“To Be Or Not To Be” Single?

Emmanuella Anyanwu October 10, 2011


Growing up, I had ample opportunities to watch my sisters go through that phase in life that almost every girl goes through- what I fondly call “the marriage craze phase”. This is the period when a girl feels a heightened urge to get hitched because, in her dazed mind, everyone else is getting married but her.

This phase usually starts when a girl is in her early twenties and lasts up until marriage or some other major revolution in her life. The feeling of loneliness, frustration, and apprehension often times associated with this phase is aggravated by the incessant coercion, usually from loved ones, to get married. “Don’t you want me to see my grandchildren before I die?, Is something wrong? Isn’t there someone you like?”- are the comments that suddenly cloud the thoughts of the marriage craze phase sister.

Different girls experience this phase differently. Some girls say they never went through it or aren’t going through it. Others either admit to it or exude the characteristics. Given that I was the last of six girls, I got so used to thinking of this phase in regards to my elder sisters that I almost forgot I would one day be in my twenties, and it could one day be my turn to feel like all my friends were getting married and I was the odd one out! 

It started when I moved back to the United States from a nine-month work escapade in Nigeria. I was in a relationship with a wonderful man but let’s just say that things didn’t work out. My friend called me and informed me that she had just gotten engaged to the man she dated for 7 years. I was ecstatic and honestly happy for her. Within a few months, another friend called to let me know that her man just popped the question. Before I knew what was happening, a tumultuous bout of weddings bells ensued. One after the other, one friend or acquaintance started to get engaged or married.  

Just like D-Banj said, “Don’t get it twisted, love is a beautiful thing”. Love is indeed a beautiful thing! Marriage is a wonderful thing. But its just funny how society, or perhaps our subconscious -which can also be a product of society, has demonized the period of singlehood. People go to wedding celebrations in hopes of meeting “someone” instead of going to have fun. I remember when I used to travel all the way to Maryland for the sole purpose of increasing my chances of meeting “the one”. I thank God for grace and for the realization that instead of spending money looking for “where its happening”, I should be developing myself and striving toward my life goals.

It is sad how inside and outside influences inculcate the idea of having a man as a necessity for survival. In the drama series, Single Ladies, the women are caught in a frenzy where all they can think about is having a man in their life. They once tried to cut out boy talk from their conversation but found out that they couldn’t. From young ages, we are exposed to movies that center on having a man in your life. I remember watching one western movie after another and they mostly ended with scenes where a man and a woman were kissing. Even the non-romantic movies had a way of ending with romantic scenes. Such pictures, whether from movies, stories or other sources, sow the seeds that later transform into the subconscious attribution of one’s purpose of existence to mere hooking up.

What is even more disturbing is when we hang onto a man even though he has been and still continues to exude signs of chronic incompatibility. Yes, some of us have unrealistic expectations that do need to be cut off. But there are some bullet points on our checklists that should not be compromised. Everyone has a core essence. This core essence has to do with what you contribute to projects, discussions, gatherings that is unique to the contribution of others. Your core essence has to do with your dispositions, likes and dislikes, habits, hobbies, skills, or otherwise called your personality and vibe.

When we seek a partner, we usually seek one whose personality complements ours. Sadly, a lot of us jump into relationships with people whose vibe suppresses our core essence. We get so impatient and start meddling with one of our options. No wonder Drake insists that he’s more than just an option.

The process of choosing a life partner should be a process and not an impulse or gut feeling devoid of deliberation. Many girls rush into marrying one of their options instead of waiting for that person who can truly be a partner in all of their life’s journeys. Like a friend put it, “having each other should make both of them feel like they have won the jackpot”. 
 

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