My dear Jil, loneliness can be difficult, very difficult. But it can also turn deadly. If you’ve been waiting for a man for some time it can drive you to do things you won’t ordinarily contemplate. I get the sense from your letter you’re at that point – the point at which you’re ready to take rash decisions and use loneliness as justification. You’re about to let go and yield to lower impulses. You’re about to procure a convenient solution to the problem of loneliness, which is really no solution. It will only compound your issues. Loveless sex can’t resolve the question of loneliness. Affection is very important. Besides you’re beginning to malfunction but you can’t see it. That’s because you have justification for whatever you want to do. Your justification is the fact you’re lonely and trying to solve a problem.
I sense there’s a cascade of actions about to emanate from you. You’re desperate and casting your care to the wind. You’re at that stage in which anything can happen; you’re opening yourself up to the possibilities of ideas of prurience. You consider that halfway measure to assuage the notorious feeling of loneliness. It’s not as if you don’t have your girl group. But you’ve since discovered girl groups can only go so far in assuaging loneliness. There are roles in life only the opposite sex can fulfil. It happens to men too by the way. For them the sexual tension is even higher. Was it not Solomon who described a man as a fountain and the woman as a well? One is a self-propelled and self-propagating shoot while the other is at rest until stirred.
You’ve also realised outings with mixed groups won’t solve the problem. You just want your own man, someone you can hold at the cinema, rest your shoulder on, share popcorn with, the sugar variety a lovely reminder of sugary feeling. You want someone you can call and who’s always available to you, even when he’s not available. The fact you can call defines availability. You need someone to text with late into the night, share your feelings with, express affection to and expect reciprocity. You want that feeling of “falling in love”, the exchange of nothingness, the trading of sentiments that function as lullaby that lulls you to sleep. You want to be able to stroll with someone, go to parties with someone. You want your friends asking after your boyfriend when you don’t show up with him. You want to dream, about marriage, your home, your kids… You’ve even thought of what to name the child. And you’ve considered the possibility of twins “to get it over with!” These are legitimate feelings and desires.
You’ve seen yourself wearing his t-shirt, cooking for him in that t-shirt, feeding him the taste of that cooking. You’ve thought of how your mother-in-law will relate with you, what you’ll wear to the village… You’ve thought of the wedding, what you’ll wear… You know the style you prefer. As per traditional marriage you know the colours of the day, how the hall will be decorated, who will decorate, who’ll plan the event, coordinate things… You’ve thought of your makeup artist, the wedding photography, the official shoot, which pics you’ll post on Instagram as diary marker… I can go on and on. You’ve thought of everything. If only the guy will show up. He won’t even need to splurge on kitchen utensils and cooker. You’ve already purchased those!
You’ve wondered what’s keeping him. It just so happens all the wonderful guys you’ve met are already taken, most married. You’ve prayed, fasted… Something you’d never have contemplated a few years ago. But you’re getting desperate and resorting to spiritual indulgences. In private of course. No one knows, not even your friends.
Meanwhile your mum won’t give you rest. She provides neither succour nor introductions nor peace. She keeps asking when are you going to get married, as if you don’t want to. Truth is, all she wants is her grandchildren. As if children are biological debts to parents; as if you owe her a debt payable in children. Of course she thinks you’re being choosy and should be able to manage any man that shows up. She’s asked about “that young man who used to come home with you.” The only problem is that that young man is getting married in two weeks. He was never your boyfriend. He’s the boyfriend of your friend, has always been. He could come home with you because there is nothing and no possibility of something. Now you understand why your mum was extraordinarily nice to him. As far as she was concerned he’s he who was expected. She’s also wondered about Jack, as if rummaging for men in her thoughts. It’s like she’s even delved into her headgear to see which boys she can fish out. She suddenly remembers John from church… Whatever happened to him she asks ever so innocently. There’s of course nothing innocent about the question. She just wants status report on John. She’s seen you with him one or two times. Your mum can’t understand this new sociology. How can you be so close to someone and say there’s nothing between you! It wasn’t like that when she was a “lady”. Guys hardly showed up in a girl’s house unless they had noble intent. If you show up you’re saying something definitive. How times have changed.
It’s not as if you’re your mother’s only child. But for some reason she has decided you’re the “problem child.” It’s why she’s monitoring you affectionately. She’s worried you’re chasing men away. Left alone to her you’d have married ten years ago. You shouldn’t let all that get to you. She’s just being a mum. When you get to her age you’d probably do the same. She’s been planning your wedding for years. And she’s under pressure from her “adversary”, your “Aunty” Clara in Ladies Progressive Society – her age group association in church. Aunty Clara’s daughter just delivered a bouncing baby boy and she’s rubbing it in with innuendos. Only last Sunday she told your mum “Ire na akari o!”, meaning God in his benevolence will democratise the blessing of marriage and motherhood. Of course everyone knew she was sticking her tongue out at your mum. But in the spirit of cultural and religious hypocrisy which denies the obvious and sweeps inconvenient truths under the rug everyone said “Amen!”; even as they pretended not to look at your mum. Of course Aunty Clara asked after you immediately after that prayer!
I get all these, and to be honest I don’t have an answer on how you can further assuage your loneliness. You’re doing all the right stuff. Where I’m concerned is that you’re about to throw caution to the wind with an attitude of I don’t care. That’s a dangerous place to be. You’ll make serious mistakes. Chances are you’ll sleep with the wrong person with your uncare. May be worse.
Don’t lose it in desperation. Don’t lose it. You’ll wipe away the endurance from all the years. And you’ll be in a worse state. You’ll have regrets mounted on your loneliness, and the sense of loneliness will grow deeper since the tryst can’t satisfy your real need. Will only make you want more. And with someone who can’t commit to you or is unqualified to date you. Remember I’ve told you this before – I’ve told you about lines. There are lines that once crossed can’t be uncrossed.
What you need to learn is management. You’ve got to learn to manage your loneliness. You can’t give in to desperate impulses to assuage it. You’ll make a gross mistake. And you may end up in the arms of a user. You’ll give him your body, your means and he’ll treat you anyhow, say nasty stuff to you just because he’s slept with you. That will hurt more but you can’t take the sex back. And such a guy is going to boast about sleeping with you. Some will doubt of course but he’s going to make it sound so credible they will doubt their doubt. Your social value will plummet. Desperation can make us make horrendous mistakes. As to the idea of commercial procurement of sex, don’t even think about it. That’s major. It’s in a league of its own. Don’t go there.
When you study those feelings of loneliness you’ll discover there are triggers. If you watch a particular kind of movie for example it may trigger longing. Know your triggers. The knowledge will help you in your management effort.
Truth is, all we can do is wait for the gentleman. At some point he’ll show up. Sometimes men are busy, tied up in debilitating relationships. They have to disentangle themselves to be available. If a guy is tangled up in a wrong relationship he has to untangle himself. He can’t use you to untangle him. You’ll be accused of a heinous crime. The other woman will label you. A man should be man enough to untangle himself from whatever relationship he doesn’t want. He can’t use his love interest to do that. She’ll get a bad rap. She’ll be accused of breaking up his relationship, which is not exactly true.
I’m just saying don’t resort to desperate measures.
Your mentor, LA.
© Leke Alder | firstname.lastname@example.org.Loveless sex can’t resolve the question of loneliness. Click To Tweet There are roles in life only the opposite sex can fulfil. Click To Tweet You want that feeling of “falling in love”, the exchange of nothingness, the trading of sentiments that function as lullaby that lulls you to sleep. Click To Tweet You’ve got to learn to manage your loneliness. You can’t give in to desperate impulses to assuage it. Click To Tweet