Hello brilliant readers!
Today, we shall talk about those questions which do not have answers and leave you doubting your brilliance. When parents, grandparents and the larger society gang up to ask you why you are not getting married. You have the job, the house, the car, and you are a nice person. But then, why can’t you find a husband or a wife? The biological clock is not friendly either. You know things are starting to get thick when your next of kin start suggesting the viable bachelors and bachelorettes and telling you that you probably need to revise your standards as though they were there when you were setting the standards. What matters, they tell you, is simply a respectful person you can start a family with, humble beginnings never killed anyone and blah!
A friend of mine suffering from lack of a woman to marry recently told me that nowadays, once you hit 30, it becomes a taboo to still call you single.
Your new title becomes an ‘unmarried man’ or unmarried woman’ and a small graduation ceremony should be held where you meet men and women of your cohort to revise strategies. But I will be the adorable writer who will just call you single, whether you are 20, 25, 30 or 40…
Why are you single? Or why are you in a relationship you see no future in.Take a few seconds and think about the people you choose to date. What they do differently, how they treat you, What you see them for, and why we date them. In the grand scheme, why do we choose one person over the other as a partner? What really makes them better? And why do we settle for convenience relationships or say that we cannot find the appropriate partners?
We spend time lamenting about the lack of men and women to settle with, the lack of eligible life partners. Paradoxically, we live in a world and a generation full of single men and women who insist that they cannot find marriageable women and men, leaving you wondering whether the problem is the men or the women. We find solace in failing marriages and opt to lie that we are taking time to ensure that we make the right choice.
I recently got into a small fight with my good friend. Reason? He had just gone through a pregnancy scare (Yes men do also go through these things)…But then, his worry was not the possibility of getting an unplanned for child, but having a child with that particular woman. ‘Certainly not the type of genes I want for my babies’…he said. Offended (more as a woman than a friend), I gave him some short tiff on how vain he was, asked him why he was with her in the first place and reminded him to keep his mentality that he was God’s gift to women in check. (Sorry by the way). Thinking about it later though, I realized that we all trend on such acute double standards at one point or another. We possibly have been with people who we either feel are not good enough for us or vice versa.We settle and compromise, but conveniently hope that somewhere along the way, we will get better. That our prince charming or our fairy tale princess will appear and sweep us off our feet and eventually find our happy ending. We consider the possibility of marrying our current partners with faint hopelessness. We cannot admit that we are dragging them along to a future that possibly does not exist, or a future that we do not necessarily look forward to. But we keep the options open so that in the unfortunate case that our happy ending does not eventually show up, we will have a fall back plan.
Sad as it is, most of us date people…not for who they are and the combined synergies we have that would ultimately make us the power couple; but for how good they are for us. Because they are good for our profile, socially acceptable, appealing to the eye, good for the babies…As you climb the corporate ladder, standards rise and we automatically draw the profile for the people we consider for possible partners. And naturally so.
And so we step to the dating world with that profile of what we are looking for. So much so that when we go to our friends all smitten, they first seek to fit the potential partner to the profile that we had previously (obviously) presented to them. We discuss their ‘personality’, their brains, their sense of class, their looks, their background…and seldom how they make us feel. Should we have the slightest feeling that they do not match the profile or will not be accepted warmly in our circles, we subconsciously find ourselves defensively inserting ‘buts’ in every single line .
And then, we start dating the profile idea; that they are this, but they will be that; or they have the potential to be that. We get into relationships that we have already played over and over again in our heads. We settle with the expectation that they will treat us in a certain way or they will grow into being our dream partners. (FYI, People never change, much less for others).
We know what he is capable of doing judging from his talk, he has conveniently chipped in the kind of life he ‘leads’, his potential, and his grand life scheme. He has mastered the art of talking about his life plans alluringly and he is gifted with the striking ability to make you buy into his dream and vision. Complementarily, as a woman, you have the natural ability to buy into a man’s dreams blindly and to believe all his promises. The world temporarily stops when you meet a man who tickles your fancy. #husbandmaterialalert#suitablefatherformychildrenalert#weddingbells#patiencepays and all those sappy hashtags.
But reality kicks in as soon as we get into the comfort zone. As we get deeper, we get frustrated when it turns out that they are not as ambitious as we thought, not as romantic as we had imagined. The richness lustre probably falls off as we realize that they are tangled up in loans. For men, you start realizing that she is not as sweet, brilliant and loving as she seemed. She is more nagging than you expected and more demanding than you can tolerate…
You both start noticing possible greener pastures forgetting that the grass is only greener where you water it; and you occasionally stalk seemingly happy couples on social media and wonder how they do it, how they remain sane while you are suffocating!
Most relationships end out of frustration. Not because their partners are bad people, but because the idea that we had bought in the beginning fails to materialize. When he stops putting the effort to win you over, and when she stops the pretense of trying to act as a wife material. ( By the way, women work for that ring, a big deal)!
And then there is the money/romance issue. Effort starts being gauged on the price tags and pricey gifts are taken to replace emotional connection. We envy couples who seem to have a certain kind of life, and even pressure our partners to plan for similar things…on bad days, placing them on the same scales with the exes that we have never gotten over.
Speaking of which, I cannot possibly end this without mentioning this in passing. Ladies, do not become a gold digger in the name of being a high maintenance woman or having standards. In fact, run if you find yourself deep in a lifestyle you cannot sustain if the relationship tumbled. If the only financial decision you are involved in is the sort of gift you get, you clearly do not belong there, and if you do, you are part of his wealth/property. There will come a point when life decisions will become weighty, when you will not be judged by the ability to receive gifts but by your ability to add value and hold the home together while remaining subtly grounded.
…But perhaps, the problem is never who we date really, but the motives behind which we date.Good luck in finding your genuine happy endings.