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Juggling or Genuine



What is with the nonchalant circus act that is otherwise known as dating nowadays? Somebody is going to have to tell me what the new rules and regulations are or perhaps there’s a website that I can go on which gives some sort of online tutorial?
I know I am going to sound old-fashioned but whatever happened to boy meets girl, boy and girl find that they like each other, then agree to spend time getting to know one another, after unspecified time and all things being well, boy and girl decide to make a go of it and actually have a “relationship”? I have had to write “relationship” in inverted commas because it seems to have become taboo and totally uncool to use that word about any kind of romantic dealings you might have. It’s a form of labelling and absolutely no one wants to be labelled any more, that was so two decades ago.

I watched this modern rom-com the other day and it was looking at the way in which people conduct their affairs with the advent of new communication technologies. The girl had about four men on the go and was able to keep everything organised through the use of facebook, twitter, her online blog as well as text messaging, e-mailing and skype. She hardly needed to be in the same room as any of her men ‘friends’ because she had such a myriad of other avenues with which she communicated with them. The other thing was that all the men she was dating knew about each other and there was no bad feeling because no one honestly had the time for a proper relationship.

Then there was the guy, he also had three different women on his roster and could maintain them through his use of the various communication technologies. Unfortunately he was not savvy enough and all three girls thought they were his girlfriend – exclusively so – even though he never claimed such to any of them. He did however pay for his deception publicly which was satisfying for any girl who has ever been led up the garden path to watch.
Now I know this was just a movie but I find plenty of instances of this kind of thing happening in real life. Take my friend Kehinde, she is seeing a guy who has another girl as well as Kehinde (Kay discovered she was sharing him after he had romanced her good and proper and she had got in very deep). Now he is one tricky customer. One week he’s got a massive case of lovingitis for her and then the next he treats her like she’s got apollo and it’s 1985. I encouraged her to break up with him after he ignored her for a week, when she confronted him he turned on the charm and emotional vulnerability and all of a sudden they’re back on again. The guy runs so hot and cold he puts an Armitage & Shanks sink to shame. The games he plays means he doesn’t have to fully focus on a single girl.
Then there’s another friend, Samia. She has three fellas she’s juggling, one provides the funds, another is married but is a mentor type that she feels she can learn a lot about business from and the last guy is her work in progress. Where people get the energy to maintain these non-relationship relationships from I do not know.

Achieving specific levels of intimacy are usually a good way of knowing whether things are on track or not, when I say intimacy I’m not talking about bedroom antics, more about getting to know a person and getting to know their friends and or family, meeting these people is like the final frontier as far as shared familiarity is concerned. If the person you are seeing keeps entire facets of their life away from you then you are most definitely not their significant other and they’re certainly not worth your time or effort, whatever demonstrations of ‘love’ they might display in the heat of the moment.

When I thought about it I wondered if it all stems from a fear of rejection and getting burnt. If you don’t make yourself completely exclusive to another person then they cannot hurt you because you were never fully theirs to hurt in the first place, but without the hurt how can the joy be fully referenced?
In this circus both guys and girls are perpetrators and those of us who are hopeless at circus tricks like juggling and balancing acts have to keep our wits about us to ensure we don’t get caught and tossed around.


  1. Tiki

    March 23, 2011 at 9:38 am

    First! Yippeeeee!
    brb with a ‘real’ comment…

    • faith

      March 25, 2011 at 2:42 pm

      my bf sent me 25k two days ago for my flight to lagos…the journey was cancelled yesterday afternoon n he told me last night dat i should send back d money…wev been dating for 6mths… am in calaber n he is in awka…it is ryt for him to av asked for d money back? am askin cos it really made me angry…HE IS DEAD SERIOUS ABT WANTING D MONEY BACK. he is d Head of opp of a bank.has been visitin me in my parents house.we r planing to marry…I WORK….

