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When The Lady Says ‘I Don’t’

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I know I’m usually up here writing prose but a conglomeration of things occurred which led me to write this article. First, I was at a party over the weekend and met a couple of very good friends, one married, the other still single, second, I finally entertained a conversation with a would-be toaster yesterday evening and third, being an avid fan of BN I see the wedding glam posts and enjoy reading Glory’s write ups about the single life. So, you may be asking, what is it about this combination of things that caused me to veer from fiction to fact? Well I guess I feel I have a confession to make and here it is…My name is Abby Beckley, I am a woman and I am afraid of commitment. There it’s out in the open.

You see when I gassed with my girlfriends at the party on Saturday, the married one asked the inevitable question, “So when are you going to settle down with a bobo, now?” I experienced an actual physical squeezing sensation near the top of my lungs like I couldn’t breathe properly. When I told them that the thought of getting married and settling down made me feel like I was being suffocated they laughed…at first. After I assured them that I wasn’t kidding, the unmarried friend suggested that perhaps it was because I hadn’t found the right man yet, I agreed with her weakly if only to alleviate the shocked stupor I had put them both in.

Then there’s the would-be toaster; I have been ducking and diving from him for weeks but he caught me in a mellow mood and so I gave him an opportunity to chat. Now he was perfectly pleasant and keen but I could foresee where things would go, he would eventually require more from me than I was willing to give and I would have to take my leave. It has happened enough times for me to have become prophetic about it.

Finally, having read a couple of articles on BN and even a lot of the responses as well as the general spiel that streams out from the various media be it movies, magazines or music, I find it is not usual for a woman to be afraid of commitment, quite the opposite as a matter of fact. It is an affliction that sits predominantly in the male arena and I find there are many flattering references within nature and biology that such afflicted men quote. They identify themselves with animals like the ‘lone’ wolf, the mighty lion – king of the pride, the tiger –solitary lord of the jungle. When it comes to the opposite sex however any female species that advocates the single life gets a negative connotation; see the Preying Mantis or the Black Widow spider for examples; not content to be footloose and fancy free they also kill any male that thinks he can cut in on their singleton lifestyles. Extreme remedy, I agree.
Thus I had to consider; am I alone within my gender in this fear? Were I to attend a therapy session for Commitment-phobics Anonymous would it just be me and a whole bunch of guys talking about feeling trapped or caged, and describing how the thought of marriage makes us break out in hives or suddenly get claustrophobic? It would be a comfort to hear from other women who felt similar.

With the rate of divorces and separations being as high as they are someone is really going to have to convince me as to why I should go and sign myself into something that rings with such permanence when almost half of those who have attempted it have failed. I mean most of us have sat through a wedding and heard those vows – it’s a covenant before God (or a contract by law for the non-religious) that you’re promising to maintain for the rest of your existence upon this Earth! I feel faint and really woozy just at the thought of it. All that pressure! Please do not misunderstand me and think I’m ragging on marriage, in itself I am sure it is a fantastic institution (see that word “institution”…) for those who get it right in which the rewards far outweigh the times of tribulation, and I wish every married couple well including those on the path towards it. All I am saying is that it does not appeal to me, there are too many variables; I do not gamble and it is the biggest game out there. Perhaps in time I may lose my cynicism and get all swan-like about the matter but for now I’m more inclined to see myself as a leopardess roaming free across the Serengeti my only concerns being hunting down impala and finding a good watering hole.

72 Comments

  1. Blossom

    June 7, 2010 at 7:47 am

    Nice

  2. DU

    June 7, 2010 at 8:39 am

    aaaaaaaaa

  3. Bisi

    June 7, 2010 at 9:33 am

    I can identify with you. As a lady I am sometimes scared of marriage but it doesn’t mean I won’t get married. I can remeber I once told my aunt that I was reading a book about being fulfilled as a single and she said “what? what is fulfilling about being single. it is a curse”. lol

    Anyway these are my reasons for being scared:
    a. Guys of nowadays( actually they take after their fathers) think that they are doing you a favour by marrying you, I mean removing the stigma of spinsterhood from you. So they expect so much from you (to replace their mother) and they are not prepared to do anything. Granted the role of a wife entails more than that of the husband but they don’t even want to do the little they are supposed to do.

    b. They think marriage favours you more than them so you should allow them some liberties (such as . . . you know)

    c. Also, they think they are doing you a favour by impregnating you and making you a mother since it could have been any girl out there but they “pitied/favoured” you. And they don’t need to get marrried or “tied” to have children. They are free to be baby daddies. Imagine!!!

    d. So now imagine living with a man with this kind of mindset for the next 50 or 60 years or so. Even if you want to leave and you have children you have to wait till they are fully grown as a good mother. Because our society will always give custody to the father.

    e. Most women I have met are so scared of their husbands. What type of life is that?

    So thats why I am occasionally scared of this partnership called marriage.

  4. brooks

    June 7, 2010 at 9:39 am

    nice.I also get scared cuz m frm a separated home buh i believe mine will work out well(when it happens)

  5. Sophie

    June 7, 2010 at 9:54 am

    Its completely ok for you to feel this way, marriage is not meant for everyone, so if celibacy suits you better then make the best of it and enjoy your life.

  6. Bisi

    June 7, 2010 at 9:59 am

    Also a lot of married women leave everything when they get married (single friends, their family, hobbies etc) and totally cling to thier husband and children. But what do the men do? They remain the same. The women give everything and the men just maintain, lol?

    The woman is no longer free to do her own things, she gives up her dreams and ambitions (temporarily or permanently) and she can’t even expect her husband to do the same. Then he complains when she needs money knowing fully well that she sacrificed some of her productivity for him.

    Sometimes the only reason why a man married a woman is because she is not as rich as he is. So that he can “control” her. But when the woman needs him, he complains. Men expect their wives to be perfect – cook, clean, attractive,neat, sharp and intelligent, respectful and submissive, don’t drink and smoke, not lousy, good with children, financially savvy, ……and so on.

    But they think they do not have to be any good, they can drink and smoke and do whatever. Or they change a bit before they get married and after they go back.

