I know that we come from a nation where women have a set of rules bestowed upon them, where we are expected to follow a pattern of life, failing which we will be named and shamed. When a girl reaches a certain age, she is under a mountain of pressure to get married. Her family, the extended family and even the people she didn’t know existed or the people who never cared about her existence advise her on the importance of marriage. The family members who were not aware how her education was funded or how her parents struggled to make her who she is today, start advising her on the difficulties she could face if she doesn’t get married at the right age. Naturally, the old people in the family think that something is wrong with the girl. Strangers and colleagues take interest in our life. The decision to remain single until you find the right match is no longer a personal choice or a part of your private life. What could have possibly gone wrong, that this girl is not married yet? Again, naturally, something is wrong with the girl.
To everyone who will not stop harassing a woman to get married, who will not let her live her dream or will not stop questioning her way of living – back off. Do you know how difficult it is to be single in a country like ours? After a certain age, most of the single women are single, by choice. We do not have an ailment, we were not rejected, and we are not invalids. We have chosen not to compromise. We have understood that nothing is wrong with our horoscopes and we have decided that we will not allow a set of boxes with the name of planets randomly written on it determine our future with a stranger. We have decided that we will not marry a man who has a set of pre-requisites for the woman they want to get marry to. Above all this, we have realized that marriage is not a transaction. It’s not a business transaction where both the parties agree to be financially and physically available for each other. Where two parties sign a contract of obeying what the society says for the rest of their lives. As irrational as it sounds, we have come to terms that, marriage means two people who decide to live under the same roof because they have become an essential part of each other’s life and they cannot have it any other way. We do not want to give up on our career because it defines us. We are self-made and we want that to be respected. We are looking for equal rights and somehow we are not able to find it from any man we meet. We don’t want to be bound by this commitment or responsibility. We want to be able to live life as normally as a man does even after marriage. We don’t want to settle for anything lesser.
It is not easy to make this decision. It is not easy to stand alone and scream what you want to the rest of the world. It is strenuous to choose to be the black sheep that repeatedly strays from the herd inspite of being called names, the family and peer pressure. We don’t want to be married because the third cousin who is 5 years younger than us has gotten married. We know it will get difficult for us as we age. We are well aware that we have an “expiry date” But we still want to stand-up for ourselves. It requires confidence. It requires self-control and will-power because we don’t want to compromise. We don’t want to bend. We want to stay strong and we won’t break. It does get to us sometimes. It would have been easier the other way, to have someone to lean onto, to dump our problems on that person and behave like they don’t exist. We wish to be housewives too. We wish to live life like many other women who are successfully and happily married. But then we want everything. We don’t want to give up one thing for another. Trust me, not everyone gets everything they want. So, we wait as other things take priority over having a man in life. We are broken sometimes because we see others happily married around us. Do not think for a minute that we are least bothered about it. It does bother us. It does make us sad, but, we have made a cautious decision and we are proud of it. We are proud of our confidence and the love we have for ourselves, the life we have built and our career. But when you say things like, “You are going to US? Get married before that”, “You are buying a car? Get married”, “You got a promotion. But we will wait to hear the biggest news, your marriage”, “I am glad you got promoted, but I will be happy only if you are settled” settled here is married. But then settled could mean many things to many people. So, stop deciding for us. Stop breaking us, our confidence, our beautiful life, our willpower because being single is not bad at all but living a life on a pile of regrets is. We will wake up every single day and proudly choose the former and you do not have a say in it.
From a confident, single woman who has crossed the “right age” of marriage.