Good qualities in a man to look for. A man like my father.

by Onyinye Ogbuka
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I stared at my father’s picture and felt tears run down my cheeks. It’s been four years and I miss him so much. There is no day that I don’t think about him, he has been my guiding light. I want to marry a man like my father, he has to have all the good qualities in a man to look for, just like my father.

Good qualities in a man to look for. A pacesetter

I am a twenty-nine-year-old unmarried female. Most of my mates are married already and a few of them have kids. Tongues have been wagging about my prolonged spinsterhood but I don’t care. Family members and church members are running around just to ensure I don’t end up a miserable spinster; they are setting me up on dates. If I were not husband-hunting, I would swear that all men were good like my father but having come in contact with so many men. I can tell you anyone can marry but not everyone can be a good husband, good men are scarce out there.

Good qualities in a man to look for. A man like Frank

My first real relationship was with a guy named Frank. I loved frank so much that I would do anything for Frank. We had met when I was in university and we continued our relationship even after we graduated. As a Petroleum Engineer, Frank had just gotten a job with an oil company. He was given an official car and a official house. I was so happy for him. I had just started my career as a lawyer in a chamber, I wanted to work a bit before saddling myself with the responsibilities of marriage. Frank thought differently, he wanted us to be married immediately. I thought about and decided to give it a shot. We lived in different states so I had to go visit him.

On getting to his house, he welcomed me warmly. I noticed he had no help around the house and I  asked why that was the case. He said he contracted cleaners who come around from time to time to clean. I suggested we get a live-in cleaner since we were going to be getting married. That brought us to the discussion of living arrangements. He said I am supposed to be the one that cleans and takes care of the house. He has the money but he was not going to hire a cleaner when I am there. Cleaning is a woman’s job and should not be outsourced.

I could not believe my ears, it was unbelievable. I asked him about my job and he opined he expects me to stop working as soon as we get married so I can take care of the kids. I knew that was the end of our relationship. I could not marry a man who would turn me into a slave. I tried getting him to change his mind but he did not budge, so I left.

My relationship of two years ended just like that and I realized I had never gone to his hostel while in school and we had never had this sort of conversation. My father did not like to stress his wife. So why will Frank stress me? I watched my father support my mother all through her career and Frank wants me to stop my job, too bad. It’s impossible.

Good qualities in a man to look for. A man like Deji

I had to move on, it was while moving on I met Deji. Wonderful Deji, if I was poverty-stricken, Deji would have been the perfect choice. He comes from an elite family in Lagos, each member of his family is affluent. Deji riding on that schooled in the US  and became an Investment banker in one of  Nigeria’s top banking companies. Deji has the erroneous belief that all a woman needs is money and that could salvage any situation. Little wonder he was always travelling and working without making time for me. He would complain that he is working to provide for me each time I raised the issue and I would tell him that it does not matter. I would tell Deji I am sick and he would just send money and never check up on me again till I call him.

I am the one who initiates calling and texting. If I don’t call, he would not remember he has a girlfriend. The few times I managed to wrestle him out on a date. He spent the whole date making calls and barely sparing me a glance.

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The last straw that broke the camel’s back was when we were on a date and he was fiddling with his phone. I tried to engage him in a conversation and when it was not working, I ceased his phone. He remained angry all through the dinner. When we got into his car, I gave him back his phone and he sternly warned me never to try it again. I flared up at him and he said all I want is money and it’s because I am not getting enough of it that is why I am being cranky. That statement hurt my pride because I pride myself in being an independent woman.

I broke it off with him in the car.

I could not take such an attitude. My father had never treated my mother this way, he showed her care and attention and that was what I was going to have, nothing less than that.

A man like Ejiro

In-laws are not perfect people, it’s worse if they are the nosy type.  My father is a sort of guiding light in the kind of man that I want. He has always protected my mother from his family. Each time, my mother always says it in my hearing that she is the luckiest woman in the whole world because she married my dad. I am the only child and I am female. My father’s side wanted to impose on him another wife and he flat out refused. They were not happy that he had only one child and was not doing anything to correct it. The man I almost got married to was the scum of the earth. His name is Ejiro.

We would have been married by now if he was not the type who danced to every tune his family played. We had pretty much known what we wanted at the beginning, so within three months, we were already talking about marriage. What put a halt to our plans was when he mandated that I get pregnant before we get married. I looked at him and asked why, he said his family said so and we have to do as his family has asked if we were to continue. I asked him why he would allow his family to control him, he gave me the stink eye and said he treasures his family and would never disobey them. This was definitely less and I was not going to settle for less, so I broke it off with him.

A man like Chika

I wish my father were alive he would have comforted me. My last failed relationship was with Chika. We didn’t last because I did not allow him to disrespect me. He was the sort that chased everything in a skirt. He believes that men are polygamous by nature. At least, Chika was kind enough to not hid his true nature from me. He promised to stop cheating but the leopard cannot get rid of its spot. It’s not his fault, his father was a chronic womanizer and his mother had endured the marriage. Chika would always repeat a mantra of his father, a man who wants to cheat should be rich enough to buy his wife expensive things so she will turn a blind eye. He thought I was his mother; the sort that would turn a blind eye to all he was doing as far he was meeting my monetary needs.

Good qualities in a man to look for/mildstrings
Good qualities in a man to look for

He raised hell the day I broke it off with him, I had walked into his office to meet him pants down pummeling a teenage cleaner through from behind. The girl scurried out of his office with embarrassment. He tried to hug me and I dodged him. He didn’t believe I would break up with him. He kept saying I would regret it because he had big plans for me. To hell with him and his big plans, I stung his pride when I refused to take his shit

I am grateful that my mother is not pressurizing me to get married. The day she brought up the issue. I told her that I want a man that will treat me the way my father treated her. Her eyes glazed over, and she cried and prayed that I would meet a man like that. For her, she had never for a day regretted marrying my father. That was the reassurance that I needed to fuel my resolve that I would marry a man like my father.

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