Finding a meaningful relationship in the United Kingdom is daunting. Most relationships here are highly sexual and short. This could be attributed to several reasons this piece doesn’t intend to delve into. Due to the cold weather and the lonely nature of this country, even the most decent people gradually inculcate the habit of dating for the fun of it. As soon as the first squabble happens, pride kicks it, and both parties use the exit doors. But people still find love. I did!
Below are viable channels you could use to find that special person. I will divide them into sub-sections namely: low possibility and high possibility channels. I will also give you the best based on my personal experience and knowledge.
(A) Low possibility channels:
(1) Dating apps: This is the most common place new immigrants go to seek romantic relationships. They go as far as paying for subscriptions in order to access the top features of the apps. To the best of my knowledge, the majority of the people there just want to taste a variety of meals. There will always be resemblances of genuineness, and originality, but it only goes one way which is – south. Being black, being a student, and being new in the system are mostly undesirable characteristics in the UK dating pool. It takes so much commitment and time to meet an unserious person on these apps not to talk of a serious one. This wastes valuable time and a prolonged ugly experience could affect your perception of life.
Work is the oxygen of 98.9% of immigrants in the UK. Most people unconsciously spend 70% of their time at work. Circumstantially, they stand to develop feelings for people they tend to see every day. I call this the ‘BBNaija Syndrome’. This is the wrong direction to search for your missing rib. First of all, people gossip a lot in this part of the world. Office romance is a very hot gist and everybody wants a share of the news. This has made women very careful about workplace relationships. Even if it is genuine, people will give it a randy outlook which might affect the progress of the relationship.
(3) Night clubs/pubs:
This is another easy option for newbies. This is also the worst option in my view. This is the den of the kind of people rapper Olamide referred to as “Awon Omo Wobe”. Women who make ridiculous allegations against men are headquartered in pubs and nightclubs. They have the capacity to either send you to prison or back to your home country. Meeting decent women here might have worked for some people, but your chances here are as low as Chelsea’s chances of winning the English Premier League.
This would have been an ideal place to build romantic relationships, but women are not naturally wired to date people on their level. They only date their peers when the chips are down. African women especially need that person who is in a vantage position to shield them from harsh life realities. Again, the way people disperse after lectures at the postgraduate level needs academic research. It is another low-possibility area for me. Additionally, at the postgraduate level, most of your classmates will be married.
(B) High Possibility Channels:
(1) Social gatherings:
If you are single, don’t miss out on social gatherings when available to attend. The UK is too busy, lonely, depressing, and stressful. Local parties like birthday parties, weddings, naming ceremonies, and other forms of get-togethers, constitute safe spaces for immigrants. It gives them a sense of belonging and relaxation. Try and mingle at social gatherings; just wear a bright smile and socialize with people. This is a very effective channel.
(2) African churches:
Some pastors treat their churches like a family. They know their members closely and seek avenues to bring them together. This might not be easily obtainable in a white-dominated church. These pastors also reportedly matchmake people and offer general assistance to members. African women rever religious leaders. If a male janitor asks a lady doctor out outside the church, she might bluntly say no. On the other hand, if her pastor says it is the way to go, she will likely grab him with both hands.
(3) Relationship pages on social media:
This idea is like a diamond in the dirt. There are some fast-growing relationship pages on Instagram namely LDFAfrica, Joro Olumofin, and others who are in the matchmaking business. These pages have huge followings on social media and they give you access to amazing people. You can make a sponsored post and target the ladies in their 30s. Those ones are more mature, mentally stable, and understanding than most of their counterparts in their early 20s.
(4) single mothers:
This is a very unpopular opinion, but the idea is gold. Give the single mothers a chance. A mother of one in her twenties or early thirties is recommended. The majority of them in the UK are apparently not in demand. People only offer them short-term contracts and never extend them. This has affected their self-esteem, thereby strong-arming them into eating any meat that is available. They just go wherever the wind takes them and the traveling experience is ever turbulent. If a young man approaches them with a credible offer, the person would be treated like he just found the cure for HIV/AIDS.
THE BEST OPTION:
Referrals have a success rate of 80% in my opinion. It is like getting a recommendation letter from a reputable person for a job. This is how it works; whenever you meet decent and reasonable people, tell them you are single and need to get married ASAP. They might have someone in their class to introduce to you. Most times, because the reputation of someone of high repute is at stake, both parties work hard to make the relationship work. A friend of mine – a former support worker and student was introduced to a medical doctor in his second month in the UK. The lady had everything but a man. They are happily married with a baby girl today. This is just one of several testimonies recorded through referrals.
Osahon George Osayimwen is a UK-based journalist. He has an incurable addiction to writing.