One of the most frustrating questions you can ask a single person is, “When are you getting married?” Usually the person asking is genuinely concerned and feels the need to ask such a direct question when they have no idea what may be going on in that person’s life or what may have happened or even the choice that person has made.
A lot of times people think they have all the answers, but the reality is, they don’t. Finding a mate, if you want one, is not as easy as some may think. Especially if you’re unwilling to just settle for less than you deserve.
In many cultures a woman is expected to marry early and bear children. It’s like her womanhood depends on doing these two things. I once read about a woman who had so many career accomplishments and was earning such a large income that was far above the average annual salary. Despite these accomplishments, her family reduced her to nothing because she was not married and had no children.
Just yesterday, I read a tweet on Twitter where a woman shared a story about her aunt telling her to set her aspirations aside until she gets married because she can accomplish her goals after she gets married.
See the full tweet below:
One auntie just told me that I should hold onto my ‘big’ dreams and marry, so that I achieve them after I marry. Or else I won’t find a man. I asked her how many dreams she’s achieved after all her years of marriage. A Family meeting has been scheduled for next week.
— AngelicA (@D_animator_chiq) January 18, 2018
In many cases, I’ve met women who admit they were in unhappy marriages because they felt the pressure to get married. One woman, who wished to rename nameless, told me she was being pressured by family to marry because her thirtieth birthday was approaching. With no strong prospects of love in sight, she accepted the request of a man she did not love. Only to get her family off her back and so she could have children before a certain age. She’s now been married 15 years and said she is very unhappy. She loathes her husband and told me the only good outcome from her marriage is her children. She swiftly advised me never to marry because of pressure, but for real love and companionship. “If you don’t like him, you’ll have an unhappy marriage,” she said. “Just like me.”
Humans were designed to naturally want companionship. It’s what most desire. That being said, not everyone wants to get married and not everyone wants to have children. Times are changing and there are women choosing not to do either of those things.
On the other hand, there are women who genuinely do want to get married and also would love to have children. But they are not willing to sacrifice their sanity to appeal to those pressuring them to jump into a commitment when they haven’t found the right person.
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1. It’s better to be single than marry the wrong person.
I met a woman last year who told me that after her wedding she knew she married the wrong man. She knew deep in her heart that it wasn’t right, but she married him anyway. Just going through the motions made ‘sense’ because they were together a long time, she knew his family already and he knew hers. They had shared so much over the years and she was comfortable.
But she wasn’t entirely happy. Even when he made his proposal, she knew she should have said no and walked away from the relationship, but she didn’t.
She was divorced in less than three years. She realized being single would have been better than married to a man she didn’t truly love.
2. Marriage is Work
Of all those people pressuring you to get married, do they plan on living with you when times are tough? Are they doing all the work? Will they be around when you need it?
It’s your life, so why do people think they have the right to push you into something that isn’t their life to be lived? Just because it looks good on paper doesn’t mean he’s the right fit.
Understand that when you get married, the real work begins after the beautiful ceremony. I speak from seeing all the trials and tribulations some friends and family have gone through in their marriages. It’s essentially an extension of your current relationship. If you have problems while your dating, they will only be magnified once you’re married. Both parties must be willing to work on everything that needs to be done to keep the relationship solid.
Also understanding that people change and grow as they experience life, career and children. Understanding that you may not be the same in ten years as you were in the beginning is important. Being willing to support each other and move into each phase of life with support will keep you strong. Commitment is everything.
3. Enjoy Singlehood
A woman who is married with three children once told me she envied my life. I was shocked when she said that and asked why. She said, “You can jump on a plane anytime you want. Travel. Try new things. Change jobs. All without a second thought because you have no kids or husband to consider.” She went on to say that she loves her family, but can feel like she didn’t experience everything she wanted before jumping into marriage.
While you’re single, even when searching for a mate, enjoy each moment. Enjoy the freedom to do what you want, when you want without having to consult a partner. Be yourself, grow and develop in ways you may not be able to once you are married.
Also, not everyone wants marriage. If you don’t that’s perfectly fine. All the more reason to enjoy a lifetime of doing it yourself and doing it your way without anyone else to consider.