My 10 simple rules for dating in Ghana

Normally, I only tell a few friends when I first start dating, it then transfers to the blog once the shit hits the fan and I am going through the 5 stages of grief. This time though, I’m sharing this with you guys because that’s the reason why I started this blog. That is, to share my whole experience of life as a British girl in Ghana.
After resigning myself to the fact that I will not get anyone who can handle me, I’ve started dating again. That’s always interesting in this country because I have yet to pass the 3 month probationary period, so we’ll see how this one goes.

In my previous blogs I was adamant that I will not date anyone who hasn’t spent a significant amount of time overseas because the mindset is completely wrong. This guy, however seems to be the exception to this rule, he’s never travelled further than the west coast, he is a little bit of a hustler. But he has a job, he is kind, and although I was hoping for an older millionaire, the main thing is he can pay his bills and he is coming across as a nice guy. So I’ll give it a go as it has been almost a year since my last disastrous dating experience, maybe he can redeem my faith in Ghanaian men.

Having been home for a while, and with time on my hands, I have been reading some of these self-help books, like the Steve Harvey book ‘think like a man’ and ‘he’s just not that into you’. They don’t say anything that we girls don’t already know (but always manage to ignore), but now that I am dating again and looking at my past experiences, I’ve put some rules together which I hope will stop history from repeating itself.

1. Attractiveness – I used to think that a guy that was less attractive of me would appreciate me and treat me accordingly. WRONG. What happens is that when they get you, they start having ideas above their station and think if they got you, they can get any girl. Find a guy on your attractiveness wavelength. This isn’t to say that you should hold out for a Boris Kodjoe lookalike, I mean that you know your worth don’t go below that level. A guy who is just as attractive as you are is comfortable in his own skin and so will not always be searching for more.

2. Be yourself – we say we want a guy who takes us for who we are, but then we meet a guy and somehow mould ourselves into a ‘perfect girlfriend’, then when our guard is dropped and the walls start to come down, the guy then say’s “you’ve changed”. Now as much as I find myself the full package (attractive, intelligent, kind etc…). I know I’m not for everyone. I have a friend in tobacco and alcohol. I could be a bit more tactful when I speak. In Essex, there is a phrase called Ladettes, looks like a lady but can fight like a guy. I could be described as one to some extent, depending on the situation. Of course I would not go to a black tie event and get so inebriated that I am dancing on tables, but if I’m out at a drinking spot, I would rather have a gin and tonic than a bottle of Alvaro. If you don’t like it tough. My drinking or my smoking doesn’t define me, it’s a small part of what I do, not what I am. This guy I met, he knows this, and has still decided to stick around, maybe he’s the one guy in Ghana whose mind is a bit open.

3. Interview – When a guy sees a girl, his first aim is to see how far his sweet talking can get him. Look at it this like a job application. When you apply you submit your CV (the sweet talk stage), next phase is the interview. Have set questions in your head, and ask them on the course of the date. Ask for their long term and short term goals. What have they put into effect now to get there? If he’s not correct, it is better you find it now before investing your precious time on a guy who is just a fly by night.

4. Meeting the family – I don’t think when you take a guy to meet the parents that it means the next day he’s expected to take you to the altar. But I do think that at the earliest convenience he should meet them. I say this so that he knows that you come from a good home. That you are decent, and that you are not just around for fun. I live alone yes, but when my parents are here, I’m not expecting that when the guy comes to take me out on a date, he will call me from the car and tell me to come out. If God forbid anything was to happen on the road, who would know where I am. If he’s a gentleman, and a man who is interested for more than just sex, then he should suck it up and come to the door and say good evening sir, I am taking your daughter out for the night, I will be back soon. Parents also are very good at seeing what you refuse to see because you are so wrapped up into the getting to know each other stage. Especially father’s, having played a lot of women in their time; they can spot a playa from a mile off. He should definitely meet the parents before he takes you to bed, so he knows that if there are consequences if all he wants is a hit and run.

5. Tell him what you want up front – Some people say this is a no, no, but I think it is best to put all your cards on the table. Obviously I’m not going to say, tomorrow, I want to get married. But I don’t want you to waste your time or mine if all you want is to hit and run. Some ladies are up for a good time, in fact there are a lot of girls who are just looking for a good time providing you provide money for their MTN credit. If that’s what you want, go find them, me, if I have decided that I am going to start dating you, just know that somewhere down the line it could be a year, it may be two, but know the wedding colours are pink and white.

6. Friendship – In the beginning you are getting to know each other, use the opportunity to build up a friendship because passion comes and goes but even though it sounds cliché, your guy should be your friend first. But don’t give away too much information too soon, and some things just don’t need to be told at all. Keep a little bit of mystery, because anything you do so will be used against you.

