Save me from the male ego!

If you’ve been reading for a while you know that I haven’t had much success in the romance department. I thought I’d found love with a guy I started talking to long distance in late 2009 but that ended last year and sparked the Love and Learn series. Since then, things have not gone well with other guys I’ve talked to. Because I’m a chronic over-thinker, it has occurred to me that maybe I’m the problem. Since I’m the common denominator in those situations I need to examine my habits and patterns very carefully.

I like to be straightforward, especially when it comes to romantic relationships, because I don’t ever want a guy to feel like a breakup came out of nowhere. I let him know how I am feeling, even if it could hurt his feelings (but not because I want to hurt his feelings—there is a difference!). So I’ve told guys that I’m not happy with how things are progressing, that I don’t feel like they’re making me a priority, or that I don’t like them the way they like me. I always tell them (and thankfully it has always been true) that they are a great person and I’m sure they’ll meet someone who’ll love them exactly as they are. I don’t tell them to change. I don’t get emotional, I don’t yell or scream, I just say what I think, what I feel.

The majority of the time, I get the response most guaranteed to slay me. The moment a guy hits me with the following one-two punch, I know the male ego has been activated:

  • if tells me that I’m not getting any younger (bonus points if he calls me 40 even though I just turned 34)
  • if he tells me that I’ll be single for life because I’m too picky

Ouch. It always hurts – a lot – because it echoes fears that I sometimes have.

My reaction to the above is to say ok, and let them know firmly that it’s over and that I wish them well (and I do because I’m glad I saw this side of them before I got deeper into the relationship! I learned a long time ago never to get down to the level of hurling insults.)

I’ve asked friends the best way to let a guy down, and I’ve been told that we ladies must protect their ego at all costs (barf!). I’m told I should just stop answering their phone calls and eventually they’ll get the message that I’m not interested. That seems cruel, but whenever I’ve been upfront, men have showed their ego and left me feeling hurt and insulted, so maybe the “protect-his-ego-at-all-costs” method makes sense.

Update on my love status

I’m still single and I’m hoping to find a good man soon. I am demanding. I expect a man who has decided to pursue me to make me a priority. I want to be adored (all I mean by that is I’d like him to be smitten, and be unafraid to show me that he’s smitten: a man who plays hard to get will not be ‘gotten’ by me). I consider all of the following bad behaviour:

  • irregular (or no) calling, emailing, or texting (he doesn’t have to do all of these all the time but he does have to keep in regular contact) or not responding to calls or texts from me
  • calling while clearly doing something else such as eating, hanging out with friends (unless it’s because he wants me to talk to them), driving (it’s dangerous!), teaching his sister to drive (yup, it’s happened and I’ve called him out on it!), or any type of multitasking
  • disappearing because he’s going through a hard time (hear me out: even if he can’t or won’t talk about something, he should be able to send an email or a text saying “Going through something right now; I’ll be in touch soon…take care”. Disappearing acts are not a turn on!)

Avoiding these bad habits are so much more important when one is in a long-distance relationship: things are hard enough without wondering what’s happening halfway around the world because someone is incommunicado.

Maybe my dad spoiled me, but to me, a man (or any person of integrity, really) keeps his promises, his actions speak louder than his words, he finds a way to keep up with his responsibilities, even if he’s having a bad week or month. If he can’t do something he promised to do, he’s upfront about it and doesn’t blame others or circumstances. He takes responsibility, asks for forgiveness if necessary, and moves on. If he’s platinum level, he finds a way to make up for any missteps.

I’ve been more protective of my heart since last year, but I know I have to let my walls down a bit if I want to let someone in. I don’t think I’m asking for too much (but I’d still like a Yoruba man who’s older than me and who loves God more than he loves me). I know how much love I have to give, and what I’m willing to do for someone I love. I also know how susceptible my heart is: I grew up on romance novels and romantic movies, and regularly get goosebumps after hearing particularly touching lyrics in a song. I have countless examples of men who have pursued women in the way I wish to be pursued so I know what I want is out there, that it’s possible. (And fine: I may have to compromise on my future man’s nationality and age but please let me give God my wishlist for now!)

