I recently came across a blog called “confessions of a confused nigerian girl”. She wrote an absolutely hilarious post about how to get a Nigerian man to marry you. It was completely tongue in cheek, but there was a whole lot of truth in that post. I remember when I was a single young thing waiting on a husband. There were loads of people ready to give me ‘helpful’ advice. Apparently, all that really consisted of was people telling me I was “too opinionated” or “too stubborn” or “too independent”. It’s amazing how it’s never anything positive after the word “too”. Now that I’m well into my 4th decade, I’m quite happy to be “too” whatever the helpful advisors say! Reading that piece made me reflect on what I might say to my single sistahs out there.
Firstly, I’d say “know your value”. As women, we are notoriously bad at knowing our own value. We often undervalue ourselves or base our value on other people’s view of us. As you wait to be married, spend your time wisely. Know your value, know what you're worth, and know what you bring to the party. You must do the work, to make sure that you are complete and whole before you get married. That way, you will know that you were complete before you got married; you’re complete while you’re married and even if you never get married, know that you are still complete. Contrary to the rumour, marriage is not first prize in the lottery of life. Life is the first prize and you owe it to yourself to make it the best you can!
Secondly, I’d say that “no-one’s perfect”. I know that this may come as a shock to some of you, but it’s true, no-one’s perfect- not even you. My sister and I have a running joke that if our daughters want to read fairy tales, then we’re going to write sequels based in the real world. Can you imagine Cinderella the sequel? The one where she comes home after a hard day’s work, the house is a wreck and Prince Charming is slumped on the couch in 3 day old underpants! What’s my point? Even the most “perfect” person is going to have flaws and you need to understand that from the outset. Before I got married, someone challenged me to write an “anti list”. Most people tell you to write a list of things you want in a partner. My friend asked me to write a list of the flaws that I would be prepared to accept in a life partner. Compared to the gazillion things that were on my list, I could only come up with two for my anti list. I suspect if I asked anyone else to do that, they’d find themself in a similar predicament.
The last point is very similar to the second one, but it’s about the red flags that can come up in a relationship. Those things that are absolutely not negotiable in any relationship. Things like any kind of domestic violence. If you are experiencing violence in a dating relationship, it’s only likely to get worse in a marriage. So I’d say “know your deal breakers”. It’s important to maintain healthy boundaries in all our relationships, because when we don’t, we can end up in all kinds of a mess!
So there it is, my advice to all my sistahs out there, waiting for him to “put a ring on it”. Live well, have fun and spend your time wisely, while you wait. It will pay dividends in the end.
Until next week, go well.