    I often wonder since they are the head are they not supposed to be better than the wife? Whats the point in marrying, making love to and living with a man who thinks you have no right to complain or change him that you should just thank your stars that he married you in the first place. Also, why are live with a man you are scared of?Of course, as a wife you should respect your husband but fear??? Mba. Even God I no fear am like that like that.

    Coming to the in-laws, you are expected to serve them till the day you die. Whether you like it or not, whether its convenient or not but your husband can’t serve you own people. You can’t even make demands on him.

    Most women completely leave their people (they still visit but it is not like before) because it is compulsory by culture but the man keeps his and the woman even slavishly caters to them. Now is that fair? You don’t even have to know God to know IT IS NOT FAIR. Even the bible (for those you are xtians) says that the man SHOULD LEAVE HIS PEOPLE and cling to his wife (check it).

    Then the fact that men do change and you have to stick with the marriage is scary. If you have two kids already and as the head he now decides to bring in another wife who might be anybody,you gas stay (while you keep praying) for the sake of your kids.

    Men want to be free forever and so they can go and impregnate (as a result of their freeness) someone outside or your housemaid and then people expect you to bear it. Its scary.

  7. Lovely

    June 7, 2010 at 10:08 am

    Lovely not Abbey, thank God i’m not the only one that sees marriage the same way…. At 26, you would really thinking i should be heading towards that path…. But hearing the word marriage, commitment, and seeing all these things going on in our society, from cheating, divorce, separation and all.. It just makes me cringe anytime i hear that word.. So for now i have decided, its a no go area for me, till then i would keep myself busy by concentrating on me. Nice post.. i love it

    • annie

      October 12, 2010 at 11:33 am

      I’m 30 & very much aware that almost everyone in my life thinks i’m probably an alien…or just a big fat liar (lol)…but seriously i am still not convinced that my ‘happily ever after’ will only come if i get married. & i’ve felt this way for 15 years so it’s not about to change. don’t get me wrong (this’s for those who always will), i’m not knocking marriage. i would like to get married…eventually…when i meet the man who i’m ACTUALLY gonna be happy wiv. but i don’t think marriage is a prerequiste for happiness. & i resent anyone who feels there’s a problem with being single. also @bcgeorge June 7, 2010 at 1:28 PM – this article is the writer’s opinion, call it opinionated if u like but again it’s about someone’s PERSONAL opinion.

  8. CHIZO

    June 7, 2010 at 10:19 am

    Finally, someone who feels the way i feel .When i think of marriage all i can imagine is a big padlock with chains attached to it.i really do not want to get married at all, for women all i can see are disadvantages and no benefit.
    my issues are two pronged the first is that i don’t want to have kids, the idea leaves me cold and my experience with out naija brothers is that a lot of them are looking for a brood mare who will pop out at least 3 children(a bit extreme but that is how i feel).
    the second is high infidelity rates ,creepy in-laws and divorce.when i look at a lot of my friends all i see is a caricature of what marriage should be ,but people go ahead to do it because ” you are supposed to “.
    frankly i am not convinced and until i am no dice.

  9. damilola

    June 7, 2010 at 10:23 am

    Yes i agree, the mere thought of marriage is scary, i think is being over stated thats all.
    I want to be married and i want to enjoy every bit of it but we are not the same.
    I respect your opinion abbey and i wish you the best in life.

  10. Aibee

    June 7, 2010 at 10:32 am

    I sometimes feel like you Abby, which is why I’ve been unattached for this long. Like the male company for outings and flirtings but when its time for more serious ‘commitment requirring’ issues, I’ll run for safety. I believe that when I find ‘the one’ I wont hesitate to say ‘Yes, I do’ afterall I’ve been in relationships before.

  11. bcgeorge

    June 7, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    very intresting piece but too much opininated and evry1dat av commented on this seems to be single women,yes u can castigate men all you like and say all those things but that does not absolve the women too..it takes two to tango, married men cheat so does married women..yes boss…have you heard the latest about stella damasus….i wish i cud share d video as an insider,you will be shocked…..dnt tempt, i would..lol

  12. Audeo

    June 7, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    I have felt like this for what seems like forever. Thing is forever is an extremely long time. Am I willing to guarantee one person that? idk. its kinda scary if you ask me. But lately, i’ve been thinking, …maybe, just maybe. And sometimes, thats enough for me

  13. yinka

    June 7, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    Be optimistic and dont be afraid. I believe marriage is Good because God said in His Word and he will never a lie. i feel the way syou feel sometimes but i have learnt to keep my hope alive and believe that someday, i will find the right man though not without ups and downs. but one who isready to whether the storm with you. life is not all about sweetness anyway

  14. Cleo

    June 7, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    i guess its not an easy decision to make but believe me when you find that person that makes your heart beat so fast, all the fears will fly out the window. what keeps a man is not the words of your mouth or your making, but God and prayers. scary or not scary, i have found him and in no time am saying “i do”, and with God helping me every thing will be alright.

  15. Debo Ade

    June 7, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    also commitment phobic but people always tell me “don’t worry, when u meet the right guy, things would change”. bu i meet a really nice guy who is so very okay and my heart beat starts to race not because am going gaga over the guy but cuz i am just scared… mayb when the right guy finally comes…

  16. obi

    June 7, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    @bcgeorge, pls what abt stella damasus

  17. rethots

    June 7, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    Wow!!! …so much seeming ‘venom’ on the institution of marriage, not totally uncalled for to tho’. However, these pictures painted in the comments above are simply too grim to ignore or even to wave off as rants of single ladies.

    Yet still, thread, i shall that ‘lone path’. Whoever said men too don’t have their personal doubts and fears of marriage. Please tell me someone (just one) who will, with open eyes and in full thots enter into a marriage relationship with the desire to make it fail?

    Men sure have their great faults in marriages just as women cannot be excused to be without faults. Be that as it may, a discourse i would have thot is, “Why do marriages fail?” Of course, i have my little thots based on personal observations (not experience). Is it possible we have lost a patience, trust and long-sufferings? Or better still, let me rephrase the proposed discourse to be, “Why do you really want to get married?” or if you have, “Why did you get married?”

