Connect with us



Bim Akinmade: The Dilemma



So yesterday was my friend’s birthday. Whenever I see this cute little thing I can’t help but to be overwhelmed with fond memories of our school days. Us wobbling around on our stools in the science lab, struggling to stay awake as our teacher droned on and on about cells, plants and everything other thing in life that a 17 year old just doesn’t give a dilly-damn about. We had plans then. Plans of breaking out of that tiresome girls’ school and conquering the world!

University was going to be our first stop. There we would party hard by night, sleep by day, and study in the frantic 5 hour period before exams. We always planned on meeting our significant others there; Mouth-wateringly handsome men that would bowl us over with their chivalry, good looks and infectious personalities. From there we would get amazing jobs. The sort of jobs where you would mix with nothing but the most elite graduates, be offered countless amazing international opportunities, and get paid so well that checking price tags would be a pointless thing of the past.

Oh youth- how I adore thee! We were so happy, so hopeful, so lost in our limitless imaginations. Then reality dawned on us like a weighty fog- creeping ever so slowly, till our hopes and dreams were stifled and choked.

Now driving down this windy road with my beautiful buddy by my side, I couldn’t help but let slip that nagging question that built an air of contemplative silence, “What happened to us?” She looked ahead through the crystal clear windscreen at the frenzied passersby. Her eyes eerily still as if looking off into a far distance, probing through the years. After a few moments, as if waking from a trance, they flicked back to me as she answered “I guess things just got real”. That provoked a response, and from there we talked, and talked and talked until we reached the quirky African joint her birthday was to be held.

She talked about her boyfriend: A nice guy that had pursued her relentlessly because he knew in his mind that this woman was his Eve. Initially she was reluctant, since nursing a broken heart and a quarrelsome mind (let’s just say men in the past had not been so kind); but still he pursued, and with such a determined spirit that she couldn’t help but develop a subtle intrigue which continued to grow the more she got to know him. It turns out that this guy was one of the kindest and most selfless men that she had ever met, hence why they are now in a relationship. He didn’t fulfill her usual criteria for what she wanted in a partner, but there was something about him that she just couldn’t deny.

He loved her, and he wasn’t afraid to show it. She knew that he wasn’t the wealthiest of men that could take her on 5* luxurious holidays and casually spray her with £50 notes, neither was he the most intellectual of men, engaging in furious stimulating debates that left her brain pulsating from an onslaught of knowledge, but she knew that he was hers. A loving and loyal man that would do anything just to make her happy. “I guess that’s good enough” she reasoned, although a subtle undertone in her quavering voice hinted some doubt “I am just being realistic”. Ideally every woman wants a man with a loving and loyal character, but to what extent is that enough?

That is a topic we deliberated till our mouths grew dry, unquenchable by no number of drinks. Personally I feel like it isn’t. I don’t know if it is my upbringing or just my inbuilt persona, but I have never really been attracted to the typically sexy or handsome men that other women are drawn to. It isn’t about the wealthy men with high-flying jobs and flashy cars either.Instead I seem to be attracted to geeks. Diamonds in the rough. The sort of men that have that understated beauty and mental dexterity that a superficial woman could never appreciate. Why? Only God knows. I guess you could liken it to what Olanna sees in Odenigbo in ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’. Yes, he has great character, but there is also so much more to him. I don’t know if it’s just me but there’s something so sexy about an intellectual man. A man that inspires you and you can learn from, yet doesn’t father or patronise you. Instead he sees your that you are priceless, and admires your unique strengths. That is the sort of man that I am seeking. Not the ready-made millionaire, but the fresh intellectual with limitless potential, an unstoppable drive and a promising future. A man that excites and ignites a fire within me, always keeping me on my toes and moving forward. But am I being too unrealistic in my expectations? Should I just be content with the simple man that loves and treats me well?

Lately I have been questioning my expectations because I met an amazing guy. A true sweetheart. This man had an abundance of love of attention that he was all too willing to shower upon me. When I looked into his eyes I could just see him being an attentive and doting father, and an incomparable lover. The sort of man that any woman would be proud to call hers. But for some reason, whether right or wrong I just wasn’t drawn to him. I felt no magnetic force pulling us together. Yes we laughed, we joked, and we had fun. But fun is all it was and will ever be. And for that reason our encounter left me feeling a tad perturbed.