Ladies: How do you deal with the male ego? Men: Has your ego been stung before by a straightforward woman?

38 thoughts on “Save me from the male ego!

  1. Hi GNG,
    I have been following your blog for sometime now, and beginning to pick up some quite interesting (i must say) stuff on here… am not going to beat about the bush as most of your friends are wont to do on here…no…i would tell you like it is…
    First of all, you seem to have a lot of demands from men, they should be this, they should be that…but have you looked inwards….properly looked at yourself and take stock of what you think needs to be done for men to actually take an interest in you. For example, (pardon me here, am gonna be cruel) That pic of you and your bro at your sisters engagement in Nigeria doesn’t do you any justice, one… young ladies nowadays sew their ankara or lace material into very lovely dresses which show off their legs, am not saying your attire wasnt all dat..it just didnt do you much justice…secondly, you need to use a firm and good bra which would give a very good uplift to your bosom. I have also noticed that you have also got the same hairstyle at all times, my dear you need to move with the times….you need to ‘style yourself up’ I am not saying dress like a tramp….nooo…you can still dress nice and look really stylish…make different hairstyles and to be honest you dont need to spend a lot of money..(see youtube videos for lessons on that). Lastly, in addition to all this, maybe you need to go out more, reduce the time spend on netflix ( yeah you said that) and go out, meet people, my dear no man will come and ask you out in your own home….you need to be out there, in the libraries, cafes, work, ‘friends do’ …you know things like that…anyways ve probaly said too much and get a backlash from your friends ( which i know i’d probably get) but i just had to say something…take care…and please continue praying..am praying here with you….

    • Hi Sarah!

      I appreciate your comment. I do spend a lot of time looking inward: I started this entry by saying I’m the problem and I also tell guys that it’s likely me, not them, and I don’t ask them to change (I didn’t put that in there so people could say “No GNG, you’re not the problem”; I actually mean it).

      My entries are always based on my own experience, so this post is based on men who approached me – plain appearance and all. If a man has expressed interest in dating me I expect he’ll treat me well. I agree with you that I can improve my appearance and get out there more but I’m disappointed that it appears (please correct me if I misread your comment) you think the treatment I want is contingent on me improving my appearance and getting out there more. I think people should treat everyone they meet in the ways outlined in my post, regardless of whether the person is a potential boyfriend or girlfriend, a sister, a parent, or a friend. I don’t think I’m asking for too much.

      If I had complained, asking why men aren’t approaching me, or focused on physical attributes of my future husband, or demanded a certain income bracket or profession (or other materialistic thing), I’d totally understand people thinking “Um, who are you to demand so much?” Even where I say my hope is that my future husband is Yoruba and a few years older, I later say that it’s my wish, and I may have to compromise on that.

      Thanks so much for your comment. I can tell you put a lot of thought into it and I appreciate that…and your prayers too!

  2. Hi there,

    You seem to be a intelligent, educated, balanced woman, certainly deserving of all the essential TLC treatments you’ve listed as your due in a relationship. I’m afraid to say, however (and I’m not sure your friends have been sufficiently blunt about this) that the single greatest obstacle between you and Mr. Right is your weight. A certain minimum level of attractiveness is essential to any relationship, and while you are intrinsically pretty, the weight is unattractive and a deterrent. Yes, I know some awareness of this exists in the back of your mind, but having read your posts in here, and having the male perspective (being male) it is clear to me that you’re operating under a delusion. Yes, I know losing weight is difficult, but just how badly do you want to find a mate? Have you clearly asked why an otherwise great woman has only managed one serious relationship in 34 years? Do you want to be writing blog posts like this when you turn 40? If everything remains the same, the chances that you will still be hunting at 40 are VERY REAL. I mentioned your friends earlier on since I’m certain they are all very well-aware of this; however, friends often don’t tell friends essential hard truths. I am not a friend, so I am not so constrained. I do wish you all the best, and my prayers also go with you. You do deserve the best.

