Is it him or is it the other guy?

"Daydah I need your help right now!" Melissa moaned into my ears.

I forced my eyes open to look at the time. It was past midnight, but she was obviously distressed. Ever happy Mel was crying on the phone. I sat up slowly.

"What is the matter Mel?" I asked as I forced my brain to get out of sleep mode. She started crying and I spent another three minutes telling her to calm down. Her crying subsided and I asked what was bothering her.Seems she was confused. So confused that she was crying. She said she didn't know what to do with her life.

Last time I checked, she was counting the days to her wedding to this fabulous guy that she loved very much, so I wondered what could have happened to shake her world.

She started off her tale all muddled up, but after a few sentences I was able to pick up what the problem was. She was on her way to the altar to marry one guy, who'd been her senior in high school and was made (definition: had a job, a house and a car) and was crazy about her, but she also liked this other guy that had been a friend for years and seemed to be getting closer to her by the day.

It didn't help matters that her fiance worked and lived in another state (like mine). She feared that she was developing feelings for the second guy because she could sense that he also loved her like crazy. She didn't want to ruin Mr Fiance's life by telling him she wanted time out to think so she was bottling it up inside.

Yesterday she got two calls - one from Mr. Fiance who she didn't really understand (these days), and the other from Mr. Nice Guy who connected with her on many levels. Both calls cut, but while Mr Nice Guy called back to say a proper goodbye, Mr Fiance didnt call back. Prior to that she had spent a few hours in the company of Mr Nice Guy who, she said, was very very 'nice' and 'understood her on a high level' (whatever that meant).

I asked her if that was the reason she was crying and she said she just could not stand the confusion. Upon asking what she was really confused about, she replied that she hated that she had to make a choice.

Viola! We had gotten to the root of the matter!

She was feeling that she had to make a choice, which meant that she was putting both guys on the same level and comparing them for faults.
I asked her if she loved Mr Fiance and for the first time in months she wailed an "I'm not sure!"
I asked her if she had feelings for Mr Nice Guy and she shouted a 'No', before whispering a barely audible 'Maybe'.

I sighed. Why, you ask? I sighed because I was in that same spot last weekend. And I could not give her a tried and tested solution. All I could tell her was what I DID to get out of my confusion.

I told her to sit down and clear her head. I told her to get a pen and paper and write down these questions:
Why are you attracted to Mr Fiance?
What ten things do you love about him?
What ten things drives you to anger about him?
Can you live with these?
List ten reasons you agreed to marry him.
Do you see him as the father of your children?
How do you know that he loves you?
Does he set aside time for you?
Are you on top of his priority list (or close enough - we all know how men put football even before their wives)?

Now get another sheet of paper and write down these questions:
What attracts you to Mr Nice Guy?
What ten things do you like about him?
What ten things do you detest about him?
What was his reaction when he heard you were engaged?
Before then was he interested in you?
Can you picture him beside you?
What is your family's stand about him?
How does he relate with Mr Fiance?

Then ask yourself these questions:
In thirty, forty years time, where do you see yourself, careerwise, financially, and in terms of family?
Which of these men understand this vision and are willing to join you in building it?
Which of these men will stand by you through thick and thin?
Which of these men will still love you if you had cancer?
And since we are African, which of these men will ignore their nagging mothers if (God forbid o!) you are unable to conceive to satisfy the woman's thirst for grandchildren?
Which of these two men will not put you down or condemn your work but build you up and boost your ego?

I made sure she wrote everything I said down, then I told her to fold the paper and go back to bed and cry if she still felt like it. It was good for her. I told her to look at the two pieces of paper again later in the day and answer the questions, then keep them back and if possible we could go through them together. She thanked me and we went to bed.

Sometimes we get confused, and we really don't know what we want. Its the devil's way of taking us off the path (ok I wont get preachy on you). But I find that often when I have set my mind on a particular path or a particular decision, it is afterwards that other options start showing themselves. Sometimes its good to take time off to re-evaluate but always remember to factor in the repercussions of changing your directions.

As for me, I made my choice, and I am going to stick to it. I have stuck to it for the past 3 years, and I could not possibly let a few months of attention from another guy jeopardize what I spent time to build - I particularly mean the double efforts put into building a long - distance relationship. It is not easy to build trust and intimacy over the phone, or internet. And the few moments you spend together are always too short - they end too quickly.

I hope Mel can pick her forever-man and stick to her decision. I know I love Vicky and I know I can live with him. That is okay for me because there is no Mr Perfect out there.


disgodkidd said…
i cannot believe so much wisdom is packed into such a smalllllll package( i know what you want to call me - TOUT)

but seriously, you gave very sound advise, and i admire your commitment. wish mine had that. maybe i need to give you a call to so you can un-complicate my relationship status.

btw...i added you to my blog roll...the omission wasn't deliberate. forgiven?