I agree with you, it’s a weird universe I’m meddling in but I must tell you that I have never thought harder and more consciously and consistently about my future husband and home like in the past year. In fact, I think Maami’s prayers are finally catching up with my smartness. Besides, all those strange birthday prayers from my plenty dads, mums, uncles and aunts got me thinking again . There was a time it was somewhat an abomination for me to have a male friend, now they are all asking about some mysterious guy and praying like he’s going to fall from the sky. Na so e easy?
Well, this piece is a page off a more comprehensive volume that I wrote on THE MAN I WON’T MARRY. Roll ya eyes all ya want but in this relationship business the ball is pretty much my court. So, here’s my belated birthday special but I must stress that this is not a call for proposals and if I ever gave you clear-cut NO in the past, NOTHING has changed (lol).
Let’s run through my list
The “man” man
Trust me, I will marry a man who has all the validating features cultured from birth but I won’t marry a man who has an obsession with his “manliness”. So many men are too busy being men that they are becoming less human by the day.
What I need is a partner who knows that he is a man and nothing can change that. I want a man who will abandon the myth of culture-assigned gender roles and walk with me. I want a man who is not afraid to be weak and receive strength where and when I’m offering it. I want a man who is not timid to shed a tear in my presence and let me do the wiping off. I want a man who can be vulnerable with me. He must feel and understand my feelings. My man must know that he is already a man and that he has nothing to prove to me cause he knows I’ll hold him in high esteem and cherish him as long as forever lasts.
I need a man who doesn’t feel emasculated by my occasional show of strength. I need a man who understands that we are partners and we’ll help each other even in the face of social boundaries. He must know that helping out with chores especially when they get overwhelming doesn’t reduce him, just like washing the disciples’ feet didn’t reduce Jesus.
I don’t want a man who is too conscious of a third party’s opinion so much that they determine his efficacy as a partner. I don’t want a man who wants to use the template of another relationship for ours. And yes, I don’t want a man who reminds me every time that he is a man especially when I ask for help. In Kongi’s immortal words “A tiger doesn’t proclaim his tigritude…”. When I’m weighed down by “responsibilities”, my man must be human enough to step up to the plate. While I’m running around taking care of the kids and stressing out, my man must be human enough to help out and not sit behind his laptop or in front of the TV chilling. I will marry a man who is human and not one losing his humanity in the pursuit of manliness.
The Perfect man
Call me crazy but this is what I want. I don’t want to marry a perfect man.
Come on, have you met me? I’m so imperfect. Gosh, I’ve got flaws and I need work but marrying a perfect man will be very unfair to me. I don’t want to be the “dumb” student who always needs to learn and be taught in my marriage. No! I need to do some teaching too. I need my husband to be flawed in certain areas where I’m better so I can do some teaching. I think relationships thrive on exchange so we must have something to offer each other. I am as desperate to pour out the goodness I have mastered over the years in to him as I am to receive from him. Besides, I want us to be blessed not burdened to have each other. He should know in his heart of heart that I’m his better half, and I should see him as my better half.
That being said, I don’t want a man who is damaged beyond repair or a man who won’t receive help. I want a project with great prospects. Someone with whom growth and impact is balanced and measurable. Even if the only thing he can’t do is tie his shoe lace, let me be the one to own that department. Let me be the one to teach him that. I’m not looking for leverage. I simply want to be a significant partner. His mama must not have done all the work; there must be something left for me to teach. And guess what, I have not met one single perfect man? God is good after all (lol)
The Serious man
I know life can be a serious engagement but I need a man who knows how to relax and have a good time. There are men who think life is a tight-fitted long-sleeved turtleneck jumpsuit. It’s not! I used to think “seriousness” was one of the requirements for a successful life but I have discovered that it is not. Stiffness and rigidity guarantees nothing but boredom and broken relationships. I’m not going to marry a Kevin Hart or a Basket Mouth but my man must be exciting enough.
I like spontaneity and a dash of weirdness. Even if he wasn’t born with the “instincts”, he must be open to learning. He doesn’t have to have an armory of jokes and he doesn’t have to be goofy, but he must not be stiff. He must be open to new things and be adventurous.
