Why the single young man is worried

 

Today, with the exception of one or two tribes in Kenya, boys become men without ever witnessing real battle where warriors are needed. And with advances in medicine, their mortality has been greatly reduced.

In short, the earlier battles for survival are not there anymore. But the young man of today still has a mountain to climb if he wants to remain relevant socially – his path to settling down as a family man is riddled with challenges. Here are some:

The Modern Woman

Not so long ago, girls were brought up with a price on their head. Communities saw them purely as marriage material and brought them up accordingly.

It was then common practice to betroth a girl to a chosen man at birth and the man never had the headache of selection or courtship. In the 21st Century, the woman has become greatly empowered. She is academically and financially at par with the man, if not superior.

Girls traditionally married from as early as 13. Today at 13, a girl is usually in Class Seven. The academic route up to a Master’s degree – that is what most women are going for these days – will eat up her peak years and it will not be until she reaches 28 that she will done with her studies. But the demands of her job may still stand in the way. Having been freshly employed, she has to entrench herself before she can even consider starting a family.

Therefore, it may be until deep into her 30’s that she can settle down and start thinking of having babies. There are medical risks and fertility difficulties the older a woman gets, but the young man who wants to start a family early has little choice on this one.

Money

As women become more empowered, it is men who have had to give up some plum positions. Ours is still a small economy and men have lost out badly.

The other thing militating against the man is the issue of branding. Businesses are aware that the overall economy is still tilted towards men as owners.

Women are therefore being employed to give businesses a feminine advantage with male-dominated consumers. That means that more young women currently have bigger financial muscle than young men.

It was easy for men to snare women when they had all the money. These days, money is not a consideration for the woman because she has her own. Rather than marry a man with less income than hers and still give up her independence, economically-independent women are giving marriage a wide berth.

Married Man

They are back prowling on young, single women– potbellies, grey hair, fat wand of cash and all. The young man may still have somehow handled the modern woman.

But the re-entry of the married man into the equation has completely messed everything up. While the young man goes to electronic shops to ogle at LCD televisions wishing he could afford one, the married man has money to burn, a trip to the coast or a brand new car is no worry at all.

He got married decades ago, his children are top executives and businessmen around the world. He came to Nairobi in the 60s when renting a house in Buru Buru cost Sh1,500 and when departing Britons were selling off exclusive homes and businesses at throw away prices.

He also owns expansive real estate which he is now developing into gated communities. Money is not a worry for him. What he needs to feel young and important is a trophy in the form of a young, leggy and beautiful woman.

For that one, he will do anything. In time, his appetite grows and because he can afford them, he starts snaring every young woman who catches his fancy.

For the love of money, how many women in this country would want to ignore such a man? That said, the habit of multiple relationships is not exclusive to this very old and very rich man. It is a disease that has spread in a really endemic manner. After being married for only a couple of years, men are falling over themselves to date younger women. And it’s not just the money that is making them attractive to young women; While young men can be accused of emotional immaturity, older men are said by these young women to be more reliable and appreciative of these young women.

When dating a young man, there is usually anxiety about where the relationship is headed. But with a married man, the woman already knows there are no commitments. This especially suits the modern woman who is not looking to settle down but wishes to have fun nevertheless.

Exposure

Girls in the years past were chaperoned very strictly by the community. They were protected from situations that would contaminate their morals.

Contact with the opposite sex was regulated and most girls reached marriage while still very innocent. Those days are gone. In 2011, the young woman has the Internet at work and in her pocket. She has access to all sorts of information with just a little flick of the finger.

Through social networking sites, she is exposed to some undesirable temptations. Still at the workplaces as in colleges, women and men live side by side and interact freely.

There are many things that are said and done there that reshape the outlook of young women – not necessarily in a positive way. Away from that, there was a time in this country when women could not enter a bar unaccompanied.

Now, they are admitted everywhere and some scenes in some of these environments are bound to seriously injure the morality of young women. And even when she finally gets home, TV, radio as well as the Internet all give her morality no respite. Admittedly, there are women who can survive this bombardment.

But for most, they end up completely wasted from a moral perspective.

From a time when girls were protected from the evils of the world, we are now at opposite end of the rope. Then, to get to a girl to even talk with you, you had to work very hard. There are many men who still carry scars inflicted by the fathers and brothers of these women when their cover was blown.

Communication challenges would force a man, for instance, to travel from Mombasa to Kisumu to see his sweetheart only to find she had gone to Nairobi to visit an aunt. That’s how difficult it was.

The work involved to win over a woman back in those days could only have been possible with total seriousness and commitment. No fooling around.

Fast forward and in comes yahoo, then the mobile phone, then facebook and relationships changed from active to passive.
Men no longer have to lurk around in bushes praying that the object of their love passes by on her way to the river or to fetch firewood, she is right there waiting to be [picked up or the one actively pursuing him. A flick of the finger and you are chatting with a girl on the other side of the planet.

The advantages of technological advancement are many; but they have also killed courtship and turned women into easy prey.
The mobile phone and facebook, in particular, have ensured that the single young man of today will struggle finding a serious woman who is marriageable.

With her head already turned by the sweet talk she is getting elsewhere, this woman has lost touch with reality only realizes when it is too late that she should have worked on developing a relationship based on proper foundations.

Peer pressure
When girls are hunched up together in groups, they are almost invariably discussing men. Women show off their men with great pride. The more a man can do for her, the better for her self-importance hence the mercurial rise of the loaded man – marital status and looks notwithstanding.

The better the phone, car, house, jewellery and so on that she can get from a man translates to the level of appreciation she will give him. And because they talk among themselves, every girl today craves for such a man. She will not mind how many other women he has as long as he can butter her bread.

That leaves the single, eligible man in a tight corner and literally fighting a losing battle. He is young, and trying to work his way up in life on a shallow pocket.

There is no way he can afford her extravagances. And if he somehow marries this girl who quantifies everything in monetary terms, she will go on and cheat on him for the love of money.

Bride Price
This is another hurdle that a young, man have to deal with today. Having survived all the above, it is now time to take the women home. But not so fast, there is the small matter of paying dowry to her parents first. The young man will obviously take along a few old men and make an approach.

Then horror unfolds. Because their daughter has a good education and a stable financial level, they will give him a figure that is absolutely ridiculous.

And just when the young man thinks he is done, her aunts will troop into the compound and add to his misery with even more ridiculous demands. In some communities, they will even set a date by which all these should be accomplished. Respecting cultures and customs is fine.

But how is a young man of 28 expected to get a Sh1million to pay bride price? It is definitely not easy being a young man who is looking for a steady relationship. The path is simply too thorny.

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