    Well, while these discourses are initiated, i say this…… i certainly want to get married. For the mainly for the companionship, and not for making babies (these are really, complements to the marriage).

    Has anyone thot of marriage as two people walking the rest of their journeies side-by-side as friends?

  18. Cleo

    June 7, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    word my friend. when the bad days come we do not get to think of the good days. “side by side as friends” thats it people. understanding, patience, tolerance, love, trust and so much more.

  19. Molicious

    June 7, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    Omo, you’re not alone oh….. the thought enough is scary and the marriage situations around are not encouraging at all… but it’s all good, we’re all different so to every man his own

  20. Labby

    June 7, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    @bcgeorge,..what exactly is this latest bout stella??

  21. moxie

    June 7, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    abby, i agree with you( but only partly).commitment gives me the heebie – jeebies!everytime i look around me, i wonder aloud: why the hell should i get married?!!!there are so many unhappy married people around me and its troubling.society has pegged a timeline to getting married hence, most people marry for the wrong reasons.right now , i believe true friendship is the key to any commitment.i’m waiting for the man who makes me have a positive response to the question -” is it worth it?”

  22. Precious

    June 7, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    sweetheart am also in your boat, commitment scares the crap out me, am much of an only me person, am still young though, so not worried about it yet.

  23. TrueTalk previously known as TruthHurts

    June 7, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    Erm… am I right in assuming that its the same Bisi that made the two
    comments above? Girl! Abeg what century are you living in? The issues
    you raised in your comments are so from the Dark Ages! Pls o
    marriages are no longer contracts of servitude! They’re of equal
    partnerships! Little wonder you’re scared of getting hitched.

    Na wa! So na so una dey fear! Then una go dey complain say “where
    are all the single men?” Psheeeew! I say women are confused cos y’all
    don’t know what you want!

    Abby I’m a fan but I think that nearly everyone has one time or the
    other had a phobia for marriage. But isn’t it funny that the things we fear
    the most nearly always never seem to happen?! But at least y’all can
    take precautionary measures to ensure that those things don’t happen
    in your marriages.

    To end this comment allow me to quote my mother whenever I voiced
    my fear for marriage: “Young man! Don’t be a coward! If your father
    and I and a host of others could do it, why not you?”

  24. PreshUp

    June 7, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    I rili think it’s d same with every1 especially wen u av friends who go through series of break-ups around u. u just want 2 av second thoughts abt it. U just av 2 b rili ready 4 it n ensure u take d right step in meeting the right person.

  25. Chacha

    June 7, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    I sympathize with you.
    The image many singles have of marriage has shaped their minds against marriage distorting their view. This isn’t your fault, you may be seeing only the bad examples either from family members or friends. If you ‘do’ marriage the right way, you’ll see that anything God blesses is blessed.
    Start by finding a place that can feed u with the right images about marriage.
    Have a healthy image of marriage
    Sit with couples who love each other and you will love marriage. It’s where u are sitting that is the problem. Change your expectations so you won’t fail. Renew your mind, put in place the pictures and concepts that are from God.

  26. whatsintheworld.com

    June 7, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    This lady’s grammar is tedious

  27. rare gem

    June 8, 2010 at 11:47 am

    I seconda!

  28. Elizabeth

    June 8, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    I’m always so keen to visit this website to read some of the most amazing blog ever written! Everything referenced here is very well said and i can relate one way or another, which gives me a sense of relief and a boost of confidence! Keep on the good work. It’s great and yes Knowledge is power.

    Best regards,

    🙂

  29. Eno

    June 8, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    @ rethots: Word!
    @ TrueTalk formerly known s TruthHurts: Thank God for our mothers, our backbone in times of fear/confusion.

    When i expressed my doubts about the “institution”, my mother said (in Ibo) “You don’t avoid the war for the fear of a few bullets”. That shut me up, especially coming from someone who had a ‘challenging’ marriage, for want of a better way to put it.

    To Abbey, if you’ve got committment-phobia, its ok. Most people have something they’re afraid of
    When you want to, you can treat it the way phsycologists treat most phobias – face it head on. It won’t kill you.
    However, do it only when you’re good and ready.

  30. Komster

    June 8, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    It’s perfectly ok to not want to be committed to someone especially in marriage; as long as you’re honest with yourself and potential suitors so noone is wasting anybody’s time. So I completely relate to the author’s stand.

    @Eno, is it a must to be married??!! why must someone face it head on? That’s the problem with marriage nowadays, people are just getting married for no reason or to fit in with society. They’re getting married without truly knowing themselves and their partners.

    Marriage is not a requirement for life; your life does not start and end when you get married, it is a CHOICE!!! For me to want to get married, It has to be with someone who not only complements me, but also uplifts me; someone you want as a companion for life.

  31. Komster

    June 8, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    It’s perfectly ok to not want to be committed to someone especially in marriage; as long as you’re honest with yourself and potential suitors so noone is wasting anybody’s time. So I completely relate to the author’s stand.

    Is it a must to be married??!! why must someone face it head on? That’s the problem with marriage nowadays, people are just getting married for no reason or to fit in with society. They’re getting married without truly knowing themselves and their partners.

    Marriage is not a requirement for life; your life does not start and end when you get married, it is a CHOICE!!! For me to want to get married, It has to be with someone who not only complements me, but also uplifts me; someone you want as a companion for life.

  32. Omoye

    June 8, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    One of the main reasons why marriages fail in Nigeria today is that a lot of our ladies spent time preparing for and focussing on the wedding and less time praying for and focussing on the marriage. After the “fantasy” of the wedding they have no idea or stamina left in them to sustain or even begin the married life. Ladies get a grib. Focus on that which will last for eternity and not the fantasy of two/three days event because you want your wedding to be better than your peers. God help us all in Jesus Christ name amen.

  33. Omoye

    June 8, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    I also believe that many women marry for the wrong reasons; same with men. Many of our generation marry for the wrong reason. If your partner’s love does not remind you of how much God’s love is to His Children – a love that is unselfish with pretence, putting you first before themself, sacrificing, humble, always of service to your need – then you need not marry that person even if they are the most beautiful and handsome person in the world. You should marry a woman or man that makes you feel (not by mere words) that you are the “bestest” and most beautiful woman or handsome man in the world. And always pray, patient and have faith in God.

