I know I am not the easiest person to get on with, I am opinionated, I can get into a strop, the words sometimes come out before I think of the repercussions, I drink too much, I smoke to much, the list goes on. But I am a happy person in general and only get pissed off when someone intentionally pisses me off. I don’t just wake up in the morning and say, I am going to start an argument with X just because. In fact, if I do get to the point where I have to open my mouth and give you a bollocking, trust me, it was probably a long time coming. All I want, is that one person, just one, that I can say, I am in a relationship with, and it is going somewhere. I have been racking my brain trying to figure out, what a relatively, quite nice person like me is still doing single, and I think I have it, especially from the experience I have had with Ghanaian men. It’s emotions. I am just too darn emotional, plus I have yet to manage expectations. The truth is most men (this is based on the population size that I have encountered and that of my friends, before I am blasted) are fickle creatures. They are fairly shallow, and are looking for someone who is an angel in the kitchen and a whore in the bedroom but do not need to be bothered by things like your feelings, or any emotional needs that you require from them. Love is just a four letter word, and it comes out just as easy as hello or it never comes out at all. None of this Mills and Boons bullshit, romance means 5 minutes and if they really like you, a further 5 minutes for foreplay. If they put petrol in your car or change a light bulb, then girl grab him, he’s the one, because basically that’s as good as it gets.
Time, is what you get when he has nothing better to do, and don’t think just because he used to call you every day, he is going to keep on doing it. That’s the tactic he uses to get you into bed, once he’s popped that cherry, he doesn’t really need to waste time trying to impress you anymore.
Before I left for London, my auntie said, love with your head not your heart. If you want to go out with a Ghanaian man, that’s what you have to do, because once those emotions come in, and you start to wonder why he doesn’t care about your feelings, that’s when you get called a nag.
I am not saying that all men are like that. In fact I had a wonderful year long relationship with a wonderful guy back when I first got to Ghana. He was attentive, we spoke to each other every day, we used to go out for dinner, did the whole walk on the beach thing, it was the best 12 months of my life. Unfortunately, he was betrothed to someone else, I don’t know if he did what he did because it was to be a short term thing anyway, but even though it ended, I still think of him fondly, and he really is a nice guy (I can say that now 5 years later, now that I have got over the heartache).
I still don’t think all is lost. Especially when there are a lot of young men in the diaspora coming back to Ghana, which is why I am remaining cautiously optimistic. In the meantime I tell myself, watch out, for every nice (or semi-nice guy) there are 10 mother****s with an agenda, especially when there is a chance at a foreign passport at stake. Those ones are the most slick and the most dangerous, so be on your guard.
Although this may seem like another man bashing post, I would rather look at it as a public service email. And I would like to end this with a few top tips on signs to look out for if you are going to go out with a Ghanaian born Ghanaian man.
1. He must have traveled. I find, Ghanaians in general have a habit of putting people down, they have a can’t do attitude, and some can be very misogynistic. Even if he has been on holiday to the US or UK for a break while at school, he tends not to have that narrow minded view of the world.
2. He must be educated to degree level, and ideally at one of the big three: Legon, KNUST or Cape Coast. These polytechnics tend to give fancy titles to what is essentially half an A-Level. You know were in Ghana because we have been educated to a certain level so you don’t need no B-Tech boy, trust me, his reasoning is very different and a lot more open to a difference of opinion. Also, either his parents have a bit of cash or he has worked very hard to go to one of the top 3 universities, so less likely to find he’s another opportunist catching a ride on your dual nationality.
3. Beware of fake accents. If he is slanging you like Mike Tyson but the closest he has been to America is from watching American movies, he’s looking to hitch a ride there, courtesy of your dime. He’s as fake and dishonest as the accent.
4. If he says I love you within the first few weeks of meeting you, he is going to fall just as easily out of it after your first argument. The only person he loves his himself and is playing you for a fiddle.
5. Beware of the bragster. “I know this person”, “My father is a doctor”, “I used to drive a Harley Davidson” (even though today he is driving a 20 year old Opel). It’s all meaningless bullshit, don’t even entertain what he has to tell you next, because he’s spinning you a line. He’s an opportunist.
I went to an interview last week, and the lady told me that her motto was “I am not going to lower my standards just because you refuse to raise yours”. It’s a jungle out there and when you wake up one morning the other side of 30 it is a scary thought. But you have two options.
1. Look at it as a financial transaction, salaries are not so great in Ghana, especially when starting out in life so two salaries are better than one. Find that guy who can potentially be the father of your child, look after the home and just put up with it.
2. Keep those standards and pray for the best. Now I am not saying that you have to have unrealistically high expectations, men are men after all, there are some compromises we have to make, but if he doesn’t care to hear your opinion, or thinks that posting a picture of him hugging up a lady friend is not disrespecting you, maybe you need to think twice about entering into anything more with him. If he ignores you when you are ill, maybe this guy is not going to take you in sickness and in health. If he tells you that he is coming over, then doesn’t turn up, instead goes out drinking with his buddies, maybe you are not even on his top 10 list of priorities.
Whatever you do, go into it with your head, put aside those emotions, forget the “I love you, I love you”, that’s only for the movies. And most importantly, beware of men bearing fake American accents.