Hello Aunty Aurora, I’ve been with a wonderful boyfriend for a little over a year now, and so I’ve started wondering whether I can expect a proposal sometime. I’ve even brought up the subject of getting married a couple of times, very lightly, but my boyfriend just said he didn’t think we were ready yet.
To begin with I was a bit annoyed with him for dismissing my ideas like that, but then I realised that I wasn’t too sure I really knew what it would be like to be married either, or even what it means to be ready for marriage! So it’s hard to argue with him!
So how does anyone decide that they’re ready to marry? Tomike, Festac, Lagos.
Years ago a couple were ready once they could afford a roof over their head. More of a business decision than an emotional one.
While nowadays everyone believes that you should only marry when you’ve fallen deeply in love. But how do you know that your love will last? Or that you’ve found the right man? Or that you understand what you’re getting into?
Love usually starts when you meet someone who likes the same jokes and shares similar interests. But differences inevitably emerge. So marriage isn’t about finding someone who matches you, but learning to cope with your differences. Love creates compatibility, not the other way round.
You’re only really ready once you realise that there’s no such thing as a perfect partner. That real spouses are difficult and irritating on occasions. Including yourself.
Because there are times when you don’t behave entirely rationally, aren’t there? Or when you let your emotions get out of control? You’re only ready to get married once you’re aware of your anxieties and insecurities, and start taking responsibility for them.
Being ready also means realising that it’s not your partner’s fault when he doesn’t understand your feelings. Because no one ever really understands anyone else. It’s your job to figure out your feelings and explain them to him.
And what is love anyway? Kids think love’s having someone who’s always around to feed, entertain and clear up after them. Which is why when adults first go searching for love, that’s what they’re really looking for.
That doesn’t work, of course. You both have to love caring for each other. So what couples actually do together is more like running a small business than Hollywood style ‘love’! Endless cooking, cleaning, planning and budgeting. Not romantic at all. So you’re only ready to get married once you understand how much work is involved!
You also need to know whether you click in bed. Even if your partner’s wonderful in every other way, you’ll regret marrying if the sex is awful.
And you also have to be prepared for when something awful happens. Because it will. Could you both react with patience and forgiveness?
Then you’re ready!
Photo Credit: Getty