Senegal


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Guide for dating in Senegal helps you to meet the best girls. This dating guide gives you tips how to date Senegalese women. You will learn rules where and how to flirt with local Senegalese girls. We advise how to move from casual dating to the relationship and find the real love. We also tell the best dating sites in Senegal. In this article below you will find more information where to meet and date girls in Senegal, Africa.


Girls in Senegal:

  • Looks of girls: 3 / 5
  • Attitude of girls: 3 / 5
  • Loyalty of girls: 2.5 / 5
  • Education level of girls: 3 / 5

Dating in Senegal:

  • Chance of arranging dates: 3.5 / 5
  • Casual dating culture: 3.5 / 5
  • Online dating popularity: 3 / 5

Sex in Senegal:

  • Women's sexual activity: 3.5 / 5
  • One-night stands: 3 / 5

More about Senegal:

  • Nightlife in general: 4 / 5
  • Locals' English level: 1.5 / 5
  • Budget per day: US$50 - $500
  • Accommodation: US$10 - $300

Dating

Senegal boasts of the westernmost point of what is now known as the Old World. The country is bordered by Mauritania, Mali, Guinea, Guinea Bissau and the Atlantic Ocean. The country also surrounds The Gambia, which forms a long strip 300 kilometers long sandwiching the Gambia River inland from the Atlantic Ocean. The country has a population of about 16 million people with an area of 196,000 square kilometers. The capital city and political center is Dakar, which has an urban population of 1.2 million people while the metropolitan area has a population of 2.6 million people. About 95% of the population is Muslim while Christians make up 4%. French is the official language whereas there are about 20 ethnic groups.

Dating Senegalese girls is fun and exciting. The girls are beautiful, intelligent and fun-loving. The girls found in the urban areas especially the capital city are outgoing and less conservative than those in the rural areas. Even though religion plays a big role in the lives of the Senegalese, these girls do not mind having some good time provided that you do not expose them to ridicule by acting inappropriately especially in public.


Dating Culture

Despite 95% of Senegal’s population being Muslim which is relatively conservative in matters of dating and relationships, the country has a very vibrant dating culture. The Senegalese are very social and so conversations between young men and women start at a very young age. However, because of this socialization sometimes what may appear to be a relationship may be simply two people of opposite gender having a conversation. While dating and relationships are in plenty, the conservative social setup means that public display of affection is frowned upon unless in clubs or with peers.


Online Dating

Dating in Senegal can be a bit tricky due to not knowing if you have a solid connection, so your best bet is to sign up for a dating site before you venture to the night club or bar, so you can meet a few locals ahead of time. AdultFriendFinder.com lets you meet local members in Senegal and get to know them on a personal basis before you meet in person. Take advantage of site features like live chat and member to member webcams so you can begin flirting before arranging a face-to-face meeting.

Women

The Senegalese society is a complex one in which there are more than ten different ethnic groups and at least three religions divided, in turn, into a large number of families or sects within Islam known as brotherhoods. The situation of women in the country varies greatly depending on the context (rural/urban) and ethnicity of reference. What is clear is that they are increasingly playing a key role in the country's public life and certainly in the future of Senegalese migration to Spain. In a context of acute shortage of labor, the traditional family model simply does not work, the women take to the streets to find money to support their families and it is increasingly common to find female professionals who open new paths for future generations.

The traditional division of labor in Senegal saw women responsible for household tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and childcare. They were also responsible for a large share of agricultural work, including weeding and harvesting, for such common crops as rice. Women of the nobility used to be influential in political scenes. This is partly because matrilineage was the means for a prince to become king (particularly in the Wolof kingdoms).

In recent decades, economic change and urbanization have led to many young men migrating to the cities, such as Dakar. Rural women have become increasingly involved in managing village forestry resources and operating millet and rice mills. The government's rural development agency aims to organize village women and involve them more actively in the development process. Women play a prominent role in village health committees and prenatal and postnatal programs. In urban areas, despite women's second-class status within Islam, cultural change has led to women entering the labor market as office and retail clerks, domestic workers and unskilled workers in textile mills and tuna-canning factories

Non-government organizations are also active in promoting women's economic opportunities. Micro-financing loans for women's businesses have improved the economic situation of many.

