It’s been nothing but doom and gloom in the 4th quarter of 2016 for Nigeria. The buying power of the Naira keeps shrinking faster than the egos of expired Viagra users. As at today 1 Naira is equal to 315.75 (Source: Google). For me, this translates to less of the wants and focusing more on the needs. But when you’re in a relationship it’s not always that simple. It’s no longer just about you but about somebody else too. So in order for you not to become the victim of a bad romance I have listed five effects of dating in the recession which you can look out for and handle without straining your relationship.
1. Pocket management:
During the recession you have to become economical with romantic gestures that cost a lot of money. Gone (or few) are the days that you splurge on Debonair Pizza for all your close friends and leave a N1,000 tip for the sales girl. With recession comes the era of scaling down to Dominos Pizza and buying that medium size pizza for you and your partner only. Spa treatments can be less regular and maybe your partner should consider going ‘au naturale’ with her hair so you don’t get lumbered with expensive extensions for your future ex.
Or Natalophobia is the irrational fear of one’s birthday, though in this context the fear is more specifically of having to buy your partner a gift. It costs money and depending on your partner’s taste, lots of it. As a matter of fact, once you’re in a relationship during this recession, festive days like birthdays, Valentine’s day, Christmas day and your one month or five months or 1 year anniversary just appear like skits of a horror movie titled, ‘The Bleeding Bank Account’ (printed in red blood, of course and starring YOU).
3. Data appreciation:
I don’t mean appreciation in the value of Internet data! (I’d be so lucky. The opposite was recently rumoured to be the case). I mean appreciating data over voice calls. With a fixed data subscription you can chat with or video call your partner as much as you like without spending your life savings on endless purchases of airtime top-up. An understanding partner would appreciate this substitution. Couples need to KISS (Keep It Short & Sweet) when it comes to voice calls. The amount of texts and images/video clips you send via Internet data is only limited by your data plan.
4. Heated arguments:
When you find that your finances are reducing faster than usual and that your salary can no longer afford things like before, you can get emotional. Emotions of anger tend to be quite common in these instances. It’s best not to bottle up these emotions from the onset. If the level of spending in your relationship is a concern then mention it early. Don’t wait till your partner asks you to buy a flight ticket before you throw a tantrum. Be open about what you can and cannot afford. If your partner cares about you then he or she will understand.
5. Recession vs oppression:
It can be quite annoying when you’re with your couple outdoors in a club somewhere and you notice a similarly cool-looking couple sitting in the VIP section downing Hennessy XO while you’re in your humble corner with your partner sipping slowly on ‘Lemon-flavoured carbonated water served on the rocks’ aka Sprite with ice cubes. There’s a popular saying we have in Nigeria – Cut your coat according to your size. In other words, spend on what you can afford and don’t try to be like anyone else. You don’t have to compete. You don’t know what they are into (probably MMM, who knows?).
In summary, during this recession you and your partner need to communicate a lot more than ever before. Things are hard and will get tougher in the coming year for Nigerians. But if we learn to manage our expenses and make alternative lifestyle changes, then relationships do not have to be avoided. That said, I hope you’ve saved up for a Christmas present 😉