As a woman living in Nigeria, you have probably heard this phrase: “so when will you get married?” The questions start from your early to mid-20s if you are single, not engaged or not in a ‘serious’ relationship. Other forms of those questions are: When are we going to wear your asoebi? When are we going to eat your wedding rice? When are we going to eat the money for your head? (this one annoys me most). When are we going to carry your children?
The truth is, these questions, although presented as innocent enquiries, mounts pressure on young women to get married. There are a lot of women who settled for the wrong partner because of this pressure. I was almost a victim of that type of marriage. I was going to marry someone I didn’t have anything in common with because “a woman’s time is very short” and other nonsense I was told. Thankfully that relationship fizzled out. I was able to see that it would have been a huge mistake.
But why did I hold on for so long? (It took almost two years), it was simply because of pressure. After that experience, I vowed to myself that I wouldn’t let phrases like: “when will you get married?” control my actions anymore. I had to stop the pressure from reaching my ears. How did I do it?
Be True to yourself:
Lying to yourself about the things you want will only lead to more tears in the future. If you want to get married, be honest with your partner about what you want. You can’t be dating someone who doesn’t have marriage in their five years plan when you want to get married immediately. Ladies, it is okay to want to get married, it is also okay to tell your partner about it. It doesn’t make you look desperate.
Educate your mum and aunties:
Explain to them why their constant pressure is bad. Once, I asked my favourite aunty if she wanted me to get happy. She said yes, then I said you have to stop pressuring me to get married. When I meet someone I love and want to be with it, I’ll let you know, I said to her. It wasn’t easy to get her to stop mounting pressure on me, but over time, she got the message. Now, she’ll be the first to reprimand any aunty who tries to ask my younger sisters and cousins “when will you get married?”
This seems like an easy solution but how do you ignore your mum and well-meaning aunties? Women who took care of you as a child and bought you gifts? It’s hard but desperate times calls for desperate measures. I’ve had to block a few of my aunties from reaching my phone. For my mum, I have practised how to deflect, change the subject or patiently tell her how I feel about the pressure.
Don’t let anyone rush you into making a life-changing decision. Stay safe everyone