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So, What’s the Hype About Marriage?

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TELL Cover Page

This is a rant. Having a parent around during the bleak autumn/winter months is not ideal for several reasons. Please don’t get me wrong, parents are a blessing to have around at any time, but if you are unmarried, it is extra hard to deal with the constant nagging to find a partner.

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If it was easier, one would go to the shops to buy a partner. The shops in this context are online dating sites such as Tinder, Grindr (for gays and bisexuals), Plenty of Fish, eHarmony, Match.com, BENaughty, EliteSingles, Zoosk, Christianmingle.com.

The trouble is that the majority of men on these sites want one thing only. So, forget dating. What is that? Let us just have sex or a casual relationship. What is wrong with men these days?

A video in Facebook shows a mother crying and begging her unmarried daughter to do something about her ‘situation’. After the exaggerated tears, the daughter had mercy on her mother and promised to date. The end of the video shows the mother letting up a mischievous wink. Whilst, most mothers are not that dramatic, many singletons endure similar pressure from their parents to get married. Most times, it does not matter if you marry a friend, the message seems to be: just get married.

The pressure to marry is depressing. I think. Most people want to get married, but unfortunately, they cannot marry themselves! They need to fall in love and get married or marry and fall in love later! Whichever is easier. But what if it never happens. What if it happens much later in life? Is marriage the best thing life has got to offer? Really? Does it, for instance, beat getting published in a national magazine?

Marriage is important in every culture and in every nation, but for Nigerians, marriage is much more than a day of celebration in itself. It is an end all by itself. Some Nigerians live for two things: to get married and to have sex. Perhaps, we should leave sex out of it and edify the conversation by discussing only marriage.

People respect the institution of marriage. They should. The problem is that such veneration makes life a little bit uncomfortable for the rest of us unmarried singletons. If you are married, enjoy your marriage and leave us alone.

An unmarried woman who has achieved in the world of business, career and academia is not regarded as much only because she is not married. The Nigerian society is terrible for reinforcing this. The wedding ring is all there is to life: not Boko Haram, not the fuel scarcity, not declining electricity, not kidnapping or galloping inflation, not malaria, childhood obesity, not fraudsters and sugar daddies. The problem is that you are not married! Surely, there are worse things in life.

Cleverly, churches have made millions of naira on the back of this niche market. Seminars, deliverance sessions, retreat sessions, all night vigils for unmarried women are on the increase. Men of God, do paid mountain top prayer sessions with women. Women are encouraged to return to their homes with anointing oil, praying naked at obscene hours of the night. Men don’t suffer as much as women, it seems. A woman confided in me that she was made to wash and drink oil for three nights in a row. Not adding the effect of the cholesterol, the woman is still unmarried. What a waste of time and olive oil. Ehn?…

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