A man.

By the end of this year, all of my close (male) friends will be married. Even the friend nobody thought would ever get married. Well, there’s this one friend whom everybody suspects is gay, but he is always talking about girls, his future wife and blablabla, so we just play along. He’s not getting married any time soon, but what can we do? A man does not ask another man if he’s gay. Anyway, by the end of this year, all the guys in my squad, but him, will be hitched… except me.

I’m the guy who acts like I’m totally cool with this… I gat this! Pff, mariage? Nah! Single life rocks! But the reality is, I’ve been lowkey wondering if something is wrong with me. I mean, these are my homies; if they’re doing it and I’m not, something isn’t right. Peer pressure. The pressure is even worse when I show up at a function, or a party and eighty percent of my agemates are in committed relationships, while I’m just standing there, alone, like an idiot. And then the uncles, the aunts, and the annoying cousins start asking: weho ni ryari? Not long after, one of my friends pulls me to the side to ask, bro, what’s up? WHAT DO YOU MEAN WHAT’S UP? But I know what he means, and it’s kinda embarrassing right now.

I haven’t been able to figure out what’s really up, until today. I had an eureka moment. I don’t remember what show or movie I was watching when it hit me; but I promised myself I was going to write about it, so here I am.

I haven’t had a proper relationship in like, years. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been dating – bearing in mind that dating can mean so many things these days. I have been dating. Actual dates, flirting, sliding into DMs, back and forth whatsapp messages. I’ve had crushes. I have been active, and I have enjoyed it. Okay, I’m not a whore, but I haven’t just been sitting on my ass either. The thrill of getting to know someone, sharing our life stories, talking and texting all day, every day because we have so much to tell each other. The jokes, the quirks, it’s fun. The first times… magic!

And then we reach that point where we feel like we now know everything about each other, and then… bleh! Boring… We don’t feel like talking so much anymore, I suddenly feel like I want some space; there is no more excitement, I know everything about this person. Our rendez-vous aren’t as fun as they used to be. Too many awkward silences. No more laughs. No more sensuality; I know what she likes, she knows what I like; everything starts to feel… mechanic. I realize I have more fun spending time with my buddies than with her. I get bored, and I lose interest.
This, is my problem.

I don’t know how I go from “liking” someone, to not wanting to be with them. I know there’s no such thing as “the one”, or “the perfect girl”, so my fears that I may have “picked the wrong one” can’t really be justified. I’m totally aware relationships aren’t rosey and fun all the time, and I’m totally capable of committing to one (I’m a man who gets things done), but… I don’t want to. Commitment phobia?

When the boredom sets it, I begin to notice other “potentials” and ask myself if I am right to be with “this one”. What if? I start finding things that are wrong with her, and I try to be nice by finding things that are wrong with me. We wouldn’t work in the long-run. We stop talking, I meet someone new, and the cycle repeats itself.

When you’re my age, you don’t quite have the luxury to date “for leisure” anymore. Unless I start dating ten years below my age. Umh! Shaaa! I’m not sure that would work. Anyway, you date for a purpose. When the person you’re seeing asks you, “so, what are we?” in your mind it rings like, “so, when are we getting married?” You freak out. I freak out! And I run away…
I guess the whole infatuation phase makes me forget that at some point we will have to define the relationship in serious adult terms.

Our forefathers said “uwuja gukira ingwara arayirata”. I would like to believe that, now that I can put a finger on my problem, I can finally address it. How? I’m not sure, but I’ll try. Maybe I’ll put a sticky note on my fridge with the inscription, reka guhenda abo bana b’abandi! until I get myself right. And maybe in a year or two, it’ll be be my wedding I’ll be going to.

“Chronicles of a Burundian Lover” posts are purposely published anonymously because, you know, Burundi 🙂

(Image source: shutterstock.com)