There’s a running joke I’ve heard that when a woman is in her 20s, she wants a tall, dark and handsome man. However, when she hits 30, she’ll settle for any man at all.
In Nigeria, some men go further by telling girls that if they don’t accept them, they’ll end up on the floor of a church begging God for a husband. I find this joke very distasteful but I won’t even go there today.
Today, I’d like to address this belief that women lower their standards for love when they’re in their 30s. I’m in my 30s, and I know other women who either got married at that age, or are still single. So I can tell you categorically that we don’t lower our standards for love. What happens is that we realize what truly matters in a relationship and we go for that instead.
I remember asking a friend who got divorced what she would’ve done differently, and she told me she would have chosen kindness over looks and money. I’ve been with good looking men who were terrible for my mental health. I’ve dated a man who was rich but didn’t treat me as a priority. I’ve liked men who speak in tongues but are just horrible people.
So I’ve come to realize that going around with a shopping list of what a perfect partner should look like is a recipe for disaster. I don’t care for tall, dark and handsome men who act like the sun rises and sets on their behinds. I ghosted a man who drives a Porsche and lives in Banana Island because he was condescending.
I’m a grown woman and with God’s help, I’m building a rich and satisfying life for myself. Any man who wants to take this journey with me has to improve my life or else what are we even doing together? Looks are great but since he isn’t Idris Elba, he better have sense to go with that six pack. Money is good but by the grace of God, I’m well able to make my own.
So can he inspire and stimulate me intellectually? Can he challenge me to grow into the best version of myself? Can he be the wind beneath my wings and still be my anchor? Can we drop all expectations of culture and build a life without limits? Can he be kind to me and be respectful no matter what? Will he refrain from doing anything to jeopardize my purpose? This is who I want my partner to be because this is who I intend to be for him.
I listened to a speech by Michelle Obama where she said picking a partner should be like selecting a member of a sports team. You want to have Shaq, Kobe and Lebron on your team because the plan is to win. I came to this world to win so I’m choosing a winner to be on my team. That’s what dating in your 30s should look like.
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