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Atoke’s Monday Morning Banter: Tales By EHarmony



Every time I think about the fact that my EHarmony subscription is just a waste of money, I remember that it a rich source of material for my writing. Last year, I had gone back and forth on the site with one guy until the point of seeing one another. So we were to set up this date to have coffee and the man wanted to meet up on a weekday. As I’ve recently become a juggler of work, work and more work, there was no way that a weekday date would have worked. He also wanted to meet up in the evening. At that time of the year, it was already dark by 4PM. As a Yoruba girl who has seen way too many Hollywood movies, there was no way I was going to meet a man I met online at night. Add years of living in Ilorin to the equation and I was imagining my breasts in one calabash somewhere. Na uhn! Then, dude said he didn’t want to meet in the City and wanted us to meet up in his area. He said he has broken his leg and couldn’t walk around. Atoke, Ogbomosho girl asked if he had not been going to work. He said oh yeah, he had been going but… he just didn’t want to go far from his area.
At this point I had given up but as it was gist I said ‘okay, I’ll come to your area. Is there a cafe near you?’. To this he responded that he had been thinking it’d be nice if we shared a glass of wine over at his. Mehn! There was no kind of article I want to write that will justify being Kolobi’d in one German man’s house oh!
After that experience I widened the catchment area of my matches. So this weekend, I opened EHarmony again and I’d exchanged Makes&Breaks with a fellow called ‘Joe’, black, sales advisor, lives in London. Then he asked for my number and called. Nigerian accent. Okay cool. Then he asked the usual questions they say Nigerians ask as ice breakers.
Joe: How many siblings do you have?
Atoke: Two

Joe: Where do you live in Lagos?
Atoke: Oshodi

Joe: What university did you go?
Atoke: Unilag

By now I was tired of the inquisition so I said “Why don’t you tell me a little about yourself?”. To which he responded “What do you want to know?”. Nothing really, I was bored from all the questions. But I couldn’t say that… so I said “Everything you’ve asked me”. He talked. I tuned out a bit so I can’t recall a lot of what he said until he said “I’ve been here since I was very little”. “How little?”. Then he said “19”. “But, 19 is not very little?”. “Well I’m TAARTY something years now so that’s little”. Clearly not little enough to have learned to say ‘Thirty’ with the ‘TH’ sound.
Okay, don’t be so judgmental. I mentally chided myself and held on to the phone.

So moving swiftly along, he asked where I lived. “So how do I get to see you? If I come to your town where will I sleep?”

Ha! This grown man was asking me where he’d sleep? “I’m sure there are lots of Bed and Breakfast places”. There was a long pause. Was the man expecting to stay in my house? Then he asked me how long it takes to get here from London.

It is well.
For me, the most disturbing part of that conversation was the “Where will I sleep?” question. As I told my friend the story, she said “You know we Nigerians don’t like going to places where we don’t know anybody. Somewhere to crash!”
Is this true?

Should I truly have been more proactive in looking for accommodation for this man? Was I honestly expected to prepare a room in my house for him? What’s the proper operating procedure for these things?

Anyway, I shall leave you here. Share some of your random stories of meeting people on social media with us. Apparently, this social media romance is the ‘way’. Two weeks ago we read of the guys who met each other in the comments section. Last week it was the guy who proposed to the girl he met on Twitter… on Twitter! Today is Random Ramblings day.

Have a lovely week ahead. Don’t be bogged down by the myriad of life’s worries, because life is too fleeting to NOT enjoy the little things. Remember to smile.

Peace, love & cupcakes.


Photo Credit:
Atoke – Writer | Lover | Noisemaker. Twitter – @atoke_

You probably wanna read a fancy bio? But first things first! Atoke published a book titled, +234 - An Awkward Guide to Being Nigerian. It's available on Amazon. ;)  Also available at Roving Heights bookstore. Okay, let's go on to the bio: With a Masters degree in Creative Writing from Swansea University, Atoke hopes to be known as more than just a retired foodie and a FitFam adherent. She can be reached for speechwriting, copywriting, letter writing, script writing, ghost writing  and book reviews by email – [email protected]. She tweets with the handle @atoke_ | Check out her Instagram page @atoke_ and visit her website for more information.


