Dating; London vs Lagos

London and Lagos are undeniably two great cities. These cities are rich in culture, although very different, share some similarities like being very populous, industrious in nature, expensive. It is common for people to migrate to these cities with hopes of attaining “greener pastures” unfortunately, nobody can explain the hustling involved thoroughly till you experience it yourself. There’s a huge gap in the cultural differences between London and Lagos. The dating life in both cities is the focus of the post today.

The dating scene of both cities are very different as a result of influence from different factors like culture, proximity, funds and many more. I particularly like how informal and romantic the dating scene in London is, you can easily do cheesy things you see in the movies like taking long strolls at night, picnic in the park, public display of affection and do things with your significant other without necessarily spending a lot of money. The above listed can be done in Lagos but it will most likely not happen. For example, a long stroll at night, might not be a wise decision because everywhere is dark to start with, therefore, you need to stay very conscious and alert, so your security is not compromised.  This is not to say, there are no security issues in London as well, but there is an actual night life in London, people move around to get to work and other places.  Additionally, Mosquitoes are out to get you. The hot weather will quickly turn it to a sweaty situation. Just forget about public display of affection, try and kiss in a public place, people will gawk at you till the point that it gets really uncomfortable or somebody might be brave enough to  approach you to explain why kissing should be done in your homes and how religion doesn’t permit it.

The dating life in London allows for you and your partner to be spontaneous, let’s face it, planning is good but sometimes, you just want to see your partner out of the blue. You can easily meet up for after work drinks, go home for a quick outfit change and see a movie. In London, you can predict and plan journey times, the system is designed to make your life easier. On the other hand, In Lagos, some people are still able to pull off spontaneity, if they live or work close to each other. It is not so easy for others, the extent of traffic in Lagos, makes it very difficult to pull up any spontaneous trip, most especially if you live in different parts of Lagos. So, its always better to plan in this case to avoid disappointments.

Making use of dating apps is very common in London and it isn’t weird at all, as a matter of fact, more people are open to idea of meeting people online. It can be very difficult meeting people, if you have a busy schedule. People often say dating apps are only good for hook ups, but it is very possible to meet responsible people there, so don’t miss out because of naysayers. On the flipside, the use of dating apps in Lagos isn’t as common as London. However, people slide into strangers dm’s (direct messaging) all the time on social media in Lagos, in my opinion this concept of meeting people is similar to what dating apps offer.

It is no doubt that eating out can be quite expensive regardless of whichever city you find yourself. However, you can still have a date at a decent restaurant in London without fear of breaking the bank. In Lagos, decent restaurants can get expensive. For instance, there is this fancy restaurant in London that has lots of beautiful flowers, flower wall and the ambiance there is aesthetically pleasing.

Elan cafe
The tea room

The place is called Elan café, there’s a place in Lagos that gives you a similar vibe the tea room, but you must spend a certain amount before you can take pictures in certain places in the restaurant. Whereas, you can go to Elan café and take as many pictures as possible without buying anything. This example just shows that things good things are expensive in Lagos.

The cost of living here in London is ridiculous. I know it is the exact same thing in Lagos. it is a very common practice to see young adults move out of their parents houses and move in with their partners in London, so they can split rent cost. The Nigerian culture frowns at an unmarried couple living together. Therefore, this isn’t a common dating practice in Lagos.

Many people dating in London travel with their significant others for beacations as it is popularly called. It is in fact a common practice for people dating to have getaways. This practice is not common, the first hurdle for the female in the relationship is convincing their parent that they are travelling out of the country with a boy, the second hurdle is the funds, Naira has depreciated therefore making travelling very expensive unfortunately. Luckily, there are some cool getaway spots in Nigeria. Therefore, you can plan a nice romantic getaway there.

It is more popular to have double dates in Lagos compared London, the idea of double dating with friends is practised a lot in Lagos, this helps to deepen and foster friendship amongst the couples, also, you get to socialise with your partner’s friends and just develop a friendship with them. while this isn’t a foreign practise in London, it isn’t a common practise.

Don’t be deceived, dating in London has its challenges also, it is very common for guys to string girls along. I know it is a universal practice among guys worldwide, but it is particularly bad in London I must say. Also, the dating scene in London can be very stressful, most especially for ladies that wants to settle down and be married. The way the system is structured, it allows for a high level of independence, which means, if the guys are not ready to start a family, they take their sweet time to propose to their girlfriends. There are no societal and cultural pressure making them rush into anything.

Don’t get me started on ghosting. It is their way of life here in London. Guys and girls are fond of this practise. Ghosting as the name implies is when a person decides to stop communication without no explanation whatsoever. I have been ghosted (victim of ghosting) before, not a pleasant experience.

I’m sure a lot of people have been waiting for this point. Yes, it is normal for ladies to contribute financially while dating in London, and if she doesn’t contribute, she doesn’t usually become financially dependent on the partner. This is a case of different strokes for different folks. Lagos is very deeply rooted in patriarchy; therefore, guys don’t necessarily find it necessary to split the bill and are happy to cover financial expenses, however, Lagos guys are beginning to revolt against this idea.

The other day, I was reading somewhere that they refused to switch on the air conditioner at a cinema in Lagos, so imagine, you are on a movie date, automatically, there’s no way to try and form cosy in that cinema because heat will consume you both.

Since I have dated in both Lagos and London. If I’m asked to pick a side, I will say I prefer the dating scene here in London. My Lagos boys don’t be jealous, at the end of the day, I have dated only Yoruba guys and let’s just say there are so many Yoruba demons here in London.

In conclusion, there are dating challenges everywhere in the world, you must pick your battles wisely. I have come up with a theory that if your relationship is not getting the spice it needs in Lagos, there’s an eighty percent chance that it is the system that is out to frustrate you. Don’t let any silly system deprive you from having a beautiful dating life, think outside the box and don’t live above your means. Most importantly, what works for a couple may not work for you, so there is no point copying. May the odds be in your favour. lastly, for there to be any successful dating life between people, the people involved must work towards achieving what they want, and communication goes a long way. please leave your comments below, do you think this post reflects things that happen while dating in both cities? Thank you for reading, till next week. p.s I do not own right to the pictures used in this post, they were either sourced from Instagram or google images.

6 responses to “Dating; London vs Lagos”

  1. folasade ashley avatar
    folasade ashley

    lovely write up. you are very accurate , my dear it is very difficult to date in this lagos ooo. lagos traffic is one major issue because by the time you get home you will be tired, and what you will be thinking about is to shower and sleep, because the next day morning you are dashing out of the house again to work. Kissing ke and PDA lol ko possible .


    1. Thank you, I’m beginning to believe it is a crime for people to mind their business in Lagos. Also, the traffic situation needs to be addressed soon.


  2. Well turns out it’s a win for London 😪


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