    • HoneyDame

      March 27, 2011 at 2:22 am

      Send it back, use your money to go on the trip and have a re-evaluation of your “relationship” with him. I cant see the reason why he asked you to return that money

    • precious

      March 31, 2011 at 2:09 pm

      I dont think it was a good idea for him to ask for it back. That the flight was cancelled does not mean you are not flying again. And even if you are not flying again, he should take it as bad debt. Afterall, if you flew, the money would have still been spent.

    • AY

      July 13, 2012 at 6:03 am

      return his money back to him, and let him knw that everything is not about money, he is SELFISH ! I knw he will later tell you that he is just teasing you, just watch out for him, they are called green snake under the green grass !

    • Ola

      March 25, 2011 at 6:31 pm

      When are people going to get over this first to comment thing? It’s really irritating. SMH.

  2. Tiki

    March 23, 2011 at 9:43 am

    So true, dear Abby! dating has become an issue of ‘a little bit of this, and a little bit of that’, one foot in and the other foot out! Personally, my most hated adage when it comes to love is ‘do not put your all eggs in one basket’…coz this is LOVE we are talking about! Love is supposed to be all-encompassing, and not calculating…in fact, as long as one holds themself back in love, they can never receive no-holds-barred love…after all, in order to receive, you have to give.

    • Dj

      March 23, 2011 at 4:10 pm


    • Nwokeoma

      March 28, 2011 at 2:30 am

      Nothing is perfect; including love. So I think a plan B is in order when it comes to dating.
      …Said with love an respect….

  3. StephanieIj

    March 23, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Very good article.
    I must say though that its is very possible and unproblematic to have a different kind of relationship with different people(e.g 3of em) as long as the intimacy with (e.g 2) is just as far as knowing their friends and being a lil bit up in their business.

    There are various reasons you keep people around you. Just be honest to whoever is the One.

    • GNV

      March 23, 2011 at 12:59 pm

      Stephie! Stephie! i see u.

  4. Mo"

    March 23, 2011 at 9:46 am


  5. Teeto

    March 23, 2011 at 9:53 am

    Very ‘on point’.makes sense!

  6. honey koko

    March 23, 2011 at 10:10 am

    True,technology has made maintaning a relationship easy.

  7. DIVA

    March 23, 2011 at 10:17 am

    Achieving specific levels of intimacy are usually a good way of knowing whether things are on track or not, when I say intimacy I’m not talking about bedroom antics, more about getting to know a person and getting to know their friends and or family, meeting these people is like the final frontier as far as shared familiarity is concerned. If the person you are seeing keeps entire facets of their life away from you then you are most definitely not their significant other and they’re certainly not worth your time or effort, whatever demonstrations of ‘love’ they might display in the heat of the moment.

    thats so true….especially for guys…no offense meant…thats a very strong indicator of how sue he is about u….

  8. DIVA

    March 23, 2011 at 10:21 am


  9. Chichi

    March 23, 2011 at 10:29 am

    quite an interesting write up Abby, cos these days u hardly find ppl dating just one person at a time, they call it having a backup plan……….its soo crazy cos how do u enjoy a relationship 100% if u need to have a backup plan???

    • dee

      March 24, 2011 at 2:57 pm

      u know, and when I ask my friend to define back-up she’d say…they are just guy friends with potential.. so that if my bf fail,I wont have to start all over again with the getting to know u phase..When i say this, she’d reply that love has scattered my head, and that she’d be praying for me. It can get quite confusing, but in God I trust, but for now oo..i’d love with all my heart, cos thats how its meant to be.

  10. Yeoal

    March 23, 2011 at 11:08 am

    This article says it all. Sometimes when you look @ dating culture these days you can’t help but wonder. I have noticed though that some women do not mind being cheated on cos they either do not want to miss out on the financial benefit attached with the relationship or they feel they will eventually get the ‘Title’. It is even more bizarre when the man does it blatantly, without respect for the ladies involved.


    March 23, 2011 at 11:19 am

    this article is so right on the money, people have no idea who they are in a relationship with because they don,t fully commit to this things anymore, its crazy. now it has become old fashioned to wait to get to know someone before becoming intimate, juggling has become quite the norm for both sexes. i don’t think it has anything to do with technology i think it has everything to do with the mind set , people have changed and what’s in now is to just put one leg in here and there and dive in with the one that works out, nobody cares that there is a possibility that they may sink..oh well.

