I recently received an invitation from an ex-girlfriend to her wedding. We did part ways on very good terms and became better friends after the separation. Our relationship was short and sweet. One full of fond memories. The message she wanted to convey to me with the invitation was crystal clear. She values our friendship and she wants me to come out and support her. Will I go to the wedding? Of course, I want to be there!
On the way up to my apartment, it dawned on me that this was the second invitation I had received from an ex-girlfriend to attend a wedding. The first invitation came last year and I did attend that wedding. This made me wonder what kind of boyfriend I had been to warrant wedding invitations from exes. I made it to my apartment and with the opened invitation in hand, I plunged into a reflective mode. My thoughts drifted and navigated through my life and relationships. Acute silence greets me each day when I enter my apartment and in the meanwhile, my exes are churning out wedding invitations. What a life, huh?
Whenever I think of weddings, I think not of the day of the nuptials. I typically picture the night before the wedding. I am not quite a big fan of the fanfare which comes with the day of the wedding. However, there is something special and notable about the night before the nuptials. I know most will not pick the eve of the wedding as a day to cherish or remember. In my opinion, the night before is one to be cherished and valued. That night, one goes to bed as a bachelor, wakes up as a groom and ends the day as a husband. A remarkable sequence of events and a major turning point in the life of a man.
I knelt down in front of destiny to be knighted like all the others. Destiny, however, touched my right shoulder with a sword unlike the one she had used for others. The sword destiny touched me with was longer. A longer sword signified that my path to this cherished night will be long and hard fought. I can’t change my path nor argue with fate. I have been on an odyssey to find my Queen. After all, what is a man without a purpose? I cannot say that I have sighted dry land yet as I am still floating on the ocean. My anchor must be impatient with me as every time it dropped, I failed to secure the ship. Love is free but it is costly to find love.
In my 20’s, I decided 30 was the perfect age to get married. As an African, I was well aware of the expectations after college and after starting a career. I had to find a wife and start a family. I was done with my bachelor’s degree at the age of 22 but I decided that I needed 8 years of bachelorhood to live and explore life on my own terms. Getting married at 30 made sense to me because I never wanted to be one of those guys who married too early only to have regrets later on in life. I assumed that when I was ready, I would find a great woman to marry and we’d start our lives together. Well, I did find someone at 30, got married at 33 and 5 years later, I was divorced. Oh well, life happens, right?
Settling into adulthood, I am reminded every day that most of my friends have families and some are getting to the decade mark or more of marriage. Last summer, two of my bachelor friends said, “I do”. Nearly everyone in my social circle is either married or in a serious relationship. It’s no exaggeration that I’m often the only single person at events and gatherings.
Being a bachelor definitely, comes with some perks. There’s no one to complain when I leave the bathroom seat up, leave dishes in the sink or stay up late binge watching The Walking Dead or The Blacklist. I come and go as I please and don’t have to factor in another’s needs or input when I make decisions. I’m consumed by loneliness as a larger portion of my time is spent alone. I do my best to schedule outings with friends or go out on dates every now and then. Contrary to what most of my friends and family believe, my everyday life consists of moving from one solitary state to the next. I’m an introvert and I value my alone time even though I have plenty.
I must say that I am fortunate to live in a time where bachelorhood is not automatically frowned upon. We have George Clooney to thank for making the bachelor lifestyle seem cool. Long known as Hollywood’s most eligible bachelor, George dated a string of gorgeous women until he finally got hitched at 52 to his 36-year-old girlfriend, Amal. I am in no way comparing myself to George, not in the least. He did, however, usher in the era of the unapologetic bachelor who does not bend to societal pressure to settle down by a set age.
When I imagine my future now, I picture it with someone beside me. Maturity has provided me with valuable insight that I didn’t have at 20 years of age. I sometimes get frustrated by my present circumstance. My love life is not the way I pictured it 20 years ago. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, it’s just further away and a different hue than I expected.
I sent my ex-girlfriend a thank you note after I received the invitation. I recently sent her an R.S.V.P that I will be unable to attend. The good reason being that I will be away on a trip planned prior to the day of her wedding. “I am disappointed you can’t make it,” she said to me. “But I’m still expecting my wedding gift!”
My cherished night will definitely come, I am mighty sure of it. And when it does, I will smile broadly at destiny and say; “Please cast me gently into this cherished night for my days were made long and unkind by you.”
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.