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Nkem Says: You’ve Met His Parents…So What?

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From as early as the age of 6, I noticed some of the numerous and “strange” stunts my six half-brothers, male cousins and many “office boys” pulled. (Office boys are the guys who worked for my dad, but lived with us) pulled.
One of the most memorable was the time one of my half-brothers – whose fiancé was already pregnant and the wedding date was set- brought another girl home and introduced her to my mum. Of course, being a very chill and coded family, no one said anything, until she left. I even recall one of my cousins telling the girl that my brother had never brought any girl home to see my parents before and as such, she was special.
As soon as the girl left, the same cousin pinched my brother and laughed, hailing him “Nwoke Ukwu” in reverence.

Of course, my brother still got married to the pregnant fiancé a month after and Alas! The other girl, his serious girlfriend, stopped coming around the house.

At the time the incident between my half-brother and the lady happened, I was about twelve. I had forgotten about the incident until last night when a conversation with a friend, Ijeoma, (not her real name) brought back the memory.

She had called in excitement to let me know that her boyfriend of 16 months, who she had earlier complained had been maltreating her, had “changed and is now serious”.
This change and seriousness was evident in the fact that he was “taking their relationship to the next level” by asking her to follow him to a family function where he would introduce her to his parents. Her excitement and joy was clearly very deep.

As a very close friend who was very much aware of her history with the man, I had to ask: “how is meeting his parents taking the relationship to the next level?”

To be honest, it all seemed just too ridiculous to me. The idea of meeting his parents had miraculously erased all the fights, extortions, maltreatments and cheating. Without much ado, however, she explained how the meeting with the parents was a milestone in any relationship, as it was not only an indicator of how committed a man was to a woman, but also was the first step on the journey from “girlfriend” to “wife”.

She had no proof to back her assertions and from further interactions, it was clear to me that my friend was merely projecting her own ideas about why she would introduce anyone to her parents. She wasn’t considering the peculiarity of her boyfriend and of the situation.

In her mind, introducing him to her parents would be a big deal – as such, it must be a big deal to him as well.

Unfortunately, the truth remains that being introduced to your date or boyfriend’s parents is not always a guarantee that your future with him is settled.

There are certain truths you discover early on when you grow up in a house full of men: Men are primarily driven by pride and satiation – they like to feel needed. Ultimatums do not work with them; deep down in their souls, they don’t care how they look or smell. Whilst they are not as complicated as their female counterparts, they have a higher tendency to be manipulative and deceitful.

As it was evident in my half-brother’s case, introducing the “serious girlfriend” to the parents was a maneuver to overwhelm the girl and shut down every suspicious thought the girl may have had – all towards getting her to do his bidding and fulfill his desires.

A number of Nigerian men still do this today. If anything, they have become even craftier in their endeavours. Most annoying are parents and siblings who support their sons and brothers in this game. Why on earth would a parent play a role in deceiving a young girl just so that his or her son would have few minutes of pleasure?
Do they put into consideration the wellbeing of the girl who could be their daughter? Some of these parents go as far as calling the girl “our wife”, offering them “and co.” fabrics, when in reality they know their son has no intention of marriage, whatsoever, towards the girl.
They send the girl on errands and even chastise her for not calling them or visiting the regularly.
What values are you as a parent instilling in your child in doing all of that really? It does not matter how old he is, or if the girl should know better, you cannot as a parent be a friend to your child in that way.

Your son should not feel comfortable enough to rope you in as a wingman when he randomly wants to score chics. No! It does not have a good look at all.

Thanks to norms and traditions, a number of women in Nigeria are still easily swayed by the promise of marriage. This is why some men involve these women in the family aspect of their lives. They realize it’s a major way to get them to believe that there is more to the relationship than there actually is. The single act ensures the women stay off their backs, allowing them to get away with a whole lot of crap on the side.

These are the kind of women who are actually introduced to the parents just so they can be taken for a ride. They find themselves running errands for the man’s parents and even extended family, playing wifey, or putting up with all sorts from them while the boyfriend even blatantly mistreats them.

