In this part of the world, the society expects you to be married and already rearing kids before you attain a certain age, the pressure is both within and beyond.

Snide remarks are passed at social gatherings, friends and family are not even considering your feelings... I know how that feels and I'm willing to share with you how I scaled through that phase, hahahaha I'm still in that phase but they know better than to judge the decisions I make concerning my so called "dating" life.

Personally, I think It's better we know who we really are and what we stand for before getting entwined with another human, being single is the perfect time to get to know ourselves.

The Foundations:

As a child, I grew up amidst quite a number of aunties and uncles. I observed over the years the same trend of settling down once they finished their tertiary education. I remember asking questions about it but none of the answers given were satisfactory. Growing into a teenager, my experiences revealed the society as the determinant factor in deciding when and whom to marry.

For ladies the earlier the better, our male counterparts are still condoned to a reasonable extent, a guy can stay single till his mid thirties and no one will be perturbed but the same can't be said concerning females. Even when the society cares less, the family will not rest until their single daughter is gloriously wedded and her fertility proven with the birth of a child.

The story of a young woman who was bullied by her mother into marrying early just because she was fat made me realize the problem weighs more within. The reason was  her mother said no one will want to settle down with an old maid not to mention a fat one. I was so angry at her situation because the said man although very wealthy, was already married with grown up kids.

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The woman's self esteem was very low because her body image had been ridiculed by her own mother. How can she be a good wife or mother without loving her own self? What will she teach her kids? How can the husband see past her flaws when she had already judged her body through the eyes of a selfish mother? These were the questions going through my mind as she relayed her ordeal in a loveless marriage.

The White Lie:

Often times I've listened to some of my married acquaintances talk about their marriage like it were a fairytale. I just giggle and play along with the facade because under all the frosting and make-up sex they talk about, real issues lie beneath which they find hard to talk about because they think I won't understand because I'm not married, at least not yet.

Dear Sirs and Madams it's appalling to think you know all about being single and portrayingmarriage as the best escape, it's sheer hypocrisy and very much detested by me. I know you have big issues you are trying so hard to conceal, why try to make a single sister feel bad by painting your new status with all the colours of the rainbow? I see through all the fancy trimmings, I see the ugly lines of regret beneath your eyes, I see the bruises on your arms and I wish you had listened and taken your time before walking down that aisle with prince or princess charming as the case maybe.

My Opinion:

I think it's better to be single and considered an old maid than endure a loveless marriage. Please don't get me wrong, I'm not saying all marriages are shams. I'm of the opinion that we can't always have it all except with the grace of God. Demeaning words spoken to unmarried people, celebrities aren't left out on social media . These hurtful words has led to young people settling for less, making drastic life altering decisions, getting married to their worst nightmares.

Why can't the society accept the fact that some of these people have decided to remain single by choice, why chastise them with thoughtless words? You think you are better off because you've several diapers to change? I'm sure if some married folks were given the chance they'd choose differently. Being single has its perks and very rewarding ones at that.

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Choosing to stay single shouldn't be frowned upon on all fronts, it's the time to prepare for life's hurdles, it's a period of waiting and preparation, it's when you find yourself, fall in love with yourself and let that love radiate from within, that alone is attractive and worth fighting for.

I know our culture teaches girls to aspire to marry, that alone is not all there is to a girl child. Why not teach her to accept herself, flaws inclusive and spread her wings, soaring as high as she could possibly go. Why not let our sons take their time before walking down the aisle, after all he knows what's best for him.

When I attend my cousin's wedding and a nosy auntie asks when the "Mr" is coming, I politely tell her to mind her business because that's what it is, my business. Single sisters and brothers, you've to be assertive because these people hide under the "I care about you" fiend, it's a big lie. Some are just trying to rub it in and make you feel less of a human, don't give them the opportunity.

Assertively tell them off, next time they'll think hard before letting their tongues wag. I saw the movie "Isoken" recently and I had to watch it several times because there were some points made clear about the "get married soon" craze. The pressure can be very high but don't be intimidated, it'll pass. Some of us might be lucky to have a great marriage even at a young age and I'm sincerely happy for you but strokes differ according to the folks...

I want to spend my life having not to please anyone or seeking the approval of people before living, it's entrapment to live that way. I pray we all find what we're looking for...

So Long!

Written by Adekunbi Bello.