Temporary romantic partners: to have or not to have?

While the term dating has many meanings, the most common refers to a trial period in which two people explore whether to take the relationship further towards a more permanent relationship

I got that from Wikipedia.


Now, the term “dating” is one of those terms that people seem to have different meanings for. I sensed this when I was told by a colleague, “Hey, you only live once.! This is your time to have fun! You’re so choosy at this dating thing. Seriously.”

Well, I’m sorry, but if dating means making out with every Tom, Dick and Harry I go to the movies with, then no thanks. *insert appropriate grimace*. I’m particular about those I let into my personal space.

Temporary romantic partners are people we date with no intention of settling down with them. Yep, situations like this exist. They’re even more commonplace than you could imagine.

I was shocked when I had a discussion with a friend and she mentioned the man she was dating. In my typical blunt way, I ask, “Do you see yourself spending your life with him?”

“No”. She says.

I am more shocked, if that’s even possible. “Why are you then dating him for Pete’s sake?” I’m perplexed. She’s pretty, not the kind that lacks male attention.

She gives me that “Don’t probe too much” look. I will not mention what she eventually tells me is her reason for being with him, but it does nothing to ease my perplexity.

It doesn’t help that most people who date in our Universities have no intention of ending up with the person they date. It has a name even. It’s called “school boyfriend or girlfriend”. It’s not supposed to be serious.  It seldom leads to marriage; as a matter of fact, of the many school boyfriend/girlfriend situationships I’ve seen, only one has ever led to the altar. Mind you, most of these relationships while they exist, bear every mark of “legally married”, while being everything but. Back in university, we actually had a “couple of the year” award. And no, the nominees and eventual winning couple weren’t married but they played their roles beautifully, playing husband and wife like their calling. That’s how normal it’s become.

Dating should be fun, shouldn’t it?

Of course. But that’s not all there is to it. Unless the world became full of selfish, pleasure seeking millenials while I was asleep. How do you explain dating a girl for years and knowing fully that you do not intend to marry her when you’re ready to settle down but want to have all the “fun” now in bed and out of it?

It’s different for the “modern” folks who believe that sex is like a meal you should eat whenever you feel like and move on. If both parties are aware that they’re being used by the other as a “fuck buddy” and they’re fine with it, then hey, whatever rocks their boat. Check out popular scenarios:

1. Girl and boy meet in uni, and decide to date exclusively. They become intimate by plan or by chance. One of them likes the fun and the ride, but knows he/she would never settle for current partner. Years down the line, one of them walks. Dumpee is shocked and wondering why. Dumper doesn’t give time for the dust to settle. Dumper’s next post on Facebook is a wedding picture.

2. Guy meets a pretty young girl and decides he wants her for his wife. She doesn’t love him but because he seems to hold the key to her family’s financial emancipation, she tells him that she has to finish school before they can take their relationship to the next level. He agrees and trains her through 4, 5, maybe 6 years of University. She has a plan all this time. As soon as she completes her program, she tells him she has no interest anymore(old news!) and takes a walk. *insert nollywood dramatic soundtrack*

3. Girl meets famous guy and falls hard. He has other girls but hey, he’s famous so she should be happy she even gets to be called the “main chick” and hang on bis arm at events. Eventually one of the “side chicks” bears him a kid and he has to let main chick go so as to do right by his child. Of course she goes. She must have known that with his roving eyes, their relationship was even less than temporary.

It all boils down to using people and loving things. We love what we can get from people: fame, financial security, perhaps even love(in some weird situations) , but we cruelly use the people themselves to get these things.

Ours is a generation of selfish and myopic cowards, pardon my French. Wanting everything but too lazy to get it the right way, and blaming everyone but ourselves when things go wrong.

Having fun with friends is a great way of building a solid support system, and by all means, experience all there is to experience. As long as it doesn’t end up with you having the body count of a public toilet, or a litany of broken relationships to spice up stories for your future grandkids. You don’t have to be your own Guinea pig. Learning from other people’s mistakes is usually the best way to gather experience without actually living the experiences.

The problem? We don’t stand for anything anymore, and so we fall for anything. If we weren’t such shallow minded pleasure seekers, we would “guard our hearts with all diligence”. Whatever then manages to get in, would be real.

