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Tess of Girlfriends: How To Mark Your Territory Like a Pro



dreamstime_l_58147355Girls, let’s not even pretend. Being with a guy has it’s challenges… whether in a marriage or a relationship or just plain co-habitation. You have to learn to cope with all kinds of things, because there’s no way your partner is 100% exactly like you are. On top of all that, some external forces – in the form of other girls – who will come to put asunder both in what has and hasn’t been joined together.

Sometimes these forces come invited and other times, they just invite themselves. It appears that one effective way of dealing with these external forces might be territory marking.

I have previously argued that marking territories in a relationship is a sign of insecurity and desperation. Plus there’s really no guarantee that the girl whom these territory marking clues are intended for, will notice and be dissuaded by them from doing whatever she wants to do. However, some people have argued that territory marking has it’s advantages – aside from warding off competition and protecting your own, it’s also a way to generate “top of the mind awareness” with your man. On this note, if you choose to be a territory marker, at least learn to do it like a pro! To do this, one word to keep in mind is subtlety! The more subtle your marker, the less intentional it appears, the more effective it is.

  1. Don’t underestimate the oldest trick in the book – “accidentally” forgetting something of yours at his place. However, what you’re leaving behind should be inconspicuous enough to be out of the guy’s sight, but sufficiently obvious to a visiting girl. The key is to target hiding areas where the guy is unlikely to find it but another girl most likely would – some of the best places are the side of the bed he doesn’t sleep on and the nook in the door on the passenger side of his car.Leave a few strands of hair on the side of the bed he doesn’t sleep on or strands of hair on a spare hair brush or comb in the drawer on that side of the bed – it doesn’t matter if the hair is natural hair or a weave. The point is that the hair can easily be identified not to be his.Another option is to leave one earring behind. Not a pair, just one so you can always claim you were looking for it if it’s discovered. Just slip it into the case of the pillow on the side of the bed and you’re done. On that same side of the bed, you can also leave a distinct female scent behind by lightly spraying the pillow with a bit of your perfume. Things you can leave in his car include any small item of makeup or jewelry that he won’t easily notice from the driver’s seat.

    Don’t intentionally leave things like clothes or toothbrushes or shoes behind in conspicuous places at his place. Some guys have perfected the art of doing a quick eye-sweep of their place just before you leave and promptly help you remember to take any of your belongings you were about to “forget”. Some other guys just find your forgotten items after you’re gone and hide them before they do any damage. The upside to this though is that when you find that he hid them, you can ask him why and hear what he has to say. Just prepare your ears for all sorts of explanations.

  2. Forget about tagging him to your photos or tagging yourself to his own photos on Facebook, or commenting on his wall or posts, or all those other social media moves – those are for amateurs. Like the pro you are, just use his phone to take a few pictures of yourself when he’s not looking, then take a few other cute pictures of something else, so that he doesn’t quickly notice your pictures and delete them when he opens his camera (that’s if he has ulterior motives). That’s all. Any girl that tries to pree his phone pictures will have you staring them in the face. Don’t forget to include some don’t-mess-with-me looks in the selfies.
  3. If you cook for him, be sure to cook enough to guarantee there’ll be leftovers and stow them away in his fridge/freezer. Any girl creeping on your man will suspect it had to be a babe that did all that cooking. To help the situation, you can label the food containers using telltale short notes – “Baby, this banga soup only has 2 pieces of meat left in it but the soup is enough for 4 servings”
  4. Don’t worry about hickies, they don’t show on dark guys anyway. You’re better off investing your energy somewhere else. Add a feminine touch to his place by getting scented candles or fragrance sticks or flowery colourful hand towels and placing them in strategic locations in his house – something very unlikely for a guy to do but something he won’t mind when you do them.
  5. If he has a stack of magazines, include girly ones on hair and beauty in the stack. A bookcase? Add some books on recipes, relationships, babies or flower arrangement. A hard drive full of movies? Add a few chic flicks using a folder marked with your name. Feel free to add ‘Baby” to your name. It’s your name after all… Jenny Baby, Baby Kate etc Believe me, they’ll be easily spotted by any girl. If you were the other girl, you’d spot them, wouldn’t you? Aha!

There you go… but then again, territory marking doesn’t guarantee that a man won’t be successful in getting other girls if he chooses to. In fact, the idea behind territory marking is for the other girl to notice these clues (which she may not) that will hopefully be deal-breakers for her before things get out of hand. You really should ask yourself if having to mark your territory and competing with other girls for your man’s attention is worth all the time and energy. He either wants you or he doesn’t and if he doesn’t want you, why bother?


