A blue taxi pulled up in front of Kimberly’s house and she alighted.
Kimberly was dressed in a knee-length purple gown that accentuated her hourglass shape. She held a silver clutch purse in one hand and her heeled shoes in the other.
She had just attended the wedding of her best friend, Maries, and it was a fun-filled event.
As she got to the door of the apartment she shared with her parents, a sudden lump of dread developed in her throat and the reason for the fear was not far-fetched. Her mum!
Kimberly glanced at her wristwatch, the time was 5: 45 p.m. and she was certain that her mum would be in the living room watching television.
There was no way she would pass the living room without her mum asking her about her relationship life and topping it with “when will you marry?”.
The question always made her heart constrict in pain.
Of a truth, Kimberly was sick and tired of the marriage taunts.
The pressure was beginning to get to her and she was contemplating moving out of the house to get a place of her own even though her dad may not be happy about it.
Her past relationship with Raymond had been a huge mistake and she called it quits when he slapped her the third time in four months.
There was no way on earth that she would end up with such an abuser and despite his pleas with promises of “change”, Kimberly stood her ground and ended the relationship.
She glanced at her wristwatch again and contemplated going somewhere else to while away time till 9 p.m., but she couldn’t think of anywhere close.
Tired of standing at the door for too long, she exhaled deeply and decided to enter the house.
True to her predictions, her mum was right in the living room watching a soap opera when she walked in.
“Good evening, mummy” Kimberly greeted.
“Welcome, my dear.” Her mum replied. “How was the wedding?”
“It was very fine; I am a little bit tired and need to rest,” Kimberly replied quickly.
As she turned to leave, her mum’s voice stopped her.
“Ehn ehn, Kimberly, you have attended your friend’s wedding, when will they attend your own?”
Kimberly closed her eyes and bit her lower lip, very typical of her mum to ask!
Before she could respond, her mum quickly added, “Or you don’t want to marry?”
Kimberly opened her eyes and turned to face her, “Mummy…”
“Don’t mummy me, you are clocking thirty in March, all your friends are now married. When will you?”
Kimberly stood at the spot, speechless and hurt at the same time.
Though she knew her mum was concerned about her life, but the concern was becoming suffocating and the pressure was driving her nuts.
She needed to have ‘the talk’ with her mum and that time was now.
Kimberly walked to the opposite couch, dropped her bag on the floor, and sat down, her eyes never leaving her mum.
“Mum, we need to talk…” she began.
Kimberly’s story is a typical tale of pressure for singles, especially in Nigeria.
Asides trying to make a name and living for yourself as an adult, you will always be faced with the question of “when will you marry?” at every corner you turn.
If the question doesn’t come from your parents, your extended family will ask you at every chance they get, especially the ‘Aunties’.
If you are lucky to have “understanding” family members who do not bug you with questions, then outsiders will take it up from there.
I’m referring to members of your religious organization, neighbours, and even friends.
Suffice to say, you cannot be single in peace without someone asking why.
They will always ask under the guise of ‘we are watching out for you’ which may be true or NOT.
If you are a single reading this, you should pat yourself on the back because you are doing a great job.
It’s not easy coping with the insensitive questions of marriage thrown at you at intervals without you having the urge to forget your fist in someone’s face.
So, how do you handle the pressure to get married?
- By not putting pressure on yourself.
One of the greatest harm you can do to yourself is mounting unhealthy pressure on yourself to get married just because all your mates are getting married, or time is going, or you just want to settle down, or because you feel lonely, and other excuses that do not hold water.
If you are calm within, external pressure will not get to you, but if you put unnecessary pressure on yourself, then pressure from others will worsen the situation. This can instigate you to make the wrong decisions, and trust me; you do not want that to happen.
- Accepting the obvious.
What is the obvious? People will ALWAYS ask, either out of concern or gossip.
Once you accept this reality, you won’t be shocked by the questions anymore; rather, you will always be prepared with a ready answer.
Humans are investigative journalists by nature and are always curious about events happenings in the lives of other people.
So, it’s up to you if you want to answer their questions or not.
- Have a conversation with your parents about it.
Most times, parents do and say things with good intentions but with the WRONG APPROACH.
That doesn’t make them bad parents; it just means you have to make them see things from your perspective so you can be on the same page.
We see it everywhere, even in movies, parents pressuring their children, especially daughters to marry irrespective of their children’s readiness or how they feel about marriage.
Just like Kimberly in the story above, having a conversation with your parents will help them change their approach and stop mounting pressure on you.
Dear single reading this, how have you been handling the pressure?
Talk to me in the comment section.
Dear married, how did you handle the pressure before you got married?
Do share with me in the comment section.