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Modupe Ogundare: No Plans to Marry…So Why Are We Here?

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dreamstime_s_10336525Love is in the air! Not in the usual kind of way, but in the Valentine’s Day kind of way. Emotions are running high and expectations are being raised, so much that jewellers are offering those shiny round things at a discounted price – if you know what I mean.

It is in this light that I feel it wouldn’t really be preposterous to let you in on the conversation I had with Miss A and B – well maybe I can exclude myself, as I hardly said a thing.

Miss A: “I really hope Tom is planning a surprise this Val, and when I say surprise, I mean the glittering metal. We’re going on three now, I think it’s very much due.” sounding really excited and optimistic.

Miss B: “But really, why should you even expect a proposal? What if he has no intention of getting married to you?” she replied with a note of tautness.

Miss A: “No intention of marrying me?” Looking utterly bemused, she asked “And what are we doing together for two years and three months if he has no intention of putting a ring on it?” She made a face to me as if to say (Help me out biko, what is this sister saying?), but I wasn’t ready to join in just yet.

Miss B: She leaned in closer and said “Well, it’s like this – I believe people can just be together for companionship, convenience, and more often than not, the physical intimacy. They do not necessarily have to have plans to get married. I personally think it’s ridiculous to assume that because you’ve been with someone for well over a year, the relationship should automatically build up to marriage. Yikes! Some folks don’t even want to get married… I’ve been with Segun for a year now and I definitely do not see us living the ‘happily ever after’ dream”.

Miss A: “Why then are you with him?” She said with a tone of incredulity.

Miss B: “I’m with him because we are dating and I don’t see how that should have marriage spelt anywhere around it.” She replied confidently.

Miss A: “But I thought the essence of dating was to discern if you’re fit to go on the forever road.” sounding somewhat confused.

Miss B: “No, that’s not the purpose of dating. The purpose of dating is to be with someone and revel in the time spent together. It doesn’t necessarily lead to a greater commitment, it’s the society that’s made one a subset of the other… please wake up!” She said, this time with an exasperated look.

Miss A: “Ehn-ehn! I am really surprised you feel that way; I never even thought anyone held that notion. I guess I’ve been living in my self-created world for too long. But it still doesn’t change the way I feel about the whole thing. I subscribe to the school of thought that if you won’t have something, then there’s absolutely no need to go around sniffing it.” She added with an air of finality.

At this point, I had gotten their individual standpoint on the subject and didn’t think it wise to chip in my thoughts (mind you I didn’t really know what they were at that moment), so I ceremoniously steered the conversation towards work, hoping there we could be safe.

But that particular exchange kept gnawing at me and continuously rolled over my mind. I needed to understand why each person felt the way they did. To be sure really that it was the society that coloured the lenses Miss A viewed the idea of dating with and to ascertain if it wasn’t this same society that shaped Miss B’s frame of mind.

I sought to know and still do, why exactly people go into relationships. To understand if it would be in anyway out of the ordinary to expect that it leads to something permanent and if it would be equally bizarre not to expect that it does. Like ”Why Are We Here” really?

You would be amazed at how very distinct our outlook to this issue can be. I particularly have found them enlightening and helpful, the different perspectives I got to hear and read about since that conversation. And I sure would love to know your take on exactly ‘Why We Are Here?’

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

Modupe Ogundare is a writer at heart, in her head and on very good days. Sometimes conversations, observations and deductions compel her to pen something.

40 Comments

  1. Chinma Eke

    February 11, 2016 at 11:33 am

    …..’If you ask me, na who I go ask?’

    Lol! Anyways, people enter into relationships for different reasons. Think of a reason, and it’s possible: companionship, intimacy, to get to know each other better, financial gains, revenge, experience…… reasons are endless and dependent on each individual.

    Also, reasons can change, for example; two people in a relationship solely for companionship might find themselves wanting more or less. It could be both parties, it could be either of the parties, but that ‘why are we here’ question, is one for the gods!

