The expectation in most cultures and societies is for individuals to be romantically involved with one person at a time. This expectation is probably borne from the fact that marriage is universally accepted as the ideal relationship people should strive for. And with marriage generally defined as the legal or formal union of a man and woman as partners in a relationship, the question remains : why do some people like dating multiple people at a time, while others focus on only one.
Encomium.ng spoke with some young Nigerians on why they keep more than one partner at a time with their reasons ranging from the logical to the outright absurd. We also sought the opinion of relationship experts, Eya Ayambem and Dayo Ladi-Omotunde on the topic.
‘I enjoy different levels of sexual satisfaction’ -Shade Okesanya, 27 Undergraduate
I stopped keeping only one boyfriend since I left secondary school because I realized that men have different features that can satisfy a woman in different ways. I can’t really go into the details but I don’t regret that I have multiple boyfriends. I have compared my life with some of my friends that have only one partner and I know my life is more comfortable than theirs. I am in my final year now and I can tell you that I got most of my school fees from many sources. Is it my class boyfriend who is struggling to pay his school fees that I would rely on? Apart from the money I get from them, I enjoy different levels of sexual satisfaction because their abilities are different. I have more than 10 lovers but I hope to settle down eventually with my class lover because I love him more.
‘I keep multiple lovers as security’ -Segun Orekoya 29 – Website Designer
I have just two girlfriends that I’m in serious relationship with. I have been dating both of them for more than three years now and I know that someday, one of them will be my wife. I am keeping both of them as security in case one of them messes up, so I will not be left with nothing. Apart from these two girls, I don’t keep any other relationship, although once in a while I carry club girls but it is with no strings attached.
‘Variety Is The Spice Of Life’ -Chiamaka Asadu 24 – Hair Stylist
This is a funny question seriously. Yes, I keep more than one lover but I don’t have any reason for it. I’m still a young girl and it’s my time to enjoy life. Is it when I am 40 and with children that I want to be doing it? Variety is the spice of life, my brother.
‘I Didn’t Plan It’ -Smart Okubanwo
I stopped multiple dating since I got engaged early this year, to be honest with you. I also did not plan to have more than one lover when I had about four girlfriends but sometimes, as men, we see a pretty lady and we are attracted to them and we just go for it. There was even one that was showing interest in me and because she was hot, I fell for her. I think it is just one of those things we have to do at a point in our lives but as we grow and get responsible, we need to have more discipline.
Encomium.ng also sought the views of relationship experts on the issue and they had these to say…
They Do It For Fun, Money – Eya Ayambem, Blogger at Wives Connection
There are various reasons why young people keep multiple partners. Some do it just for the fun and to prove to their peers that they are much sought after. Times have really changed, while the standard of life is improving the cost is so high that most young people find it difficult making ends meet. In developing countries like Nigeria and other African Nations, young people are burdened with responsibilities that should be for their parents. While some are still in school, they are already saddled with taking care of aged parents and providing for siblings. Where would the money come from? They have to go after older already established men for money while still keeping their young boyfriends or girlfriends as the case may be.
There are also some who have experienced hurt and disappointment in the past and are truly scared of trusting and loving so they just keep more than one just in case. Security is another reason a young boy or girl would keep an older sugar mummy or daddy while loving another. The age too is another factor, teenagers especially are still in that age group of curiosity, they want to explore and explore even more. They are still young and restless.
Again, a lot of young people these days are into polyamorous relationships for validation from friends like I said while others just get involved as a result of high libidos; they have almost insatiable biological needs and try to quench these urges with multiple partners. Some young people have this false belief that they can love many people at the same time and how can they prove it if not by keeping multiple partners?
One thing most do not understand is that there are great risks involved with multiple partnerships : HIV and AIDS, Sexual Transmitted Infections (STIs), unwanted pregnancies that result mostly in infanticide, numerous heart breaks and a whole lot of others. Finally, I’ll like to add that the reason young people keep multiple relationships is because they do not believe in or have the fear of God. Those who do believe are aware that multiple relationships are not safe.
‘People Can Love More Than One person At A Time’ – Dayo Ladi-Omotunde – Founder of 23 24 Relationship & Marriage Counselors
Empirical evidence clearly suggests that humans are capable of loving and having sex with more than one person at the same time.
Young people for who they are, are mostly adventurous. They want to try out new things, to experiment and are mostly care-free. They will not be held down by traditions or bound by cultural practices or norms. They want to be seen as fashionable and because at this stage, they are in a phase where they still grapple with emotions and feelings, they sometimes exhibit unstable tendencies leading them to have multiple partners and demonstrate non-committal traits. Though many may chalk it down to peer pressure, I have found that it is a personal choice for young people to keep more than one romantic relationships at the same time.
The basic reasons young people keep more than one romantic relationships at the same time are:
They want to meet people, get to know more people and in the process, they develop feelings and attachment and find themselves romantically involved. They want to be able to say they have certain experiences under their belt. The “Been there, done that” syndrome.
In closing, one thing is certain, if you as an adolescent go after your emotions and feelings, it will lead to all manner of places, places you have no reason to be in. But if you choose to put your emotions and feelings under check by understanding them for what they are – fleeting and passing away – then you are able to make better decisions in your relationships. Get to meet people, but there has to be defined boundaries.
Daniel Fayemi for encomium.ng