  34. Godlovesme4me

    June 8, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    Hmm…thats wat fear does to us, makes us think the negativity of a positive thing. I understand and get all you said and I must admit it does scare me based on what I see from my folks and other folks out there…however I believe by God’s grace the “institution” I find myself will be soothing and joyful for me and him. So Abby (oloruko mi), I think with time the feeling will pass and I pray it happens for you when you are indeed ready for it.

    BellaNaija…you rock!!!

  35. Nicole

    June 9, 2010 at 1:23 am

    Gosh Abby, I had the same discussion with my mother last week. I have been telling them for years now that marriage is just not for me. I don’t get a squeezing sensation but when I think of it, my body gets cold and clammy all over and I literally feel like running. This world and its many societies, however, seem to think that it is only men who could possibly feel that way. After all, every woman needs a man or a husband and the accompanying children to validate her, without one, our existence is deemed pointless. KIE, so they say! Maybe it frightens them… the thought of too many happy single ladies running around. There are those who will assume that a single woman by choice must be loose, an old maid, incapable of attracting a man because of some deficit on her part. You can achieve huge things in your life and that of others and they will still look down on you if there is no man around. Sometimes I wonder if it is mere rebellion on my part because it makes me angry that there are not only men but women who still feel this way and instill the same thought process in the minds of their own daughters and sons. This subject is a literal Pandora’s box, because it opens the door to so many other discussions and issues related to gender roles – too many to be discussed here in one shot. My dear, every day you have to field questions about when you will marry and bear one child or the other. It used to upset me but now I just smile when they ask, because I firmly believe that the point of any discussion or argument should be progress and after a while, you recognize that no matter what you say to them, you cannot change their belief systems. So, instead you live your life and do you to the best of your ability. I love freedom and I just find that I am most comfortable on my own. Even in a good relationship, I have felt stifled. Men accuse me of running away each time they try to get close. Marriage, when it is right, is good, so I’ve been told, but since this same marriage is permanent or I should say, supposed to be permanent, I have to ask myself do I really want to risk it. Then if I am an unlucky one, I am stuck if I don’t want to divorce. If I divorce, the same ones who ushered me into marriage will be there to take me a peg lower by calling me a wanton woman. It’s serious business, just like making the choice to be a mother. Hence the reason we have so many crazies having babies. Many don’t think about the choices they make and when they make them. Instead, they allow themselves and their lives to be conducted by the directives of society and traditions. Knowledge is power and I say that should I meet that being, that creature, that I can feel so comfortable with, that understands and accepts my personality, my character, while I do the same for him without feeling like I have gone from being my father’s daughter to now being Mrs. so and so, then maybe I will consider marriage. But look oh, people change sometimes and maybe it starts out that way and in some years, you can’t stand each other and then what? You are still stuck. It boils down to the fact that being alone does not have to mean being lonely, if you are living a life guided by the goals and principles you have set for yourself, helping others, doing your best to remain a progressive member of your community etc. etc., then single life can be equally enriching and fulfilling. Those same ones who love to quote the bible on the issue of marriage should go back and read what the apostle Paul said about marriage and those who marry. It is not everything that is for everyone and that goes for us women too.

  36. Odufaderin Sandra

    June 9, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    Marriage is a good thing at least for the sake of having ur kids but u most not expect too much from your husband cos there is a big difference from relationship and mariage the angel u are dating today could become the worst demon after mariage but all the same it’s important just pray to God for help and make sure in relationship the guy is more in love dan u forcing ur self so that after marriage it will balance cos i woman own relatioship but in mariage the husband is completly incharge

  37. rj

    June 9, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    Dear Abby..i am so scared myself its sickening..tried a relationship once but it somehow ended.was not just right but still I think when the right one comes,all the fears and phobic feelings dissolve with it.
    Lol @commitment-phobics anonymous..

  38. Komster

    June 10, 2010 at 1:45 am

    well said Nicole!!
    I’m sick of these folks and their “you must get married and endure it” attitude.
    I LOVE my freedom, and it’s gonna stay that way for a while…until the right person comes along, and if they don’t exist, I’ll still be fulfilled!!

  39. Dele Ekundayo

    June 10, 2010 at 6:53 am

    Im not sure I understand the purpose of this article. Does she feel she has to justify her single state? She stated she has no appeal (interest) in marriage. She wants to (for now) remain a leopardess roaming free hunting for lunch and water….

    All fine with me, go enjoy.. but what I don’t understand is the dalliance around marriages, of which she has no knowledge, she is making wild assumptions and quoting “nor here or there” statistics. Yes there is a “high” divorce rate percentage. What about the percentage that succeeds? they don’t count? Will she not ever drive or fly in order to protect herself from possible road accidents and airline crashes?.

    It really grates me when people use words like “institution” in relation to marriages. An institution of what? Higher learning? suits me or an asylum? It is an adjective that if used loosely can have very different meanings.. either a compliment or an insult. Then she says marriage has a “permanance” to it. Helllooo, what should it be? Temporary? abeg.

    Marriage is personal to everybody. We all have different experiences. Some have been married and are no longer. Some don’t want to be married – again a well informed choice that adults make. Some people (like myself) have always dreamed of it and can’t imagine not being married. I don’t think I am better than anyone else. Marriage is full of trials and tribulations.. but one thing I always realise is.. after overcoming every one of them.. there is an added certain glow to me and this radiates on all of us.. This is my picture I am painting. So my point is, each to their own. Ms Beckley should realise “People are most resistant to change until they change”.

