While waiting…or not

When I hear the term ‘waiting for the right man’, I often think it is quite inappropriate. It brings to mind the mental image of a young (or not so young) woman, waking up day after day, getting groomed, trimmed and pruned, and sitting by the road side like a ripe fruit waiting to be plucked. I doubt that is true…literally.

The other impression one gets is of a young woman whose life is on hold as she waits for the right man to happen along. The next big thing waiting to happen in her life is the right man. The truth is even as absurd as that sounds, single females often give off these vibes knowingly or unknowingly and guys pick them up and interpret them as desperation. So much time and attention is given to this project. There is a lot of strategizing and re-strategizing as well.

I don’t believe most of the single ladies I know are ‘waiting’. They are very smart and intelligent women who are doing amazing things with their time and they raise the following questions in my mind. What if we didn’t wait? What if we asked the right man out if we met one? What if we focused instead on being ‘right’ alone first?

There are awesome self-building projects you can embark on with what’s left of your single years. Learn a new language, learn a new skill, build up your savings, learn dancing…swimming…anything! Find out how to be happy by yourself. Learn to keep your own company. The right man can only build upon what you already have. I am a firm believer in the miracle called love. I also believe it is easier to love a happy person than a sad one…makes the job easier. So learn to be happy.

To sum it up, the wait can be frustrating especially if it seems things are not moving fast enough or in the right direction. However, it is necessary -sometimes- to be patient to avoid regrets. I don’t think there is an expiry date on singlehood but that’s an argument I would never win in the Nigerian society’s law court. So while you are waiting…or not, make yourself the ‘right woman’.

6869690-love-picturesChoosing the man to marry, is to me, the most important decision a woman has to make in her life. It will affect all other aspects of your life directly or indirectly. If done right, you can have a great and fairly easy life. If you choose wrongly however, even the smallest tasks in life will be difficult and complicated.
A female in love sometimes can’t really think..or even see clearly. As a result, some obvious predictors of future troubles are often missed. The right questions are not asked. I like to think an interview of some sort should ideally be conducted if we lived -or loved- more rationally. The owner of a bar for e.g wouldn’t want to hire a business partner who believes drinking is a sin and discouraged customers from coming in. In the same way, you should know what plans, beliefs and practices you share with your prospective spouse. You don’t want to marry someone only to find out that they have beliefs totally different and opposite from yours.

Of course it’s good -amazing even- to have chemistry so thick it can be cut with a knife. It’s an incredibly awesome experience to have a partner with whom your bodies speak a language of their own and i am not trying to undermine that. Indulging these feelings however clouds judgement and this by itself might not get you through difficult times. You want someone who will be there for you when you need him to. A husband should encourage you, give you strength when you feel weak, cheer you up when you are down. His everyday choices and actions can make life easier or harder for you and your future children.
The list of things that are important vary from person to person. I think every single lady should have an actual or mental list of qualities they desire. Label them as negotiable or non-negotiable. That way you know the things that you can put up with and those you can not. For you, non-negotiable might be a strong financial footing (a.k.a money), for someone else it could be a strong sense of spirituality. You might on the other hand be willing to give an unemployed man a pass because you think you have a good job yourself..I am not here to judge..to each, her own.
It’s important to make this assessment before getting swept up in the tides of love. Assess compatibility first, then sit back and surrender to the blissful experience of falling in love. Make your list bearing in mind that you are imperfect yourself and therefore shouldn’t have unrealistic expectations.
Ask questions. Lots of questions. Share experiences. What did he think of that guy beating his wife up in the movie that just ended? If extramarital affairs are a deal breaker for you, then keep your eyes open to signs. What are his feelings about his married friends or acquaintances who cheat? If you want a man to cuddle and eat dinner with every evening, find out if he shares your ideas concerning family time or he believes 1 a.m is the earliest time to get home every night.
Unfortunately, you can never adequately assess and there will be surprises afterwards but maybe this can minimize the shocking ones.

I wish you all the best of luck as you make these life-altering choices.

I have seen and heard it..that fear of turning 30 and still being single. Surprisingly it cuts across cultures. Even in the western world, women hope they are married..or at least engaged by 30. However, what makes it worse in Nigeria is societal pressure. As a result, mothers are worried..scared even. Neighbours ask teasingly. ‘When is it happening?’. Mum’s friends and aunties too. Oh, and church and mosque members who are less brave punctuate their sentences with prayer requests to God when talking to her (as an indirect question).
There’s so much pressure to get married. All young girls hitting the mid-20s have seen it happen to an aunt..a cousin..and they don’t want it happening to them too.
While I don’t think it is wrong to want to get married, I hate that most Nigerian ladies just want to be Mrs. The emphasis is soo so far from being in love. Sometimes you can see tell tale signs of a cracked foundation and yet the lady goes on to get married because ‘time isn’t on her side’.
Now, some cracks are concealable and as a result, we see lovely photos on social media. Prophecies of endless love that give no indication of the aches within. The single and desperately searching friend gets more desperate and even gets apprehensive of attending weddings, church..or any social gatherings.
Marriage is a beautiful thing in a woman’s life if it’s a good one. On the other hand, there’s no worse thing than being in a bad marriage. It can be an endless paradise or nightmare. A husband isn’t a trophy to be won and dangled in front of ‘unlucky’ friends’ noses. A husband is a partner, a lover, a friend, a well wisher, a comforter and a rock. Every woman deserves that. Every woman should aspire to have that.
So, if today..right now, people are harassing you to get married and you haven’t met that man yet, then take your time. You are beautiful, kind, thoughtful, smart and creative. You will be an asset to your husband. He will be lucky to have you bring all these wonderful gifts and talents into his life. So don’t let anyone give you an ultimatum.
Keep your chin up and go be happy for others if you are invited. Yours will come too and it will be wonderful!

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