When you come from Africa, you need not to be told how important weddings are here. Your parents can get so involved as though they are the ones walking down the aisle. As if that’s not enough, you can actually lose friends you don’t invite… forever. Yes, you heard me right. Forever!
This sheds light on the fact that weddings are such a big deal here in Africa. They are looked-forward-to events. And of course… there are expectations to be met.
Ironically, would-be couples sometimes get so busy organizing their nuptials that they forget to sit to analyze the reasons behind such a big investment. It’s indeed a huge investment because it involves not only your money but your mind, heart and soul, too. Time will expose our intentions and it would be unfortunate if those intentions are wrong.
Are you about to walk down the aisle? Don’t do so for these reasons. Wrong intentions become wrong foundations.
1. “I am not growing any younger!”
Any man/woman with such a mindset is vulnerable because they are desperate. When desperation sets into our lives, we take decisions without carefully thinking through such. When a woman fears old age may catch up with her, she wouldn’t mind settling with just anyone.
It’s better to wait forever than to hasten into a “happy never after” marriage. It’s better to wait for a longer period than walk down the aisle in haste just because age is at your heels.
2. “He is the only one who can give me my dream wedding!”
As you read this, you’d be utterly amazed that a potential couple somewhere is on the brink of going their separate ways because the man can’t afford the woman’s dream wedding. In today’s world, many women find themselves locked in some seriously uncomfortable marriages because all they wanted was a man who could give them their dream wedding, not dream marriage.
All one needs to give you your dream wedding is money. However, for a dream marriage, a lot, especially maturity, comes to play. You pre-sign your divorce papers, as a young woman, when all you want is someone who will give you that luxurious wedding you’ve always dreamt of. You may get the wedding… but not the peace thereafter.
3. “I am pregnant!”
Back in the day, marriages started with, “When can we come see your parents?” These days, it is, “I am pregnant oo!” I call such marriages “emergency weddings” because everything is done in haste to avoid public ridicule. It even gets to a point in the marriage that one or both realize the foundation of the institution was the pregnancy… not love.
Love is patient. Marriage is not a crash course which should be rushed through. Walking down the aisle is great but be certain it’s not because of pregnancy… and even if it is, there should be love!
4. “I want to put my ex and my enemies to shame!”
Ever met someone who has still not gotten over their past relationship? At the least opportunity, they want to take a swipe at their exes. They would flaunt their promissory ring on social media with a lousy caption, “He thought I was finished…” When their fiancé gives them a lift, they’d share a photo, “Observers are worried.” Every little move of theirs is to get the attention of their exes and some supposed enemies (oftentimes non-existent).
When you are in this state of indecision, you are very likely to make a wrong partner choice because you are doing everything with your ex/enemies as a measuring gauge. You just want to outcompete them. You want to impress them. Later on in the marriage when reality comes slapping you in the face, you’d know that marriage goes beyond your pettiness. When it’s been said and done, the only person who would have been put to shame would have been you! Get over your ex. Get over your enemies.
5. “I feel pity for him/her!”
If you feel pity for someone, let them go… not stay. Marriage is too serious a business to run on pity. At the least challenge in the marriage, you’d make reference to this so-called pity you had for them.
Pity is a short-lasting feeling. However, marriage is supposed to be a permanent decision. Just as you can’t buy one-gallon fuel for a journey that will last days, you can’t run your marriage on the wheels of pity.
If what you feel is pity (and not love), it is better to let them go. When the storms rage, love is what you will need, not pity.
6. “He/she is my ‘last chance’!”
The only person who has a “last chance” at love is a corpse. If you don’t intend on committing suicide yet, never assume someone will ever be your last chance in life!
Many have rushed down the aisle despite all the red flags that were shoved into their faces because they thought they never may have been successful at love again. As long as there’s life, there are chances— a lot of them.
If you see all the red flags you can’t live with, let them go. It’s better for them to indeed be your last chance than worst chance!
7. “I can’t wait to own those big breasts!”
Charm attracts us but what keeps any relationship is character. That is why it is very deceptive to be seduced to the altar because of someone’s outward appearance. If her breasts are all you want, what happens when they begin to sag after delivery? If all you’re after is her beauty, what happens when wrinkles ambush her face at 40? Beauty fades. What stays when everything is gone… is character!
8. “We’ve dated for far too long!”
Yes, if you have dated for far too long, you both need to settle down. The challenge, however, is when there are glaring “buts” but you still dare to overlook such because of how long you’ve dated. Interestingly, all the red flags we overlook before marriage only become more conspicuous after marriage. It doesn’t matter how long both of you date. It’s better to lose a man/woman before marriage than after it. Both have consequences but the latter is worse.
9. “I am going to be happier!”
You see, marriage doesn’t come along with a certificate of happiness. An unhappy single will still be an unhappy double. Happiness is something we should be intentional about. It’s not some kind of anointing that falls on us while we exchange our rings at the altar. Be intentional about your happiness, whether you’re walking down the aisle or down a football field!
10. “I want to flee fornication!”
Wait. Have you ever heard of adultery before? You think if marriage was a cure to sleeping with people we’re not married to, such a word as adultery would exist? You’ll only be disappointed that the urge to sleep around doesn’t evaporate into thin air after a wedding. Marriage is not the solution to your fornication. Self-control is! #WedTalk #AyefroInc
Kobina Ansah is a playwright and team leader of Scribe Communications (www.scribecommltd.com), an Accra-based writing firm.