  40. seyi

    June 10, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    Hi chics, good to have you pour out your mind and to know you are not the only one feeling that way. But I think marriage is just one of those things humans usually have jitters about because of the thought of permanency! Here are some things I think will help ease the tension
    1. Do not focus on the “forever” bit; leave one day at a time! “Sufficient for it (1 day), is the troubles thereof” Do your best to pick the person you love! Not the “things” you like… car, more, affluence, family background etc (u know) wink!
    2. Stop focusing on the negatives! Stay positive! Just the same way you believe you can’t be poor or stop being beautiful or that there would always be products and things that can be used to enhance your beauty. Find one couple you love and admire, keep the picture in mind. Remove all the age long bad and negative patterns in your mind. Yes throw them away! As a person thinketh so she is!
    3. You can’t throw your siblings away! No matter how bad! We must all stop seeing our spouses as other people’s children but as your sibling that lived away from home!
    4. Our roles in life have been defined and set (you may not like this) but focus on doing yours, you will be surprised how well things will work out when we stop wishing to act as men. God in His wisdom knew you had the ability and power to function in your role and that’s why you were created a CHIC!
    5. PRAY! PRAY!! PRAY!!! Yes Pray, GREAT things happen when you pray. Chics should start spending more time on their knees than with the brush in front of the mirror. Settle your past, present and FUTURE…MARRIAGE with prayer. There’s more to life than fancy dresses, human hair, Mary Kay or Mac!
    6. Enjoy your singlehood! Well I am not contradicting myself. Here is what I am saying: when out of a relationship, do thorough appraisals of the last. Take time to note, learn and imbibe the lessons from the experience. TAKE TIME TO HEAL AND GROW. Then be sure you are ready for another relationship before posting the vacancy sign. Chics (and guys too) get burnt too often, then it’s a case of one too many- why me all the time? You don’t have to be in a relationship to be happy or because he is rich, famous or “fine” or because it cool to be in one or because everyone is in one! Before you say yes to the next fine boy that comes your way, ask yourself what he wants from you and how far he is and you are willing to go. What/where will this lead to? ZIP UPPPPPPP! YES PLEASSSEEEE ZIP UP.
    If guys don’t have it easy to get all the time then they will appreciate the one (WOMAN) they have gotten.
    Love urself for who you are, we don’t need a guy to tell us how beautiful or intelligent we are before we know or believe that truth. DONT BE PRESSURED.
    I am not preaching what I haven’t tried: I waited for 6 years (no boyfriend at all those years) before getting into this relationship (would be getting married last quarter of the year). So I know it is not easy!
    7. Do unto other as you would have them do to you! Treat your person and their family as you would have him treat yours. LOVE him and his family, find out what they like and try (may not be easy) to blend. But I am not in support of anything anti-GOD and His principles, am not saying; join them in doing the wrong things. NOTHING BREAKS A MAN LIKE LOVE. DO YOUR BEST AND REJOICE IN YOUR PORTION. Be honest! TRUST GOD. DON’T SELL YOURSELF CHEAP!

  41. Sav

    June 11, 2010 at 10:39 am

    Sounds sooo much like me.
    I get goose bumps and temporary shock when the issue of marriage comes up.
    I feel like I’m suffocating… that claustrophobic feeling, when a relationship starts getting serious, and so far, always find an excuse and bail. I find a guy wanting to be with me/talk to me all the time clingy (I know… most girls would like that from their man).
    I even get prophetic… like I literally see where and why a relationship with Mr. X will end.

    But here’s the thing… I’m a hopeless romantic, and like the idea of marriage. I actually look forward to falling hopelessly in love with a man who’d love me the way I am. Someone who believes I was put on this earth to be all I can be, and allows me to pursue that. While working his way to be all he can be. Whether that exists or not, I don’t know… But as I said, I’m a hopeless romantic…

  42. Sav

    June 11, 2010 at 10:45 am

    …Btw, great advice Seyi

  43. DUDU

    June 11, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    I was hoping to see rebuttals from happily married bella naija readers. Alas! there are none. Is thi because all that has been said here by singles is true?

    Married women in the house please share your experiences o! We’re itching to hear them.

  44. Black beauty

    June 12, 2010 at 4:46 am

    Ever since I was 12 or 13, I always told my friends I didn’t want to get married. It’s not that I come from a broken home, my parents’ relationship is one I admire a lot. I just think my mom is one of those lucky women, and my dad a lucky man. Many marriages break, or don’t work out well, then the women, especially African women stay in it because of their kids while the men find joy happiness and satisfaction in the arms of another/other women.

    Now I am an adult, and I really do not want to get married. I wish I could get my wish, just do boyfriends and end the relationship when it is not working well, but the society will not allow that. A successful woman is expected to have a man in her life, or people will say all kind of things. I have never been in a serious relationship, well I’ve always been the unserious one. The thought of giving up my wonderful life and being in a committed relationship just sends some shivers down my spine. You are not alone at all, no matter how much I like someone, there’s is always this doubt in my mind. Like what if we get too serious? What is he wants to settle down in a few years? This my commitment issue repelled my recent catch, but I am not really worried even though I should be.

    But you know as they say, it’s all about finding the right person. I don’t know if you belief in God, but if you pray about your “toasters,” one of them might be the one God has chosen for you. That way you will not have to worry. Of course there’ll be rocky times, like every relationship, but that makes it all fun. I have never been married, I’m just trying to see things from both sides since I am the only one that can talk to myself about these things. I don’t have friends that have these problems- they are all looking for husband material in any guy, so it’s really wierd for them to hear stuff like this.

  45. R-C

    June 13, 2010 at 12:21 am

    WOW! I had no idea there were this many ladies that felt this way ’bout the “sacred union” lol,but I totally relate with abby and the other ladies,i wasn’t scared of commitment i just wasn’t going to be rushed or pressured into getting married for any reason.

    So? i took my time,enjoyed my “singlehood” and when my husband i decided to get married it just felt natural-not forced or obligatory(and i was 29 by the way).Anyother time we talked about marriage before then i would just panic cos i wasn’t ready. I always noticed the bad marriages but paid attention to the good ones.I dont agree with the comments that marriage should not be faced “head on”,it’s not a life or death issue for Christ’s sake!

    Now i’m married to someone who puts me first in all things,his concerns are important to me as mine are to him.These are the important aspects singles should pay attention to when dating.
    I always tell ladies not to settle for anything less as long as their desires are reasonable :).I was ready to compromise but not important things like my career,faith etc.