  12. dewowo

    March 23, 2011 at 11:31 am

    all these and many explains why we have broken marriages…yeah (head nodding)

  13. dee

    March 23, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    when you are a single girl that ok isnt it, so long as you both know where you stand, its called ‘compartmentalising’. even cars have spare tyres. wont do to put all your eggs in one basket now would it?

  14. Moji Owoeye

    March 23, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    heyall, @ Abby: u r so on point . . . . I dont think its so much of the new technology as much as individual beliefs and attitudes. A rltnship is a rltnship and friendship is friendship. One cannot say he has 4 girlfriends, its either 1 GF and 3 friends with benefits or perhaps 4 of dem r Friends with benefits as such does not see anything beyond mutual benefit and satisfaction without committments on either part. I think this is an anomaly that has to be checked.

  15. Purpleicious Babe

    March 23, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    I agree with this article, the concept of dating is changed and people are encouraged in the christain churches that dating is good and men/women should look around. I am sure they dont mean sex wise or anything like that, maybe keep ur options open. I think its silly sha that both sexes have resulted into this culture of dating 3-4 people at the same time, i cant wonder where they have the time to invest.

    Personally, I dont believe in dating various or getting to know guys in that concept of dating or whatever… If u are not the one… BYE BYE.. I hate dramas….

  16. girl next door

    March 23, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    nice one

  17. yewy1

    March 23, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    @ the writer. For the future stay out of relationships with other people .Don’t encourage break-ups because you aren’t there when they have their quiet moments and your suggestions are only based on one side of the story. Note there are 3 sides to every story -emphasis on the “3”

  18. Mariella

    March 23, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    “What is with the nonchalant circus act that is otherwise known as dating nowadays?” Awesome introduction. You had me at “what.” I feel you boo. Relationships are…don’t even know the words. Guys wanna get in your pants before or if they eventually put a tag on it. May the Lord help those of us that are not clowning around not be used as circus tools.

  19. adebyt

    March 23, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    Hmmm!Well written, It is amazing what the world has turned into.Apart from boy/girl relationships,Technology has made people in general to drift apart from each other,gone are the days you actually go out to visit friends, now it either you FB them or you BB.I am not suprised that there isnt commitment in relationships anymore and pple are dating 3 -4 pple at the same time, infact it is not called relationship any longer it is called “Understanding”…..(eg It is complicated, I have an understanding with that girl).

  20. ralee

    March 23, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    very well said Abby…you just voiced out thots that have been on my mind for the longest my case,my bf tells me sometime ago that he is not sure if he’s ready to go the whole 9 yards.this was some1 i already saw myself taking the next step with so i figured he was not ready to commit to the “relationship” so i relaxed big time!.it’s sad but true.i wonder wc way to go though…

  21. Tess

    March 23, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    I think of guilty of this but I’m truthfully tired of it and I just want to have my ‘own’ one and only.

  22. Berry FeistyPen(Akan Nweke)

    March 23, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    Excellently written, Abby

    “If you don’t make yourself completely exclusive to another person then they cannot hurt you because you were never fully theirs to hurt in the first place, but without the hurt how can the joy be fully referenced?”

    True word! Love derives its true context when pain may be lurking.

  23. Technical Lover

    March 23, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    Sometimes communication via technology like smartphones also seems perfect for hiding a lack of social skills, or shyness or to alleviate boredom at events. A friend of mine was at a small house party, where a girl just buried her face in her blackberry, typing away because nobody was talking to her. It didn’t help that she was sitting in a corner and didn’t make eye contact with anyone.

    My friend later saw her in the car-park after the party ended and got talking to her. They hit it off and he wanted to exchange BB pins with her seeing that this was her preferred mode of communication, and asked her to add his pin number so he could accept right away; but she explained that her Blackberry internet service had expired the day before! She confessed that she was very shy and since no-one was talking to her at the party, she had pretended that she was busy on the phone.

