Ah ah, so when will you marry now?

I recently came across the results of a study that found ‘28-32 are the sweet spot ages to get married and decreases the chances of divorce within the first five years‘.[1]

This supports the fairly popular notion that once you are in your late 20s to early 30s marriage should be at the top of your priority list and to wait any longer will be disastrous. Ideally, you would have married even earlier, I was told that a woman’s prime is between 24-26. I asked the guy who said this to me what he means by ‘prime’, but surprisingly he couldn’t really explain himself, other than to say ‘it’s just her prime’ – it was fair to say this wasn’t particularly enlightening!

As a 25 year old woman I can already sense the countdown to my later 20s, which is when I will be considered to have reached the ripe age for marriage. God forbid, the marriage date may even trickle into my 30s, but providing that it does not go beyond 30-31, (and 32 absolutely pushing it), all will be well.

But will it really? What makes 28-32 sweet spot ages for marriage? Surely if you’re not ready, you are simply not ready, no matter what age you are. Also if you aren’t with the right person for you and simply settling because you’re fearful of becoming that ‘spinster’, that is no sweet spot.

As they say, many prepare for a wedding not a marriage. Wedding planning tends to take precedence over planning together for the future with more important aspects such as finances, career goals, family planning, relationship building exercises, learning how to compromise, understanding each other and ultimately communication being addressed after the wedding party.

I don’t believe there is a right age for marriage necessarily, but unfortunately there is a perception that once you reach a certain age you are in fact no longer in your prime (applies to women more so than men) and you’ll be left with the scraps in the market. I believe this is why many women feel pressured into finding someone before the clock ticks too late, unfortunately this ultimately doesn’t lead to happily married life.

I personally laugh off and disregard such scare tactics, but as more and more people around me claim ‘I can’t be 30 and single’ and ‘hopefully once I’m in my 30s I’ll have settled down’, I wonder if I’m missing something and just too stubborn as people say.

Someone explained how differently she was treated once she announced her engagement, it was as if she was now a proper woman and someone to respect and accept, she was doing what her age mates had done, ‘she’d finally found hozzband and left her fada’s house’. Her amazing achievements, education and career just didn’t seem to carry as much weight as her becoming a wife, surely there is much more to a woman than becoming an iyawo?

Undoubtedly, there are also cultural aspects to this and as much as I love being a Nigerian, Yoruba woman, I hope going forward that our culture becomes more open-minded and flexible when it comes to a woman’s journey to marriage.

A relative asked me recently if I’d considered trying online dating, I laughed because I knew it came from a good place and whilst I have nothing against online dating, unintentional dating just for the sake of dating is really not a priority for me right now.

I refuse to do something out of fear that I’ll potentially miss the 28-32 deadline, the journey to marriage is something I’ll leave to happen naturally and for the right reasons, whatever age that may be. Love has no strict route, nigba ti ba ti ri ọkọ to dara ma fe ọkọ no.

[1] https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.self.com/story/ideal-age-for-marriage/amp

Lola I

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