To start with let me make it very clear that I am happily married for last 20 years, have two kids and living life to the fullest. But then I lived the life of a single for first 32 years of my life. In my part of the world (India) it doesn’t matter whether you are a man or lady, if you remain single for long (how long is difficult to define but maybe till late 20s or beyond) majority of your well-wishers get worried and take upon themselves the responsibility of getting you engaged. Most of them, by the way, are not interested in what you want.
A large part of the society, starts believing that there is something wrong with you, physically or emotionally. You become a part of their daily gossip. It gets a bit more difficult if you are a lady as at times the character also is put under the scanner and God only can save you from the negative gossip if you are seen around with male friends. Young widows, especially if they prefer to remain independent, may face still tougher situations. There is always a mounting pressure of parents / in-laws for remarrying. The character is always under scrutiny by the so-called guardians of society. Coming home late at night from work or having male friends is discouraged. Then there are people who would always be around to try and take advantages of someone’s loneliness. Somehow most of our elders in the society have this feeling that a single mom won’t be able to take proper care of her children. I don’t know why they can’t let her be and leave her to make her own decisions. If she needs your advice or support she will come to you. More than the sympathy and expressions of pity she requires empathy and respect.
A person may be a single for a period of time for different reasons like family responsibility, turbulent relation in the past or death of a partner at young age. Well, I remained single for 32 years because the thought of marriage never came to my mind till then. I was happy being single and did not feel the need for a partner. I was alone but never lonely. I had my hobbies, my job and my friends to fill up my life and space was never there for a life partner to come in. I am a firm believer that one should not get into a marital relation till he / she is ready for it. There is no need to rush into relation because your parents want it or you think you have found the man / woman of your life. “One should marry only when the mind says so and you feel the need”. There is no set time and age for this feeling to come in. Some may get it at 20 while others may not get it even at 40. There is nothing like early or late marriage. Any relation builds and sustains on just love and friendship. “The sooner you get out of formalities and become friends more enjoyable the relationship / married life will become”.
I remember when I was around 30, many of my juniors ( mostly married ) used to ask me my reason for preferring to be a single and I used to tell them that in our country ( India ) 90 percent of the men get married because their parents wanted them to get married , approximately eight percent get married because they could not say no to the first girl they met in life , it’s only two percent of the man who actually get married when they want to get married and to the girl they want to get married to. I am part of that two percent and will marry only when I feel the need. I actually married when I felt the need my mind and to the girl my mind said I should (The heart started beating thereafter) and believe you me life has been fun last twenty years and honestly much better than when I was single. In fact, there is no comparison.
“Trust me….Get married when the mind says so…Let the heart join the party thereafter…”
I personally feel everything had a right time…including marriage…because..If its late…the couple straight away gets busy in family and children
That’s a perception which has to be changed…
Im proud of you and your choices and happy for your family. It is not like that only in India, people everywhere will look at you as not normal when you are single over 30. They will ask why, don’t you want family blah blah… I think it’s your own choice, why couples who get together for material purposes or matter of status or loneliness are more respected than people who want something real, deep and meaningful? There are many narrow minded people nowadays, but also many cool ones who respect others choices;)
Thank you so much…
I appreciate your thoughts…
Happy I found this. Always interesting to hear a different worldly perspective.
I really liked that statement that “ I was alone but never lonely”. I hope the perception is changing gradually because of new generation and people have starred accepting the concept of Choice over Customs. Nice article; well written.
Thank you Lalit….
One has to understand the difference between ..being alone and being lonely..
God bless you