There is a general misconception that every single woman is praying day and night, for a spouse. This is incorrect. Personally, I find myself praying more about my career and bank account balance than I do about a potential life partner.
This isn’t an article about how I don’t need a man or how men aren’t important. Truth be told, men are important and marriage, when done properly, can be a wonderful thing. But I have come to the realization that marriage is a part of life and not life itself. I came to this realization a few years ago. There I was, 27, single and heart broken over another failed relationship when the thought hit me. “Glory, what if God, has decided that you won’t get married for another 5 years? Are you really going to spend the next 5 years of your life, throwing pity parties and wondering if the next guy, who says ‘hello’ is the one? Surely, there has to be something more fulfilling to do with your time”. There and then I made my decision to focus on things that were within my control. i.e. finishing graduate school, my career, focusing on building my character and other aspects of life.
It’s amazing what such an outlook does to your mind set. It’s utterly liberating. I no longer wonder if the guy I met last week Saturday, is going propose in 6 months. I don’t spend my free time idly browsing through wedding dresses while sighing hopelessly and I find my emotions so at peace that I am able to be absolutely happy for all my friends who are currently in fabulous relationships, engaged or married. Unfortunately those around me are not so liberated in their own thinking.
A few weeks ago, a friend of a colleague came to the office, sporting a baby bump. I congratulated her on her upcoming bundle of joy and new marriage. Only to find her praying for me and advising me to be patient, “that my time would soon come”. I thought it strange that someone who barely knew me would think that my congratulatory messages somehow masked any form of envy for her situation. I mentioned this to my colleague later in the day and she admitted she felt awkward about it too but mentioned that she had done similar to a single friend of theirs earlier.
I’d have put her actions down to pregnancy hormones, if I hadn’t experienced various versions of this ‘single woman needs a man’ attitude in various aspects of society. A friend of mine, recently, went to speak to her pastor about some challenges she was facing at work. After 30minutes of speaking with him, she left without discussing her problem. Why? Because the pastor had decided the bigger issue, was her unmarried status and began to pray about that instead. Another friend of mine complained to me about how her married friends completely cut her out of social activities because she always had a different date and their husbands think she is a ‘bad influence’.
Single men are also not excluded from this new form of single women xenophobia. For some reason, men think, hinting at the prospect of marriage is sufficient to keep any single women under lock and key. Recently, a guy who I had decided not to date told me he didn’t understand my reason for being unnecessarily picky. Apparently, my age didn’t afford me the luxury of time and since he had already told me he was willing to propose, in a few months, he didn’t see why I was being hesitant. Clearly, he had me mistaken for someone who actually gave a damn.
With these various attitudes, it’s no wonder some single women find life frustrating. Sometimes, I wonder if we actually want to get married because we’ve found the right person or because society wont leave us alone. You’d think with all the stories of divorce, people would be a little more careful before they said their ‘I do’s’. On the contrary, our society has made marriage into this utopia that is the answer to all things. Whereas, life itself still continues after marriage. The woman you are, your career, your values, education, financial status and character are still ingredients you need to make life pleasant after marriage.
I see getting married, like the days after secondary school when everyone was anxiously waiting to enter university. Some of my friends traveled immediately after the final secondary schools exams, while I waited to write JAMB. Those days, conversations were filled with who got what result, what school they got accepted into and what they were studying. Some people had to repeat various exams just to enter their preferred universities. Today, no one remembers any of that because we are all at enviable levels in our respective careers. The same is true about marriage, one day, in a few years time, no one will care who got married first or who got married last.
I think accepting being single is a big step in accepting who you are and giving yourself room to enjoy life and all it holds, instead of constantly concentrating on what’s missing. Most guys can spot a woman fishing for a proposal a mile away and will use that as a tool to play you as they see fit. But when you are a confident woman, who is about her business, you wouldn’t have time for any time wasters and only the truly serious men will be able to get your attention. The sooner everyone admits that there is more to life than being married, the sooner we single ladies can have some peace. We will all get married at some point, but in the meantime there are other things to get on with. There are places to visit, new people to meet, promotions to fill and money to be made! So please, the next time the urge takes you to pray about my single status, kindly include my need for a bigger account balance in such prayers. Many thanks!
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