Taken And Miserable? Nope! Single And Miserable? Yep!
One of the existential struggles for the 21st Century woman living in a culture-trapped nation like Ghana, is what to do with herself when it comes to her high heels and standards, and the men she can't find a single basic use for. As a relationship coach, I get caught up in a quagmire of dumbfoundedness when I sit and listen to women with big brains, engaging conversations and crystal clear perspective on things struggle to find the right kind of man to connect to. The frustration gets suffocating when, people won't let these women be, but make them feel there is something wrong with them. It is your fault you are living on the 10th floor of life, when you could be living on the ground floor like all of us, Regina. It's all your fault, girl. Come down a little, Regina! That man is a good man; occasional cheating and yelling and drunkenness killed no one, Regina. Men are like that, so if you can't get one polished up to your floor of standards, girl take a stroll downstairs...like the rest of the girls.
The question has always been, 'what do I do?' Yes I have a need for a man in my life, but does that mean, it will all depend on me to get a relationship going? Can't I entertain the thought, no matter how scary it may be to some people, that there must be men who rise up to the standards of women who are up there and desiring to push higher? So....After series of disappointments, social pressure, and the desire to have a legitimate intimate relationship with someone they can call their own and show their faces to back it up, they lower their standards in order to be taken.
I will not only tell you what I think, I will tell you what I would have done if I was a woman. But first and foremost, we need to appreciate that relationship is a compromise; you don't get all you want in one pod. You may have to let go of some things just to get some things; ultimately, however, each choice you make will come with its own consequences, and you must be willing to choose and face the consequences. Being single is not a crime and being taken is also not a crime. But being single can be tough in a world where everyone is brandishing one version of love or the other, whether it is real or fake. Being taken can also lead to a world of misery if you had to bend over to a point of deformity in order to be good enough for a man who is yet to discover himself.
It all comes down to choices. If you set realistic standards and you meet men who are not interested in compromising to meet you half way, you can keep searching or lower your standards in order to be taken. When you keep searching, hoping to get a man who may meet your standards, you may find him or you may not find him. If you find him, all problems solved. If you do not meet him...you can choose to occupy your life with other things that take your boredom away, and not be bothered by men who are not up to your standard.
When you opt to lower your standards in order to be good enough for a man so you can be taken, two things happen here; you may meet a guy who, though is beneath your expectations, has something else that compensate for their deficiencies in those areas you were considering. Or you may also meet a guy who will make your life miserable; a guy who will prove to you never again to lower your standards to accommodate a man in this life or the next. Consequences.
This is the quandary most women find themselves in as they grow. If I were a woman, I would rather be miserable being single than lower my standards and be made miserable in marriage. Imagine the things you have to let go to be good enough for a man, only for him to further demand that you cease to think, speak or be relevance beyond the annual allocation of these he graciously dishes out to you.
Marriage is to make the two of you one. When he finally attached himself to you, in most cultures, you would be expected to see him as The Man and The Head. You cannot rebel against your better half. Such a house is divided and will not stand. You cannot rebel against your head, if you swore him in, then his words can harm you. So wherein lies a sister's remedy? At the point of selection. At this point, you are not one and he is not your head. If you don't like him, do not swear him in. In business, in academia and every aspect of Social life, competence or capacity for it, is proven before authority is conferred. No institution downgrade in order to be good enough for someone to lead it, when there are equally good suitors in the queue. Somehow, it is only in marriage that we promote people who have proven time and again, they cannot meet the demands of the role. When it comes to relationship, try and be risk averse as much as you can. Times have changed and divorce is a normal thing, so do not get married with all the red flags popping, and hope it would work out over time. There is no time. 18 months into today's marriage is long enough for couples to drive each nuts with frustration. The pressures of the age, extends beyond children and petty market gossip. The pressures of life goes into academic excellence, social achievement, scientific discoveries and literary redefinitions. The last thing you want is a thumb sucking kid in a grown man's skin messing your groove up! You do not have time so do not bank your hopes on time. If they are not good, they are not good. Once you say something is not good enough for you, you naturally develop an aversion for it and no matter what they do...you are bound to find faults. It is human.
People do not get better once you reinforce their ordinariness, and mediocrity must never be allowed to triumph over quality. A woman with high standards is not the problem; a man who cannot comprehend and embrace it is the problem. No, he would rather marry a liability of a woman, and be the Lord of the Ring, than marry an asset and share The Ring. Bruh, you need more than one ring to bring Captain Planet! I mean five is not possible in this scenario but two is fine. (Sorry if you don't understand the Captain Planet bit)
One day, I was speaking with the General Counsel of one of the high end real estate companies in Ghana, and I asked why her client's apartments were so expensive. She said, 'it is the materials that have gone in, the finishing, the location, the kind of people you end up living in the neighbourhood with, the facilities available to you and the promise of peace of mind.' That is what inflates the price; the tangibles and the non-tangibles. There can never be any property under the same set of circumstances, going for less. My dear, Holy Child or Wesley Girls, LSE, the myriads of Social inter-connectivity and the richness of the collage of your life demands that you sell yourself high, otherwise what is the point of going through all that?
Yes I know it can be boring and family and social pressure can make it worse...but I would rather be alone and free to have fun as and when I want than to lock myself into a little room of a bad marriage and suffer and...well still... be alone.... Choices.
Before I check out, let me throw this in for my guys. There are people driving cars above their current pay-grade and living in neighbourhoods they clearly can't afford. These people go through the pain of making painful sacrifices now in order to keep up appearance so that they can eat the fruits in the future. You know why? Because certain cars change how people look at you, which then determines what doors close or open to you. You are addressed by how you dress, heard that before? certain neighbourhoods change the people you meet and certain hangouts influence who you interact with. You can choose to stay in your little nest and hope life happens, or you can make compromises to focus on the bigger picture so more opportunities come your way. That is what marrying a successful woman with high standards does to you. It helps you rise faster because her success adds up to your own grind. That is you moving from chasing a thousand to not chasing two thousand, but a whooping ten thousand. It introduces you to new dimensions of life you would never have experienced, and it connects you to a world beyond your world. With such a woman by your side, you are unstoppable. But if you want her to shut down just to please your ego, then you are not harming her, you are harming yourself.