  2. Mystique

    February 11, 2016 at 11:36 am

    Frankly, i’m exhausted with the barrage of relationship, man&woman talk. Let’s give it a rest for now pls. Whether single or married, children or no children, we are all complete in Christ.

    • Bukie

      February 11, 2016 at 5:28 pm

      Thank you ohh!

  3. Babe

    February 11, 2016 at 11:38 am

    I always marvel when I watch proposal clips and see ladies act all surprised, dumbfounded, even shocked.. Ok, some stage it but for others I wonder: Babe is it that you didn’t expect the proposal at the time or place or you did not expect a proposal at all? Like you are just ‘flowing’ with the guy and no plans for the future? For me I don’t see the point of a ‘serious’ relationship not leading to marriage except both partners have agreed to that and both are ok with the arrangement.. Dating is fine. And by that I mean hang out together, do stuff (excluding sex). but when you go all exclusive and invest time, energy, emotions and all then it better be heading somewhere. clearly defined.

    • Ehiwarior

      February 11, 2016 at 12:54 pm

      I share similar sentiment with you “Babe” does it mean she is not expecting his proposal, is he a time waster or are they just passing time?

      Just wondering too.

    • Iris

      February 11, 2016 at 2:54 pm

      Lol I’ve asked my married friends (the close ones who I trust not to lie to me). They say you might know it’s coming at some point and even try to prepare for it because you guys have discussed it. Somehow when it comes it’s still a shock, and I think they’re just overwhelmed that it’s actually happened. Then there are the ones that deliberately take you to a fancy dinner, do not propose just to annoy you, and then randomly do it two days later.
      Another thing I learnt from them is apparently whenwomen say ‘I saw his lips moving but I couldn’t hear what he was saying’, they aren’t lying. Knowing the kind of person I am, I’m afraid I will hear everything clearly and not be emotional enough. Kai.

    • Abz

      February 11, 2016 at 4:23 pm

      That’s very spot on. We’d had the discussion, even picked out a date for the engagement and had started planning towards it. On my last trip to Nige, he came to pick me up at the airport and dude proposed to me there. I can’t even tell you how it went down because I blanked out from shock. All I remember is him asking if it’s a yes, whether I like the ring and him telling me to put it on, that’s how shocked I was. But, yes, it does happen even when you’re already planning towards spending your lives together.

    • Abasi mbok

      February 11, 2016 at 11:42 pm

      Your last two sentences though, lol. I’m that kinda girl too. So, what to do? Fake it till we make it? Already as it is, I’ve told boo he can’t hoodwink me. No way, no how. Let’s see how that pans out…

    • Blackbeauty

      February 12, 2016 at 1:08 am

      Truth, is the guy somehow, managed to surprise you and pop the question when you least expected it. That’s why they act so surprised.
      I knew it was coming, suspected he had purchased the ring but didn’t expect him to do it the very night he returned from a trip abroad.
      I realised that day, that I am not a drama queen, no screaming and running away. None of those theatrics. I simply froze when I saw him pull out the box and go down on one knee and I think I also went temporarily deaf because i didn’t hear a word he said. Then I noticed he had stopped speaking and was looking at me so I said yes and stretched out my hand (which had been hitherto firmly clenched in my lap) for him to slip the ring on.
      I was still speechless till he dropped me off and I am usually a chatter box. Also, this is one of those moments when you just love him a whole lot more…
      Had to ask him later what it is he said while proposing…lol!
      i used to wonder too until it happened to me.

