Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Language. A barrier in Love and Marriage

For a while now, I've been observing couples who marry partners of different tribes to see if language is a barrier to effective communication in love and marriage.
I recently stumbled across an interesting piece about “language barrier love” by dating coach Jag Carrao. In the article Carrao outlines the pros and cons of being in a relationship where the two people don’t speak the same language. On the face of it, it would seem like a recipe for disaster but Carrao says there are many advantages to having this type of communication gap.
Among them are:
• No man-terrifying “relationship talks.”
• Fewer heated debates (about politics and religion)
• Less ambiguity about date logistics (aware of the language barrier, he nails down date/time/place to avoid any misunderstanding).
• Exotic charm of endearments uttered in a foreign tongue.
• And most importantly: less conversation, more kissing.
Read the complete article here.
I partly agree with Carrao’s opinion that when there is physical chemistry or a spark of mutual interest/curiosity the language barrier can kind of cut through the crap that often exists in dating someone who speaks your native language. But I think eventually the curiosity wears out and then it just becomes really tiring.
Having a language barrier may initially be a fun adventure, but it can mask some serious issues that may come back to haunt the couple down the line. In the initial stages of dating, people are generally on their best behavior. Throw in a language barrier and little things you would’ve easily noticed early on in another relationship with a person who speaks your language, may wind up going unnoticed or swept under the rug. For example, views about women, family, money, etc. Of course a lot of these bigger misunderstandings stem from sociocultural differences, not just the differences in language, but the language barrier may initially cover up these issues.

Let me bring it home. lets look deeply into some of the problems associated wit marrying someone from a different ethnic background from yours in Nigeria. I speak Ibo,so lets assume I marry a Yoruba man. what will we speak at home? Ibo? Yoruba?English? what will our kids speak? I do not understand Yoruba, I am not a fast learner when it comes to languages and if i don't understand Yoruba,what will i teach our kids? if we go to visit relatives,should they speak English because of me? will i keep asking him what they are talking about,or better still,i ll record the whole conversation and get him to translate it to me when i get home. we cant communicate privately in public,i cant communicate to my kids in private when people are there,this to me is one of the most terrible things ever. i remember when we were kids and we had a visitor,my mum could could comfortably tell us a secret or send us on an errand without her guest being the wiser. my neighbor is a classic example of couples with language being a barrier to effective communication. she is an igala woman and he is an ishan man. she does not understand a word of his language and he does not understand hers either,so they speak English even when they shouldn't,they fight in English,they quarrel in English and we hear things we should ordinarily not be privy to. their kids only speak English because the man has refused to let his wife teach them her language and she cant teach them his either.
now lets talk culture differences. my friend is from imo and she wanted to marry someone from Anambra and her father said a big no to that. why? different cultures. as a stranger to a new and totally different culture,one might find himself/herself suffering from culture shock and may find it really difficult to adapt. some of you might be familiar with the movie"not without my daughter" where an American woman who was used to being seen and heard got married to a man from the middle east,she was expected to cover up like their women and basically not be seen or heard. at first,she felt like love was enough to see them through,but eventually even the love cooled off and she was left to face reality.
Some of us find ourselves in situations like this,and most often than not,we feel love is all that matters. personally,i feel there's way more than just love to consider when going into a marriage union. so many other things should be taken into consideration,and this is just one of them.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

50 Things you should know about Me

I did this a while ago,and i had to modify it because some of my tastes have changed. so here is me @ a glance. Enjoy.

1. I dig God,HE is d center of my existence,the reason I am alive today.
2. I luv music,all kinds,especially my naija music. They just no how 2 get 2 me.
3. I have over a 200 novels n counting,yeah am crazy about novels,all kinds.(I attend parties with em)
4. I hate exams of any kind. When I become the minister of education, I'll...
5. I can eat rice n stew 24/7.
6. Am extremely beautiful,yeah,i no,i hear it all d time. Lol.
7. Dis is a well guarded secret,i no am going 2 marry peter okoye of psquare (if I ever meet him in dis life time)
8. I luv 3 colors. Black,black n black. My friends think its cos am evil. Lol.
9. I luv having fun,hate dull people!
10. Elders seem to think am rude cos i always look people directly in the eye.(please tell me Whats wrong with that).
11. Its funny,some people think am the most playful person in d world,while some think i don't no d beginning of d word play.
12. I luv singing, I'll probably never be maria carey,but i dey try.
13. My childhood dream was to be d first lady of dis country,well to be one am gonna need a president. Yet to find him.
14. I once thought i was heart broken,but i got over it d next day.(does it count?)
15. I luv meat,but i have to reduce it 4 fear of gout!
16. Nothing turns me off in a guy like bad English,its disgusting,especially wen he thinks he's just IT!
17. I hate it wen guys think they r God's gift 2 women just cos they're fine. Its crazy!
18. Before i hang out wit a guy,he must be fine,a sharp dresser n wit a sense of humour!
19. I have a perfect picture of my future husband,in case d peter plan fails. Lol.
20. I luv jeans,i wear it 2 school,work,everywhere. I have all kinds of em. I luv whoever invented jeans!
21. I hate maths and anything related to it!
22. I totally hate school,i think its a means created to waste d first 24yrs of our lives!
23. My greatest fashion statement is my makeup,n my hair.
24. I like money.(yeah say wot u want,who doesn't like it)
25. Am not really into jewelries,actually am not into em at all.
26. I luv d simple things of life!
27. Am very photogenic n i have d best smile ever because of my very sexy lips!
28. I luv kids,gonna have loads of them. Lol.
29. I don't do flowers,so guys don't waste your money,buy me credit instead.*winks*
30. I've always wanted 2 visit Venice n Malaysia.
31. I never forget birthdays,so i wonder how people always forget mine. Na wah o!(its October 18,just in case your wondering)
32. I luv taking long walks,it helps clear my head.(i heard its exercise)
34. I think am romantic. If d mood is right.
35. Am hydrophobic.
36. I have 3 teddies. I don't think they'll want their names made public,they're kinda shy.
37. Am not as stubborn as i like to think i am,although people think otherwise.
38. I like romantic guys.(yeah i no, i no,dis shit is over rated),and he should be occasionally spontaneous.(note d occasionally).
39. I don't do ice cream,its kinda too cold,i really don't see wot d attraction is anyway,its just water,colour n sugar!
40. I hate work,am kinda  lazy.
41. I absolutely cannot do without my phone,no sir!
42. I rarely get angry,i guess am jus really nice.
43. Am a very gud listener.
44. I dey speak english die,i mean wot do ya expect,i studied d language for 4 yrs!
45. I hate Osaze Odemnwingie. he was supposed to be my future husband,then he went and married some white girl. *hiss*
46. I totally do not do alcohol.
47. I hate ironing,dats why i wear jeans n tops. They do not really require ironing.
48. I get bored easily.
49. Am going to become a star,its not an option!
50. I totally rep Naija. Yes boss!