7. Treat me like a lady – As I said, I can be one of the boys, but I’m also a lady. I hate it when I go out and the guy opens the door for himself and kind of leaves you to fend for yourself. I’m not your boy, I’m your girlfriend. Make him know that he needs to be opening doors and pulling out chairs for you. If he sweet talked you into going out on a date, he needs to be doing the gentlemanly duties.

8. Sex – the big elephant in the room in the beginning of all relationships. How long do I keep him waiting before I give him the cookie? I have to admit, for me, it is true what they say about women and their libido. The older you get, the more you want it. Coupled with the fact that it has been so long since I got laid, a guy just needs to step on my toe and I get a sensation. But really, Mr Harvey put it simply, when you first start a job, you are put on probation for at least 90 days, you are confirmed once you have proved that you are up to doing the job. So, now that he has talked the talk, he has 3 months to walk the walk.

9. Girlfriend – he calls you a few times a day, calls you ‘baby’, ‘darling’, ‘sweetheart’, yet when you are out in public, he introduces you by your name, or when he gets a phone call he says something like ‘yeah, I make busy’, or ‘I dey chop’ or ‘I’m with a friend’, in all the time you’ve been dating, no mention of you being his girlfriend. You’ve not even met one of his friends, and you only go out on particular days and he never invites you to any functions. It’s likely that he doesn’t see you as a girlfriend so forget.

10. Go with the flow – I’ve found that relationships are hard work, but when it feels like it is so hard to the point when it starts to consume you, it’s not worth it. However, with my rules above, I’m just going to go with the flow, no expectations, and no over analysis. If it works out great, if it doesn’t, nothing new. But just like everything in Ghana, I’m just going to make the most of it and enjoy the moment. I’m sure, if nothing else, it will be interesting, and more food for my blog.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

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About efiasworld

The black Bridget Jones and an English woman in Ghana
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18 Responses to My 10 simple rules for dating in Ghana

  1. Dee Reynolds says:

    I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you. Be happy.

  2. I love this definitely. I now know what to expect if I ever decide to date Ghanian

  3. pj says:

    Im a Filipina dating a Ghanian man. He’s sweet and mature and I really like him. I love your article, esp the ‘girlfriend’ he had already introduced me to 2 of his friends one being a housemate. So I guess I can call myswlf his girlfriend now. Lol.
    Would love to hear how it turned out for you!

  4. Laurie says:

    I agree with these points 100% especially the part about being friends first. So many guys I meet just want to skip that part, and go straight into the relationship. I don’t think they understand that it doesn’t work that way. I also agree with the part about going with the flow. It’s only when we have expectations that we are met with disappointment. Because I was having a difficult time even meeting someone, I created an app called My Single City. By using the app, you increase your chances of meeting someone while out. Check it out when you have a chance – http://onelink.to/cwhhpa. Cheers!

  5. Zoey says:

    I loved what you wrote. I think its spot on and gave me a lot to think about
    recently started dating a Ghanaian guy. I have’ mixed feelings about it. He’s sweet, caring but sometimes I find that he’s bit inquisitive and ge also told me that je can be insecure and jealous at time . I have hard time trusting, men in particular . lol I went as far as to check our astrological compatibility . A bit crazy I know. I currently live in the United States he goes to school here as well but he goes home (Ghaba) every major break. We’re both in college but different schools. we started talk right before he went home. We talk everyday videochat when we can. I won’t see him until August. Im glad that we have a couple of months before getting intimate or anything like that. This time around I stepped out of my comfort zone. Like what you said about attractiveness, I didn’t find him drop dead gorgeous but attractive enough. The more I talk to him and learn about him he becomes more s attractive. I guess I worried about what my family and friends will think. Any advice

  6. Suzanne says:

    I sooo love this piece you wrote and how your humor and personality show through. So excited to find your blog…I was looking for info on if guys from Ghana are playas! Haha. And came across your post.
    Can’t wait to read more of your writing. I think I found my answer though. Haha. If you want to advise/ inform me……send me an e-mail if ya want ….suzannenorton22@gmail.com
    I live in the U.S. and went on a few dates with a Ghanaian man and I’m feeling a bit skeptical.

  7. Cassy says:

    Hi. Like Suzanne, I was also looking to see what kind of playas Ghanian men are. I live in China, I’m 51, and I met one in the bank today. He said he’s 32. Within 1 minute he was asking for my number and said he’d come by my house later tonight. Whooooaaa there, horsey! I don’t even know you! He was already talking like we were a couple. A bit of a debate ensued as I told him I would not let him come into my home, but we could meet outside somewhere (you know, like a date or something silly like that), and he got all preachy about trust issues and how I needed to have faith. Just so you know, here in China I’ve dated several expats in the lower 30-ish age range. People tell me I look 37, so it’s normal for younger men to find an interest, but I’m very leary of guys who practically propose in the first 5 minutes. Is this normal for Ghana men? This happened to me before with another African. The relationship lasted 10 days, the last 5 of which I was trying to get him to leave my house.

