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Loneliness & Dating Abroad: Perspectives of a Nigerian Student in The U.S – Romance

I have gone through this thread https://www.nairaland.com/5782313/chai-nigerian-girls-canada-lonely/5 , its comments and the response it got from a Nigerian -Canadian lady. I was able to relate to so many of them – being a Nigerian student in the United States. Hence, the need to give my perspective.

(1). ALMOST ALL “FRESH OFF THE BOAT” IMMIGRANTS ARE LONELY

Contrary to the perception that was created on the other thread that Nigerian ladies in Canada are lonely, loneliness knows no sex. It hits both men and women – particularly those who are fresh immigrants.

(2). MANY NIGERIAN GIRLS ABROAD SET UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS(THE KIND OF GUY THEY WANT)AT A YOUNG AGE.

I have met with several Nigerian – American girls here and even international students who came from Nigeria. In the course of my interactions with them, I noticed a pattern of behavior, most of the Nigerian girls(both Nigerian – Americans and Nigerian foreign students) who are below the age of 24 always have an ‘image’ of the guy they want. Many(do take note that my choice of words are MANY/MOST and not ALL) of them will always tell you that “he has to be very handsome, rich, tall, sociable (which could also mean a party freak/a guy who loves binge drinking). They will also tell you that he has to be responsible, and many more, according to them”. When you however delineate all of these requirements, you will realize that they are unrealistic. It is hard to find a guy who possesses all of these qualities at the same time – and even when you luckily get to meet one of such- the reality could be: he is already in a relationship, he does not like you or there is no connection between the two of you.

More so, expecting a Nigerian guy(particularly a foreign student) to have it all figured out( be rich, handsome, sociable, this and that) at the age of 22 is insane.

Many of these girls continue to view guys from this prism of expectations until when they clock 25years plus and reality begins to set in. They will now start realizing that their initial expectations are not logical. They will discover that the rich, tall, sociable and handsome guy they wanted at the age of 20 could be a cheater while the struggling guy who they looked down on during their Junior year in college could now be earning 7figures – just three years after they looked down on him. Life is a process and we all are still growing. It is better to look out for potentials, hunger for success, drive and discipline instead of creating unrealistic checklists at a young age. Many of these girls(and even guys) set their expectations based on what they see on social media – ignoring the fact that the reality of Davido and Chioma or Beyoncé and Jay Z is unlikely to be your own reality. By the time many people realize life does not work according to certain checklists, they would have lost some years and funny enough – the guy or girl they probably looked down on earlier could now be their dream partner albeit too late.

(3). THE AVERAGE NIGERIAN ABROAD PREFERS TO MARRY A FELLOW NIGERIAN BUT THINGS SOMETIMES CHANGE DUE TO HURTFUL EXPERIENCES

When I first arrived in the United States, it was easier for me to interact with Oyinbo girls than most Nigerian-American/Nigerian girls. Most(not all) of the Nigerian girls I met here were so evasive and arrogant then. This was a time I needed a lot of help – in terms of settling down, making new friends, staying connected to my roots and stuff like that. I never even thought of dating anyone then – I just wanted good friends in a foreign land but many of the feedback I got made it seem as if I was trying to “shoot a shot” and I should stay off them. In fact, on many occasions, it’s either my messages(some as innocent as: “Hello, please, which of these stores is the most reliable grocery store in this neighborhood)”? or my greetings were ignored or I was completely ghosted. Some of them even described me as a “FRESH OFF THE BOAT” guy who they don’t want to be friends with.
I found it somewhat sad because many of these privileged Nigerian kids are children of Nigerian immigrants who were also once foreign students that even worked as cleaners, drivers and the likes when they first arrived in the US before they eventually settled down to become Doctors, Engineers, Businessmen, etc. So, watching some of their kids act cocky towards a ”newly arrived Nigerian” was sad – because the struggles he/she is facing now were what their parents faced 20-30 years ago. While I was struggling to settle down, I got more support from foreigners – there were Americans who took me to different stores, taught me how to use the city transportation system, how to save cost and adjust to the American society and system. These were some of the forms of support I needed from my Nigerian sisters(NOTE : over 98% of the Nigerians I saw upon resumption are females).

On the other hand, there were girls from North African countries and other parts of the world who love Nigerian guys die. Kudos to our music industry: many foreigners love/rate Nigerian guys due to our afro beat artistes and our love for dance/faajii, big weddings and surprisingly – the way we treat our women. These foreign babes bought me unsolicited gifts and offered to pay for my food(which I stubbornly refused) on numerous occasions. In fact, there was an American friend that unsolicitedly cooked for me during Thanksgiving period – she cooked it in her family house, drove down to my apartment and gave it to me. Thus, if I was so desperate to date anyone at that time, it would definitely have been a foreigner.

