Monday, 6 May 2013

No Longer at Ease: 3 Main Forces Defining the Flow of Premarital Relationships


I believe wedding is the first ceremony in marriage; it signifies the public pronouncement of one’s commitment to wedlock and of course, it is not a joke. 

However, relative to the celebration called wedding, marriage is by far more important. All the people that attend a wedding: those that are for the couple and those that nurture secret jealousy; those that come to gossip and those that come to rejoice; those that will pray for them afterwards and those that will forget them after two weeks, belong to a larger set. None of all these people can go and sit with the couple 247 to ensure the unfolding of a blissful marriage. In fact, even if they are jobless, they are not allowed to do so. The best they can do is to advise, intercede and provide intermittent support. The onus is on the couple to keep the bulletin of the wedding service, reconsider their oaths occasionally and fulfil the vowed words to the best of their abilities. Their daily routine and individual preferences are the biggest challenges to conquer. Hence, couples should always find time to retreat, review and rejuvenate their wedlock.

While it is not exactly my thing to advise people on their relationships, I always find it difficult to keep shut about the subject. I do not have a social CV garnished with opposite-sex relationships so, I may not have enough advice to share from experiential database. Yet, to have dedicated one year of study to the consumption of diverse materials on the subject of relationship somewhat gives me the urge to utter something about it. I acknowledge that people have called me a troublemaker for writing about it. Please, if my ideas have hit your ship in the wrong place, I apologise for telling the truth. Some casual friends have advised me to go and marry because of these articles. If you are one of them, I shake my head in personal understanding. I know the circumstances that will lead to such and truly, they are yet to happen. More so, I have a personal deadline to consider and I am grateful for your concern.

These days, young people’s relationships are no longer at ease. They tend to fail like power supply from the power utility company in Nigeria. More than 75% of great relationships involving guys and ladies in same age or class group while in university refuse to make it through to marriage after graduation and NYSC. Few of them really stand the test of post-university realities. Though there is no singular reason for it, three (3) possible reasons have been identified by a group of young men. First, the ladies are no longer at ease with the idea of waiting and they are not to be blamed; if I were a lady, I too would have personal standards and time limits. Resultantly, when the guy does not get engaged in proper employment after graduation and NYSC, a big problem emerges. The role of a potential provider is threatened and the lady is pushed in-between the choice of enduring and walking away. Often times, the latter is chosen because hardly can anyone wait and age away forever.

The second reason for loss of ease in relationships is the reality of infidelity. It is true that many young guys (and sometimes, ladies) find faithfulness difficult to fulfil. By extension, when the issue of long distance comes into a relationship, doubts set in. Maybe it’s because of their internal configuration and relational history. But the truth is: cheating, double-courting and triple-dating have now become real issues in the 21st century. Some ladies now believe it is impossible to have a male partner that will not cheat on them; they can only try to influence him to do it less. In that wise, they always get what they expect. Guess what? The guy keeps cheating as though it were his hobby.

Finally, relationships go through a negative redefining friction due to spirituality and cultural factors. When the issue of marriage arises in a steady relationship, each party has to perform family introduction (sometimes coupled with religious investigations). Due to records of failed and problematic marriages, family members now find it befitting to demand for the full names of the potential in-law and carry out spiritual investigations via an external spiritual head. If the results are positive, the relationship may proceed to the marital phase. Otherwise, it is gradually killed. Aside from this test, the perceived likeability of each partner by the co-partner’s family is another factor. If the family members do not receive the proposed partner of their son or daughter, some friction will be created. Hence, it appears that the partner must pass the likeability and spirituality tests before the relationship can cross over to the marital phase.

These are the changes that have occurred over time in our society. They are the forces guiding the ease or otherwise of a premarital relationship intended for marital lockdown. But even when all these hurdles are conquered, several marriages still enter morbidity and moribundity states in future. Therefore, I opine that these forces are not capable of ensuring the success of any marriage. I ultimately believe that the success of marriage depends on the commitment of the married participants to remain unto each other what light has become to the entire world.