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Made-in-Naija Wifey: Why Your Single Friends Still Count

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Ipheoma ElebeI sat there listening to auntie Nneka as she gave me marital advice. I had shown up on her doorstep; not seeking marital advice (as the catechist that handled my pre-marriage course was doing a good job already), I was simply to drop her asoebi material and hit the door. But no, auntie just had to offer me orange juice and I just had to accept and live through twenty minutes of pure torture all in the name of ‘marital advice’. “You know now that you are about getting married, you have to stop associating with all those single friends of yours. They would only mislead you and make you think being single is better than being married. Next thing you know, you would get fed up with your husband and leave him, only for one of them to jump in and start reaping where you have sowed”. I was nodding respectfully like an agama lizard while screaming ‘lai lai’ in my head.
You see, I didn’t have any friend I could dump; I loved all my friends too much and we had all being through too much for me to just stop talking to them because I was getting married.

I don’t know why a chunk of ladies who get married before their friends assume all their friends want their man. Yes, your beau is tall, handsome and loaded; you think you are the luckiest girl in the world and that your friends would give an arm and a leg to get yo man…WRONG!

They want their own man; their spec is probably very different from yours. Just ’cause you got your dream doesn’t mean it’s someone else’s dream. The secret dreams that keep us awake at night differ! I am so lucky to have kept all my single friends and I have had the immense pleasure of watching some of them getting married as well. So what are the benefits of retaining your single friends after marriage? So many, but let’s look at four good ones.

They keep you trendy! Marriage, career and babies require sacrifice DAILY and it’s so easy to lose ourselves in trying to achieve work/life balance. It’s hard to keep up with fashion trends and spend an entire day at the salon or have the time to browse through Instagram boutiques with a man to cater to and babies that need their mummy (oh! your boss and clients need YOU too).
This is the number one reason many married women are depressed…they have let themselves go. They are now a shadow of the person who always looked chic and lavished on shoes and collected perfume bottles. If you still have your single friends, chances are they won’t let you get away with it. If it goes on for too long, they would have to stage an intervention and give you that treat you feel too guilty to give yourself. It’s your single friends that would tell you about the latest wig in town that doesn’t shred and the difference between coffin nails and pencil nails. A lot of people would attack and say I am talking about stuff that are irrelevant in marriage, but sister if you knew how important taking care of yourself is ehn, you no go talk dat kan tin. A woman’s self esteem and personal grooming is important if she is to function in her many roles adequately without buckling under pressure. Trust your single friends to scream blue murder if you are fast becoming a shadow of yourself. No need getting angry at their frankness, it’s only a wake up call. Allow them get you dressed, and book that appointment to spoil yourself. You sef, you be human being.

Interesting conversations are another advantage with your still-single friends. Contrary to what a number of wives and mothers believe, the world doesn’t revolve around in-laws wahala, husbands that just don’t get it, PTA meetings, school runs, town meetings, child dedications and bla bla bla. Frankly, I get tired of sitting with my fellow married women gist sometimes. At times like that, I dial up one of my single friends and get to catch up on trending topics. I have a regular job, a side business, a husband and a daughter; I don’t have time to watch CNN except I am waiting for a meeting in someone’s reception, neither do I have time for all the series I love so much, and on some days, the world could collapse around me and I won’t even know! So I am grateful for the weekends, stuck-in-traffic, lunch-time or insomnia-filled night conversations I get to have with my single girlfriends. I thrive on good, engaging conversations and though I get that from a handful of married friends, I still tap into the reservoir and thinking faculties of my single friends. One recently recommended an online course for me that has been so helpful on the job! God bless her sweet soul!

Free nanny services! Here’s the one most of my fellow mummies would love! I do have married friends that I could send my daughter to, when I need to make an urgent work trip and my mom isn’t available. But I would feel guilty adding to another woman’s full plate and I also get scared of my daughter getting into fights with other toddlers because she isn’t used to sharing space yet. Who comes to the rescue? Yup! The single friend who already has mummy-instincts and is happy to have a cute girl to babysit and spoil! If you have a handful of single buddies, chances are, you would always have one or two to bail you out when you need it. And they do so happily too! One of my besties consider it as practice for her own motherhood…so baby girl is happy to be spoilt silly, mummy is able to attend that training and single bestie is happy and grateful for the tiny angel she gets to watch over. Everybody wins 😉

