Like A Puppy On A String

Dating without a wedding date within sight is totally unsmart unless what either of the parties involved have in mind is a fling.

Funke Egbemode

I’m all for looking before you leap, doing due diligence before you say ‘I do’ or even I don’t. I just don’t see the diligence in looking for years without leaping. It is neither due nor diligent if you allow a man to test-drive you until your tires are worn. That would be based on what logistics? Yes, short and sharp courtship can leave you jumping into a ditch but who said you can know everything about a woman just because you have been dating for five years? What smart girl allows herself to be ‘dated’ for five years, anyway?

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Dating without a wedding date within sight is totally unsmart unless what either of the parties involved have in mind is a fling. If it’s a fling, by all means, have fun. Do your crazy things, feed your fantasies. But if you have both agreed that this is for keeps and you are each other’s final bus stop, then do what needs to be done, put a ring on it.

I used to think long courtships are bad only for women but now I can confess it may be even worse for men. A trusting guy could end up with a playgirl, who just loves the idea of love while she has all the fun at the expense of the well-brought-up son of good parents. There are bad girls all over the place, let’s admit it. Some are even so frivolous or mean or both that you wonder if they were born like that. You know I’ve always said all girls are born good, that it is the men who change it for them. But my eyes have seen things in this city.These pretty little things wearing false this and that and calling every guy ‘baby’ are trouble propelled by turbo engines. They are cute and smooth. I have also concluded that they know how to keep their men strapped to their bedposts, which is why some men who graduated with First Class at age 21 become ‘mumu’ or putty in their scented hands. The bobo is smart and all brains when you meet him in his expansive office during the day but you wait for his girlfriend to sashay through the door and his brain simply shuts down. He follows her all over the place like a puppy dog, wagging his fluffy tail.

I’ve nothing against ‘roses are red, violets are blue’. In fact, I’m a closet romantic. Believe it too. But a girl who keeps coming up with excuses each time her boyfriend of two years wants to attend a family event with her is a suspect. If all she wants is to eat at all the fancy restaurants in the city, be spoilt silly on her birthday and pampered to an inch of her life at Valentine without making any moves towards Nikkah or the altar, take a step back, son, and reassess the situation. If all the plan she wants to make is about getting the latest fragrance by Tom Ford or a weekend to de-stress in Zanzibar, dude, you just might be the latest ’maga’ in town.

A beautiful woman aware of what she can reel in with her shapely ‘fronters’ and eye-popping backside is dangerous for a serious-minded guy, loaded and looking to settle down. Girls like the perfect gentleman who treats them like ladies but a greedy one who has a side-Aristo is prone to take advantage of a good man, turning a short trip into a wander in the wilderness.

Of course, long courtship is bad business for any right thinking woman, and it won’t be because of lack of patience on a girl’s part. It’s simply and totally about common sense. Letting a man dangle you on his key string is dumb and dangerous and a bloody waste of time, and time is what a woman doesn’t have and that goes beyond her biological clock.

Sure a short courtship has its own drawbacks, long courtship is still bad. Before you come up with the aged argument of how a woman needs to study a man, show me a wife who can swear that she absolutely knew her man before she said ‘ I do’. Men are closed books and you can’t judge them by their macho covers. It takes time to know a man. Okay, and a woman too. So? Short courtship is not good for anybody. Neither is long courtship. The sane thing is to stay in the middle of the long and the short courtship.

Find a middle road. It’s either a relationship is serious or it is not. You are either heading for the altar or the rocks. If you are dating a man and in all of the 52 weeks that make a year, you don’t smell seriousness, you’ve been had. Cut your losses and take a walk. The earlier, the better. Hanging on to nothing is foolishness and you know what is most saddening; most women in relationships that are going nowhere are actually aware of the fact. They are just too afraid to cut loose; you know all that nonsense about ‘where do I start from’, bla bla bla. If you don’t end a bad affair while time is still on your side, you are liable to end up a lonely irritable old maid, by which time it would be too late to start anywhere.

A long courtship going nowhere strips a woman of her dignity and self-esteem. Because she is hoping that tomorrow will persuade him to make an honest woman of her, she ignores other eligible males. Because she thinks he’d propose at the next Valentine dinner, she discourages the real Mr Right. She reads stupid meanings into everything he says or does even when the bloke means nothing. For instance, she mistakes his presence at her mother’s 60th birthday for commitment of an acting son-in-law. Nonsense, it’s just another party for him.

So what if he attended with his friends? Did he not attend parties the previous weekend? What are you doing in a three-year relationship that is about eateries, clubbing and you acting like a wife every weekend? You do his laundry, warm his bed and cook his meals every week, yet he won’t buy a ring. Naah, you are either a fool or a sucker for pain. He makes love to you without protection but starts fretting if you are three days late. You have overheard him tell his friends that he’s not in a hurry to settle down. What else do you need to convince you that marriage is not on the cards?

He’s a killjoy all right. Just don’t let his bad manners make you lose faith in yourself. That he won’t propose does not mean you are not a wife material. He’s just not the groom meant for you. You can’t remain his plaything forever while he enjoys the best of both worlds – you play wifey at weekends, he plays the field all week. What insult! Chalk his attitude up as a vote of no-confidence in his upbringing. A man who leads a young woman on, knowing he would not marry her was badly brought up by his mother and his father taught him nothing. A woman who strings a good man along is sowing evil seeds for her daughters to reap later. If this long date is leading to a dark alley, the time to turn back is now. Go ahead, pull the plug before he/she yanks the rug from under you.

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