Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Money and Love

So in today's world of "adult" relationships, it seems that there are new rules in play that were previously alien to me. Apparently, dating a man gives one access to a new money source. HIM. It is understood that He Man will become responsible for certain expenses of Damsel. Credit for her phone - Check. Getting her nails and hair done - Check. Rent - Check. Car expenses or even new car - Check. Vacations - Check. Wardrobe allowance - Check. Pocket money - Check.

I have always been one of those odd women that found even gifts difficult to accept. Letter and cards, i loved. Mixed tapes and CDs....Perfume - oh yeah. As i got older, i relaxed a bit. Allowed myself to accept thoughtful gifts in my mind. Shoes, books, DVDs, CDs, the odd piece of jewelery. Those were fine in my mind because it meant that he thought about who i am and acted accordingly. I remember the first time a boyfriend gave me $300 in cash to go shopping. I almost fainted. We had the biggest fight in history and resulted in me storming out and absolutely refusing to speak to him for weeks. How dare he i thought? Trying to buy me. Paying me for services rendered? That's the way it felt to me. Paying me. So subsequent men in my life know that cash is a no go area for me.

I know that a lot of my friends have always thought me odd. And those acquaintances i know think it even odder. I have been asked why on earth i am with a man if i dont get perks? Huh? How about for company, to share my time with, because i like him, because i like how he makes me feel? That seems all well and good to some while some women have looked at me in amazement. In a world where the eligibility of a man is based on the size of his wallet, car and job.

Nigeria seems to be worse. Its actually nauseating. I have a friend of mine that works with an oil company but when he meets a woman, he claims to work for a Nigerian airline. Why? To gauge the level of interest. So far, the moment he mentions Chachangi, the look on their faces change. He is a pretty hot guy, well spoken and very put together. Its interesting to see the change: from first appreciating his looks, to being turned off the moment he says where he works. I thought he was being a bit harsh at first but i have to agree with his strategy now.

So is accepting money and allowing a man foot all bills acceptable in relationships? If it is, then how much is acceptable? Does marriage make it different? How much cash is acceptable? What kind of gifts are acceptable? And this goes both ways - for men and women.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hmmm.. it is really interesting to find another person who doesn't feel comfortable getting all kinds of gifts from a guy. It's just not me. I guess it works for some people, though.
I have definitely seen a lot of what you mentioned - a relation of mine was all about the bank balance before she got hitched. The one time she turned down this guy thinking he was a civil servant, only to later see him stepping into a gorgeous car (she later found out that he was a House of Reps member), she cried for 3 days straight.

LondonBuki said...

Hmmm.... interesting post Uzo.

I think it's ok to accept gifts from a guy when you have known each other for a while and you know he's not trying to get you to feel like you owe him something...

Infact, if the guy is trying to buy me stuff early in the friendship, I'll make it clear to him that it doesn't mean anything... I owe him nothing.

Biodun said...

ha, this is a touchy topic, everyone has their own limits on wot is acceptable or not. I still believe in pitching in for dinner, vacations, etc after we have been together for a while. I know some guys find it offensive n wanna pay for everything n some girls think its their right that everything should be paid for, I am of the skool that a man doesnt have to pay for everything, u can buy me gifts, but no I wont feel comfortable making him pay all my bills expecially while still dating or courting.

DiAmOnD hawk said...

hmmm...
your friend shouldnt start off meeting ppl w/a lie. He should be straight fwd and the truth will eventually come out but if it works for him...then so be it

Gifts are acceptable...depends on the parties involved. There should be a limit...

and girls (cuz it's mostly us that do the mooching) need to stop being greedy and try to add to the relationship too...i think u garner respect that way

Bella Naija said...

Very interesting topic...
Its definitely food for thought...
I guess for me it depends -

about your friend....I dunno about that strategy really...it just strikes me as kind of unneccesary...I personally would be insulted by a guy doing that...

Anyways..definitely though provoking..

BTW - did u go for Umoja? how was it?

Soul said...

it is completely unacceptable to expect a man to pay for everything.
endof. (IMO, others may differ)

Anonymous said...

