~26 minute read~
Everyone has a right to be with whoever they choose whether white or black, religious or non religious, rich or poor. The most important thing is how the person you choose to be with makes you feel, their compatibility with you and what value they have to add to your life.
Since I started writing on my social media page about what it’s like to be in an interracial relationship, I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback, but I’ve also gotten a bunch of hate emails, DMs and angry comments from people who think I’m glorifying colonialism and how they find my posts derogatory and disgusting.
To be honest, at first I was surprised and I deleted the comments and messages but then I was like hell I must be doing something right.
However, this got me thinking about how people really feel about interracial dating in Nigeria. I guess some people have a hard time accepting it or maybe it’s the Nigerian “oyibo” connotation? I found this interesting.
[Related post: Interested in meeting oyibo? Click Here]
Why I started writing about oyibo
When I first met my now husband who is white, he was everything I ever wanted in a man and it made me scared. I didn’t think I would ever meet someone who understood me, was interested in getting to know me and accepted me for who I was. How could someone so different, be perfect for me?
In that time I was also in a weird “church phase” in my life, where I attended Bible school daily and I was taught that anyone who didn’t go to church or who wasn’t a “prayer warrior” or paid tithes, did not come from God.
But in my heart I knew that this same man who wasn’t a “text book Christian” was more Christian in his actions than a lot of Christian guys I had met.
During this time I had no one to talk to about my interracial relationship. It was especially hard to find someone who wouldn’t be biased in their counsel because it involved “oyibo”. It took me months to finally decide to be with him because I had to make sure I was doing the right thing for me.
I had to base my decision to be with him on logic, how he made me feel, his words matching his actions and the value he added to my life. Although making this decision meant losing myself and finding myself in new ways, I’m grateful that I did.
In Nigerian society, a lot of people believe if you want to be with oyibo, it’s either for their money or as a status symbol. While this may be true for some people, there are others who just want to be loved differently, hence their search for an interracial partner.
Just like me, there are a lot of people who are either in an interracial relationship or want to be in one but have no one to open up to because of stigma. I started writing about interracial dating (oyibo) to create an outlet for Nigerians to talk about their interracial relationships, express their fears, concerns and understand the implications of being in an interracial relationship.
I want to create awareness to help people have their questions about interracial dating in Nigeria answered. To everyone who has reached out to me so far, I’m glad you did!
Finding the Right Oyibo
If your dream is to be in an interracial relationship, it’s important not to feel guilty about this. The key to interracial dating is to find out what you want and know why you want to date someone from a different race. Knowing what you want and why, will help you choose the right partner when the time comes.
Dating someone with a different cultural background and lifestyle is not a walk in the park and marrying one is especially hard as there are many unique challenges that come with interracial dating. As someone who has been in an interracial relationship for 4 years and have experience being married to oyibo, I’ve come up with 7 things you can do to help you find the right interracial partner.
This article will help you figure out what you want, why you want it and will guide you towards finding yourself and the right partner.
Here are 7 things you can do to help you find the right partner
1. Find out why you really want oyibo
Let’s not pretend like we don’t know a lot of Nigerians want to be with oyibo only for money or for mixed babies. However, there’s more to interracial relationships than that. In order for you to find the right partner, you need to figure out why you want to be in an interracial relationship.
Do you want to experience a different kind of love? Do you just want to be with oyibo because you’re tired of Nigerian men/women? Or maybe you just want a better quality of life or dual nationality? Whatever your reason, you first have to find out why and be honest with yourself about it. Don’t want oyibo for one reason and claim it’s for another reason. It’s better to be honest about the why so you can keep a clear goal in mind which is to find the right partner.
[Related post: Myths about Dating/Marrying Oyibo]
2. Define your ideal partner
The person you end up with, determines the course of your life in the long term and tt’s important not to take this for granted. If you don’t know the type of person you’re looking for, how will you know when you find that person? You need to know what you want in a partner and to do that, you have to be aware of the traits that are compatible with yours and make a list of it. This list represents having standards for a relationship which will help you assess potential dates to see the kind of partner that will be compatible with you.
However, it is unrealistic to assume you will find a person that will tick all the boxes. The key is to have an idea of what’s good for you and what’s not, so you can make the right choice based on logic.
