Why Some Nigerian Men Choose To Remain Single

It really is no secret that a lot of Nigerian men have resorted to not getting married. Many men have children out of wedlock and this has led to a lot of women becoming baby mamas or single mums rather than becoming legal wives. It is a worldwide phenomenon and more prevalent in Europe where the rate of divorce is as high as 65% for new marriages or marriages not more than three years.

Three years used to be a sort of honeymoon phase for couples but these days, it seems couples get tired of one another and find it hard to even stay under the same roof within a period of 36 months or less. Nigeria has slowly but surely started to adopt this method of having kids out of wedlock and refusing to get married officially for many reasons. One of such reasons is the new feminist outlook which many ladies take into marriages.

It is said that two captains cannot control one ship but nowadays, women do not want to be co-captains but they want to be captains themselves. Men are naturally controlling and domineering and so, cannot share power to that extent with a woman who is supposed to be their wife. Decades ago, when western teaching and way of life had not been adopted in Nigeria as it is today, women used to be in submission to their husbands.

A wife cannot go out in an outfit that her husband doesn’t like. Nowadays, the reverse is the case, as women want to have autonomous power while being married to a full-fledged man. This causes a lot of friction and has drastically increased the rate of divorces and separations in Nigerian marriages. Nigerian men now prefer to get a woman pregnant and have her live alone or with her parents while they send upkeep for the kids.

This gives the woman some level of freedom to do whatever she wants as she is not under any man. The ease at which men can get sex nowadays is also a reason why most men refuse to marry. Why get married and go through all that trouble when you can get sex steadily from a lady whenever you wish? The rise in popularity of the so called “runs girls” and “olosho” have greatly contributed to the ease of getting sexual satisfaction for men. This has directly affected marriages nowadays.

You cannot blame a man for sticking to having everything he wants and also being free. Frankly speaking, it is not only sex workers who have made this so rampant, as the average lady has sexual relations with their boyfriends on regular basis. It has become a norm now.  This was not the case a few decades ago when even getting a kiss on the lips was a big deal for a man in a relationship with a woman. Another reason why men have found advantage in avoiding marriage is the cost of getting married.


The average Nigerian man spends nothing less than 500,000 naira and even as much as 2.5 million naira just to wed a woman. This does not cover the cost of apartment the man and his wife would stay, neither does it cover the cost of raising children after the marriage. What is most baffling is that most Nigerian men spend money which can raise a building or get a good parcel of land on a marriage ceremony which only lasts a couple of hours combined.

We all know how tough it is to get a stable job or business in Nigeria and the cost of living which keeps rising everyday. It really has become an herculean task for most men to afford a wedding and so, men who are prepared to marry a woman cannot afford it. The “owanbe” aspect of the wedding and unreasonable bride price asked by the parents of the ladies nowadays is not encouraging. This is most prevalent to ladies from the eastern and southern parts of Nigeria, where a man would be given a list of items which could be worth more than 1 million naira as bride price.

The self-serving character of most women in recent times has also made it disadvantageous to marry them. Recently, there was a story of a woman who refused to pay 25,000 naira hospital bill for her daughter while she had up to 3.6 million naira in her account. It is really unbelievable that a woman who is said to be the best at nurturing children is the person who did this. Her reason for it is that she worked hard for the money and it was her husband’s responsibility to cough out the money, even though the husband clearly said he didn’t have it at that moment.

The fact that she was making this statement in defence of her actions after the death of her child gives more reasons for worry. The popular belief of women that whatever belongs to the husband is for both of them and whatever belongs to them as the wife is for them alone, is really sad and this has to change if women want men to start getting married again. Nigerian women as well as women all over the world really need to have a rethink on what it means to be a wife, mother, help-mate and partner to a man.

I am not saying all men are angels and they do no wrong but Nigerian women and women worldwide really need to change. They need to understand that having a successful marriage is the responsibility of both the man and the woman. These are reasons why Nigerian men see it as advantageous to stay single rather than get married. And, unless things change, it would only get worse to the extent that hearing about a marriage event on a weekend would become a rare thing in our society.

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