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Two Boxes



I have a theory.

In the time that I have developed this theory it has never once been refuted. I have shared it with all and sundry and while some might initially want to argue or disagree, perhaps as a result of being generally disagreeable or just in a bid to wipe the knowing smile off my face, eventually they come back and accede.

Now anyone who knows a jot about Bella Naija, knows that BN aficionados (worth their weight in gold and Jimmy Choos) are a tough crowd. You know what you like and aren’t shy to let it be known when it comes to things that don’t quite tickle your pickle. Y’all are discerning, astute, stylish, savvy and so quick on the uptake you’d put an MM Airport official to shame. So I thought what better judges to put my theory before?

So here it goes, I should be a little nervous but so confident am in the theory, I’m just going to lay it out there…I put it to you, my learned colleagues, that when a man sees a woman, any and every woman, in his mind he puts her in one of two boxes: “would” and “would not”.

Let me elaborate, and I do so without a sexist or pro-feminist motivation whatsoever, upon meeting a woman for the first time, in a man’s head an ultra quick decision is made; whether he would sleep with the woman or not. From that decision stems the rest of his conduct, attitude and reaction towards the woman. I heartily challenge any Segun, Chidi or Usman to tell me I’m wrong. And don’t say, ‘Aha! But what about a gay man?’ because his obvious choice is “would not”.

It is a very basic theory and charming in its simplicity, but there you have it – the inner workings of a man’s mind. Throw as many arguments at it as you want but in the end it all still rolls round to that. Oh to be a fella at times. This is probably why they tend to be more easygoing than chicks, they are so very good at breaking things down to the most basic components and working up from that level.

In discussions my guy friends have accused me of using this theory to maintain the notions that a) all men think about is sex and b) men and women cannot just be friends. That is not the point I am making at all – certainly not with regards to b. Just because a woman is put into the “would” box does not mean such a thing will ever actually be fulfilled, besides which, a man can and will sustain long-lasting friendships with either type, but if ever the perfect opportunity arose with a lady from the positive category, well then, he would. D’uh. Can I re-stress the phrase ‘perfect opportunity’? I don’t want to be accused of encouraging rampant activities.

Women on the other hand – well if we’re honest with ourselves – we’d have to admit that we like to complicate things. A situation just isn’t a challenge without all the extra commas and semi-colons we throw in to keep things bubbling over nicely, we pick up on every nuance, sigh and fluttering of the eyelashes then translate it into a complete thesis on behaviour.

I have a theory for the ladies too. I find that the first thing a woman does when she sees a man is assess the level of threat. Now this is done within whatever length of time is shorter than a millisecond, but it’s done nonetheless. Once the assessment proves positive then there’s the consideration of whether we find them attractive or not and sometimes that can change from the initial decision. Let’s say he isn’t really her cup of tea at first, then they get to know each other, and he turns out to be understanding, supportive, confident and able to protect and provide, in such instances a hitherto unforeseen attraction may begin to grow… I told you girls were complicated look at all the conditions under which she could begin to consider a previously unattractive guy, attractive! It works in the opposite way too where a chap that was considered attractive can suddenly drop down the league tables very, very, quickly – perhaps as a result of poor hygiene or ill manners.

With guys on the other hand it takes some doing for a woman that’s in one box to jump into the other. For men this transition tends to be one way from “would” to “wouldn’t” –and if given a choice they probably still “would”, then get out of Agege as quickly as possible. It’s funny that I have never seen a circumstance where a “wouldn’t” girl goes into the “would” box without the chap having consumed copious amounts of alcohol or been rendered unconscious – presumably by the aforementioned “wouldn’t” girl.

So there you have my theory. Some may agree, some might disagree and others might find it completely redundant. The thought of it could even be threatening for certain folk but it really isn’t anything to be threatened about. The decision is made so instantaneously and on such an instinctive level it’s anthropological and once you put a big fancy word like that in a theory – well it’s practically scientific then – and who’s going to argue with science? *Cue knowing smile*.


  1. cathy

    June 20, 2011 at 10:23 am

    nice one

    • Blossom

      June 21, 2011 at 9:26 pm

      LOL. Loves it! I see you, Abby… Would! :p

  2. kekeli

    June 20, 2011 at 10:27 am

    Lol…1st? LOL, Cant believe i’ve stooped to this too..anyways, I do agree. Had a similar conversation with a few single christian gentlemen who said they unconsciously ask themselves if they would go out with a lady..ofcourse i denied passionately that women do the same..but i concur with the author..we all do our mental profiling whether we admit or not.

    • kekeli

      June 20, 2011 at 10:29 am

      ok, before i hear a not quite..I know am not first..

    • kekeli

      June 20, 2011 at 10:39 am

      hah, btu i was second…yaaay, go me, go me, go me, go me…*doing the electric slide, moon walk, running man*

    • Purpleicious Babe

      June 20, 2011 at 9:11 pm

      lool… i like the way u nicely put ur hands up b4 The AMAKA gets u.. lool @ moonwalking…

  3. diz

    June 20, 2011 at 10:42 am

    very true if i have to be truthful….esp the one of a guy dropping down the levels when after close association u realise he’s not all that…..was in a similar situation, shud have let the guy go as soon as i realised it but I held on hoping he’d get better and will change…eventually ended in a bitter breakup…..lesson learned!

  4. Ex-boy

    June 20, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    Lol @ kekeli

  5. NEE

    June 20, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    Not to be rude or anything, i think your theory is Old Gist…

    Who’s with me?

    • missy~spectacular

      June 20, 2011 at 5:55 pm


  6. umo

    June 20, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    yeah!we all do d mental profiling thingy…
    but many of us ladies do it with Destiny’s child’s “can u pay my bills?can u pay my telephone bills?can u pay my automobills?” song playing in our head….
    we all do it nonetheless!!!!!!true words…..