  1. iyke

    April 7, 2014 at 11:56 am

    Online dating/connection….One of those illusions of what is really wrong with the world today…The Playground of weirdos …those who lack the confidence to step up to ladies one one one. Am doing it old school, avoiding pain…blatant disregard……the constipated engagement of an uncommitted heart… have chosen to live through the weight of it’s embrace…to reach the waiting side of life that breaths…cradles the wealth of gifted promise, required…valued…qualified and measured. I do it old school (boy meet girl)because it is sustainable with the will of a willing heart.

    • TA

      April 7, 2014 at 2:24 pm

      Nothing wrong with old school,and nothing wrong with Online either. 😉 Although to be honest,the only 2 successful stories Ipersonally have of the online dating thingy are persons who were not looking when they met their partners. The first lady and guy I know of met in Nigeria Village Square and are now married (about 5 years now or so),the other lady Atoke mentioned in her article (someone I also know) met her now fiance in a comment section (known as comment is free on Guardian Uk) so as you can see in both cases it was not your typical dating site but random websites,forums,blogs (like Bella Naija) and now they are together. Am not saying dating sites are not successful o,me sha, I dont know anyone who it has worked for.

    • iyke

      April 7, 2014 at 4:01 pm

      You are right.However, I’d prefer one on one connection, that way you know YES/NO what you are dealing with. Online profiles are fake..lies et al. Everybody wants to present their ‘supposed’ best/attractive qualities. You get deceived, profess intimacy and affection only to feel useless and stupid when she/he turns up and doesn’t fit the image you already have in your sub-concious, thereby wasting weeks/months of resources that you could have used to WOO the girl next door.
      Appearance is a very important thing for men when it comes to dating. It is our first sorting mechanism when we are making dating decisions. (Don’t know about the ladies though). On top of that HOWEVER, we sort for personality and compatibility which is where the worth of a real woman lies. A real man knows this worth when he sees her and can never deny her worth.Unfortunately, It’s so hard to get that WORTHY lady online. A woman who knows her worth shouldn’t be looking for love online. It’s for those who have despaired.
      And when two despaired and desperate souls meet online, they become DESPERATE & DESPERATER.
      *Team One on One Meeting*

    • Tomi

      April 9, 2014 at 12:40 am

      Hmmm…nice one iyke! I need to meet you in person…lol.

    • Purpleicious Babe

      April 21, 2014 at 2:36 am

      Opari @ desperate and
      Your comments sure do make me laugh.

      I beg to disagree sha, that online dating is for the despaired etc. I don’t do online dating but surely it works for some people.While team one2one might work for some and not others etc.
      Each go their own.

  2. TeeGee

    April 7, 2014 at 11:56 am

    I can totally relate to this! Hahaha!!! Seems the men on eHarmony have the same lines. Was conversing with a guy on there who wanted to come see me and crash at mine. He even had an issue with the fact that I had a flat mate which wouldn’t allow us any ‘privacy’. Jokers!

  3. whocares

    April 7, 2014 at 11:57 am

    ahhh (she sighs in relief) I was about to organize a search party on top your matter Atoke. I was looking everywhere for the morning banter and I couldn’t find it. lol. I have never tried any of the on-line dating sites, but I have it on good authority that there are toooo many sleazy people on them. From the dudes that send you nude pictures to the ones that curse you out when you refuse them..

    Now as for where Mr Joe would have slept? You should have opened your nostrils and asked him to come and camp inside (anyone remember doing that as a kid?). He wants to toast woman, so he doesnt know the way to the nearest travel lodge? Your friend was wrong in this situation. A Nigerian family friend you know, then maybe you might have to cater to their accommodation, but a total stranger? HELL NO!

    Oooh the conversation turned inquisition bit I get you on that, I hate it.. I finally found a guy who converses the way I like, but the dude is determined to friend zone me… Olorun o ni fun se, emi gan o ni gba. loool. (God wont allow him, and I wont agree)

    • Atoke

      April 7, 2014 at 12:01 pm

      Me that I was busy watching and rewatching my BooThang (and the sweat on the shiny yellow dome) stand up for the peaceful resolution of the AC or No AC business. I now forgot time had gone like that. LeCrush has that intense effect on me like that ni. No vex.

    • Jo!

      April 7, 2014 at 12:04 pm

      I read this thrice before I got it
      Now that I have, LMAO. See ehn, shouldn’t we start a get Atoke and Banky together project like this?

    • whocares

      April 7, 2014 at 12:13 pm

      LMAOOOOOOOOOO. I get it, I forgive you.. its enough to watch your blood boil seeing Mr doubliyou that way isnt it?

    • Que.....glad to have my avatar back!