    So ladies,apprehension is okay..it just means you respect the idea of marriage.Take your time,enjoy single status,know what you want and when the right guy comes along it will feel natural like mine did!

  46. say walayi?

    June 13, 2010 at 12:37 am

    I feel the same way! I love my freedom!

    I’m not anti-marriage, I just feel like I’d rather not do it than get it wrong. Please for everyone out there, DON’T GET MARRIED just because of pressure from society. You know who you are, and if you have not found the person you would love to spend the rest of your life with. And even if you think you’ve found the right person, it’s still not a must to get married if it doesn’t truly feel right.

  47. PalmwineTapper

    June 14, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    I’m glad women are starting to question the one institution society has made them
    feel inadequate for not being a part of.
    Marriage is not for everyone. And I firmly believe that until a woman knows who
    she is, what she’s about and wants, she should not dare tread that path of marriage.
    The risk factors for females (especially in societies identified by patriarchy e.g. Nigeria),
    are much more higher hence she must be more cautious.

    Another thing, fear of commitment is not equivalent to fear of marriage, although there
    is a strong connection because marriage is arguably the utmost symbol of
    commitment in society.
    Just because you’re afraid of commitment doesn’t belittle the value of marriage.
    Your fear of commitment is its own entity and should be handled as such.
    If you’re afraid to commit, then you’re afraid to commit. Even if it’s just
    your boyfriend.

  48. moi

    June 16, 2010 at 9:28 am

    I really love this article and I totally agree with Palmwine Tapper’s comment.

    Since I was a young girl, I’ve always been of the opinion that I didn’t want to be married. Not because of a fear of commitment or because I’ve had bad examples but I just always knew it wasn’t for me. I LOVE my own company and the thought of sharing it for the rest of my life with another person doesn’t seem fair! LOL! Maybe as years go by, I’ll change my mind… For those that are married I really am happy for them. But I get Abbey’s point; society makes you feel like because u don’t want to get married, esp if u r woman, u r somehow inadequate and clearly delusional! Even other women, just can’t seem to get it and usually are the worst judges. However, I’m a firm believer in know who u r and live life as best as u can. LIfe’s too short to try and please other ppl. If u want to get married, please do so and be happy. If u never want to get married, please don’t and enjoy every single moment of ur fabulous single life.

    Live by ur values and let others live by theirs.

  49. bootysue

    June 16, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    i can truely understand how a lot of u ladies are feeling and i dont blame you at
    all. i have been married for 7 years and i must confess the first few years i wish i never did and wanted to get my freedom back. my husband like a host of other men can be very selfish and being woman with our emotions get irritated with this and this often ends up in a massive row at times. they make the laws but then they are above the same law. Albeit all said, he still has his many good sides which i have decided to concentrate on, i know am not perfect too. the last few years have been wonderful. Ladies, a word of advice is this ” do not lower your standards when choosing the right person” there are somethings u see in them before getting married that u might think u can change, sorry mate, u cant, they can even get wowose and this makes life miserable for a woman. i wish u all d best in choosing d right man, of course there are still a lot of them out there who are more up to date on how a woman should be trated.

  50. MsDee

    June 18, 2010 at 5:42 am

    Thank you Abbey for this article, Finally I don’t feel weird and alone anymore.
    I’m only 24 but I have been pressure about marriage ever since i turned 20. I have seen enough marriages in my small life-time on earth and I can tell you. Its scary and unattractive. Most of the times i get so frustrated for the women in the marriage that I losed the word RESPECT in the my dictionary. I don’t mind commitment but MARRIAGE….now that’s like 9/11 for me. I want to have kids, make love and the rest to any man i feel compatible with (My naija big sister believes I’m a white girl in naija skin for thinking this way). But lets not kid ourselves, everything changes where the knots are tied. I had turned down two marriage proposals because of this crazy pressure and I’m pleased because I’m in a healthy relationship where we truly understand each other.

    Can anyone tell me why married women or friends pressure their single friends or sister?

  51. DaBreeze

    June 28, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    I believe we are coming to a point where folks (both guys and girls) will stop marrying for marrying’s sake (or for society’s sake) but will marry because they truly want to be with the other person for the rest of their lives. If staying single (or unmarried) makes you happy, it’s all good. Besides, there are a lot of women (and men, I believe) who are very much into the idea of marriage.

  52. Gentle sick

    June 29, 2010 at 10:26 am

    I really is lovin BN…but all dis writeups is doing is gettin me all pissed n disappoinmted…all male dissingbeefin writeups…arghhhhh most sickenin…i only wish 4 a balance u guys r gettin all feminist on me…its so eazy 4 ladies to villify d men n shun d fact dat so many of you r most messed up beyond help…get real..nonsense

  53. ome

    July 3, 2010 at 12:25 am

    Its really refreshing to know that I’m not d only 1 scared of long term commitment.
    But one thing I’ve learnt, take it one day at a time, it should pan out well.

  54. rasaq dada

    July 6, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    give me reason how naija babes nade in d street

  55. Uwie

    July 8, 2010 at 10:30 am

    @seyi: ur comments are so on point!

    I have been really scared of marriage cos of all d things we hear n see about it!
    I know that i love d concept of marriage but all the negativity makes me wonder if its worth it

    But by praying and telling my creator all my fears, not rushing into it and having faith that mine wnt turn out like the others i have seen and God would give me the right partner, i believe it would be ok!

  56. imusttalkmyown

    July 21, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    PLS TELL THEM – all those know-it-all-marriage-is-the-answer ladies, who just cannot appreciate the FACT that there are some of us who are GENUINELY not interested in marriage, commitment, men etc… I cannot count how many times i’ve had to explain to friends (male/female), family n even colleagues that I am HAPPILY single @ 27 n have NO desire to ‘settle down’ (such an annoying word for marriage…how is it settling down pls? when most stop having peace of mind when married…hissss)….that i like to be on my own cos I am selfish and I dont want to share myself with anybody else…that i am a loner…that i like it like that….