The women in my life have always encouraged me to want a man not for his looks, or money but for his flawless character. A man that would stand by me through thick and thin; even when it’s my time of the month and I am ranting and raving like a possessed mad woman, he still stays by my side, nodding and smiling patiently to appease his queen. Lord knows that to have such a man would be a blessing, but is it wrong that I want more?

In this time of unspeakable good-man-drought. I find myself feeling a tad selfish for wanting more. Choosing to be with a man just because he treats you well isn’t settling, is it? Or is it just being realistic? Supposing I found a man that had the traits that I seek, such as intellect, ambition and a heart of gold. Am I being realistic in thinking that we could ever live happily ever after?

Something that my friend said to me really got me thinking. She explained that she had just got back from a work-related outing, where she mixed with several of the senior executives of the organisation. She was surprised at how lewd and flirtatious several of the men were. Although they were dressed so smartly in crisp suits and designer-wear their actions on the contrary were animalistic and wanton. Their wedding bands in no way restricting their reckless behaviour. One could only wonder whether their wives were at home waiting for them; cooking, cleaning and blissfully unaware that their hard-working husbands were hard, and working on women outside of the workplace, or whether these wives were fully aware of their partner’s promiscuous ways but had grown hardened to the sad reality that having a successful man means having an unfaithful one.

As she described her experience I couldn’t help but wonder ‘what happened to these men?’ I am sure that for them to undertake such high-flying senior executive roles, they would have to possess some of the traits that I admire in a man such as intellect and ambition, but whether they ever possessed a good and loving character is questionable. Is it possible that they channelled so much of their energy into intellect and ambition, that it compromised their initially good character, resulting in these barbaric and adulterous ways? And if that is the case, maybe my friend is right, and it is more realistic to just decide upon a man with outstanding character, or is this settling?

I know we all have our preferences; maybe it is intellect, ambition, status or physical attractiveness, and although painful one thing we just have to accept is that life and people are ever-changing like the turning tide. And if we choose partners that possess these alluring characteristics then our eyes need to be open to the fact that they could easily change, plus there are consequences; an attractive physical partner is likely to have endless admirers, similarly to one of high social status, or with a flourishing career, therefore they are going to be exposed to people and situations that will test your relationship to its fullest. Every relationship experiences its temptations, but suppose that this is more likely for those certain people with countless alluring characteristics, then maybe the wisest or should I say the safest thing to do would be to choose the man with just the flawless character because at least you know that this is enduring and through the trying times he will make loving you his priority. But why play it safe? Love itself is a risk. What do you think?

Photo Credit:

Bim Akinmade is a budding writer and Psychology graduate; raised in England but with hopes of one day returning to Nigeria. Communication is key, and she believes that the time is now for people to empower and encourage each other by sharing their experiences and beliefs. Bim recently completed her NYSC in 2012; a tumultuous journey with several twists and turns, all of which are documented in her blog. Follow her on Being Me 360  and on Twitter @Bimmykins2012 to engage in thought-provoking discussions and share your experiences on a vast array of topics.

Bim Akinmade is a budding writer and Psychology graduate; raised in England but with hopes of one day returning to Nigeria. Communication is key, and she believes that the time is now for people to empower and encourage each other by sharing their experiences and beliefs. Bim recently completed her NYSC in 2012; a tumultuous journey with several twists and turns, all of which are documented in her blog. Follow her on and on twitter @Bimmykins2012 to engage in thought-provoking discussions and share your experiences on a vast array of topics from NYSC to relationships.


  1. lah

    May 26, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    Such wonderful write up..

  2. Ronke

    May 26, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    I have been thinking about this for a while now. I am sapiosexual, and can’t help but think I am settling with my current boyfriend. He is very educated, caring and by society’s standards can be refered to as a good man. I honestly want more, someone I can have highly intellectual conversations with, someone who is going to upgrade my thinking, even though I am well educated myself. I have spoken to some married cousins and aunties about this, and the just don’t get it and think it is because I am in my early twenties or studying abroad . They have adviced me on numerous occasions to just go with a man with a good heart and character + a nice job.

    Afterall people grow, a man can develop intellectual abilities at any time.