I think the whole point of a relationship\marriage is to help one and another, support each other, emotionally, spiritually and financially! Its a partnership, one person might have more money than the other so therefore buying more expensive gifts or taking care of the larger expenses is not an issue, that doesn’t mean the less privileged person is a free loader. Unless of course the less privileged is going into the relationship with the sole intention to clean bank.
Now, I don’t think women are the only ones that a freeloaders! I have seen, heard and experienced a lot of free loading men in the US and Naija as well! In fact I have several guy friends who marry or want to marry a girl with money so they can freeload off her and her parents, so let’s not only focus on women here. And have we forgotten about our parents generation, how many auntie, cousins or even mothers do know who take care of the family but the man as oga of the house takes all the credit, drives around in his wife's car fronting like na him buy am for her abi I lie? Okay I'm digressing, in my relationship my man takes the lead when we go out to eat and stuff, I offer but he doesn’t believe in it… When we go on vacation, we both spilt it, its not always 50\50 cause one person's pocket is deeper than the other. Prior to dating my bf now and even early on in the relationship I don’t accept expensive gifts from men cause I don’t want them to think they can buy my love plus I don’t want him to start telling his friends or anyone that would listen for that matter he bought me dis or dat! Now after we start officially dating, rules are clarified, trust has been developed it’s no longer a problem cause I spend and he spends as well its balanced…

NaijaBloke said...

Hmmm... Uzo this is one touchy topic here o...

Just like ur friend o,there was this Naija babe I met sometime back and when she asked me where I worked,I told him Walmart and u need to see the expression on her face,I cancelled her immediately.

Some women actually dont give a hoot if u can support them or abt what u do,but majority nowadays will not have anything to do with u if u dont have anything to offer them and boys r now doing the same o...U can imagine telling one of my friend's junior brother that i wanted to hook him up with a gurl and guess what he said ..if she aint a Doctor,hez not hooking up with her o.

Calabar Gal said...

I cant say much on this as I've been one of the few who have always been self reliant and independent and somehow all those guys that tick all the boxes you mentioned never seemed to come my way. *Sigh* Maybe the look in my eyes drove them away eh? LOL.

I respect girls who are self reliant in a relationship not the ones who think that cos they are dating a man then he should be responsible in footing all her bills. I know of a couple of girls who dump a guy if the gifts arent forthcoming two months into the relationship. I dont support such freeloading.

Footing of these bills in marriage is understandable and even then, marriage is a two way thing - give and take. Shikena!!

azuka said...

My decision to remain single for the next ten years doesn't sound like a bad idea after all.

Uzo said...

@Anonymous: Oh dear. I am sure your friend was so miserable about the one that got away.

@LB: I guess i would feel a little more comfortable if we have been together for a while but even then, the gifts have to be more sentimental than ostentatious.

@Biodun: I am with you on pitching in. I love to suprise the one i am with so i would take him out to dinner and all that. I just wont be buying him a car. LOL

@Diamond: With my friend, i was against his strategy at first but i am so behind it now. Women and even Men are the biggest pretenders in the world. A woman can pretend so well, that he gets married to her and doesnt see her true colors till its too late.

@Bella: i am going to see Umoja this weekend. Last weekend, i went to the Earl Klugh and Lagbaja concert which was fab. Thanks for asking. I think my friend's "deception" would be acceptable to me in the long run. I am a woman and i actually skim over the details of what i do, my position and where i work because men out there are looking for trophies or a meal ticket.

@ Soul: I agree with not letting a man pay for everything...certainly not rent or bills.

@Anonymous 2: A partnership in all sense of the word when married not when dating.

@ Naijabloke: Isnt it sad about what the pre-requisites for relationships are now?

@Calabargal: LOL. I have wondered who these men are that give cars and apartments to women. I mean what on earth are they thinking?

@Azuka: Oh my dear. Dont let all this faze you. Relationships can be truly great....

rethots said...

Hmmm, accepting gifts from men (or in general)....well, i think 'tis the hidden meaning between the lines that matters. If 'tis not to make one indebted (or buy attention/ affection), it's okay.

My unspoken rule, if i can't afford the gift......i'd rather let it pass.