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William Ifeanyi Moore: The Bitter Pill of Honesty in Relationships



A lot of ladies are quick to say they want a guy to just keep it honest from the start, to that I call bulls*it.
The average man knows exactly what he wants from a woman within the first fifteen minutes or ever less of talking with her. We have the sister zone (AKA no bang zone, ever), the friend zone (AKA no bang zone but please don’t be wearing them short shorts around my house), the friends with benefit zone (AKA I find you attractive but not in a relationship way), the sex zone (AKA I don’t want to be seen with you in public and would rather text than call you), the relationship zone (AKA I can see myself building something with you), and lastly and most rarely, the marriage zone (AKA I barely even know you but I am so attracted to every fabric of your being I could put a ring on your finger and triplets in your ovaries like RIGHT NOW). Most guys can think of at least one girl that put this juju on them.

The bitter truth is that, everything is not for everybody and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. It is expecting to make it to everyone’s relationship or marriage zone that causes quite a lot of trouble. I always tell my friend that if there was polite way to ask a girl if she would like sex with no string attached, conversations would be cut to one sentence and telecommunication companies will fold up. Ladies, I’m sure you know that guy that says hello whenever you change your DP, the one that tries to divert every conversation to something flirtatious or outright raunchy. He really just wants some sugar but cannot think of a way to say this.

Now, I like to think as the supposedly more emotionally intelligent of the specie, women are not blind to these things. Hopefully you guys too can sense what you want from a guy and also what he wants from you. This is not to say you are not permitted willful ignorance and flat out denial, but at least, somewhere inside, it can’t be so difficult to tell when a guy wants to really build something with you and when he wants only a piece of the pie. Save of course a few snakes that will pretend to be something else. I really don’t know why guys do this.

So my question is what makes it so difficult to simply ask people ‘what do you want?’ or ‘what are you looking for?’. Instead we play this game of presumptions and assumptions (can an English graduate tell me what the difference is between these two words?) only to get in trouble on the way after assuming one thing when the other person had another thing in mind? Is this because deep down we dread rejection so much that we treat it like that bank balance that you know is so low you rather not just check to see what exactly it is? Or is it because not defining anything gives us room to manoeuvre zones without being trapped? It has come to my understanding that these days we are so afraid of commitment that telling someone honestly that you are trying to lock them down can actually cost you the relationship, especially when they consider it too early to be thinking so far. Also no girl wants to be told point-blank that you only want sex from her, or that the possibility of more than sex and friendship is zero. For most men this is a fantasy.

All in all, the truth can be a bitter pill to swallow, but is this method of silence till things are very concrete the best to work on?

As always, feel free to let me know what you think.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Tru9ja

William Ifeanyi Moore is an MPharm graduate from the University of Portsmouth, UK. His true passion is in novels and poetry but he cheats on them with movies, plays, and music. He believes sacrifice and compromise is the bedrock of any healthy relationship. His debut novel Lonely Roads is out on 10/12/2015. Blog: Twitter: @willifmoore Instagram: willifmoore


  1. Rrrr

    May 19, 2015 at 11:39 am

    Finally, someone who gets my point! As a girl, I generally build a relationship in my head from when the guy says hi. So it’s heart wrenching when those relationships don’t end up as I predicted. I have always said this time and again, it’s better a guy walks up to you and says lets do the deed rather than all the serenre and heartbreak. Then the girl is free to say yes or no! Finish!! Less stress, less mess and less complications

  2. Annienonymous

    May 19, 2015 at 11:54 am

    This right here – So my question is what makes it so difficult to simply ask people ‘what do you want?’ or ‘what are you looking for?’. Sounds simple right? Except its not… If you are lucky enough to be asked this question and you say what you want, there isn’t a guarantee that the person who asked will be truthful enough to tell you they can or can’t give you what you want. I’m not going to go into gender here because we all do it. If an interested guy asks a girl what she wants and she says marriage, kids, etc, dude may already know he can’t marry her but he can play along just because he wants to bang or ‘see how it goes’. Same goes for a guy who tells a girl he’s not looking for something serious but the girl plays along thinking she can ‘change’ him. I guess it all boils down to not actually knowing what we want most of the time. But what do I know?

