I thought I’d give the singles a chance to recover from Valentines Day blues before I triggered y’all. This is for everyone who spent the day thinking “must be nice”. This is to tell you “get a grip”, but nicely.
People have always made jokes that once you finished university the next thing in an African household is marriage… they did not tell a lie. As much as my parents aren’t brutally traditional, the idea of a marriage has been hinted more times than ever since graduating by them and everyone around me. Hopefully, even if you are not African you will be able to relate.
I consider myself to be quite a strong-willed person, so I really don’t feel any pressure for marriage per say, but it would be nice one day. But, in order to get married one day, I need a boyfriend to become a fiancé, and I would need to know him for a minimum of 2 or 3 years and be engaged for a minimum of 1 year. So according to my calculations that makes me about 25 – 26… minimum! Let’s be honest now, the likelihood of me meeting my LIFE PARTNER who needs to be God-fearing, 6ft+, dark, handsome and rich (just kidding/ not really) tomorrow is slim to none. Especially in this economy. Let’s face it, the game is freezing. There comes in uncertainty, so how long will I be single? Will my next relationship be my last? Will I be the last of my friends to get married? What if I never get married? So the anxiety sets in, am I going to be 60 and still praying for a man? Are the standards I set too high? What if what I am looking for does not even exist? Should I settle? Something is better than nothing right?
The truth is none of us can predict the future. What we can do is look at patterns in our past and be careful to avoid making the same mistakes. The real questions I should have been asking; why has it not worked in the past? Were there signs at the beginning that could have saved me time and heartache? Do I have a type? What do I NOT want in a partner? Did I involve God? After doing some soul searching I found the answers to the questions all link to one thing…WHOLENESS (an entire topic in its own right).
We so eagerly want to have it all together on paper, the job, the car, the partner, the kids, the money, the house etc. However, all that will not last if we are not ‘all together’ without any of those things. The times we find ourselves without the things we hope for is the time we should use to build ourselves into people worthy of those things we desire. The only way your standards can be too high is if you don’t meet them. So rather than looking for the best version of someone else, work on being the best version of yourself (I know it’s cliche). It is easy to get carried away and become so obsessed with the idea of loving someone else that you forget to love yourself.
If you don’t love yourself wholeheartedly you make it very difficult if not impossible for someone else to. It is incredibly unfair and draining to expect another person to make you constantly feel secure in your insecurities. I don’t doubt that we all have moments when we doubt ourselves, and of course, it is beautiful for a partner to reassure us in those moments. However, no matter how much a person cares for you it becomes a burden when they are solely responsible for your confidence/ happiness. Truth is a lot of us have trust issues, daddy issues, mummy issues, communication issues, confidence issues and the list goes on, yet we waste so much precious time trying to find someone to accept our flaws, that we neglect to better ourselves as individuals and potential partners.
MARRIAGE IS NOT A TREND
It is crucial not to become so infatuated with the idea of marriage and a relationship, that the significance of the significant other becomes minimal. Meaning, it is not about being on Bella Naija, it is about finding someone you are so in love with, that you want to commit to, before God to share the rest of your life with. It seems like common sense right? I thought so too. But this constant drooling over weddings / popular couples and not love proves otherwise. I think it is safe to say most of us want a beautiful wedding whether big or small, but the other human being you decide to do this with is more important than the colour scheme for Aso Ebi.
“MARRIAGE IS NOT AN ACHIEVEMENT”
Some people will tell you; “There is more to life than relationships”, and I completely agree with them. However, that does not invalidate the want to love and to be loved. Some people will even go as far to say “Marriage is not an achievement”. My advice to you? Don’t mind them! What we all consider “achievements” are subjective, you decide what will make YOU happy. Do not allow people that do not have your same life goals deter you from what you really want just because “not everyone will get married”. Well not everyone will be a millionaire, do most of us still want it? Yes. So strive for what you want!
For the ladies; some forms of feminism have somehow concluded that marriage is oppressive and have “facts and figures” to back that up. At the end of the day; every home and relationship is different. As a feminist myself, certain types of feminism have been getting it wrong for decades on what is oppressive to women and what is not, so if you want to take Ciara’s advice and #LevelUp, do so, and if you don’t, continue walking in the spirit of girlfriend. There are no right or wrong answers.
Unfortunately, those are not even the people that bug me the most. It is the people that put a ticking time bomb on your wedding cake, as if to say if you are not married by a certain age you become extinct. The people that every time you see them, that is the only thing they can discuss. The people that want to hook you up with every son/daughter, niece/nephew and brother/sister going. The people that look down on the “unmarried”. To be honest with you, I think it usually comes from a good place, sometimes they just do not know any better. However, the pressure they apply can be so detrimental to our self-esteem and the value we place on marriage. That constant obsession with marriage often leads to the person joining in and obsessing too, or feelings of inadequacy because of “singleness”.
Marriage and love are beautiful, but not to the point the desire becomes detrimental. Don’t let others make you feel less than for your “singleness”, not even your MCM on twitter asking “where is your boyfriend”.
When Will You Marryyy?
The truth is no one really knows if and when they will get married. Not you, not the aunties and uncles pressuring you and not even those in relationships today. The only person that truly knows is God. The plans God has for us are of good and not evil, to give us hope and a future. We can’t control many things that happen to us in life, and this happens to be one of them. You could be the “flyest” guy or the most “wifeable” girl and remain single for reasons beyond than human comprehension. So, King and Queen, work hard, rest, and live your best flipping life, life is too short to be stressing over non-existent bae.
” Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. ” [1 Corinthians 13:4-7]