Even more worrisome are men who actually do not think twice about introducing a girlfriend, when they find one, to their parents as a way to keep the family from complaining about their bachelor status or even homosexual proclivities.
If a boyfriend is quick to introduce you to his parents, especially when you have not been together for long …and you are certain that he barely knows you, it is very suspect. Shine ya eyes! I’d be very suspicious of him and extra cautious.

Take your time to know the man before meeting his parents, that way you are not swayed by the very act and he does not use you as bait at all.

Bottom line: meeting a Nigerian man’s parent is no indicator of commitment or longevity in a relationship. It means nothing if he does not see you as priority, have both feet in the relationship, or actually have any plans of marrying you.

Nkem Ndem is an energetic and highly accomplished Media Consultant who loves to help small businesses, especially women-led, grow their online presence using the right digital strategy or transition from traditional organizational boundaries. With years of experience in Copywriting and Editing, Content Branding and Strategy, Social media, and Digital Marketing, she is clearly obsessed with Digital Communications. She is the Head of Content and Lead Consultant at Black Ink Media - an Ideation and Content Agency that excels in providing fresh, creative digital services to content-centric businesses. Find out more about her at www.blackinkm.com or send her an e-mail at [email protected] Also follow her on IG: @nkemndemv, Twitter: @ndemv.

32 Comments

  1. Deleke

    April 13, 2017 at 5:59 pm

    Like girls do not do it too. My first ever trip back to Nigeria after 15 years in America, been talking to this girl for 1 year or so, we went on a few dates, then invited me over to meet her mom and sisters. Next thing, suya, don simon and gbegiri was flowing. Babanla set up, next thing I remember we were in bed. I go back to the states chic tells me within 3 weeks she is preggers and I should come back home and marry her sharply. I blocked her off and within 6 months what did I see? Her weddings pics on facebook.

    • Ify

      April 13, 2017 at 6:14 pm

      All I can is “poor guy” to the guy who married her. Poor poor guy. Doesn’t know what he has bitten.

    • Ec

      April 13, 2017 at 6:48 pm

      Damn nollywood script. You dodged a bullet

    • Golden

      April 13, 2017 at 7:26 pm

      You blocked her? She shouldn’t have moved on? Hmmm

    • Anne

      April 13, 2017 at 11:01 pm

      Let’s be objective here. You blocked her after she told you she was pregnant. What if she was really pregnant so you expect her to wait for you. You are in the US how will she find you in that big United States. As if quick marriage is something we haven’t seen in Nigeria before. People meet in less than 5months and marry. What if she is on the rebound. Do you know how embarrassing it is to carry a big tummy around and tell people that the man is in the US. When is he coming to get you? You don’t know. You guys committed immorality kia kia. Pregnancy entered, you come block her quick quick. You too get your own part for that matter.

    • Deleke

      April 14, 2017 at 7:43 am

      Aren’t you a lady and do not know that was the oldest trick. Of course she wasn’t pregnant, it lead to her wanting to extort me for an ‘evacuation’ then changing her mind to wanting to keep it and pressuring me to come n marry sharply. Nigga please

    • Anne

      April 13, 2017 at 11:05 pm

      When my classmate realized that her husband was married. She asked her mother in law. Guess what mama said; I thought you knew. She has left the marriage. His wife sent my classmate pictures of the ceremony and her marriage certificate. Same crowd attended both ceremonies.

    • Bee

      April 13, 2017 at 11:44 pm

      Let me be bush for a bit. “Ewooooooooo” Mouth wide open. I love amebo sha.

    • Beeee

      April 16, 2017 at 7:08 pm

      She no know your name ni. A whole Deleke the original Badoo

  2. Akara Pancake

    April 13, 2017 at 6:10 pm

    The truth is that the import and impact of meeting Bae’s parents pale in significant to what they used to mean years ago. Back in the day, before cell-phones, selfies, dick pics and Facebook became the norm, meeting your beloved’s folks was intentional, deliberate and a checkmate chess move. It meant something like: Bae this is my family, your future family. My mum is now your mother-in-law, sworn to monitor and stress you out from now on. This is where we live, and how we live. That tiny match-box of a cubicle right down the corridor is the family kitchen, which will be your new office…”

    Now the game has flipped, like akara in hot oil burnt on one side . I will speak as a dude. Most guys’ mums (except maybe the ones who carry bells, wear white and attend Bar Beach Pentecostal) know and expect that their sons mayprobably sow his wild oats till he is ready to settle. While he sows those wild oats, he will probably bring a couple of chicks by the house, who may be introduced to her. Any of those chicks may turn out to be future wifey, or it may be a brand new chick he meets at a house party somewhere, falls in love with and decides to marry after 4 weeks of dating. So meeting the dude’s mum means nada in the grand scheme of things.

