Dating Playbook

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In Nigeria, it is assumed both men and women know the rules of the “dating game”. So when a woman asks for transport fare after sex, the guy acquiesces. Whether this is a nice way of packaging a financial transaction is open to debate.

When a man invites you over very soon after meeting you, the woman is supposed to know there is an expectation of sex.

Problems arise when both parties are not playing from the same playbook or when one party desires something that isn’t contained in the playbook like integrity, fidelity and love.

If you want something real, you may wish to ditch the playbook. There will be consequences of course – loneliness, having to say no to convenient arrangements and being called stupid by those you know. And you can’t eat your cake and have it. You can’t use the playbook for now, hoping to ditch it when you find a special person.

Prolonged use of the dating playbook changes you. It shapes your worldview & perspectives and you become defined by stereotypes. You fall prey to the danger of a “single story” and become one of those people who say, “Nigerian men are…” or “Nigerian women are…”

There are those who adopted the playbook because they became “wise”, having been used by players in the past. But, you shouldn’t destroy your future because of someone in your past. Life is clearly not a movie where good girls reform bad men and vice versa. If you embark on what is beyond your capacity, the person you have chosen to be Messiah to will eventually destroy you.

It’s up to you whether you ditch your dating playbook or not but like a wise person once said, “Doing the same things in the same way and expecting different results is insanity.”

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