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Nonso Ikiliagwu: The ‘Almost 30’ Syndrome



As females we have that relative, friend, neighbour or colleague that has turned themselves to your life clock with the ‘you know you are almost 30, won’t you get married?’ question. Some even literally remind you of your ticking clock. Don’t get it twisted, I am not anti-marriage, in fact I am in love with the concept of marriage. I only begin to have a problem when people make it the prerequisite for a complete woman, worse of all when they attach a timeline to it.

Some months ago, I had consulted a number of folks for advice on what to do upon completion of my M.Sc. I highlighted a couple of options, one of which included going for a Ph.D., shared my thoughts and ultimately tried collating my findings.

A reasonable number of the advice I got all had a thing in common: the marriage factor. “Girl you are almost 30, hope you know”? One of them said looking at me like I had just made a profane statement. Questions like “Don’t you want to settle down?” topped the chart.

For those who don’t understand it means “don’t you want to get married?” Some folks with less niceness went ahead to say I was being deceived by my small stature and the most illogical of all was that men would run away from me if I have a Ph.D. before getting a husband. I was shocked …ehen, ordinary advice that I came to seek this people are insulting me…

Before I get into details let me clear your curiosity, I am not particularly young and you won’t call me old; I was not born at the time when one naira could make a pot of soup.

With all these advice and insult coated suggestions I got, I began to think of how much the society pressures young ladies into underachieving to make them fit for a husband. I went on thinking about the unaccounted number of to-be great women who have adjusted their lives and plans to accommodate these innuendos of the society. Recently, an acquaintance of mine even mentioned that she had to terminate her plans for further studies because her mother-in-law to be thought it was a threat to her son. In the woman’s words, “shey this one wey sabi book like this go hear word so?” I didn’t understand this at that time, and it will still beat my imagination till tomorrow.

How does making your life and the life of those around you better make you less fit for a man? Why would you even have to consider spending a second let alone a lifetime with a man who is intimidated by your success? Why would you as a man let the society decide what category of woman you get married to? If you love your partner, their progress will be key to you and you both define the standards of your relationships that are pleasant and acceptable to both of you and not robbing the society of great minds.

The hard truth is that not everyone will have their career goals achieved by age 30, male or female. There is no straight and fast rule for accomplishing your goal in life, so why set a universal (or maybe national) age limit for marriage? When anyone is ready to marry let them go for it.

Ladies, don’t let any one stop you from achieving your dreams and don’t lower your standard to accommodate anyone. The person you get married to and the time you wish is your call to make. If you have a goal and you want to achieve it, go! Go! Go! Girl! If you need to get married along the path to self-discovery, do it, because you want to… no reason other than that is good enough.

Men, (hopefully you are still reading) don’t give in to the prejudice that women with higher degrees are not submissive. I bet you want a woman who can support you and you can boast of. If she thinks a higher degree is needful for the improvement of her career, rather than stop her, support her.

Not-so-dear society, please be nice; times have changed, let people be, let the woman be whatever she wants to be and let the man marry whoever he finds suitable. Just let them be!

Photo Credit: Vadymvdrobot |

Nonso is a young lady passionate about inspiring people through talking and writing.  She has a BSc in Geology  and an MSc in Petroleum Geoscience. She loves baking, traveling and reading mystery novels. She blogs at .


  1. Tai omo yoruba nimi

    July 6, 2017 at 8:15 pm

    Girl ! A cold bottle of guiness and big fat ikoko plate of nkwobi for you jare. This article just speaks to me and makes a whole lotta sense. We need to stay woke and do away with age old traditions and taboos. I’m just praying for a good man who is his own person and not someone that heeds other people’s silly and selfish advice

  2. Bee

    July 6, 2017 at 8:45 pm

    Nice one

  3. Anonymous

    July 6, 2017 at 9:18 pm

    Hey just saw that you have a background in geology and Petroluem geology .
    I have a background in petroleum and currently work in the industry. Not 30 yet but getting close .
    I don’t find a lot of females in my field so I get overly excited when I meet one . So if you’d love to chat we can exchange emails or something .

    • Grace

      July 7, 2017 at 1:47 am

      Na wa oh. Maybe I live in a different world . I am free to soar as a lady. Though married, I am allowed to become president sef. I had two degrees and law school before I got married. God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly much more than you can hope or imagine. I really don’t know where women meet the men they intimidate. Do you know there are Godly, strong, bold men out there looking for focused high achievers? PhD is almost like water now o. At least it is getting to that point. Girls need to guard their hearts with diligence. There are men out there who aren’t intimidated. In fact, I know a guy who encouraged his fiancee to get her master’s degree before marriage because her dad was willing to pay for it.

