Updated on March 31, 2017
I come from a Haitian/ Caribbean background where if you are in your mid twenties or older you are expected to have your master’s degree, be married, and start popping out babies shortly after these life changing events. This is the case for a number of women where all of these life achievements happen seemingly without much effort however, for some of us it does not.
I get so tired of people constantly asking me when are you going to get married? Are you in a relationship? When are you going to have kids? You have a boyfriend, what is he waiting on? When are you gonna get your masters? Don’t you just love when the elder adults in your community who assume you don’t have a boyfriend tell you “I have someone for you.” Even if I did not have a boyfriend what makes you think I will even like your prospect?
I don’t think people realize how annoying and nerve wracking this is. If they do they must not care. I get it, back in the day people had nothing better to do than to get married and procreate. Well we are in 2017 now , times have changed, and these nosy people are just being plain old rude for continuously asking these questions. Why can’t they understand, its not that people like me don’t want to get married, it may not be as easy as blinking your eyes for it to happen. You need to meet the right person, you may have goals you want to accomplish, or you may just need the right circumstances in order to tie the knot. Whatever it may be just take your time. Like her song says:
“Life is a journey, not a destination.”- India arie
Also, these days some people do not want to be married or have kids. Either way, however someone chooses to live their life should not continuously be a topic of discussion especially if the person being antagonized did not initiate the conversation.
Here are a few tips on how to cope with not meeting the marriage expectations society or your communty places on you:
Politely Shrug Off Their Questions
When people try to pry into your life with these questions, it may be tempting to give them a rude answer but remember reacting with ignorance will not make their ignorance go away. If anything they may be tempted to continue irritating you with their ignorant questions. However, the next person that asks me when I will be getting married, I am tempted to reply, “when you receive an invite to my wedding in the mail.” (Do people think they would not eventually hear about a marriage. Trust me if I were getting married everyone who is important to me would know.) But normally I simply say when God is ready for me to.
Realize you are not alone
You may feel like you are the last person to get married if that is a desire of yours but you are not. The reason you feel this was is because you maybe focusing way too much on trying to be married. Instead switch your focus to doing things that make you happy. Just as positive energy attracts more positive energy, when you are happy you will attract a happy individual.
There are plenty of studies out there which point to women not marrying as early as they did when women had barely any rights. With the cost of living constantly rising plenty of people are often choosing to put their careers first and getting married later in life. Women are also choosing to have children later in life, if you have the means to do so, freeze your eggs. That way you have a plan b.
Do not rush into a relationship
Do not feel pressured to succumb to societies standards which can make you feel bad about yourself. Remind yourself these standards do not apply to everyone. Everyone is different therefore our timing for life events will naturally be different. Everything will fall in place when the time is right.
If you allow family, friends, and/ or society to get into your head this will cloud your judgment when in a relationship. You may be tempted to endure a little more mistreatment in a relationship just to get that ring. In the end you will only have yourself to blame because you create the life you want, and staying in a dead end relationship will only keep you from who you are meant to be with and a better happier future. I have seen this happen too many times in the relationships of people who are close to me.
Look on the bright side
God/ universe (whichever you believe in) is preparing a prince charming just for you somewhere out there in the world. Unfortunately, you just will kiss a few frogs to find him.
Seriously, take your time to enjoy your freedom. Become the best you you can be. Marriage and starting a family are beautiful things but when you do these things, it’s no longer only about you. It becomes about “us”, since you then become a team with your spouse. There will be no more of you getting up and doing whatever you please or however you please, instead you will now need to share your whereabouts and think of how it will affect your significant other and your future children who will constantly require your attention.
Besides some people are so miserable in their lives they are amused when you share your inadequacies. Life is not perfect, we may not all get married, we may not all have kids, but you can decide to create a happy life by living the best quality of life you know how to live.
Peace and Love,