“Ah, so when are you getting married?” a colleague of mine one morning hit me with this very disturbing, turgid question! I posed for a minute and wondered when this community will ever leave me alone. Then I looked at the big picture and this indeed is an everyday question, coffee- tea gossip and for sure, every parents’ concern.
It saddens me that even in the 21st century women and even men are still being stigmatised as marriage materials after all. For women, regardless what sophisticated social status you rank at, how well educated you are, successful and ambitious you can be, remaining single is a challenge that could eliminate your chances in life as your parents, neighbours, and community expect you to be successful but, in fact, married and preferably with kids.
While young women are nowadays inclined to celebrate their progress and advancement in life, as single women, regardless a 25 years- age tag, they are faced with societies that keep women their chief concern. Women are always labelled and judged by the pre-conceived notions and inherited customs of their communities. Notwithstanding how far you advance in life, the marriage constitution should be your [women’s] ultimate goal. For this, if you are not married or at least engaged and you are 25, then you should know that it is too late now for you to find a proper spouse and settle in to establish a family. The common sense is that if you get to 25 without a marital status, you shall be single and alone for the rest of your life! How incredibly pathetic.
It does dazzle me that some women can be fooled by these empty threats and succumb to fit in the general category and marry because their families and society expect them to. What is even worse is that when women themselves narrow their horizons, pass on the same notions to the next generation, and stress the importance of seeking the accomplishment of a successful marriage constitution.
When a woman chooses to be single, she makes this decision because i. she is independent and has control over her own life and future ii. she wants to establish herself with a career that can grant her stability so she can grow even more independent iii. she wants to pursue her studies and build her capacity in a field of study she enjoys iv. she is different; she wants to opt out of the cultural norms and create her own realm and set her own boundaries. In short, she wants to defy her society and wants her voice to break the habit of being a marriage material to please a spouse at the end of the day and produce children. v she wants to be free; she knows this is not what she plans for her future because she knows she is not a puppet to let people tell her that she should be with somebody to be happy, accepted and like “them”. vi. she wants to be single because she knows being in a relationship will hinder her development in life. she should take in certain duties because she is the female and her partner was raised believing- stupidly- his manhood consider carrying some duties as shameful and forbidden- at least this is what they [his society] told him and it is the woman who does this and that.
To be single or not to be, regardless at what age that is, remains a personal decision entirely. Yes, we will be defying our societies, breaking the law of the traditions and customs; still we will be liberated and happy. Yes, you can be happy and single. When women fail to trust themselves and give up their lives because they should adjust, adopt and go with the flow, and when they link their happiness to a partner, they sign their death certificates.
We are free human beings. We have the free will to plan our lives as we see fit. You are single because you want to, not because some guy did not like/ fall in love with you, and certainly not because you are not pretty enough! You are beautiful, stunning, unique, powerful and self-determining. You are a woman and can be happy and single at 25, just be yourself.