I’ll be getting married on the 3rd Saturday in May to a man I am not in love with.
An ideal romantic, I have always believed in love. I looked forward to being swept right off my feet by Prince Charming. I’m the type who would weep over a love tale well told and cheer as the couple in the movies kiss and live happily ever after.
Now, however, after a really bad relationship and 28 years in the bag, I have realised that that feeling of being in love is overrated and is the final and most negligible consideration in looking for a mate. Any guy I loved never loved me back to the degree I loved. They were bad guys, sharp guys that special kind of fine guys. It never lasted. Most relationships I have been in, I have been the 70% giver, while I’d make do with whatever measly 30% the other party offered now and then. I’d lap it up like a thirsty kitten, grateful for the occasional love thrown my way.
Bode was the worst of them all. Everyone warned me against him, even his sister who loved me as her own. I stayed with him for 26 months of my life and even when we split, it was he who did the breaking up. He had cheated and cheated, it got to the point that I was now grateful to be called or visited. I stopped checking his phones because I knew what exactly I would find there and I could not bear the pain anymore. I would complain and scream and he will get mad at me for snooping on him and eventually, I would be the one apologising for not ‘trusting him enough’.
I would purpose in my heart to break up with him but find myself staying on the minute I heard his voice and he talked that talk to me. He turned me into a shadow of myself. I became a crazed out girl keeping tabs on his every move. I’d go out weekends with him just to ensure he does not hook up with any other girl. I’d randomly show up at his because I heard a lady’s voice in the background when I called. Eventually, he did the breaking up himself telling me he doesn’t deserve me. I never thought I’d beg a guy to stay with me but I did. I begged Bode, told him I wasn’t complaining. I even told him that I understood that because we are age mates he might feel the need to spread his tentacles and that I would patiently wait for him to outgrow his ways. He passed on my offer.
I’ll be getting married to Tayo. Tayo is born again. He doesn’t have the ready sweet words to speak. He doesn’t dress so nicely. He doesn’t get me or keep me excited. But in him, I’ve found peace and joy. Tayo would leave whatever he is doing if I need his help. He would ALWAYS drive down to the airport to pick me up when I come visiting him in Abuja. It would have been more convenient for him to have me take a cab. The day he offered to do that, I was surprised. Bode would NEVER do that. At his kindest, he’ll ask his driver to come get me. He’ll probably simply ask me to get a cab and he’ll pay. Tayo would never sleep until he has spoken with me, prayed with me and wished me a good night. With Bode, I’d be the one calling and calling.
Tayo has showed me that it is possible to have a good guy, a guy who cherishes and respects you and most importantly, loves God and puts Him first. His level of consideration towards me still baffles me. I never knew such was possible and this is why I shied away from a relationship with him initially. It all seemed too good to be true. But it has been 11 months of courtship and he has remained the same steadfast, loving, caring man I first met.
As I walk down the aisle, I am sure my belly will not have butterflies in them but I’d walk down confident of the fact that I am placing my life in the hands of a good man. A man who takes instructions from God and passes them on to the home with love. A man who values family and togetherness and would put me before anything and anyone else. A man with whom I am sure I play second fiddle to no one but God. A man who would be a good role model to our children. A man who would stand by me no matter what happens in the home.
My mom has assured me that the sweeping love will come once the sex begins. Apparently, once you start sleeping with a man, the love grows. I look forward to it. But right now, I’m in a happy, content place.
I might not be with the handsome charmer I longed for as a young teenager. He might not have the best physique in the world. He might not have funny things to say to me all the time. He might not be able to make my heart do somersaults. He might not have the latest clothes and shoes nor know the latest slangs young peoples say. He might not understand my love for E! news and Yoruba movies. But of this I am sure:
I am with the man God selected, handpicked for me. I’m with a man with whom I feel safe, secure, looked after, cared for, pampered. I’m always relaxed. I don’t have to check his phones or wonder who he is speaking with. My heart doesn’t have to skip beats when he is not with me. I don’t have to call him 10 times before I get one call back from him. I’m not pressured to do anything ungodly instead I am challenged to draw closer to God and know Him more that I might be a deserving wife to the man God designed for me and that I may bring him as much joy and bliss as he does me. If you call this settling then yes, this girl HAS settled.
I’m not saying this writer is right and has selected wisely but Tayo clearly seems like a better choice than Bode. Many times, we ladies prioritise the wrong things. We place the cart before the horse. We look first for butterfly feelings and put that feeling of security, warmth and peace aside. We put God second and put feelings first. We dismiss a good guy for a fun guy. We dismiss the voice of wisdom, that small still voice telling us not to go ahead, or even to slow down. We damn the consequences and end up getting burnt. I pray God leads us and that we follow His leading. Amen.