    • the girl

      February 11, 2016 at 3:34 pm

      Well the term dating differs for a lot of people. For me it means chilling and having fun. I once dated a Yoruba muslim, being an Igbo christian girl that relationship for me was going no where, but I loved the guy..Omo I told myself that I will enjoy myself now and allow tomorrow to take care of itself.We had fun,it is one relationship I would never forget. I was sweet while it lasted, but one day he decided to become serious, started asking to get to know my family members and friends..na that time, water come pass garri, How I wan take gist people that I am dating a Yoruba Muslim? Kai! I failed that boy, he was ready but my love could not carry u. We broke up.
      Fast forward to the day I got engaged. I have been friends with my husband nothing attached, I knew he loved me but I shaa was not ready to marry him at the time. He will tell me that he wants me to be his wife. I will tell him to relax that we have time. One day a mutual friend invited me for her birthday. I asked him if he will come, he objected initially stating that she didn’t invite him and that he hated gatecrashing a known person’s party..after much persuasion from me cos I was looking for a free ride.Lol! He agreed.We got to the hotel, amidst normal catching up and chatter among mutual friends, I turned to see him kneeling down with a ring, saying something I couldn’t decipher..Surprised is an understatement. I was shocked. I didn’t know what to do, to accept or to reject. Everyone was looking at me..ahh I just felt men I cant let this guy down here, let me take this ring and save the moment.Everyone knew that we were together,which story will I tell that will justify rejecting the ring?And truly I didn’t have any reason just that mentally I was not just ready to carry the responsibilities that came with marriage. Plenty thoughts rushed through my mind. I took the ring o, later that night we talked, I asked him kilode? Why did you ambush me that way? He replied I am serious about marrying you, you have all the time in the world to think about it,I am not going to rush you. I just want you to know how serious I am.8 months later I accepted and believe me it is one of the wisest decision I made at the time.
      I shared my experience because not everyone date with the concept of marrying in mind. I for one have always dated to have fun. I just want to be happy at the moment. I usually don’t look forward to avoid the future reality spoiling my immediate happiness. But then people are different.

    • Babe

      February 11, 2016 at 9:10 pm

      Drop this name for me na! Sho! U no dey hear word abi

  4. Teekay

    February 11, 2016 at 11:45 am

    Well i believe if you cant see yourself ending up in marriage ,please dont start the relationship sikena?

    • Noname

      February 11, 2016 at 5:12 pm

      But not all relationships end in marriage. 2 different ball games. I want to bet with you the sweetest relationships don’t ever end in marriage

  5. IMA

    February 11, 2016 at 11:48 am

    God surprise me soon…and I’d come here to testify.

    • Tee

      February 11, 2016 at 12:55 pm

      Loool!!! Me too Lord!

  6. Joy

    February 11, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    What is the use of dating someone without any seriousness in the relationship?its a waste of time and money.Beforeone agrees to date anybody you should define your purpose.i can’t even imagine just being in a relationship just for the fun,money and sex without a ring!girls should say the truth always cos when you reach 25 to30 years u don become old so be wise.unless you are a nun!

    • Tosin

      February 11, 2016 at 2:49 pm

      At least we know where Joy stands. 🙂

      I’m usually with a person to be with the person sha. It’s seriously unserious, I hold people sacred, and I cherish interacting with them.
      And when it expires, it expires and we thank God for the time spent and continue life. Expiration could be in days/weeks or much longer, when we’ve basically had the necessary interaction, shared what we need to share, entered the region of diminishing returns.
      lol,
      diminishing returns, exactly. That’s when you exit or change the style of relationship. Beyond that, it’s a bit of a waste of time, because there may be more valuable relationships (or alone time) that you’re missing out on.

      but it pains when there’s a mismatch in timing sha. but one gets better at it as one grows older.

  7. LEM

    February 11, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    Well I think it depends on the individual even though I believe most women go into relationships hoping it will lead to marriage. I get Miss B’s point though, we are wired to think that once we have dated for a particular period it must automatically lead to marriage. Not necessarily, although I would personally would not have a relationship or end a relationship with someone I could not foresee a future with.

  8. LEM

    February 11, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    ‘although I would personally not have had’

  9. Someone'sMissingRib

    February 11, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    Companionship is very important to me., and yes dating for marriage. I won’t stay that long with u in a relationship if I don’t see me saying “yes” when u ask.

