Womanhood-How To Keep Being Single, Unmarried And Happy-It may not be the best life, but a woman can be single and yet fulfill her dream of living happy. Staying single on the other side of 25 should not be looked at with disdain. So, if you feel you’re walking in the shoes of ‘Little Miss Unworthy’, read on to alter the thought…EhEhEh!!!
We’re talking about you, the bridesmaid who is looking around to auction the accidently-caught bouquet the bride threw intentionally in your direction as a goodwill gesture. Yes, the bride has been hearing drivel too, the ones that nudge you from the insides to turn female-hulk on people. Being over 25 isn’t all that easy, especially in a country like India where a woman’s legal age for marriage is 18. While there are those who succumb to marriage pressures early for whatever reasons, you walk around with a beacon of hope waiting for ‘the moment’ to dawn on you, and have no qualms about the delay. The only problem is, vexation caused by people who are looking for a chance to blow off your beacon and waste no opportunity to mock you (apparently, their way of showing concern). While you’re the woman who’s the subject of conversation that starts with ‘She’s way above 25 and unmarried’, you’re also at the receiving end of people’s envy. Think about it: You’re single, unmarried and happy.
It’s just marriage, not a benchmark of life
Marriage is treated as a norm and, at a particular age, it is looked upon as a motive of life for a girl. But to think otherwise is okay. To avoid calling it the wedding curse, do it when the time is right and not when you see others taking the plunge or suggesting you take the same. Consulting psychiatrist and psychotherapist Dr Anjali Chhabria says, “Many a time, people get married to finish it off and do not realise that marriage is a beginning and not the end of something that needs to be finished off.” Marriage isn’t a duty, it’s a commitment clubbed with responsibility.
Age is no determiner
What’s with the stone-age mentality of ‘oh, she’s old’? Dr Chhabria says, “There is no right age for marriage, you may be a 20-year-old who is mature enough to handle a relationship. On the other hand, you may also be a 30-year-old who is absolutely immature.” Age and maturity are twodifferent factors. Clinical psychologist and psychotherapist Varkha Chulani is of the notion, “Age better not determine marriage, sensible reasons ought to determine that!” Consulting psychologist Rachna Kothari says, “Every individual differs in the way they grow emotionally, physically and financially. What is important is not to get married at a ‘particular’ age set by the society; rather one should get married when one is ready for it, ready to take the responsibility and commitment of marriage and most importantly, when one finds the ideal life-partner.”
Being sure counts
Yes, that’s the key to a happy life. If you’re clueless about what measures your emotions can leap, and most importantly, are not even aware of how to tackle the devil, we suggest you take time out for yourself and not walk the aisle. Chulani says, “If you are clear that you want companionship, sexual and emotional connect, ability to give and receive love, fulfilling relationship over the long term, etc., these are the ‘right’ reasons to marry. But if you want to marry because you are afraid of growing old alone, feel lonely (which has nothing to do with being with someone!), want financial security, etc., then you better reconsider and not marry!”
It’s about being happy
Kothari says, “In our society, marriage is the only acceptable way for a man and woman to live under a roof and officially be in a “relationship.” Most of us seek the ideal man/woman. But, till you find the right person, it is fine to be happily unmarried.” We see a lot of stress associated with the term ‘happy’. But isn’t happiness directly proportional to contentment and inversely to compromise? How can one associate the word ‘happy’ with ‘being single or being married’? Yes, marriage does bring in oodles of fun and joy, but does that mean only a married person is happy? Chulani states, “Happily unmarried seems like a defence mechanism where the person doesn’t want to own up the fact that he may sorely miss companionship, someone to love and be loved by. So, he uses this as a rationalisation or an excuse to make himself feel better. Happiness is something to be worked on and it can be received with or without marriage.”
Pressure, what pressure?
There’ll be a million aunties who’ll roll their eyes in contempt while they use you as case history for ‘Miss Unmarried’. The truth is, it’s just societal and archaic to have such talks. Chulani says, “Let people know that you have certain criteria to be fulfilled before you decide to say ‘I do’. Pressure is often self-created, when you compare yourself to others. You will be able to deal with it if you are clear about what you want. Many marriages are in trouble, because people choose very poorly. And why do they do that? Because they don’t know who they are and what they value! If you are clear, you can easily say, ‘I haven’t found what I am looking for’.”
Kothari mentions, “Pressures will persist. How you react to those pressures is upto you. You can choose to get trapped in the vicious cycle of stress because of not finding the correct mate, or deal with society and family pressures in your own subtle way by letting them know that you’re not going to get hooked to someone who doesn’t fit the bill. It is your life and you have every right to live it your way.” Unless you find a partner who fulfills all your requirements, don’t give up! You can be assertive and make your criteria about choosing a companion clear to your family. As long as you are clear about who you want and how you want it, nothing matters. Also, try to avoid situations where you’re going to become the scapegoat of endless why’s and how’s and but’s in social (especially family) settings. Succumbing to the never-ending pressure, feeling stressed and incapacitated will either cause you to breakdown emotionally and make you a still weaker being or it will end up making you take the wrong step by saying yes to the wrong person!
It’s about Mr Right-for-you
A whale of a mistake the usual lot make is to wait for Mr ‘Oh-So-Right’, and while on their hunt for the same, veto ‘Mr Right for me’. True, no one knows what’s best for you and the ultimate decision is yours, but you should remember that procrastinating marriage comes with its cons as well. We suggest, when you’re on the right track and think of marriage as a serious step to take, don’t overdo the selection process. Kothari says, “You should remember that your choices won’t get wider as your age passes, so being rational is important while making a decision. Adjustments too, are a part of any marriage. That certainly does not mean that you get married to someone whom you dislike, not attracted to or don’t connect with! It is important to remember that marriage is not everything. Yes, it can be everything; if you find the right companion who makes the journey of togetherness more joyful.”