Confessions: What Is Your Expiry Date?
Marriage is an extremely common topic in our society. As a young woman, I am constantly confronted with deep questions alluding to my relationship status. Being single or “getting-to-know” is not quite acceptable because most people want to know… “is it leading to marriage? Have you met his parents? When can we wear Aso Ebi?”
The immense pressure built around the idea of getting married is enough to either scare you off or force you to choose a partner who might not be right for you. The notion of getting married for love might as well be an ancient phenomenon, as we find ourselves in a more complicated era where we begin to factor in our brains and logic rather than just our hearts. Thus, women are faced with many factors, which influence their “ideal” age for married. Is there such a thing as an expiry date?
We have put together a few opinions with quotes from young women between the ages of 20-25 and we tested the question, “what is your expiry date?”
Funmi (21 years old)
“When a woman is in her 30s, family relatives tend to start interfering with her personal life and encouraging her to settle for just any man whether he is compatible with her or not. I would say my ideal age to get married would be either 26 or 27. I picked this age because I would still be young and which woman doesn’t want to be young in her marriage pictures. Also, on a more honest note, I do not want people to start feeling sorry for me because usually when a woman is in her late 20s (about 28-29 years old) with no boyfriend or fiancée. People who you are not even close to start to take it upon themselves to give you lectures on how picky you are and “time is ticking”. The age of 30 is also another scary age for a woman to be single in the Yoruba culture. No matter how successful you are in your chosen profession people tend to look down on you solely because you do not wield a ring”
Rita (25 years old)
“Divorce rates have soared in Nigeria because of pressured women getting married to men they do not love. I have an unmarried older sister who is getting into her middle 30s. She is very beautiful, slim, intelligent, successful and caring. These are features that most people would find attractive, right? However, she is not married and this bothered me a few years ago. When I was 19 years old, I witnessed an aunt encouraging my sister to get with a man I was a 100% sure was not right for her. I believed she could do much better than that man. This unnecessary pressure bothered me since I have never been in any serious relationship. Worrying about whether I will be married at my ideal age or even in my 30s is simply just taking time away from enjoying the age that I am in now.
Anita (23 years old)
“My ideal age to get married is 25 or 26. I came up with this age based on the calculation of the amount of time I have left in school. Fortunately or unfortunately, I have been raised with the pre-conceived notion prevalent in the Nigerian society that as a female, once you’re done with school you should ideally be getting married. Women are primarily the homemakers, so there isn’t really any encouragement for us to be ambitious or successful, rather we are expected to aspire to marriage and are sometimes pressured into it. When it comes to marriage I am scared that I could become a victim of the ‘pressure’ and end up marrying someone I don’t love just because they are ‘ready’ for marriage or just to satisfy my mothers check list. if a woman waits till the age of 30 to get married, we tell her she will be getting ‘leftovers’ and that she’s ‘reached her expiry date.”
Photo Credit: Temi Coker