Okay, so here’s the deal. Life is hard. Being SINGLE and a WOMAN is harder.
Graduating from undergrad opens the floodgates of the “So what next?” question. But in reality, when that question comes from these Nigerian aunties and uncles, they’re really asking you “so when will you marry? (Will it be this year, or next year, will you be single forever?)”.
I was at the salon the other day, and the conversation between one of the (male) hair stylists and (male) pedicurist was completely appalling and baffling. Baffling because I wondered whether even in this day and age, this whole 21st century, men still reasoned this way. They spoke at length about how a woman should be lucky and grateful and happy that a man wanted her. About how a woman (in paraphrase), amounts to nothing if she’s not wanted by a man. They were essentially saying men define women. And again, it is this same thought process that plague many of the older generation; this concept that without a man, a woman is nothing— regardless of whatever accomplishments she’s achieved.
I remember having a conversation a while back with a guy and the one thing I picked up which he’d subtly said—after I’d complained about certain things—was that maybe I’m facing XYZ because my expectations are too high; essentially saying lower your expectations, Anjola. And coming from a place of honesty, I genuinely think many guys shy away from women with reasonably high expectations and may be so afraid of such women that they automatically term them as demanding or difficult.
It’s extremely laughable how some men think they can merely dish out the barest minimum to women and expect the woman to fawn and gush over them because of this barest minimum. It’s funny how some men expect women to praise them for carrying out actions or acting in a certain way that should be normal in an ideal and equal society.
Ladies and Gentlemen…
The expectations in this generation are much higher and I’m here for it. Gone are the days when all a guy says to a woman is you’re beautiful and throws gifts at her as a means to win her over (I mean, don’t get me wrong, gifts and sweets words are nice and all, but they’re definitely not the be all end all!). Women are making waves, women are self-sufficient and know what they want from life. Most importantly, they know what they want from a guy to fit into their own expectations from life.
Speaking from my own point of view, I definitely want much more beyond the superficial things many guys tend to offer. The most important being, a guy who is solely, sincerely and truly dedicated to living a life that pleases God, because once that is in place, everything else automatically falls into place(Matthew 6:13). A man who cannot love God, cannot respect the institution of marriage God has created and in turn love his wife the way God has called him to. These days, I recognise the fact that I’m more of a sapiosexual than I thought I was and so this definitely plays into the requirements for the type of guy I’m banking on God to prepare for me.
In all honesty, the same standard I know God holds me to and the same values I place on myself are what I, in a same light, expect from a person I intend to spend the rest of my life with. Marriage, the way God has created it and intended it to be, is a for-life-thing. So, if a woman is termed difficult or demanding, I see it as her projecting her current reality onto any potentials, because she demands certain standards and values from her life and automatically projects these same expectations on her future partner (I hope this makes sense).
I think one standard every woman should hold dear to her heart is the affirmation that: no man will ever make me feel less of myself. Allowing a guy make you feel unworthy or less or yourself, or attaching your self-confidence to how guys perceive you is probably the worst type of tragedy. I say this because regardless of gender, our identity should first of all be rooted in Christ and the way God sees us. 1 Peter 2:9 describes us as “God’s own purchased” (AMPC) or “God’s special possession” (NIV- I love this translation!). So have this image at the back of your mind. Now, God who created the entire world, created you IN HIS OWN IMAGE and put you on this earth for a purpose and describes you as his special possession, will never, ever make you feel unworthy or less of yourself. So why should another mere mortal? Essentially, my point here is that the moment your identity is rooted in Christ means automatically that your value or worth is not placed on how a guy sees you or is attracted to you.
Ladies and Gentlemen…
I’ve rambled on quite a lot. But the overall takeaway from this entire rant is that you should never (i) place your value in how much a man is attracted to you to how he sees you and (ii) devalue yourself or reduce your (realistic) expectations and standards when it comes to thinking of potentials. More importantly, use the love of God and the way God loved you as a litmus test in creating your standards and expectations.
Until the next episode!