    • Hi Dan Onymous (nice moniker)

      I understand you think my weight is the reason I’m single and I can’t say you’re wrong. However this entry was about dealing with guys who have expressed interest in dating me or who I have dated. When I call it off or express my displeasure with how things are going, that’s when they start telling me that I’ll be single for life or that I’m old, which to me are responses coming from injured male pride.

      I could do more to increase my appeal but that wasn’t what this entry was about. I’m not sure how many posts you’ve read but weight has come up before and I’ve never discounted it’s an issue (no delusions here!). Your male perspective is appreciated.

  3. i dont know if think this is really about that Dan,even if she is a truck size, no man should use that as a punch line,let alone a guy she is intrested in….
    No your standards arent too high, mine are far higher than yours you dont even want to know them but have i got that person yes!Lest i forget i am also overweight!Wanting someone to treat you right has nothing to do with your physical attribute.You need to watch Shallow Hal!Am i saying being over wieght is good,do you know if GNG is working on that?you and i dont know that!GNG i pray you not only marry well but live a HAPPY life,at your age ppl expect you to settle for less,please do not and remember you are a WIP(WORK IN PROGRESS) MAKE THE BEST OUT OF YOURSELF.

    • “Wanting someone to treat you right has nothing to do with your physical attribute.”

      This comment of yours says it all for me, free thinker. Thank you for the encouragement and the prayers. I am definitely a WIP and working on being my best each day.

  4. Hello Free Thinker,

    Yes I agree with you, weight is not the only consideration a man must make. What I describe is simply about dealing with chance, and the realities of our world. I have known many women in exactly the same circumstances, who hold out hope that the “right man” will appear who will ignore their size. They wait and wait, and the years pass by. The reality is thus: many good men will overlook a good woman for the simple reason that her weight is unattractive. This factor reduces the chances of such a woman finding a good man. I congratulate you for finding the right man for you, yet I hope you will agree that it does not change the realities of our world.

  5. Dan, So by your estimation, you gather that every woman who is smaller than GNG and her age is married or has a man? Fa-fa-fa-Foul!!

    You might like your women smaller and that’s great for you but you cannot categorically say that GNG’s weight is a factor in her being single. Free thinker used herself as an example. There are soooooo many ‘big’ woman in happy relationships. Of cos everyone must do what they need to do to be healthy but please…There are also TONS of skinny woman looking for good men to settle down with…what’s their own problem?

    Yes, men are visual creatures and a lot of men go straight for certain types, that however, does not mean something is wrong with a bigger woman or some men don’t like their women that way. Why create unnecessary self esteem issues for oneself in the name of finding a man? So if she becomes a size 2 and doesn’t get married within six months can she come and sue you?

    • LOL your last line made me laugh, Nwa.baby. I agree with you: a lot of men, even the majority, may prefer a slimmer physique but I refuse to believe that I am doomed to singledom because I’m not a size x. After all, God is in charge and as long as I do my part (get into my best shape, get out more, etc) God will surely bless me.

      Thanks for your comment.

  6. …but these first 2 comments shaaaa!! Na wa oh. They say if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything. Attaching “i’m not trying to be mean” to your comment doesn’t remove the sting.

    Ah well…its the internet. I guess when you ask for input from strangers everything goes.

    Sorry oh, GNG

    • Lol thanks dear. Having a public blog and allowing comments from everyone means you’ll get a range of comments. If I have “constructive criticism” type comments I’d rather send them by email than post them publicly but everyone’s different.

  7. Hey GNG I think what Sarah and Dan were trying to say is that men are very visual creatures (which is 100% true) so try packaging yourself in an appealing way to attract a wider range of guys. Maybe their delivery did not come out right but I think that is the message they were trying to pass across. You mentioned previously that you wanted a Nigerian (Yoruba) man specifically is that still the case? You may want to cast your net wider and socialize more like Sarah suggested. All the best hun rooting for your lovelife!

