Think Like a Man, End up Without One [2]

couple

 

The Guy’s Girl

When Yetunde asked me where to meet up the following day, I didn’t hesitate before suggesting Babs, a sports bar. Calling Babs a ‘sports bar’ was dignifying the seedy, open-air joint in a backstreet in Surulere that sold cheap beer but also screened live football matches. I knew Yetunde wouldn’t have any qualms about hanging out at a beer parlour, surrounded by a crowd of raucous, sweaty, beer-guzzling men. I’d started giving her directions, when she cut in. She knew the place. I wasn’t surprised.

Yetunde was the quintessential guy’s girl. She loved video games, argued about politics and football and drank Guinness Extra Stout. But it was more than that. She understood men in a way that was uncanny. Whenever my girlfriend and I had a bust-up, Yetunde was my go-to-person. Majority of the time, she sided with me. I don’t think it was because we were friends. She would subject me to a grilling; she only wanted to hear the facts but didn’t want any important detail omitted. She would analyze the issues—a painstaking process that usually ended with her concluding that my girlfriend, Funmi was at fault.

Then she would laugh and say, “But you better go and apologize to Funmi. Forget about my analysis o; all that is English. I’m sorry, that’s what women want to hear.”

It was easier to apologize to Funmi after my conversations with Yetunde; that Yetunde agreed with me was enough vindication.

We had to raise our voices to hear each other above the din at Babs, but there was no lull in our conversation over the ninety minutes of the game. I couldn’t remember the last time I laughed so hard. I asked her, half-teasingly, if she now had a boyfriend.

“How can?” she laughed. “If I had a boyfriend, would I be here with you?”

“Come on, be serious. How about that tall, skinny dude I saw you with a couple of times at the cinema?”

“It’s always the same,” Yetunde replied, her voice dropping a notch. “He didn’t want a relationship.” The expression on her face suddenly became serious. She went on, “It doesn’t look like it would ever happen, Akin. I’ve started preparing myself for a lifetime of singleness.”

I faltered, unable to come up with an appropriate remark.

“Why are you looking so concerned?” Yetunde quipped. “Are you my father?”

I doubled over with laughter.

As I drove back home that night, light-headed from the beer and the euphoria of Arsenal’s victory over Chelsea, Yetunde’s remark about bracing up for a lifetime of singleness came back to me. It made no sense why a girl who got along so well with guys, shared our interests, and reasoned the way we did, seemed incapable of being more than just friends with any guy. Would I date her myself, I wondered, as I turned into my street. I chuckled. The thought was ludicrous. It was a question I had never considered, not even fleetingly.

It wasn’t that Yetunde wasn’t attractive. Far from it; boy, she nearly caught me staring at her behind on our way out of Babs that evening! I was also certain it had nothing to do with being friend-zoned or any such nonsense. Then why did the idea of dating Yetunde seem so incongruous? This was a girl I loved to hang out with, a girl who always cracked me up. Why would I not want to be with her?

Then it struck me with sudden clarity that defied the wooziness in my head, as I arrived at the entrance to my house: was it because Yetunde was too much like men that successful romantic relationships with them continued to elude her?

I haven’t been able to answer that question; neither that night nor in the six years that have passed. I am now married and I have two daughters. Yetunde is still single.

 

© Olutola Bella @ Bellanchi

 

 

Photo credit: SnapwireSnaps/ http://pixabay.com/en/couple-laughing-happy-people-598315/

 

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

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65 thoughts on “Think Like a Man, End up Without One [2]

  1. It seems people really aren’t that interested in peace, happiness or even love when it comes to attraction.

    Maybe the saying about sex and violence being the same thing is closer to the mark than we’d like to admit.

    Like

      1. Yetunde seems like she would have made the author happy, comfortable and at peace. I got the sense that’s partly why he couldn’t imagine a relationship.

        So, if we aren’t after happiness, peace or comfort in a mate, what are after?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Hmmm . . .

          Commenting on the narrator’s state of mind, the author, Olutola Bella says,

          For all we care, it may have been the alcohol that made him find her attractive that night!

          He continues,

          Still, there is empirical evidence – a history of platonic relationships with men that have never resulted in more – that we cannot discountenance. At the end of the day, we can only form our own conclusions & hope that Yetunde, someday, finds love.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this cause i actually pictured everything in my head… in a similar way I can be like that (like yetunde) but does that mean that Men dont like to date someone like them (not like them exactly ) but someone they can relate with? I mean is it a bad thing to be like Yetunde? I dont think it is.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Is it a bad thing to be like Yetunde? I tend to agree with you, I don’t think it is.