They would likely get married too. If you get married before most of your friends, it can get lonely because you are going through a phase that you think they wouldn’t understand. So you don’t know how to talk to them about this new experience, and you stay away because you don’t want your happiness to make them envious, they stay away because they notice that you have changed and a few years down the line, you see from a BBM broadcast that she is getting married and you wonder when you both became strangers to each other. That single friend of yours who planned your bridal shower would need help planning hers someday. How about you stick around to return the favour? No be first to graduate dey get better job first. That’s always my reaction when I hear married women talk about how they ditched their single friends after marriage.

Some have argued that they were doing so to protect their marriages and some scenarios are PERFECTLY understandable. But hey, innocent until proven guilty, right? Don’t just ditch a good friend because your levels haff change; everyone deserves the benefit of doubt. There is a likelihood that the problem is your own insecurity, not them. Am I crazy? Don’t I know there are actually friends who get jealous when their friend gets married before them? Friends who would do anything to get their friend’s man? You are right and I agree that we do have a few bad eggs. Those ones should be avoided like wildfire…but what about the good ones? The ones that truly mean no harm? The ones that actually wish you well? Those friends are gold worth keeping. So if a friendship needs to end, let the reason be legit…and not just because you got married. If you are single and got ditched by a friend who got married, or you are the one who did the ditching; let’s talk about it in the comment section. I always love to learn new things from the comments you leave…

Made-in-Naija Wifey is written by Mervis Ipheoma Elebe; who works in a leading ICT firm by day. A repentant foodie, smoothie addict and movie enthusiast; she enjoys traveling, playing on beaches and reading when she isn’t playing dress-up with her daughter, stalking her role-models on Instagram or cuddling up with the hubby. Made-In-Naija Wifey chronicles her experiences as a married woman in Nigeria because as they say “Love is blind, but marriage is an eye-opener”. She can be reached on [email protected] or via Instagram on @ipheoma_

28 Comments

  1. Sweets

    May 27, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    Nice one you just said what a thousand ladies would like to say and rightly said….thumbs up this is a must read …

  2. viv

    May 27, 2016 at 4:46 pm

    Hi Ify, simply put, you hit the nail on the head! I had this conversation with my colleagues like an hour ago… we share the very same views with you

  3. lolipop

    May 27, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    well I wud say I am a very good person but my close friend in whom I helped during her wedding ditched me after 6 months of marriage….she did it gradually I wudnt know why but m on my lane now ooo. I wud never do dat if I get married except the friend is a bad one like u said up der but I dnt even have bad friends!!

    • G!

      May 27, 2016 at 6:08 pm

      Hey lolipop! Sorry you feel youve been ditched. You may very well be right and your friend has indeed dumped you. Or your friend may simply be genuinely overwhelmed by her new life and trying to come to terms with the challenges of married life. Please give her the benefit of doubt.
      Also, never say ‘never’. You really never know. Sometimes the best of intentions are overtaken by reality!

  4. Someone

    May 27, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    Very apt and on point. Biko people need to read this. I have a friend who before she got married would ping me endlessly n chat and disturb me and we were so close up until the eve of her marriage even with her now husby. Right after she said i do she Suddenly Went ghost mode like we never met. Me sef act accordingly as i was getting d wrong vibes when i pinged or checked up on her……….. Its just not neccesarry but to avoid embarrasment we single gehs gast to shift too abeg #Unlookingthebullshit

  5. Ooni's Olori

    May 27, 2016 at 5:20 pm

    My dear people of God, the long awaited article has finally arrived. I lost 2 friends, be cause what? Marrange! The first one stopped keeping intouch immediately after her wedding. Nah so friendship end, just like that. The second one fa? We seperated before her wedding because I was considered “fat” to be on the train. I was broken! I have ruled out buying aso-ebi and destination weddings.From now hence forth, i shall weigh our friendship before i make such sacrifices. NEVER again! And please don’t attend mine. That way the cooler of rice will go round. Nah because of husband abi? The same ones we see carrying “fresher” chicks up and down? The same ones that will still mess up 10 to 15 years down the line? Nah fam, i’m done.

  6. bodunade

    May 27, 2016 at 5:22 pm

    Overflogged!

