Is it only women who are affected by it?

I was speaking to a male acquaintance the other day and he wanted to know my age. When I told him I would be 29 in two weeks, the first thing that came out of his mouth was “are you married?”. When I said no, there was this few seconds of silence before he responded. He asked me why, I told him I was not in any rush to get married because I have not met the right man. He tried to agree with me or rather patronise me (not for too long though) and then came the big bad phrase I have learnt to abolish; he said time isn’t on my side because of my age. TIME ISN’T ON MY SIDE? REALLY? Is there an age limit to get married? If so, why does it only have to affect women and not men? After all, are we not all humans? Or is it because women are child bearers? The sad thing is the male acquaintance is already 29 and not married as well but does not see the need to get married. According to him, he is still very young.

Growing up, we were taught by our society and culture that a woman is supposed to be married, settled and have at least three kids by 30. That is the unspoken law. Maybe we are just trying to follow in the footsteps of our parents, grandparents and even our forefathers before us. Most of our parents got married, had us before they even turned 30. For instance, my mother got married at 20 and had 8 kids (one passed away) by 30. My big question is, was it what they really wanted? By the time most of our parents turned 40, they had already started living as brothers and sisters instead of husbands and wives. Why was that the case? I feel there was not enough love and compatibility to keep the marriages going in the first place. They started living each day for their children instead of the main reason of marriage. Most of our mothers were pressured to get married early just because society declared an age limit to be married especially for women. And that still happens today. Most of our mothers’ friends who were not married were looked upon with pity. Did it ever occur to them that maybe they were not meant to get married.

When I was growing up, I made a promise to myself to get married by 25 to the man of my dreams. I knew this promise would be so easy to keep because I had so much time on my hands to fulfil it and also because most of the women around me got married by 25. Society also wanted us to be married by then. But as I got older and wiser, that promise flew out of the window because I began to realise that getting married by 25 is not the problem, but getting the right man is. When I turned 25, I was ready to get married but I didn’t have the man of my dreams to accompany me into this lifetime journey. Now I am almost 29 and still searching but not in a desperate way though. Because I have learnt to understand that marriage is not for everyone, I am not going to be a “Yes Lady” to any Tom, Dick or Harry who comes my way just because my biological clock is ticking away. If I never meet the right man, I will know for sure that I was not meant to be married and life goes on. That is just my opinion. What do you think?

When I say the man of my dreams, I’m not talking about one stupid knight in shining armour that will just appear from nowhere in the last minute and save you from all love sicknesses and heartaches or never-ever-seen prince charming who will come bearing gifts of everlasting love and romance. Do they really exist? I am talking about the man who will love me for who I am and not see me as a potential baby making factory. The one who will still love me way after I have given birth to his kids and not start treating me like one of his sisters. Someone who will look at me after 15years together with the same love and admiration as when we first met. The man who will disagree with some of the things I do but not judge me. The one who will treat me as an equal and not practice a master-servant relationship with me.

The pressure of marriage by a certain age as well comes from our peers. Just because ‘A’ whom I went to school with is married does not mean I have to get married as well. She might have met Mr Right but I haven’t or she might be married for all the wrong reasons. Nowadays, what some of our peers fail to understand is the fact that marriage is a sacrament and not a competition. Do not rush into it just because you feel time is against you. Do not rush and get married to a stranger just because menopause is cripping up on you or because society will brand you a disappointment.

Marriage should not have an age limit. We can meet the right partner at 20, 30, 40 or even 50 irrespective of gender. The way a woman feels about marriage at 30 or 40, is the same way a man feels at those ages. Men should not think they have more time on their hands just because the society plays a fair card on them. They also have biological clocks sticking louder than Big Ben. People make up the society so if we base our ideas of marriage on what society thinks; it means we are letting other people take control of our lives. It is better to get married at 40 to the right person rather than get married at 20 or 25 because of age. Remember every marriage has a problem but only the ones with love, respect and compatibility can stand the test of time irrespective of age.

Yenih blogs on and she is an accomplished UK based writer.

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In the beginning...Let there be Light

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