    • Hey Pendo, thanks for your comment.

      I understand where they’re coming from; I was just surprised because that wasn’t the point of my post. If my entry was “why don’t men like me?” I could better connect their feedback to my post. Instead the post was wondering why men have a hard time dealing with a polite “no” and feel the need to hit back with below the belt comments.

      I do appreciate their comments (and yours) though, because it’s good to have an outside perspective on my weaknesses.

      • I understand. To answer you question on the post men do not take rejection very well hence the below the belt kind of responses from them when hit with a no. A guy will refer to you as being curvy when toasting you only to resort to calling you fat when you reject his advances. I can’t explain why they do this but I have witnessed this a lot. Maybe it is just the way they are wired not sure….

        • Well that certainly makes sense; thanks Pendo! I expect that behaviour from immature kids but I guess when rejected some men revert to that level. :(

  8. Hello GNG,

    I’m a guy who loves brave beautiful classy ladies like yourself, I believe you are perfect in your own way and have an understanding of what waiting for the perfect person is. Keep being yourself and for sure you’ll find the perfect person for you. love D

    • Aww thanks D! I like how you said “perfect in your own way” and “perfect for you” because I’m not seeking perfection, just someone who is as great for me as I am for them – it’s got to be a mutually beneficial partnership.

    • Hi Berry!

      I love my language and culture and the hope is it’ll be easier to preserve both if we’re both Yoruba. It’s not a guarantee though and like I always say, God’s will will prevail: I’m not marrying a Yoruba guy if God’s clearly pointing me elsewhere!

  9. GNG, what you have asked for is not too much. If one is in a relationship and communication is not forthcoming mutually and constantly then i believe the lagging partner is not in it.

    Love comes to people of different sizes, shapes, color, disabilities. Everyone deserves love and deserves to wish to be loved in a certain way. Don’t let anyone tell you different.

    What shines forth about you from this blog is your big kind Christian heart. Your consistency. And your getgo attitude. God will surely give you a man that knows the value of that and who will love you deservedly.

  10. Have you considered going to networking events or try speed dating (if it still exists)? It’s important to get out and do something beyond work and hanging out with people you already know. Do some volunteering, too!

    • Thanks for your comment Cynthia; those are good ideas. However, my entry wasn’t about how to meet guys but rather how to deal with the male ego.

  11. Some people missed the point of the post it seems. But yeah, the male ego can be a huge problem in relationships, especially when they’re not getting their way. As a single lady, I also preferred the letting the line go method of breakup than direct talks that may bring out the worst in everybody. Try that, or simply develop thick skin. All the best, dear, it will work out before you know it with a guy that will love you like you expect.

    • Thanks for your practical advice, Myne! To me, just letting things drift off seems cruel but I’m starting to believe it’s what men actually want.

  12. How many Yoruba guys live in North America and are PR/citizens?

    There are two types of single Yoruba guys; those that got their PR as adults, and those born in North America. For those who came to North America as adults, since they already have PR, they will always prefer to marry Yoruba girls who live in Nigeria, because of similar background. The North American bred Yoruba does not have similar exposure.

    Going through your previous posts, you seem to think that love can not be conditioned. Although you seem to have conditioned yours; someone who is 34+, taller, and North American PR. There is nothing wrong with a Yoruba guy in Nigeria (who wants to experience this side of the world) to condition his love among other things to North American residency. I think you should make your other citizenship a selling point, not a barrier (a couple can move to another country together or one can bring the other over).

    Guys have individual reaction to the manner in which the ‘no’ is conveyed. Just as ladies have individual ways of saying yes or no. It is rude to ignore people’s calls or stop replying to their messages. I think it is only right to do so when you have expressly said ‘no’ in the first instance.