      April 7, 2014 at 1:26 pm

      Lmaooooo at d shiny yellow dome!!

    • Jo!

      April 7, 2014 at 12:02 pm

      girls don vex

    • jcsgrl

      April 7, 2014 at 2:25 pm

      Ha ha ha ha ha…you and Atoke are a hot mess! Gosh this men of nowadays sef…whhhyyyy. Make una step up naa…kilode

  4. Jo!

    April 7, 2014 at 11:58 am

    looooool… “taaarty something
    In order news IMMEDIATELY cancelled my account after I opened it, (Like five minutes after I got activation email) for no reason o, apart from of course being Nigerian, silly me, why didn’t I say I was in the UK or something. Mschewwwwww…nonsense and good riddance

    • Miss Anonymous

      April 7, 2014 at 4:23 pm

      Your URL will show you are logging in from Nigeria actually.

  5. Neo

    April 7, 2014 at 11:58 am

    How do you even get to “know someone online”? The whole vibe of reading expressions and body language is lost, there’s ample recovery time to process and carefully think out each reply and time to create a facade. I’m just paranoid like that. I met this fooooiiiine dude on my vacay last year *thinks about his fineness and fans self* Had the best one hour long convo with him (we met in the hotel lobby as he was waiting for his airport drop off) he was charming, spoke very well, we exchanged details and fastforward two months later and several stilting whatsapp chats he asks me to send him my picture. I point out that i have my pic up as my dp, he says he knows but just wants me to send a pic and all of a sudden i have vivid images of him wanking to my picture. I think online/media relations can do that, basically take the “essence” out of a person cos i couldnt just reconcile the man i met in person with the person i was chatting with.

    When i read the twitter proposal love story I started to believe in love and romance again. Too cute! I love how they were replying each other back and forth.

  6. some-

    April 7, 2014 at 11:59 am

    Atoke [email protected] ur breasts in one calabash =))º°˚˚˚°ºнaĦaнaº°˚˚˚°º‎​=)) .very lovely write up as usual. i think this online dating works for some people sha and seems very risky esp when you don’t engage ur faculty for secured meet ups.


    April 7, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    Am glad online dating is becoming popular in Naija. Now husband snatching has to stop.

    • 1 + The One

      April 7, 2014 at 12:33 pm


    • Fountain of Paper

      April 7, 2014 at 1:04 pm

      This is an acute case of DeyDererism! Who says the husbands are not trolling these sites for som’n som’n!

      Anyway, asides that #HusbandNotChattel Let us try to remember that.

    • Stephanie

      April 8, 2014 at 3:46 am

      Lol…that would even make it worse

  8. Non professional opinion

    April 7, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    @Atoke, you are a real innocentee o! Do you think this guy doesn’t know they have Travellodges all over the uk. Just like your German friend, he was trying to be sure of a more “intimate” evening before he enters National Express.
    The German dude was rude though, because he actually wanted you to bring the knacks directly to him. I read some research that black women routinely have this experience on dating sites where apparently white guys think they are always up to fulfill their fantasy of no strings attached sex with a lusty darky wench.
    Have fun, but be safe.x

  9. Abz

    April 7, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    Y’all dont know weird until you’ve tried PoF –…… is indeed plenty of fish…plenty of weirdo fishes in an even weirder sea. I have tried online dating….it is weird. There are the guys with a serious case of jungle fever and the psychos. Abeg, i have closed all online dating accounts…met up with only 2 guys and they wanted to razzle me after dinner…biko we can go dutch on the dinner, its not that serious.

    • Que.....glad to have my avatar back!

      April 7, 2014 at 1:36 pm

      How did u even find a place by dat name in d first place….lolll d name sounds weird as hell!

    • slice

      April 7, 2014 at 1:48 pm

      pof is actually very popular and lots of people use thing. The thing about weird guys is they don’t hide that from you so once they show themselves you can just keep it moving. One guy sent me a msg with all the things he would like to do to me…sexual things. i still use the sites. it’s not like so called real life guys have not said same to me before so ….