    BUT NOOOOO, they dont get it…they say its a ‘cover-up’ and deep inside I’m dying to get hitched…it used to annoy me alot before, now I just agree with whatever is said so the convo ends quickly….I suppose for they who crave company, it is unconceivable for one to be content alone.

    always happy to be a friend tho, but once things start getting serious, i freak out! I dont do ‘meet the family’ and infact, the easiest and surest way a guy can get me to take my shoes off and run for miles is asking me to meet his mother, brother, father, sister or anyone in his family! LOL

    but like they all say: when u meet the right guy, all that will change…well, i aint waiting so gudluck to him! 🙂

    Thank you Abby! Infact, God bless you for this…it will be me, u and the guys at the commitment phobes anonymous meeting! LOL

  57. imusttalkmyown

    July 21, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    *inconceivable*

  58. Papaecho

    July 22, 2010 at 7:53 am

    I used to get the “lung squeeze”, clamy hands and upper lip perspiration (uugh underarms too TBH) I wore the shoes the author now dons (first long post on BN and my texts are disappearing – what’s with that?).I loved sappy love stories (still do, Best Man is my all time fave) and bawled my eyes out at weddings (still do my friends think I’m loco) but when it came to me agreeing to tie the knot I was as weary as our 9ja brothers are (picture uncomfortable squirming while the brother kneels and points the ring at you like a loaded weapon). Well I am getting married on Saturday the 24th Yippie!, I flash my engagement ring with reckless abandon and at any one who glances my way (take that you glance-r lol). What cured my commitment phobia was, apparently, not considering a life sentence with some jerk man whose tune I’d have to dance to, whose family would breath down my neck, whose culture dictates that I serve, honour and obey. So yes, here is to loving men with no tude, clutterless cultures and who love ya back.

  59. Sosso

    July 23, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    I totally agree with all these comments. I honestly at one point thought I was the
    only one. I grew up as an independent woman, truly traveled overseas alone tr
    traveled every where alone moved out at 19 raised abroad. Always did what I
    to do with out a care in the world. I thought marriage was a joke besides who
    wants it right? Then like night when both my parents died, it hit me like a ton of
    bricks “real family is not what your born into it is what you create.” I realized
    it would be nice to share my life with some one, and stop running from all
    the suitors that came my way. I am now in my thirties and there is a sadness
    when you wake up and feel your truly alone. It is the worst feeling in the
    world, and after fifteen years of traveling I am quite tired. This does not mean
    ladies that I am going to as my aunt would say “marry any one in trousers,” lol.
    I realized the men that I do date now it has to lead to something serious, I am
    still taking my time and I am at peace with marriage when it does come. I know
    I can not marry any one that can not handle his family. I don’t worry about those things because ladies things any more, times have changed those days of reckless nonsense are not
    over but have subsided. Overall my belief system is very,strong and I know that
    the God I serve is not going to allow me to fall in the arms of the wrong guy.
    God has saved me from bad unions in the past and I am forever grateful. I let
    any man I am dating know who I am. I travel still a little and I like to have some
    independent, I would love to have children but couldn”t see myself being a stay
    home mom. I overall I know that God has a man out there that will understand
    me and me him. I also, like the fact that I am older I always knew I would not be
    a young mom. I have friends who rushed and married and are now divorced
    you can not make a life with another human being if you do not know yourself
    first. What happens is the woman wakes up in the middle and realizes who am
    I besides this wife and mother? That ladies is a problem. I suggest to live your
    life and let things happen naturally. At one point I did panic all the good men are
    gone oh no lol. I am now past that I know the man God has in store for me will
    be there when I am ready. I am so at peace with that. Now that I am in my
    thirties I know who I am as a woman, what my capabilities are what I desire, and
    what I don”t. I believe now I would make a better wife and mother as I have
    come of age as a woman. I knew If I rushed into marriage as many others did
    early on I might have been divorced by now, or in an unhappy union. I was also
    scared as you get older you put your fear aside to share a life with some one,
    and though there are soo many bad marriages there are also soo many good
    ones. Forget what people are saying or what your hearing and know that your
    own union will be ordained by GOD! And take your time DO NOT RUSH INTO
    MARRIAGE FOR THE SAKE OF MARRIAGE! Find the right one it will happen
    and when you meet the right one you will be so surprised how quickly your
    fears go away that is when you know he is the one.

  60. Abs

    July 23, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    This post and its comments has been really interesting to read and I find myself agreeing with everyone.
    However I think today’s views on marriage are very unbiblical and unfair.
    For practical advice on the single life and working towards marriage, I recommend boundless.org

  61. Sisi

    August 19, 2010 at 11:41 am

    I am glad that topics considered taboo are being discussed openly these days – wearing natural African hair, choosing not to marry, suffering from a mental illness…..

    On the subject of marriage, I share the writer’s view: I am not interested in getting married. I do not take this stance because I believe Men are selfish, marriages everywhere are crumbling or for some other reasons some ladies have put forward.
    Marriage is a divinely intituted permanent union of a man & a woman. God intended a husband & his wife to find contentment in a happy, life-long marriage. However, nowhere does the bible say marriage is a must-do, a prerequite for fulfillment in life or an achievement.
    I am refering to the bible because many religious people use it to constrain others to marry making out that it is a christian requirement. Others, like some commentators here use the bible to “cure” those who wish to remain single as if such wish were a disease and somewhat abnormal, unnatural or even ungodly, dare I say.
    I love my singleness. One of my happiest moments are when no one is home so I have the whole house to myself to indulge in my solitude. That in no way implies I eschew companionship. I have a thriving social life. I also believe I do not need someone to be happy. For me singleness is not synonymous with loneliness and despair.
    Additionally, I do not want to have a child. The fickleness and wickedness of the world we live in already make parenting an untoward task. I am of the opinion that it is better to raise orphaned children in institutions (through adoption) than bring more kids into the world. It’s just a person opinion – though I am still waiting to see the subject of adoption dicussed and promoted more openly-.
    We, the women who do not intend tying to knot should acknowledge the colossal family and societal forces against us. Are we individually ready and prepared for the incessant onslaught? It’s not for the fain-hearted, I must warn.

