Wednesday, 23 March 2011

The pressure to get married...Aaarrgh!!!

I was looking through a wedding magazine the other day (it wasn’t mine, I promise) and one of the columns in there caught my attention. It was written by a single lady in her thirties, and she mentioned the fact that even though most people would’ve started losing hope of ever getting married at her age, she still ‘had a dream’. I loved the article, but something she wrote struck a chord with me. It was something along the lines of ‘In Nigeria (and most African cultures), no matter how successful you are as a woman, you’re still considered a failure if you don’t have a husband.’ As I read this, I realised with sadness that this is actually true. I have a few aunties that have done very well for themselves career-wise but for some reason whenever people talk about them, the fact that they are still unmarried always crops up. Having lived in a part of the world where marriage is not seen as a big deal and some women even put their career ambitions before any thoughts of getting married, it came as a shock to my system to find out when I arrived in Nigeria that even though I’m still a few years to my thirtieth birthday, some people already consider me as ‘old’! It’s crazy.
This insane way of thinking has led many girls to rush into marriage for fear that they might never get another proposal. What really gets to me is that I think some men have taken advantage of this and don’t seem to be in a hurry to get married anymore. It’s like they know there’ll always be an abundance of pretty girls for them to choose from, so they can afford to wait. Let me tell you a story. I went with my mum to visit one of her friends, and whilst we were there, a friend of the lady’s husband arrived. I met him outside as I popped out to get something from the car and I noticed as I greeted him that he seemed a bit too friendly towards me. I thought nothing of it at the time. The man of the house later introduced him to my mum and after he left, my mum mentioned to me that he gave her his business card and said he was interested in coming to ask for my hand in marriage! Bear in mind that this guy is friends with someone that is in his fifties. So, I put him at not less than forty-five. Now, if old men* are your thing, good for you, but I must say I was a tad disgusted. After a bit of prying, my mum discovered that this man was very selective in his choice of women and this was the reason he was still single. Anyway, I told the people we were visiting to tell him not to bother.
I guess it’s not just an African thing though; we women are ‘blessed’ with a biological clock so ideally, ‘the sooner, the better’. But what’s a girl to do if there’s no one around? Grab the first guy that says ‘marry me’? I think not. One of my friends actually said she’s having kids, man or no man. Her solution?  Sperm donation. I think she was joking but I guess I can understand women that decide to do it themselves. The only problem with this is that where I come from, you’ll probably be considered a harlot for having kids outside wedlock. Anyway, I’m learning to be content, husband or no husband, but to be honest, it was a lot easier when I wasn’t in Nigeria.

*I know forty-five isn’t that old obviously, compared to someone that is say, eighty. But the guy is more than fifteen years my senior so in my books, he’s old.

Check out the poem below. Even though I cracked myself up whilst writing it, I think the last two stanzas are worth noting. I’ve titled it ‘The prayer of a weary single sister’. Enjoy!

Another day gone, he still hasn't appeared
It's happening you know, the very thing that I feared
That one day I'd find myself clocking thirty
But for marriage, still be very thirsty

Another invitation, one more friend now wedded
To be perfectly honest, it was worse than I even dreaded
I waited and waited, till the very last hour
But not one grooms-man was keen to pluck this flower

One more church service faithfully attended
I smiled, and a gorgeous looking brother responded
Got all excited as he began to walk over
But then I looked, and saw the ring on his finger

How long Lord, does a sister have to wait?
Sometimes it's so strong, I feel like I could faint
I know the single life ain't all doom and gloom
But you know me, Lord, I'm no Corrie Ten-Boom!

I created you for a purpose, and not just for marriage
To love me, to serve me and pay me due homage
Many think that marriage will bring happiness
But most end up just getting themselves in a mess

You ask for a husband, but you're not ready to be a wife
You've had to wait a little, but I'm saving you a lot of strife
When the time is right, it won't cost you nearly a dime
And you'll be glad you waited, for I make all things beautiful in their time


  1. hehehehe the naija Nafdac number syndrome. for some people the age is now 26 and like u said some people just jump into the first bus they get. last xmas a relation got married to a guy who was less than 40 but had been married to twice and was clearly a wrong guy (means cultist in some circles) but hey what can i say the pressure is real. nice poem too "I waited and waited, till the very last hour
    But not one grooms-man was keen to pluck this flower" my best line hehehe

  2. Lol @ 'Naija Nafdac number syndrome'! To be honest I didn't get that at first! I know, the pressure is real; I've heard 40 year old men say that anyone older than 25 is too old for them! In my head I'm like 'why would a 25-year old even marry someone that is forty???' kmt.

