"I had the most horrible dates ever sometime last week. It was so bad that a ‘Generation Y’ Lagos babe like me had to slam the door on my date and hail a cab home. On my ride home, the thought occurred to me that if I had a childhood betrothed, I wouldn’t have to face these horrible dates. So I spent the next couple of days observing, searching and asking around on this subject and after my research; I highlighted pros and cons below.
We will start with the pros of being betrothed as a child.
No Fear of Ending up Single
Let’s face it, we all have that fear once we’re past 25 (it’s actually 21 for girls from my part of the country) but if you have a childhood betrothed, you’re insured, if all else fails, you can go back to the family option, as they say ‘at all at all na em bad pass‘.
Your Frame of Reference is Similar
Frame of reference refers to your point of view, the way you view the world. I’m sure few parents would betroth their children to families that do not fit with them hence the similar frame of reference. So there’s no fear that your spouse won’t be able to take care of you as well as your dad did or not be able to follow your conversation when you discuss your visit to Nicosia Cyprus or Helsinki Finland. You’re from the same social strata and similar ways of thinking so if your world is the ‘when did you get back’ crowd, Iya Basira or in between, your childhood betrothed understands it too well.
Your in-laws Like You Already
The Lagos Big boy’s mum calling you a ‘gold digger’ wouldn’t say that to a woman she and her husband handpicked for her son. You would be perfect. In certain cases your mother-in-law could even be your mum’s best friend so you are like her own child and if your mother-in-law likes you, that is a weapon in your amour.
You might never have a heart breakAnd if you do, there’s a backup plan. Most of these kids who get betrothed out are either mummy’s boys or the guys who can’t afford to turn their back on the family and therefore will marry who their parents pick for them. So if as a babe you decide to rebel and date other guys and they break your heart, the family option will be there waiting for you.
Here are some cons
It is an Insult
It takes away your fundamental human right of freedom of association. You have the right to choose your spouse and decide who to love. Your parents thinking you can’t do this successfully is a gross violation of those rights.
Having to Tell Your Parents You Love Another
Life is in itself ironic. There are single ladies wishing for a man, childhood betrothed or not; but the ones who have had husbands waiting for them from birth miraculously happen to fall in love with someone else and then complications follow – the family threatening to disown her; the babe saying she doesn’t care or promising to do something drastic. All of which wouldn’t have happened if she had chosen her man.
There Will be No Stories to Tell
Let’s assume you agree to your parents’ choice or fortunately, you and your betrothed fall madly in love, your dating diary would be a tad uninteresting. There will be no stories of the married guy who pretended to be single, the guy who left you even after you paid his fees, you can’t even tell stories of how you met your husband. No, babe! You had your ‘how did you meet him’ story written out for you the moment you were born.
It Would Be easy to Leave
My Grandmother always said ‘marry someone you love, so when challenges arise, you’ll go the distance because your partner was your choice’. Marriage isn’t easy, so if you didn’t pick your partner, you might not put in extra effort to make it work. After all, you told your parents you didn’t love him.
These are the pros and cons I could gather. I can’t wait to hear yours though as I always tell my brothers, if by a certain age you haven’t found your partner, your family members and friends can help you search – after all ‘four eyes are better than two’. To the single peeps, when friends and relatives hook you up on those dates, enjoy the food and forget the bad, it’s all ‘Crinkum Crankum’.
Photo Credit: madamenoire.com
Peculiar Okafor is a marketing communications executive and loves to write. Visit her blog ‘www.designersuitcases.blogspot.com‘ to read her stories.