty one on dis topic…most women(gurlz) dnt seem to knw wot dey realy want…so unsteady and not ready to commit in thir early ages mst especially wen they are btful n gettin enuff attention frm boiz(men), they keep u waiting endlessly, den wen their tym is fast runnin out and no one is luking in thr direction dey bcome desperate and want a guy to meet dem on monday n propose d next simply bcos THEY ARE NO MORE IN D SCHEME OF THINGS….so sad…the younger ones r taking ovr nw…so naturally two can play d game..aint it?..i stood corrected.cheers

  33. tele

    October 12, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    love your article my sis,i’ve been in this position too before and i must say it was not funny,learnt my lessons.we r still friends though.

  34. June Girl

    October 12, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    It’s simple – ladies don’t give “it” up until you know for sure that he is committed. All the dinner dates and paracetamol is one thing, going to cook for him and clean his house and playing wife is another.

  35. neny

    October 12, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    i always advice gurls to ask a guy wht he wants frm u immediately he starts getting friendly. some of them use dat trick to sleep wit alot of sistas n u can’t hold them down when they start slacking cos really u were just friends. i bluntly asked my husband when we are getting married while dating, today we are married cos i got tired of dating n planning to no avail. dnt just assume a guy is into u while he’s busy playing games.

  36. luvlife

    October 12, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    dear chudy, we cannot tow the line of “Who told u that, it’s men’s responsibility to say the words anyway?” if not an endless debate will ensue- who told men that it is the woman’s responsibility to cook, clean, basically be a housewife and in today’s world, both a homemaker and working wife. who decided that ideally men should be bread winners? it’s not a competition. A serious minded person will not play games period!!

  37. Woman Scorned

    October 13, 2009 at 11:43 am

    Love this Gloria! Lol on ‘talking’. Sometimes I blame women tho, like your friends calling you ‘iyawo Dele’ after what? a few dates! Y do we do that?!!!!!!! I think women need to not make excuses for men n not give it all up sooo quickly! As much as he is bugging you to, he will appreciate you a lot less if he sleeps with you b4 one can even say ‘jack robinson’! If the guy is stammering n doesnt know how to say he wants to commit, pls ladies, keep them legs closed…


    October 13, 2009 at 6:21 pm

    My name says it all.

  39. mj

    October 14, 2009 at 8:45 am

    kai. this story is so true. thats why i’m always direct. O BOY WATS UP? WAT ARE WE DOIN? WAT ARE UR INTENTIONS? my friends laugh cuz they think i’m forward, but its never failed me yet! rather be direct and clear about whats going on than coy and in the dark

  40. lolly

    October 14, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    Two years ke? After two months I need to know whether we’re exclusive o otherwise na to the left and if he ain’t going to the left, na to carry my own leg go left.

  41. Suzanna Efiok

    October 14, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    Interesting story with a lesson that is deep because women sometimes love the idea of being in love/lust/like so much they sometimes neglect to look out for their physical/spiritual/emotional/mental wellbeing. Men find it very easy to compartmentalize their emotions more so than women so we need to learn to be direct and save ourselves the impending heart ache that accompanies delusions.

  42. miki

    October 15, 2009 at 3:37 am

    Perfectly vital information. I was there too and found out we were not even dating. He continues to “charm” multiple women and then they find out they are not the “only one”. Then the heartbreak sets in. If only we had asked “point blank, what are we doin’? Thanks for the eye opener!

  43. tbn

    October 17, 2009 at 3:45 am

    @george, are you talking from experience here?

  44. wallex

    October 19, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    @ Geaorge,thank you very much for representing men responsibly here.Women are always of the opinion that they’re the only ones who knows how to go about that game. I presently have one whom i have showered all i know i can on her but still telling me why i’m i in haste. I have eventually made up my mind to let go of her jare. When you tell them you love them,you see them acting funny and when we do it their own way,look at them complaining again. Na wa for women ooo.

  45. it's so darn confusing!!!

    October 20, 2009 at 5:55 am

    Love your articles Gloria. Dare I say I’m in a similar situation at the moment……..and it’s just so darn confusing cos it just dawned on me I’ve known this dude for almost 2 years. We’re actually good friends and have never crossed the line but sometimes I kinda feel like he “must” like me to do some of the stuff he does. Callin me in jand and spending hours on the phone, coming for my birthday dinner , sorting me out with a ride whenver I’m in naij………but has never expressed interest in pursing a relationship. I’m definitely not waiting for him and getting to know other people, but i feel like I just need to flat out ask him what he wants from me………quite confusing!!

  46. Missy

    October 21, 2009 at 11:15 am

    I totally agree…
    but on the other hand it can backfire as they may be ‘taking the slow approach’ and you just outrightly go and ask, and he may feel awkward.

    infact, im lying, disregard that statement, because when a guy likes you he will tell you, straight up…and if he doesnt then you dont need him anyways…what is he shy?
    Play the game and enjoy ur free paracetamols jare!

  47. Onoja

    October 26, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    Help me tell them O! A woman kept me waiting for years. Then when I finally pick myself from the floor, get my life on track and find some1 to marry she shows up a week to my wedding telling me she’s always loved me. Talk about bull shit crap nonsense. Women are always so quick to bash men. Kai.
    If not for the love of awoof, U’d stop taking stuff. If U dont take, U wont be asked to give. Abi no be so?