    Some guys like their ladies fat, other like them slim. But I can swear, all guys like their ladies to groom and look beautiful (in their eyes). The advice given by Sarah on bra and the other women stuffs is important, so you don’t attract rude guys again. There is nothing immoral about it; guys first look at girls faces and then their bosoms, both in real-life and picture.

    • Hi GNB (hehe—copycat!),

      I wasn’t asking for pointers on how to meet more men but your advice is appreciated since I may one day want this advice.

      To clear up some things you said:

      • I’ve never had North American PR/Citizenship as a requirement in my future husband. The last three men I’ve been building something with were all based in Nigeria.
      • Regarding conditional love, I’ve never asked for more from a man (or friends) than I’m willing to give, and I always encourage my friends to call me out on bad behaviour. I do demand a certain level of treatment from men and anyone I am friends with (and expect the same from them).
      • I agree with you that it’s rude to just ignore someone but honestly I’m sick of the rude comments I get from grown men when they feel rejected.
      • “The advice given by Sarah on bra and the other women stuffs is important, so you don’t attract rude guys again.”

        This makes me sad because the suggestion that improvements to my appearance may prevent rudeness from men doesn’t speak well for your sex, but maybe you have a point. I never thought that maybe these guys are thinking “How dare this less than hot girl reject me, does she know how much I’m honouring her by trying to be her boyfriend?”. If that’s the case, well it just confirms that the male ego is a real issue.

  13. How did a post about rude reactions from your ex-dates turn into sermons about what you should do to get a guy? hmm …. I have not had any experience with such rudeness when I was single and turning people down, which is appalling cos I believe honesty is the best policy and I appreciate similar honesty in guys. I really can’t advice suddenly not picking up calls etc cos I would absolutely hate that done to me. That being said I guess I don’t have any words of advice unless you lie to the guy that you are so sorry but you are about to date someone else or something cos that way they have no room to say anything else about you being dateless at a certain age etc. good luck!

    • Thanks mpb…I was hurt initially, but now I’m just baffled by how my entry was misread.

      I’m with you: the reason I always like to end things simply but definitively is because that’s what I’d want. My friend suggested making up a new boyfriend for the same reason you suggested…not a bad idea and maybe I won’t have to lie because it’ll be true!

  14. Wow sometimes we Nigerians can be like hyenas we just jump on issues without really considering the premises .. Probably why English is not our natural talent … Well I will address the issues as below

    1. On men’s ego: personally I like guys with a big of ego coz I have ego myself .. And to be honest if a guy allows u to walk all over him .. He won’t make a good future husband eventually his tendency to say yes dear all the time will drive you crazy and bitter . Nothing like a man who can handle his emotions . And if you break up with a guy and he throws your age issue in your face , then he is probably insecure and not worth the emotional capital you are investing in him in the first place. It is possible to love someone unconditionally without the age issue being involved . Love is deeper than age

    2. On meeting men – well lets face it Nigerians in North America are not really making a good name for themselves . Have you considered hanging out with all these phd overseas students ? They seem to better catch than the random ones who are just looking for papers at least they are more focused and long term thinking . If that doesn’t work , am sure God has a plan for you Jeremiah 29 :11 , you may be old but gal u r fabulous , successful and pretty . So what if you demand yr future husband treats u like a queen, you have worked hard to get to where u are so why shud some guy come and get it so easily ….

    3. On physical appearance : ok u may be a bit on the big side but so what as long as it doesn’t affect ur weight . To me bold is beautiful . Am size 2 and it doesn’t make me any more more attractive . To me the biggest asset a man or woman can have is confidence ! Take an ugly guy who is confident intelligent and has a great sense of humour . To most ladies he turns into idris Elba . Same goes for women , take a bold, beautiful big woman and hit her up with confidence and larger than life personality , she becomes prettier than Halle berry . I have a friend who was size 22 when she got married , after 3 kids she and her husband enrolled in the gym and now is is about size 14. Size 22 or size 6 if a man will love u he will still do