    Wow. Na so madness dey start.

    Social skills and relationships are suffering because people use chat functions and social networking sites on their smart-phones, tablets or computers instead of calling or visiting others.

    I know a chap who once met a girl via facebook; they exchanged BB pins and chatted with each other every single day for almost 2 and a half months both via BB and facebook chat. The day he decided to call her, a man picked up the phone. He thought he had the wrong number so he dropped and sent her a BBM to confirm if he had the right number. It turned out that she was the one that picked the phone – her voice was like Scary Spice’s own. He did the Eddie Murphy.

    That budding relationship did not go to the next level, because expectations built up behind chat interactions were ultimately dashed when put under further scrutiny.

    • sharrap dia!

      March 24, 2011 at 11:36 am

      GBAM! i was at a wedding once, the entire train – groomsmen plus bridesmaids were tapping away into nothingness…like seriously!

    • Nee

      March 29, 2011 at 11:32 pm

      abeg…spare her. it’s no madness. that happened to me twice at a house party & a graduation party. Wasn’t funny at all, did the phone thing but couldnt hold on for more than 20mins,it felt awkward. So I excused myself to the hostess,feigning an emergency. She probably saw through the lie and quickly started introducing me to her friends and I found some of them were engineers like me. Before I knew it,I was the center of attention of seven guys talking about green energy and U.S govt jobs. I’ve learnt my lesson though,which is “always attend house parties with a friend, it looks better engaged with a person than your phone .”

  24. Jagbajantis

    March 23, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    Why is it difficult for chaps in Nigeria to find the right girl to date or marry despite the apparent stream of ready females?

    I and a couple of friends have spoken about it a couple of times and I find that there may be a couple of underlying factors

    Indecision may be a factor. Sometimes guys may have a couple of girls they are considering, who as someone once told me “are not as good individually as the sum of their parts”; whatever that means. Each girl may not have all key attributes the chap wants ( and who does really?). Monica may like money and expensive dates too much but cook a fantastic ofe nsala; Tokunboh may have great legs but be a terrible cheapskate, Alero may be laidback and easygoing but have “Jenifa” traits especially with her spoken English. Chioma may be a smart and hardworking professional but have her head in the clouds. Back in the day, our grandfathers fixed this problem by marrying 2 or 3 wives and combining their strengths and praying their weaknesses did not send him to an early grave. I can just imagine that polygamous arrangement working now, Monica cooking all the meals for the household, Chioma working to bring in income, Alero running the house while Tokunbo ‘serviced’ the hubby. Not bad. But sooo not happening.

    There are no short-cuts…

  25. Olori

    March 23, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    Most (if not all) of the dating shows revolve around this kind of “juggling” from the bachelor/bachelorette to “flavor flav” and “what chilli wants” so I don’t know if thats helping to push this kind of “relationship.” Some people like exclusivity and others like to diversify their investments to increase returns (money, attention, sex etc) and hedge their risks against an economic meltdown (heartbreak). While I prefer exclusivity, those who “diversify their investments” should atleast get everyone on the same page so no one feels they are the main chick or dude when they are really just an item on this list.

  26. tisha

    March 23, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    its a jungle out there.
    Nothing real, nothing fake
    Its really funny
    I will make sense of it sha

  27. Myne Whitman

    March 23, 2011 at 11:49 pm

    A measured and well written article. I like this

    “but without the hurt how can the joy be fully referenced?”

  28. Oma

    March 24, 2011 at 9:35 am

    Relationship matters are never white or black.they are life’s grey areas.
    though i do not agree with keeping more than one partner at anytime,it could be difficult to tell who is truly yours even when they tell you that you literally own their heart.