  48. riri

    November 3, 2009 at 9:08 am

    I totally agree, but I can’t put it all on the men. Women can be confusing too. Before the guy says I, some women already on cloud 9 based on what, he gave you a compliment, took you out on a date, sent you flowers, open the door for you, calls you, etc.

    Before he says like or love, we already open our heart and legs wide, and then he finally says, I don’t like you like that, our heart is broken. We start crying, and telling our friends how much he’s a playa. Ok, but the thing is, men will buy anyone flowers, take them on dates, call you all the time, give compliment, flatter you, till your head swells, especially when some of them just want sex, and once you give it up, they move to the next person in line. Even though, it seems complicated, it really is not. Women learn how to control your emotions. Sometimes, you can tell when a man wants friendship that might lead to a relationship, or I like this girl as a friend but not to date or marry, or when men just want sex.

    A man who’s been a gentleman, doesn’t mean he likes us like that, a man who single us out doesn’t sometimes mean anything, the list goes on. If a man want to be in a serious relationship with you, you will know, and I tell you this much it’s not really by the typical things like take you out, buy you flowers, but through other ways, and women be patient enough to see that, before jumping into conclusion.

  49. Debo Ade

    November 16, 2009 at 11:17 am

    True talk but I think it is more on the guys side. have a guy who was just “talking” until one day (sometimes last week) he asks if we are dating or what exactly are we doing and am like he never asked. He is like he did, can’t I remember and all that. can u imagine? he is a nice guy and I would say yes, but you can imagine my shock when he was like he had asked…….

  50. riri

    November 22, 2009 at 1:19 am

    Yeah, men can be confusing sometimes, but most of the times, I think women are more confusing, because we can be complicated, manipulative, and emotional. I still believe that a man will make it clear what he wants from the beginning, but because women are opposite, so they interpret things differently. I’ve been in a similar situation like that, but I felt like a lot had to do with it, than the guy been confusing. I don’t deny that your situation doesn’t happen, bcos it happens.

  51. periwinkle

    December 2, 2009 at 2:33 am

    this is so true. we ladies, we tend to read hasty meaning into things. i’m so guilty of that. i met this guy four days ago at a wedding, and he was so nice to me and even offered me his number, his email contact and his home address, telling me not to feel shy in contacting him..that he would love to speak with me again..what can this be? i couldn’t help but to read meanings to all of that. the worst is that..i’m kind of physically attracted to him, what if i’m so wrong…Bella, ur advice needed, por favor!

  52. just worried

    December 4, 2009 at 11:09 am

    I really need some frank help here.I have been dating dis wonderful guy since last year,July precisely.We have been in love n even planned settling down.Just recently, he disclosed to me dat he has a low sperm count.He attributed it 2 having mumps as a kid. Doctors ve confirmed it.He has suggested assisted pregnancy as a way out but d cost is pretty outrageous.What do I do? My parents already know him and his interest 2 settle down wit me.According 2 him,he was scared about telling me cos he didnt know wat my reaction would be.I ve remained inconsolable since then. This is my dilemma,I cant help loosing him.He is my best pal.I 4got 2 mention dat I am an only girl and so there is so much attention on me.I know my family will vehemently reject his proposal if they hear dis.To compound this issue, 1 of my aunts is in d same problem.she ‘s been married for 14yrs n no issue cos of her husband’s infertility.

  53. kelechi

    December 5, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    Well, the same thing happen to me. But the guy in question was living in uk and i in the U.S. He even came visiting for my graduation, Birthday and also came to visit me when i moved out of my parent’s house to start a new job in another city. I had no choice but to think he was so into me. Until i had to do some evaluations and realise that he never returns my calls after those trips always claiming to be busy at work, and when he does return the calls, after several calls from me to him to discuss “us” he is always in an hurry to hang up. And he will never let me put up pictures of me and him on facebook. When i ask why he claims it to soon and he scared of long distance relationships that am special, he want us not to rush things, when the time is right and all. To make matters worse, when i went to visit him in the UK, I only got to see him twice since i was staying at my friends apartment as usual his excuse was work but he had time to call an ex girlfriend(he didn’t know i knew her) and at the airport when i was leaving he kept looking over my shoulders like he was checking to see someone he knew might see us. but i let it slid because he was just a very nice guy.

    Just told myself after one year if he his still not sure mehn I am better than these. I sent him an email that a woman like me as better things to do with her life than to be waiting for a man that can’t decide on what he needs. He never called me or text me after that and it been over 2.9 years now. Really he got lucky because i met him through my mum’s older sister. Now i am happily married to the man that truly loves me. I wonder if i had waited another year for that loser i would have lost the opportunity of meeting my husband because i met my husband three weeks after i sent that email.

  54. deee

    August 9, 2011 at 11:10 am

    nice article and true talk- thats all i can say 🙂

  55. Eve82

    July 17, 2013 at 9:44 am

    Lol! At one point, every girl has had a ‘Dele’. This brings back memories, and I am glad to say that I refused to make assumptions! This article is spot on!!!

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