Have you ever experienced delayed marriage? Gone are the days we used to think it was a womanâ€™s â€˜palaverâ€™ but today, have you not seen guys who have gone past the age of 40 without any plans or assurance of settling down in marriage?
Tell me, why have we been laughing at the women folk as the only victims? Anywhere you enter, people ridicule single women who are of age but not married, while every move a woman makes is misinterpreted for seduction and attention seeking, why now? Meanwhile, guys spin and wink to lure women even when bashed.
It is good to marry, but when there is a delay, I am of the opinion that life should go on as it were and donâ€™t need to kill yourself for what you cannot change.
The courage to bear your â€˜crossâ€™ without complaining to the whole world is an obvious sign of maturity.
As it were, marriage is one word that causes so much concern to this generation; it is either you hear people lament it is not forth coming or when it finally comes, the problems that roll with it seem to overwhelm its merits, but despite all these, singles still desire this â€˜divine unionâ€™ with a passion, while some get frustrated when it is not happening the way they envisaged. But to a large extent, others have come to accept their fate whether marriage comes or not.
The point is not trying to find out if they are happy or not, but to salute their courage to move on with life as if all was well. Indeed, this article is coming from this directionâ€”trying its bit to cheer the gloomy faces and actually say life is big and deep, there are a whole lot of things you can do with your life.
I have had the opportunity of speaking with a couple of persons who have tasted, fought and overcome delayed marriage.
One of them said â€œIâ€™m tired of trying to make things work, the more I try to get settled, the little result my effort yields. I grew up as a pretty little girl who had a fair share of the good things life could offer. Seeing and having so much at my disposal gave me a false impression of life. I was taught the difference between the rich and the poor, who were supposed to be my friends, where to go and where to shun. This eventually made me live in a world too far from reality.
â€œWhen it was time for me to enter the university, my parents decided it was either I went abroad or nothing. It was not my first time of travelling abroad, so to say I was excited was blackmail, but knowing the kind of parents I had, argument would only aggravate dadâ€™s anger and mom would be simply irritated. I had to quickly make up my mind to comply. At the eve of my departure, friends and relations flooded the house, some stayed over till the next day, while my maternal and paternal grand parents whispered to each other with uncontrollable grin, suggesting their pride in my academic success.
â€œAs everything went dead and people retired to rest, mom called me for a private talk and with little or no idea of what she had in mind for me, I sat by her side. To my surprise, mom had nothing to say about my academics, instead, she said I should be careful not to wine and dine with the poor. Before I could even ask why, she added that I should not also date a foreigner as I had no business staying back in that country after my education. She made it clear to me that my father wanted me to study abroad, come back to Naija and show the people he has a successful child.
â€œBaffled by what mother said, I imagined how I was going to sample guys to finally get one that belonged to my class and will be accepted by my parents. Getting to the UK, the respect I had for my mom made it difficult for me to respond to advances by foreigners, no matter the crush I felt for them. To know my parents well is to say that disobedience was never tolerated under their roof.
â€œFor a whole year, I stayed without a dateÂ and this helped me in a way to settle down academically, but after a while, the female friends I made over there made me feel out of place. I tried to explain to them it was in no way my fault as I got no one that matched my desire.
â€œMoved by pity, Bose, my room mate, played a fast one and linked me with a traditional rulerâ€™s son who was born and raised in a remote area in Oyo State. Definitely, our values were different and to say the least, we were simply incompatible and parted ways sooner than anyone could intervene.
â€œAs I laid on my bed brooding over the separation, I wondered, did mom forget to tell me it was difficult to find both love and riches in one pack? Perhaps her own time was different, how could she ever dream that guys who were born with mega silver spoon in their mouth would know the rudiments of love and respect for a woman? Have they tasted sacrifice? Do they know about endurance? Can they be patient with peopleâ€™s weaknesses when they were taught to scold, blame or shout at people who err in the delivery of their duty?
Indeed, finding true love became a serious problem for me as friends who could not cope with my â€˜selectiveâ€™ attitude, or better put, my momâ€™s selective nature imposed on me, cleverly avoided the issue each time I attempted to bring it up. The next thing I was looking forward to was the day I will finish my course and get back to my mom to narrate the experience as I look straight into her eyes for her reaction.
â€œComing back to the country was not in any way a relief to my emotion as I was still unable to secure a relationship for myself. Friends and acquaintances I left behind thought my promise to come back were a mere sham, while some were engaged and others had already become parents. Being a little more advanced in age then put me in a position of defence. I viewed everyone with suspicion, thinking they have come to take advantage of me and before I could say â€˜Jack,â€™ all suitors disappeared, leaving me more confused and almost developing hatred for my mother.
â€œI summed up courage to ask my mom why she adopted the approach of â€œmatch your classâ€ to my relationship and really did not have any concrete reason to give, but kept repeating â€œall these, I did for your own goodâ€.
â€œAs I rehearsed the pains that flew from my motherâ€™s supposed control/influence over my choice of a life partner, there came a time I realised crying over spilt milk will only cause me more frustration. Therefore, every bit of my energy was directed towards building a happy future despite what I had lost.
â€œImmediately, plans to take over dadâ€™s business was under way and before long, I proved to both dad, mom and their friends that my study abroad was not in vain.
â€œWithout pretence, life really got interesting and challenging, but not tough. My belief in what I could do made me develop a positive attitude toward the challenges that confronted me. Very soon, I discovered life could go on fine without complaining about what you donâ€™t have and decided to enjoy my life whether marriage comes or not.
â€œAnyway, I am still open and if it comes fine, but if not, my life must go on well.â€
A word for parents:
â€¢Your life is different from those of your childrenâ€™s, so let them live life to the fullest provided they are not involved in things that would hinder progress.
â€¢When it comes to sensitive issues, try to advise and not command/recommend. A mature mind should be able to take decisions without blaming others for their influence.
â€¢Allow your children to take steps they can defend.
â€¢Every parent would love to control his/her child, but please set them free.
A word for singles:
â€¢Donâ€™t start what you cannot finish.
â€¢Have a concrete plan for your life so you would not be tossed about by peopleâ€™s disposition.
â€¢Take responsibility for your life.
â€¢Make up your mind to succeed.
â€¢Even if you have made mistakes, shake it off and face your life again.