    • tunmi

      May 19, 2015 at 1:24 pm

      I think that is the greatest disservice we so one another. We talk as though only one gender feels this way thereby alienating the other gender that shares the same emotions. Both men and women do this. I think it stems from the need for human interaction and attention a and the fear of rejection and being lonely. Women also have their fuckboys and marriage material.

  3. Bellemoizelle

    May 19, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    This is a great one William Moore!
    I just released myself from this crazy assumption you know,where guy meet’s girl and they tell each other they like each other,they become some sort of gist partners,from talking to kissing and me thinking yea we could be dating,but since he never said a thing about dating .
    I decided to ask and all he could muster was ‘I never asked you out’!
    Am like thank God am delivert!! I will not kiss him no more! Somebody say Hallelujay for the eye-opener.
    As adults one must ask and not assume! We are still friends but I already set boundaries,no heart ache,just satisfaction knowing where I stand quite early and moving on….

    La Vie Est Belle…..

  4. H

    May 19, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    wa gbayiii!

  5. ssah

    May 19, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    i make it my job to ask every guy “what do you want”. when he has clearly defined, then i zone him straight. no time for nonsense. also, when I’m not attracted to a person i let him know sharply, most people think it’s not always that easy but i tell you, it actually is. and it saves you a lot of stress.I’ve been involved in too many “assumed” relationships to last me a life time, so now…maybe after a date, i ask “MISTER, WHAT DO YOU WANT”. i can’t shout

    • nene

      May 19, 2015 at 1:54 pm


  6. mysteeq

    May 19, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    true talk! its hard to admit, but most of us (myself included) have strung people along even when we knew we had no intention of ever being serious with them. for most, its a kind of ego boost…anyways on a side note, how many people googled “presumption” and “assumption” after reading this

    • Fusion OAU

      May 19, 2015 at 1:45 pm

      Word, we all string people along, however sometimes we just need to do the right thing i.e. taking our eyes of the cherry cake and let the babe just go (jejely) instead of wasting anybody’s time and going through the stress and misery of explaining why you can’t be with the person after all the sex….

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      May 19, 2015 at 6:08 pm

      I’ve got a very hard casing but my heart’s gooey like marshmallows so I try to apply empathy and an open hand in dealings with enamoured men who want more from me than I’m ever going to give them. Maybe one day I’ll write about the ones who “looked good on paper” that got away…

      However. There are also people (of both the male and female sex) who won’t take no for an answer. A twice-divorced gent is currently doing his best to woo me at the moment and once I knew of his marital history, I told him frankly and with my apologies that there was no point in even considering a future between us (which was disappointing even to me because I was impressed at how well we got on from the moment we were introduced). The brother’s actually nice and I’m more than happy for us to stay friendly but he wasn’t ready for my response and has asked me repeatedly to promise that I’ll go away to pray about it. Nna, biko, what are we praying about again? Told him where I stand based on my Faith and he’s countered with his own view on how Christianity is supposed to apply to this situation. Apparently, his priest has advised him that his “real” wife is still out there… I can’t have this repeated argument so I’m as amiable as ever when he reaches out but can only hope that my friends-and-nothing-ever-more attitude will finally give him a clue.

      Am I leading him on? Sometimes those of us who complain about being led on have just refused to accept any other answer than the one we’re fixed on receiving. Sometimes we choose to ignore the obvious.

