When I first heard this question I thought it was pretty “duh” and the answer was clear; NO.
However, I have come to realize that there are circumstances that force people to consider decisions that they ordinarily would not. It’s what we call in Naija parlance, condition.
Condition is to blame for many things, not least of which the fact that crayfish is bent. Why else would someone consider committing to a lifetime of regular, consensual sex with a person (and only that person!) they’re not emotionally and physically attracted to?
In her article, “The Case For Settling For Mr. Good Enough, Lori Gottlieb writes, “Once you’re married, it’s not about whom you want to go on vacation with; it’s about whom you want to run a household with. Marriage isn’t a passion-fest; it’s more like a partnership formed to run a very small, mundane, and often boring nonprofit business. And I mean this in a good way.”
So, should you marry a guy if you’re not really “feeling” him? We know that there is far more to marriage than attraction, but with this knowledge, sometimes comes the erroneous notion that because marriage goes beyond attraction, marriage doesn’t require attraction. So we want to make a pot of soup without salt because hey, there’s much more to soup than salt.
Take Niki for instance. She has been dating Gabe for over a year, and now he’s dropping hints about “settling down” down with her. Niki, however, is not thrilled. In fact, she is petrified. She doesn’t know how to keep him from popping the question, and cannot bring herself to break up with him. You see, she shouldn’t even be dating Gabe in the first place.
They met at a mutual friend’s wedding. He was totally smitten by her and they started dating a few weeks later. When he asked her to be his girlfriend, she agreed, not because she had fallen for him too, but because there was nobody in her life at the time. As a matter of fact, she had not been in a relationship in two years. The decision wasn’t hard to make; he was a really nice guy, intelligent, good-looking, and successful. So when the little voice inside her head reminded her that she wasn’t attracted to him, she silenced it. It would grow in time.
12 months have passed and she still feels nothing for him but fondness. Niki is very aware that honouring the commitment to abstaining from premarital sex is not as difficult for her as it usually is. In past relationships she always had to work hard to keep her hands to herself (and ended up failing quite often), but with Gabe she’s not even tempted at all, and she knows it’s not the Spirit’s grace. He notices, of course, but she lies; she assures him it’s merely guilt affecting her responses. This makes Gabe even more motivated to marry; he can’t wait to enjoy her without inhibitions.
She knows she shouldn’t have gotten into this in the first place, but it seemed silly at the time to refuse him simply because he didn’t light her fire. Now she feels silly considering a lifetime of being with someone who elicits neither emotional nor sexual passion in her.
Still, she was considering it because she felt sorry for him and didn’t want to hurt him, because she knew he loved her, and because she didn’t have anyone else anyway. So here’s what I told her:
Even if you don’t love yourself enough to want a fulfilling and vibrant marriage, even if you are willing to “manage”, even if you can somehow convince yourself that it’s okay to marry man wey no dey sweet you for body, don’t rob this guy of what he can and should have. You will not be sparing him pain if you go ahead and marry him; you will be sentencing him to a lifetime of frustration. He deserves a wife who loves him the way he loves her, is attracted to him, is turned on by him, and desires him. He will know the difference, and it will hurt. It’s not fair, and it’s not worth it.
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