By Victory Oduneye
*How Single Ladies Can Cope with the Pressure of waiting for Mr. Right
The wedding day is the dream of every lady. It is a day that is most anticipated and gracely prepared for.
The ideal age for women to get married, according to respondents in a poll conducted by Gallup, is between 22 – 25 years. But this is not so for many ladies, who have to go through the agony of being single even beyond 30 years.
Why I was Still Single At 40yrs
An example is Mrs. Ayodele Folashade Olufunke, who was above 40 years of age before she finally got married. In this interview with TheNewsBeam, she narrated how she coped with the pressure and agony of many years of been a single lady.
Explaining the factors that contributed to her prolonged single status, she said, “I finished secondary school at the age of 17, and coming from a family that values tertiary education, I was hell bent on going to the higher institution.
“Finishing secondary school at age 17 and trying to get admission into the University was a tug of war as I kept on not meeting with the admission’s criteria.
“I didn’t get admission into school until 8 years later at the age of 25.
“However as a determined woman, I waved every thought of marriage and remained focused on achieving my dream of getting a degree before crossing the path of marriage”, she said.
According to the Gallup poll, most people believe that there is a certain age group a lady is supposed to get married, and if she misses that period, it’s said to be difficult to get settled, because, guys at that age wants someone younger.
Speaking with a man on this issue said, “I would rather marry a lady in her mid-twenties than a woman in her late twenties or early thirties, because I believe women in these age group are so desperate that they hide their character and present their best so as to attract a husband.”
Therefore, pressure for ladies approaching this age group, or already in this age group, or who have surpassed this group is always intense.
The Responsibility Factor
Folashade however explained that the responsibility of her religious duties helped in this regard.
“I wasn’t under any pressure because first of all, I was carrying a huge responsibility at a young age. I was ordained a deacon in my church at age 25, and I have been seen as a minister ever since. This helped in the way I saw myself and it also got people to respect me.
“Although, the bad part about this is that it sent prospects away as they were afraid to walk up to their ‘pastor’ not knowing what to expect. However, it helped me to see myself in a good light and as an example for others, which reduced the pressure for me.”
A Goal Getter
In addition to this responsibility, Folashade said she had goals, which she was focused on achieving, and this focus made the pressure to get married more distant.
“I had goals I wanted to achieve before getting married, and this also helped in reducing pressure.
“Like I said earlier, I had a number of things I wanted to achieve before marriage, so not meeting them were like an excuse for me not to get married. This helped put me on my toe and got me busy, as I didn’t even know my age was counting”.
“An adage says an ‘idle hand or mind is the devil’s workshop’, and because of this knowledge, I made up my to get busy.
“I was self employed and I was so busy with church activities, that there was no time to throw a pity party for myself.
“I have been working since I finished secondary school, so It was easy getting to do something for myself. This also helped to reduce the pressure of wanting a guy to get me things, as I could afford them”.
Folashade also cited her position in the family and experience with married people as other factors that helped her cope.
She said, “The pressure was also reduced because I am not the first born, I am the 4th in a family of seven children.”
“Asides my position in the family, understanding what the journey of marriage is all about reduced pressure.
“Early in life, I was privileged to work with married people and this exposed me to different marriages, abuses, in fact, I was able to see different failed marriages, and that was enough to chase pressure away, because I promised myself to get it right, as I didn’t want to be a victim”.
“Also, another pressure killer is my family’s understanding that God’s time is the best, they didn’t pressure me at all or create situations or discussions that could put me under pressure.”
Pressure From Friends
With regards to pressure from friends, Folashade said, “I didn’t get pressure from friends because I surrounded myself with people who wouldn’t put me under pressure, I carefully selected my friends.
“Moreover, my friends understood and encouraged me, rather than put me under pressure.
“Another thing that worked for me, that helped me with friends, is that I mingled with the married more than with the singles, so, all the talks about singles that put other singles under pressure wasn’t there for me.”
Talking about the funniest thing she heard about her state of being unmarried, she said, “I didn’t hear alot of them, but the one I heard was that people taught I was too churchy and I was waiting for the ‘perfect man'”.
Experience with men
“Guy’s have always been around, but I wasn’t willing to settle with the wrong one, as I didn’t want to end up having a failed marriage.”
“I remember a guy who was behaving all perfect, but found out he was a liar, telling me lies so he could have his way with me, but thank God for God and the knowledge I have been exposed to that saved me.”
Also recounting another experience, she said, “There was a day this guy and I were walking, we were on a bridge, and as we were coming down from the bridge we saw a mad man displaying, instead of this guy discussing what we could do together to be safe or look for a way out, he bolted away, leaving me to face the mad man alone.
“While waiting, still trying to process what had happened, some guys approaching from the other side of the bridge, who saw what had happened, advised me to forget about that guy if he is my fiancee, because he cannot protect me.
“Although, the guy hadn’t said anything about relationship to me, but he was giving signs, however, with the incident that happened, I knew it was a sign that marriage was a no go area with him”.
Proposing to a man?
When asked if she ever felt like proposing to a guy before because she liked him and he wasn’t saying anything, she said, “Because I wasn’t under pressure, it wasn’t on my mind to propose or ask a guy out.
“Except when I was getting signals from two of my (male) friends at different times, and I tried to make them voice out by engaging them in conversations relating to that and asking questions.
“I did that only because I was close to them, but I didn’t ask them directly.”
The Right Man
“To be honest, I wasn’t shocked when he came around to declare his intentions, because I knew 2 years before he came”.
“I received him 2 years before he proposed, but I declined, because I didn’t like anything about him, so I found every means to avoid him for those 2 years, so that he wouldn’t notice me.
“But as you cannot run away from your shadow, I ended up with him.”
“Infact when he came around, I did everything to scare him away, I told him everything negative about me, but to my utmost surprise, he wasn’t moved, he stayed still and was ready to go ahead.
“I even showed him the picture of my burnt body as a result of the accident I had two years before he came. The accident was a very serious one, an electric poll in my area fell on me while walking on the street one day, I was severely burnt, it’s just by His Grace that I’m alive today.
“The scars are many, but he was still willing to go ahead with his proposal, then, I knew there was no place to run to again”.
Advice to Single Ladies
“Prayer is the ultimate, you have to pray and pray hard.
“Also, let people see humility in you, men want people who they can approach, someone they know wouldn’t compete with them or their ego”.
She advised ladies especially those who have achieved alot to be down to earth and be willing to let go of what is not important in order to get what’s important.