When it comes to choosing a mate, I'll be the first person to tell you not to settle for just anyone. Do not settle for any reason I'll say. So what I'm I driving at with this subject, am I suddenly giving in? I'll say Yes and No.
You know life is the best teacher we've got and the older you get the more sensible you become therefore more practical you become. Moreover, I'm not contradicting myself with this article because I've always advised that you be practical when deciding on whom to marry. This article will simply emphasize that phrase be practical, using some real life examples.
Basically in this article I deal with real issues regarding who you choose for a mate and marriage itself without all the sentiment.
The advice in this article will be helpful to all singles hoping to get married someday. However it will especially be helpful to mature single ladies.
In part 1 of choosing a spouse I gave 18 general guidelines for picking a spouse; which I encourage you to read too.
In our dreams we have the perfect picture of how we want our lives to be; who our ideal husband or wife is or who we imagine ourselves building a life with and how we want our kids to look like and be like. So we spend a good part of our lives searching for that dream trying hard to make it a reality. In some aspect of life that is a good thing. But in choosing a marriage mate, well, it could easily work to our disadvantage.
You start to turn down everyone interested in you for marriage with one excuse or the other because you're looking for that perfect husband you see in your dreams or that perfect wife. And before you realize it you're getting old for marriage especially when you're a woman.
When you're a woman above 30, your chances of finding a mate reduces every day. It's not necessarily that you won't meet people you like or that are interested in you, but usually when above that age the men you meet will be either younger than you or around your age and looking for someone much younger to marry. In Nigeria especially, our men are not comfortable being younger than their wives. So you start to meet a lot of people you like but can't marry. And that itself is torture.
You can't live your life in a dream especially when the things you're insisting on doesn't define a successful marriage; he's not tall enough, his head is too big, his tummy is too big, I'm a graduate he's not, he's Igbo I need Yoruba, he has to be from my tribe and so on.
My mum once said that the perfect age for a woman to settle down is 25; that are beauty is in high peek then. Above 25 is what she'll refer to as late. Now you may have your opinion about that, but the point is when you're above 25, you're likely out of college or about rounding up, perfect age for Nigerian parents to start expecting that you bring someone home to introduce to them for marriage. If you're yet to be attached with expectation to walk down the aisle, you need to start reviewing yourself whether you're being practical or just living your life in expectation of a dream that may take forever to come true; that's if it comes true at all.
When I became an adult (above 18) I started to realize that I am more attracted to tall, well built men with fine faces. What we'll call handsome well fitted men. I think most ladies will relate to this :)
In my dream I had the perfect husband.
When I imagine who my husband is, I imagine someone who associates with the true religion and is God-fearing; someone spiritual but not too spiritual that he becomes boring. Ambitious, hard-working, someone loving, understanding, communicative, tolerant, full of life, funny with a good smile, sociable, presentable, fitted and with a decent height. A good kisser, someone that loves PDA (public display of affection) and someone that is open minded. Someone that loves kids, doesn't mind helping me out with the domestic shores when he can so that we can retire to bed early and play like kids and then like adults () before we sleep off in each other's arm.
Now isn't that too much to expect from one person?
It's true that in ten thousand men or maybe much less I'll find someone that is that perfect (they exist trust me) however that will require a lot of luck. I have met different persons who had different of those qualities but missing some. I've always thought the most important things to me when choosing a life partner among everything I mentioned above would be that he's God fearing, caring, communicative, presentable and of decent height. Now that's reasonable. However it seems the GOOD men come more in shorter packages these days! :)
And it's funny because while in college I had a few of those tall good men but I gave some excuses then that now sounds silly in my ear; such as 'I can't marry from that tribe' 'he's too naive for me'. These things to me now are immaterial.
And now I find men sometimes who I would ordinarily like but not as a mate because I feel they're not tall enough. So who will ever be right for me is what I ask myself sometimes.
No matter how old you are I would never advice you to settle for someone when you feel something really important to you in a mate is missing. However I insist you be practical. If you're looking for something immaterial to a marriage's success then you can reconsider.
Moreover I realize recently that we ladies usually write off potential mate before even giving them a chance to show us their true self. Sometimes we judge men from a distance without knowing them; perhaps because we just don't like the way they dress, how they talk, walk etc. So when they start to come close to us, we just hit the brakes; sometimes even rudely. 'Ha me and that one, impossible'.
And regretfully those are usually the good ones. Those are the ones who would love us for real and spoil us silly. Those are the ones who would pamper us and be patient with our excesses. Those are the ones who will love us too much to abuse or hit us. But for lack of knowing any better instead of paying attention to such ones, we're chasing those who have the best height, built, smile etc. And many of those type of men (I've met some of them) are cunning, liars, selfish etc.