    • Ms Whizzy

      June 4, 2014 at 9:56 am

      80 – 20 Rule dear! If intellectual discussions are your 80? then free loyalty and what nots. At the end its about what is important to you. However, let me paint a scenario. My husband supposedly like(d)(s) (don’t know if he still does) my intellectual capacity. The first thing he’ll say to describe me anywhere is… My wife is very intelligent. However, when we argue these days, the first thing he says is ‘I know you, I can never win this argument so don’t bother’ then he sulks off for the next…. one year if you let him. I have learnt that having superior capacity for intellectual arguments is very very helpful x_x So think about it very well, me thinks intellectual convos are over rated and it can work in your advantage to be the more outspoken, cerebral person in the marriage. Cos honestly, the day the man decides to take me up on any argument? Na me dey run go o. Cos i know by the time we are both done, we’ll have said loads of things we regret cos we are both cerebral people and we know where to hit to hurt.

      People say they want husbands they can look up to, I have learnt that it is also important for your husband to look up to you and respect you for certain things. My husband respects my intelligence, I respect his financial intelligence. he respects me for my career progression and quick ascension, I respect him for his resourcefulness. Mutual respect beats one-way respect any day.

  3. Fleur

    May 26, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    Bim me dear!!! You have hit the nail on the head and you are asking the right questions at the right time. My dear, you are very intelligent. I was at this point 2 decades ago. I chose what you seem to be leaning towards. I will support you in your choice. But then I must also warn you to prep for the lack lustre period which spans a decade plus – the no sex, no romance, nothing but unbridled loyalty phase. Your loyal man is now in his late forties and he is head of his game and is home at the right time everyday. But he is just plain unimaginably boring. You dont have the adventure you would want every now and then that is so rampant in those wild men. But you see you need that adventure cos you are going through a phase of reaffirming your hotness in your 40ies. So you first hit the gym and then you change your hairdo and you look good every morning for self and self only. But you are missing romance. You are missing sweet nothings, even if for the sake of chivalry. You will take chivalry yes, open, blatant, unforgiving chivalry. You want to be naughty but ehm, dude is now calmer than when he was young and calm you get my drift. Just when you are about to start thinking like a cougar or a piece of meat on the prawl, you are captivated by the sufferings of someone you know – a friend suffering dire consequences of infidelity, another with a broken marriage. then you note that nobody is happy. the only variance – the causes of their sorrows. It does not get better. You become the man for your female self [and I mean in every way possible. Its like a best kept secret]. You find yourself toasting your self when you are alone – imagine all you can here baby. You wont step out of what you have because doing that does not bring happiness either. Find that man that is willing to explore what it is that makes you tick. that is the way to be happy. All else – VANITY and trust me hon, ive been there and I am living it.

    • Fashionista

      May 27, 2014 at 11:23 am

      Wow, Fleur! I don’t know what to say self. Sending a truckload of E-hugs to you.

    • [email protected]

      May 27, 2014 at 2:41 pm

      Thanks for sharing, i can only imagine ur reality….million hugs and kisses . And i know too not to settle for this very nice guy that is on my case whom i feel nothing for.

    • lulu

      May 28, 2014 at 5:42 pm

      @Fleur…thank you so much for that piece of advice… Its as if this article was written for me, everything said here…for instance right now, i have this amazing guy pursuing me…handsome, swt, loving, great career… i keep trying but i just dont feel him. my brain is wild and sometimes unstoppable ,and sometimes wierd…most men i meet are great people but they just dont have what iam looking for…lately i have been thinking that may be iam being a little unrealistic, do people realy marry becoz they are compatible and inlove or is it just for security reasons….

  4. LOL

    May 26, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    I used to like men for their intellect, mental dexterity…bla bla bla…lol…I used to know a guy that had all these traits, ambition, intelligence, vision without the looks. Then I met him again all these years later, ambition had driven out all his morals. It was all about money and being rich.
    Focus not only on what traits he has now, but what reality and greed will do to these in the future…my main shock is that people change and not necessarily for the better. Lol…get ready to be shocked

  5. maguerita

    May 26, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    Dis is d story of my life. D man ,ll b marryin is nt d intellectual buddy so ,m settlin. He is amiable bt I can’t hold an intellectual conversation wt him. ,m jus numb abt it all. Bim ,m on d fence on this

    • oh dear

      May 26, 2014 at 7:59 pm

      Your spelling is on that same fence too 🙁

    • Bleed Blue

      May 28, 2014 at 9:19 am

      Dearie, if you spell like this…perhaps you attract what you get. These things do matter.