  29. ange

    March 24, 2011 at 9:38 am

    this artilce is too relevant!! totally agree with chichi. its not even about the technology of being able to manage 3 guys at once… its al about the back-up plan. if guy x doesn’t pull through then move on to guy y… are people so scared of being rejected or hurt?? ur never gonna have a proper happy relationship if ur keepin tabs on 2 others at the same time

  30. Femi

    March 24, 2011 at 10:06 am

    This is a very well written and honest article Abby…thanks for speaking the mind of so many…

  31. rukayat

    March 24, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    mi likey, i was had this experience that i was a dating a guy and he has 3 other girls, one week he’s nice to me and the next week he’s something else, n anytime i say am out he kneels down cry on my shoulder and i take pity on him and we come back, after one week of meriment, the next week he’s gone. i just told God i want this guy out of my life because for real i do like him because he’s romantic, i just told myself one morning that i can get a better person and to the glory of God am engaged to the man of my dreams.why am i saying all this, i think everybody should know what they want in a relationship and if you are not getting it, the next thing is to move forward, don’t be scared of being heart broken.

  32. Uchechi

    March 24, 2011 at 4:22 pm



    March 24, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    Very relevant and most rel;ationships can relate with this, totally….. I once had an Armitage & Shanks sink guy….lol….love that reference! Being someone who doesn’t like time wasting, took my leave out of the relationship….jeez, acts like an amnesia patient!

  34. WorthIt

    March 25, 2011 at 12:54 am

    Well I had apollo in 1985…

  35. happy mood

    March 25, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    nyc write up

  36. Godchic Justthinkn

    March 25, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    lol. I soooooo feel u on this article because I always say this “boy meets girl” thing has become too complicated now. The truth of the matter is, has always been and will always be: IF A GUY WANTS YOU, HE WILL DO ALL HE CAN TO GET U!!! It’s as simple as plantain turning into “dodo” – little effort, only ‘hot’ Until u feel (emphasis being on u feeling it o, cos we always know things, it’s usually a factor of being honest with ourselves) completely desired & honestly wanted UNCONDITIONALLY, please don’t think you have been selected. The problem we women have is that many times we give all of ourself way too quickly and sometimes too cheaply too (don’t mean to be harsh but it’s the truth). At the end of the day, God dey so it is well. 🙂

    • Nee

      March 29, 2011 at 11:47 pm

      no harshness, dear. true talk.

  37. amber rose

    March 25, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    rukayat, totally on point

  38. busola

    March 26, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    I had something very similar to this in my thoughts before I read this. These days, the standard of relationships have fallen due to wrong mindsets and everything like crap seems like the norm. To add ‘PEPPER’ to the injury sex just complicate things. I know a lot of people are going to disagree with me on this, but sex clouds your line of thoughts and prevents you from seeing things the way they truely are. What we find is that these days, most relationships are based on pure lust and that way love and commitment cannot be found. Because I am a bit retro in my line of thoughts, I believe anything and everything ‘relationship’ should be discussed with God. That way you are guaranteed less drama. Every individual need to what they want, and learn how to give and receive love.

  39. Feelitx

    March 27, 2011 at 7:51 am

    So so true. In today’s world where having casual sex is as easy as having your favorite tasty meal, it’s so hard to find faithful people. you will have to be favored to fine the very faithful and special one. And then facebook and blackberry makes it easy to have cheap sex. Very very sad.

  40. janet

    March 28, 2011 at 11:38 am

    u know….in this life karma is a bitch….

  41. chrispina

    March 28, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    oh my goodness i actually lived this type of lifestyle way back in the days and i can tell you it was pretty damn hard to keep up!!!

  42. Jhaye

    March 31, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    Amen Sister!!! I am so tired of guys saying hi and then the next thing is let’s go for a test drive in the bedroom so that we will know if we should bother getting in a relationship?!?!?! WTF!!! I am not a used car that requires testing…… E don hard for us women o. Wetin sef!!!

  43. tari

    May 8, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    @faith, your bf is just being a jerk….please watch him closely….

  44. Miss BusyBody

    May 16, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    All of my friends who have gotten married this year (2011), had a back up plan, and incidentally, they all got married to the ‘back ups’…. So, my advice to everyone, better ‘Soji’ and Dont dull yourself…!

  45. jane

    May 19, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    what is back up pls us know

  46. Larai

    June 7, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    Great job Abby’

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