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MatchMadeInNaija admin

These days, people are continually being bombarded with different forms of pressure when it comes to conversations with their partners. You have to think of the most appropriate thing to say in every situation so that you don’t ‘fall your hand.’ This means that we usually avoid the serious (and usually uncomfortable) discussions until after the wedding night and these usually have devastating consequences. We end up getting to see a side of our partner that we did not see earlier and it leaves people frustrated and could potentially break up the marriage. Here are some very important questions or conversations that would help you avoid this occurrence.

1.      How much do you earn?

Please, please and please, do not ever skip this question because of the potential discomfort that comes with asking your partner about their finances. It doesn’t really matter whether you are a man or a woman. There is nothing more annoying than finding out that the person you have proposed to or are already married to does not earn an amount that would be considered helpful to the family. This obviously extends to a question about your partner’s place of work. Remember that this doesn’t make you a gold digger or tramp, it just means that both of you are planning your finances. Some guys would find this particularly hard to do owing to the thought that a man should be the sole provider for the family but times are changing and it would be beneficial for both parties to know each other’s financial obligation.

2.      What are your oddest physical behaviors?

This is not as much a question as it is a conversation to be had multiple times. People have very strange sets of physical and mental behaviors that would leave you stunned or even annoyed. Imagine living with a guy that pees on the bed at night. If you didn’t know about this beforehand, it would be a completely weird and annoying discovery. If you knew this already, it would be easier to understand and control. There are ladies that snore and are extremely embarrassed about it. The guy she wants to marry might be one who could never survive with a woman that snores loudly and so he would be extremely uncomfortable and keep complaining. Complaints, no matter how small, lead to dissention and ultimately arguments. Remember that these are examples of everyday situations and do not need to lead to breakups.  You should also check for sexually relation challenges by going to see a doctor together.

3.      Blood Groups and Genotypes

This is probably the most important question or discussion that must be addressed before any plans are made for wedding. There are a lot of people who found out about their spouses genotype when they had already gotten married and it led to all sorts of complications. If you are AA, you can marry from across the spectrum but if you are AS or SS you should be very careful about these decisions. It is medically advised that anyone with the AS or SS genotype should marry someone with the AA genotype because this makes it statistically impossible for you to have a baby that has sickle cell anemia. It’s a decision for the future of the children. Blood groups are also very important because we need to be sure that in cases of emergencies that might require blood transfusion, we are compatible with our partners. Make sure this question is place at the top of your awkward conversation bucket list.

4.      How many children and how soon?

In Nigeria, we know that there are personal and societal expectations for having children. If your lady partner is a career woman who wants to give a few years before childbirth, you should be able to know what that entails and how that would play out. Ladies, if your partner wants to have 5 or 6 children and you want 3 children, it could be a sticky topic later on. These conversations would help you manage your expectations and your extended family’s expectations as well.

5.      What are your plans for the future?

Well this cannot be over emphasized. It is probably the most important item on this list and should be the main topic of discussion for days, weeks or months leading to the bold step.  You need someone who complements your vision or at the very least gets the idea and is ready to support you. If your dream as a woman for example is to run a billion dollar corporation, you must make sure your partner is willing to handle a wife that always travels. It’s not an easy conversation and some concessions might need to be reached but never bend over backwards because you are desperate to get married.

6.        What are the things that you can’t stand?

People have their unique reactions to behaviors of others. The person you’re dating has his/her sensitivities and you have to try to know as much as you can. Do not take this process for granted because a simple dirty room could be the cause of a break up. The conversation exposes secrets that both of you might not have shared before and it is very necessary to build that level of trust and tolerance before getting engaged.

I hope that you noticed that I didn’t mention who should ask for the others hand in marriage. It’s completely irrelevant, especially in the 21stcentury and I’ll address it in another article. These 6 questions are sure to get you on the right track and spark more interesting and productive conversations that would hopefully cement your bond.

Just remember, if you don’t like what you hear, you might never like it. Do not succumb to the urge to get off the singles market by compromising your standards. You’re worth more than that.

MatchMadeInNaija admin

First dates are usually perceived to have an air of trial and error about them but there are ways to prepare for your first date with a girl in order to make it memorable for her. This five-item list is not the ‘Gold Standard’ for every guy going on a first date in Nigeria but it is sure to make you more likely to create an amazing first impression.

1. Call Her Early To Confirm Your Outing.

There’s nothing more disappointing than a girl telling you that something came up, one hour to your date. You can reduce the chances of that happening by calling her earlier in the day. Do not tell her you’re calling to confirm but say something like ‘I can’t wait to see you later today.’ That makes her remember to prioritize your outing over other impulsive activities that could come up at that time.

2. Choose The Venue, Keep It Simple:

Never ever leave the venue to chance. The aim of a first date is to impress the lady enough to make her want to go on a second date so you have to be in control of the variables. What if she picks a restaurant that is out of your price range or a place where they sell Chinese food when all you know how to eat is Nigerian Jollof? Dude, make sure the venue of the first date is somewhere nice, moderate and affordable. Be sure to inform her of the venue beforehand.

3. Have Enough Money To Pay For The Meal, And Then Some.

This is no time to go ‘Dutch.’ No splitting of the bills on the first date. Do not plan for a date with the aim of paying just for two meals. Make sure you are ready to purchase a little extra just in case. Remember that this is not to prove that you can be ‘the man of the house’ but to show that you are a person who is prepared for any situation. If you don’t have a car, make sure that you have enough money to order a ride to take her home.

