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Modern Love: Men Are Devils; Women Are Evil, So Why Date? 

By Carine Bongadu

Men think women are evil while women think men are devil incarnates. Sometime ago I went out with this guy. He was funny and nice and I liked him very much but somehow, I could not bring myself to trust that he was going to be faithful to me, no matter how much we liked each other. I expressed this thought to him indirectly and his reply was "why don’t you think your case will be different?" So we started dating and guess what? I found out a few weeks later that he had another girlfriend. Devil incarnate!

My brother had a girlfriend. He began dating this girl when she was five months pregnant with another man’s baby. They dated each other until the baby was born. This girl became so close to my family that my sisters and I would baby-sit for our "in-law". A few months later, she went back to the father of her baby and my brother was left with nothing but a broken heart. Evil!
If both sexes have such mutual distrust, how come they cannot live without each other? How do couples manage to get engaged and stay married? Is it love, or is there another explanation?

I met 35-year-old Charles and asked him why he got married. He told me he was tired of just dating girls and decided that he wanted to settle down. I sought to know if he loved his wife. Before I give his answer, let me tell something about love and marriage. I know for a fact that not all married couples are in love. People get married for all sorts of reasons; because they are old and they want children, because they have good jobs so it is time for marriage, because they met someone rich and need financial security … and the list goes on and on.

Arranged marriages are the most glaring that people don’t always marry for love. You know, guy in the USA says he needs wife from Cameroon. Guy’s family looks for girl for him and sends pictures. Girl says yes immediately because guy is in the USA and guy says yes because girl is pretty and, family says, well-behaved. Love is not a factor here. Unless you are naïve enough to believe that all arranged marriages enjoy love at first sight.

Love at first sight. Now, that is an interesting theory. I have watched too many movies and I love the idea that you could just meet someone for the very first time, look into their eyes and fall in love forever. Meet Emade, 30 years old. She was at the Great Soppo Market in Buea when she bumped into this guy. He knocks down her market bag and spills all the contents to the ground so they both bend to pick them up. They look into each other’s eyes and baam! Just like that, they fall in love. That was seven years ago. I have you know that they are happily married now. This is a true story.

I guess I do believe in love at first sight but I am realistic enough to know that it is not meant for everyone. So what about the rest of us who have not had such magical moments and are stuck with lying and cheating boyfriends or evil girlfriends looking for "aide pères"? Why are we still out there in the dating game, exposing our splintered hearts to more trouble? Those who marry without love do so because they have given up hope of ever finding love or and so settle for what they have. 

I think those of us still in the dating game risk our hearts again and again because we keep hoping that when all is said and done, we will find someone who will love us for who we are. We all hope that someday, someone will get tired of just dating and, like Charles, marry us because they love us. We borrow from Jane Austen to say we shall not marry without affection.

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