    • D

      May 19, 2015 at 8:47 pm

      For some it is a case of if she is still talking to me and we are still on “friendly” terms then there is a chance something might just click between us. Not until you cut them off completely or introduce a significant other do they finally read the writing you had plastered on the wall years ago. I guess it comes down to how friendly you are too, i have a friend that in a bid not too be “mean” to this guys i believe she leads them on. She has mastered the art of flirting that it is not natural for her to come across that way even when she is not trying to so the guys keep believing that one day one day e go better and the girl is like never lai lai

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      May 21, 2015 at 11:30 am

      Nne, I hope I can say this without being accused of gross generalisation but if na that one of a man thinking something might “click” because a babe is still on friendly terms with him… you dey even go far. For some men, just smiling when you greet them sef fit be sign say something might “click”…

      This bid to stay as honest as possible in relationships not always appreciated by people on the receiving end. And if you’re a single female, sometimes, saying “no” without the accompanying presence of another man in your life just seems like a futile exercise because it is assumed that you’re probably just after some more wooing to change your mind. Plus, cutting them off drastically can work to your disadvantage as well and earn you the label of being one kain bitch.

      Many people looking for significant others aren’t completely ready to cope with frank truths.

  7. miss j

    May 19, 2015 at 12:13 pm

    I always tell pple we complicate our relationships by our selves its a simple tin if its sexual let it be sexual if feelings grow along d ride then lucky for u too if its a relationship define it instead we grow ideas in our head of how tins will end up in d nxt 4 years then whn he breaks up wit u u scream player n other hateful words meanwhile u n d dude never defined ur relationship or whtever it is u guys where doing then there is those demonic guys who will play u along n after a piece of d p d go MIA tin is u can never tell those guys apart… hence ladies guys pls define wht u want from d start instead of playing games saves a lot of drama n pretense

  8. Niola

    May 19, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    Well in my dating era, stamped on my forehead was”for sex alone, go elsewhere, ‘relationship only type of girl'” .
    For me honesty is an action that has an associated opportunity cost to it ….you would be amazed that some people would gladly subscribe to whatever you are offering………when I was 27, I started telling any guy who asked me out then that marriage had to be on the table, some said ‘of course’,others ran, some only were only interested in raunchy topics. At the end of the day the opportunity cost theory applied here and I was able to forgo other alternatives and choose the best option i.e I was able to sieve the chaff from the wheat….

  9. iyke

    May 19, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    Hmmm, honestly folks, sometimes, we create our own heartbreaks through expectations. In my opinion, to speak your mind despite how the other person might see it is like putting a voice to your soul. It’s a risk, yes, but be courageous enough to define what you want from the onset …. If he wants same, then you know from the onset what your expectations are. Please, get out of the business of assuming that because he is with you, that he will be on the same page with you.

    • nene

      May 19, 2015 at 1:55 pm

      true talk

    • sasha fierce

      May 19, 2015 at 2:25 pm

      iyke will you be my mcm?

  10. Beauty

    May 19, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    “Finally, someone who gets my point! As a girl, I generally build a relationship in my head from when the guy says hi” so with you on this @Rrrr. Life will be soo much simpler if the guys we like could just tell us on time if they are into us and do want a relationship(By not wasting our time chatting and Flirting with us). As for me, i have purpoted in my heart not to crush on a guy too long if he cant man up and say it…Life is too short abeg!!!! no time for guessing and analysing chats and conversations.. And if its just sex, no crime in asking as long as its not a crime to say NO.

  11. Mrs. E

    May 19, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    I believe in asking so you don’t assume and waste your time. I did ask DH what he wanted -one week into our regular chats. I had learned from previous relationships that it was best to know the intentions of the other party . I also know it might not work for everyone but it worked for me 🙂 Interesting read William!

    • tunmi

      May 19, 2015 at 1:25 pm

      I always wanted to know, what does DH mean?

    • Mrs. E

      May 19, 2015 at 2:54 pm

      Hi Tunmi, It means “dear husband/hubby”

    • Fashionista

      May 19, 2015 at 2:56 pm

      “Dear/Darling hubby/husband”

  12. ACE

    May 19, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    I believe in speaking your mind from the onset that way the other person deals with whatever on time and get it over with. I once met a guy who was so straight forward I was shocked at first but I really did appreciate his honesty. Like seriously waking up in the morning is enough complication, please don’t complicate other peoples life. Just be straight .

