What you need to know:
What you need to know:
- Statistically speaking, women who are unmarried and childfree are the happiest group around. And this isn't to knock anyone who needs a life partner.
- As human beings (and not animals), we all want love and companionship, and someone to be in our corner
I was reading an interview that VinieO (on Twitter) shared about this man, who is a top business owner and billionaire in the country. In the interview by a local newspaper the conversation turned to marriage, and the man categorically stated that you can't be happy unless you are married. He said that in his culture (Indian), it gives you a certain social status, and it gives you maturity and self-discipline, and the social structure it gives sets you apart from an animal roaming free.
While I respect varied cultures, eh! Those are harsh words. I looked at myself in the mirror after reading that piece and asked myself if I feel like I am an animal roaming free. I didn't feel like an animal; I then checked if I have maturity and self-discipline (well, I've been fired from one job before, but that was on them, and other stories). I thought about the markers for maturity. Paying rent? Introspection? Having goals? Perhaps the interviewer should have asked him that too so that we know what to measure ourselves by.
Singlehood is not a plague, but a lot of married people treat it as such. Statistically speaking, women who are unmarried and childfree are the happiest group around. And this isn't to knock anyone who needs a life partner. As human beings (and not animals), we all want love and companionship, and someone to be in our corner. Someone who you can use as an excuse when you don't want to do something; you know the drill: 'I can't meet you guys that day, eh, hubby has a thing that I have to go to.'
But, and I hate that once again it bears repeating, marriage is not the be-all-end-all of life. Again! It is a good thing. It can even be greater, with the right person. But I promise you, you will not shrivel up and die without it. It isn't oxygen or even water. It is – surprise! – entirely possible to live a full, happy life, and be single, at the same time. Who knew?
We knew. The singles who have been single for a while knew. The women who have never remarried, know. The ones who have thriving careers or enjoy their retirement in peace, know. You can definitely do it too. At this point, it is beginning to feel like marriage is an exclusive club that people have to be strong-armed into by shaming them. Surely, is it a case of you want the best for me, or misery loves company?
Like I said before, though, everyone loves company. But even in the pursuit of that company, husbands aren't a BOGOF deal at the local supermarket. Searching for that company takes time and wisdom because heaven forbid you to end up buying the wrong one and become even more miserable for the rest of your life (you end up eating about 18,000 meals with your partner on average. Can you imagine 18,000 meals with someone you abhor?). You can't marry just anyone, and you can't enter something not knowing how it benefits you.
Because it is a partnership, a merger of sorts. You're merging lives, social calendars, money…there has to be something to sweeten the deal for you, other than social status, and maturity (which hopefully by the time you're getting married, you have quite a bit of already). You both need to want it and want to work at it, as opposed to getting hitched because you're in line for a promotion at work. There needs to be an equal division of labour and resources, and open space for conversation, dialogue, and love, as a bonus – you can't eat love, as they say. If the benefits are not there, and you prefer your own company, that should be an acceptable life choice also. Those people telling you to get married won't be the ones left picking up the pieces if it fails.
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