Thank God, I'm not marriedBy Iquo B. Essien, The AFRican Blogger

Thank God, I'm not married
By Iquo B. Essien, The AFRican Blogger
Published on Thu, Sep 18 2008 by Iquo Essien
Dr. Phil has this rule of thumb, let's call it a guideline, that nobody should get married before they are 27-years-old. When he interviews the worst couples, who are yelling and clawing each other's eyes out, it slips out inevitably that they were married at 25, or 22, or (more stupidly) 18. Maybe that's why I'm beginning to think, less than four weeks away from my 27th birthday, Thank God, I'm not married.
�
Last weekend I went to an old friend's birthday party, and at the end of the night he told me he loved me. "I love you too," I replied, somewhat impulsively, like I would if he had said, "have a good night" or "thank you." We used to date and he made it a point of never saying "I love you," especially when I said it first -- instead he would say, "I really care about you," or some other such thing, trying to assure me that he didn't not care at all. Ever since we became friends, though, it's nothing but I love you every time we meet, which I had had enough of last weekend.
�
I left a very angry, tearful message on his voicemail about how he didn't have a fucking clue what the word love means, and how he never treated me with love, and that I wanted to run up to that girl he was slow dancing with and tell her that he would never love her either. (True story. Don't have a clue how long I was holding that in.) Anyways, he responded that he was "using the wrong words to express how he felt," and that we should "talk about it."
�
Right. In a court of love, he pleads ignorance. It's the I-don't-know-what-love-really-means defense. After 6 years of knowing me, one of which we were sleeping together, he neither comprehends the meaning of the word nor would he, if he did, apply said word to me. Isn't life amazing?
�
And it is. Over the past year of my life, I've been awakening to the realization that none of the guys I've ever dated has really loved me. They've been available to eat my cooking, go to the museum, share my bed on occasion, or send me writing they wanted edited (one of the pitfalls of being an editor), but never to really love and care for me. They are the?kind of guys that are somewhat neglectful and absentminded about birthdays and Valentine's Day, but you tell yourself, Deep down, I know he loves me.
�
Well, I'm starting to realize that there isn't any deep down anything. Either a guy shows you that he loves and cares for you, or he really doesn't. It doesn't matter a bit if he says it (cause some, like my old friend, don't know what it means, or they're liars/con artists who tell women exactly what they want to hear...believe me, I've been there). If a guy really loves you, you feel it inside, same as you would feel the love and warmth of a good friend.
�
I guess that's a big part of it too: really knowing someone before you get involved with them. And when you think you know them, get to know them more. It seems to me that the traditional paradigm of dating someone with whom you have a vague chemistry isn't criterion enough. It would be like handing your heart over to a complete stranger, not knowing whether they're going to handle it with care or trample it on the ground.
�
I suppose, as we age, these insights become intuitive. And with them, I am grateful that I survived 25, 22, and 18. When I see my sister friends who are saddled with kids, a home, or a bad marriage by one of these men, I thank God I'm ok. I thank God I'm not married. And when I hear my fellow single sisters lamenting a similar fate, of not being married at 26 or 27 or 28 or 29 (or I could keep on going), I think they don't know how lucky they are to be able to make that decision when they know themselves -- and love -- a lot better.
�
Peace,
�
The AFRican Blogger

Discuss & Comment

Comment Type
DISLIKE
LIKE
NEUTRAL
REVIEWS