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Just Before You Leap

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you had to take a difficult decision?

As I walked out of the Lecture hall immediately after the class to grab a sachet of pure water to quench my thirst from the vendors nearby, her tap from behind halted me in my strides. It would be the third time she would bring up the topic, and this time, she spoke with more urgency.

“Tony please nah, you’ve still not said anything o. Exams are in three weeks time. Tell me nah”

Nike has been persistent with her request to draw up a sitting formation with me in the exam hall following my good grades in the previous semesters.

She pulled me aside, and this time she spoke with real seriousness, “See Tony, I can’t afford to fail any of these courses else that’ll be extra year for me. Haba nah! Don’t you want me to graduate with my mates? Please, I’m ready to do anything. Just tell me what you want. Tell me the amount. Or is it s**? Please just tell me. We are both mature people here.”

She did not finish the sentence as she began another. Her quiet smile said the rest.

The words were still settling in my head. My legs quivered. I could feel my heart grow three sizes. I caught my reflection in her sun-shade, starring in sheer disbelief. Asides her financial pledges, her promise of coming to prepare meals for me in my hostel- not to mention the other kind of food- was some sweetener, of course.

I was groping for words like a snail finding its way through thorns as I tried to respond to her request.

That was some five years ago!

All these years, I thought Nike was the most daring, most fearless, most courageous Nigerian lady to walk the face of the earth. That was until a few days ago.

Much has been said about the lady that openly proposed to her supposed lover at Ikeja Mall, Lagos. In the short video clip that went viral, her man’s refusal to accept her ring really pierced her heart as she cried profusely at the disappointment.

Most people have slammed her for laying herself bare, and opening herself to very public humiliation. On no account, they believe, should a lady ever propose to a guy, else she looks cheap.

As Africans, we abhor the practice of a lady proposing to a guy because our culture counts it absurd. Little did we remember that most of our practices today lacks originality and are also borrowed cultures.

Even after fulfilling necessary traditional rites, most people still don’t recognize your status as a married person until you have walked down the aisle with your suit or white gown.

Hence, the challenge here is that the lady proposed to a man, not necessarily culture.

Lately, open engagements have become a trend where you find two people trying to involve the world in their union. I’ve witnessed several engagements in pubs I usually visit on weekends to relax. People have followed this bandwagon because we operate in a visual society where folks believe what they see, not necessarily what they hear.

Left for most guys, they don’t even care about the fuss but they do it because that’s what most ladies want. It’s one of the things they will always talk about. She might be 75 but still make reference to the day her man knelt down to ask her hand in marriage.

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But here, we are talking about a lady who just refused to be culturally yoked. For some people, whatever it takes to move forward for a better future, they own it and make it happen- before it gets to the point where maybe, the only option left will be to carry placards.

That is why I totally frown at comments like “this girl has brought shame to her family and womanhood”.

Those proclaiming that she traded her morals for emotions, her dignity for love are somewhat, painfully naive of what love can make people do. Besides, that’s one positive guys can draw from this “change” regime. Girls are now proposing!

So, why should we condemn her for living her life? The guys refusal to accept the ring might just be a thing of principle, or ego. Though I understand his reason is that he is “married”. But how, and why did he lead her this far? That said, it’s his right to take that stance.

But it is also the lady’s right to believe that he loves her so much and wouldn’t decline. Maybe she has been constantly fed with the impression that he cares, adores and loves her dearly.

Had he accepted, it would have been seen as a proof of the new order of love- more evidence that love is not a respecter of culture. More significantly, it could have been victory for feminists. The thread might have continued, and that’s how new norms come to be.

Well, that’s the thing about love- it could go either way. And that is why even though I didn’t think it was entirely wise, I don’t condemn her.

Fasten your seatbelt please, I’m driving home my point.

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An emotional relationship without a position of clarity is like a keg of gun-powder waiting to explode at any moment. There’s always a fine line between being brave, being patient and wasting your time. Before you commit, you must find out the other person’s perception about you, about starting a family, about his/her plans in a year, two or thereabouts. See where you feature in all of this. You can’t hope to propose to someone when you haven’t understood the other partner’s view on the relationship. It’s like the cliché: you look before you leap.

Deny him/her certain things that you feel makes them crazy about you and see if it provokes a response. It could be that they’re with you because of status in the society, sex, financial gains to name a few. Don’t get it all misunderstood. Strategic disengagement when things look bleak is not the same as giving up.

It’s true that some people have bad judgements, but careful attention to details might save us some embarrassment. Just before you go out there to dare, or prove something to the world, make sure the feelings are mutual.

I’d love to get your thoughts on this too. Did she break any girl-code? What are those telling signs before you propose?

