Dear fellow single ladies in their mid-30s, what are you looking for in a man before you say ‘yes’ to either dating or marrying him?
When I was in my early 20s, I had a list of the things I wanted in a man. You should have seen how long the list was. I even wrote down simple things like complexion and pronunciation of words. But my list was flawed -- it concentrated on a person’s outward appearance rather than what was inside them. That was my young self though, so it was understandable.
There’s a way our young selves set the bar too high then begin gambling with the same standards we set years later. Just the same way some of us reported to campus with the aim of graduating with an unshakable First Class honors but somewhere along the way, a little voice in us kept whispering, “Degree ni degree”. Oooooh this little voice has a way of bringing us back to reality, or is it down?
Anyway, like I was saying, in my early 20s, I would not be caught standing next to a man who couldn’t pronounce my name. My ideal man had to tick all the qualities I needed in a man. The moment I realised he missed one, just one, I would kick him out of my life like he never existed in the first place. I was such a heartless 20-year-old full of entitlement.
Once, I refused to date a man because of his name. I tried thinking, what if we dated, got married and I ended up being Mrs ‘That name’ which I didn’t like? In my dialect, that name was used to refer to a hyena. So there was no way I was going to risk being Mrs Hyena and put my children through being mocked in school about their ‘hyena’ name!
So I turned him down and gave him very lame excuses. Told him I wasn’t ready to date in college. I even lied that I had put dating on hold until I graduated and got employed. Such a lame lie! It wasn’t even long before I began dating within the same campus. The man I had early turned down would look at my boyfriend and I and shake his head in sorrow.
Anyway, as I grew older, this list got shorter and shorter. It was automatic, I did not even sit down to reduce them. I just found myself breaking all the rules in my search for a lifetime partner. Before I knew it, I had hit 30 with no list of qualities. If anything, I got to a point where all I wanted was a man. It didn’t matter whether he came flying, running or crawling. All I wanted was to start a family.
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You see, society had pushed me to the edge with everyone around me wondering what plans I had in life. Probably the reason I ended up in an entanglement at 31 which led to a beautiful baby girl. I don’t regret it even a little though, at least I bowed to society’s pressure and learnt my lesson well. By the time I was getting back to my senses, I was raising my daughter all by myself.
But this has not broken me. It just taught me well. I figured out that no one has my destiny in their hands other than myself. I decide what to do with my life and how to do it. I called myself for a meeting when I was 33 and made a new list. A list with the qualities I needed in a man before I agreed to date them. I am in a period of my life where I don’t date for fun or to pass time as I wait for Prince Charming. If I decide to date you, trust me, you are my Prince Charming.
Single women in your 30s, let no one make you erase that list you put up in your 20s. Stick to it, don’t bow to pressure to please anyone. Let no one lie to you that your worth has gone down. This especially happens to mothers who are raising children alone. I hear some people claiming our worth has gone down. Down where? Those are lies! If anything, we slipped, fell and rose again to conquer like the victors we are.
My list is getting updated by the day and I am unstoppable. If I don’t meet the man of my dreams, I will peacefully embrace singlehood. But never again will society push me to entangle myself with a wannabe.