It has been minutes, maybe hours, I can’t tell. I have been staring at my finger with a big smile on my face. The sparkling ring around it is not gigantic, but it’s not tiny either. Adam proposed yesterday night. The look on his face when he went down on his knees, will forever stay in my mind. That instant has officially become the best moment in my life. It felt even better than when I got promoted to the head of my department at work two months ago. I totally did not see the proposal coming. Yes Adam and I have been dating for six months now, but he had been rather elusive for the last week. I’m guessing he was busy making preparations for this moment. Of course I had been worried sick. I remember when Mark (one of my exes) did that, and shortly afterwards I found out he had started sleeping with a colleague at his workplace. But then again, Mark wasn’t as thoughtful, understanding and loving as Adam. The smile on my face gets bigger as I think of my fiancé’s gorgeous face. That cocky, knowing grin he gets whenever he is confident about something (which happens often) or when he wins one of our arguments (this doesn’t happen often). His eyes get this twinkle as one side of his mouth twitches into a smirk. A good swaggering smirk- not the kind that I used to spot on Logan’s face. Logan (another ex) could be arrogant and conceited sometimes. Adam is not like that. Well, I hope he really isn’t. How can one tell? I obviously couldn’t when Logan and I started dating. No. I would not doubt Adam. He has not given me reason to.
The ring is not heavy at all! Well yeah, its certainly got me a bit self-conscious as I go about my day, but who wouldn’t! Can you believe my family had known about it! I didn’t know my best friend Nadia could keep a secret this long. That was definitely a first. Oh Adam, how sweet he can be. He may not be the guy who opens doors for me or pulls the chair out for me, like Mustafa did, but he brought me a whole bouquet of flowers when I got promoted, and took me out to dinner to celebrate. That counts. It turned out it was all an act with Mustafa. Let’s just say the girl who kept calling his phone at night was NOT his ex. Adam didn’t get late night calls. And when he did (which rarely happened), it would either be a call from his younger brother or an emergency at work. At least that’s what he tells me. And I believe him. I do. I have to. He proposed to me for crying out loud. He wouldn’t go this far if he wasn’t serious about me. About us. Would he? Adam doesn’t lie to me. Ali did, but Adam doesn’t.
Sigh. This is not the time for uncertainty. I love Adam. He treats me well. I would gladly spend the rest of my life with him. Plus I love spending time with him, and him with me. In fact, he pulls me towards him for a cuddle every time we watch TV. Which was so unlike Mark, who liked watching football by himself. He said I asked too many questions when he watches it with me, and that I tend to fidget a lot. This would explain why I was totally surprised and full of nerves when Adam first cuddled with me as he watched the Premier League final game. Don’t get me wrong, I trust Adam. Even though it took me awhile to open up and let him in, I trust him now. But then again, I also trusted Mark, Logan, Mustafa, Ali, Kay and the one before him- at one time or the other.
No, I would not let my past relationships dilute what I have with Adam. He asked. I said Yes- and I meant it. Now, there’s a wedding to plan!
* * *
Gone are the days when women would embrace chastity until a man came home to ask for her hand in marriage. Also gone are the days a man would only pursue a woman with the intention of marriage. We live in an era where people date for different reasons, most of them not very honourable. We get into a relationship somewhat knowing that it will come to an end. Cheating, lying, and ungentlemanly behavior in relationships have become the norm, and one is no longer surprised when she finds out that her partner is guilty of one or the other. In fact, some women even anticipate for it to happen. Yet, the sad bit of it all this is that we women have given up on the possibility of a faithful and loving boyfriend- or husband. Most of us settle for ‘the man who is less likely to cheat on us’, or the man who will not cheat on us the longest- until he does. Which leads me to my biggest fear, as a woman who believes in not just marriage, but a loving and loyal union. How many boyfriends will I date before I meet my husband? How many people will I go to bed with before my husband? Will the existence of my past relationships harm my marriage?
What we women do not notice is that the more men we date, the more baggage we carry on to the next relationship. This is mainly because we tend to use the ‘lessons’ and ‘Dos and Don’ts’ from our previous relationships as blueprints for the next one. We fail to understand that each man is different. What may work on boyfriend number one, may not work on boyfriend number two. Comparably, the habits of boyfriend number two will probably be different from those of boyfriend number three. Nevertheless, this doesn’t stop us from having predetermined expectations from our previous relationships (both good and bad) that evidently put pressure on a new relationship. Such sentiments, in addition to the insatiable need to be in a relationship (thanks to all sorts of external influence), push us into relationships that won’t work.
Statement of the Problem
Why do I take a while before I get into a relationship? The same reason I have experienced less number of heartbreaks than you have. You wonder why you have unnecessary expectations in your current relationship? Well, you’ve dated and gotten attached (physically and emotionally) with countless men, so now you have ‘a lot of experience’, endless expectations, fond and bitter memories, as well as, emotional pieces and parts of your soul left with each one of your exes. You date every Tom, Dick and Harry that you can’t tell the right guy from the rest- even if he went down on his knees.
It’s simple really. Sit down, look into yourself, think about what you want in a relationship, and what future you would like to have, then answer the question: “Why do you date?” People are different. Some date in order to have an active sex life while others date because they feel incomplete on their own and they can’t handle being alone. Some are pushed into dating because all their friends are in a relationship and others because they like being taken out for dates and stuff. I know of some who like dating because of the pampering they get: the gifts, the trips, the dinero. I am lady in my early twenties, and why do I date? To be honest, I’d get into a relationship right now to spend time with him (and him with me) so as to distinctively determine if the man will be the person who can be my future spouse.
I vow to know what I want in a partner before I put myself on display at the relationship market. This aside, I choose to only get involved with a man who fits those set standards. I refuse to settle for anything less. I also refuse to be swayed by my friends, family or social media. I will commit to a relationship that I believe will last, and I will dedicate my resources and effort to make it work, knowing that my partner would do the same. As a believer of true love and devotion, I will give as much as I expect to be given. Most importantly, I declare to learn and get to know my partner for who he is, and treat him accordingly. I shall not blame him for the mistakes of the others, nor shall I expect him to give what he cannot. I vow to be faithful to this man, hoping that I chose right, and that he would be as devoted and as faithful. Above all, I pray that the man I get physically and emotionally attached to turns out to have the qualities I would want in my husband. And if I date a guy and find out he isn’t the one, I won’t go further, rather I will wait for him- my husband material. For the sake of your marriages, I think you should too.
P.S: This applies to men too. Women do not want to get married to men who have 5 baby mamas, 7 children out there with their exes, and like 97341 exes roaming around earth. Scientists haven’t discovered any other livable planet yet!