My dear Jil,
Sometimes we think we are dealing with options and choices when in fact we’re not. There are false options in life. I want you to look at the “options” you presented: You’re currently dating a guy you said you’re not compatible with. And he wants to marry you ASAP. Why? Because he doesn’t want to lose you. Why? “Too many things at stake.” Yet your differences are so fundamental. You can’t stand many things about him. He’s a focused young man alright, but you’re nonetheless unhappy with him and it’s obvious you don’t love him. The only reason you’re struggling with the thought of marrying him is because you want to marry. This despite the fact that he shushes you up stylishly – essentially puts you down when you talk.
But then there’s your ex whom you just “went back to” while retaining this other guy. (I can’t get past the selfishness at play here. And I’m struggling with who’s really the “ex”). You love this ex. He treats you “like a queen”, unlike the other guy – the now Acting Ex. But this your loving no longer ex boyfriend has no ambition. He has no job, no plans, not even to marry you in five years. His life philosophy is simple: Let’s get it on baby! As in, “Let’s have beautiful sex, babies, live our lives and everything will fall into place!” (What a philosophy!) According to you he “just wants to be with you” though curiously if you talk about marriage he gets angry! And so you have a menage a trois of selfishness, usage & calculatedness, as well as ambitionlessness. It’s a threesome!
You want me to help you make a choice between these two gentlemen. You’re confused you say. Well, I can’t choose for you. You have to take responsibility for your choices in life, but we can analyse the facts. You are oscillating between two choices. Either loveless marriage to a man you can’t stand and who you don’t love, or marriage to a man you say loves you but is jobless, ambitionless, with no plans for now or the future. Why does this remind me of a Jerry Springer show, or his other franchise – what’s it called? Baggage!
Let me be honest with you: you’re shopping for marriage. If the jobless fellow offers you marriage I’m sure you’ll go for it. But tell me, how’s a man who can’t take care of himself going to take care of a family? How’s he going to take care of you? And how about those babies you want to make – how are they going to feed? Children don’t understand fasting. They’re not that spiritual. They EAT – a lot! It’s why they grow! And the last time I checked, supermarkets were still collecting money for baby food!
You want assurances of promise of marriage from a guy without a plan? Isn’t that an oxymoron? He has no plans for his own life! How’s he going to have plans for yours?! You say he treats you like a queen. Because he serenades you with sweet nothings? Do you know the value of sweet nothings? NOTHING! Strangely you say he hardly says he loves you…but his actions say so! Which actions?! He can’t buy you presents because he’s living off everybody – family, friends, you… Ask from those who married such men about their experience. Some are still bitter years after divorce. And who’s going to pay school fees for the kids? I hope you’re very hardworking.
Never confuse maleness for manhood. As a woman you’re going to be frustrated marrying a man without drive, desire, ambition or job. There will be constant fights over money and one of the biggest causes of problems in marriage is finance.
As for the only marriage proposal you have on the table (the last option is a sex proposal) here’s my question: Why would you want to marry a man you can’t stand, and who you don’t love or want? You’ll make that young man’s life so miserable he’ll apply for summer vacation in Hades! You have NO I-DEA what marriage is all about! Neither do your boyfriends! I’m sorry for being so blunt but I must tell you the truth in love.
One boyfriend thinks marriage is all about sex; the other thinks it’s a multiple choice question. The problem is not so much them as you. Tell me, what’s the desperation? Why the rush? You’re only 24! You don’t have the maturity for marriage. And I’m not saying that just because of your age. There are mature 24-year olds. Marriage will not solve your problem of insecurity. If there’s nothing I know about life, it is the fact that marriage can’t solve insecurity. It only compounds it. An insecure man or woman who says “I do!” is still an insecure person. Only married. “I do” is not a transformer. You’re afraid of being lonely and being alone. But throwing yourself at men only exposes you to selfish opportunists.
And the fact that your mother is alone after divorce from your dad is not a matrimonial determinant of your fate. You can’t live your life as antidote to your mom’s existence and experience. Despite the rush-hour view of marriage, it is not something you rush into. Rush in may well be prep for rush out! Grow. Mature in wisdom. Learn about life. Get your bearing. Resolve your fears. Resolve yourself. Develop character. Enjoy your singularity. When the time comes you’ll know. When the man comes you’ll know.
Your loving and sincere mentor, LA.
©Leke Alder 2013