I never thought about what dating in my forties would be like because I never imagined that I would ever be tasked with finding out. As an American-born Nigerian, I was straddling two very different worlds, and the common bond was the fact that I would settle down with either a Nigerian or American.
My parents weren’t stiflingly traditional like most Nigerian households, and even when they tried to play that role, it came off as hilariously endearing because their kids knew it wouldn’t hold.
But there were some things that were non-negotiable, like attending boarding school with other mates at the age of twelve, and pursuing our college education to the full extent of our chosen degrees, which had to be bloated with the promise of lucrative careers.
When it came to their demands for life partners, the hope was that my brothers and I would stick closer to home, but if we did stray it had to be for a really good reason. But the most important thing was to marry for love and not because cultural barriers needed to be avoided at all costs.
I’m assuming my brothers feel accomplished in that area since they’ve settled with their spouses, and so the only one to worry about is me.
I’m single and trying to date, but the role I’m playing as a woman in her mid-forties who doesn’t want her age to be factor to men who still want to have children isn’t working out too well. Men are righteously aware that they can reproduce well into their seventies, and so that knowledge makes women like me cringe — especially when we’re still at an age where it should be possible, but medical complications fucked us for life.
It’s a sore subject that most women in my position don’t want to talk about, but I’m no longer afraid to tackle the reason why I’m the desirable/undesirable woman who can’t define who she needs to be in potential relationships.
The last serious bond with a guy was awhile ago, and there was still promise of what could be with him or the ones after. My body belonged to me, and there were no warning signs of the kind of betrayal that robs you blind and switches the narrative before you have the chance to mentally prepare.