Yes! Welcome! I knew the topic would draw you in like a magnet to a fridge (or is it like a fridge to a magnet?) 🙂
I had always wondered what the answer would be if I were to ask people why they got married. So, over the course of 2 weeks, I actually did ask the question. 50 people (between ages of 18 and 60), depending on their relationship status, answered one of these questions “why did you get married?”, “why do you think people get married?” and “why do you want to get married?”.
Most of the responses across the 3 groups were practical reasons like procreation, security, companionship, love, compliance with Bible directives, to avoid sin, parental/societal expectations and pressures, citizenship etc.
But there were some unique responses… the ones that made me stop and think, so I’ll pick one example of such responses from each question group;
Engaged: “…I’m so in love with my fiancé, he’s my best friend and I would like to spend the rest of my life with him.”
Single: “....I believe marriage is to fulfill Gods plan in achieving certain goals and purposes.”
Married: “I never wanted to get married but when I met him I just knew that if I had to change my mind, it would be because of him. I didn’t see myself moving on in life without him – He wasn’t my dream man but he made up for all the gaps in a million and one ways. He was loving, caring, open and he made me comfortable with who I was and how I looked. All other men were no longer attractive to me or even interested me. So when he asked, I didn’t think twice. It would have taken me a long time before I moved on if he hadn’t asked.”
Maybe, just maybe it can be said that the single and engaged people don’t know what they’re talking about, that they haven’t seen anything yet, life hasn’t given them lemons yet, they don’t understand the complexities of married life etc, but the response by that one married person pretty much hits the ball out of the park.
At least one in every two single people has a list of must-haves, bes, dos, must-not-haves, must not bes and don’ts that guides who gets attention and who doesn’t. Of all her words, the ones that jump out at me are these “…He wasn’t my dream man”.
Obviously, she had her list as well, things she wanted this man to be, how she wanted him to speak, what she wanted him to look like, maybe even where she wanted him to be from, how long his surname should be, if he drives with his shoes on, if he wears slippers immediately after work or wears his shoes till he gets home, if he is able to cook so he can help in the kitchen, if his mum is involved in his life, if he’s active in his religious setting, if he opens the car door as she approaches, if his hair is black or brown, if he has dimples, if his eyelashes are long, if he says the right things at the right times, if he’s a good conversationalist, if he stands out in a crowd, if he goes quiet when asked a tough question or if he finds his way around it, if he brings out his tongue to lick ice cream off a spoon, if he snores, if he washes his hand after the toilet, if he has a shower before bed, if he hangs out with the guys occasionally or often, if he has more female friends than male friends, if he wears his watch on his right hand or left…I could go on! If lists could be men or women, we would have perfect people walking around and the world would be a better place.
Sadly, lists can’t be people so here’s what I think it boils down to.
– Chuck your list of unrealistic expectations. You know the ones, don’t make me point them out to you 🙂 .
– Whatever is left on that list after the unrealistic visitors take their leave, place under four headings, “what I can’t live without”, “what I can live without”, “what I can live with” and “what I can’t live with”.
– Based on this four-heading list, make necessary decisions.
– Do not mistake this for ‘settling’…Never settle. I repeat, NEVER SETTLE. Anyone who doesn’t deserve you doesn’t deserve you #nostory. There is no shortcut to anywhere worth going. Settling is taking the shortcut and you will lose your way.
A marriage is about two people coming together and resolving to make things work no matter what. Even when you change jobs, it’s difficult to adjust to a new way of working and organizational culture. So why do you think a merger between two people from different backgrounds will be a seamless integration?
Remember, there are no perfect people and “Even the best needles are not sharp at both ends”. ~Chinese Proverb
What has your own experience been with your list? did you have to chuck the entire thing? re-write it? or did you find someone who ticked all the boxes?