      In part 1 of the series, Ife advocates being the best version of yourself. I like to think that if ‘Yetunde’ does that, there’ll be someone out there who’ll fall for her brand of uniqueness 🙂
      Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Very interesting angle to the topic…I wonder why women would want to think or act like men. Nature wired us differently, besides feminity is a very powerful tool that has tamed many a hard man & toppled governments. I kinda like aimpurpose’s post about a ‘brand of uniqueness”. A few women are tomboys and that’s ok so long as it’s not forced. Joe Odumakin is all gangsta but Yinka fell for her that way.

    Thumbs up Timi

    Like

    1. “. . . feminity is a very powerful tool that has tamed many a hard man & toppled governments. ” XD Perhaps thinking like a man is a strategy to gain the upper hand in the game of love.

      Good of you to bring up Joe Odumakin. Maybe shared values and a common struggle serve as glue.

      “I had vowed that I was not going to marry except there was democracy until I met Comrade Yinka Odumakin in prison; one thing led to the other and we got married.”

      http://www.vanguardngr.com/2013/04/17-times-in-detention-joe-okei-odumakin-opens-up-i-met-my-husband-in-prison/

      Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The quest by the modern woman to know what her man thinks…has been derailed by the lies peddled around in the name of psycho-analysis.

    One of such lies is the movie “Think like a Man Act like a Lady.” My problem with all such prescriptions starts with their titles.
    (The aforesaid are the introductory lines from one of my blogposts)

    We are all humans at the end of the day though with varied proportion of flaws and virtue.

    Like

    1. “The quest by the modern woman to know what her man thinks…has been derailed by the lies peddled around in the name of psycho-analysis.” 😮 😕 o_O

      Abundance and ready-availability of information is one of the hallmarks of the times we live in. I try to keep an open mind 😉 . . .

      Thanks Charles!

      Like

  5. Timi, interesting topic.
    I Write and speak on relationships, among other subjects. I have tons of advice for ladies on my blog and in my books.
    There is absolutely nothing wrong with Yetunde. She just doesn’t want to get married. If she wants to get married, she KNOWS what to do instinctively as a woman, and if she doesn’t, she could always read my books.
    @tonbareg, many guys are attracted to ‘strong women’, and what says ‘strong woman’ better than a female engineer,holding her own in a male dominated profession?

    When you see Yetubde, ask her if she wants to get married. Her answer would probably be ‘I don’t know.’ However, if she says ‘yes’, then I can tell her what to do.

    And single women, please don’t fall for Steve Harvey’s sensational book, ‘Think Like A Man’. If you want to attract a guy, you should think and act like a woman. Men will fall over themselves to get a confident woman who embraces and celebrates her difference and her feminity.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi PraiseGeorge, it’s an interesting topic, indeed relationships make the world go round. I think it’s high time Tola fishes Yetunde from wherever she’s hiding to take advantage of the goodwill and wealth of advice not just you, but others have been giving.

      Tola, where is Yetunde? 😉

      Like

      1. Diana, I’ve lost you . . .
        @“she KNOWS what to do instinctively as a woman”.

        You move from culture to culture and expectations differ. You move from person to person . . . 🙂

        On the other hand, the “instinct”, may not be so instinctive, otherwise all the single ladies who have identified a potential partner would have been married by now . . . 🙂

        Like

        1. “she KNOWS what to do instinctively as a woman” I was simply quoting praisegeorge, saying I found that interesting.

          “may not be so instinctive, otherwise all the single ladies who have identified a potential partner would have been married by now . . .” Knowing what to do instinctively doesn’t guarantee anything, though I suppose it can stack the odds in your favor. As you say, it’s richer and more complex than one factor. =)

          Liked by 1 person

  6. Wish i could tag the Yetunde in my life and make her read this. We’re still friends after 9years and she’s not in a relationship but she keeps giving me the best advice whenever I have a misunderstanding with my gf. I asked her for a relationship for over a year and she just wasn’t sure our deep friendship would work well in a relationship setting. It sounds absurd to me but I actually had to tell her I’ll jilt my present gf for her any day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, one man’s meat is another man’s . . . bone? 🙂

      I guess it isn’t easy to transition from friend-zone to romantic-zone. There’s also the danger that if romance fails then a great friendship may be ruined.

      Long time Tobi!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I enjoyed this piece Timi! There is certainly going to be a guy that would be attracted to Yetunde’s “brand of uniqueness.” It just might take a while as it has in her case. Plus, i think there must be something she does acting like a woman really… Thanks for sharing!