Yet, I continued to love and support my Nigerian sisters and the Nigerian community. In fact, deep inside of me, I continued to convince myself that when the time is right – I would rather date and marry a Nigerian girl as opposed to any other nationality. This was despite the fact that I was friends with just only one Nigerian(she’s Nigerian – American) girl at that time – who was already dating a Caribbean guy and I was equally not even searching for a girlfriend at that time.

The reality here is: most guys are not that patient to wait for a Nigerian babe or tolerate such hurtful experiences. Many would have gone for the Oyinbo girls or any other foreigner who treated them nicely even if they had planned to date a Nigerian ab initio.

(4). WE SHOULD ALL BE REALISTIC AND STAY TRUE TO OURSELVES.

Looking for ready made girls or guys at a young age is one of the major reasons behind loneliness among Nigerians in the diaspora. The fact that a guy or a girl just arrived the US/Canada(to study) from Lagos or Onitsha today – with a heavy accent, awkward dressing, low bank account balance, etc… does not mean he cannot be as smart, sociable, and successful as Obama in a few years. If there is one thing I know about we Nigerians, it’s that: virtually all of us have great potentials and we desire greatness in life. We are very ambitious and we are willing to give all it takes to achieve our dreams – howbeit the stifling environment in Naija is usually a great hindrance to our successes. Nevertheless, we are all in the process of becoming who we hope to be. Thus, while we endure this process: why can’t we all just be realistic, support each other to be better individuals, achieve phenomenal successes together and serve as a beacon of hope to those who look up to us back home in Nigeria?
[/b]Why must we make major life decisions like relationships based on mostly unrealistic checklists when we both can evolve together to meet the desires of our heart and soul? [b]
We should not focus on what only pleases our eyes but what satisfies our heart and soul – that is what makes long lasting relationships. Beauty will fade. Money will fail at some point but what will make it last, forever is: character, strength, discipline and love of God.

[/b]Eventually, most of the girls who treated me badly when I first arrived here later wanted us to be friends after they read, saw or heard some things about me. While I will forever love my Nigerian sisters, coalescing around guys only when they look like what you want should not be so. Life does not work that way. Anybody could rise! There are potentials in every corner of the world. What people need are opportunities and when these opportunities meet potentials, preparations, hard work and the grace of God – greatness is inevitable.[b]

As Nigerian men abroad, we must love and respect our women. We must treat them as priorities – come what may! We must also support and cherish them because they embody our beauty, greatness and strength. Our Nigerian sisters must also realize that Lekki-Ikoyi link bridge was not built in a day – it took years of efforts, investments and transformation for it to become the darling of our Nollywood movies. In other words, that a guy does not entirely look like it today does not mean he will never get there. So far he has the potentials, he can even be more – with time and hard work, he can be way more than your unrealistic checklist. Can we now start looking at the heart and not the checklist?
ON A FINAL NOTE:

Dating abroad is totally different from dating in Nigeria. There are lots of cultural differences and you must really understand these differences before shooting any shot – otherwise: you will make terrible mistakes that may ruin your reputation, mental health and growth. You may even be hated and ghosted by certain people. In America for instance, dating apps is a big deal and things happen so fast – compared to Nigeria where on the average, things take longer.

If you are a Nigerian guy and you think it is the sole responsibility of your girlfriend(wife) to cook and take care of the family – then your stupi**d patriarchy mentality will fail you big time abroad.
Most Nigerian – American girls dislike some Nigerian guys (particularly those who grew up in Nigeria) due to this kind of patriarchy and “male dominance” mentality. Many Nigerian – American girls as a result of strong upbringing by their families can cook really well(even our egusi and other Naija food) but they will hate you if you make it look like it’s their responsibility to cook for you all the time. You must also get to the kitchen – do the dishes, wash the meat, clean the tables and even cook some food as well! Everything is 50-50 in America!!! Your wife(or even girlfriend) is not your slave and it’s high time most Nigerian guys(even those based in Ibadan, Uyo, Kano and Enugu) start realizing this.

WE NEED TO TREAT OUR WOMEN LIKE QUEENS, JEWELS AND SUPPORT THEM IN THE KITCHEN, THEIR CAREERS AND IN EVERY OTHER AREA.
source
nairaland

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