  7. Honeycrown

    May 27, 2016 at 6:01 pm

    Singing …. Why can’t we be friends, why can’t we be friends, why can’t we be friends , why can’t we be freindssss ….. You made valid points but me I don’t understand all this single vs. married friend clique. I keep friends based on meaningful relationships and how we click. I’ve only ended friendships for valid reasons.

  8. Person

    May 27, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    Errrm. I usually love most of your articles, but this is a tad condescending. Maybe because I’m that single friend. You think because you’re married, my singleness will revolve around making YOUR life comfortable? Being your babysitter? Your gist partner to escape your boring married life? Maybe I don’t have kids because I don’t want them; why would I want to be your babysitter no matter how happy I am for you? This your article assumes that because your friends are single, they have more time than you do which is absolute BS. Single people have full rich lives of their own.

    • Ni

      May 27, 2016 at 7:15 pm

      It’s never that serious really. What’s the point of friendship if they have no benefits. You have friends for several reasons, they have your back, cheer you up when you’re depressed etc. There’s no reason or need to have what she wrote misconstrued.

    • Uche

      May 28, 2016 at 8:52 am

      You are quite unsmart you kbow! What a way to interpret

    • Person

      May 28, 2016 at 11:41 am

      E pele o, Mr(s) Smart
      Chief Smartest of Omowe’s
      Olori awon Oponu ayeradas

      Fall all the way back, hun. -_-

  9. B.E

    May 27, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    Geez! Everyday there’s an article on marriage, being single, single friends my days!!! There is more to life than all this!!! Come on ladies! Let’s start educating ourselves on worthy investments, how to be leaders in our fields etc.

    I am married so you can say it’s easy for me to say but surely there is more to life than all this pity party yarns abeg!

    • Ni

      May 27, 2016 at 7:18 pm

      Errm…there was article before this about job interviews and another one about celebrating your kids. Did you read it? Did you comment?

  10. Nammy

    May 27, 2016 at 6:31 pm

    I love the single friend with maternal instinct line.

  11. danny

    May 27, 2016 at 6:52 pm

    @person I think you’re getting this all wrong, she actually meant u shouldn’t cut them off because of marriage and she just listed some reasons why you should keep them around, but if being a baby sitter and giving her trendy gist is too much to ask then u may as well not be a good friend after all. Have u asked yourself y men stick to their BROS even after marriage but we the ladies are too quick to slide line our babes immediately after the wedding.??

    • Person

      May 27, 2016 at 7:26 pm

      “Some reasons why you should keep them around” – but all of those reasons revolve around what her single friends can do for her, but nary a thing about what she can do for them except maybe plan a bridal shower, but I’m sleep tho -_-

    • Babe

      May 29, 2016 at 12:33 am

      But she was speaking from a married woman’s perspective. Perhaps another article will write about what the married woman can do for her single friends but then again it would be deemed ‘condescending’. There is no winning to these things. The article is just right and it’s from her view. Not everytime counter, sometimes try and put yourself on the other side too,Thank you

  12. flourish ikpoto

    May 27, 2016 at 9:49 pm

    There is more to being single but to celebrate how our destiny can b fulfilled on earth rather than debating on single and maried

  13. Sadtruth

    May 28, 2016 at 1:52 am

    So this happened to me in 2010. I had a really good friend like me and her were 5&6. I was her maid of honour and went all out for her wedding, the bridal shower was at my house etc. The moment she got married bayi she went ghost mode. This is someone that at every heartbreak then she would end up in the hospital and I was aways there for her and even gave her money she wasn’t working then and asked and I was happy to give. It really hurt me that after she got married she just dropped all of us her single friend but omo I just bone. Even to a point news got back to her and she called me and put her husband on the fone and he said sorry it’s just we are trying to get to know each other and blah blah blah I just said ok. Since then never again as in I don’t even do bridesmaid self na me go reject because for 2 days after this my friends wedding I couldn’t leave my bed. Nah mate never again.