  13. been there

    May 19, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    … Old fashioned but I honestly believe if a guy wants something serious, he will man-up and say. If he hasn’t said anything of substance, assume the worst – he’s after that cake!
    Question is how to deal with these oniranu guys in a diplomatic way?! HELP!!

  14. Arike

    May 19, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    I am gonna call BULL on this. I agree that things will be so much more easier if both parties are honest about their feelings but the harsh reality is that people are rarely over honest about feelings and if they are, these feelings could still Change.Love and relationship remains a walk in the dark for the most part.

    • Doxa

      May 19, 2015 at 4:11 pm

      True, cos a guy might want only sex but since he knows a lady will blank him out if he says so, he will now be forming relationship kinda guy. When the lady let’s down her guard and he gets what he wants, that is now when he will be telling stories about how the relationship is not working for him etc, etc.
      It would be nice if people are honest, but unfortunately many people are dishonest. That’s why it behooves every party to protect their own interest jealously in a relationship.
      By protecting your interest, I mean maintaining your integrity and not doing anything that will make you feel less of yourself if/when the relationship ends. That’s how I used that phrase for an ex, instead of him to ask me what I meant, he kept quiet and later inyerpreted it to mean that I wanted to defraud him.

  15. mena

    May 19, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    How about dating an indian/scottish/american guy for 6months and at first we knew it wasnt going to work out because he is hindu and my parents are pastors, he is even more christian than me in the sense that he pushes for purity in our relationship (no sex) and he is very nice to people, selfless as well. We agreed that we would part at some point because my family may never accept him despite his good qualities. we do talk about how it would look like if we are married, we talk about how our kids would look like. i get carried away in the relationship because it is like a normal relationship. Now when it ends would it be wrong for me to be heartbroken?

    • ogeAdiro

      May 19, 2015 at 2:56 pm

      Your own wahala carry luggage… But I’m pretty sure that you’ll be fine because it sounds like you’re using both your head and your heart. Healthy combo.

    • mena

      May 19, 2015 at 5:15 pm

      lmao thanks though x

  16. @edDREAMZ

    May 19, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    a.k.a EDWIN CHINEDU AZUBUKO said..
    Making sense write up… I remember telling a gal i needed sex point blank and mehn i was insulted that my soul wanted to leave my body……

    • Damsel O

      May 19, 2015 at 8:31 pm

      have always been “invincible” but your comment is so funny i just had to comment .. awww pele am sure it wasnt THAT bad lol

    • M4

      May 20, 2015 at 10:02 pm

      Haha oh this boy,you are really funny at times..Btw what did you expect from her?.To say yes?Only a thot will agree to that.

  17. olu

    May 19, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    Y’all talking like love has an almighty formula ..funny.
    This thing is not set in stone ..some start as mere friends and are happily married today.
    For some, it was truly love and marriage plan at first sight but things later went sour.

    We set all these expectations and then breakdwn when things crash.
    How about just enjoying a nice friendship, leave your options open and hope all ends well?

    • Opsy

      May 19, 2015 at 5:03 pm

      @Olu: I think not!

  18. peace

    May 19, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    I would rather a guy walk up to me, tells me what he want and if its something i can do…. Fine! we go ahead, not when I have built mansions in my head only to realize there was never sand in the first place.
    In as much as we fear rejection and also (in my case) not wanting to seem too forward, Guys should be prompt/come out straight with what they want. A lot of unnecessary heartaches would be avoided.
    Recently met an old friend, he’s been all sugar/butter/bread, thinking of a good time & way to position these question to him b’cos my head dey ache from assuming.

  19. nene

    May 19, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    what about men who talk about marriage too fast? never thought i’d say this but in the past, when a man was too fast about getting married, i was always weary of his true intentions? does he really love me that much? or are the anterior motives. in all, being straight forward and blunt helps in relationships, especially when one is past the age of 25, none of that high school/teenage dating crap.

