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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

How Is It Done?

Back in the days, a girl dared not just go into a relationship with a man. It was systematic process. “Boy sees girl boy finds girl’s friend/acquaintance acquaintance talks to girl about boy girl tells acquaintance what she feels about boy acquaintance goes back to boy to deliver message acquaintance organizes the first formal meeting between boy and girl (Usually under some tree…lol).”

The process doesn’t end there. Boy makes his intention to court girl known to girl’s parents Depending on if girl’s parents concede, courting continues Boy goes back to make his intention to marry girl known The two families meet Marriage rites are observed Several steps closer to “Happily thereafter”
Yoruba Parents

I know my timeline might lack a couple of details plus it is a Yoruba perspective but you get the picture, right? Today, the process has been modified and it is more complicated and confusing than it used to be, what with the influence of western culture.

My people, I am confused. At what point does a girl bring home her boyfriend? When they have just started dating or after ___ days/months/years/lifetimes? More often than not, the girl is closer to her mom, right? So chances are that Mummy knows, but not Daddy. Especially when Mummy is here and Daddy is based there. At what point does daddy have to know then?

Furthermore, boy meets girl, they date and yada yada (all of that good stuff). When is it “right” or shall I say “appropriate” to collect that bended-on-one-knee-then-proposed-ring, before a formal introduction to girl’s family or after? If it is before, isn’t that a bit presumptuous of both boy and girl not to involve their families? Likewise, if it is after, where lays the surprise/giddiness in the bended-on-one-knee-action? You might as well tell me “Ehnehn, now that we have gotten the introduction done, your ring is on the refrigerator, wear it!” or better still, “What ring? What for?!

I don’t know if it is the culture that complicates this because as far as I am concerned, boy/girl doesn’t bring girl/boy home unless s/he is saying that he/she is the one. If this is the case, how is the relationship supposed to be like before they are both sure of their intentions for each other, an open secret?

Help a sister out, impart your knowledge people!


  1. aww, unfortunately i'm clueless in that department. I feel like you can casually introduce your man to your parents as the guy you're dating just so they know who you're with. It is after he proposes to you that it can now get serious and you can call your parents over the phone to tell them he proposed. Ater that, they can set a date for the formal "lets-get-to-meet-the-man-that-wants-to-steal-our-baby-from-us" meeting.
    And i feel like, you nd your guy would both know when it is right. If you've reached that point where you start talking bout future plans and u both tend to include each other in your talks bout the future, then it jst may be that he may pop the question. It also depends on age cos younger guys are more interested in temporary flings and relationships, while more mature guys are interested in long term commitments.

  2. Hmm...I think the answer to this is really individual to those concerned. I've heard of traditional guys who preferred too ask the parents first before popping the question. Evenn with that, there can still be an element of surprise if he plays his cards well. Personally I'm very reserved, so though my family knew of SO before, it was after I made sure he was the one and had accepted a future together that he got to speak to them.

  3. Personally, i'll opt for:
    (1)boy asks girl out and they start dating
    (2)girl tells mum, siblings n friends so its not a secret. Mum prolly talks to boy on the phone sometimes and stylishly prepares dad's heart
    (3)boy n girl becomes steady then girl brings him home to formally meet the parents
    (4) parents like and accept him, he takes her home to his parents too
    (5)boy shops for ring and activates most romantic side to deliver the best proposal stunt ever *wink
    (6)girl agrees to marry him and proper Introduction is done (both families meet)
    (7) gingle the wedding bells *whoop whoop*

  4. Here's what i feel about this; making boy meet your parents depends entirely on both of you.As a gurl,you mostly know when a guy is serious about you and if he is,then you also should be able to tell whether he is willing to take things further cos if he isn't,then he'll likely not want to 'meet the parents'.Also,it's mostly better to give it time,like a little over a month before making him meet them.Then concerning the right time to collect the 'ring',it is always best to have gone deep into the relationship before accepting.The less surprises from your partner,the better and the more you time you spend with him,the better you know him.

  5. I really doubt whether there is a set way of doing things. I would suggest you guage the mood at home to see how you go about it.
    However, I do like PET's suggestion though

  6. LOl....honeydame, Are you thinking of taking your relationship to the next level? I wish I could help out, but I have no idea of the answers to your questions...