  14. Bukky

    May 28, 2016 at 2:26 am

    Loooool…This just reminds me of my childhood bestie…babe met her husband through me…They were getting married 2 yrs down the line and I got to know through other people…me been me I confronted her…We settled it introduction came I wasn’t invited,but her married friends were invited,I took it in my stride…at her wedding I was a slave,working like a jackie…going upandan
    After wedding babe gets preggy ..everyone knows except me of cos…but I no vex,everyone has their reasons…We moved house,she never bothered to come visit or find me…na me go they find her ,call,bb etc
    What broke the camels bk…she was beginning to relate to me like the slutty single friend…e.g how are your boyfriends…knowing fully well I had only one serious bf oh….. plenty things in between sha
    Following year she gets preggy again…
    I jokingly tease her and she denies it…that’s when I realized I was giving too much of myself
    ..2 months later I get married…she only sees it on people’s pm n dp…she’s going crazy she didn’t see it coming …haha haha madam camdam now ….we all can keep our shits to ourselves…mscheeew
    What I have come to realise from this single vs married friends is that insecure people will never be able to keep good friendships after marriage because they never expected to get married so their new status is swelling their head…scoffs

  15. Nwa mara mma

    May 28, 2016 at 10:40 am

    I can totally relate to this. I am (used to be) a ‘spirikoko’; the type that looks good tho’.
    My heart is pure towards another person and I had Friends who are like Me or so I thought.
    Fast forward to 2010/2011,they started getting married and attitude began.
    Even those I took as Sisters that know how disciplined I am & that I v not given any reason to doubt Me started acting up.
    Some gradually or instantly stopped keeping in touch,a particular one didn’t even tell Me She was getting married, One started acting in a condescending manner (trust Me,I also went cold on her asap),She even went to give one of her yeye Brother-in-law My number and has not told Me till today.
    I could go on and on.
    But I v gotten used to it. I now ghost them before they ghost Me.
    I don’t think I need People in My life who feel My worth is attached to My marital status! I’m worth a lot more and I know it.
    Guys marry and keep all their friends, even the bad ones that will lead them to cheat on their Wives and commit other atrocities.
    I’m not saying a Lady should keep bad Friends;come to think of it,bad Friends are detrimental to Your life whether Single or Married.
    When married Ladies ditch their well meaning Friends,it is a sign of insecurity.
    And guess what? The so called Husband senses it,capitalizes on it and will sooner or later confirm her fears,with other Ladies out there.
    Don’t We see these ‘husbands’ everyday with chicks?
    Don’t We see how some of them lustfully look at Us,even on their Wedding eve? If no be say We be born again,and We love Our Friends and respect the institution of Marriage,if We decide to ‘chop’ their Men,their insecurities won’t stop Us.
    Please Married Ladies,Your Single Friends are not out for Your husbands.
    They are not the only Men in the world.
    And that You married before Us doesn’t mean You are better than We are. It just means that You found what You were looking for earlier. It also means that the attraction that exists between You and You husband DOES NOT exist between Us and Your Husband because Our tastes differ from Yours.
    Also know that if We were looking just for ‘Men’,We would all have been ‘married’. But We are strong enough to wait for the ones that Suit Us,just as You got Yours!
    I believe that life is based on Relationships. Marital relationship is just an aspect.
    We need to strike a balance with other relationships and not do away with them,because We are certainly gonna need them!
    #My2cents

  16. Ifeyinwa Atuanya

    May 28, 2016 at 11:45 am

    ifeosa.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/dubai-weddings.html

    I’m old school. Probably old fashioned. I’m over 40.

  17. Nene

    May 28, 2016 at 12:02 pm

    What happened to adaeze, myna and Sarah ofili? They used to be inseparable

  18. Abi o

    May 29, 2016 at 8:43 am

    My own married friend developed paranoia and started second guessing everything I did or said. She became suspicious of my every move. Every change of dp was about her. Every status update was about her. I upload new picture, she follow to upload (wearing same hairstlye and clothes lol. Even same pose). If I’m busy with school work and am away from social media, she’ll think it’s about her. It got weird and I left social media for her, after she started telling people I was attacking her in dreams lmao. I still wish I have that ability tho.

  19. UNCLE GWE GWE GWE

    May 29, 2016 at 7:33 pm

    Guys do this in a very comfortable and foolish manner.

  20. Jide

    May 30, 2016 at 12:27 am

    Na wa oo, so is it safe to say this is a woman issue or is that sexist too?

  21. Nne'mo

    June 1, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    Married or single shouldn’t change a thing.
    God help us.

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