Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Going For What You Want And Awkward First Dates

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The Ideal Naija Husband is the Old Spice Man
Confident and Smooth - right?

My sister-in-law visited us recently and spent a lot of time gisting about her latest man issues with my wife. I'd listen in half-heartedly until she mentioned wanting a particular guy to "man up". "Does he like me or not?" "If he does, he should come out with it and be direct!"

I asked her if she'd be willing to make a move and tell him she liked him and she responded:

"ME? Tell a guy I like him? Back to Sender!"

If I had N100 for everytime I heard a lady complain that a guy wasn't "aggressive" enough or "confident" enough, I'd have quit my job a long time ago. I blame the romance novels. Why won't women expect that their men have to be these handsome "sweep me off my feet" types when they're being bombarded with images like the Old Spice one above.

I wish women would remember that men are human beings. We have insecurities and hangups just like women do. While we all know about the standards imposed on women by society (rehashing that topic every other day in the blogs, twitter and facebook ad nauseum), we don't ease up on the men much. We're not all full of swagga "used to getting BB pins on a daily basis" koko masters (even if we form like we do). The sincere ones are more like:

I wouldn't even know to bring flowers sef
I wouldn't even know to bring flowers sef

Before a guy can figure out if a girl is even available and make sure it's all clear to move in, he has to find a way to do some detective type sturvs without being labeled a pervert stalker. If he tries to add her on facebook, wahala. If he requests to follow her on twitter, wahala. If he asks her friends, they will use him as an example. If he just straight up asks her, he'll be forced to wait centuries for her reply so she doesn't seem "too eager".

Lucky for me I met someone who, once she thought she liked me, spoke to me herself, without waiting for me to make my standard blundering approach. But that doesn't mean the first date wasn't still incredibly awkward.

I'd booked the standard "dinner and a movie" setting thinking it couldn't fail. I just had to get through the dinner with enough "topics of interest" to actually hold her interest and then we could sit in sweet silence during the movie. However, the moment we were led to our seats, she proceeded to tell me her thoughts on how the restaurant was crowded, our seats were terrible, the food was tasteless and the menu was overpriced. Pointing out the faults of your date's arrangements may not be the best conversation starter, but for some strange reason I didn't mind at all. The reason she was being so nonchalant however, soon became clear to me.

"So let me just tell you now that I don't actually like men."
"I mean, not that I'm a lesbian. but i really just don't like guys that much. I like you though."
"Oh ...ok...thank you."
"But I'm sure we'll still want to date other people right? Or should we just have a cut off deadline?"

Well that went well...
Well that went well...
How do I respond to that? I thought we would spend the evening discussing our future aspirations...not future breakups, when we weren't even official yet! Even I knew that that wasn't the normal conversation starter.

Things got even more awkward at the movie theater with the questions she kept asking me.

"Is James Bond seriously going to sleep with that girl when the killers are looking for him?"
"But don't you think that's so stupid? Would YOU do something like that?"
"If I was attacked like that would you protect me?"
"Why do they always make the bad guys in these movies Russian? You'd think the Cold War was still happening?

On and on it went but I couldn't figure out if she wanted me to answer or just listen.  The movie ended and we set off to drop her home. She sent me a text once she was in and even though I'd barely put two words together during the date, for some reason, I called her back. We talked for hours. Suddenly, what I couldn't say in the formal setting of the dinner and a movie, came gushing out through the casual phone.

I actually liked this girl who didn't like the food or the movie or the ambiance.  The girl who liked me even though she didn't like men. The girl I struggled to get a word in edgewise with. The girl who'd given me a chance in all my awkwardness to avoid stalking her before getting in touch. I wasn't sure if she'd dump me the next day or the next month given that she seemed to be on some sort of deadline. But when her "cut off" date came up, I asked her to renew my contract.

I am Naija Husband otherwise known as NH. Follow me on Twitter and check out my blog out


  1. LOL.. I have to say that I 'feel' for men sometimes.. The dilemma is knowing to 'help' out or when you will be seen as too desperate.. Catch-22 situation

  2. Women love the chase just as much as men love the hunt. We all know what the entire dance of courtship is like and when a man is not putting on the hunt it takes the fun out of it. No woman wants to end up with a man who sends her to answer the knock at the door at 3am. Man up and step forward and let us know what you are about!

  3. I agree with this post. Women should be the one's to man up and show a guy they care.

  4. Hopefully more women will notice that men are very awkward and do the 'manning up' for us lol


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