Senegal ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, as well as the additional protocol. Senegal is also a signatory of the African Charter of Human and People's Rights, which was adopted during the 2003 African Union Summit. However, Senegalese feminists have been critical of the government's lack of action in enforcing the protocols, conventions and other texts that have been signed as a means of protecting women's rights.


Senegalese Girls (age 18 - 29)

According to the law, the minimum legal age for marriage for girls is 16 years. However, many girls marry off younger than this. This is because many parents are wary of their daughters getting pregnant before marriage. For some, once a girl has undergone female genital mutilation, she is mature enough to get married as she is no longer considered a child.

As the young ladies experience a change from adolescence to adulthood, they experience a physical change in their bodies. What was before little irregularities on the chest develop on to turn out to be delicate delicious and round bosoms. Senegalese ladies are normally invested around there and you will begin seeing the women deliberately making them obvious. The bum and hips likewise grow fundamentally. The facial appearance additionally changes bringing about normally excellent countenances.

The girls will start investing in their looks. They start putting on tight clothes that expose some more parts of their bodies. The young ladies in the urban regions are friendlier than the provincial ones. The young ladies can be anything but difficult to connect with as the majority of them are enjoying the new opportunity brought about by moving out of their folks' homes. For most young ladies, this is the age at which they get hitched.


Senegalese Women (age 30 - 45)

This is the thing that can be viewed as the prime age as the ladies are not at their top in all parts of the development. At this point, their bodies are completely evolved albeit some may at present be encountering development in their erogenous zones.

Since these ladies are all the more monetarily steady, they can buy pricier henceforth preferred garments over when they were youthful. The individuals who are as yet single or the liberal ones will even now be slanted to get into the tight garments that upgrade their highlights. The wedded ones dress all the more conservatively. These ladies are additionally ready to buy better design adornments, gems and excellence items which they put both at work and when they go out.

The individuals who had not hitched before get hitched and settle down in their families. As they do as such, they endeavor to keep up harmony between the family and their professions and public activities. Numerous individuals lose companions as of now as they can't discover time to make up for lost time similar to the case before everyday life. It is likewise as of now that numerous ladies settle on decisions in their professions before settling down to seek after what they need and this will influence how they invest their energy.

Other than the wedded ones, ladies at this age are anything but difficult to attach with. This is a result of the inclination to settle down which causes them to be all the more friendly and responsive to approaches by men. Attaching with these ladies is simple and acceptable as they are commonly more experienced than their more youthful companions thus they have a comprehension of what a relationship involves.


Senegalese Ladies (age 45+)

Age is catching up with most women and their features will be slowly losing shape. The breasts and bum will no longer be as supple as when they were younger. However, some of the women here can afford the most luxurious beauty enhancement products that they will use to slow the deteriorating brought by age.

For those lucky women in formal employment, they will have risen through the ranks in their organizations and some may be in senior positions while others may be employers in their own right. Even the unmarried ones will be rich enough to have some property of their own such as houses and cars.

Age and experience will have made these women very mature especially in matters of relationships. These older women are mature enough to know what they want from a relationship and they will not hold back from stating it. Even though they may have lost some of their beauty and charm with age, these women know how to treat men and you can be sure of a good time with her.


Foreign Girls (tourists, expats, students, etc.)

Senegal is considered to be one of the most peaceful countries in Africa and has continued to attract many foreigners from all over the world. The country has consistently received more than one million tourists annually who come to visit the various attractions in the country. Out of this number, about half of them are girls. These girls have an enjoyable time in the country due to their tolerance to different cultures. The country also has many universities that attract many young ladies from neighboring countries such as Guinea Bissau and Senegal.


Sex

Despite its conservative Islamic traditions, sex with Senegalese girls is relatively easy. The country has a chequered past with sex tourism whereby tourists fly in to enjoy sex with locals. A sustained campaign against this practice has seen its drastic reduction. However, this had rubbed on the locals and even though it is not done or talked about in public, it is a common occurrence such that many parents marry off their daughters early to prevent them from getting pregnant before marriage.


Sex Culture

The country has an active sexual culture. While Islam is by far the dominant religion and its influence spans all areas of life, the Senegalese are traditionally accommodative and tolerant of other cultures both local and foreign. As a result of this tolerance, many young people engage in sex, albeit discreetly, with both fellow locals and foreigners especially tourists.