    That line of the poem is also my favourite; it cracks me up every time! :)

  3. Uhnnnn, 'renna u r too much.
    Let me start 4m here 'most ladies have mistaken their husbands 4 boyfriends'.they wanted to groove cos they tot they were young & age was on their side. And when they felt they were ready,the guys that used to flock around them are no longer anywhere to be found.
    A matured african man that is nt married is also seen as irresponsible in the society. There are some offices such a person wil nt be allowed to its realy an issue with both sex.
    As a lady,dnt feel so pressured by the tickling of the clock of age & jump into the next available mans hand. It mite be a decision u may live to regret al ur life.'its nt ow far or fast but ow well'
    My second mum was stil sharing wit me just this morning.she got married at 32 & she had been prayn abt marriage since like 10yrs before.all her friends had gotten married way back.she was almost pressured to say yes to the next available guy but she held on,she said NO.Most of her friends that got married way before her that she used to envy then are having terrible experiences today,even divorced or seperated already-WHAT A TRAGEDY.And here she is,enjoying her marriage big time.
    So what am i saying? If you are sure you are waiting on God,wait PATIENTLY-JAMES 1 v 3 says the working of ur faith works patience. ISAIAH 34 v 16 says '..none shal want her mate'.so there is a man for u,just wait patiently & be sure you have not already taken him for a boyfriend while you are expecting the HUSBAND.
    Before i drop my pen, i'l want to ask 'what makes a guy come close to a lady 4 a while then swallows whatever his intentions were? I think 1 of those things could be her attitude (bad attitude i tell you). A J KIESLING titled her book 'where have all the good men gone'? I think they prefer to be unmarried than to spend a day of their life under the same roof with a woman with a bad attitude or a nagging wife.oups! Spa..

  4. Lekan, you can't compare the pressure women face to that of the men; the ticking biological clock is one huge difference! But I agree that it is definitely better to wait and get married to the right person for life than to rush and end up with something mediocre, or even worse, a nightmare (which is what I believe happens in a lot of these cases!)

    I thank God for people like mummy Meg that are examples that if you don't give in to the pressure but decide to wait on God for the right person, He won't disappoint! thanks for your comments! :)

  5. ha ha!!!!! (i crack ME up!) i think that many people do not understand what marriage is or what its purpose is. so, they get married for the wrong reasons or the wrong motives, and they fail. marriage is a commitment to spend the rest of your life with another person, it is selfless. you'll agree then that it needs to be prepared for and not rushed into. it should be with the person that God consents to, not just anyone. and to every one that reads this blog and has an opinion, do post a comment. love u renny, bye!

  6. hey! you stole my line!(I crack me up!) ;) Thanks for your comments Chisome! And such words of wisdom too! You know what, I think people tend to forget the 'rest of your life' part, and that's why they rush to marry anyone- this whole mentality of 'if it ain't working, get rid of it' is one that many are buying into. I hope more of our women will ignore the pressure and decide to wait for the right one instead.

    Thanks for plugging my blog too! :)xxx

  7. Renny your poem is lovely! Totally like it..Permission to share? Of course with your name beneath! Again i wrote something similar in these lines, "women have expiry date in the dating world" :).. My 26 year old friend was told by her male counterparts that by the time she turns 27 and is still single, "her own don finish". 23 is the new 16 and 27 is the new 40! smh...

    The myopic viewpoint of the world. I always remember Proverbs 18:22- "He who finds a wife, finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord". "He" not "She".. Whether we like the wait or not, we must trust in God that at the appointed time He will sort us out. So let us ladies say no to the next Tom!

  8. OMG!!!!!!!!!! Renny=Urenna??? I feel sooo silly!lol.. Gosh i didn't know it was you! How now? Are you back in 9ja now?? Just saw your name at the bottom of the page, was surprised!

  9. Lol Chinny I can't believe you didn't know it was me all this while! I'm one of your secret followers you know! ;)

    Your comment is so funny! 27 the new 40? Yeah right. When I catch one of those men ehn...I actually read your post on the matter and it made me laugh...I'm in Nigeria at the moment and all the stuff I'm seeing is enough for me to write a book! Me I tire oh!

    You're more than welcome to use the poem! :)