  20. nene

    May 19, 2015 at 1:59 pm


  21. chingylee

    May 19, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    i wish der was a clap smiley here Williams, u deserve an applause for this topic. Infact, just two days ago , a similar topic was being discussed on my chat group. Y is our generation scared of defining what they are doing because of the fear of heartbreak, so we live in denial of our feelings and try to shut all imaginations down. it’s a trending game now.

  22. chingylee

    May 19, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    @bein der, ur old fashioned theory is not exactly true. Not every guy who tells a lady he wants a relation ship is after a relationship, they all know dats sweet melody to a girl’s ear. After all a relationship could actually just b a month.

  23. mimi

    May 19, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    You know the trajectory of dating, then going out to courtship and marriage? My husband went from dating (as per just hanging out et al, no I like or love you conversations even though we both knew) to telling me his life’s history and I simply asked him. “What do you want?” and he said marriage. I asked many times (made me feel good). OK course I said yes and we got married last year! Lol. Girls don’t fall for lead-ons, ask oh! I got bold to ask cos my last “relationship”(undefined) went on for four years. He got married a year after it was clear we weren’t in the getting married group. Once bitten, twice shy. Lol

  24. Helen Omorovie

    May 19, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    This really got to me & am glad I read it. Relationships shld be defined frm the start to avoid heartbreaks & acid battering * hehehe * Some friendship can grow into great relationships without the opposite sex asking from the onset. One jst has to be careful and pray for a man/woman he or she can live with his or her flaws.

  25. lilian

    May 19, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    when i usually ask a guy what he wants from me or what are his intentions. He responds “lets see how it goes”. These are the type of guys that leave you guessing because they are really not direct. so at some point i decide to go left so they can go right. lol

  26. SuperNova

    May 19, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    @tunmi, I think DH means ‘Dear Husband/Hubby’. Back to the matter, William writes so realistically. So many issues that we actually ignore but have high relevance to our general well being.

  27. Miss CaramelD

    May 19, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    I know some people say it is hard to ask but let me tell you, once you have been STUNG, you know how to form your vowels, shape your lips and ask. I’m eternally happy to guys who say they don’t want a relationship (just sex). My respect of them grows because they are being honest. Please let’s save some people heartache. It’s not funny.

    Of course both men and women lie for all sorts of reasons, then you just have to try and go with your instinct and listen to your gut.

  28. poison ivy

    May 19, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    I am crushing on this William guy.
    *straightface* Call me!!

  29. adey

    May 19, 2015 at 3:59 pm

    “What do you want” I want just sex. Ewwwwww y’all disgust me

  30. PH Boy

    May 19, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    The truth is that certain folks are just plain wicked. It doesn’t matter what formula you adopt, the devious ones will always come up with a new trick. I know for certain that it’s not easy being single in these times. Who and what do you believe; Wash Wash full everywhere. Folks are so impatient and heartless nowadays. Gone are the days when families knew the identity of their daughters toasters
    One thing I don’t understand about this whole dating/ chasing thing is; some girls that totally blanked a guy for ages are married with kids now – the BN wedding testimonies are there. Some will also agree to have a relationship but will discharge the guy later for not showing working or not being financially romantic. Certain guys who will declare marriage intentions will disappear even after going as far as the introduction, etc. I tire for Nigerian love
    For the ladies one thing is clear, if you no want, say so from get go or the guys will wait on you like a cheetah.

  31. Christine C

    May 19, 2015 at 4:33 pm

    Its really is a nice piece, but um,,,,the 15mins part about the guy knowing what he wants, i don’t totally agree…As much we all think we know what we want, at the end of the day, what we think we wanted might not be good for us.
    You meet a girl/guy for the first time, you guys go out on a date and, wow!!! it was totally awesome, you both feel you’ve met the perfect match. Two months later, its not as awesome as it seems, the perfect match is not so perfect anymore. it becomes so hard to have a conversation, you guys don’t go out so much anymore, you can hardly remember the last time you both went on a date.
    Anyway, lets cut the blah! blah! blah! yatee! yatee! bullshit…..It takes more than 15mins. Though 15mins is enough for you both to know if you wanna bang each other.