  6. Dr. N

    May 26, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    I like the questions u raised. For me, intellect may be subjective. Some are artistic but poor at science. The basics of course, are ability to hold a decent convo. Beyond that, if he is driven and passionate about his goals, I won’t expect an Einstein. Sparks must fly tho.

    • Akua Y

      May 26, 2014 at 11:52 pm

      I agree

  7. Ayo

    May 26, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    Thanks for sharing Bim. I feel exactly like you do. I place premium on an intellectual connection with a man. But they are few and far between honestly. Sometimes I’m scared I’m being too choosy but I know I’m not. I’d be with a shorter, lower earning, plain looking man if he ticks that box. My family and friends encourage me to consider others and I do…. but it always ends in me resenting being with them. I am therefore determined not to settle So help me God.

    • Jinmi

      May 27, 2014 at 1:10 pm

      Hope you are like what you want.I like smart woman seem like we have more of junk head males and bimbo these days.

  8. Fashionista

    May 27, 2014 at 11:14 am

    Very insightful article! I agree with being with a man with flawless character; but does such a man exist is the question? I am referring to the term “flawless” here. I think the dating life can be a very precarious one; how well can we truly get to know someone? especially when everyone these days (men and women alike) is “packaging” themselves to fit a particular kind of bill. I guess we can only go by gut instincts as well as observation and maybe research. I have found though, that being heavily attracted to your man goes a looooong way (esp in marriage). Like Dr N said, sparks must fly; it definitely helps when the going gets tough.

  9. Esther

    May 27, 2014 at 11:27 am

    Bim, your writing is so genuine and thought provoking. I am so proud to be a mum of this excellent writer. I look forward to your first novel. Love you loads . Your proud mum.

  10. mama

    May 27, 2014 at 11:40 am

    ‘I don’t know if it’s just me but there’s something so sexy about an intellectual man. A man that inspires you and you can learn from, yet doesn’t father or patronise you. Instead he sees your that you are priceless, and admires your unique strengths.’

    ahh, that there is my cc

  11. cj

    May 28, 2014 at 11:43 pm

    Hope we’r not loosing sight of d central theme here which is ‘dilemma’which was fuelled in dz case by our fantasies as against reality.I believe by d tym we all realistically assess wot we want in our spouse with some level of consciousness in understanding that we can’t actually get wot we wish in life;it’l help us tackle d r/s issues wit wisdom

  12. MIZJAY

    May 30, 2014 at 11:17 am

    I have been in this situation for the past four years. The guy is loving, caring, has a good career and everything…… but i don’t love him. Have been waiting to feel something for him, everybody thinks am lucky because he treats me like a queen! but…. i don’t even like it when he touches me! *confused*

  13. Roselin

    June 1, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    Like Ronke said, im also sapiosexual. I settled for a good man who treated me well because my family was determined I won’t find a better man or in laws. We are now about to divorce and I’m approaching 30 as a single mum. (He changed to an adulterous woman beater because he was convinced I won’t leave him) am now more than ever determined not to settle for a man that doesn’t make me get a dictionary out half way through a WhatsApp conversation (without his knowledge of course). I am so attracted to intellectual and smart men. Problem is they tend to have very big egos and I don’t want any man thinking he’s doing me a favour settling with me because I have a kid. I watch my single friends panic as our 20s pass us by, I tell them I want to be settled by 30 but I am in no hurry to settle for less. Am I being too unrealistic?

  14. Moyo

    June 4, 2014 at 9:14 pm

    I understand you completely Bim. But the thing is even what we so treasure now will bore us over tiypme. The intellect n verbose grammar a guy speaks now that trips one now may irritate one later. I think movies and stories really affected our thinking growing up making every one believe in prince charming which for some is intelligent for some is sweet and romantic, for some everything which is scarce. May God direct us to where we will be happy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Tangerine Africa

Star Features