The time to walk is before someone’s heart gets too emotionally invested

Be open and communicative! That way you know just where you’re headed in the relationship and you know when to stop the charade(if there is one)

Stop being a doormat and hoping your partner will change if you do this or that better. He/she probably won’t. Save yourself the hurt down the line and take a walk before you become too invested.

If you’re looking to “forever” and your significant other is looking to “live the moment”, you might just need to develop those leg muscles. Take a long walk.

I’m hardly qualified to speak on relationship matters, but these are truths that people are ignorant of in the search for love or anything that resembles it. The loveless world we live in makes people cling to unhealthy relationships that do far more harm than good.

Don’t cling to shit. It will only make you smelly. Don’t be shit either. You’ll only be flushed down.

Oh-so-sincerely, Chibugo.


90s chick; nerd, humanitarian; lover of life, family, fashion, food, art and literature; Christian by birth and choice. In short, I’m like jollof rice: you’re gonna love me. 😉

10 thoughts on “Temporary romantic partners: to have or not to have?

  1. I enjoyed reading this. My opinion is that “the definition of dating is best left to those doing the dating”. I personally won’t date you if I didn’t already consider spending the rest of my life with you. Others may differ and date for “fun”. The concept of dating also involves certain unspoken words or vibes or tacit knowledge. i.e you sort of already know where the last bus stop will be (if there’s one). In summary, if the relationship doesn’t work out, the “daters” already know why… “details in the fabric” type of ish.

    1. Hello Exodusandalchemy

      I guess you’re right about the definition of dating being best left to those doing the dating. It’s just so glaring that people are searching for love in all the wrong places and in all the wrong ways.

      Thanks for commenting and have a great rest-of-the-week!

  2. Hi CIBUL.
    Love this post.
    The only people we can’t deceive are ourselves.
    So the relationships we are in, we already have an inkling of how it will end…
    Sometimes, here in Abj, people can do anything, to get what they want.
    People are just desperate, desperately evil.
    Forget the University vibes…not the couples.

    1. Hello Onyi.

      I’m glad to read your opinion. You’re right about knowing where our relationships are headed while we’re in them. In most cases we do anyway, but even when the future isn’t what we desire, we hang on. Why? It’s the fear of being alone. No one can be blamed really, societal pressure to be “in a relationship” contributes as well.

      The part about people doing anything to get what they want, even being in pseudo relationships, well, I can’t but pray that no one I know gets into such a bad deal.

      Thanks for commenting. Have a great day.

  3. When I tell some people that I hadn’t dated anyone I hadn’t planned on settling down with, they find it difficult to believe. That Igbo song that says ‘mete onye di mma enyi maka onunu’ (loosely translated to ‘make friends with a good person because of marriage’) has always appealed to me. Call me old fashioned or unadventurous but It saved me some energy. I don’t think I was cut out for so much dating anyway.
    Nice one Cibulicious. Good to have you back. The keke story was a nice read also. I’m your number 1 fan.

    1. Nulis!

      This is why I look forward to your comments. There are nuggets of Wisdom embedded in them always. I’m glad your opinion is on the same side of the fence as mine. I don’t particularly fancy walking into a place and running into a number of people I’ve been romantically involved with. Eeek! It would be a nightmare. I don’t know how people do it, seriously.

      I hope you’re having a good week. Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

  4. Hehehehe shitam!! I just want to comment so I will see what colour and design my comment icon will come in. Anyway, I like this piece. You didnt mention the very popular type of relationship these days where people have a full blown relationship on the internet, all options except of course seeing each other in person, knowing fully well that it will lead nowhere. For many people, this one is a lesser evil because at least the guy will send money to the lady at intervals but the girl gets to keep her body count at a minimum. And most times, both parties have physical, real life partners in their different worlds. Can we call this type temporary or non-existent?

    1. Lucyferrari, I can’t help but laugh at the scenario you painted.

      For the lack of a better term, I’d call that type of relationship a pseudo-relationship. Temporary? No. Non-existent? No, it did exist. It was all just not real. It can be heartbreaking, especially if one person was more emotionally involved than the other.

      Thanks for commenting, Shitam! ☺

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