“Ko si eyi t’o da ninu gbogbo won”. That’s my mum trying to explain to me that there’s no perfect man, in the hopes that I will marry the next man that shows more than a passing interest in me.
I’m upwards of thirty and not married. Where I am in my life at the moment doesn’t even see that fact changing in the next year or two at the very least. The women in my extended family (from my mother’s side of course) have taken turns talking to me (more like cautioning me) about my unmarried state. They say things like “you’re not getting any younger” and “what are you waiting for?” and “Is there no man that is talking to you?” I’ve always found it funny how they say ‘talking to you’ as a substitute for ‘interested in marrying you’.
Anyway, they all tend to go around and around the subject in their own different ways (mum included) but the one thing they all conclude on and I swear, in the exact same way, is the assumption that I’m the problem – They say I’m picky. I don’t think I’m picky. I just know what I want. I know I can’t get perfect. But if I’m going to be married to someone for the rest of my life, then I want to be ‘picky’ and pick someone with whom I will stay for the long haul.
The man I want is a man who loves me, of course. More importantly, he’s a man who has something to teach me but isn’t afraid to learn from me. He’s a man who will celebrate my successes instead of feeling threatened by them. He will talk to me even when I don’t want him to and talk to me even when he doesn’t want to. He’s a man who can get serious when life calls for it but isn’t afraid to bring out his inner child and play.
I want a man who is passionate in bed and out; who is eager to please and is quick to give praise when he’s pleased; who will sit or lie next to me even when we are angry at each other. A man who will admit when he’s wrong and have the heart to accept my apologies when I am. I want a man who will be my biggest fan, who will push me to achieve my dreams and who will comfort and encourage me when it gets tough; a man who will scold me ‘lovingly’ when I mess up but not gloat when he’s right. I want a man who will defend me in front of others, even though he’ll point out my shortcomings in private.
Am I being picky if I want a man who will say sweet words to me because he knows I like to hear them; and who will not scoff when I show my romanticism? I want a man who will rub my feet as we unwind at the end of the day and who will always always remember to kiss me good night. Give me a man who can tell when I need some me-time and respects that without misinterpreting it; a man who will match me effort for effort to make our relationship work; who will never let any disagreements between us go into the next day; who likes to cuddle, whether or not sex is involved.
I want a man who will ask my opinion even for the smallest decisions and who will give me honest, unselfish advice when I ask for and need it; a man who will not spend time pointing out my weaknesses, but instead try to make up for them; a man who will be completely honest and open, for whom no conversation is ‘out of bounds’. I want a man who will treat me with respect in every situation, who will see me as a partner and an equal, not an asset to be owned nor a subject to be lorded over.
Find me a man who will make my happiness his priority and put me above anyone else; who will look at me with love in his eyes and spend hours with me in companionable silence without feeling bored. I want a man for whom I am ‘home’, a man who will always come home no matter what. I want a man who will kiss me with his eyes helplessly closed and make love to me with his eyes open because he wants to watch me. I want a man who will seek me out when he’s feeling low because he knows I’m the only one who can cheer him up; who will seek me out when he’s happy and excited because I’m the first one he wants to share his joy with. He’s a man with contagious excitement and an adventurous spirit, one who’ll look for ways to keep the magic going between us.
I want a man who is eager to learn how to love me best and who will also help me love him best; he’s a man who is not afraid to be vulnerable, who won’t hide all the time behind a macho wall. I want a man who I can trust; one who will not undermine my importance through his behavior around others; one who values me enough to always check that he’s not taking me for granted; one who won’t lie to me…
Of course, there are the more conventional things I want in a man – a good job, a bright future, a strong moral/religious background, passable looks (not every time tall, dark, handsome), e.t.c, but I assume those are a given. Now, I know it looks like I have a long list of things I want in a man, and you probably think I want a flawless man. But I don’t. I just want a man who can learn to be all these things; one who is a work in progress just like me; It’s quite simple really – I just want a good man. Is that too much to ask?