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Read Letter

Don’t Be A Bukata

My dear Jil, English language is a poor arbiter of certain expressions relative to native tongue. It just lacks capacity for certain imageries, can’t express full depths of meaning. Take the word translated “fool” in the Solomonic text, “The fool hath said in his heart there is no God.” When you read the West African Yoruba translation there’s a wide berth. The word “fool” is translated “asiwere.” Transliterated, “asiwere” means “local manufacturer of a variety of madness that manifests in grimy half nakedness in the market square – the type of madness that has gone beyond accommodation by family members. It knows no bounds.” How can the word, “fool” convey such depth of meaning? English language is poorly endowed for such cultural depth. It lacks capacity.

It’s the same problem with a word that comes to mind when I think of your approach to relationship. It’s a word I heard my father use. The word is “bukata.” The word “bukata” can only be explained in sentences. It suggests a spiritually assigned problem that is present continuous in essence – one so persistent it manifests as a demonic burden, like the hump on a hunchback in folklore. “Bukata” is so proprietary it becomes your lot in life. You have to accept the burden with equanimity, bear it as your cross in life. You can’t get rid of it. Like they say, “It’s your bukata”.

The reason you can’t get guys to stay and why you have no boyfriend is because you present yourself as a proprietor of “bukata” to prospects. You meet a guy, and all he keeps hearing from you are your burdens, how you’re looking for someone to step up and help you, how you want someone to alleviate your financial burdens. Why would any guy want to go into a relationship with you? Who wants to go into a relationship defined by burdens and financial responsibility? As if the essence of relationship is looking for a carrier of financial burdens. Let’s flip things around. If you meet a guy and he keeps telling you he’s looking for a girlfriend who’ll take care of his accommodation and other expenses would you go into the relationship? Won’t you run? Exactly! It means before the relationship has even begun you’re already saddled with financial burdens the genesis of which you know nothing about. And you’ve only just begun.

You can’t keep presenting yourself as an equity market for issues and financial problems and expect guys to stay. It’s scary. No one wants to marry a burden. Of course you don’t know how it comes across because you’re only seeing things from your perspective. But it suggests a certain “smartness,” the type that discourages trustworthiness in a relationship. It’s like, “In this relationship you will bear the load but I will enjoy. Yours is the burden to bear. I’ve transferred it to you. You’re my boyfriend. That’s what boyfriends are for.” That’s the way a guy will read your approach. It’s what your approach suggests. It’s not really about the guy or love for him. You just want someone who’ll bear your financial burdens. That for you is the essence of relationship. But if that guy didn’t come along wouldn’t you have paid your house rent? Won’t you meet all your financial obligations, as you’ve actually been doing all these years? How come those obligations are suddenly his?

What you want to load on the guy he cannot afford to carry. It’s too psychologically heavy. Why do you want to turn your boyfriend into a beast of burden? Once guys get an intimation of such a plan they take off! It’s why the guys are not staying. It’s not because you’re not attractive. Remember you attracted the guys. But you can’t keep them because of your philosophy of relationship. It’s a burden transfer paradigm. I repeat, no one wants to marry a burden. Research your parents’ generation. Those who married burdens lived to regret it.

Your relationship paradigm is flawed. Your argument that you’ve been carrying your financial load all this while by yourself and the essence of a relationship is to transfer it to someone else is just plain selfish. And you’re reinforcing the quid pro quo paradigm of money for sexual gratification. You don’t go into a relationship because you’re looking for a load carrier. That relationship is doomed from the start. The desires of the parties are at cross purposes. He’s looking for romantic entanglement, you’re looking for economic ameliorator. Your desires are crossed. The relationship can’t work. If he fails to help you with a financial obligation you’re going to feel he failed you as a boyfriend. But for him, the very fact you naturally expect him to take over your financial load makes him feel you don’t love him for him. He’s just an economic mule. It’s a demand and supply relationship. It is economically defined. You demand, he supplies. We can also call it a logistics relationship. You transfer your financial burdens to him and he picks up. He’s your UPS.

