I have been going round in circles thinking about the best way to approach this topic, but I do know that many may not agree with me. I’m talking about Transactional Relationships. In other words men dating younger girls for some form of payment, which in recent years, has seen an increase in the reverse (for the sake of this post will focus on the former although it applies to both). In fact it has slowly become a widely known open secrete, which has taken on a degree of normalcy. However before I dive in, I must first place all this in context.
I was watching a program on T. V and there was a beautiful young lady going on about the reasons why she only dates older men. However her main reason was that they are more mature than the boys her age. She was 19 and in university. She appeared to come from a good home and her parents were blessed enough to be able to pay for her education and accommodation, which is far more than many can boast of. When asked about what she meant by maturity, she went on about him being able to buy her things and give money to supplement her life. I mean, in university, who doesn’t want to look good in front of their peers? Yet as I listened, 3 red flags stood out to me:
1. Age = Maturity.
There is prevailing and misguided idea that maturity is equal to a person’s age and indirectly, what a person has or managed to amass in their life. The reality is maturity is a mindset. I have met 16 year olds who have displayed more maturity than 40 year driving the latest Land Rover. Why? The 16 year old may have the self displine, good character, and regard for others and themselves to say ‘No’, even in the face of public ridicule, that the 40 year old may not. To the 40 year old, all that will matter is what other people have to say and think. In the end, all they create is a never ending cycle that drains them in every way, until they are no longer able to recognize themselves . Only when they are able rise above the shallow self seeking self, that demands instant gratification, are they able to say, they have matured.
2. Sex is a form of currency.
It must be a nice feeling to receive the bank alert notifying you that money has just been deposited into your account. For some it may not be much, for others it may be substantial, but what remains the same is the result. I mean he has to keep you looking good, so others will know he is more than capable. Yet in the age of HIV and STDs, it goes far beyond that.
We have allowed them to define our worth. That we are nothing more that living property to use as they sees fit. We may argue that we are using them, but in reality we fail to see what we have truly lost. We have settled for being bed companions, when in reality we deserve the whole house, yard included.
Do you think your situation is different and the rest of us don’t understand? Well, has he told you about his 5 year or 10 year plan? Does he have the freedom to tell you that your allowance will be less for a few months because there is something he is trying to secure for your future together? A man will tell a woman all the beautiful things she wants to hear but will only tell the woman he sees a future with, all the things she needs to hear. Beyond that you are just a conquest to show off to his friends and call whenever he wants. He doesn’t even have to respect you. If you don’t like that, there are several others he can call. Then when you finally realise what a mistake it all was, you return to those immature boys you looked down on. But by then, you may be too scarred by the men who used you, to even allow a good man to love you the way you deserve or even believe that you deserve.
The time has come to start re-educating young girls and boys to just how invaluable they are. When people see true worth in something, they guard it jealously, not to be shared with anyone in the name of the latest campus or social media trends.
3. #menaretrash but did we raise them?
It is easy to condemn someone for the wrong they are doing, it’s harder to try understand why. I have found myself wondering if we as a society didn’t first create the problem? Think about it, a man is considered a man in society by his a ability to measure up or surpass other men, be it physically, financially and/or socially. All those are external representations that can be taken away at any moment and by anyone. Yet we are told to raise our girls to be strong women, that they can achieve all that they dream because their power comes from within. So man’s misguided efforts to restore balance manifests in the form of them going to any lengths to just feel power, yet every encounter leaves them feeling empty inside. Don’t get me wrong, I’m neither here to justify or make excuses for them. No matter what, we should all to be held accountable for our actions. Does our Father in heaven not love us even as He corrects us? What I’m trying to say is, can we not teach men that their power comes from within too? That just because the next person has realised how powerful they are, it takes nothing away from them. It’s time to start reshaping the message for BOTH our sons and daughters. At the end of the day, God said a wife, children and prosperity would bring a man joy, not power. All power belongs to God, and He lives in EVERY single one of us.
It is up to us to recreate the new normal. A normal that celebrates the worth of self and of others, while promoting power that is more than just a thing, but a true essence of what lies within.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
2 Timothy 1:7