    • efiasworld says:

      Hi Cassy, first of all, I want to be you when I grow up :)… secondly, I feel your pain, yes if a guy proposes to you within the first 5 minutes, you have to wonder if he is insane or looking for a way to stay in the country legally…lol, note for next time, never invite a man to the house until we’ve been dating at least 6 months x

      • Cassy says:

        Haha! Thanks for your reply. It’s been a week now and he’s been taking me out for lunch every day. He bought me a big bouquet of flowers and a silver necklace. He’s quite a gentleman. I had to draw the line with sex, though, and he actually respected that. He has still yet to take me out at night, though. We both work long hours in the day and I know he plays basketball and tutors after hours. We’ll see what happens this weekend. I am totally just going with the flow and not getting too wrapped up in this. But he told me he loves me. It feels weird because we still don’t know much about each other. I’ll try to update if things turn for the better or worse. The age is still a major issue for me. He’s really gorgeous, by the way. 🙂

      • Cassy says:

        Hi, I’m back to give the aftermath of the aforementioned relationship. lol. Well, after the second week he still hadn’t taken me out at night and kept stalling about getting a phone, and I realized he was a bit possessive and controlling, so I very kindly told him that we were not compatible but we could still be friends. He didn’t listen and acted as if nothing changed at all and that everything I said meant nothing. A lot of weird behavior ensued and over the next two months it was mostly screaming matches (I screamed at him) and him laughed at me as if it was all playful fun to behave this way in a relationship. He made me crazy! I couldn’t get rid of him. We did go out at night a couple of times, and had a lot of fun! He’s a really cool guy on the outside (haha). He likes to dance and so do I, but always the next day it was back to his strange behavior. The last time we went out he got up the next morning and left. I tried to call him the next day but no answer. I never heard from him for weeks. I went to Europe for holiday, and the day I returned he called me from Ghana. At that point I had forgotten about him and wanted nothing to do with him. I spent about 10 minutes telling him not to call me again (very calmly, as at this point he wasn’t a threat to me anymore). About a month after he returned to China he sent me a message that he was coming for an interview at my company! OMG!!! I never responded to his messages or calls, but quickly went to HR to tell them not to give him any information about me. When I walked in he was sitting right there! He didn’t see me and I quickly turned around and left the room. Later, HR told me they didn’t hire him, and that he came unannounced. She showed me his CV. (No privacy issues here!! haha). A couple of months later I hear a knock on my door and it’s him again. He had a friend with him and wanted me to open the door. I refused. I knew that if I opened that door I would be spending at least an hour trying to get rid of him again. After about 10 minutes he finally left after realizing I had contacted someone to tell them he was bothering me. I think he was afraid that they would call the police (this had been a threat I made in a prior argument.) But during the time he was at my door he told me he had just moved into my apartment complex. That was about a month ago and I haven’t seen him since. I’ll be moving in two months and hopefully that will be the end of this drama. So, to sum it up, always trust your first instincts, ladies! I knew the minute I saw this guy he was not a good match for me, but I always want to give people a chance. Looking back, 99% of the time my first instinct is correct. This guy put on a nice show in the beginning, but his biggest mistake was that he showed me his possessive and controlling side in the first few days. The flowers and the necklace and the lunch dates made me hope for something better, but the behavior never improved, it just kept getting worse and worse. I read some advice in a book one time and it said, “If you know that you’re in a relationship that will eventually end, just end it quickly. Don’t keep trying to make it work because it never will. The quicker you end it, the less pain it will cause you.”

      • efiasworld says:

        Hi Cassy, you really went through it all…a great lesson learned, you must always follow your first instinct as it is usually always right 🙂

  8. Martin says:

    Great work Efia!
    Well, I am a Ghanaian man and I think the piece you have here is partly true; in some cases or like you mentioned in one of your replies “Good guys”. As compared to any society, there are good and bad guys, in this case the bad guys are not really looking for a long-term relationship, they are only in for some personal gains (Citizenship, Green Card, Material Stuffs…etc) you know what I mean.
    And I think you should extend your probation period, because some bad guys can truly hang around even for a year (doing all the caring, outing, flowers stuff..etc) and as soon as they get you laid, they’ll disappear. I propose 6 months, if he never talks about sex or gets you mad, then he is the right guy. And the “gorgeous” ones are mostly hunters (you know what i mean).

    Any friends out there..? I’ll like to meet new friends interested in Ghana/Africa!

    Good Luck with your love life..Sister Efia!

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