Hypergamy is the concept of marrying a person of a higher economic & social class than oneself. Women leaving a guy of equal or lower economic status is something that start at maturity as they are biologically hypergamous as men are biologically polygamous.
Women are sexual object and come into their prime at adulthood, at which point their biological nature to want the highest value man they can get, kicks in because the window is short – primal attraction.
Men on the other hand are success object who need more time to build their economic portfolio. Thus, men come into their prime in their 30s when his female age mates are falling off their prime. Although, in many cases, the women utilize their prime and get married in their 20s.
Living in Nigeria means surviving on the first lesson of economics – scarcity. The Nigerian society is one that suffers from failure in eradicating poverty and achieving sustainable development due to dearth in informed policy making and policy implementation.
Thus, the people have found a way to navigate the muddle waters of surviving in this geographical slum. Generally, we raise boys with the mindset that they are men and have to provide for their siblings and parents and further to carry the burden of financial responsibility in every intimate relationship. The girl child is raised to carter to the domesticity of the home and mother the family.
However, Inspite of growing changes in the world order and education of the girl child which has surpassed the boy child leading to more women in professional spaces, the burden of financial responsibility still remains a masculine obligation.
In her speech, “We Should All Be Feminists,” Chimamanda Adichie while tackling the obsession with rigid gender roles painted a common scenario that:
In secondary school, a teenage boy and girl of same age and with same amount of pocket money would go out and the boy would be expected to always pay to prove his masculinity and she asked that “what if boys and girls were not raised to link masculinity with money? What if the attitude was not, the boy has to pay but rather who has more should pay?”
This question has become necessitated in the fight for gender equality because equality comes with responsibility. Unashamedly, adult women still think “my money is mine and your money, ours.”
Naturally, women want to feel anchored. They want to feel sheltered and have someone they look up to. Men love to feel manly and be the lord of the home. To marry this gender differences is to accept that a woman in her prime would opt for a man in his prime and vice versa.
Women’s primary consideration in picking a partner is financial sustenance and this consideration extends to the parents who wants their daughters taken care of because Nigeria’s economic trajectory can never have understood. Hence, a primal male in a woman’s prime is a stitch in time.
Bringing the lens closer, hypergamy has saved many homes as men end up picking financial responsibilities of their partner’s families – of which there are male beneficiaries. Love is a luxury in an environment that seeks to oppress and repress you.
Sometimes, marriage to a rich dude is not built on love – read as feelings and emotional attachment. It could be self-sacrifice for family to break the yoke of poverty. Through you, a generation is saved.
There has been outcry over it as young men find their lovers leaving them for men of higher economic status but realistically speaking, context matter and where you stand determines what you see. Having weighed the pros and cons, she alone knows which is better for her.
There is a Yoruba proverb that says “Irorun igi ni irorun eye”. This means that, if the tree is not conducive enough, the bird cannot perch. In her book BECOMING – Michelle Obama wrote about how her friends picked their spouses. She had already accepted her fate with Barack that, in her words – “life would never be dull … and quite possibly that the man would never make money.” In comparison with her friends, she wrote:
So many of my friends judged potential mates from outside in, focusing first on their looks and financial prospects If it turned out the person they had chosen wasn’t a good communicator or was uncomfortable with being vulnerable, they seemed to think time or marriage vows would fix the problem.
In picking primal mates, understand you may not find all you want in one person. However, know that forever is a long time. Please only make compromises you can stand by and live with.
This view is not absolute as our women still factor in many things such as age, religion, ambition, confidence, charisma and even intellect. but one cannot rule out the impact of hypergamy. She is in her prime, her options are endless.
Yours will come late but unlike women, the window never shuts.
The financial burden on men is heavy and endless. As mentioned earlier, times have changed and wealth is no longer about brawns but brains. The economy is harsh on everyone and with more women working, it has become necessary for them to contribute their quota to the family except where the man has taken it upon himself to do so by virtue of capacity to perform.
The grouch on hypergamy mostly stem from women in their prime leaving their mates for men in their prime – who are obviously older. When the same guys get to their prime, their unmarried mates begin to desire them but there are younger ladies in the platter of hors d’oeuvre.
Your loss is another’s hypergamy. Life balances itself. It behoves on one to take advantage of his/her prime to avoid the tears of hindsight. There is no wrong reason for getting married. Money is a very good reason but don’t broke shame others while at it.
People marry for financial reason, political reason, business reason, to maintain family relations, religious reason, tribal reason, love – among several others and they are all valid. Please, just accept the consequences of your personal decision.
Hypergamy doesn’t care about emotional equity – a woman just cares if you are a better option. This stuff is a cycle and it comes around. Be intentional enough to take advantage of your prime.
If you believe in love, please seek love but don’t police those marrying for economic reasons – their life, their battles. In conclusion, Life is in stages and men are in sizes. If you choose to marry someone for economic reason only, it is valid.
If you choose to marry for love and grow with your partner, it is valid. If you choose to hustle and marry later in your 30s, do not apologize for marrying a 20-year-old if that is your choice. It is valid.
Also, if you did not marry in your prime, do not blackmail men to marry their mates in their 30s. They worked to get to their prime. Let them enjoy it the way you enjoyed yours. Their choice matters. You might have missed out on them but they are someone’s hypergamous desire.
Every marriage is valid and their reasons valid if done within the bounds of legality.