Our society typically does not encourage singlehood in any form or shape – once you are of marriageable age (whether fully educated or not, gainfully employed or not), parents, relatives, neighbors, and even strangers will start asking you the dreaded question: “When will you get married?”
For some weird reason, a lot of Nigerians equate marriage with ultimate success and accomplishment. The kind of respect you receive once you get married is totally different from what you would get as a well accomplished single individual.
No matter how successful you are in your career or business, some people would still regard you as a second class citizen if you are unmarried.
To marry or not to marry?
It is no wonder that many young people are now rushing into marriages that they are not ready for, only to rush out after a few years. The high rate of divorce and broken homes in Nigeria in recent times are testaments to this fact.
Forever is not as long as it used to be anymore, and the catchy phrase, ‘happily ever after,’ is gradually fading into oblivion because there is no happiness to be had in a marriage that should not even exist in the first place.
However, is it actually possible to stand your ground and remain single in this sort of society that glorifies marriage (whether happy or not)? Can you actually damn the pressure from all quarters and be truly satisfied as a single individual in Nigeria?
The answer to the above questions is yes! You can be happily single in Naija, and here are 4 exciting ways to make that happen.
4 Ways to be happily single
- Be satisfied with your current status: One of the primary triggers that push people into half-baked relationships is the feeling of not being enough. Some people tend to believe that the only way they can be whole is when they are in a relationship with someone else, but the truth is, if you do not feel complete on your own, it might be nearly impossible to find that ‘perfect’ match to complete you. Years of conditioning have taught us to believe that we can’t exist alone, that we must always have someone we are accountable to at all times. This isn’t true! It’s okay to be alone because your alone time can be a learning and growing phase. Being alone is not the same as being lonely. Enjoy your independence, get to know yourself better, figure out what makes you tick, and groom yourself to be the ideal partner when the time comes for you to be in a relationship. Invest in yourself and learn useful skills that will be beneficial to your career or business. This is the point in your life where you have the final say when it comes to making decisions that concern your life and future. Utilize this period to your advantage and enjoy the season for as long as it lasts.
- Fall in love with yourself first: Renowned preacher and businessman, Bishop T.D Jakes once said, “I have always known what I wanted in a relationship because I have dated me before.” While that statement might sound a little strange to many, there is a ton of wisdom to glean from it. Have you dated you? Are you in love with yourself? Do you have a set of values that guide you in your dealings and interaction with others? Do you know what you deserve in a relationship? Do you respect yourself? If you are able to answer these questions sincerely, you will see that there is a lot that goes into building you as a person before getting yourself hooked to another person. Getting to know yourself is an important way to prepare yourself for a future relationship. What are your core values? Not many people have taken the time to go on a journey of self-discovery before tying themselves up in relationships. You need to first be in love with yourself before you can be in love with someone else. You come first because you matter. When you love yourself, it becomes easier to love another person because of the positive energy that comes with that strong emotion. Enjoy being the love of your life and stop searching for a mythical Prince Charming to sweep you off your feet or Fairy Princess to whisk you away into paradise.
- Explore: What most single people don’t realize is that being in a relationship is like having a two-step verification code to gain access to do just about anything. You cannot just wake up one morning and pack up your things to take a trip on a whim. You would have to first inform your partner (not necessarily to seek permission) to keep them in the loop. It would help if you always considered your partner when making vital life decisions. It’s not just all about you anymore because you’re now attached to someone that you need to carry along at all times. Now we are not trying to discourage you from getting into a relationship. However, the point here is that when you’re single, you have the absolute freedom to do whatever you like or go wherever you want without having to answer to anyone. So take advantage of this stage and explore the world to your heart’s content. Travel – go on solo vacations or fun staycations if you can’t afford something fancy. Take yourself out on dinner dates, learn new languages, and engage in sporting activities that you enjoy. You can have a blast all by yourself if you put your heart into it.
- Spend quality time with people who matter: Guess what? The same family members that have been nagging at you to get married are the same ones that will complain at any given opportunity that they don’t see you as much as they’d like to once you do get married. So now that you’re still very single, always find ways to spend quality time with them and cherish these moments because you too will miss them when you start your own home away from them. Hang out with your friends. Being happily single is not an avenue to become an island or to be self-absorbed. Don’t turn yourself into a hermit simply because you’re single. As much as you’re trying to enjoy your alone time, remember to also be with the people who will always be a part of your life regardless of your relationship status.