4. Appear Simple But Stylish

You don’t need gold braces and two chains (pun intended) to impress a girl. You just need to dress based on the type of date you chose. If you chose to take her to Takwa Bay, for example, a simple Vintage Shirt and beach shorts would do. A dinner would require a Tux but not a three-piece suit. Make sure she is aware of the type of function so she can dress accordingly. It would be quite awkward if she wore an evening gown to GET Arena, wouldn’t it?

5. Be Punctual, Plan Your Route And Time.

Check google maps for traffic predictions well ahead of the time for your date. If the venue is 30 minutes away without traffic, leave your house one hour to the time. If you need to pick her up make sure you call well ahead of time so she can get ready. You could also get a ride to pick her up and bring her to the venue while you go ahead and make sure everything is in order.

Now you’re ready to go on the date. You just arrived at the venue and to your delight, everything is in order. She arrives five minutes later and walks in looking like an angel and you give her a semi-flirtatious smile. ‘Why are you smiling?’ She asks. You respond, ‘Well, I’m just so glad that you’re here and I hope that this night would mean to you what you mean to me.’ She blushes, looks at you and with confidence in your voice you say, ‘Shall we begin?’

MatchMadeInNaija admin

7 Books You Must Read To Prepare Yourself For Relationships

Dating and relationships to a countless number of Nigerians, are at best a complex study of rocket science and at worst a big black hole that would destroy them and invalidate their existence. The inability to exactly predict who a person is, what the person wants and how they behave leaves most people with a type of fear or ego(depending on their personality types) that makes them unable to get along with their partners. Here are 7 books that will help you get a well-rounded view before getting intimate.

  1. The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts by Gary Chapman:

This is the basic requirement for every individual who is or hopes to be in a relationship soon. First published in 1995 by Dr. Gary Chapman, this New York Times Bestseller teaches practical ways to keep your relationship’s engine running even when things get rocky or simply boring. This he argues, can be achieved by simply understanding your partner’s love language(s). With examples and profile assessments, it is sure to keep you in a constant and extensive stream of tests with your partner that would yield amazing results. The new edition has been revised to account for modern circumstances and problems relating to relationships in the 21st century.

2.  Modern Romance By Aziz Ansari with Eric Klinenberg

Dating styles in this modern era have evolved markedly from what they used to be decades ago. With the aid of technology, we are able to communicate, go on dates and end things as fast as we can type. Popular American comedian Aziz Ansari decided to team up with Sociologist Eric Klinenberg in order to study the effects of changes in technology on romance. With interviews conducted in various countries, we get a perfect blend of humor and scientific facts about the search for a soul mate.

3. Too Good To Leave, Too Bad to Stay: A Step-by-Step Guide to Help You Decide Whether To Stay In or Get Out of Your Relationship - Mira Kirshenbaum

In this book, popular psychotherapist Mira Kirshenbaum (who also authored ‘I Love You, But I Don’t Trust You) gives a holistic explanation for situations that go on in rocky relationships and the remedies. She makes it a point to raise some questions that you should ask yourself in a bid to understand yourself better. She argues that with the 36 questions, you can learn so much about your relationship by learning largely about yourself. It is an amazing read that would help you challenge the status quo in your relationship.

4. I Love You But I Don’t Trust You - Mira Kirshenbaum

Do you have trust issues? Has someone broken your trust and you felt that it was impossible to recover? This book is another masterpiece that helps you begin to rebuild the trust in your relationship especially in the face of heartbreak. Mira takes you on a journey to explore the causes of these trust issues whether it is due to cheating, dishonesty or even a recurring issue from the past. She teaches you practical steps on how to restore the bond of trust between you and your partner regardless of how bad the relationship seems to be hit. Her experience as a couples therapist makes her an authority in this field and makes the book all the more useful in solving relationship problems relating to Trust.

5. He’s Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys - Greg Behrendt & Liz Tuccillo

Dating men is not that complicated because men are simple beings. There are a lot of women who feel like guys are puzzling and their actions send mixed signals. New York Times best-selling author Greg Behrendt alongside Liz Tuccillo explain to us that guys are very easy to read. It is very easy to tell whether he is into you or not. The book which was based on an episode of ‘Sex and the City’ enlightens savvy women on this elusive topic, ‘How to tell if a guy is interested in dating you or not.’ It breaks the barrier of understanding and helps women to make wiser choices with their time and their emotions during and after dating.

6. Couple Skills: Making Your Relationship Work - Patrick Fanning and Matthew Mckay

Dating is easy. Building a relationship, on the other hand, is hard work. This book teaches you how to work smart instead of working hard. With timeless principles on how to improve communication with your partner, resolving disputes in innovative ways and building a strong and resilient coping mechanism. The updated version of the book has an additional chapter that teaches you to accept your partner’s feelings without criticism. It is sure to help you have a rounded view of your relationship.

7. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brene Brown

We are all vulnerable to something in our lives. The myth that people create that says that there is a need to push your insecurities aside when in a relationship (especially if you’re a guy) is very misleading. Dr. Brene Brown talks about the need to live a life of honesty in our relationships. It’s okay to shown vulnerability from time to time and it is vitally important to a relationship. The truth about weakness is pointed out skillfully by the writer and is pointed out as a strength. This book encourages openness and is a must-read for people who have either an inferiority or superiority complex going into a relationship.

There you have it. This is by not a full list of all the books you can read but this is a very good start to build a long lasting relationship.

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