  4. Elle

    July 6, 2017 at 10:42 pm

    30 oh 30. Society’s timeline for marriage. I don’t see the pressure and stereotypes reducing anytime soon. Many times the pressure also arises from us ladies when we occasionally compare ourselves to our peers who seem to have it all. But society can be mean about it.

    I greeted one of my lecturers in school the other day and he said to me out of the blues ‘Go and marry, there’s no time’ Imagine that. Like first of all how was it relevant to my greeting then secondly he doesn’t even know me and my story so why presume and judge me. It’s quite offensive but you just shake it off and move on.

    I will just say ladies need to enjoy their singlehood as much as the men do while waiting for Mr Right. It’s never too late or too young to find love. Enough with the pressure puhlizzz. We’ll be alright!

    • Miss Pee

      July 7, 2017 at 9:36 pm

      I stopped calling one lecturer that’s a family friend because of several questions about ‘when are you getting married’? Every time same question when I come to his office and I was 19years in my 3rd year in the university. After service same question I was 22years. I’m 27years now I’ve never called him to greet him let me save my airtime till when I’m getting married. My company is still growing and comes first for now.

  5. Olusegun

    July 6, 2017 at 10:44 pm

    She does not look 30!

    • Zinzu

      July 10, 2017 at 11:12 pm

      It will shock u

  6. Girl Nextdoor

    July 6, 2017 at 11:44 pm

    We need to move on to ‘Almost 40 syndrome’, ’40 and single’ etc. Enough of ’30’ articles.
    There are women who are single,never been married,no kids who are 40,mid 40’s and late 40’s. Women put most of the pressure on themselves it’s from within,society plays a role too i agree,but not entirely. It all depends on how you handle being single at whatever age.

    • Fast cars

      July 7, 2017 at 10:35 am

      Exactly! Most of the single ladies I know are in their early 40’s. These 30’s babes be making the most noise.

  7. Tosin

    July 6, 2017 at 11:52 pm

    ellooo Bae.

  8. zeaggle

    July 7, 2017 at 1:49 am

    on point. wehdon ma!

  9. Kkvin

    July 7, 2017 at 1:54 am

    I totally and overwhelmingly in agreement with this write-up!

  10. Barrister lawyer

    July 7, 2017 at 3:23 am

    Would have been a nice article, if the issue wasn’t so cliche.

  11. Introvert

    July 7, 2017 at 11:29 am

    Story of my life. I turn 30 in 2 months and some people are drinking panadol for my headache. I will like to settle down but i won’t put myself under any kind of pressure. When it happens,it happens. Till then i’ll just focus on my career and enjoy my life.

  12. jayden

    July 7, 2017 at 11:55 am

    I would be 34 in a few months & the pressure is crazy. Not from my dad or brothers ( my mum is late), but from my aunts. I think I am going to run from them. suggestions of churches, prophets etc.

    I love my life right now.
    Why do they try to make me feel incomplete?

    • Tessy

      July 7, 2017 at 12:42 pm

      Will be 34 in a few months also, have a kid but single. Am not under pressure but i get lonely sometimes ( most times actually ). Its just so nice to have that special friend. I know some good will find me soon.

  13. Chizzy

    July 7, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    Story of my life

  14. Menco

    July 12, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    This is a nice write-up. I support that people should not be pressurized into marriage. Both males and females are facing pressure to get married once they reach a certain societal age mark. Getting married is a matter of finding that person you think you can forever live together with. If you find that one in your early 20’s, let the person know your plan in life and when you would like to get married. Discuss your goals with him/her. If you guys are meant to be, you will be. You can also marry in your 20’s and still achieve all you are destined to achieve, even greater. Marriage must not be set aside till one achieves all the highest goals in life. Nevertheless, if one is ready in 40’s, then go get married. Also, if you think you will be happy while single, please stay single and stay happy.

  15. Orjiako Ezinne

    July 17, 2017 at 5:33 am

    Nonny booooo. I love this write up… Keep it up. I wish my mom would see this. Oooo

  16. omote_des

    July 20, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    I am 36, i mean 36 solid years on earth. i am so tired of hearing whan are you getting married. i practically dodge some people now. i know the biological clock is ticking, but what can i do?
    just wait for the right man chikena. Boo i am waiting for you.

    Nice write up. marriage is good but shud not be rushed or pressured into. it will flow naturally. incase you wanna chat, thats my IG handle. cheers

  17. omote_des

    July 21, 2017 at 11:48 am

    and this is my BBM pin for those who would love to be my friend. i like them older though d8d192c0

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