  10. teemah

    February 11, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    People go into a relationship for so many reasons. But really why would you want to go into a relationship without the intention of marriage? And in my own view, why would I be expecting a proposal from a guy that we r both in a committed relationship, that we know where the relationship is going. It surprises me when I see ladies jumping n crazy over proposal . After the whole proposal what next?
    People go into a relationship for so many reasons, some because of boredom, marriage, financial problems, business, Sex, age, and lots more.
    But why would one go into a relationship that’s not taking you anywhere?

  11. Sisi

    February 11, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    On the whole I agree with Babe. I just don’t have the stamina to connect with someone like that (serious relationship) and not know the long term purpose or not have one. On that note, some advice needed. What do you do when dating and you like the person but you don’t see yourself with them long term, how do you break that off without hurting feelings and staying friends when the other person it seems has other ideas?

  12. Bunmi

    February 11, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    That’s why Nigerians are not happy. Why can’t two people just enjoy each other’s company without the pressure of getting married? Why can’t two adults who are companionless and sexless decide to be in a relationship without basing it on a forever thing? Gosh! You guys need to relax. That’s how girls end up dating the whole world searching for ring. At the end, they end up with garbage husbands with whom they are not compatible with, all in a bid to say I’m a married woman.Again, men know this is what you want to hear, so they end up telling 20 of you “I intend to marry you” and then they eat their cake and have it. Why can’t women just work and enjoy themselves single? Why? That’s why most Nigerian men treat the women like garbage whether they are married to them or not. They always feel like they are doing women a favour.

    Where I stay, whether a woman is 30, 40,50 or 60, with children or no children, a divorcee or not, men are always at her beckoning. Why? Because she respects herself and gives no man leverage to use her situation to his advantage. They make it clear that they fine with or without so any man coming to play or any other nonsense would only play himself. Marriage, marriage, marriage. Sometimes I wonder what this marriage gives you guys. Is it certainty? Marriage doesn’t guarantee that, there’s is the option of divorce on any ground. Is it children? Marriage doesn’t give children or even guarantee the welfare of kids. Stories abound on this site about psychological trauma children face from two parent home. Beside Obama was raised by a single mother. My sisters, you guys need to chill on this talk. Trust me, if you do you thing yourself and show that you can hold your own anywhere, you won’t be sending articles like this to Bella because men won’t be taking you for granted. From what I hear, committed relationship without the pressure of duties and obligations that comes with marriage is even sweeter. Na una know.

  13. KB

    February 11, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    Bunmi………………GOD BLESS YOU!!!!!! YOU SAID IT ALL !! CHAI

  14. Tosin

    February 11, 2016 at 2:39 pm

    Great debate: goal-oriented, or experience-oriented. Is it about the destination or about the journey? Everybody living his/her own way thinking it is something, not knowing it’s pretty arbitrary.
    I wonder how the two kinds of people can flow together when they meet: the one about deadlines and the one about immersion.

    PS totally smell the roses, enjoy time together…my bias. But I’ve been accused too of being pushy about the goal before.

  15. @edDREAMZ

    February 11, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    a.k.a EDWIN CHINEDU AZUBUKO said…
    .
    Things valentine cause…..
    .
    .
    ***CURRENTLY IN JUPITER***

  16. Bey

    February 11, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    Some even go into relationships just for the sex, especially men I’m sorry to say. They wanna bang a certain girl and dey know she won’t allow xcept they are in “a relationship”. It drags on like that for yrsssss, then they meet another woman, they feel is wife material. They dump d oda girl deyv been with for 3yrs, then marry d wife material within 6mths.
    Reason for my epistle, if you both are of marriageable age, making a decent living in ur chosen careers. After a yr, you need to ask uncle where d relationship is heading.
    Don’t keep hoping n dreaming he will propose one day.

  17. Dee

    February 11, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    Just one question for the advocates of just dating without marriage in mind, how would you feel if after investing 3, 4, 5 years with a guy and he runs off to get married to someone else? I think that in the end, we all want some form of stability when we’re with a guy we really like.

