The wedding?

I’m at that stage in my life.
I’m sure I’ve complained about this once or twice before.
A day rarely goes by without someone asking me “mbe uzoduha inzoga ryari?” I’m like, mate, if a party is all you want, how about I throw a big birthday bash where y’all can show up two hours late (I hate it!), dressed in your best attire, to hear family and friends go on about how I’m such a great person, and to promise me cows I’ll never get?

I get it. They probably mean more than the ceremonies and parties, but I’m yet to meet someone who can give me valid reasons on why I should be thinking about “settling down”.
I don’t even feel like the words settling down apply to me because… am I running? Am I lost? Distracted? Not focused?
What exactly is marriage supposed to bring to my life that I cannot manage alone with a little bit more will and determination?

Maturity?

Once somebody told me that I need to get married to “grow up”… Puh-lease!
Weren’t Adam and Eve (sort of) married? We all know their story.
I could give you a whole list of people who messed up their lives and those of others, while, being married!
I’m mean, who gets divorced? Married people!
Who cheats? People in relationships!
Single people are really the smart ones here… Seriously! Just think about it!
Think about all the people who may have brought chaos into this world we live in: most, if not all of them, were, and are, married!

My point is, there is no, absolutely NO correlation between maturity and putting a ring on it.
If there were, the Pope wouldn’t be the leader of the Catholic Church, and we wouldn’t have so many (married) men and women followers of Christ!
Maturity has nothing to do with whether a person is married or not!

And I refuse to believe that a person who cannot handle their own life alone will get better at it when they get married. I know marriage comes with many responsibilities, but does one get married to learn how to handle them, or does one get married because they are ready to handle them? Isn’t that what maturity is about? I’m certain it is!

The problem is, marriage seems to have evolved into some sort of rite of passage everybody must go through once they have an education and a stable income.
And we wonder why divorce rates are so high.
I personally believe there should be some sort of maturity test to determine whether a person is marriage material or not. Some folks would pass it at the age of eighteen (well, the “legal age” to marry) and others would never pass it at all!

Sex?

I do not want to raise questions and assumptions about my sex life and my faith by telling you what I really think about sex before marriage. If this was an anonymous blog I probably would have, but unfortunately, people know me and expect me to abide by the (hypocritical) norms of the society I live in. Therefore, allow me to be a hypocrite, please!

One of the rules is that I shouldn’t know anything about sex before I say, “I do”.
This explains why a few days after my wedding you’ll probably hear me bragging that single folks “do not know what they’re missing out on”. Hah! As if! *rolling my eyes*

On a serious note though, what is the link between sex and committing to live with someone for the rest of your existence, and staying by their side, even when they fall sick, become poor, and/or are being an a*hole?
I mean, if sex is the main reason why a person should get married, then surely polygamy, polyandry and divorce should be accepted too… because everybody knows nobody is ever attracted to just one person their entiiiiire life?

Dear born-again Christian folks, don’t marry them because you’re… erm… “turned on”, marry them because you love them!
Okay, one has to admit that it can be hard to tell the difference between attraction and love when you’re really “turned on”, but my point here is, don’t let your urges drive you into a decision that you may end up regretting!

Children?

Erm, what if I don’t want to have children? (I’m not saying I don’t want children – in fact I love children. I would already have one if society weren’t so rigid about the “order of things”! Mxm!)
And what if I get married and we realise we can’t have children? Nzoce ndabivamwo?

I’ve been told it’s better to have children early so I can watch them grow…
But what guarantee do I have that I’ll be alive next week, or in the next five years, or when my children go off to college, or when they have children of their own?
(By the way, I started writing this text when I was still in Burundi, before the crisis, when chances of living to see tomorrow were substantially higher than they are today!)

And to be honest, I don’t really buy into the whole theory that a child needs both parents around to be healthy. I could give you a non-exhaustive list of people who grew up without dads and/or mums but still turned out pretty awesome…
Just like I could show you folks who had both parents around growing up but will leave you wondering if there is an ounce of humanity in them.
Besides, what research has been done to ground the theory?

All these things make me wonder what marriage is for after all, if not some sort of productive cohabitation (for life).

I don’t even think about marriage to be honest; I think of commitment.
I only see marriage as a formality to legalise the commitment, with a bonus of facilitated access to loans and mortgages.
Well, I agree that some irresponsible souls out here need the whole legally binding arrangement to limit the damage they could cause if one were to simply rely on their good sense of judgment. I get it.
But at the end of the day, marriage, wait, COMMITMENT is about finding a person special enough to convince you that they’re worth spending and building a whole life with… isn’t it?

Now, just like some people take longer than others to go through school, to know their calling, to read a book… some of us take longer than others to find that special someone.
It’s not because we have expectations that are impossible to meet, waiting for “a sign” from above or anything… we’re just slow. Bibaho kandi biremewe.
Therefore, if you desperately want to see us hitched, I suggest you get down on your knees and pray to God to make the process faster.

But isn’t the end result all that matters really? Which makes me wonder: why the rush? (Ladies, to a certain extent. I’m strictly speaking for the guys here!)

By Karl-Chris R. Nsabiyumva. Follow him on Twitter @Mr_Burundi and check out his blog: misterburundi.wordpress.com

(Image source: linkis.com)