Monday, 6 May 2013

When The Lady Has More

This is a spin off of my 'A Single Lady's Advice' series. To those I promised this note forever ago, here it is (It's been in my draft for a while). Sorry it took this long, I got too many agony aunt type of mails and I worried I was being mistaken for a relationship expert. Read at your peril, lol.

Ladies marry upwards; guys tend to do the exact opposite although there are exceptions to the rule. Marrying downwards is fueled by the man’s innate desire to provide and his cultural need for respect, dominance and control, at least to some extent. When he has more money and has achieved some level of financial stability, is better educated and intellectually superior, it’s natural for him to earn and keep a woman’s respect. The 21st century has however, turned this model on its head.

The dynamics are rapidly changing and traditional roles are losing relevance. These days we have stay-at-home dads and women who are breadwinners. Women are increasingly advancing in the corporate world and marketplace, earning more and proving the glass ceiling is just what it is, a myth. 

This scenario presents a unique challenge to the upwardly mobile, career oriented, urban dwelling single lady. Having more earning power means greater financial independence, which also translates to abstracts like increased self-confidence, self-awareness and assertiveness. 

By virtue of this success, the lady is no longer within reach or becomes unaffordable to the average Joe. As a result, ladies who are innately wired to marry upwards are beginning to look below their radar for Mr. Right and by doing so they have to contend with what I’ve termed The Class Distinction. When I say class distinction for clarity sake, I mean a situation where the guy is obviously not in your category. This distinction could be intellectual, financial or social or a combination of all. For example:

You’re more educated, went to better schools - He finished technical school and has a printing business; you finished from Imperial College and paid your tuition upfront. You may also have better elocution and appear better groomed by virtue of the kind of life and learning environment you were exposed to.

You come from a wealthy home - This is a very big deal not just because you had access to everything money could buy but also because coming from a wealthy home, you’re bound by a certain even if unspoken code of conduct: The kind of people you hang out with and places you go to, what you wear, what you drive etcetera. What I’m trying to say is, at every point in time; you’ll be dealing with societal, parental and/or personal expectations.

You have more money; way more than he does - Your parents may have given it to you or you may have made it yourself, the source is irrelevant to this discussion. Having more money simply translates to having better purchasing power and access to the finer things in life compared to him.

You’re more intelligent - You couldn’t have helped this bit, technically. It shows in the way you talk, carry yourself, express your opinions, proffer solutions and hold conversations.

You grew up and still live in a better neighborhood - The advantage of this is the quality of the people you’re surrounded by and the opportunities having access to them can provide. And with Nigeria being a very ‘Perception’ driven country, your social standing can improve dramatically just by moving to a better part town.

You’re more exposed - He thinks everyone in the North is Hausa, maybe ‘cos his travelling hasn’t gone beyond the southwest of Nigeria. You’ve covered 40 countries across 4 continents and can speak 4 foreign languages.

The most recurring concern I’ve heard from ladies who fall within the description above is this: How do I know it’s me he wants and not my money/influence/access? How do I know he’s motivated by love and not a more sinister objective? It’s easy for those around you to label him opportunistic, or for you to be so paranoid that you think any guy who professes love wants all you've got. The key lies in you being able to decipher what he wants; which may be:

Er...your money or inheritance - He sees you as his lifetime paycheck and a recession proof investment.

What you stand for and the people you have access to - You are the daughter of an influential person and have access to the high and mighty. It may make business development easier. Besides, his social status will gradually improve by virtue of his association with you, which may be the launchpad he needs.

The desire to dominate - His thrill may well just be that he’s dating the daughter of so and so, or the Director of an Oil and Gas consortium and she doesn’t eat without his say so.

You - He wants you ‘cos he loves you, plain and simple. You just happen to be from a wealthy home or have a lot of money but if you didn’t it wouldn’t change a thing.

I wish I could help you navigate this initial hurdle of figuring out why he wants to be with you, but I can’t. Instead I’ll ask you some questions, if you can answer them honestly, some things will become clear to you if you can be brutally honest with yourself...

Before I am accused of writing another veeeery long article, I’ll stop here. Part II will be posted shortly.

Stay Tuned…
©Naomi Lucas

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