Photo Credit: Dreamstime

Tess talks love, fairy tales and happily ever after at Follow Tess on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Snapchat & Pinterest @intimaciti


  1. Tomisin Magz

    February 2, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    Ah! Errmmmm! Issokay

  2. anonymous

    February 2, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    This is if the dude is actually playing with a girl who cares. This yeye girls nowadays that will wear the side chick hat with pride.
    I dont have power for these james bond and jackie chan moves. If he tries to cheat, his schlung will fall off shikena

    • Missy

      February 2, 2016 at 5:36 pm

      hahha no time for james bond….you just made my day with your comment

  3. Ada

    February 2, 2016 at 4:33 pm

    Tess is on BN! Yay! Going back up to read!

  4. Alozie

    February 2, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    Now that we know your intentions when you leave sticky notes on food in the fridge. Waiting for how guys mark theirs.

  5. Yewie

    February 2, 2016 at 4:40 pm

    Nice Tips 🙂

  6. peeluv

    February 2, 2016 at 4:51 pm


    I will try number 3 today

    • anonymous

      February 3, 2016 at 9:54 am

      Rili…pple rili do these things

  7. ForTheRightsOfMen

    February 2, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    My sister author, you are living in a dreamland. Side chicks will be side chicks and they dont care whether or not you get Vlisco to print your face on a material with the words “I love you (his name) baby” and then use it as the wallpaper in his bedroom. They will still do with him what they want. The infidelity levels of many Nigerian girls are legendary. These days, you want to hang out with your girlfriend James Bond style until you have cemented your relationship and continue to shield it with prayers. The only girl that will see another woman’s item in a man’s house or car and question him, even go out to do her investigation to double check, are the descent ones. But there are not many decent or good Naija girls anymore. God help us men!

  8. Nnenna

    February 2, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    Wow… really??? I have to go through this just to be certain my boo doesn’t have another boo?? o ga ohhh. uwa nke a dikwa egwu. what if that’s my favourite pair of earrings?? or he misplaces it?? or he throws the food out?? or deletes the comments below the pictures??? scented candles, hand towels, buying girly books. Biko life is stressful enough already. he can stake his claim if I’m that important please.

    • Dr.N

      February 3, 2016 at 9:22 am

      Nne lekwe nu O!
      He should be d one marking his territory. He should be on edge, eager to put a ring on it. I want him begging me to come over, not rushing me out to bed Mgbeke.
      Don’t give wifely privileges to boyfriends plssssss!

  9. Ada

    February 2, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    Ehe I am back! Some girls will see all these tips and close their eyes o. I don’t forget things at bobo’s place. I am there long enough to keep stuff there prominently displayed! Does he remove it when I turn my back? Amaro m!

  10. ISL

    February 2, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    [email protected] Alozie. Tess thats good one. love it.

  11. Tochi

    February 2, 2016 at 5:19 pm

    Lol. Interesting article.

  12. Cookies?

    February 2, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    Ain’t nobody got time for that… If you like “forget” your bag of undies at his….some girls are very willing to play second fiddle regardless of the obvious signs…How about he “marks his territory” for a change

  13. Tolu

    February 2, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    Lol……my dear eh some girls are just stubborn oh, even when your wedding ring is inscribed on your front head den no go still mind chopping with you after all there is love in sharing….share the boyfriend share the husband???
    Nice article!

  14. TruthSayer

    February 2, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    Too many relationship articles directed at women..Na wa! The writer is quite very smart and i must commend her, these are really sensible tips Lol! But personally I won’t be needing them…If My Man makes me feel So insecure and Like I have to constantly compete for his attention with his tons of sidechics, I’d rather leave..I no get strength abeg#AintNobodyGotTimeForToxicRelationships

  15. hourglass

    February 2, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    I’ve used some of these tips and trust me, what would be would be. …. (ask sara)……I cannot come and go and kill myself for any guy…….I don’t want anyone thinking I’m desperate cos naija guys are full of shit…….Nice writeup Tess, I love it.

  16. Jenicoco

    February 2, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    Girls don’t really mind all these nowadays…. Most even enjoy the competition once there’s another lady…. My opinion…., just jump in the pool and swim.

  17. Cee

    February 2, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    No be small thing o. Well done Tess. Nice write up

  18. Odididi

    February 2, 2016 at 7:11 pm

    Sorry this article doesnt do it for me. Why would i do all these just to alert sidechicks? Why such insecurities? Why would i even live with the fact that my boyfriend myt be cheating on me? If i eventually find out, why wld i remain? Pls this is just shallow. This is 2016, give us something new.

    • Ada

      February 2, 2016 at 7:55 pm

      Tess writes with a bit of fine sarcasm, always! Almost indescernible but there nonetheless!

    • NK

      February 3, 2016 at 8:04 pm

      As in eh. Very subtle shade like this. Love her blog too

    • Manny

      February 2, 2016 at 8:24 pm

      Na wa o. Do you take everything in life literally?

