Stagnant Souls

“It’s just an American wedding / They don’t mean too much / They don’t last enough / We had an American wedding / Now what’s mine is yours, American divorce.”

In a song on his heavily downloaded mixtape, Nostalgia/Ultra, Frank Ocean casually sings about the causality of wedding casualties. “American Wedding” is sung over the Grammy Award-winning, but eerie Eagles song, “Hotel California,” as juxtaposition to loves’ simple but complex nature. “So baby don’t take this hard / But maybe we should Get an annulment / Before this goes way to far.” Does this sound familiar to you? Jennifer Lopez would certainly agree.

Love is a choice – we’re all born capable and marriage is a manifestation of that choice. Marriage is a great idea for a man and woman in love. Unfortunately many men and women find themselves in love with the idea of marriage instead of the person they’re marrying.

I once knew a lady on a timeline to get married. Her life was chronicled on her Facebook page. One day her status read, ‘Single,’ the next day, ‘Complicated.’ By Wednesday it said, ‘In a Relationship’ and Thursday she was engaged. By Sunday it said, ‘Married’ and by Monday, it said nothing. She took her relationship status down entirely because of the embarrassment that came with her quick divorce. “Happy 30th birthday,” I wrote on her wall to help fill her void of heartbreak … “I hope you got what you wanted.”

Women on a timeline to get married often end up on my Twitter timeline for counseling through their divorce. I’ve seen it time and time again – some women feel they’ve reached success in every area of their lives except relationships. Then they decrease their standards in men. They meet someone who is just good enough and next thing you know, they’re married. To the outside world, things seem perfect. In reality the relationship suffers because the love was forced. But love is natural.

Ladies, this is for you: Just because your friends are married doesn’t mean you need to rush to jump the broom. The closest you’ll get to an altar will be as a bridesmaid. Settling gets you a divorce, standards gets you a marriage.

Gentlemen, this is for you: Proverbs 18:22 tells says, “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favor of the Lord.” This doesn’t mean that only married men will be blessed in life. Never feel obligated to marry if your heart isn’t in it. But if it is, don’t keep a good girl waiting.

Frank Ocean ends his song with these words: “Well you can have my Mustang / That’s all I’ve got in my name / but Jesus Christ don’t break my heart / This wedding ring won’t ever wipe off / But if you stay / Girl if you stay / You’ll probably leave later anyway / That’s love made in the USA.”

Keep your head up J.Lo.


– Enitan Bereola, II

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Bereola is the go-to style and etiquette impresario, public speaker and entrepreneur. He is also the author of the critically acclaimed BEREOLAESQUE: The Contemporary Gentleman & Etiquette book for the Urban Sophisticate. He is working on his follow-up, Guide to Ladies’ Etiquette from a Gentleman’s Perspective. Find him at his new website, or@bereolaesque on Twitter as well as his Facebook fan page.



One Comment

  1. B Jones says:

    This explains my First Marriage.. Sad but True…

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