Though we don’t have a word for cohabitation in Akan, it is usually called ‘’Bokomdo awar’’ literally meaning, “come and sit on me marriage” or “by force marriage.”
Which is when two people stay together without the benefit of marriage.
In Ghana there are so many reasons why two lovers would move in together. These are:
- To get to know each other better
- Already preparing for marriage
- Not having enough money to formalize their union but not wanting to be apart
- To save money for a future project not necessarily getting married
- One of the partner’s rent advance is finished so moving in makes economical sense
- Lovers at the tertiary institution who move in together to avoid roommates getting to know their business
- Needing a temporary place to stay
- To prevent a rival from getting closer
- As punishment for raping a girl or woman
- To test the relationship to see if it will last
- Different religions preventing them from marrying
Most couples who move in together have expectations of getting married in future. Some couples could stay together for years and even have children together. Women who cohabit feel secured knowing that having him stay with her limits his ‘playing’ tendencies. The guys are also able to see for themselves if indeed the woman is marriage material before tying the knot.
But although some of the above reasons for cohabiting might be noble and not usually ending in marriage of course, there is cause to worry; some of them might actually be scams.
So read on and let me give you some of the cohabiting situations that are entirely false and guaranteed to give an unsuspecting partner broken heart.
1 Help me finish my course
Anita was a poor girl from a village who had gained entry into a university. She had had to sell different items just to be able to afford her fees.
Every semester, she had to wait for the student’s loan to pay for part of her fees and also books. Life was hard but she was determined to finish school at all costs.
Then she met Michael.
He was handsome, very rich and in love with her. She was astounded that somebody like him would even express interest in her. After they had dated for a while, he invited her to move in with him. She eagerly agreed because his place was very fine.
He paid for her school fees and bought everything she wanted. She was now living a good life and enjoying herself for once. When they got to level 300 she got pregnant. She was so convinced of their love that she ecstatically told him.
Then he dropped the bomb.
He had only wanted to be with her until they finished school. She couldn’t believe it. So he broke up with her, drove her out of his house and gave her money to abort the baby. But she couldn’t abort it as she needed the money to feed and take care of herself. So there she was, poor, saddled with a child but, no man in her life.
This story is not peculiar and has been happening over the decades. Guys and ladies in our various tertiary institutions move in with each other but most often than not, the guys just want someone to warm their beds for the duration of their schooling.
Of course this is not limited to only guys alone as some ladies also use their boyfriends in order to avoid paying for rent, utilities etc.
So ladies, if your boyfriend invites you to move in with him, be careful. It might just be because he needs a bed warmer and not necessarily someone he wants to marry in future.
2 Serial Live-in Lover
He is handsome, charming and ready to help you anyway he can. He likes visiting you at home and doesn’t mind staying overnight or for as many nights as you’ll allow him to.
She’s willing to shop and cook for you and mostly talks about how great it will be if the two of you two stayed together. She makes herself readily available to you whiles letting you know how much she’ll have to depend on you because she has no one except you
As you go on falling for him more and more you find yourself liking the thought of living with him. He could drop subtle hints or ask you plainly if you don’t mind him staying with you just to take care of you. Because you like having him around so much, you’ll agree and allow him to move in with you. Months later or even years when you break up, he’ll move in with someone else.
Guys who do this are mostly:
- Those who prefer older women who have a comfortable lifestyle and willing to ‘sponsor’ them.
- Students who need a woman willing to pay for their expenses
- Graduates doing National Service and wanting to save money especially while living in the town they’ve been posted to.
- Those who have wasted several chances but yet do not want to work hard to acquire money so prefer the easy way, sex a woman and take her money
- Those who prey on divorced or desperately searching single women
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The mission of the Serial live-in boyfriend is simple: get a woman who has her own apartment and move in with her.
The mission of a Serial live-in girlfriend is: to avoid paying bills including rent, food and utilities.
3 Paid Boyfriend
The lady might think that the guy loves her but to him he is just a boyfriend being paid to be with her. Call him a gigolo, male prostitute, he doesn’t really care. He wants money and doesn’t care sleeping with someone to get it.
Such guys feel entitled and become arrogant over time. He’s more or less like a beggar with a choice as he could become a monster if you don’t give him money regularly. The more you give him money, the more he’ll express his love for you. The lesser you pay, the less affection he shows.
4 In Between Relationships
Believe it or not, a girl who doesn’t have a boyfriend can pack up her things to spend over a week with a guy she met online.
Such girls chat with you for a few hours and ask if they can pay you a visit. They tend to avoid talking about where they live or will tell you how their parents or landlords are worrying them. They will plead with you to stay for a few days. This could stretch to over a month if you don’t nip this in the bud.
5 Already married
There are various reasons why married men or women will choose to cohabit with someone else.
- They prefer being with them to going home
- They want out of their marriage as in they want a place to stay during separation
But there are some married men who will not tell their new girlfriends they are married and will move in with them. The new woman will be his live-in mistress while his wife might know or not be aware.
This particular scam reminds me of a movie starring Magid Michel, Pascaline Edwards and Nadia Buari where Magid scammed Nadia while keeping Pascaline who willingly participated in duping Nadia. Such relationships are unfortunately more common than is reported.
Some ladies also do this but seldom cohabit with their ‘scammees’
There are so many ways men and even women are scamming their partners just to get a place to sleep. That is why before you agree to move in together without the benefit of marriage, you need to ask yourself if it’s really worth it.