[This is a letter to a mentor. It was inspired by the Twitter series by Leke Alder – #Letr2Jil]
Dear LA, a potential suitor recently asked why I wasn’t married. It was a loaded question with a full magazine of assumptions.
It wasn’t so much an enquiry as a subtle judgment – “A woman like you in her 30s should be married by now. If you’re unmarried, there must be something wrong with you. Perhaps a dark past or maybe you’re unmanageable and no man can control you.” (As if marriage were a time stamped project, devoid of life’s delaying twists & turns.) I chose to not dignify his query or satisfy his curiosity. Instead I said something rather cheeky. I pointed out that as he was far older, unhappy and unmarried; he should be the one answering his own question!
Lately, I’ve been reading your letters to Jil on Twitter. I think it’s time to clarify my choices, at least to myself. It may influence the nature of my future relationship.
Do I want to get married? Of course. Have I been asked before? Yes. So, why didn’t I say yes? I’m a romantic at heart, but I believe marriage is very serious business and should not be ventured into lightly. I wouldn’t get married because society expects it, my peers are doing it, my biological clock is ticking or I’m lonely.
I’m not brave. I’m just not a fan of unhappiness. No one else but I and the person I choose, will be stuck with the consequences of my marriage, so I better shine my eye. Marrying the wrong person can wreck my peace, health, future and potential. (I’m aware there are many married smiling faces that break into tears when no one is looking.) While I wait to get hitched, I will deal with the usual challenges as well as I can – sex, for one.
If I was getting my freak on regularly, the decision to wait would have been easier. But I experienced my “mid-life crisis” early and values & principles have now prevailed. I choose not to sleep around. Doing so will add nothing to my overall happiness. To be clear, I have ample opportunity and can opt for the occasional offshore flings. I also seem to serve a very forgiving God:). But even though sexual pressure and emotional loneliness have become constant companions, I’m deeply sapiosexual. I can’t just be with anyone. I have multiple ideas every day so, I desire a home for my mind, as much as I want arms to hold my body tight. I crave conversations that matter and laughter. I need someone whose mind sharpens mine and who will be able to relate to my fantasies! I use work to chase the loneliness away, but am thankful for it. It prevents me from calling those I shouldn’t. I’m also grateful for those who take the time to be there for me.
Next time the question comes my way, “Are you married?” I’ll respond with conviction and clarity. In the meantime, I’ll focus on the joys of each day. I’ll develop friendships and accept that I can’t control my future.
I remain as always your mentee,