by Demola Rewaju
Sex might be the ultimate physical communication of a love relationship but that doesn’t always take the place of a verbal commitment.
I remember a ‘relationship’ I once engaged in where I was in pursuit of this lady for a while but we couldn’t get along because I refused to make some necessary changes in a habit that she didn’t like and I felt she was asking for too much without showing any sign of commitment to me – that’s when I wrote this article two years ago saying Don’t Use Your Mouth First. We seemed to hit it off some months after when she came back but there was never really any verbal consent to having a relationship with me but there were very obvious signs that we could be in a relationship. We did most things that lovers do but there was nothing physical (except one night spent in each other’s arms) but nothing more. Me being who I used to be, I was seeing someone else alongside but it wasn’t technically cheating. When I got caught and she got upset, my insistent line was that we weren’t dating because she hadn’t said ‘yes’ to me.
I may have been trying to be smarter by half but players usually do that – everything is either by the book or it doesn’t exist. We’re not in a love relationship until you as a lady say ‘yes’ and we’re therefore not exclusive to each other. We know ladies like to act coy sometimes and prolong giving assent to a love proposal; we also know you do that in the hope that someone better might just come along and then you’ll leave us without a backward glance because there was never really any commitment. It works for you sometimes but sometimes, it works against you.
Sex might be the ultimate physical communication of a love relationship but that doesn’t always take the place of a verbal commitment. In some parts of the western world battling rape issues, verbal assent for every step of the process leading to sex is required…funny as that would seem in the very act of it. From very early on before any commitment on your part, it is much better to clarify stuff in the most explicit terms. Is this guy asking you out because he wants to date you or just because he wants to sleep with you? It helps you to be clear about what you’re getting into and it also sets your expectations and limits your involvement if need be.
Sometimes it’s easier to just let things string along and play out the way they might without giving your consent to an actual relationship. We understand when you front even though we suspect you really want to be with us – I even wrote about it in this piece titled ‘Shakara’ – Playing Hard to Get (And Making It Work) so we understand when you front but when it’s so obvious you want to be with us yet you refrain from saying ‘yes’ to us, it ticks of something inside the ego of an alpha male. He sees you as being unnecessary difficult and since he is not committed to you because you did not commit to him, he’ll probably be seeing others on the side. That doesn’t excuse the truth of the situation though that the brother is only being smarter by half: he shouldn’t be seeing anyone else if he’s asking you out. It however helps to be very clear on what you both want and what you’re both doing together.
Don’t assume something is going on when it isn’t. Relatedly, don’t assume something is more than what it is – always be clear on where you stand and always let a brother know where he stands – don’t let him assume. Don’t give him the impression that you’re dating him when in actual fact you’re just using him to mark time while waiting for another brother to show up – sometimes it works for you, sometimes it works against you. When it works for you it makes you happy but when it works against you, it hurts. It really hurts.
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.