    • me

      April 7, 2014 at 4:51 pm

      hmmm about POF.. my friend introduced me to the site because she has been talking to some guys there and even went on a date with one which she really liked. I opened an account but I just got uncomfortable and deactivated it.. 🙁 .. I just want to meet new people maybe date along the line.. but I think i’l stick to the old fashion way. HA

  10. slice

    April 7, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    i’ve tried online dating and actually met some people there. I think it’s a viable option. some experiences are better than others. i think the toughest part with it is, if they live in a difft state/city, sometimes you can’t verify what the person looks like in person and whether or not you’re attracted to them till after a little while after talking. so you keep talking and may just be quite let down when you meet cause you may have zero attraction. if you don’t talk to anyone that’s long distance you can avoid this problem but I do like to give almost everything a chance.

    for the where to stay part, guys know you won’t let them stay in your house. they just like to try anyway 🙂

  11. slice

    April 7, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    try or christianmingle. Blackpeoplemeet is pretty good too and quite cheap. The eharmony thing of dishing out 7 or so matches everyday can be annoying. At least with the others, you can look and if no one catches your “fancy,” just move on.

  12. neon

    April 7, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    back in the day (during my a levels) was the in thing. you would chat with a guy or girl and ask A/S/L ( Age, sex location) anyway i met this guy Victor on there he was a year or two older, lived in south london etc, we got along well, we swapped numbers and talked on the phone for hours and weeks, then it was time to meet up, i told my then best friend i was going to meet with Victor and she said ask him what hes wearing so you can recognize him first, so off i went! thinking i was about to start a proper relationship! oh boy eh… when i walked out of Victoria station and saw this man!!! needless to say all the long nights on the phone imagining how he looked were quickly put to rest. first of all this man had told me he looked like Tyson beckford, i could see where he was coming from, they were both black! and perhaps the same height, that was ALL the similarities they had. he looked more like a broke verson of biggy smalls meet Rick Ross! it was summer, he had ashy skin, u know the type black people get when body cream hasnt been your friend. Odiegwu. i very promptly turned back and got back on the underground, i got off my stop and went to the nearest Tmobile shop to change my number ( yes i did).

    • TA

      April 7, 2014 at 2:02 pm

      Ha! Ha ha! No you did not! Oh my days. ROTFLOLLL. Oh dear. You are clown neon. 🙂

    • whocares

      April 7, 2014 at 2:26 pm

      LMAOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Harsh but necessary. True Catfish moment there.

    • Anne

      April 8, 2014 at 2:37 pm

      Lmao @who cares, Mehn watching catfish has made me beyond paranoid!

    • Que.....glad to have my avatar back!

      April 7, 2014 at 2:30 pm

      Lmaoooo….waattt!! Hahahahahahaa… dis reminds me of a collegue of mine bout 7yrs ago, who had been chatting with this chic in the then celtel customer svc…. she attended to him once on a night shift , and he took a liking to her n became her frequent caller, she eventually gave her no, n he was in touch daily……fastforward bout 3wks-a month, de decide to meet n go out….he was to pick her up frm her home… he got to her street told her he was nearby n needed help spottin d hse so she shld stand in front to giv him an idea she had describd wat she was wearing…. whereas he was already outside, parked bout 3 houses away… just wanting to see….my dear as she came out standing n waiting, he said he just couldnt reconcile d person on d fone to d one he was seeing, sharply…. dude stepped on d gas n just drove onnnnn!! It wasnt me, but I felt sooo bad just imagining how she’d feel! He said he just couldn’t deal!

    • adeola

      April 16, 2014 at 7:42 pm

      Lol…….That is so Wickedt

    • anon

      April 7, 2014 at 4:58 pm

      you are cray cray!!! changed your number …

    • Sunshine

      April 7, 2014 at 7:52 pm

      Looooooooolest………U just made my day!!!!!!!!

    • OgeAdiro

      April 8, 2014 at 4:44 am

      You harsh…lol

  13. ranti

    April 7, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    i really dont believe in online dating sha! i want to meet my man face to face

  14. Que.....glad to have my avatar back!

    April 7, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    I ‘m easy about online dating for other people, I opened a acct once but dats all I did…I cant be bothered to keep checking n following up on strangers so I didn’t last long thereh.. now had I gone thru d troubles for a strange adult to ask a silly question as where he’d sleep, my response would depend on my assessment of his personality so far, but it would be one of two….give him an idea of d hotels in my vicinity or tell him my kitchen table is empty n crawling with knives!…

  15. Zayt

    April 7, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    Neon u have killed me. ROTFL..