One-Night Stands

As mentioned above, the tolerance of all cultures in Senegal has led to a relaxation of the hitherto strong Islamic culture of abstinence. Many young people are getting into one-night stands especially with tourists who are willing to pay the young people for sex. This has spread beyond tourists and many having one-night stands with their fellow Senegalese.


Best Places to Meet Single Girls

Senegal is famous for so many things including their traditional wrestling, football, and exotic dance. One thing most people who have visited this country have always attested to is its food, the local cuisine. The Senegalese are the originators of Jollof rice, which is famous all over the world. Their fertile land makes it possible to cultivate fresh vegetables that improve their meals because of how bountiful and flavorful they are. Some consider the cuisine of the country unconventional, but it is something worth trying while visiting.


Bars, Pubs and Nightclubs

The Senegalese are known for their party life. Even with a strong religious background, the Senegalese love to have a good time. Most of the nightlife of the city is to be found along the coast with many established in and around Dakar.

• Bayékou Bayékou has a roof terrace with a stunning view over the Atlantic and Ngor Island in Dakar. This is the place to go for a happy hour or after-dinner drinks. They offer standard cocktails and long drinks as well as lighter options like wine, beer, soft drinks and cocktails. In addition to being a bar and lounge, The club also has a classy restaurant.

• Phare des Mamelles Phare des Mamelles is a restaurant and bar in front of Les Mamelles Lighthouse, an important and scenic spot on the outskirts of Dakar. Every weekend, visitors come to dance under the stars to live music and DJ sets.

• Le Thiossane Mbalax, the fusion of jazz, soul, and rock with traditional drumming and dancing, is the musical life-force of Senegal, and there is no better place to enjoy it than Le Thiossane, owned by Youssou N'Dour, one of the country's best and most beloved musicians.

• Kadjinol Station This nightclub in Serekunda region in Dakar is a raucous local affair and makes a convincing claim to be the most entertaining club of all. It draws crowds on weekends (after about 11 pm), and there's occasionally a live band, usually mbalax (percussion-driven, Senegalese dance music) or reggae, on Friday and Saturday. Cool off in the courtyard garden.

• Duplex One of the most popular clubs in the city. The club attracts a crowd made up of well-dressed professionals who pass by from their offices in the evening. Duplex has multiple inhouse DJs who entertain the crowd during the week while live bands take the stage on Fridays and Saturdays. The club is found in Dakar.

• Calypso It offers a mixture of everything from live music, DJs and multiple TV screens that air sports activities from all over the world. Calypso attracts a diverse crowd with its happy hour specials, Belgian beers and dance parties. The club, found in Dakar opens at 10 pm till late.

• Black and White If you want a feel of the authentic West African party life, this is the place to be. Black & White plays a variety of West African tunes and reggae music, a genre that is common in Senegal.

• Le Viking Pub Viking is the quintessential neighborhood pub found just a walking distance from the Place d’Independence. The club has two levels; the lower section made of custom benches and TV screens. This level is used as a stage for karaoke on weekend evenings. The upper section has red booths and decorated with African sculptures.

• Chez Max Chez Max has a unique design fashioned from an old boat and filled with hammocks and swing right on the beach in Dakar. It is fashionably filled with car seats, driftwood tables, shell sculptures, and handmade masks made from recycled plastic. The huge speakers placed strategically play the best of local and international reggae hits. This day time club is one of the best places to spend a lazy afternoon with a cold beer in one hand as you watch the sun slowly inching towards the horizon over the Atlantic Ocean.

• Xorbi With its expansive enclosed courtyard filled with palm trees and fairy lights, Xorbi is found in the middle of Fann Hock. The club has an unremarkable exterior that grossly misrepresents the happenings on the inside. The club attracts a clientele from across the whole country in its jam-packed, if not crowded, bar. Xorbi is one of the best-value places to drink and eat in large quantities while beer is served in large bottles. The club also attracts soccer fans who come to watch live action projected on its giant twin screens.

