I recall my younger days in Warri, Delta State, when a girl prefers one guy to the other, the usual refrain from the “loser” is, “I no know wetin she see for that guy body sef.” And he will go on a tirade, denigrating the “winner.” As I grew older, I kept ruminating over this remark, then it struck me: How you go take know wetin she see for the guy body? No be who wear shoe know where e for dey tight? She is the one in the relationship and knows what she wants, or at least she thinks she knows.
Some of the kidnapped Chibok school girls and other girls, who were rescued from Boko Haram fighters, went back to the forest to be reunited with their Boko Haram husbands, some after undergoing the de-radicalisation programme. The parents are wondering what has come over their children, while the experts who carried out the deradicalisation programme have given their own reasons.
They say those married to Boko Haram top commanders live like queens with maids at their beck and call. Relatively, they enjoy the best of life reserved only for royalty. Others might have developed the Stockholm syndrome, which means the girls have bought into the philosophy and cause of Boko Haram. Others are ashamed of the stigma that, they perceive, awaits them. May be, but the girls claim they still “love” their Boko Haram husbands. Whatever be the case, the girls are the ones in it and they know why, or at least so they think.
We have seen women in very abusive relationships. They get pummeled regularly; a black eye is a constant companion and each time you notice this physical violence, you wonder what goes on in their minds. Sometimes, they tell you it is over this time around, but you can no longer count how many times they have told you they are done their spouses/partners. “The next time you raise your hand against me, I am done with you,” is very regular on their lips. But as you are reading this, they are still very much with their abusive spouses/partners. Not that I want them to divorce or be separated from their spouses/partners, but only the living get married or stay married. But they are still there and they know why, or at least that is what they think.
What drives lovers to love come rain, come sun? What goes on in lovers’ minds that guide them in their decision on who to love and who to jettison. It is a mystery which we might not fully understand. We have often read about qualities women look out for in men and vice versa. The only challenge there is that this is a human phenomenon and stereotyping and categorization do not have blanket or universal application.
But we may say with some level of certainty, for instance, that teenage boys go into relationships primarily for the sex; it is mostly pleasure and the sense of conquest thereafter. Teenage girls, on the other hand, first of all want companionship. May be the sex can follow later. And that is where the complications and contradictions in teenage relationships come in. The boys want sex and now; the girls want companionship first and sometimes only the companionship. Companionship is an alien word in the dictionary of many teenage boys, at least when it comes to their personal relationships. It is this revolution of different expectations that is at the root of many teen rape cases.
To tighten the noose around the boys, many modern and smart parents no longer follow the old route of “don’t let any boy ‘touch’ you, lest you get pregnant” when advising their daughters. It is not true and the girls know it. They know much about sex because it is everywhere around them: social media and especially peers from liberal (?) homes. So the parents remind their daughters that if they get involved and get pregnant, they will drop out of school while the boy continues. Teenage girls have also learnt a lot about HIV, AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections.
But one fact, which is not often emphasized, is that, provided the man has no injury in his sex organs, it is more likely for a man to infect a woman with HIV via sex than vice versa. This is because women are receptacles. A good example is gonorrhea. A man can have unprotected sex with a woman who is infected without being infected, if he takes a good bath, especially with antiseptic soap, immediately after the sex. But there is scarcely any escape for the woman because some of the seminal fluid would have gone into her body. These are real life situations which young girls can easily relate to and modern parents rub them in.
Generally, people determine what they want from and in life and that guide them in their choice of lovers and ultimately spouses. It is often said that women, especially, want to be in charge of their own lives (and some want to be in charge of their spouses’/partners’ lives too).
Unfortunately, many of them (lovers) do not even know what they want and once there is no clarity of purpose, people do stupid things, make wrong choices and fall for all kinds of scams. Unfortunately, the world of lovers is a den of scammers and God did not help matters. He has so tightly compartmentalized every human mind that you do not know what goes on in there unless you are let in and there lies the problem. That is why some of us preach that you seek divine guidance in your choice of spouse.