    4. On dressing up: the first two comments are quite rude and illogical . Not everyone over 30 want to be showing their legs and boobies . It gets to a stage u have to cover it up ! You have a lovely shape . You just need to accessorise a bit more and wear bold prints . Make up is not for everyone and I think u have a flawless skin , you don’t need make up to make you look better . Yes men are visual animals they look at ur body before they can discern if they are attracted to you , there are ways u can disguise ur figure. You have a great waist , break up yr body by wearing stuff that draw attention to your waist !! I know u didn’t ask for advice on this but I think u have fab breast ( am 100% straight) and v necks will look great on you !

    The dress for the wedding is good , it is easy to forget how hot Nigeria is ! That wearing the latest style / trend is easily over ridden by the need to feel comfortable ….

    5. Why did I write an essay or defend you so much ? We live in an era whereby people are like you have to be this otherwise you don’t get this . Especially among Nigerians they is too much negative stereotype . We judge people on the tone of their skin , their level of spirituality , their academic qualification , their family background , their age , etc do we ever stop a minute to lift someone up ? All we know to do is negative criticism , no wonder things are not moving.

    Ok am done ! Can I have an award for the longest comment on this topic ?
    Fine ! I will send u my address I want a Toronto post card at least :) xx

    • Mo:

      I’m not too sure if the poster meant that GNG needed to show her legs/etc… I think the poster just meant her wardrobe in general (i.e. following Stacy/Clinton’s “rules”). I’m a fashion/style/lifestyle blogger and while I don’t usually dress like the socialite bloggers I see at events, I definitely show up at events dressed professionally (from the fashion world’s perspective, anyway) – never sloppy (even if I’m at a fashion show as a photographer – in fact, I don’t dress like many of the (male) photographers who often look really sloppy). When someone dresses well, he or she automatically feels much better about him/herself and people will notice. It’s not about size – the blogger at Curvy Canadian (http://www.curvycanadian.com) is most definitely not size 0 (she’s not even a 16), but she always looks extremely presentable – she’s one of the “it” girls when it comes to the plus sized blogging world (in Canada, at least).

    • Hi Mo!

      Thanks for your comment. The advice given by you and other commenters on my physical appearance and meeting men will definitely be taken to heart when the time is right. I liked your final words about the prevalence of negative criticism. Anyone who says they hear unsolicited criticism (even if it’s constructive) and don’t feel a twinge of “Hey! How dare you?” even for a second is in denial or out of touch with others. Even if you eventually dismiss a piece of criticism as malarkey, when you first hear it there’s an instinctive reaction that is human abeg!

      Hear hear to lifting people up. That doesn’t mean you don’t share criticism but do it with love, and let it be constructive.

      About your prize for the longest comment, it’s well deserved —we need to talk! ;)

  15. Good grief.

    If you break up with someone politely (which is hard to do!) and they respond with below the belt comments, they’re the ones with the issues!

    And no, a simple text saying “I’ve had a horrid day and I can’t talk, I’ll text you again next week” is not too much to ask.

    I don’t deal we’ll with the male ego myself and I do try to avoid it at all costs. I can assure you that men do exist who don’t have these issues. The problem is they seem to be hiding!

    • Hey Amanda!

      Thanks for chiming in–much appreciated! I totally understand why you’d try to avoid the male ego because I sure haven’t figured out how to deal with it yet!

  16. One of the thing i like about your personality from my observation is; going straight to the point” about how you feel to someone who’s close to you.
    Bottling up something thats not suppose to isn’t helping relationship matters but most didnt know or let me say “they intentionally ignore”
    And no, i havent been stung by a female ego

    • Thank you for your comment, Tunde! Yes, I really don’t like it when people lead others on so I mention it whenever I can. People sometimes don’t speak up because they want to avoid drama, or confrontation—but sometimes you have to be an adult and deal with whatever comes your way as a result of doing the right thing.

      Hehe, the male ego definitely trumps the female ego!

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