• Le Patio A plum center right in the middle of the Ngor Strip, the club transforms every evening; shedding its daytime quiet nature as a classy dining spot and becoming a lively bar early in the evening and as the night wears on, it evolves into a late-night party scene with its night club. Whatever time of day you choose to visit, the bouncers at the door enforce a strict formal dress code. The interior is made of a tree-filled patio, hence the name of the club, which is surrounded by cushion-filled sofas and two bars.

• Secret Spot Contrary to its queer name, the club is not a secret. Secret Spot overlooks a small stretch of beach and is famous with surfers. The club is vibrant in the late afternoon when it also serves up foot-long baguettes and some of the best-priced beers in town.

• Hotel du Phare Phare is the French word for a lighthouse and this gives away the location of the club. The club has not one but two rooftops areas cascaded over each other. On Thursday night, the DJs play funky house music while Tuesdays are movie nights when the lower rooftop projects the latest movies. The club has its own pizzeria and winery.


Shopping Malls

As everywhere else in the world, Senegal has seen malls become popular hangout joints for those who want to have a good time and do their shopping conveniently in one place.

Some of the malls in Senegal include:

• Dakar City Mall, Dakar

• Sea Plaza, Dakar

• Centre Commercial Kermel, Dakar • Touba Action Group AMF Senegal, Dakar

• The Solution, Dakar

• Happy Land, Dakar

• Numero Uno, Ngor, Dakar

• Genitec International Mall


Outdoors

There are plenty of things to do in Senegal! Explore the bustling modern city and a major port of the country – Dakar that boasts of a fine blend of colonial buildings and contemporary architecture. Take a trip to St Louis – the first French settlement in Africa, which is renowned for its French architecture with numerous avenues and wooden balconies. Basse Casamance, Cap Skiring, Tambacounda and Thiès are other places to be explored while in Senegal. Catch a glimpse of the wildlife in Senegal at its numerous national parks and game reserves where you can spot animals like lion, elephant, lion leopard and panther among others. Indulge in activities like scuba diving, swimming, sailboarding, and water skiing in Senegal.

If you are not that adventurous then you can play a few rounds of golf at the nine-hole golf course in Camberene or just sit and watch an energetic game of football – Senegal’s passion.

The markets of Dakar, the craft shops selling local handicrafts like wooden carvings, masks and statues, large wooden platters and bowls, musical instruments and traditional beaten copper pendants, necklaces and bangles, pottery and entire crafts villages where visitors can see the craftspeople at work are some of the places to visit while out shopping in Senegal.

The largest inland lake in Senegal, Lac du Guiers attracts many visitors for its wealth of birds and a hunting reserve found on the eater side of the lake. The lake is fed by the Ferlo River and teems with fish. Every year from November to January, the local fishermen set out to look for fish to be sold in the local market.

The Senegalese have incredible beaches you have to get to the country to appreciate. The beach resorts are well maintained, with each of them attracting thousands of visitors every year. Some of the most popular Senegalese beaches include PlagePopenguine, Plage du Virage, and Parque Nacional de la Lengua de Barbaria (popular for bird watching). Although the vast majority of West Africa’s capital cities are located on the coast, not many can touch Dakar when it comes to golden sandy beaches.

Dakar’s Mamelles (‘breasts’ in French) are two hills on the city’s western peninsula. On one, a lighthouse built in 1864 that has been converted into a stylish restaurant-bar. On the other, the tallest statue in Africa. At 49 meters, the African Renaissance Monument is taller than the Statue of Liberty, and when plonked on top of a 100-meter-high hill, this impressive figure of man, woman and child pointing out towards the Atlantic Ocean makes the perfect spot to use the panoramic setting on your camera.

Lake Retba, known almost universally as Lac Rose, is Senegal’s very own Dead Sea. Situated 29 kilometers north-east of Dakar, this shallow lake is so named because its remarkably high salt content turns the water varying shades of pink. What’s more, due to the much higher density of the water, taking a dip is more bobbing like a human buoy than sinking like a stone. Go for the day, settle into a lakeside restaurant, ride a camel or a quad bike on the adjacent beach, and then wallow on your back without the need of an inflatable.