  7. I like PET's angle.

    Usually, the mom is the first to know. Personally, if a guy n I wanna be starting something, momz will know n prob meet the guy......just cos I value her opinion(she sees things I seem not to see). Waiting till he proposes before introducing him to the parents can be a bit 'hitchy'....wat if they dont like him? So, I think its good to carry them along....mom first then mom eases daddy into the picture.

  8. Yeah! it was much easier then..hmm..to your question: I REALLY DUNNO, but just as MW said, it depends on the individuals...BOTH OF YOU AND YOUR PARENTS. As you said, the western influence had changed a lot of things, so SOME are more westernized than others, and SOME more conservative. For instance, if the gals parents are S.U, you know better than to present a guy when he had not proposed to you. But if the gals parents are the 'freedom-of-expression' type, then from day one or few weeks of dating, he would be known.

    Well,from the 'naija- good-gal-perspective' she would tell only her mummsy & siblings but popsie 'pretends' not to know until when mummsy would tell him that 'visitors' are coming to knock on their door soon....so TELL YOUR MUMMSY FIRST AND SEE HOW THE BALL WOULD ROLL..goodluck and best wishes :)


  10. maybe it's culture, i casually bring home boys and my mom knows better than to think i'll be ending up with him. but, i only bring home boys i'm fairly serious about or have plans of pursuing. i don't want no stalkers near my house! lol :)

  11. well, in my case, my folks knew my boyfriend, he had even come over for a chat with my dad earlier in Jan, that was a condition for me, before i agreed to meet his mum. but my dad was still mad that i accepted the ring before discussing it. but my dad is a difficult and opinionated / traditional man

  12. There are so many ways to think about it. I guess there really isnt a perfect way when it comes to customs and traditions..they all have their flaws...I wish I had more to share but you know about my saga! Good luck!

  13. P.E.T. has a very good plan. I concur...even though that wasn't exactly how mine worked out...I had a ring before I told my parents about him (although my siblings knew him).

    There are no set rules to follow...do what works best for you guys.

  14. i dont know much about this but here is what i think.
    i so agree with p.e.t and i'll let mama know from the BEGINNING wen i see things are getting serious,if she knows about it then it should be easy to convince EVERYONE else including dad.i personally talk to my mum about boy/relationship things cos i dont rap with dad to that extent (awon disciplinarian).go through the one you are closer to before the proposal.

  15. This thing is not clear cut. It depends on what works for both parties. As for me and OH, I did not even waste time cos I knew I'll be spending a lot of time with him and I don't like going to so many places.
    So I just introduced him to my mum few days after he relocated, just so he could be coming to my house and we could hang out there.
    He also introduced me to his parents a week later, though we don't hang out there.
    As for the proposal thing, it will just be formalty between us as we are already planning and even chose the marriage period. lol

  16. I jst wanna say THANKS for offering to skype. i reaaaally appreciate it, and i feel much better now :)

  17. Lol!! Honestly oh- plenty confusion. I think formal introduction now is after a proposal. And a proposal depends solely on the guy. I think that's how it is. I wouldn't know sha oh!


  18. I think it's differently for everyone. I've brought my two ex boyfriends home so that my family knows them and I don't have to play hide and seek...but once the family gets involved it gets complicated...so it's hard to say mehn

  19. This wan na exam question. I guess if the couple is going steady parents should know who the mate is. Which makes it easier if the guy wants to go a step further, cause he can have a tete a tete with your father/Mother and pending on their approval can then happily pop the question (all without you knowing the behind scene action).....a girl can dream right??
    I have 2 girfriends who bought their rings themselves. I have been binding that kind of occurence in my life! shuo?

  20. blessings.....

    There is nothing that says you cannot do the traditional route if that is what you desire.

    Should you choose the more modern route I'd say if you are dating someone until you are both sure that you want to be exclusive then it would be the time to do the introductions. Till then always let someone know where you are, stay on top of your game by always being in public places and make sure that your head and heart are in agreement.


  21. my dear, truth is, we're not oyibo! for us there are lots of factors to consider.... if u're not sure ur parents will even approve of the union, never collect ring yet! But if u both dont see any reason your parents should not support then go ahead and get proposed to!

    Lemme tell one truth, I went with my hubby to buy my engagement ring... I picked it myself and he officially proposed when we were sure the coast was clear....chikena!

  22. There's no hard and fast rule to relationships. What works for A may be a total disaster for B.

    In my own case, my family is very close knit so it's imperative for my siblings and mum to meet him before the relationship goes to the next level.


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