    • Di

      June 20, 2011 at 7:00 pm

      aye to that!

  7. Teris

    June 20, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    Girl, u must be high on some good -ish.

    I love the part wh chics first assess the threat level… then measure the attraction index. Is it any wonder M&B’s were such hit back in them days.


  8. signature

    June 20, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    hm! cnt argue wit dat now can i ?….u deliver ur theories well, n for the most part u’re ryt.

  9. Justino

    June 20, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    Very good write up, welldone…..However i bet to differ that the phrase…….. “upon meeting a woman for the first time, in a man’s head an ultra quick decision is made; whether he would sleep with the woman or not”…… is not true for all men… with all sense of humility and no intention to offend anyone’s senses, i am a thirty one year old christian male virgin….i guess probably because i developed a relationship with God at a very early age,my thought pattern is not subjected to this assertion( this is not denying that i do acknowledge beauty at first sight….but may be sex at first thought just doesn’t cross ma mind)…………

    • kekeli

      June 21, 2011 at 9:16 am

      I completely agree with [email protected]…maybe i do know that the christian brothers probably wonder if she would make a good wife but not necessarily is hshe beddable…thats where i do not agree with the author too…

    • ujay

      June 28, 2011 at 2:05 pm

      gud 2 know u r diff on dis,and i think it’s a personal resolve 4 u and not abt being a xtian,i’ve tried some o dese “xtian brodas” and it seems dere testosterone levels r even higher,tot i wz bn old fashiond but i kw dat d word of God is standard @ all times.

    • annie

      June 30, 2011 at 4:29 pm

      the boy says it’s becos he’s a christian u’r arguing with him(?!) na wa o! u know him better than he knows himself?!

  10. Aibee

    June 20, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    So true. I do the profiling and assessment thingy too.

  11. Mary007

    June 20, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    I am going to comment twice, first of all you are trying so desperately to box the reader to accept your theory for someone like me who believes there are three sides to a coin the circle round it included, I will be back

  12. Nma

    June 20, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    You got me a bit confused there. This “would” vs. “wouldn’t” theory, is it just concerning sex?? Or are u talking about a man’s decision to see a chick as a potential vs nonpotential. Because sex and emotions are obviously quite different. A man can decide that a chick is non-potential and still lust after her and vice-versa.

    The way u compared men and women’s interests was a bit confusing because for women u talked about likeness, an all-round attraction and compatibility, but for men, u talked about sex.

  13. pinkus

    June 20, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    beautifully written

  14. Bellar

    June 21, 2011 at 1:50 am

    just noticed nobody said “1st” thank God you all are learning! it was about time! *sigh*

  15. P :)

    June 21, 2011 at 3:14 am

    Why all the unnecessary grammar tho? It makes reading this tiresome biko, I felt like I was reading someone’s thesis (-__-)
    As for the theory….ummm duh, we already knew this 😛

    • Sassy Diva

      June 21, 2011 at 9:58 am

      Am with P on this one, unnecessary grammar, just didnt give it all the flavour, or make it enjoyable in anyway..sheeesh

  16. Kiki

    June 21, 2011 at 7:33 am

    @ Nma. so true. the authors basis for comparison in the male vs female scenario is faulty, however i do agree that some form of profiling is done whenever the opposite sex is met. whether as a potential ‘husband/wife’ or ‘sex buddy’ or ‘no way im having anything to do with you’.

  17. bcgeorge

    June 21, 2011 at 11:53 am

    Talk, iAm Listening *9ice’s voice* ………Next
    Mary007, patiently waiting for your Season 2 on this, we don sell the the Season 1 finish…Nne hurry biko (concerned Alaba Boi)

  18. emjay

    June 21, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    @ profiling huh! and the girls having problems with the english .cant see what is wrong der or d big GRAMMAR in it! i think the writer’s thesis is faulty maybe everyone does profiling but not in dese terms or lines. No!

  19. Lola X

    June 21, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    Makes you think, eh?

    Lola x, London

  20. Mary007

    June 22, 2011 at 4:22 am

    Finally managed to read this. Not to be rude the way you passed your message is quite boring and you failed to box the women. Women are very emotional and hence unpredictable when it comes to men and matters of the heart women swing in so many directions based on numerous facts such as age, finances education etc as for the men hmmmm

  21. Nomy

    June 22, 2011 at 11:17 am

    Mehn i don’t really care about the theories, All i care about is your narrative! You told it like you were talking to me not writing. I felt like i was gisting with you not reading from you to a large extent! Good writing.

  22. -----

    June 23, 2011 at 5:58 am

    Abbey A for effort.
    No offence though, but I don’t really see the point of the essay. Are you saying we should be careful with our 1st impressions so we end up in the right box or you are merely stating a “point?”

  23. BB

    June 23, 2011 at 9:50 am

    well for me i agree that there’s some sort of assessment at first instance but whether its sexually or not is way out of the box…….lol

    • ujay

      June 28, 2011 at 2:17 pm

      i think dats most likely cos u r female,4 guyz it’s always dere,wz actually told dis severally by diff guyz.

  24. MODIVA

    June 25, 2011 at 2:39 am

    Have got nothing 2 object here u knw buh a kudos,dats was a superbic writing,thumbs up

  25. yea

    June 25, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    dope write, now i have the perfect tool to get the other..

  26. janded babe

    July 12, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    erm I just wanted to say your theory is spot on..obviously there are always outliers/(people who just dont want to accept) . As for too much grmmar..huhn shes writing simple English, because no pidgin dey inside orr…
    carry on o jare you are doing well

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