    Like

  8. Aha! A man taught me this “Think like a man…Never be mistaken for a man” I was schooled by a very randy male cousin how to use my wits to make d one I wanted, gun for me. The rest didn’t matter. They were free to friendzone me

    Like

  9. When I first received Timi’s email asking if I’d be interested in contributing a piece to this topic, I latched on to 2 suggestions she made – the endless possibilities the topic offered & that I should try not to let my contribution be my pulpit. Embedded in Yetunde’s story are endless possibilities. Samuel may be right when he says Yetunde may have evolved from thinking like a man into acting like one. But then, isn’t behaviour the end result of how we think? As Ifemmanuel ponders, does the problem lie elsewhere? I for one wouldn’t trust the narrator’s clouded judgment in figuring out why it hasn’t worked for Yetunde. For all we care, it may have been the alcohol that made him find her attractive that night! Still, there is empirical evidence – a history of platonic relationships with men that have never resulted in more – that we cannot discountenance. At the end of the day, we can only form our own conclusions & hope that Yetunde, someday, finds love.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. @ pulpit, lol! Your story is a great way to get the conversation on possibilities started. I enjoyed it and liked Yetunde straightaway. I kept thinking, I’d like to hang out with her, but not at Babs! 🙂 But, would she like to hang out with me?

      Ah, I forgot how alcohol impairs judgement . . . oh oh!

      Tola, you’re right, there are as many variables as there are conclusions. But, there’s a common thread in the sentiments shared: we want Yetunde to find what she’s looking for.

      Kudos to you for making us fall in love with a strong, yet vulnerable character. And thank you so much for sharing this piece with us.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I know too many ladies with Yetunde-like qualities; they all have men queuing for them. Yetunde’s case is sad but I believe the problem lies somewhere else, not in the thought that she’s too much like a man.

    Does an uncanny understanding of men imply being like them? Isn’t that just the end result of heightened empathy?

    Na confusion full this love matter jare. I hope Yetunde finds the one she’s looking for; that’s the least she deserves.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Does an uncanny understanding of men imply being like them? Isn’t that just the end result of heightened empathy?”

      Lol, I love these conversations! Samuel (below) says maybe she took it another notch and started to “act” like men.

      @confusion XD

      Can you hook Yetunde up with one of the men queuing for women with Yetunde-like qualities?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Timi, what do we make of statements like “act like a man.” How do men act? Reminds me of African Souldja’s contribution last week: “Men don’t know how men think.” In the same vein, men can’t agree on how men act.

        BTW, I have a few good qualities, but match-making is definitely not one of them. And if her friend is married with kids, then she’s well out of the age bracket of the folks I was talking about. And you know how age is not just a number here.

        Liked by 2 people

          1. Yes there are some behavioral differences, but many of those differences have nothing to do with our capacity to love and be loved in return.

            A man doesn’t have to be uber-macho to find a woman, neither does the woman have to be pliant (or any other stereotype) to find a man. We all simply have to fine-tune our characters until they become as good as they can get. All very unique and filled with idiosyncrasies that refuse to be pigeon-holed. And all with someone out there who is ready to embrace it.

            If, perchance, there is no one like that; well, this is where my pseudo-wisdom ends.

            @ age matter: My life is filled with age-related anecdotes which I’m ready to share when needed. 😀

            Liked by 2 people

  11. Nice piece. Reminds me of me when i was much younger. I studied engineering when few ladies studied engineering in Nigeria. The first day of lectures was odd cause i’ve never been in a class filled with so much guys. Well as time went on we (the ladies) learned to toughen up not that we planned to but circumstances caused us to for instance lectures usually started by 7am in the morning so there was no time to make -up and look pretty you just got up took a bath put on your jeans and headed for class so you could get a good seat.

    There were other instances were you would be teased or ridiculed for one reason or the other in class by some of the guys because you were a girl, i remember one of my male class mates telling me not to allow these guys talk to me like that i had to toughen up and stand up for myself i took his advice and learned to toughen up gradually i was becoming like one of the guys and could easily fit in with them.

    One of the other things that happened was that most of the guys in our class didn’t date us the ladies, they preferred your friends in social sciences, or legal or any other departments and were always begging you to introduce your friends in the other departments to them. Once i asked a guy why the preferred the ladies in other departments and he laughed and said something like look at all of you (in engineering) you are just like us look at the girls in other departments can’t you tell the difference? Then it didn’t matter much all i wanted was to get good grades and graduate.

    Fast forward to after graduation i realize i didn’t have too much of a social life i had a lot of male friends (infact my best friend through university was a guy) but was not in any relationship and when i managed to get into a relationship it didn’t last long. Later i read John Gray’s book “Men are from mars and women are from venus” and it completely changed my perspective about life. I learned that i could still embrace my femininity and be all i wanted to be i didn’t have to be in competition with men all the time, i didn’t always have to be as tough and prove am just as good or better than they are by being macho i could be lady and still be on top.i also learned being a woman was not a disadvantage, i didn’t have to be as strong there was no need to prove anything i was not a man period.