  19. Anonymous

    February 2, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    @odididi please grow up. Did you read the full post to see where she said you should ask yourself if all the hassle is worth it?

  20. Divine

    February 2, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    Instead of going through this hassle, why not spend your time getting a man that will claim you and be proud to show you off to the world. E.g. he asks you to leave an extra set of clothes or an extra toothbrush at his place so you dont always have to pack one when coming over, or the boo who’s your personal camera man so ur pictures are all over his phone and set as his screensaver. Ladies wisen up ooo! Lolll!!!

    • Miss K

      February 3, 2016 at 11:46 am

      I guess I’m lucky then. Bobo got me my own toothbrush, my own set of pair of house slippers, and even made room for some of my clothes in his wardrobe.

  21. Help a sister out

    February 2, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    My Bella naija peeps, I need your urgent help.

    There’s this guy, his name is Enuma O Neal. He’s on Instagram as Gee o Neal.

    I’m liking him but someone told me he’s married. He told me he lives in Ghana and stays with his uncle in Lagos. I asked him if he was married (bad move, I know) and he said no. I’ve met his friends but you know there’s a boys code

    So babes, help a sister out and spill any tea before I enter one chance abeg.

    • Mbaks

      February 3, 2016 at 1:49 pm

      KAI! U serious so? Diss ya style no be am.

    • Opsy

      February 3, 2016 at 7:51 pm

      Errr… isn’t that a wedding band on his finger in his sixth IG photo (white trad) ?

    • bad market

      February 5, 2016 at 9:07 am

      do you have to do this?
      imma spoil your market

  22. Swizzey

    February 2, 2016 at 9:00 pm

    hahaha all these tactics and strategies seem quite effective for any guy, but a seasoned Yoruba “demon” can see and smell the beginning of your territory markings from several kilometers away..

    • Miss BeeHave

      February 3, 2016 at 1:23 am

      That is ehnn… Delta ones too!!!

  23. Eme

    February 2, 2016 at 10:26 pm

    Odiegwu really … Tess dearie , I will help u gather all ur left behind properties and give it to “our” man so as to remind you to return to your house next time you visit ?while we wait for him to make the final decision , “we” play fair because if I choose to use my “kobnomi” power calabar luv poison u want f**** first Abi u want chop skills excuse my language ? trust me sweetheart game over !! Lol May God help us with this men , for now am gonna go buy torchlight seems they are playing hide And seek lol one luv ladies

  24. Zom

    February 2, 2016 at 11:38 pm

    These side chicks won’t allow somebody to drink water and keep cup in peace. Issorait

  25. Ada

    February 2, 2016 at 11:48 pm

    LMAO… I loveeee this article, this is so me. I have used every single trick here, feels nice to know i’m not a freak 🙂

  26. Help a sister out

    February 3, 2016 at 1:47 am

    Bella, please post my last comment. I need responses from Bella naijarians

    • Opsy

      February 3, 2016 at 7:51 pm

      @Help a sister out: Errr… isn’t that a wedding band on his finger in his sixth IG photo (white trad) ?

  27. Ifeyinwa Mic

    February 3, 2016 at 5:26 am

    I once dated a guy who could lie at the drop of a hat. After a couple of months of dating I started living things at his place, not to trap him but because it was more convenient to leave a few things than have to carry them every time I stayed over. the guy was SO slick. He ALWAYS had my things waiting for me in a drawer or on a shelf in a closet. It didn’t hit me until I started seeing hair, clothing items, and feminine products that didn’t belong to me that I started to suspect him of foul play. Dude was MARRIED and had sidechicked me without my consent. I quickly carried my legs as far away from him as possible. Long story short–no matter how many tricks you use, a lying, scheming asshole will remain a lying, scheming asshole. People these days are SO crafty! I was hurt initially, but only invested <3 months in the relationship and quickly moved on. I really felt sorry for the wife, but something tells me that she knows the beast she married.

  28. Iou

    February 3, 2016 at 6:00 am

    What a mess! So the degradation of women has become this bad? Not everyone has it this way oh,lots of men still honor and love their women but first as a woman you have to value yourself, so sad!

  29. Thatsinglechic

    February 3, 2016 at 7:58 am

    Lools…… Major sigh #thestruggleisreal if your dude wants to cheat he will cheat no be by territory. Just wait ur turn ur husband wee come … some times sef i wonder if this stress is worth it….but what do i know

  30. Dira4eva

    February 3, 2016 at 10:38 am

    Nice one , Tess

  31. Chic_hijabi

    February 3, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    I laugh at the cook part, bhahahahahaha…..what am I? Your wife?

  32. Ronke

    February 3, 2016 at 8:18 pm

    Lol! All this for a man? Are men really that scarce? That’s giving him too much space, if he is taking your for granted, let it go!

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