I'm saying all this from experience and because I have realized just like some ladies have in the past that some of these things we insist on when choosing a mate doesn't matter. What we achieve usually when we keep insisting on trivial things is that we miss out on the really good men. When a man is not tall enough, there's nothing you can do about it. However you can compromise on that as long as he's presentable. I mean people won't look at his face and run the other direction. If you're worried about your kids height, you can give them a lot of protein! :)
Maybe height isn't the problem, is it his tribe? As long as they don't have any unfair traditions that you're scared of, then I don't see the problem. Every other thing can be worked on. If he's not communicative enough, he doesn't dress well etc, you can work with him on all that and make him the man you're proud of.
What's important is that he's God-fearing, responsible, loves you very much and wants to make you his wife.
This reminds me of one of my ex-colleagues experience when choosing a mate. She's one of those that will advice you that as long as a man is crazy about you and wants to marry you and there's nothing really serious to the happiness of your marriage that he lacks, you should work on the rest. And it's because she has successfully done that and now she's happily married with 2 kids.
She said when she was still dating, she dated really fine guys and she loved her men like that; really fine. However she later met a man not too fine at least to what she's used to. So she only decided to date him because he liked her and spent money on her. So she was like, 'let me just eat his money'. But while doing that later she started to realize that those ones she really liked were selfish, she was the one that was doing most of the calling and reaching out. Whereas this other guy that is not fine always called her, cared for her and spent on her.
One day, she visited the guy and surprisingly saw another girl there. That was when she started to appreciate what she had. She said she told herself, ha, if this fine girl is interested in this guy, it means she's been silly not to be. She got home and her brother advised her that it's better to choose a man (regardless of his looks) who loves you more and care for you and ready to marry you than one of the men whose ego is bigger than them.
She took the advice and started to work on improving the man's look. She took money from him and bought him more fashionable clothes, at least the ones she liked to see him on. She told him how she wanted him to dress, bought his cream for him and so on. And before you knew it the guy started to look presentable. Then while we were colleagues I used to be envious of how the guy treated her. He called her like every 30 minutes when she became pregnant for him. Then after marriage, even after giving her transport fair to work drives her to and from work. It was a beautiful union to watch. And that's because even though she's dated some of the cutest men Nigeria could produce, she realized later what was most important to her happiness and settled for that instead of insisting on the physical attributes.
A man that honestly loves and cares for you; that's the kind of man you should be choosing as a mate because you're marrying for yourself, for your happiness not to impress anyone. Impress yourself; you're the one who would live with this man for better or worse. When a man truly loves you and he's mature then when marital issues later arise, the chance of settling it amiably is higher.
Funny enough when I did see the man on their wedding day, I could see my friend exaggerated about him not being fine. He was a man of very good height and average weight and facially fine too. So you see some of us ladies exaggerate a bit.
Whether you're 25 or not or above 30 or not, take this advice to heart. I'm basically telling you to care more about the little things that matters to the success of your marriage than any sentiments you may have about choosing a mate and marriage itself.
I've been there; and now I'm settled and I'm realizing that I may have been wrong about this person after all. Every day as I get to know this person more, I see I'm not really settling, except maybe just in height, but almost everything else seems it's going to be just as I dreamed about or even more.
Give whoever it is that you think is not deserving a chance and give yourself a chance to be happy. You'll never know until you try. If you try you may change your mind about the person and see that you're suited for marriage after all.
Some of my elder ones were saying recently that two people can't be the same in everything; and I agree. In a marriage usually one person is just a little bit more ambitious and determined than the other or more expressive or more sociable or more free-spirited. That doesn't mean it wouldn't work. What matters is, is the other person who is less of these things ready to support his or her partner?
For example, if you talk a lot and you meet someone who doesn't, does he suggest you keep quiet when you're talking or patiently listen to you? Or if you do a business the person has no knowledge about or simply not interested in, does he at least listen when you try to fill him in on your business activities, or does he just shut you down as you try to talk about your business?
So these are the things you should consider. Don't just write someone off because he doesn't socialize like you do, or talk like you do or whatever. Great if you and your other have the same personalities and/or have same interests. But usually that's not the case. And you have to make it work.
For us women age is not on our side. A man of 60 will find a 20 year old girl to marry if he so desires but it's not so simple for us ladies. But this isn't the reason I recommend settling. I recommend settling, in other words, becoming more practical than you already are because you'll be happier for it. Too many women have married men for the wrong reasons and suffering for it today. And then because you shouldn't keep yourself lonely more than you have to.
I hope you found this practical article on choosing a mate helpful and you make yourself available to find your eternal happiness.
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