    • Vicky

      May 10, 2011 at 6:17 am

      You just voiced my opinion. Excellent post! Nothing more to add, nothing to subtract.

  62. me

    August 30, 2010 at 8:56 am

    I do agree with you. I am a single mom, my life is filled with my son. I am scared of marriage really, based on what I have seen already in the family, friends, I feel do I need this headache? Do I need a man to drive me mad. I have enough work as it is with my job, my kid, whom I have to attend to, happily. Also the fact that I have to wash a man’s underwear drives me crazy, can’t they even do that? I like to be treted as I treat others, I also like my privacy, having days when I don’t have to talk to anyone, my siblings call them unreachable days, when i am not angry, but would like to stay in my bedroom, reading, watching movies, thinking or praying, will I be able to do that if i have a master to obey? Arghhh!

  63. anon

    November 1, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    hi I am twenty-six and female, finally found someone I can see myself spending the rest of my life with. In one of the earlier posts, someone wrote that you should see marriage as you and your friend, walking side by side. It didn’t feel like that for me when I dated a guy who had a temper and really bad moods. My boyfriend now, I sling my arm around his shoulder like we’re old friends. It’s really nice, and I hope that for everyone. The thing to remember is to give people a chance. Except a guy really crosses the limit, no need for words like ‘creepy guy’ or even describing people as ugly or short, etc and so not giving them a chance. The tall guy might be mean and the handsome guy, self-centered 🙂 Just saying sha. It’s a waiting game but don’t be all shy and waiting forever either (dear women of the twenty-first century :-)). You can express interest without being forward, if you see someone you think you might hit it off with. I think many of the fears expressed here have some basis, but I hope you find someone to ease your fears and love you with an easy, appreciative, unending love 🙂

    • My2cents

      November 3, 2010 at 4:51 am

      As far as I am concerned, a man should be looking for a woman and not the other way round. Is that not why the bible said that HE that findeth a wife findeth a good thing? Did the bible say “she” that findeth a husband findeth a good thing? Besides, not everyone is cut out for marraige or wants it. Some people are scared of it while others just don’t have any interest in the institutuion kinda like some people prefering Ogbonno soup over egusi and vice versa. So, let those who want to get married forge right ahead and let those who are true to themselves and know the institution is not for them remain HAPPILY single. Its that simple.

  64. smiles

    November 3, 2010 at 11:30 pm

    hi, i feel dis soooo much. that was me yrs back… infact, i dint even want to av a relationship… i was cool with d ‘toasting’ stage and all, buh once he starts u know… wanting to b exclusive, i run fast!!!!! buh funny enuf, i av a boyfy now, infaact, we r engaged. with him, im stil my natural self and i dont feel choked up. i think (i think) there wld b a guy out there dat actually makes u feel kinda normal…and plssss dont settle for less.

  65. BB

    December 12, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Nice Post; First i share ur feelings Annie;indeed i too dont tink marriage is a prerequisite for happiness.
    To me my HAPPINESS is very impt.i do ask myself what is a fulfilled/Sucessful life for a lady.And the answer that lingers is that, ther is no defines standard.It depends on the indiv.I would want to live to fulfill my goals, mariage is amongst it, but i differ in the sense that….I am not so mad about it.Am in my 20’s..at this point all my friends are getting mariied.I have been MOH to some, and for others who still have theirs comin and request me to joi the bridal trian;i happily do it for my friends, i share their joy, in gracing their ocasion.But i dont let that eat deep into me.Though i have goten my own share of a failed relationship.i have a son.who i so much cherish.And one of my dreams is to be financial capable, physical upright,emotional filled to live life at its best with my son with or without a MAN in our life.I think marriage is better EXPERIENCED than Imajined.GURLS/LADIES shd think deep be4 goin in for commitment.
    HELLO;to all da SINGLE LADIES in d House.Enjoy ur singlenes while it lasts….learn new things and apreciate evrything abt You.

  66. Opy

    April 15, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    Nice piece Abbey. I am 37 and have also reached a point in my life where I have concluded I don’t want to get married. Its a liberating feeling. Men think they do you a favour by asking you out as a single woman. Now I tell them am not looking and they find it difficult to believe. I have a good life, a good job, beautiful looks etc. I’ll adopt two beautiful girls and move on with life. Just by taking this decision, all my eroded self esteem has returned.

    • Cecilia

      May 10, 2011 at 6:12 am

      Good for you! I plan to do the same. I plan to adopt and call it a day because my happiness and piece of mind is very important to me. I also do not want kids of mine own. I prefer to adopt and I have already told my family and they are cool with my decision.

  67. brittany

    February 16, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    This is such an amazing article!I couldn’t agree more..sometimes the guy means it and really loves u..but as imperfect human beings with sinful tendencies, they end up doing something to hurt u…i feel too proud to get hurt and i know for sure that hurting me makes me give up on the world…so just to avoid that, i refrain from entering into that institution…m friends always say don’t be afraid to get hurt..u have to take risks…but i say i have to safeguard my heart cos as the bible says out of it comes the fountain of life..i realized after all that its human to have that longing and wanna love and be loved…eventually someone is gonna hurt u…so just take the risk and put in all the effort…if its not worth it…u know u tried..*deepsigh* marriage marriage marriage…too much betrayal these days i don’t think i wanna marry

  68. tee

    December 2, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    i do not agree with most of the comments made here on marriage.im happily married to a great man n honestly my marriage is so sweet. My hubby helps out in practically everything at home;from ironing my clothes, to clearing d dishes,even feeding our babies. Marriage was ordained by God n d best way to have a happy home is to prayerfully commit ur marriage to his hands before u even begin dating. You should speak prophetically into ur home n spouse daily. Of a truth,there are quite a nos of failed marriages but most times d foundation is faulty. If one builds on sand,no matter how beautiful d house is it would one day come crashing down. Abbys fears r quite legit but we never accomplish anything if we live in fear. We need to know that when God said It isnt good for man to be alone,he knew what he ws talking abt. There are lots of good model marriages,its not all abt d flash,dash and cash. Im grateful t God dt im married to a wonderful man but its all to the grace of God

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