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By Oluphemmie. Today I awoke to an interesting chat discussion about two separate ladies; the first got jilted after an 8-year-long relationship and was left penniless and alone – after clinging on for 8 years (she is obviously bitter and has been unable to pick up the pieces and move on). The other is presently in a 5-year-long relationship; for 4 out of those 5 years, they were in a long distance relationship and very involved. However a year ago, the man marries another girl but still professes love to her, so they continue dating and she is now his mistress, happy and still very much in love (most people advised that she leave the chap and move on). The question is, how right or wrong are her actions in the context of who she is? Ever wondered about how many women get their hearts broken daily, or get jilted or thrown back in the dating game sadder and with no actual learning from their previous experience? Well, I would save you the mental anguish of trying to come up with a figure… they are just too many to count. An anonymous survey suggests that a fresh heart is broken (globally) every 45 minutes; I reckon that should give you a good idea of numbers. I shall either make friends or enemies as I touch on a very sensitive issue, like they say, the truth is bitter and it hurts, but somebody has to speak up and say it. Today, I choose to demystify relationship types for women and share my thoughts on women in relationships; types and forms of relationships and the potential misconceptions and pitfalls. It is said that a problem known is a problem almost solved, and a problem shared is a problem solved, so I have chosen to solve the problem that is a burden to many. What is the problem? Simply put, Women want to marry, and marry at all cost! But why?! Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against women getting married, or in fact, against the institution of marriage. My issue is with the assumption or notion that everyone is destined to be married. Where do women get the notion that they need to be married to be happy or accepted? Well, I shall take this out on African culture first and foremost. Women are brought up to feel that once you have reached a certain age (or have reached a certain educational level), to earn respect and acceptance, a young girl/lady must be married and proudly wear her husband’s name on her shoulders (like a general wears his ranks and insignia). This is drummed into all our heads from a tender age, so we feel the NEED to marry. The discerning man and the informed woman would tell you that while men get into relationships at the onset, to discover new things and then, day by day, put up the building blocks of what could become a wonderful relationship, Women, tow the path of Habit 2 – Begin with the end in mind, Marriage! (Steven Covey, Seven Habits of Highly effective People). So, with their eyes firmly fixed on the goal post, they make mistakes. I am not a footballer or a football fan, nor do I claim to know anything about football, it’s just that the game affords me a clear analogy here. Any footballer worth his boots would tell you that while playing, you should keep your eyes on the ball and not the goal. Keeping your eyes on the ball helps you to track, trap it, and even anticipates the moves of attackers. In essence, playing football with your eyes on the ball protects the ball, while playing with your eyes fixed squarely on the goal post alone, leaves you open to challenges and flank attacks, and wait for it… No Goals scored in the end. How do you know what kind of woman you are? Whether you are destined for matrimonial bliss, or if you are destined to be happy and raise a family without being married? Well, here are a few points to consider: For starters, in the context of marriage, love and relationships, there are different types of females, each with their long and short term potentials and or limits. You have those ladies who function wonderfully as girlfriends but based on the other factors like their relationship with your family and their ability to cope under pressure and other unprintable things would be woeful as wives and mothers. Then you have those that you cannot keep in your home as wives, or you really do not even think as far as considering them for that role or function. However, these ladies are wonderful in every other respect and provide the best of emotional, physical and sometimes intellectual satisfaction and fulfillment (these are the girls who are responsible for your broken home, if your man suddenly upped and stopped sleeping at home, they are open minded and skilled in the way of the world and do not want to be ‘tamed’, locked down, or caged). It is not in your best interest, or their best interest to build a home with them. Then of course you have the true-to-template boring or quiet girlfriend that has potential for fun and excitement with the right inducement and encouragement – for this lot, the moment they are ring-cuffed (sorry, engaged), they suddenly unleash their hidden potential and pull out all the stops – now this could go either way: either they become the best thing that ever happened to you, or they could potentially become husband beaters – depending on how you treat them. Those in this group are marry-able. Then of course, you have the girls who fuel your passion and set you alight for as long as they are involved in a discreet coded relationship with you, no emotional drama or commitments, no unnecessary policing. They thrive as coded lovers and make the best mistresses. The moment you in a moment of weakness or at the point of happy-release suggest that you want to take the relationship to the next level, the relationship and all the passion suddenly goes downhill. (The other extreme of this group would if they choose to accept the offer for MORE, suddenly adopt a ‘wife approach to being a mistress, the fun and passion is gone, thereby defeating the purpose of wanting MORE). These are the group that effectively service the adventure needs of the MFT (men from town) or upwardly mobile young men – or young aristos) We all know of the wife-material group: those ladies that have positioned themselves or have nurtured themselves into what Mr. Right considers his ideal woman. They are not perfect but they seem to complete their men, they do not hold any fairytale notions of what love and life should be, they are not driven by money or greed, but by the potential they see in their man. They constantly have their eyes on the ball and know to protect and nurture it. If you find them, love them, keep them, and marry them! Then of course you have the goody two-shoes, (case in point, Bree from Desperate Housewives), these girls can kill! They have so much pent up anger and resentment in them that although they appear very controlled and chilled, they are a time-bomb waiting to explode. People like Bree seek the comfort of being cared for and loved, not necessarily the presence of a husband. In an ideal world, they shouldn’t even be dated exclusively. (Except you have a shrink on retainer) Of course, there is the violently single girl who derives joy in serial dating and has no long or short term plans of being married, so much so that a good number of them will tell you that having babies is nowhere in their plan. This is a unique group, you think men like ‘toys’? You should meet these ladies and spend time with them; they play the men’s game, and play it well and even a lot better. Lastly, you have the group of informed intelligent independent women who because of societal pressure want to marry or even get married and are miserable at it. They become depressed and resentful. Not because they are mean or they are evil, but because they simply are not cut out to be happy in the institution of marriage. This group produces the best mums, albeit single mums and they have all the love and passion to give to that significant man (men) in their lives as long as there are no fake or unnecessary promises of a blissful marriage somewhere along the line. Have you sat down to dig deep and search within your heart mind and soul to know the type and kind of woman you are? What your relationship trajectory is and how best to achieve that trajectory realistically and without compromise to whom your heart and mind tells you that you are? Although this may be a bitter pill to swallow, I guess it should get us all thinking: Key phrase here is paradigm shift. Just as we cannot expect everyone who goes to school to end up as a lawyer or engineer or neurosurgeon, in the same thought process, we cannot expect every young girl to become a wife, talk-less of being a happily married wife. I have said my two cents worth and I hope someone out there connects with this and begins her journey along the right trajectory. What say you?

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This article was first published on 17th July 2012 and updated on July 23rd, 2012 at 11:55 am

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