Ile Gorée is often cited as the ‘number one thing to do’ in Dakar, and it’s not hard to see why. Lying two kilometers off Dakar's south coast, the island is a UNESCO world heritage site and was the largest slave-trading center in West Africa between the 15th and 19th centuries. Now it's a sanctuary of calm, with a population of around 1,500 living in pastel-colored houses on tranquil cobbled streets. A castle, which served as a WWII outpost, provides fantastic views of the island and downtown Dakar while visiting the 18th century Maison des Esclaves (House of Slaves) is a must. Established as a museum in the 1960s, the sole remaining slave house on the island serves as a harrowing reminder of the brutality, cruelty, and scale of the transatlantic slave trade.

Senegal, and Dakar in particular, are well-known for their religious tolerance, with the majority of Muslim and minority Catholic populations living in perfect harmony. As such, Dakar has a rich tapestry of stunning mosques and churches, such as the imposing 3,000 capacity cathedral in Plateau, and the distinctive green dome and four minarets of Mosque El Hadji Omar Al Foutiyou. The jewel in the crown, however, must surely be the Mosque of the Divinity. Uniquely set in a horseshoe cove in Ouakam, its twin towers stare out across the endless Atlantic, while fishermen ward off pelicans from their haul on the beach in front.

A day trip to the Petite Côte (Small Coast) is a terrific way to see what Senegal has to offer without venturing too far from the capital. Encompassing 70 kilometers of unspoiled, golden coastline between the Cap-Vert Peninsula (Dakar) and the Sine-Saloum Delta, the Petite Côte is dotted with distinctive seaside villages. Dine in style on the beach at Popenguine, go oyster hunting on the lagoon in Somone, kick back in the classy resort of Saly, or catch a wave and wander the old town of Toubab Dialao. And given its proximity to the new airport, a day out on the Côte is a great way to unwind before a flight.


Universities and Colleges

Some of the universities and colleges found in the country include:

• Alioune Diop University of Bambey, Bambey

• Cheikh Anta Diop University, Dakar

• Gaston Berger University, Saint Louis

• Thies University, Thies

• Ziguinchor University, Ziguinchor

• Amadou Hampaté Bâ University, Dakar

• Dakar Bourguiba University, Dakar

• Euromed Université, Dakar

• Suffolk University Dakar Campus, Dakar

• L'Université de l'Entreprise, Dakar

• Université du Sahel, Dakar

• Université Euro-Afrique, Dakar

• African Institute for Mathematical Sciences, Mbour

• Dakar American University of Science & Technology, Somone


Relationship

For a country with a vast majority of conservative adherents, relationships in Senegal are relatively very liberal. Even though public display of affection still frowned upon in the country, interactions between ladies and men go on with minimal restraint. Just as is the case in many African and other patriarchal societies, it is generally expected that the man will initiate the conversation and lead the relationship and eventually propose for marriage when the time comes. The ladies are expected to be willing participants in the conversations.

As is the case in many Muslim countries, the ladies may be outgoing but will always ensure to maintain their reputation as this affects their chance of being married and at the right price. Many girls in relationships will hold off introducing their partner to their family and friends unless they are sure of being married to them. Some girls, especially those in the rural areas are content with having their parents choose their spouses for them. This saves them from getting in and out of many relationships and end up tarnishing their names and that of their families.


Holiday Romance

Whether it is during the festive season or other traditional holiday periods or we want to create our holiday moments, we all look forward to taking time away from our usual routine. Life creates a tedious repetitive cycle that guides our adult life. Once someone gets a job, their life becomes a routine of moving from home to work every weekday morning and getting back home every evening. The weekends are used to do any pending house chores and for some, do side hustle. This trend becomes stricter once children come along.

We all look forward to getting away for the holidays. Holidays come with the added benefit because they offer the chance for one to hook up with beautiful girls. Spending the holidays in Senegal is the perfect opportunity for you to hook up with local Senegalese girls or even foreign girls who are also on holiday. While many people get into holiday romance planning to hook up just for the duration of the holiday, some of these hookups blossom into long-term dates which in turn may result in marriage. The various interesting places mentioned above will give you enough distractions and spice up your holiday romance.


Tips for Successful Relationship

We all look around and see couples who seem to be having it all figured out in their relationships. What we usually see is just a byproduct of work that goes on behind the scene to make the relationship flourish. Even as every relationship has its ups and downs and unique circumstances, certain common practices can be applied to any relationship to make it stronger.

