Screw that! This is definitely not what I want!
Those were my exact words when I walked out of a friend’s house a couple of years ago.
His wife nagged the entire time I was present because he will not take out the trash. He, in turn, got raving mad at one of the kids for drawing on the walls. The baby was screaming her adorable head off in the bedroom unattended and another kid kept knocking down stuff all over the place. The pungent smell of fish pepper soup did not make the situation any better.
I took one look at how my friend was living and said: “Screw this! I’m not getting married.
With those words, an unapologetic bachelor was born. I had seen this scene play out one too many times in marriages. Add the cheating I saw many times on top of the chaos and I became certain I was not going anywhere near marriage.
As a young, dumb and insecure man, I forgot that I grew up in a similar environment with four other siblings in a bustling and sometimes chaotic household. I forgot my parents endured my mischief and that of my siblings for years. They still loved, natured, corrected, rewarded and raised us through the chaos.
I definitely had a memory lapse because what I perceived as a dysfunctional family was actually what love was all about.
Love as it turns out, is beautifully messy and chaotic.
I am in Hawaii and this is my third trip to the island in four months. Something about this paradise destination always forces me to reflect deeply on my life.
Have you sat down for more than five minutes to reflect on what you want your life to be like? In Hawaii, you don’t need five or more minutes to reflect on your life, you think about your life almost every minute you spend here.
There is something about the natural settings of this place and the people which makes you check all the things in life you’re blessed with.
After years of sending a clear message to my friends, family and love interests that I’m never getting married, I decided to keep an open mind about marriage and settle down.
My first trip to Hawaii healed my cynicism about love and marriage. I saw the courage of those who jumped into marriage with both feet and committed to working on love and affection one day at a time.
I’m in my early 40’s now and I’m beginning to realize that a successful career plus a hard-charging bachelor lifestyle won’t soothe my aging knees and keep me company twenty years from now.
I’ve done a lot of thinking on this third trip about what love means and how to find love.
As I sat on the beach one morning, it occurred to me that I’m possibly making choices in love by what has happened to me and not how I choose to love.
In essence, I’m being driven to make love choices based on the flaws of others, not by my definition of love. Married men cheating and having a chaotic family life does not define how my love life or marriage will be.
I had to choose love based on my own experiences, successes, insecurities, and uncertainties. With that discovery, I began to see a husband when I looked in the mirror where there once was none.
Please allow me to update you on my progress so far on my journey to marriage.
I’m a deeply flawed man and I’m rigged with the baggage I carry from my seventeen years as a bachelor. My first attempts at finding a wife after I made the decision to settle has been met with an onslaught of rejection, mistrust, and pain.
First of all, my past indiscretions robbed me of someone I truly liked. Another I saw a future with sent a text after a week of trying to build a relationship to end things prematurely with no explanation. I never asked why she decided I was not worth her time or affection. Life happens and it is what it is.
Part of me really wants to know but the thinking part of my brain does not want to know. I need to recognize that the next person will view me with a different set of eyes so knowing does not always help.
I have another good reason for not wanting to know or try to win back any woman who does not want me. I know full well what it feels like not to have any romantic feelings for another.
While these women were rejecting me, I was dealing with others who were tearfully pleading for me to return their affections. There’s nothing funny or settling about watching an unrequited love scenario play out.
I know my heart does not stir for them yet theirs are on fire for me. The only solution to end their pain is to offer a heart devoid of love and affection. So I understand why it’s fruitless to keep pursuing those who reject me.
I’m learning to fully embrace my flaws. I can’t do much to stop the disappointments my past relationships may bring to someone I want to share my life with. It’s human nature to vet a potential lover by scrutinizing their past experiences.
Flaws will get in the way of making connections with someone new sometimes. I am a picky person when it comes to relationships. I’ve spent a lifetime cataloging all the flaws which have prevented me from giving others an opportunity.
She is too big, she is too tall, she is not educated enough, she is not pretty enough, she is not skinny enough, too much education, too short, too many kids, too old, too young, etc. etc.
I’ve cataloged the reasons others rejected me as well. Too many women around me, too sociable, too flirty, too short, not religious enough, potential to cheat, a public figure, ugly, too dark, I have a child, I’m divorced, too old, too young, etc. etc.
I realized now that the perfect woman doesn’t exist. There is no one out there who will check off every single item on a perfect wife checklist. How can I carry a perfect wife checklist anyway when 70% of me is flawed?
I figured out that it’s probably better to seek someone who accepts, understands, appreciates and shares my shortcomings and failings. On the flip side, I will not find that person If I cannot accept someone for their flaws, past failings, and imperfections.
Until then, I will keep smiling for everyone. My smile masks the pain, heartbreak, and misery very well. The same smile shows my appreciation and zeal for life.
Note to self: Stop trying so hard and relax. Be honest and don’t lead a woman on if you’re not interested. Pray before, during and after a search.
The only way to attract a good woman who accepts your flaws is to be yourself. You, in turn, have to open up and accept someone for who they are.
I lost the first battle but my ultimate objective is to win the war so I’m ready for the next rumble.
The saga of the future Mrs. continues.
“Let our scars fall in love.” Galway Kinnell
By Kwadjo Panyin
Kwadjo Panyin is a Ghanaian born relationship and lifestyle blogger located in Los Angeles, California. He holds three degrees; a Bachelors degree from Rutgers University in New Jersey, an MBA from Franklin University in Ohio and a Masters of Science degree from Northern Kentucky University in Kentucky. Kwadjo is a business professional who blogs for fun. His articles are about the challenges of dating and relationship anomalies. Writing, blogging, world travel, and photography are his favorite hobbies.