To all the single ladies and single men.
Are you single, happy, at peace with your status, and flourishing in life? Or are you subconsciously putting your life on hold waiting, for your dream man or dream woman to make you happy and help fulfill your life purpose?
Society places a lot of emphasis and human value on getting married. It happens in both the developing and developed countries.
Women, especially, have so much pressure to be married by their early to mid-20s, and to start reproducing babies, and to take care of their husbands, and other expectations created by culture and societal norms.
In some cultures, if you're not married by 25–28, you're viewed as getting too old, running out of time, or not good marriage material.
The pressure then starts from parents, siblings, extended family, and even friends and work colleagues.
Sometimes they take it upon themselves to start looking out for a good match so you can be blissfully wedded ASAP.
Then there's the urgency to get married so as to beat the biological clock. That clock that every woman dreads, talks about, and believes will adversely affect them if they don't have kids by a certain age.
So much pressure on us women.
Why do we have to be defined as successful women based on our marital status, on how quickly we can get hitched, and by our reproductive abilities?
This pressure has led so many women down the wrong path in life. Literally, this societal pressure has caused dejection and depression in many women and led to irreversible psychological damage, chronic illness, and even death.
The pressure to get married then leads us to select, unite, and commit our lives to any Tom, Dick, or Harry without really looking at the big picture of that person, all his attributes, his intellectual capacity, his family background, etc.
Marriage can be beautiful, very beautiful, between two involved people who love themselves unconditionally; give themselves space and boundaries to shine in their own gifts and life purposes; care, protect, and respect each other mutually; and who do not stamp fixed roles on each other. As you can see, these are tall orders, especially from two people who are brought up in varied and different family backgrounds and have different beliefs about family roles and structure.
But there are still some beautiful marriages—those who at least practice the above 80 percent of the time.
I still believe in marriage. I do. I believe it is an institution that is good for us and for the world.
But it must not define anyone, women or men.
Then there is the married group who stay married at all costs.
Women who feel their life definitions and images in society depend so much on their marital status that they conform to absolutely anything—even abuse, whether physical, mental, or verbal. Some women stay because of economic and financial reasons, some because of the kids, some because marriage simply is all that defines their existences—their human value. Some stay because of emotional, psychological, and sometimes physical intimidation by their husbands.
Men, on the other hand, often stay for the convenience (though sometimes, of course, for the reasons noted in the previous paragraph). They build separate lives outside of their wives and are only present physically at home for their family. And this vicious cycle continues for way too long.
Labels cause us a lot of problems in the world.
We should not be defined by labels, of which marital status is one: Mr., Mrs., Ms., Miss.
Our value must lie in our hearts. What we do with our minds. What we are adding to our communities, societies, and the world.
God loves us all equally—single, married, divorced, widowed. He places equal value on all of us.
Singles who are young men and women—your life purposes are greater than marriage. Marriage can be good. It can be lovely. Yes, it absolutely can. But it must enable and allow you to be the best version of yourself. Marriage must not dim your light. It must not suppress your gifts. It must allow you to use your talents and gifts to fulfill your purposes and contribute your part to the world. Marriage must be comfortable with your dreams. You cannot stop dreaming great dreams because you're married.
As individuals, your life partner/spouse must be on board with you, must be on the same page as you.
Compromise here and there, of course. But do not compromise on your dreams, life path, and life purpose. Do not compromise the integrity of your soul, your sanity of mind, and your freedom to be you.
Your spouse's dreams and successes must not define you or dim your own light and life purpose.
Married friends—I'll be brief. My point is this: don't stay for all the wrong reasons and die without living.