I remember a conversation I had with my mother at age 8 which nearly sent the poor woman into a premature cardiac arrest. I had voiced out the thought in my head to have one kid and stay unmarried. I did not realise how that would play out, at that age, the idea of being a mother just appealed to be more than being a wife.
This is a different argument for people in same-S3x relationships where in many parts of the world, the relationship is deemed abominable and there’s no admitting you’re in love, much less talk of getting a marriage certificate to that effect.
So, are there others like me? Is it possible to love a person deeply, the kind of love everyone dreams about, the kind a number of people have to grow out of at some point in their journey towards ‘adulthood.’ The kind people swear is not a big requirement for marriage when they say something to the effect of “I mean, love is great but…” Can you be a normal, functional, heteroS3xual, monogamous, individual totally in love with your partner but not have marriage in the cards? Should love ultimately lead to marriage?
For love and marriage, the traditional sequence of events are-meet a person, fall in love, get married, raise a family and live happily ever after. However, more often than not, this timeline is altered as a result of numerous factors both within and outside the control of the individuals concerned.
There’s no arguing that the traditional love stories inspire fantasies that the bulk of people especially young women want to pattern their lives after, still; the ugliness in marriage exposed by the pervasive power of print, social, and electronic media also leaves little to be desired for the risk-averse person.
As recently as 10 years ago, ‘vices’ like cohabitation, divorce, being a single parent by choice, same-S3x relationship, etc. were discussed in very hushed tones. Times have changed. Globalization has altered the course of the dynamics of the traditional view of love and marriage in Nigeria and the world at large. While there are still grounds to cover with respect to tolerance, it is commonplace to hear the younger generation discuss issues bordering on S3x and S3xuality, love, lust, marriage, etc and deciding on the healthy or sometimes unhealthy mix that works for them.
Nature and nurture is the fundamental makeup of every human being asides from the queer jokes the universe plays once in a while to remind us of our frailty. For most people who grew up in abusive committed relationships, there is the possibility of going through life trying to fill the void of a love never experienced, a yearning for what was missed. It’s no wonder we have prevailing ‘mummy’ and ‘daddy’ issues.
I am a queer case of nature. My parents who have been married for almost 4 decades are the annoying ones who make out despite being old and grey. Most of my family members are in their first and only marriage and seem to be enjoying it. And though I crave the kind of love that puts Jackie Collins’ novels to shame, the goal for me is not a trip down the aisle. Happiness, yes, happiness will do just fine.