A quick glance at any magazine or TV ad will probably signal that there is a relationship crisis where you live. It’s a global pandemic. No one is able to find ANYONE who they deem a viable match! Previously, it was primarily women who suffered this plague of malcontent where a happy match is concerned, and women just learned to settle. However these days men appear to have jumped in the canoe as well. There growing numbers of men who are becoming more vocal about a lack of “wifey” material and how it has kept them from that stroll down the aisle. Though they are not as verbose about the methods they use to cope with the dearth of “quality” female companionship, the few men have opened up to me about it have confessed that they do so by accepting sex wherever it’s to be found (and in Accra, it’s found aplenty). But what they really want is someone to begin a life with.
Adventurers, I think we should hear what the other side has to say as well. Bear in mind that this sample of men is over the age of 35. Men have a ticking biological clock as well and marriage goals as well, but where a woman might take the opportunity to wed herself to solve her dilemma, most men settle for casual, meaningless sexual encounters.
“Meaningless?” I asked.
“Yes,” Adu* replied. “Absolutely meaningless…as in it’s not going anywhere. You realize the person that you are in bed with for the night only wants you to buy her a cell phone or pay for her dad’s “medical bills”, so you take what you can get and break her a little something off.”
I resisted the urge to point out that this sounded very much like prostitution, because the brother was hurting. He really wants to date, fall in love, and get married.
“The trouble is, a lot of these women are not realistic,” he went on. “I’m just a man. I am subject to the economy. Sure, I have lots of cash now (and he does), but I want to be with someone who understands that there may come a day when I only have GHC 50 to my name, and will be okay with eating plantain and beans, a Smirnoff Ice, and the pair of us go home with GHC 20 remaining in our pockets. At least we went out, right? At least we enjoyed each other’s company!”
I had to laugh. I can’t think of a single one of my friends who would allow the guy she’s dating to take her out for plantain and beans on a date, let alone act like it was okay. (I would, but that’s because I’m a bush girl who doesn’t know how to set high standards for herself.)
Adu is a returnee, so I proposed that he might try to spend more time with women who had lived abroad. He claims they are not much better company, as returnee girls are aloof and uninviting. Of course, this is a generalization, and I pointed this out to him with examples of the opposite. He countered that all the women I named were already/about to be married, and with good reason.
“Those women are practical. They are grounded in reality,” Adu said. “When a lot of women see me, they see an opportunity. They see an upgrade.”
I felt really bad for him. No one wants to be treated like a commodity…but women have been treated in that way for years, haven’t they?
The conversation brought to mind the recent (and very foul) utterances of Maurice Ampaw, a man who calls himself an advocate for women and who practices law in Ghana. He said that Ghanaian women are “very cheap” and have been raised to “give sex easily”. Assumedly discussing the recent rape allegations against KKD (a longtime broadcaster), Maurice Ampaw said he did not see why any man should have to rape a Ghanaian woman. All a man had to do was offer her a few sweet words, buy her an item or two and in return, he’d be “rewarded” with sex.
“Ghanaian ladies are not difficult at all,” he asserted.
Now, I am never one to tell a woman how and what way she should show her appreciation for gifts or money she’s received, but a man can’t come armed with gifts, approach a woman with the sole intention of having sex and expect to fall into “wifey” material. That’s just not logical.
Kofi* agrees. He too is on the hunt for a wife.
A few months ago, Kofi sent me a still shot of another woman’s gaping vagina. It was crimson red and slurry. I did not feel turned on at all. I asked if he was.
“Not a bit,” he sneered. “It just looks odd.”
In talking with Kofi this weekend, I was reminded of the flame red vagina with no name and asked him if he had any plans to get personal with it, since he’d be meeting its owner for dinner later that evening.
“What for?” he asked with a scoff.
The question had answered itself. What for indeed? That’s the risk one takes in sexting. Sometimes, it has the opposite of the intended affect. Kofi tried to explain how quickly he was turned off, but could hardly put it into words. He’s not alone. Can I get an amen from any girl who’s ever received snaps of a tiny penis in her What’sapp?
I’m really bothered by this, because I want to see my friends – male and female – settled and happy with their spouse, since this is what THEY want. I don’t think you should ever get married if you don’t want to; but a good number of people in Accra want to! What’s the problem? Is it a lack of quality men? Is there an absence of practical women who are too devoted to The Fairytale? Or is everyone just a little too invested in what they think they can get from the other person?
I’ve painted a bleak picture of the Ghanaian dating scene, but I’d love to hear how it compares to where you live. Tell us, so I can send my friends to your corner of the world!