The “OK” man
Before you say I’m crazy, let me tell you a little about this Mr OK. Mr OK avoids argument at all cost because he wants peace. Even when he doesn’t agree, he’s too diplomatic to talk about it. Mr OK may be perfect for some but not me cause I strongly believe that brainpower thrives on logical arguments. How am I supposed to think better if he doesn’t weigh in? Friends can help out but you’re supposed to be closest to your spouse, right? I like to debate conventional ideas and I don’t want a man who always takes my conclusion as perfect. Yes, he must know when to let me win and when to push further. How? Let him ask the Holy Spirit (lol).
I don’t want a partner who walks on eggshells around me. In the course of walking together there will be conflicts of ideas and I want him to see these conflicts as the needed current to preserve the freshness of our relationship. I need him to be open and really communicate with me though he must be smart enough to do so with love and plenty brain. I don’t want an aggressive or confrontational man but I don’t want a man who says Ok all the time. Nobody is that good, certainly not me.
Criticisms are good; they fix you. But have you met some people? Chai! They can be horrible critics and super judgmental. And interestingly, they are super flawed themselves. I’ll be honest, I don’t find constructive criticisms pleasurable but I know that they are bitter pills I must swallow if I want to be better at what I do so I take them. But some people are very ruthless; nothing is ever good enough for them.
I don’t want a man who finds a blemish in everything and feels the need to always make an issue of it. I don’t want a man who is going to play Gordon Ramsey with my cooking after I have labored through hell to come through with something nice. I love my dad too much and I can never forget the amazing way he exhumed love and respect in my ‘yay’ and ‘nay’ moments. Even when he’s not wowed by the result, he’s always wowed by the effort.
I remember the first time I made him beans and rice, it was super salty. But you know what; my dad ate it with a very funny smile on his face. Then he went on about how great the meal was and how much he enjoyed it and how proud he was that I pulled it off and only in the end did he mention lightly that I should add minimal salt next time.
Whenever I relapsed, my dad always cheered my competence. I can’t remember him slamming us down with words whenever we underperformed. He would always tell us how proud he was to be our dad and how confident he was that we can and will do better. With him you don’t have to walk on eggshells or pretend because he is not going about with a lens to magnify your flaws. I will hold my man to this standard not just for my sake but for our children’.
Do I want a man who exaggerates and flatters unnecessarily? No! I simply want a man who doesn’t ruin a moment of bliss with a stupid comment on how awful the weather is or something silly. I want a man who appreciates results as well as effort.
Gracious God, please deliver me from Talking Tom else I’ll lose my mind or become an earplug addict. I’m not very conventional but I still think gossip and excess talk is the exclusive ministry of the female gender. There’s something about men who talk excessively that puts me off. How is he supposed to think if he’s always talking and how am I supposed to perform my God-given function of talking if he always has something to say? (That’s not to say women don’t think. After all we are superb at multitasking). I think men have a unique way of expressing themselves succinctly and must leave the storytelling and analysis to us! My man must know when he’s said enough.
The Church man
This man is on many ladies’ “I want” list not mine. I don’t want a church man as much as I don’t want a religious man. I simply want a Christian who loves and knows the Lord. Here’s the thing, the church man knows enough about the church to fool you but ask him questions about his personal walk with God and he’ll stutter like a five year old. The religious man? He is baptized by doctrines, rules and regulations with a very shallow understanding of gospel realities.
I see many brothers brag and argue for their divine placement as the heads of their homes and I marvel at how ignorant they are at the enormous responsibility this capacity places on them. To be the head is not to eat the biggest piece of the chicken in the soup pot or receive the endless adoration of your wife and children. Every head is a cover and an armor for his family and his spiritual standing determines the quality of the protection they enjoy in days of trouble.
I need a man who knows God and is known by God. I want a man who has a steady relationship with God and can help me grow spiritually. I need a man who studies the word and receives precise revelations that will give our home direction. Personally, I think a man who cannot lead his home spiritually is a pathetic leader. My man must know God enough to stand in the priesthood capacity for our home. I don’t want to be the one encouraging him to serve and love God. Rather, I want him to be so lost in God that finding him is finding God and finding God is finding him.
Wake up! It’s my list not yours!
I love you
By- Deborah Adeojo