Why Am I Still Single?
I remember watching the movie “27 dresses” – the one where Katherine Heigl is a bridesmaid at her friends’ weddings a mindblowing 27 times – and feeling that it was a ridiculous storyline.
By the end of the year, I’ll be 15 dresses in – I’m eating my words!
Fortunately, I don’t think I’m close enough to another 12 women who would want me to be in their train (but who knows!).
Yesterday my cousin came to me and very sincerely asked me why I’m not married. I’m about 8 years older than him, and by his assumptions, if marriage is the next phase, why wasn’t I entering it?
I dusted off my well rehearsed response and was ready to deliver it, but stopped I short and actually gave it a thought.
Why am I single?
My well rehearsed answer comes with the backstory of how I never wanted to get married until I turned twenty three and had some very serious conversations with a number of married and divorced adults.
If I was going to commit to this institution I wanted to do my research, ask questions, read about it. I do the same with my finances, career – heck, even my diet – it only made sense to apply the same logic to this.
My answers usually are: none of your business, God’s time is the best, I haven’t met the right person etc. But yesterday triggered me in a way that it never has before.
So here goes. I’m going to take some truth serum and we’ll see what happens.
I’ve realized that in all my relationships, two things have happened:
- I’ve always been the one who ended things
- I’ve never really loved them ( yup, I probably said thank you when they said they loved me!)
For me, relationships have become something akin to job interview. I’m very logical about them. I want to know who the person really is – what makes them angry, what makes them sad and how do they respond to their emotions. I ask a thousand and one questions, I flip them this way and the other, but in none of that investigation do I allow my heart engage. I don’t get butterflies, I don’t get jellied knees – neither of these feelings are useful when crises occur.
I feel like in finding a life partner, your spouse is just that – a life partner. I want to ensure that the person I get into partnership with is worth the journey. I preserve my heart. I keep my emotions out of play until I am beyond certain this is it. That comes with its good and its ills.
The good part is, I get to see clearly. My love isn’t blind. It is careful and well thought out.
My mother always said that I was a well thought out gift.
“You’re not the item in the front of the store, where everyone can run their hands over. You’re not some $3.99 that anyone can pick up try on and dump. You’re the one in the vault. Only the people with access can get to you, only people that mean business can see you.”
I guard my heart with all diligence, so I don’t just let any Joe Blow in. This comes at a very high cost – being alone.
I also find that the castle that protects my heart is also one that sometimes entraps it. There is a very thin line between protection and hoarding, and sometimes those lines get blurred for me. Being super logical – think queen, investigative lover – comes at the price of sometimes coming off as unsympathetic, or just cold.
That said, the next question is, ‘Where are all the good guys?’
This year alone, I can’t count how many tweets I’ve read from men swearing that they are the knights in shining armor we’ve read about, and then five minutes later, they tweet something their mothers would disown them for.
Where are all the good guys? And I’m not referring to the fictitious guys that cover the M&Bs we read as teens. Im referring to the ones who are kind, patient, long suffering, caring, HONEST, faithful, hardworking, true – the list goes on and on.
Where are those men who remind us that chivalry isnt dead?
I’m single because I have not met a man who has kept his word, who has been honest, faithful and true – and I haven’t even hit on the big things, like financially responsible, goal oriented, focused, and has a plan.
I can’t speak for any other woman on earth, but I’ll take a brother that has a plan, is determined, focused and would work his fingers bare to make his dreams come true, over some ‘cookie cut’, zero ambition brother.
Next up is fear, not a manic fear that keeps you from moving, breathing and enjoying your life. It’s more a humbling fear. I used to think that I’d want a huge wedding, party of parties, until I started attending weddings and listened to the vows being shared.
“Will you have this woman/man to be your wife/husband, to live together in holy matrimony? Will you love her/him, comfort her/him, honor, and keep her/him in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others, be faithful to her/him as long as you both shall live?”
“In the name of God, I, ______, take you, ______, to be my wife/husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death. This is my solemn vow.”
The wedding isn’t just a big party, small chops, bombonieres and champagne. It’s a vow being exchanged in front of God, family and friends, that no matter what happens between you two, You swear to love, honor, keep them in all conditions of their life.
It is very humbling to me. It makes me want to take my time and be certain that I am ready for this and that whoever I walk down that aisle is also ready to be to me that which I swear to be to him.
There is a humbling fear that doesn’t want to make a mistake, doesn’t want to rush into something that has a fake foundation.
I remember when Whitney Houston died, and the entire world pointed at Bobby and blamed him for being such a horrible influence on such a great star. I realized then the power of my life partner. I don’t think Bobby was a bad influence, I don’t think anyone can bring out of you what you don’t already have a tendency to be. Whoever I am, whatever I can be, my life partner can either be my biggest fan and hype me to be a better version of myself, or he can be the catalyst to expose my deepest darkest weaknesses. I have all of my life to be with this person, I can be patient to get it right.