  16. Iris

    April 7, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    Look for accommodations ke? First warning sign: attempting to impress by claiming a “guy from the UK” with his accent. Since I was little indeed. Two: expecting you to organize accommodation (whether it’s a hotel, or more likely, your place) is a sign of the madness to follow. He’s coming to do what after one conversation? It’s at times like those that I throw out my specially reserved Otimokpo act. I start to talk about salvation, fires of hell burning the wicked, and maidens of the sea and air appearing to me, all interspersed with shouts of “wee! wee! wee!” Nobody will tell you to drop the phone sharply and even run from eHarmony on top.

    • Que.....glad to have my avatar back!

      April 7, 2014 at 6:42 pm

      LMAOOOOOOOOOOO………Otimokpo acts indeed!!!

  17. memebaby

    April 7, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    ha.. back when i just finished writing my waec and just being bored at home, there used to be a dating section on one of the newspapers daddy bought. so I picked a number and boy did he sound so charming on the phone.. so we planned to meet at chicken republic and i dragged my bestie and sister with me.. and i described my outfit to him. we girls were just excited and giggling the whole time smh. then he came to our table. my friend & sister didn’t hide their facial expression at all.. these girls were laughing hard and boy did i feel embarrassed lol
    lets just say that’s when I learnt never to judge a man’s voice by his physical appearance.. fun times they still tease me till date haha.

  18. Toma

    April 7, 2014 at 11:30 pm

    I would most certainly prefer meeting someone physically before even considering dating or a relationship. During my NYSC in Abuja i met a guy on Hi5 (back then when Hi5 was the In Thing). He added me and we got chatting, dude was super good looking and had a ‘poshness’ to him even from his picture, he shuttled between Abj and Congo for work purposes at the time so a week before he was to come to Abj he told me we should hook up. My heart was beating but being a cynic i told myself not to think too much about it and have no expectations of someone i have never met, boy was i right! I arrived 15 mins early at our agreed meeting spot just so i don’t get caught unawares, when he was approaching and i saw him, i prayed HARD for it not to be him – it was. Guy was barely 5 feet tall (with plenty ego), mind you, i am 5 10″ so you can imagine. I managed to hide my disappointment and just carried on chatting cos he was such a nice and polite guy, i even met up with him once again, but just as a friend. Needless to say, it didn’t go anywhere

  19. DOO

    April 8, 2014 at 12:22 am

    Hi Atoke, I may not look like Mr. Wellington but many girls say I am good looking. I have a crush on you and I am willing to take this to the next level. Take this as my online proposal. What say ye?

  20. Dr N

    April 8, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    Online dating is a lot more safer this days than previously. Personally i think its a fun way to meet new pple whether it ends in marriage or not. I think whoever is using them shld always check out d other persons details once you start conversing.You can Skype which is cheaper and helps you make up ur mind about the person in question.
    I do also thinks it depends on d dating website cos some are good at filtering off time wasters. My girl friend meet a FINE”” dude on and they got married in UK 16 months so it can work for some pple and she had gd recommendation about this website ; the way they check out every questionable character and delete their profile if need be. So in this age and time as we get caught up with work and the technological advancements, I think online dating has come to stay and pple are going to turn more to online dating and continue using that.

  21. Mrs Nwosu

    April 8, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    since I was little “19” looooooooooool Atoke you worry o. Nice piece

  22. Joy

    April 12, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    I actually met my husband on Eharmony. No way we would have met without online dating.

  23. Joy

    April 12, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    Posted too soon. However, some of the people I chatted and met up with were colossal disappointments. First guy had a fine picture, he was wearing gym wear and looked fit with a full head of hair but when he arranged a date for late evening I began to wonder. Guy was bald and quite portly. Not only that he annoyed by saying he wanted a proper African woman as a GF – what/ who is a proper African woman? Guy just dey find slave
    Other funny one was a Ghanian, first date and he asked me for a loan after complaining I worked too hard o. The third weird one proposed to me and started making plans for us living together even before we met! We were still at the phone chatting stage. I almost gave up sef and I’m very glad I didn’t. I did vow not to renew my subscription and was matched to my husband during the last month of my Eharmony subscription

  24. adeola

    April 16, 2014 at 7:48 pm

    Hmn! My take is I just wish there was some proper match making dating company somewhere where you can submit your profile, indicate the kind of person you want and you are hooked up, I mean even if I have to pay well for it, yeah I am that stage, work is all I do and then the few times off is so lonely you begin to wonder, so when and how do we meet this person now, not minding the stories you keep reading on bella naija weddings about people meeting randomly, I stopped reading them sef after a while………as someone who say this man matter e no easy, it shall well

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