Tuesday, December 14, 2010

How long is too long?

Every girl hopes to meet 'THE ONE' at the right time and settle down to the happily ever after phase. From our teen years we are groomed and nurtured into becoming the 'total woman', one who can successfully achieve the work-life balance. We read books, and seek counsel on what a relationship is all about. All these, just so that we are ready when we finally get into one.

Then at some point we meet 'the one', its shaky at first and we're so confused, we ask all the what if and what if not questions. Finally we accept reality, relationships are never 100% perfect, the ability/decision to overlook  live with the flaws is what signifies the unconditional love we proclaim. And then the wait starts...

In the Nigerian/African setting, the onus falls on the man to propose marriage, in order words, he determines the duration of the courtship. This is not to say that the lady sits back, crosses her legs and waits... we have been wired to drop suble hints to speed up the process. However, it seems some guys just never get there.

A friend of mine started dating her 'husband' when she was 18. As of today, they aren't married, at least not in my books! First they dated for 5years after which they began cohabiting, this went on for a long time until she announced she was pregnant. Her mum sprung into action asking for a date to formalise the union and all they got was an elaborate introduction! At the time, my friend was 31!

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think a guy who has a job that pays the bills, his personal business, a car, a fully furnished apartment shouldn't be hesitant about walking down the aisle with his devoted fiancĂ©e of 13years.  Till date, they haven't been to the court neither have they had an engagement/church solemnization. It therefore troubles me that he proclaims undying love, yet isn't eager to sign the dotted line.

Although there is no rule book that suggests the appropriate duration for courtship, isnt it just frustrating to be in a relationship that seems to be heading no where? I have heard cases of people who dated for 10, 12 and even 15 years and still never made it to the alter. The question I want to ask is, did he/she change after a decade or you just decided to ignore the red flags from the beginning? Experts have said that the red flags can be sighted as early as 3 months, they may be wrong but did it have to take 10 years?

There are a few excusable reasons why a courtship might be long, for instance a couple that got together in their first year at the University may not get married until after about 3 years post-graduation, thus bringing their courtship years to about 8 or even more. But in some cases, it just seem they are comfortable with 'no formal commitment'.

I keep wondering why some relationships are like this, is the guy scared of committment? Is he just trying to be sure he knows her well enough? But then they say you never know all, even after decades of marriage, the learning continues. Or perhaps, he's already getting free meal tickets (love, attention, sex) so why should he pay (do a proper marriage)?

These are my thoughts, let me know yours.


Miss A said...

I think in some cases, the guy just isn't that into the girl and he just decides to take what he can without a commitment. You hear of guys who date a girl for years only to break up and be married to someone else within months.

Blessing said...

Hey...it's my 1st time here and I like your blog!

Personally I feel that many girls play the wifey role while they're still a gf, there should be boundaries...if he wants the whole package than he should put a ring on it and meet you at the alter.

It is often said that when a man is READY to marry, he'll look for a wife...so if he's getting wifey benefits for free, why commit?

Anonymous said...

He is now comfortable! The excitement of knowing HER has waned.

So why all the fuss, when he is getting ALL he wants without much ado!

Women tend to make that mistake & relax until he meets another woman who would tell the live-in-lover that she is not yet married to the man! So if she has a child [ren] for him nko? I have seen & heard of such scenarios.

It's not compulsory to have a lavish wedding. Do a little introduction, then go to the registry with 2-4 witnesses, then to your pastor's office for him to bless the union! PLEASE WOMEN SHOULD STOP COHABITING WITH MEN IT'S VERY RISKY!

Tamunoibifiri Mobolaji-Kamson said...

Really I feel very sad for that friend of yours, for me she is just wasting her time with the guy, I'm not sure he is into her at all.
For me if women will learn to draw a boundary they will have a lot more peace in their relationships.

neefemi said...

thanks for stopping by my blog, i really appreciate it.

P.E.T. Projects said...

Miss A... u're very right. Its so sad how ladies tend to loose their commonsense just cos some guy is showing them a lil attention.
*How's the wedding plan coming along?

Blessing: that thing called 'friends with benefits' is just crap all the way.

NG:that was exactly my advice. You dont have to be a millionaire to do the proper thing. It costs less than N10,000 to get married in a Nigerian court. If he really loves you, then he should put his money where his mouth is.

Ibifiri: I've told her countless times, all I do these days id pray that the guy doesnt walk away after a few years, because honestly, he isnt committed.

Neefemi: You're welcome.
*hope u're feeling better now? Please be strong and remember 'after the wind comes the calm"

Thanks Ladies!

doll said...

well that 13 years get as e be o!...besides when they started co-habiting...she signed up for anything i guess

Anonymous said...

Il semble que vous soyez un expert dans ce domaine, vos remarques sont tres interessantes, merci.

- Daniel

Daughter of Her King said...

I have always had an issue with long-term relationship btwn 5yrs onwards, most esp when there is no significant reasons for waiting....

I believe a woman and a man should know right from the start what you both want from the relationship.. which one is 5-13yrs where everyone knows each other, and money etc is available yet no marriage??? Maybe marriage is not on his mind...

I agree with NittyGritty no co-habitating, what is all that rubbish about, under any circumstances whatsoever, no cohabititating, I don't care what your excuses are. Seriously, no wonder some men just can't be bothered... free everything, what difference will a mere certificate make??? i bet he thinks it is a waste of money...

Whatever the man does, i.e walking away, i wont blame him...