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Relationship Dilemma: Am I a perfectionist? I can’t seem to find the right woman to marry

By Winfrey Owino | August 27th 2021

A depressed man. [Courtesy]

In this week’s Relationship Dilemma, we feature a 38-year-old Nairobi-based man seeking advice on what to do as his priorities and societal expectations clash.

Below is his dilemma, as shared with us via Facebook inbox:

Hi, I’m Michael, 38 years old; living and working in Nairobi.

I have a well-paying job and managed to move into my own house about two years ago. I have unsuccessfully tried to settle down. Every time I find a woman whom I like and she starts reciprocating the love, I always come up with excuses to end the affair.


There’s one whom I told that she was too pedestrian for me. I like witty, educated, presentable women who can communicate in good English and Swahili. Though I have met a few who meet that description, there’s always a thing or two about them that discourages me from getting serious with them. Back home, my grandma and mum are putting pressure that I should marry. The truth is I’m not getting any younger, but I don’t want to settle for anything that comes my way. What should I do?

What online users think

Susan Catherine Keter: What you are describing are the symptoms of a problem, and not the real issues. Invest in professional help so that the root cause can be identified and adequately addressed. Dealing with the symptoms won't really help you.

Nyasimi Bw’osebe: Marriage is not about perfection, but love and companionship. Your marriage is not an office or media house that requires perfect mastery of language. Do yourself justice and settle down with a lady who sincerely loves you; embrace, and marry her. Remember, you aren’t perfect, no human being is. So, swallow your pride and be real. The earlier the better.

Ropius Orina: You might get a beautiful woman who has all the qualities that you have listed, but would lack other key attributes. She might be highly-educated, but doesn’t approve of your family. Get a nice woman, and marry her, her flaws notwithstanding.


Scooby Kathomi: What are you, in person, offering to this sophisticated woman you so much desire?

Mukami Wa Ruguru Mutongu: Michael, I think you are self-centred. Work on yourself first.

Cally Odhiambo: Marriage is not about how you think, but who you are. You think education and money makes a beautiful marriage? There are is more to marriage than the two qualities – education and money.

Fredrick Chepsetai: You can’t get all qualities you are looking for in one person. No one in this world is perfect, including you. Learn to compromise.

Gabriel Kariuki: Michael, you seem to assume that you are perfect, and are now looking for a Miss Perfect. Since when did language proficiency become a key quality in marriage? No one uses vocabularies to speak to a wife or husband.

Paul Munyeke: These qualities… I think they’re easily findable at the University of Nairobi’s Department of Linguistics and Literature.

Andrew M. Mwanja: Michael, you’re not looking for a newscaster for a wife. Compromise, and get a good woman.

What the expert thinks:

It is good to be idealistic but at the same time realistic. I’m thinking the only good place as a human being that we have all never been to is heaven. Maybe when we get there, and acclimatize, then we will get used to the heavenly feel, and heaven won’t feel ‘heavenly’ anymore.

When you ask for too much from someone, then you’re likely going to concentrate on fault-finding. There has never been a perfect world. When you look for the bad, you will find it. Even if there are strengths, you won’t be able to notice them. Marriage is not about only you; it is about you and your spouse. My fear is if Michael remains so rigid on the qualities that he wants, he might end up being a bachelor for the rest of his life. Compromise! Good luck in your search.

- Dr. Karatu Kiemo is a sociologist and lecturer at the University of Nairobi.

Editor’s Note:

Every Wednesday mid-morning, The Standard will be publishing on its verified Facebook page (Standard Digital) a relationship dilemma sent to us via our Facebook inbox. If in need of relationship advice – from an expert, or are seeking to get advice from online users regarding a confusing situation you are facing, contact us via Facebook, with the title ‘Relationship Advice’. We will not use your real name. We guarantee you dignity by hiding details that could lead to your identity being known or exposed.


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