There’s this guy that I met on social media where we exchanged contacts and started chatting and texting each other. After some time, he made his intentions clear to me that he wants to marry me. I told him I have a child and that I need to get some college education before I can consider marriage. I studied up to Form 4 and even though I passed my exams, I got a baby and had to take care of the child first. He even wants to come meet my parents but he says that he wants me to accompany him as his wife after he meets them. I am somewhat confused about all of this and don’t know what to make of it. I need your help.
What the readers say:
Lilian, I want to believe that you have met face to face and spent significant time interacting and getting to know each other better. I encourage you to get to know him better and check if you are really compatible. If, with time, you realise that you can cope with him then go ahead and think about settling down with him.
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I don’t understand why you are anxious yet this person has taken a rather moral approach to the whole issue. What you must ask for, however, is to meet him before so that both of you are convinced you are suited for each other. This will give you correct answers to vital questions should it come to discussing the issue with your parents. I want to believe that in your discourse you have been as honest as possible with each other.
Remember what one says on social media and what one actual wants to do are quite different. Just remember the women who met their deaths after meeting men on social media. Take your time and if you have to meet this person, meet him in an open, social place with some people who should be your witnesses. Otherwise, he may meet your parents and next time you may be dead. Take time to know him before introducing him to your parents. For instance knowing his parents, place of work, area of residence, where he goes for worship and his social status. Do not rush this and be sure to check his HIV status before you make a decision.
Lilian, you are somehow confused. On one hand you need a man while on the other you are complaining that he has proposed too fast. He has even accepted to meet your parents and your child is not an issue to him. What do want as a woman? Accept him or tell him to keep off. Otherwise you may be wasting his time.
Lillian, I am not quite sure about this arrangement. How do you meet a guy online and after some few chats, he wants to meet your parents and immediately thereafter he wants you to accompany him to his house. He seems to think that he is doing you and your parents a favour by meeting them to inform them of his interest in you. He even goes further to think that by meeting them, he will have fulfilled all the minimum requirements to take a girl from her parents home to his home.
Going home to meet a girl’s parents is not just a formality, it is part of a long process through which they get to know you and over time develop a relationship with you to a level that they have enough trust that you are good enough to take care of their daughter. If anything, it is far too early for him to meet your parents and he should slow down and put his act together before you can even discuss parents.
I would also encourage you to pursue a firm foundation for your life first as you had initially intended. You seem relatively young and have a long and bright future. You have something that many girls in your situation don’t have – loving and supportive parents. From your words, I can tell that they are willing to support you to get a college education and to pursue a career.
This is a big advantage and you ought to take it up early and just go for it. This boy will most certainly not have the capacity to take you to school and so you will be stagnant for a very long time and most probably go down. Take advantage of the support you have from your parents, go to school and things will take shape from then on.
Lastly, I encourage you to be extremely careful with online relationships. There are many people out there and while there may be some who could be genuinely looking for love, many others are crooks with unclear intentions. Take your time and know that there are many opportunities for you. Sooner or later, you will find love. At the moment, you will need to focus on the main thing which is building a solid foundation for your future and everything else will follow. There will be many opportunities for love but the opportunity to build your future is only open and available now.
Simon is a relationships counsellor
Social media is increasingly becoming a popular avenue for meeting people. Although many people still consider it unconventional for the simple fact that the parties are never sure of the authenticity of what they read about each other. In my view, where individuals meet for the first time does not necessarily determine the quality and future of their relationship. It is what you do after that.
Where you met first, whether in a religious setting or bus terminus, is just that. There are requisite steps to take before each one of you is sufficiently convinced that you can settle down.
You have not mentioned if you have finally met in person or not. And if you have, for how long? What is very clear is that you are not comfortable with the man’s wish to make you his wife after meeting your parents. Though meeting parents is an important step in a relationship, in your case, this step sounds hurried and can easily raise suspicion. This noble action could as well be a cover up. How much of this man do you know? This should be beyond what you see or read on his social media pages.
Get to know this man. I would encourage you to take your time, take one step at a time, at a pace that you are comfortable with. Remember you have had your aspirations to further your studies, let that be factored in as early as possible. You also have a child whose welfare should not be jeopardised.
These are general guidelines for any relationship. Be vigilant and wise.
Hilda Boke Mahare has a background in Counselling Psychology