Lately, I’ve noticed men seem too relaxed in approaching women. It’s either that or they aren’t initiators in the communication process. A few days could go by without a call from a guy who appears interested in a girl. However, when we (women) give them a call to check up on them, it turns into an extensive hour or two long conversation. So, guys do enjoy our interactions, but it takes us women to initiate it. Why? Some may say, because he’s just not that into you. I beg to differ. Usually, most women can tell when a man isn’t interested at all compared to when he is, but something is holding him back, which prevents him from taking a lead position. That could be comfort or the fear of rejection.
Let me give an example. A good friend confessed that in college she was crushing on a friend from her on-campus ministry. He was attractive, tall and had a genuine relationship with Christ. Check, check and check. The entire time she was silently crushing on him, he never overtly showed interest. It wasn’t until the faithful day a mutual friend told her that he had been crushing on her for years, but for some reason he decided not to approach her about it. What?! She discovered this after they graduated from college and went their separate ways. He ended up marrying someone else and is now divorced. Essentially, both parties were equally fond of each other, but the guy didn’t make the first move and neither did my friend.
The problem is, nowadays, it seems as if most men would rather be pursued than to pursue. But the women, the type that most future husbands are aspiring to marry, a good and virtuous woman, tend to want to be pursued. How does that work if men want to be pursued and women want to be pursued too. Men may not admit it. However, when a man feels he can be lax on making a commitment, because he believes he has options, than indirectly he probably believes the woman should work hard enough to prove she should be the chosen one. That’s backwards.
It creates a shift in the framework of courtship. The roles become distorted and expectations are compromised. I call myself a modern traditionalist. I support certain modern views, but within a foundational framework. I believe a man should initiate and lead a courtship from being to end, while both parties build together to create a lasting, sustainable relationship. The Bible says,
“An excellent woman [one who is spiritual, capable, intelligent, and virtuous], who is he who can find her?
Her value is more precious than jewels and her worth is far above rubies or pearls.” Proverbs 31:10 AMP
Excellent women, “Good Things,” (Proverbs 18:22) are hard to find, but are valuable. The structure is such that men search and find valuable women to marry. Simple. I believe a lot of men have passed up valuable, supportive, loving, nurturing, intelligent, grounded and beautiful women, because the women required the need to be pursued, valued and treasured. Men, have you ever seen a raw authentic ruby or diamond laying on the sidewalk bare for all to grab? Jewels have to be searched for and excavated. It takes effort, diligence, perseverance and sacrifice to mine and refine a jewel. That’s why they are valuable, because they aren’t easy to come by and they aren’t easy to maintain, but they are worth every dollar spent to retrieve them.
Just like precious jewels, finding, loving and valuing a virtuous woman takes effort,diligence, perseverance and sacrifice to obtain and keep. But the reward is oh so great. Initially, she may give you wahala, because she wants to test you to see whether you can be her lead man, be patient. She may want to hold off on sex until marriage, persevere. She may even want to refrain from kissing to prevent the possibility of pre-marital sex, endure. She may want to wake you up at 5am to pray together about your present and your future, sacrifice the sleep. She’s worth it.
Ultimately, choosing your life partner is your decision. No one should make that decision for you. However, remember that every choice has it’s own consequences. Be it positive or negative. I know a few men who took an easier route and silently regret it. It’s written on their faces. However, I encourage you to do what you have to do now, so you can reap the benefits later. Virtuous women usually come with respect, love, care, compassion, patience, support, and other fruits, so search well and work hard to find her. Pursue her like the jewel she is, because she’s worth it. I know I am.
Them: “Bisola…there is a guy that told me he is interested in you.”
Me: “Oh, really?”
Them: “Yes, I told him to contact you on Facebook, since you’re so picky, I don’t want you embarrassing me by rejecting him in his face.”
Me: “Picky?” “I will be committing myself to my husband for the rest of my life.” “If I were ever to be picky, shouldn’t it be for marriage?”
Sometimes, I cringe when someone tells me that they want to introduce me to someone. It’s not like I don’t appreciate their concern, but honestly is it that serious! Every breathing Nigerian male that is above the age of 30 and says he goes to church can not all be my future husband. And when I see, hear, smell some of these “potentials” … chai! Mommy/Aunty/Churchmember I’m wondering whether you even know me. Do I look like I’m suffering, because I’m single? No, seriously do I? Don’t worry, I’m pretty sure God knows the best time for me to enter into a marriage covenant. Right now, my purpose is calling and he doesn’t like me being late.
How do you react when EVERYBODY feels like they found your husband?
I’ve been going back and forth about whether I should start a series about my journey in singlehood (the not married yet and mother is worried stage) within the Nigerian community. I’ve been hesitant about starting the series, because talking about marriage and my expectations can be such a sensitive area that I have slight issues of fear and vulnerability about sharing. However, knowing that shared perspectives and being transparent can be therapeutic to some and informative to others, it encourages me to keep typing. Especially, when I hear 25-year-olds complaining and worrying about how not being married yet is the end all be all, not fully understanding that marriage is the REAL DEAL. It’s not a joke. There are high ups and heavy downs. Changed personalities and circumstances can snatch one’s head out of the clouds pretty quickly. At the same time, marriage can be wrapped with beautiful bows of companionship and fulfillment.
Knowing all of this…I still complain and worry, at times. Hey, I’m human. Between friends getting married every year and my mom calling me to jest about which of her friends’ children are getting married, I’ve definitely had my fall out on my bed, woe is me, “Lord, why is EVERYONE getting married, but me?!,” moments a time or two. Between Aunties telling me that, “In Jesus name, you will get married this year,” (To whom?) and others telling me that “Chai, you’re too picky!” (I mean shouldn’t I be cautious…this is for the rest of my life)— I’ve definitely had my off days.
But overall, I’m content. I get to hop on a plane to see a friend without having to run it by anyone. I can come home late and just eat popcorn for dinner without having to worry if anyone is properly fed. I can sleep-in till 10am (which is super late for me…considering I’m typing this post at 4:30am) and than do my pilates routine without interruption. Every stage in life has its high ups and heavy downs. I’m learning to be content by realizing seasons come and go. It’s better to get the most out of every season instead of letting it pass by without any fulfillment in that state. I’m learning everyday.
How do you stay content in your season?