    • Tosin

      February 11, 2016 at 4:36 pm

      I love my job, really love my job, just quit my job, going to miss my lovely job, I’m of course glad.
      So, not every time stability.

  18. Sammie

    February 11, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    All this relationship talk all over the place. Let’s give it a rest! Is that all ladies think about?

  19. abegi jor

    February 11, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    Girls Girls Girls…stop lying to yourselves…even if you are gay and ur lover is a gal like u u want something long-lasting than just hanging out……..

    I am all about gal power but lets face it the heart understands hangout for the first few months then afterwards it wants to find a home

    ever heard of the circle of life…its been in existence since the beginning of time…

    u r born….u start to walk …u start school…..u meet a boy…u get married …u have babies…..u raise ur babies and they start their own circle…that just the way it is goes ladies

    just dating for the fun of it doesnt take u far…it just leaves a whole bunch of guys on your dating list.

  20. Hawt Talk With Tosan

    February 11, 2016 at 5:55 pm

    I am team Miss B

  21. technicallynigerian

    February 11, 2016 at 6:50 pm

    Everyone needs to read the book by Joshua Harris “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” because the perspective of dating among our generation is obviously causing kwanta. Maybe we just need a new perspective.

  22. me

    February 11, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    I dated this guy for the sake of dating him. I didn’t see a future with him, then he went and fell madly in love with me and wanted us to get married. I had to end things and it was very messy. Then I met this other guy and we dated for a long time, I even started picking baby names. It turns out, we were 2 adults just enjoying a relationship. Karma served me a hot dish mehn.! So brethren lay your cards on the table from the beginning so that someone doesn’t swear for you and your entire generation. #notimetowastetime.

  23. larz

    February 11, 2016 at 11:35 pm

    There was a time in my life when I was dating for dating sake. I never asked about marriage/ future/ ask to meet guys parents. I actually turned an invite down to meet a guy’s family.

    Then there was a time I was ready to find my spouse. At which point, I wasn’t forming/ anything. I just tell a guy from the get go (sometimes even before the first date self) that my intention is to settle down and my aim for the relationship is to find out whether or not we are fit to be married. Some ran away, some tried to push marriage down my throat like I said I was desperate or something [NB: what is it with some men shoving marriage down your throat. For goodness sake, you have been issued an invitation to participate in the selection process not green light that you are the one].

    There is nothing wrong with Miss A/ Miss B approach to dating. However, the last thing any girl wanna do is to be Miss A pretending to be Miss B, never discussing the future with a guy she is with and when she brings it up 5 years later, finds out they are not on the same page. In such a scenario, the guy did not waste your time, you just didn’t value your time enough. Yes some guys will try and game you, but if you have a purpose, you can always check to see if you are walking towards achieving your purpose with the right person or being pulled in a completely different direction with another.

  24. Faith

    February 12, 2016 at 2:54 pm

    Young man/lady, I am a Nigerian and I am happy. Thanks.

  25. Faith

    February 12, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    Sorry, meant for Bunmi above

  26. Girls!

    February 12, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    When girls are young, they date for dating sake- test all the availables, all the sizes and have all the fun.

    When a girl is in her old age and reality is dawning, she starts the “why are we here if there are no plans to settle”?

    You better choose one now that you have plenty. A season is coming that there will be little or no option. Those little may want to have fun while you want commitment.

    When you now show it that you are all about commitment, he jets away cos you are then too desperate.

  27. Posh

    February 15, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    Arrrrgh.really am fagged out on relationship talk.let’s give it a rest

  28. Zelda

    February 17, 2016 at 7:57 am

    Every man for himself or so they say. I think the first question should be why am I here, then why are you here? If the first and the second question seem to have the same answer then why are we here is sorted. If they have different answers, I guess it’s time to bounce. Great write #modupetalks…but ermmm…

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