19 thoughts on “Just Before You Leap

  1. Perfect write up I must say. A lot is involved before a proposal is made, it has to be very mutual, one must understand the depth of love and feelings in the relationship before taking the step further to propose.
    “An emotional relationship without a position of clarity is like a keg of gun-powder waiting to explode at any moment” In your words I believe if relationships are properly defined we will have less of rejected proposals as seen lately. Also, if the guy or girl you’re dating meets 70% of what you want please don’t date for eternity to prove a point.
    I believe when relationships reach certain levels ask questions where it is heading and if you don’t get the desired answer my brother or sister take a walk and safe us this drama of marriage proposal gone bad. Some relationship are for a season to teach you something, some are for a life time. know the one you’re into.

    1. I can’t agree less with you bro. Before fire is sparked into what is supposed to be a beautiful phenomenon, one must ensure that the time invested should be worth it.

      Thanks for always stopping by to share your thoughts. You’re appreciated!

  2. I am in total support of the ladys choice to take the relationship to another notch, since the man had refused to step up or step in to the situation like a man. How can you be in relationship with a lady this far, giving her hopes and stretching her patience longer only to whisper “I am married”. Indeed men could be scum. I don’t blame the woman at all, female emotions are much fragile than an egg and lighter than the lords yoke. Lol, but this paragraph explains it all; “Deny him/her certain things that you feel makes them crazy about you and see if it provokes a response. It could be that they’re with you because of status in the society, sex, financial gains to name a few. Don’t get it all misunderstood. Strategic disengagement when things look bleak is not the same as giving up.” . 100% there has been alot to learn from these piece , Anthony I agree with you on this too, really we all must look before we leap in all spheres of our life, relationship, friendship as well as commitments.

    Keep it up Anthony! But sadly u didn’t tell us how the “Nike” drama ended. Loool.

    1. ”….female emotions are much fragile than egg and lighter than the Lords yoke”. This is undoubtedly my quote of the day and should make it to AIT’s words on marble soon. I appreciate your insight on this bro.

      And about Nike….shey u know I’m a good boy nah!

  3. like you said, if the guy had accepted the proposal it would turn out a new trend and a victory for feminist, but since it failed, the lady bears all the blame.
    I am not really a fan of many you union or proposal personal, becos when you start going through the ups and down in you relationship or marriage these so-called audience will not be there to stand by you. So why the fuse?
    And finally I appreciate her boldness, you hardly find female you are very confident, yet understanding you proposed partner and his intentions is as important as its is complicated, but very necessary. If we conduct our investigations well not not carried away by emotions maybe we would not become another victim.

  4. Great write up bro.
    Like you said, if the guy had accepted the proposal it would turn out a new trend and a victory for feminist, but since it failed, the lady bears all the blame.

    I am not really a fan of making your union or proposal public, becos when you start going through the ups and down in you relationship or marriage these “so-called audience” will not be there to stand by you. So why the fuse?

    And finally I appreciate her boldness, you hardly find females that are very confident, yet understanding you proposed partner and his/his (because its a two way thing) intentions is as important as it is complicated, but very necessary. If we conduct our investigations well and not carried away by emotions maybe we would not become another victim.

    1. I can’t agree less with you bro. Truth is most times, the illusion of our choice has become our downfall. We become infatuated with this person and careless to know if the person also give us their heart as much as we give them ours. The lessons should be learnt from this incident I believe.

      Thanks for reading and engaging.

  5. Well for me she did not break any girl code and is not a bad idea to be different,because everyone does or follow a particular trend doesn’t mk it right or a norm…I admire her courage, I can imagine ow she rehearsed d whole tin b4 d d-day,am sure it wasn’t easy for her…

    People should stop criticizing her bcos if her proposal was accepted,it wud HV bn anoda breaking news n headlines on social media like “Jumoke d bread seller”,she wud hv become a superstar overnight, bn on every reality programmes and probably recorded in Guinness book of records as d first black(Nigerian)lady to propose a guy and this wud HV become a norm for we ladies now.

    She just didn’t no her so called guy well,though people pretend and are deceitful,she must HV seen some suspicious moves or attitudes but decided to pay a blind eye to it…is a lesson for all to endeavour DAT we know who we are into a relationship with no matter the level of relationship…

    1. On point dear!!! And like you said, this is indeed a lesson for everyone. We must all look before we leap in all spheres. Be it relationships, friendships and commitments.

      Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts dear.

  6. I can’t agree less with you bro. Truth is most times, the illusion of our choice has become our downfall. We become infatuated with this person and careless to know if the person also give us their heart as much as we give them ours. The lessons should be learnt from this incident I believe.

    Thanks for reading and engaging.

    1. Sweerie I can understand your pain but don’t you think generalizing men in that context is a little too harsh? That said, I believe every person should be responsible for their actions. Thanks for reading.

  7. Nice one dear. There is nothing like breaking the girls’ code.
    In the real sense, we the female folks do the proposal, we know what to do to take relationships to the next level. We do the ‘underground’ job & leave the men to take over.
    I’d like to believe that if the guy wasn’t married, he’d have done the public proposal.
    The conclusion of the matter still is “look before you leap”

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