You’re being selfish in your approach and you ought to drop that paradigm. If you don’t drop it you’re going to keep having runaway boyfriends. And if you pretend by initially avoiding making demands, only to introduce it sometime later in the relationship he will feel set up. It will be like you made sure to do the right things, say the right things, but it was all purposed. You knew all along where you were headed. Guys don’t trust such women. It feels like a trap. And anyway it will show. Such mind-set somehow shows through. The guy will “feel” he’s being baited. He knows if he makes the mistake of having sex with you he’s on the hook. Right after the sex a demand is coming. If you want a wholesome relationship you have to drop all that “smartness,” which really is no smartness. It hasn’t landed you a relationship, has it? That’s because there’s no sincerity.

The sad thing is that this last guy is the type that would normally have volunteered to help you with all those bills. But all that scheming and “smartness” put him off. He couldn’t trust you. You came across as desperate and manipulative – a “dangerous” person to be in a relationship with. He had to be on guard with you, had to be careful about the good things you did for him. At the back of his mind he felt they were being done with a view. And he wasn’t wrong, was he? You soon presented the bill. He was paying for affection in instalments. Things will of course be different in a marriage. In a marriage you’re one. His burdens are yours, your burdens are his. But he hasn’t even proposed and you’ve assigned your financial obligations to him. He hardly knows you. But maybe he does!

It’s not exactly wise to present yourself as a bundle of problems to a marital prospect. As you’re speaking he’s seeing issues and obligations. You’ll seem like an industrial strength spider’s web. It’s what the other guy heard on your first date that made him take off. He didn’t call back the next day because your strategic objectives were apparent. It was all about money. This is not the way to go about a relationship. If by chance you skip the hoop and get married this is not the way to go about marriage either. It’s just self-centered and selfish. No doubt there is a burden of care in marriage. What love does is that it makes the other party volunteer to share that burden. It’s why love is important in marriage.

What you don’t want in a relationship is to give a guy the impression he’s being used. That’s often obvious, especially to third parties. Boys and girls do reviews with their friends after first dates. If the guy likes you but he’s troubled by “something” that concern will seep through the fabric of his discussions. If he particularises and states that he feels you’re aiming for a relationship to transfer your financial burden that review will not be favourable to you. It’s the same way you review your dates with your friends. They pass comments, make judgements, express opinions. Once an ok guy starts getting hesitant about a second date something is troubling him, which he can’t express to you. He’d have started withdrawing on the inside, right from the first date. If you come across as sharp-clawed on your first date don’t be surprised he’s not enthusiastic for a second date. The nuances are there. People can read them. He’d have appreciated the fact you handled all those responsibilities on your own all this while. Chances are he’d have started thinking of what he can do to ease things up. Why? Because he’s warming up to you.

In marriage it’s always about the other party. That’s what love does. There’s a duty of care and it’s present continuous. When parties adopt a giving attitude in a relationship, when parties put the other person first, when selfishness is eschewed relationships do well. It’s hard to describe the beauty of a good marriage. It’s just so beautiful, so healthy, so affirming, so nourishing, so giving. In nourishing your partner you nourish yourself. In nourishing you he nourishes himself. There must be sincerity of nourishment in a relationship. It’s what makes relationship beautiful.

So I ask you to rethink your approach. If you want to marry that is. Don’t be a bukata.

Your mentor, LA.

© Leke Alder |

In nourishing your partner you nourish yourself. In nourishing you he nourishes himself. There must be sincerity of nourishment in a relationship. It’s what makes relationship beautiful. Click To Tweet When parties adopt a giving attitude in a relationship, when parties put the other person first, when selfishness is eschewed relationships do well. Click To Tweet


Tags : bukata, problematic, financial burden, finances

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