Ps: arsenal rocks!

Monday, June 18, 2012


Hello again, my topic today is one that has been on my mind for a while now and I decided to share with you.
A little intro: girl likes to read novels a lot and likes her rice really soft. Girl meets boy, boy does not like novels, does not like soft rice. Girl totally stops reading novels even though it makes her unhappy. Girl starts cooking rice half-done even though she hates it. Boy is happy and none the wiser. Girl is unhappy but trying to please boy.
So here is what I am asking, why do people loose themselves and their self essence in the hope of keeping their partners happy? Specifically why do women loose themselves in trying to keep their men happy? Before the men begin to crucify me, I am not writing from a feminist angle. I’ve observed relationships and also from my own experiences, I’ve seen that it is mostly women who are affected by this.
A friend of mine loves to wear skirts, she had all kinds and she barely made up. She is a really beautiful girl (not up to me o). Then she met this guy. One day she came to my house wearing jean trousers and fully made up, I almost didn’t recognize her. When I asked her what on earth she thought she was doing, she said, “It’s how Tayo (not real name) likes me to dress “. Throughout the duration of her stay, I noticed how uncomfortable she was and I had to ask her if Tayo put a gun to her head and forced her to dress like that, she said she was doing it to please him, even though she hated it. I was stunned. I asked her if Tayo knew about how she felt dressed like that and she said he did, but he liked girls who wore trousers and were fully made up with the nails and eyelashes properly in place. Anyways, I felt she was exaggerating, I mean, when he saw her was she not wearing a skirt? Was she not without make up? But I still told her not to lose herself in pleasing him.
Two days later, I was supposed to go to the movies with them, so I went over to her house and Tayo was there. After she had finished dressing-in jean trousers and a top I knew she was not comfortable in – Tayo looked at her as if to say aren’t you forgetting something? She had just on a little powder and a light lipstick, infront of me, she actually pleaded with him to let her keep her light make up and he sulkily agreed, but you could see the petulant look on his face, so she had to go back in and apply the full works of mascara and the likes. When she was in the house, I tried talking to Tayo about it, and his reply? “I like girls like that”. Where do you see that relationship heading? My friend is always going to hate herself whenever she goes out with him, but she will stick with him and ENDURE! I told my colleagues at work the next day and some of them said so what? It’s a small change and she should be willing to do that if she loves him. It usually starts from there, she changes her dressing, her religion, the types of food she eats and maybe at some point, her sex, if he so pleases!
Now, I am somebody who believes in compromise, I believe we all go into a relationship with our own quirks and so should be able to make compromises to accommodate the other person’s eccentricities to a certain extent. Should some changes be made? Definitely, it stops being just you, so you need to change some habits where necessary. But should you lose yourself and all you stand for? HELL NO!
Sometimes in a relationship, you realize that there is nothing left of you because you have changed totally just to accommodate one who isn’t even willing to make one little concession for you. Why I said it applies mostly to women is they have the hard time of it trying to show a man that they are “wife material” so they blindly assent to whatever he says, and at the end you don’t even know who you are anymore. Sometimes I wonder if the men aren’t bothered. Do you not want to know the real her? Do you not want to know what she likes too? Do you not believe in compromise?
Well the women are not free from blame too because they act like it’s no biggie while they are unhappy deep down. Why not tell him that you don’t like making up or wearing skirts or trousers? What makes you think he won’t accept you for you? Why can’t you stand firm and let him know that some things cannot and should not be changed? Why act the martyr in the name of love?
I remember a movie I watched years ago, some of might be familiar with it. “The runaway bride”, featuring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere. There was a scene where he asked her how she liked her eggs, she said scrambled just because he likes it scrambled. After quizzing her for a while, he found out that her choice of egg depended on the choice of whatever boyfriend she had at the moment. She had actually forgotten that she had a right to like it differently. Does that sound familiar? Does that sound like you? If yes, then you need to go on a self discovery journey before it’s too late. There are some things about you that should NOT be touched!
Personally, I love to read novels a lot, I actually have over 200 and counting, I hate onions and I want to be buried in jeans. Yes, I love jeans that much. So if I meet a guy who hates jeans, am I supposed to stop wearing them? Seriously? I could reduce how much I wear them, but stop??? NO. I could start liking onions (I don’t even want to think about it) but don’t expect me to start drinking garri with it.
Finally, I am not saying we should stubbornly refuse to change anything for fear of losing oneself, there should be room for change on both ends, but the most important thing is to still retain that thing that makes you to be you, to still retain your essence!