What happened to the good old days of old-fashioned love? This is a question that many women ponder today. Back in the 70’s and 80’s, the dating game was played very differently.
Roles in relationships were very clearly defined, and it was unheard of for a woman to pay a man’s way - in whatever form. But all this has changed now, and more and more women are paying bills for their men.
Some men are very comfortable with this, and are not about to change their cosy arrangements. They feel nothing about having a girlfriend or wife supporting them.
No woman ever sets out to support a man, it just somehow creeps up on them. It all starts with buying your man a beer, or cup of coffee. In some cases, when couples are dating, the woman will want to prove that she is independent and is not a gold digger.
She will make sure that she chips in as much as possible, in the belief that the man will respect her for this.
But what happens is actually the opposite.
Susan Wawira believed she had met the love of her life when Ken asked her out. So smitten was she, that she would nonchalantly pay for their dates.
He had all the qualities she was looking for in a lover and possible husband. To endear herself to him, she would often prepare meals for him at her house, which he happily wolfed down.
Soon, he was calling for dinner daily. As he ate her food, he would charm her with jokes and tell her what a marvelous cook she was. She was flattered and even more besotted with him.
She soon started lavishing gifts of clothing on him. On his birthday, she bought him a Mitsubishi Pajero. Although he was employed, he spent his own money sparingly.
He hardly contributed much towards his upkeep, as they were now co-habiting. He always had a ready excuse not to chip in. In actual fact, he was putting away as much as possible in savings, building up a nest egg for himself.
Since he was living rent-free, he managed to save a tidy sum in the six years they were together.
This type is very sweet talking – you know the kind who can sell chalk as water purification chemical to the city council or sand to the Arabs. In fact, he is often in trouble with the authorities.
He is always being looked for due to his swindling and confidence trickster ways. He talks of big deals that will net in millions.
The truth is, he has never worked hard enough to bring home even Sh100,000, and yet claims to have a proposal that will soon place him in the world of the rich and famous.
He dismisses getting employed, claiming that he is worth much more than the peanuts that he’ll be paid and if he does get a job, he is sacked or quits because he has an attitude problem – he likes being his own boss.
He will spend a lot of time trying to see his big shot contacts to get the deals. One man used to report to a certain politician’s office daily for three months.
He would wait at the reception from 8.30 am, the politician would leave for lunch and give him an appointment for 2.30 pm.
The man would wait patiently upto 5.30pm without seeing the politician.
This went on daily for three months, until he got the hint. In the meantime, the rent and school fees were being paid by his long-suffering partner. These men ought to face reality, and find honest work. A steady income is better than a dream income of millions.
One fine Saturday morning, he woke up, dressed very smartly.
Susan wondered why he was so niftily dressed that day. He just smiled as he entered his Pajero, new shoes and all, and went to pay dowry for another woman!
But just how do women get trapped in these sorts of relationships? It does not happen in a day.
These situations are baffling and mysterious. If you find yourself with a man in any of these set ups, you will perhaps need to rethink your relationship.
Whenever you go out and bills are incurred, such a man will always have forgotten his wallet, or lost his money somewhere. If you are in a long-term relationship, you will constantly be told about post-dated cheques that have been issued, which will be used to clear debts.
The trouble is that these cheques are as elusive as the man himself is. In the meantime, you have lent him so much money that you are now used to the hard-luck tales.
In these cases, the man’s background is wealthy. His parents are usually rich and influential. This man, however, does not know the meaning and value of hard work.
These men are so called because you will find them smartly dressed in hotel lounges, timing their victims. They try hard to look well-off and only patronize high-end hotels.
They are quite particular about the way they dress - their shoes, the cologne they wear and watch.
Some even wear ornate pimp shoes and bling.
This is a faÃ§ade created to overwhelm their targets - lonely, well-off women, and they do not care about the women’s marital status. At first, he will ask a woman out to romantic and expensive places, which he will pay for as part of the lure.
This type usually has a rip-off plan in mind and does not intend to stay for too long. Once he has you eating out of the palm of his hand, he will suggest that you and he should invest in a venture.
He may even borrow a huge sum of money from you, which he will never pay back. Some of these men are even married and their wives have no idea what their good-looking husbands get up to behind their backs. These are the men who use their looks to lure hapless women.
Crafty men have long sensed this, hence the emergence of the rubber stamp husband phenomenon. Such women are prepared to live with men whom they have to support financially to the hilt.
It is a different case if the man was supporting his family, but due to unfortunate circumstances, lost his job or became disabled. We are talking about husbands who cannot be bothered to work, because they have no ambitions and are lucky to have landed a working wife.
In fact such men seek out vulnerable women who are desperate for love. In the western and Middle Eastern countries, women are homemakers!
Only a woman in these circumstances can understand the frustration, emptiness and unhappiness of having a rubber stamp husband.
These women shoulder all the responsibilities as the men drink the women’s money, womanise and while their time away.
Women in such arrangements will smile and pretend to be happy, while deep in their hearts, they feel entrapped.
But you can only pretend for so long, in the end, resentment will rear its ugly head and that will be the beginning of the end.
For a while, he will be supported by his folks in his various projects, but since he has a soft landing place, he does not give it his all.
His other half, in the meantime, holds the fort.
She uses her meagre salary to pay the rent, school fees and food.
Imagine a nurse feeding a “mheshimiwa or a CEO’s” grown up son. It’s pathetic.
Unfortunately this type is the worst because women tend to flock around them thinking they have the money only to discover that even the parents are fed up of nurse-feeding him and more than happy that you have spared them the trouble.