Take Action: Think about your past relationships, all the lessons you learned, the traits in your past partners that complemented you and the traits that didn’t. Now create a list of the traits you want your oyibo partner to have based on your analysis.
3. What value do you have to offer?
A lot of Nigerians may not realise this but when a foreigner marries a Nigerian, their lives become a bit complicated. For example: When a German man marries a German woman, they have the same culture, are from the same race, their babies will be white, they wouldn’t have to deal with discrimination and because of their nationality, they can travel the world freely without any visa restrictions.
However, when a German man marries a Nigerian woman he takes upon himself the problems that comes with being Nigerian and also the problems of being black. From that point on, he has to deal with discrimination against his family, their kids will not be white and may have identity crisis, he has to deal with visa issues because his wife as a Nigerian can’t travel freely, amongst other setbacks.
We now see that as a Nigerian, if you don’t have real value to offer a foreigner, they have no reason to give up their freedom for a more complicated life. Therefore, it is important to ask yourself what value you have to add to this persons life. Value is relative and it could be things like; unconditional love, complementing their weaknesses, taking care of the person, being their peace, being a true friend to them and someone they can rely on. It could also mean being honest enough to point out their flaws to help them improve, encouraging the person to give up bad habits or just giving good advice.
The bottomline is, nothing is for free in life and if you expect someone to give up their less complicated life by choosing to be with you, you must have real value to offer otherwise it’s not fair game. Value also goes both ways, you have to be sure that the oyibo is adding some sort of value to your life as well.
4. Make the effort to socialise
A lot of people like to complain about not being able to meet oyibo and how they can’t seem to find the right person. However these same people do not make the effort to socialise and blame this on either being introverts or not knowing where to go. When you’re constantly meeting new people, you increase your chances of meeting the one. So why not make the effort to socialise by going to the places oyibo goes to like parties, joining social clubs or even dating online.
Keep in mind that there’s a difference between socialising and desperately going everywhere just to meet oyibo. It’s equally important to go to the right places when searching for a partner. Don’t go to the clubs with the hopes of meeting the one there if you don’t like a party animal. Basically go to the sort of places you’d like to find the right oyibo.
[Related post: Interested in meeting oyibo? Click Here]
5. Be yourself
When getting into a new relationship, it is essential to be your true, authentic self. Oyibo is just a human being like you and every human being wants to be with someone who is not pretending to be someone else. Don’t fake an accent, don’t do things you wouldn’t ordinarily do just to impress oyibo as this will only leave you feeling mentally drained.
Here’s an article that can help you understand what it means to be yourself: How to be Yourself
6. Be confident
Confidence shows in the way you speak, the way you walk, even in your body language. A white person is not superior to you and as a black Nigerian, you’re not inferior to them. Confidence starts with loving yourself, accepting yourself for who you are and acknowledging how far you’ve come in your journey. Confidence is knowing your worth and walking away from anyone who treats you less than what you deserve regardless of the colour of their skin.
Confidence is speaking your mind, respecting yourself and not lowering your standards for anyone. Confidence makes a person attractive and everyone wants to be with a confident person who is secure in themselves, is positive and can take what life throws at them. Self confidence is key and respect is reciprocal.
Feeling inconfident lately? Here’s an article to help you rebuild your confidence: Forbes
7. Let love find you
True love is hard to find and there is no formula for finding the one. Even after putting to practice the tips above, there’s no guarantee that you’ll find the one right away. If you’ve been dating for a while and it seems like the right man/woman isn’t coming your way, don’t be discouraged. The key is not to try too hard in finding true love, but rather to get busy knowing and loving yourself while you wait and the right one will find you in due time.
[Related Post: If your Dream is to Marry Oyibo]
Advice For Nigerian Women
Nigerian women who want to be with an oyibo man need to understand that he is not a Nigerian man. Many Nigerian women are used to asking men for money, having multiple dates, lying and playing childish games. This is not to say that there are no genuine women out there who have real love to give. As a Nigerian woman who wants to be with a foreign man, you have to be willing to unlearn old habits and learn new ones.
An oyibo man is from a society where women work to pay for their own things and rarely ever ask a man for money. When on a date, the bill is usually split between both parties and no one expects handouts from the other person. In a first world society, being in an open relationship is not unusual and there are other relationship agreements that can be made between the two people involved.