When a relationship is on the take-off stage, both parties go out of the way to make a good impression on their partners as they try to make each other happy. However, everything changes as soon as the two people get hitched and settle into the relationship. Much of the romantic gestures are thrown out of the window and some even start being dismissive and abusive towards their partners. For a relationship to stand the test of time, we must treat each day as the first and act as though we are still hitting on each other.

A major cause of disharmony in many relationships is the feeling of not having your desires or expectations met. A partner gets mad when they expect something from their partner and their partner seems to disappoint them. A major cause of this shortcoming is when we fail to communicate about what we want or how we feel. No matter how long you stay with someone or how well you may think they know you, you need to express yourself to them clearly so that no assumptions are made which will lead to disappointments.

Before the two of you settle in together and concerning the above, the two of you need to be constantly checking on each other as often as possible. You need to find out what your partner is doing and if you can be of assistance. In checking up on each other, you will be able to synchronize your plans and create more time for each other.

To be happy in a relationship, we must be happy first. That is, in fact, the key to a successful relationship. With that in mind, wives and husbands must continue to take out time for themselves, enjoy their hobbies, and in general, spend some time apart. Not only does absence make the heart grow fonder, but in the time we spend alone, we get to reunite with our spiritual side, re-establish our sense of self, and check in with the progress of our personal preferences, goals, and achievements.

Being good together does not mean that couples agree on every little thing. Most successful couples have varying attitudes, opinions, and belief systems; and even held opposing views on major areas in some cases. All couples should have some level of disagreement somewhere. Successful, loving couples respected the point of view of one another and even had a sense of humor over their points of contention.

A major relationship killer, lack of acceptance is a trait more commonly attributed to women, who are known for their nagging. Remember, we married our spouse for who he was then, and who he is now. Even if we wanted to change him now, we can’t. The key to a successful marriage lies in realizing this as soon as possible. When urging or persuading him, you are only focusing on his weaknesses or problems. Change your perspective immediately and start focusing on positive traits instead. Looking for the “soft” or vulnerable emotions underneath someone’s hard display of anger will help keep you connected as you are better equipped to empathize with that person’s true emotion.

We need to recognize that, while marriage can be a beautiful thing, it is not effortless, nor will it ever be perfect. Have realistic expectations and do not fall victim to the fairy tale – you may find yourself sorely disappointed. This is not only one of the greatest factors of a successful marriage but plays a huge role in your happiness as an individual too.

Married people often come to a place where they start to lose themselves, they give in to jealousy or feelings of inadequacy, or they forget that they are separate people away from their partners, and they may try to control their partners. Most of the time this is done inadvertently, as expectations may grow over time. What makes a marriage successful are communication, independent time, and healthy indulgences that will keep any couple on track.


Love

There's no question that the early stages of a relationship can be confusing. You might puzzle over your feelings, and wonder what the person you're dating thinks of you. Your own emotions may be difficult to fully decipher, and trying to categorize them as falling in love or as just a passing attraction can be tricky. As people fall in love, they often branch out beyond their normal range of activities and try those that their partners favor. You might find yourself trying new foods, watching new shows, or attempting new activities like running, fishing, or gambling. People who fall in love tend to report growth in the content and diversity of their self-concepts.

Love in Senegal is a blend of conservative Muslim culture and modern trends influenced by the romantic nature of the country's former colonialists, the French, and soap operas that are aired on local TV stations. Young women talk about loving their boyfriends, while young men court their girlfriends with amorous French romantic phrases about love and desire. However, the place of love in an actual marriage is a different matter altogether as most of the dating couples rarely end up marrying each other. Most marriages bring together two people who have known each other for a relatively short time, with each having dated other people before. Marriage is often seen as a rite of passage for both boys and girls and as a way of continuing the family.

This is not to imply that love is never a factor in marriage. The subject of love in marriage is always emphasized with the Muslims using the benchmark of the Prophet Mohammed and his love for his first wife. In the context of Senegalese marriages, love is considered to be a prophet of marriage and not a cause of marriages. Love is something that can be grown in the marriage by the couple living together as it is an integral part of any marriage.


How to Make Sure She Is the One

Step one in "finding the right person" is finding someone you thrive with from a conversational standpoint. Step two, which is always more difficult, lies with finding someone you can thrive within silence, too. When you can appreciate a quiet moment with someone, past the urge to flood the air with conversational filler, it is never awkward.