  32. marriedfor5

    May 19, 2015 at 5:16 pm

    “…I barely even know you but I am so attracted to every fabric of your being I could put a ring on your finger and triplets in your ovaries like RIGHT NOW). Most guys can think of at least one girl that put this juju on them…”

    You took these words right out of my husband’s mouth I swear! I never did quite understand before now. Every time I’d ask him why he married me sef, he would give an explanation along the lines of the quoted text, every single time!

    I used get miffed by it before now, so now that I see its a’ guy thing’ its kinda cute, awwwwn.

  33. Theurbanegirl

    May 19, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    Being straight up honest with each other helps a lot tbh months ago I met this dude you know now we met a couple of times feelings started rolling in so i’m like okay what are we doing. Nigga goes what we have been doing since lol apparently he assumed we had been dating because we made out a couple of times. I was just like lol na wa is that how you people used to do

  34. motty

    May 19, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    Nice topic to be honest,love/relationships are soooo complicated.i have been in situations where both of us were clear on the terms of so i thought ,actions were completely in sync and at the end of the day nothing….its safe to say there is really no right or wrong answer….after much ado..and by much i mean several parners heartbreaks and complete bastards..i concluded that until im walking down the aisle im not letting my gaurd down..bout a year in i met this guy…attractive enough..but i was just recovering from the last bastard so i wasnt even thinking relationships….the said guy would come to mine we would chat …it was a very cool friendship …..i never tried to impress when i say never i mean that i was always in my typical hairnet girl mode to cut the long story bout 6 months after he goes abroad and we are constantly on skype and any communication app u can think of its been a year we are hopelessly in love….he hasnt said nothing ……i dont think i should say anything may sound stupid but im very sure i want it to come from him……..he hints all the time but ive learnt better than to assume this sort of things

    • adesolabendel

      May 20, 2015 at 9:20 am

      @Motty, i feel you. Almost my same story but i summoned the courage to ask and guy said he makes no promises but reallylike me. fast foward 6months later we were married and its been fun all these year

  35. Oreoluwa

    May 19, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    Well said. Nobody wants to be rejected,so we tend tokeep our relationships flowery and without definition.
    Quick question:what defines the “sister zone?”

  36. Adenike

    May 19, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    William, presume is to think something is true based on probability eg. In this case, you presume that cos the guy is being chivalrous, he might be considering you for the marriage material. Assume is to think something is true, although you have no proof that it is. Eg. Tunde loves me and is definitely considering me for marriage, but he has not given me a ring to show it. So I’m assuming that he wants to marry me.

    LOL! I just explained this to myself!!! Other English professors, can please enlighten us.

  37. Adenike

    May 19, 2015 at 8:26 pm

    *tunde loves me and definitely wants to marry me

  38. Simsi

    May 19, 2015 at 11:43 pm

    Great article. And it wasn’t too long. Didn’t come here to comment on the topic. Just wanted to tell william that I checked out his blog and I think he’s cute and also a great writer……….I’m out :d

  39. bellanaija Fan

    May 20, 2015 at 9:14 am

    The reason why saying what you want doesn’t get you far is all in the presentation.. you won’t just see a girl and tell her your very beautiful let’s have sex no strings attached.. she is going to feel insulted even if she wants to have sex or she would be worried about how you see her.. in my opinion if your interested in a girlcfor just sex, don’t tell her you think about her every night or you love spending time with her that’s messing with her head and when someone tells you what they want..BELIEVE THEM

  40. meela

    May 20, 2015 at 9:36 am

    Advice needed: i have this guy am in a non relationship. We hook up sometimes but we don’t talk about our relationship.. so i ask him one day what we are and he says :you are waiting for me to ask you to be my girlfriend that he is too old to do that and am too childish for wanting him too that there’s someone out there who would ask not him…. i told him he was right there was someone else out there.. pls be the judge

  41. Jhennique

    May 20, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    gbege assorted

  42. Isang Ekong

    May 25, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    It gives rooms to manuover without being trap when terms are not spelt out.

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