Earlier this year, a church aunty called me aside and asked, “ Are you single because you can’t find, or is there something wrong with you? What is wrong with you Bola?”
What is wrong with me? Nothing!
Don’t get me wrong, I by no means think I’m perfect. I don’t also think I’m the perfect wife or mother or person! However, I don’t think I am all the reason that I’m single.
No, I don’t think I need to lower my standards or be less picky. No, I don’t think anyone would do because my biological clock is ticking. No, I don’t think that I need to ‘go out more’, or ‘put myself out there’. I don’t think those are the solutions. For me, I’ve concluded that this is my time to love myself, to adventure, to learn, and to strive to be the person that the person I’m looking for is looking for.
I’m going to enjoy being a bridesmaid and celebrate the brides! I’m going to dance with them till my weave is matted and sticking to my neck.
2017 comes with my first maid of honor duties and three other bridesmaid dresses. But here’s hoping I can soon retire as a bridesmaid or at least begin some sort of bridesmaid consultancy!
I just love you :-). “Bridesmaid consultancy”
Plus married does not equal no more bridesmaid oh. But so insightful and I’m always glad you’re not afraid to share yourself with others. A very good read. I daresay it will be a help to others.
Very well written and stated my sister! It is always best wait for the right person. Trust me it will be well worth your wait.
I love this article Bola…I share your views on the vows. It is deep and every time I hear it being said, I get cold chills and I tell myself that waiting for the one that will honour those is way more important to me than rushing into it because of some of the reasons you mentioned. There is nothing wrong with you.
Very interesting read. It’s so important to wait on the Lord for the one that was specially fashioned for you. People should npt compromise on Gods standards especially when it comes to marriage. It is a yoke. A covenant. It should not be taken lightly. I believe in soul mates, life partners, that one-of-a-kind, once iin a lifetime love. Be hopeful about it and it will come to you!
WOW!! Bola, this is such an excellent piece. Love it a million times. More grace to you. “Why I’m I Single”
Very well written piece. I relate with most of the reasons in your piece. I pray that 2017 will also come with some fear-dissolving, heart-melting good guy for you ma’am!
Very well written piece. I relate with most of the reasons in your piece. I pray that 2017 will also come with a fear-dissolving, heart-melting good guy for you ma’am!
Very interesting read. I believe i go thru such moments when asked similar question. I mean no one wants to be single or loves it but having seen wat rushing into such commitment does to people made me have a rethink. I mean this is a lifetime investment one is making besides it’s something done with God as the foremost witness regardless of the people invited. Breaking such vow brings about dire consequences. Baffles me when people just opt to ask the “Why are you not married” question. Marriage is no bed of roses neither is it a walk in the park hence one has to be very careful when embarking on the decision to be tied to someone for life. One thing i often recall is my aunt’s proverb relating to marriage that it is a bargain of darkness that one never knows what they buy till they get home where there is light. I hope more people would not just see it as being the wedding day alone cos that’s what I’ve come to learn that a lot of people prepare for. Summarily may the Lord help us all in our choices so that we don’t succumb to the pressures all around when it comes to this issue.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this,as a married person myself I must say you have all angles covered and you are certainly ‘a well thought out gift’ and the guy with the codes to the vault would locate you pretty soon.keep getting ready for him and enjoy yourself while at it!
Very well said Bola. Singleness is a time to get to know oneself better. If you are truly waiting on the Lord to bring forth the right person, this is the time to draw nearer to Him as He alone knows what’s best for us. I am going thru a lot of pressure as well from family and it gets overwhelming. But I continue to have faith in God that His time is the best.
You basically summerized me. I keep hearing find someone, there are no good guys you just have to manage. I don’t mind managing financially but I tell them God knows who he created and he knows I want it all (the chivalry,love). I don’t just want to marry anyone because they say my biological time is ticking. I want the real deal.
Dope blog write! Definitely relatable. Look forward to reading more of your pieces.
It Always à great pleasure to read people sharing their expériences or observations about certains topics. From my mind, the question that we should ask to ourself is: who wants to marry me? Because, saying what you are saying sounds terrific, but not true the réalité. Every single woman deserves to be married or desires to somebody wife. To sum up, what your are talking about are just excuses to comfort your mind, to pay your moral debt, to hook people’s attentions or maybe it is way for you do an advertisement un ordre to sensitize people about your singlehood. My sister stop being who you are not, and be Real.
Nice piece and it’s indeed true what you say,so many times I talk like this I get mocked or I get a response of be there until you are 45 is that when u Will be ready? I just shake my head it’s because of talk like that people hurry into the wrong relationship and end up married to the one that’s not for them.I feel until mentalities are changed and the covenant marriage is deeply explained to people,most would not hurry into besides most people seem to forget that God created ye marriage institution for a purpose and for it to be obeyed to its potential.
My dear, a lot of people are wedded NOT married.