No one means to make each other mad, but it happens. People have bad days. People have their issues. People get hangry and need a burrito. No matter the reason it started, you are able to sit down and talk it out. You find solutions. You make compromises

An independent partner is a happy partner. A good relationship requires mutuality and the ability to go back and forth in giving and seeking support. Someone must be able to take care of themselves emotionally and physically. If they cannot, they will never be able to provide the support they need to provide when that is called for.

When you're with someone you care about, you listen and care about what they have to say – you don't just wait for your turn to speak. And once you've listened you speak, not only with your words but with your actions. Communication with your partner should feel open, safe, and trusting, not something daunting and to be avoided. You should feel able to approach them any time with a problem, and not be afraid to bring up important issues. You should communicate with each other out of care and concern, not judgment and criticism.

Every relationship has its occasional disagreements and difficulties – it’s how you respond to such situations that shows whether or not you are a good fit. A steady, loving relationship is in one in which both partners are open to making compromises. Couples don’t have to like the same thing all the time. From time to time, you will have to do something you aren’t particularly enthusiastic about – from watching a movie that makes you yawn to missing your big night out for your partner’s family event. Another time they’ll do the same for you. Give and take, and willingness to compromise is a sign that you’re in a healthy relationship.

The right partner will be there beside you, whether times are good or bad. It is one of the best and clearest indicators of the way a person feels to see how she behaves when you pass through a difficult situation together. If she is not there to help you through minor turbulence now, you probably can’t depend on her to be there when times become truly difficult.

Not only does she care about you, but she'll also go the extra mile to make sure that you're comfortable when you need it the most. She genuinely cares about you and your wellbeing and is always willing to do what it takes to make you happy. Everyone loves a lady, and she is the epitome of one. She's always respectable when she needs to be. She's polite, proper and presents herself well. She not only respects you, but you respect her as well. She doesn't always have to be too buttoned-up though. She knows when to kick back and loosen up.


Marriage

In 2004 Senegal ratified the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, including Article 6 which sets the minimum age for marriage as 18. Some parents marry off their daughters at a young age because they fear that they might become pregnant out of wedlock, which brings dishonor to families.

In rural areas, parents often arrange marriages for their children. A young man may want a young woman, but his father decides whether she is suitable. A go-between often is appointed to investigate the woman's family background. If the father finds the family satisfactory, he sends the go-between to deliver kola nuts to the woman's parents. The parents accept the kola nuts if they approve of the young man. In matrilineal ethnic groups such as the Wolof, the mother's brother is sent on behalf of the groom to ask for the bride's hand. Along with kola nuts, money is given.

To have a registered marriage in Senegal, you need the following:

• One copy of both the bride and groom's birth certificate issued within three months bearing the words “issued in anticipation of marriage.”

• One form of identification and copy for both the bride and groom. Valid identification includes a passport, a driver’s license, or an identity card.

• One witness for each the bride and groom, and a copy of their identification documents.

• Publication of the banns for fifteen days (the local authorities post it on a bulletin board located at the City Hall).

Applications for marriage and the publication of the banns are normally done at the Town Hall. The actual marriage ceremony can be held anywhere. Prospective couples should apply and post their banns a minimum of fifteen days before the intended ceremony. In addition to the documents, the following conditions must be met:

• The bride and groom must be at least 18 years old and 16 years old respectively. The minimum age requirement may be waived by the President of the Regional Court in special cases after conducting an investigation.

• Future spouses must be of different sexes.

• Parties to the marriage must personally give their consent even if they are minors.

• The consent of the parent or person having custody of the minor must be obtained before a marriage is solemnized.

• The bride and groom must not be related to the 3rd degree. • A widow or divorced woman cannot remarry until the expiration of the waiting period or widowhood.

• A previously married man cannot contract a new union within the limits of the option he had subscribed.

The most distinctive pattern of Senegalese marriage is polygamy. In principle, a man may have as many wives as he wishes, although most polygamous males follow the Islamic rule that limits the number of wives to four. Senegal has the highest polygamy rate—the percentage of polygamous marriages among all married couples—in West Africa: Close to half of the women are married to polygamous husbands. Even for the youngest generations, polygamy rates are about 25%, suggesting that about one in four women first marries into a polygamous union.


