Ask the average Ghanaian about what they look out for in their potential partners and they will say things like: he or she must be good-looking, he or she must be intelligent, heor she must be God-fearing and so on. No one will tell you that they want a partner that is acceptable to the world.
Yet for many, their life partners MUST be acceptable to the world even if that means sacrificing values and qualities that are prerequisites to the success of the relationship.Their desired qualities are informed by what the world desires of them.
Certain qualities, especially physical qualities such as being tall or slim, are much desired in potential life-partners because they are acceptable to the world. We want partners to impress the world and spite our enemies (real or perceived) even if it means depressing ourselves and supressing what we really value.
Some ladies would rather marry a slightly dishonest but physically tall man than an honest but short man. Where will she pass with a Lilliput like that? A tall man is more acceptable to the world. She can confidently proclaim it to the world, to her friends and family, and to her enemies that this is my husband. Social media, especially Facebook and Instagram, will ‘be agog’ with photos of her Prince Charming. And of course, she will deal with his slight dishonesty in-camera, in the privacy of their home. She will bear with it! Or probably pray it away.
Some men want their ladies beautiful- tall and buxom, they mean. He would rather marry abeautiful but slightly disrespectful woman than an ‘ugly’ but respectful lady. Why? Because he must be able to point to his wife and say with pride (even with arrogance) and confidence that: “This! is my wife.” The lady must be ‘acceptable’, so striking that even the most dishonest among them will admit that she is beautiful. Once the world accepts her, he would deal with the disrespect. Or maybe beat it out of her. Better still the marriage may tame her and save him the labour.
Such people would not admit that they are marrying or getting into intimate relationships for the world. They would maintain that that is their choice, and the world would back them because it is also their choice. There would be no opposition. And that’s the point. Predictably, many such relationships fail or end in divorce.
Well, I have learnt that the world is happy when you depress yourself to impress them by satisfying their expectations. The world applauds you when you let them stage manage you and treat you as a marionette. The world praises you readily when you deny yourself and stifle your convictions so they can enjoy.
And yet the same world would eventually stand up for you when you stamp your feet to the ground and live your beliefs unapologetically. The same world would celebrate you when you break new grounds and prove that whatever was hitherto ‘unacceptable’ is possible and acceptable.
So when you seek intimate relationships know that in the end it is about you and your happiness. Remember the world is busy and may never have time to make your happy if your choice made them happy earlier. But hey, these are just my views.
Emmanuel Asakinaba ([email protected]) Tanzui, Bolgatanga
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