    For guys, it is a bit more significant when you meet the girl’s folks, especially her dad. For any Igbo couple who are dating, this is a huge deal. Typically you do not get to meet an Igbo girl’s father unless you had plans to bequeath her your surname in the future. Or he summoned you to respectfully threaten you to leave his daughter alone.

    I remember meeting my girlfriend’s dad. In fact my chick was not there, as she had an “unexpected urgent appointment” (I am doing the fingers thing that Austin Powers does)
    The day of the meet-up, I started to feel anxious, nauseous and nervous. I got to her folk’s estate and parked a street away from their house as I waited in my car to gather my calmness. What would her folks be like? Traditional or funky? Will I be able to make small talk without sounding daft? What if they hated my guts? Would my girl and I be condemned to a life of love in exile? Exile and Igbo love are an oxymoron, if there ever was such a thing.

    I hauled myself out of the car, and stepped to the entrance of the house. Have you ever miscued when knocking on a door nervously? I had aimed softly at the metal door using the tips of my knuckles. It however sounded like a thuds of a debt-collecting landlord. GBAM! GBAM!! GBAM!!!……to be continued jare.

    • Hashva

      April 14, 2017 at 7:36 am

      You have gotta finish this story o; want to know how it ends ?

    • newbie

      April 15, 2017 at 12:26 am

      Please kontinuuuu naaaaa…! Loving your story and your style

      You hit the nail on the head re the waning sifnificance of meet-the-parents.

  3. john

    April 13, 2017 at 6:19 pm

    blockbuster article ..u know how to pull the strings of BN women..but seriously, Nkem u need to get laid big time..stop dealing with beta males and stop projecting ur weird family behaviours and insecurities in your article. …women do worse in tge manipulation game as someone mentioned above..if men start playing half of women games back to them ,must will commit suicide.so take a chill pill

    • nkem oh!

      April 13, 2017 at 6:39 pm

      For the first time, John, I agree with you. Nkem tries too hard with all the articles on men, male bashing, blabla. It’s really exasperating. And of course, she knows just how much BN peeps like to feed on such articles – they generate a lot of comments whether good or bad so she keeps writing them. But it’s cool. Who doesn’t enjoy a little attention? I’m a woman, btw. It’s just tiring reading the same recycled topics.

    • LEM

      April 13, 2017 at 8:33 pm

      @John and @Nkem oh, when Nkem wrote on Nigerian office shenanigans we did not see you the comments. If you don’t like the article or feel it’s recycled you can move on naw, some other people like it.

    • john

      April 14, 2017 at 12:00 am

      @lem I wrote in that article..I dont know whether BN later posted my comment..I even mentioned that the article received few comment bcos it wasnt about men..few people commented unlike her previous article on men /relationship that used to recieve 100+ comments

    • tunmi

      April 13, 2017 at 7:38 pm

      Nope, don’t do it.

      Here is an article that apparently you missed, also by Nkem:
      https://www.bellanaija.com/2017/04/nkem-ndem-9-undeniable-facts-about-working-in-a-nigerian-office/

    • Alterego

      April 14, 2017 at 12:25 pm

      Dear John ooo.

  4. Abz

    April 13, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    I do hope your parents chastised your half brother as well.

  5. Dolly

    April 13, 2017 at 7:01 pm

    Love reading your piece Nkem, however I wish we someday stop this dated long tradition of do’s & don’ts in relationships.
    There are no rules when it comes to relationship/ marriage. Fact that he invites you to meet the fam clan the day after he met you don’t mean he won’t marry you. If he did 20 years after he met you, he could dump you the next day. Intentions behind action sweetheart, however intuition comes to play here.