Wedding

A Senegalese wedding is a unique experience. In the Senegalese culture, marriage is, above all, an alliance between two families. There is a lot of emphasis on family education. There is a whole ritual to prepare the bride. It is a very important day for her, the passage from the world of adolescence to that of an adult. The bride is washed according to a specific ritual before the gathering of women. She wears a “Gris-gris" on her neck to protect her from evil spirits. The celebration of the religious marriage takes place after the prayer of the Asr (third prayer of the day, in the middle of the afternoon). All the men go to the mosque, pray, and then the chosen “marabout” pronounces the marriage. Later, the fathers of the bride and groom will give their consent before witnesses. Till now, the bride is not present because she has the right to see the groom only at night. She stays with the women in the house; it is the moment during which she is prepared.

Once the consent is given, blessings for the bride and groom are made, and the kola nut is given. It is a fruit that plays an important role in African celebrations; it is a sign of union, of rapprochement, of forgiveness. In all important situations, there is cola nut. The women, surrounding the bride, head for the groom's house, forming a procession. All along the way, songs are sung to praise the bride and her parents. After the mosque, the men join the women in the groom’s house. There, all guests share a meal, the Thieboudienne, of course, which is the dish of festivity par excellence.

The party then continues all night: Songs, music, and dances animate the marriage. For seven days, the wedding festivities continue at the same rate, but the “Walima” remains the most important day. It is the day after the wedding in which an ox is slaughtered and the meat is distributed, but the bride and groom should never eat this meat as it is believed that misfortunes could happen to them.


Family Life

The core of a domestic group or compound is a nuclear polygynous or family. After marriage, a man brings his wife to his father's compound, but such residence is not necessarily permanent. In any domestic group, other people often live with the family, sometimes permanently and sometimes temporarily. Often these are kin such as the male head's unmarried or divorced sister, a sister's child, or a wife's child by a divorced spouse.

The Senegalese household is typically comprised of parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles or cousins, and children. It is becoming more common for both parents to work outside of the home in Senegal, however, traditionally it is the man who is the main financial provider for the family. Traditionally, the father has the primary authority in the home, however, it is becoming more common for both parents to share the authority.

Senegalese people perceive the family as a symbol of strength. Staying together is common in Senegalese culture and privacy is not a priority. In many rural areas and traditional urban families, extended families live together in compounds (with separate areas for each family) or a large house divided among families. Children typically live with their parents until they get married.

Closeness and togetherness are greatly valued. In most rural areas and among traditional urban families, extended families live together in compounds (with separate dwellings for each nuclear family) or a large house divided among nuclear families. The urban trend is for nuclear families to live in single households, though often near relatives. Rural family strength and unity are weakened as young men migrate to cities in search of work. Baptisms, circumcisions, marriages, funerals, and other important ceremonies are cause for elaborate celebrations.

Although there is a growing middle class and a small wealthy elite, most families live at subsistence levels as agricultural workers. Daily life revolves around the home, as men generally work in the fields near their homes and women occupy themselves taking care of the household. Sons and unmarried daughters are not expected to leave the family home. When a woman marries, she generally goes to live with her husband's family. Grown children are supported by the rest of the family until they can find jobs.

Traditionally, very few people moved from their family's compound. Today, people may leave to seek economic opportunities elsewhere, mainly in the larger cities. People may also move out as part of the growing trend towards living in nuclear families. Especially in cities, the younger generation's focus is narrowing from the extended family to the nuclear family. Many see this as less a conscious choice and more a response to economic challenges. Despite these changes to the traditional family living arrangements, Senegalese families strive to remain close.

Families visit one another often, sometimes going to stay with one another for extended periods, and stay in touch through phone calls as much as possible. Extended families usually make group decisions jointly. Individual decisions are left to the individual, although family input is always given and usually heeded. A desire for privacy or solitude is generally not understood within the family. Conflicts are resolved within the family whenever possible, without involving non-family members.

Resources are shared among family members. If someone is in need, the other members contribute what they can to help. This aid is freely given and generally expected, with the understanding that aid will be reciprocated when needed. The elderly receive great respect and are cared for by their families.


Regions

Cities

See Also