Oyibo men are usually romantic, caring, expressive of their emotions, believe in honest communication and are very accepting of the person they choose to be with. They believe in working hard to provide for their family, supporting their wives whether it’s with household chores or the kids and they respect the woman in their lives. In a relationship, oyibo men dare not lift a finger to hit a woman because they understand that there are real consequences for domestic violence and they could end up in jail. This is not to imply that there are no oyibo men who mistreat women.
Oyibo men are attracted to a woman who is confident, knows who she is, what she wants, and has something going on in her life. Oyibo men detest lies, hate materialistic women and are usually not attracted to women who are obsessed with looking fake, because this shows her spending habit and gives off the impression that she’s high maintenance, insecure or has issues accepting herself. This is not to say that an oyibo man won’t be with a woman who wears fake hair or nails and makeup, but there’s a fine line between trying to look good and obviously overcompensating to look less “African”. (Of course there’s all types of men with different preferences).
[Need help accepting yourself? Here’s an article on Thought Catalog that might help you]
Oyibo men are especially careful of women because the laws in first world society protects women and if they end up with the wrong one, she could end up taking all their money either in a divorce or through child support. So it’s no surprise that oyibo men could want a prenup before marriage.
If you want to be with an oyibo man, you have to be hardworking, honest, confident, be able to communicate, not ask for money, and be mature enough to not play stupid games. Focus on what you have to offer rather than your physical appearance, which doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look good.
With interracial dating in Nigeria, women have to be careful not to fall into the trap of being desperate to have mixed kids or for social status which tend to cloud their judgement. If you know yourself, know what you want and are a genuine person, the right partner will find you.
Advice For Nigerian Men
Nigerian men who want to be with an oyibo woman need to understand first and foremost that she is not a Nigerian woman. A Nigerian woman is usually taught from a young age to submit to her husband who is the head of the home. This means that the majority of Nigerian women will serve their husbands and will do everything they can to make him happy without complaining or challenging his authority.
Many Nigerian women are also taught that divorce is taboo even if they find themselves in an abusive, unfaithful or unhappy marriage. It’s no wonder the high number of domestic violence related deaths in Nigeria. This not to say that there are no Nigerian women who are more western in their behaviour in a relationship or women who are materialistic and make a mans life miserable.
Nigerian men are typically unromantic, will not help their wives with chores and many believe a woman’s place is in the kitchen. Most Nigerian men are unfaithful, run their households like a dictatorship and the opinion of their wife is not heard in any decision making. There’s also a trend of unemployed Nigerian men whose wives become the sole provider for the family, yet the men demand control and respect.
Some tribes in Nigeria allow their men to beat their wives if she does not comply with his demands and this makes domestic violence justifiable to them. This is not to say that there are no Nigerian men who are more western in their behaviour towards women, rather these “traditional Nigerian men” make the absolute majority of the men in Nigeria.
As a Nigerian man, in order to be with an oyibo woman, there are a lot of things you’ll need to unlearn and learn in order to increase your chance of being successful.
Oyibo women are sensitive and are taught to stand up for themselves in a relationship as they are equal to a man. White women believe that all decisions are to be made together and if they find themselves in an abusive, unfaithful relationship where they are unhappy, they have the right to get a divorce and move on with their lives. First world society and culture also protects women and there are consequences for domestic violence towards a woman, hence the low rate of domestic violent cases in certain first world countries.
Oyibo women are usually attracted to a man who is romantic, confident, works hard and knows what he wants. Oyibo women expect the man to pitch in when it comes to handling household chores or taking care of the kids. If you mistreat a white woman, she can call the police who will arrest you and you will face the consequences for your actions unlike in Nigeria.
With interracial dating in Nigeria, as a Nigerian man if you’re jobless, not romantic, you cheat and lie as a lifestyle or believe that women belong in the kitchen and shouldn’t have a say in anything, you cannot be with a white woman.
Love is more complicated than the colour of a persons skin. It involves real commitment, patience, understanding and compatibility. I hope this article will help you find true love with the right oyibo.
Which points in this article do you agree or disagree with? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the Comments below.
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Interested in meeting oyibo online or in person? Click Here