    Successful relationship/ marriage involve two people who wish to stay committed and keep on working on their forever.

  6. Chief

    April 13, 2017 at 7:39 pm

    Coming from a woman scorned ….Exactly john….When journalism becomes a tool in the hands of misandrist. Besides being insane,it’s also profoundly dangerous as she’s actively seeking to demonize every men.I find the whole thing utterly embarrassing.Your articles certainly proves how you hate “MEN”.Do you realize how idiotic you made yourself look with this nonsense article.It annoys me when i see people write this misandry nonsense online.Misandry is a harmful narrative and moreover, is increasingly preached as an acceptable social doctrine on this blog with anyone who disagrees accused of misogynist.You see,women can’t see the hatred and dislike for men dripping from her articles..They are now turning a blind eye to this BS. You see the problem i have with feminism because it promotes misandry.Misandry is the fuel that drives feminist ideology and agenda and keeps its grievance gravity train.

    BN has now become an avenue by which misandrists,disgruntled feminists and other knuckle-dragging jackanapes can pollute conversations and meaningful discourse with the kind of insidious and chronic contempt that would otherwise have been silenced in a civilized community by shunning.

    • Tinuke

      April 13, 2017 at 8:36 pm

      I really tried to point this out on another article. Journalist/writers really need to be more responsible in expressing their point of views

      Readers should also take things in with more than a pinch of salt.

    • See them

      April 13, 2017 at 10:48 pm

      IDIOT!!!!!! Where were you and John when she wrote about the Nigerian Office wahala??? You were nowhere to be found. Now she has posted what moves the market and you guys have appeared like Voldemort and the Death Eaters.

      See your life!!

      Madam Tinuke, move abeg. You are a yahoo guy pretending to be a lady. The way Nkem’s articles dey pinch you eh. Move o jare

  7. susan

    April 13, 2017 at 7:42 pm

    Nice write up Nkem. There’s this guy in our compound,he introduces every girl he brings home as his wife. “Mummy jr meet my wife” I’ve met up to 8 wives. The thing tire me. Yea,even though there’s no hard and fast rules when it comes to relationship,both male and females still need to know that most people do this to deceive the unwary.

  8. AceOfSpades

    April 13, 2017 at 8:00 pm

    This article reminds me of when I took a girl home for the first time. My mom sat there all cool and shii but didn’t say anything. When my dad came back from work later in the evening she started ranting ‘T****** gbe obinrin wa ka mi mole’
    I’m not even your husband, how can I ‘gbe obinrin wa ka yin mole’?

    This your article is true but it can’t work with my mom o….she will expose you to the new girl sharply unless you’ve officially broken up and reported the break up to her.

    • LemmeRant

      April 14, 2017 at 5:16 am

      Lemme see…

      Taiwo?
      Tope?
      Tolu?
      Temi?
      Titi?
      Taofeek (hehehe)

      which one?

    • AceOfSpades

      April 14, 2017 at 9:46 am

      None of the above

    • O_o

      April 27, 2017 at 9:26 pm

      Tokunbo.

  9. me me me

    April 13, 2017 at 8:21 pm

    Personally for me. If I meet a guy and he starts talking marriage sharply. Just because they are under the impression that because of my “age”. Marriage talk will make their way easier. Alarm bells goes off in my head, I don’t end the relationship because of that but it’s like a little side note in my head that a guy that does that is manipulative. I just jejely note it down. His true colour will show eventually

  10. Ro

    April 13, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    Misandri! misandrist!! misandring!!!

  11. Papacy

    April 13, 2017 at 9:59 pm

    It cuts both ways. Before now, bringing your woman to your folks would naturally progress to her joining “mama” in the kitchen and all that. To prove she’s “well trained and wife material”. Omo, now nobody send you o. If you like call her wife in front of mummy. She won’t lift broom. Until she sees ring. All man eye don tear. I’ve said it before. The person I see when I lift the veil at the altar is my wife. All this other African magic na you sabi .

  12. Jewel

    April 14, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    I guess this is why it is highly encouraged for Black American females to avoid marriage with Nigerian men, and to be weary of men from Africa in general. Smh…..

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