    I still practise as an engineer and work in a male dominated industry i’ve learned to embrace what i can do and what i cannot and am ok with it and am succeeding where my strengths lie. And as per the relationship angle , well i did get into relationships and even got married with kids so i guess am not doing too badly.

    Sorry this is so long just wanted to share that the ‘Yetundes’ out there are not totally hopeless! I may be wrong but this is my story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience. I don’t mind that it’s a long story because it sheds light on the conversation. I hope it proves helpful to others.

      There’s much to ponder . . . for example, being in a male-dominated industry and not loosing your femininity . . .

      Yes! We’re all rooting for Yetunde! 🙂

      Like

    2. Tonbareg, I worked in the engineering world for over 12 years and have known female engineers, several married with or without children.

      I also have a 29 yr. old niece who graduated with an university degree and worked as a geotechnical engineer for a few years…before she dropped out to write romance novellas. No kiddin’. She’s been living with her engineer (civil) boyfriend for last few years.

      I actually find this whole notion of women acting like men and turning off men, just not helpful for the women themselves. And I know long time women cyclists …who I would define as tough, independent, etc…..and married.

      Like

      1. “I actually find this whole notion of women acting like men and turning off men, just not helpful for the women themselves.”

        Hi Jean, that may very well be so. You know, I think that apart from physiological differences between men and women, socialization also plays a role. Cultural contexts differ. Even the definition of tough, independent, can differ from society to society as well as the character traits that are prized. And, within a particular society for every norm, there’s an exception.

        I like to think there’s someone out there for Yetunde 🙂

        Like

        1. Yetunde has had to compete / assert herself in work male-dominant workplace and in training/school. It’s serious….I’ve seen the interactions in social and work situations in my jobs. My respects for her….

          But not all men are close-minded nor need at all a woman to flirt for them to understand the genuine heart of a woman, no matter what her personal style/personality may be.

          She doesn’t need to flirting to be “desirable”. She just is “sexy” because she is genuinely herself in all positivity.

          My partner is also an engineer by training, part of his career, etc. so he and I have chatted the world of engineering and women engineers.

          Like

          1. Jean, your experience in this area certainly gives you perspective. While we’re not sure what Yetunde does for a living, Tonbareg is an engineer working in a male-dominated field. Probably there are points of consonance between yours and her views.

            Yes, men and women can’t all fit neatly into stereotypes.

            Like

      2. Hi Jean, all my female colleagues happen to be married too and i really don’t know their stories or experiences like i don’t know yours or those you mentioned but what i shared is my own story. I think what happened to me can happen to any other woman irrespective of profession i was just trying to identify with Yetunde as it relates to me and i have seen other women in other professions with similar experiences too.

        Like

        1. I agree, tonbareg — for other women in other walks of life too.

          I have not figured out what behaving like a man that may be a turn off to some men: Is it being practical and quite analytic without getting too personal? That’s how I’ve found it hanging out with guys. Or making gentle insult jokes which guys do amongst themselves? But women don’t tend to do the latter without getting quite offended/hurt..

          Part of my story is in my blog….I met my partner @32 yrs. just a few months after I bought my home. Life can take some unexpected turns.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Though we lived in separate homes, lots of visit/stayovers! Best decision for us during those first few years before moving in together: he raised 2 of his children from his former marriage. I felt it was pointless to try to be a 2nd mother when their mother was already a good mother and kids were already accustomed to a certain style of parenting.

            Like

  12. A well-written and touching story. This happens all the time but it’s a mystery all the same. It must be that Yetunde moved one notch higher–from thinking like a man, to acting like one. I wish you find your true soulmate Yettunde. You deserve better. I am rooting for you.

    I enjoyed this very much.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think Yetunde really wanted to find the “one.” She may have been tired of being/having good friends! 🙂

      Your comment reminds me of something I saw about male-female relationship:

      A guy and a girl can be just friends, but at one point or another they will fall for each other maybe temporarily, maybe at the wrong time, maybe too late, or maybe forever ~ Dave Matthews Band

      Liked by 2 people

  13. Story readily brings to mind how guys wish all the desirable features from a variety of lady-friends were contained in one, their eventual spouse. Realistically, though, wouldn’t that make a Frankenstein of a sole mate?

    I like this piece.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol, I suppose so! Your comment reminds me of what Steve Harvey says in his book, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man:

      “. . . the only way a woman can truly be completely satisfied is to get herself four different men—an old one, an ugly one, a Mandingo, and a gay guy. Now the four of them combined? They got you covered.”

      XD

      Liked by 1 person

  14. This made me sad 😦

    I do know relationships should be two halves making a whole. Perhaps that explains Yetunde’s problem? She’s always turned out to be the same half as the men she’s been hanging out with.

    Don’t remember which of your guests wrote last week about men expecting a bit of drama from women (?). If Yetunde’s defying ‘drama’ well then …

    Like

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