I would like to think I am one of the most confident people I know. On a scale of 1-10, I would rate my confidence level a 20. Not to say that I am overconfident or anything, but my close friends can attest to my (regular) bouts of “(over)feeling myself.” 😀
However, I had been overwhelmed with feelings of insecurity and inadequacy lately ….
You see, I am a 29 year old female (would be 30 in August) and I am single. Surely, there is more to me than these two singular elements, but sadly, this has been the identity that I was deceived to internalize for several weeks. From the consistent (however well-intentioned) “when will you get married?” questions stemming from every angle 😏 to the NUMEROUS unsolicited advice from people on how to get a man (lol). And how could I forget the”shocking” response when some discover that you are (still) single: “Tolu, you are too fine not to have a guy” or “beautiful girl like you? what are you waiting for?” 💁🏽
While all these may seem like trifles to some (after all they are only harmless comments and inquiries by well wishing family, friends and acquaintances), these pressures begin to take a toll overtime. I don’t think people realize how a comment uttered can easily plant a deadly seed in someone’s mind. Every passing week, I was constantly being reminded that I was “incomplete” (by some standards) simply because I am not joined to a man. From the (unrequested) periodic engagement/wedding/baby reports I receive about how so and so just got married last weekend and “when is your own?” to some even going the extra mile to match make me😳! And for a time there, I abandoned my true identity in Christ and began to allow these “labels” to define me, I started to feel that maybe there was something not quite right with me while figuring out how to tame my “intimidating” personality. But thank God for snapping me out of that destructive state of identity crisis.
Rather than let the devil steal my joy and allow myself to continue to feel defeated, I had to take those insecurities to God because it was not a pretty sight. In all these, He helped me to realize something that I think someone else needs to hear: Stop trying to change yourself to fit other people’s ideals, YOU are ENOUGH! You have to know and BELIEVE and constantly remind yourself that “I am Enough.” Regardless of your present circumstance, no matter how much it seems like your peers are progressing getting their Masters, PhD, getting married, having babies, climbing the corporate ladder, thriving in their business, whatever it is, YOU are Enough!
To anyone that may be feeling the pressures of the single life, please do understand that Singleness is NOT a disease! It is only a phase of life and rather than being unhappy about the absent elements, be thankful and celebrate the present ones! More importantly, celebrate those around you that are thriving while you wait on God to make great things happen through you.
To family, friends and well wishers, I love y’all (I really do) and I am sure you mean well. I asked a few ladies for their thoughts and we (single ladies alike) would like you to understand (and be sensitive to) a few things:
- Please stop with the “when are you getting married?” questions, it just makes us anxious like we are running out of time. We do not know when but be rest assured when that time comes, you will find out somehow.
- Just because we are Facebook friends does not give you a pass to randomly message me to inquire about my marital plans. Please stop and if you don’t…
- Our singleness is really not an interesting topic of discussion (which is why we seldom talk about it), so please respect our refusal to discuss it. However, we can talk about the other interesting things we have going on in our minds: like how we can jump start that business idea or how we can go deeper in our walk with God and developing spiritual gifts or how you can help with my Euro Trip 🙂
- We are well aware of the fact that we are not getting any younger, you don’t need to keep reminding us. And it would not be the end of the world if our younger siblings get married before us.
- Match making makes some of us itchy, so please don’t be offended when I blatantly refuse your attempt to set me up with “this nice guy from…” He may look nice to you, but he could very well be a disaster waiting to happen. Judas was one of the 12 disciples after all…
- And yes we know Lisa Simpson got married last weekend and Jenifa, our high school classmate had a baby 2 days ago, and yes Aunty I realize my cousins are all married (I was there remember?); so we can do without the periodic reports…really.
- Singleness is not a curse; please celebrate all the positive things in our lives and stop making us feel like we are lacking just because we are not married…YET.
- While we will continue to work on our character flaws, please do not expect or ask or imply that we lower our standards or ask us to “tone down” our achievements so that we do not intimidate guys. We are sorry, we cannot meet that expectation.
- And finally, the “how to get married in 1 week” advice needs to stop as the e-book is all sold out 😦 Here are some of the interesting advice some of us have received lately:
- “Get out more” or “put yourself out there” they say. Surely you do not expect us to walk around holding a “dear men this is me putting myself out there” sign?
- “Forget about the looks, if he has money, that will fix it all” Double LOL:-D
- “Don’t worry about the looks, you can touch him up after marriage” I am not sure he would appreciate a #facebeat
- “Shine your eyes” Errmm??? I don’t follow😐
- “Are there no men in your church? Maybe you should try another church” It appears that church has been re-purposed for getting a man 🙂
- “Chemistry is not important” then how are we supposed to get the reactions started?😌
Enough with the funnies and let’s get serious here. Please do not misunderstand us to think we are anti-marriage or pro-single. You see, marriage is not a race and neither is it a destination; which is why we cannot afford to team up with any Tom, Dick or Harry (sorry for the gentlemen with these names :-), but you get the idea). We do not need to worry about time running out: how can this be when my Daddy is the author of time?
What we are trying to say is that we understand that marriage is one of the most beautiful institutions God created and we cannot wait (in fact we are super excited) to finally be joined with “the one” and have several babies and all that great stuff. Until then, we are busy equipping ourselves! Busy developing our gifts and talents, discovering ourselves, growing, learning, serving God like crazy, volunteering, travelling, building business empires…the list is endless! We are fearfully and wonderfully made, so we refuse to settle for less than God’s best!
A buffalo huge shout out to my CCC ladies for their invaluable contribution to this post, you ladies added flavor and spice to this one. Thank you ladies, you rock! 🙂
Unapologetically Single and enjoying every moment,
To anyone that find themselves in this “why am i not married rut”, here are some of the scriptures that have snapped me back to my senses, I hope they encourage you too.
- Genesis 2:18 (ERV): Then the Lord God said, “I see that it is not good for the man to be alone. I will make the companion he needs, one just right for him.”
- Psalm 84: 11 (NLT): …”The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right”
- Isaiah 26:3 (NLT): “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you”
- Lamentations 3:25 (ERV): “The Lord is good to those who wait for him. He is good to those who look for him”