Should men take back love gifts from women?

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Years ago, I read of a popular artiste from the Niger Delta who frustrated tradition, damned all protocols and entered into a house of worship only to ask from his estranged girlfriend the things he gave to her while the going was good, that is his N2million and the jeep, alleging that she charmed him into parting with those gifts! Back then, when I read this report, I was livid.

I was so upset that I went down a horrible memory lane. Before I begin to go down that path, I just have a few questions for the men folk: Is it fair to ask for your love gifts just because a relationship went sour? What was your intention when you were giving those gifts?

The time you slept with her, were we supposed to put a price tag on that too? At the risk of offending you guys, have you even sat back to think on the good old times you spent together?  Have you even thought of the emotional investment she put into the relationship whilst it lasted?

Oh, so just because you gave her a few things, like car, recharge cards, or at most, a few plots of land, you now expect them back because the game is suddenly over? Please!

Nse, a very close friend of mine shared a similar experience that happened to her years  ago.

Her story: “When I was in my late teens, I had a Nigerian-born American boyfriend who was crazy about me. This guy was cute by every standard. Even before he made his intention known to me, every girl of my age in that area secretly prayed that Americana (our alias for him) would at least give her a second glance.

“Of course, you can then imagine my pleasant surprise when Americana came for me. Without a second thought, I accepted his love overtures. It was wonderful. He took me to picnics on the beaches, we went to see some movies, we stole a few kisses here and there, we took strolls on the streets hand in hand.

“For me, then. life couldn’t be rosier than this. Things were just fine, until Americana started showering gifts on me. He bought me nice pairs of shoes and bags to match (Italian shoes for that matter). I couldn’t say no.

“Obviously, he thought to myself it was just his way of showing affection for the one he cared for. So, I took and took”.

She continued: “About five months into our relationship, he wanted to know if I was a virgin and when I answered in the affirmative, he was elated. Little did I know that he was in a hurry to have me in his bed!

“When I turned down his request to go to bed with me, his true colour began to manifest. The first thing he asked for was the Italian shoes and bag he bought for me! My God, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. So Americana, with all his exposure, would take back everything he bought for me just because I refused to give some ‘booty’, na wa for some men o”.

Well sha, Nse, gave them back. I mean everything he bought for her. After all, she didn’t know what would come next. And let us come to think of it, who wants gifts with conditions attached anyway?

Severally, men have called me to say I am a little bit hard on them. Some of them even accuse me of being subjective in my articles. Hello? I am a woman. I need to let you know things from a woman’s point of view.

No doubt, we do need you in our lives, but you need to learn to treat us right. Of course, we still have some responsible men who still buy us things without expecting anything in return. There are no guarantees that every relationship must work out.

When we enter into relationships, we expect the best from each other. But for Christ’s sake, we are human. We are ridden with human errors. No one is perfect. It should not be a do-or-die thing. We have ladies that have invested in boyfriends or even fiancees and when it did not work out, you don’t hear the lady saying, guy, give me back my stuff.

Let us be more reasonable in our dealings with our partners in relationships. I mean, whoever says that when you break up that you can’t make up again. Sure, you can still get back together. In fact, I have heard, read and even seen divorced couples getting reunited.

So, I am really bothered about why men do things like this? Is it our fault? Can you ever monetise a good relationship? Can you buy the happiness you both shared while the union was rosy? Must it all work out? Should women stop accepting gifts from you?

A colleague actually inspired me to write this article. He confided in me that he was seriously heart-broken. His girlfriend of three years had suddenly called off their relationship. She told him, she was not ready to settle down to a married life yet, and that she has suddenly realised that her career was more important to her for now.

Initially, I felt so bad for him. I thought why on earth would a lady, by all standards; call off a promising relationship with her career as an excuse? I could not fathom it. Who says she cannot have a home, kids and a good career all wrapped together. I know of women who are very successful in that regard. So, why was she being so childish?

I really felt for the guy until he told me the reason for feeling so brokenhearted. He said he felt terrible because he had spent so much on her! To say I was shocked would be an understatement. For a few minutes, I was speechless. When I managed to find my voice, I simply asked him. ‘so, you are heartbroken, not because she left you, but you are mad at her because of the gift you lavished on her?

I left him without waiting for his answer.

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