When Are You Getting Married? (The Stigma of Singlehood in Ghana)

One question which you are bound to hear when you are between the ages of 25-30  and beyond is "when are you getting married?" It's either asked by your friends, former classmates, your parents, grandparents, work colleagues, Pastor and his wife, the youth leader and even the orange seller under the mango tree near your house. Another 'favorite' of mine is "what are you waiting for?" Everywhere you go, the question is thrown at you playfully or with a stern look which you could swear could break concrete. Pressure. It's everywhere. 

Being single can come in different forms; never married, divorced and now single, widowed and now single. Whatever form it comes in these categories of people face some form of stigmatization and  family pressure to walk down the altar asap! 

Why do people give pressure to unmarried men and women to get married when they aren't ready? Why are people pressured by they themselves to get married when they don't even know how to live as a single ? Why do churches give deadlines to their faithful on when they think it's been appointed for them to walk down the altar; THIS YEAR YOU WILL GET MARRIED!! And the congregation shouts, 'AMEN!'

Its really sad how some parents in the rut of their selfish desire to see their grandchildren push their daughters and sons into a not-prepared-for nuptial knowing very well that they aren't ready. It's even sadder when these same young adults are unable to say no to their parents because their friends are getting to wear that gorgeous French lace wedding gown so why shouldn't they get their breakthrough as well. When the issues come within the first three months in the marriage do you think your parents will be there? It's the same family members who will tell you to sit in and solve your own wahala! 

What's up with people, especially women who just got married giving pressure to their single friends to also "hurry up because they have kept too long." ? Since when did getting married become a race or trend? What even gives them the right when they haven't even celebrated their 5th wedding anniversary? Like seriously? :) 

One day I realized I had been added to my alma mater whatsapp chat group. That was cool. I was amazed when one day whilst going through the chats, I came upon a suggestion being made by one woman that the dress code for an upcoming wedding of one of our members should be pink for single women and white for the married. I left the group. So now singles are facing segregation? Ridiculous. Its also interesting how people just assume someone is your boyfriend or girlfriend just because you post a photo of the two of you on Facebook. What is Social Media doing to us? A friend of mine took a photo with me at a recent Google event and I found this photo uploaded to his Facebook as a cover photo or profile photo whichever. The comments that followed that photo was just immaturely astonishing!

'You two look good together',

'Oh when is the date?' 'Wow! What a lovely couple!'

was just a few of the comments. I advised him to take it down because i wasn't ready to be known publicly for what i wasn't. 

To the above mentioned individuals (aunties, uncles, parents, work colleagues, grandparents (pass it on to them) , your boss, waakye seller, classmates, etc) who keep posing these kinds of questions to singles, this is my New Year message to you

- Before you ask anyone in 'When are they getting married' why don't you look at your own married life and ask yourself if your corner is clean and spotless and if you are happy in yours. 

-Stop giving pressure whether in joviality or seriousness because your unwanted pressure can make someone make the wrong devastating choice. 

-What business is it of yours if someone's time of marriage isn't falling according to your timeline? Why not focus on making your marriage work and how to make your husband or wife happy? I think that will be a more productive venture than  becoming a singles inquisitor. For all we know things aren't working out for you so you have a strong inner and hidden agenda to let your friend make the same mistake as you did. please sit in it and make it work and let singles work on bettering themselves and preparing for their partner. 

- Ask yourself if you gave in to pressure from your family or peers and are now regretting it. Don't tell us the answer. 

- Instead of giving pressure try giving some advice. 

My New Year message to Singles waiting and expecting to get married is this :

- There is nothing wrong with you. 

-  Do everything possible not to be pressured into getting married. Especially you the single women. You haven't delayed neither are you late. Don't try and jump ahead of Gods time set for you to marry. To quote Dr Myles Munroe in his book 'Understanding Your Potential' .....If he has designed for you to marry in Chapter 17 and you got married in Chapter 2 you have missed and ignored what God wanted you to learn about marriage between 2 and 16." It's man who thinks you are late so ignore them. 

-Is your life in order before adding another person to your life till death wrenches you apart? As fast as many are going down the altar so are there many feet climbing up the stairs to the divorce lawyers office. You do not want to make a mistake. There are some very lonely married couple so don't think you are not in a good place. If I were you, I will do everything possible to learn what you can about marriage. 

-Know the type of man or woman you want, develop your self and skills as a wife or husband and understand that marriage is work! Yes the wedding gown is beautiful and the euphoria of the event will be awesome but right after that the life long journey will begin. Are you ready for that? And so what if your classmates and your junior sisters classmates are all married? Do you know what goes on behind their closed doors once they get home? 

- How to handle your inquisitive relatives ? The next time you see them at a funeral just ask them one question : "When should we expect yours or What are you waiting for?" 

- Enjoy single hood whilst you have it because there will be a time when you won't be able to do all the crazy shopping and partying like you used to. 

- Get busy. Don't just sit and say you are waiting around for your husband or be so focused on grabbing. 

- What other people think about you is none of your business. 

- The fact that you are alone doesn't mean you are lonely. There are some very lonely married people. Trust me I know! 

I thank God that He's preparing me for the man which I will be a helper to and it won't be long now because His work is almost complete. So those of you who have bought your wedding hats and waiting for an invitation..... 

Both you and I were planned to be part of someone's destiny so definitely we will marry! Unless you have decided not to ever get married, that's your choice. We are living in a society where single women and men are being subtly stigmatized and treated like they have some weird skin disease. I often wonder if single men receive more pressure than the single women. People in your church will tell you that they are praying earnestly for you so have no fear! Instead of the church holding SIngles seminars on relationships and marriage to prepare the young and often ignorant ones they'd rather fight spiritual forces holding onto your marital blessings. Concerning a woman's biological clock ticking, I think mine was made from China because the hand must be broken. I wonder who manufactured that invisible clock which many women claim is ticking. If you can hear it ticking, please take out the batteries! Some friends say that they might as well have a baby with any man if they aren't going to get proposed to soon, it seems to be better to have an illegitimate child than to be single. 

I am seeing a lot of my friends get divorced and I sometimes thank God that I can learn from other peoples mistakes and also mine to give me a stronger foundation and preparation. I wouldn't want to rush into a marriage only to realize I have made a mistake. Divorce isn't an option for me.  Marriage is enjoyable and meant to be enjoyed papapaaaa so take time and choose wisely! A prayer which a friend told me to pray was, "Lord prepare me for my husband." and I felt the truth in my heart because many at times we pray to get married and forget to ask for the heart to take in another person. 

Happy New Year to you all! Thank you to all my readers and commentators! CreativeDela,

+terry abban


+Ato Ulzen-Appiah


+Edward Amartey-Tagoe

 , BluGh,

+Damien Nelson



 , Jerry, Milana, etc..... 2014 is indeed going to be so much more incredulous than we ever imagined! 

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