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On Being Single And Free - Olubunmi Ajai Layode

Does Your Dad Not Beat Your Mum?

A few days ago, I got a message in my Facebook inbox from a lady who needed advice. She is single and lives in the Diaspora. She is not in any relationship now. However, she is thinking of buying land in Nigeria and building on it but is worried that she might meet a man who is not interested in moving back to Nigeria at all. She is, therefore, now hesitant about owning a property in Nigeria when she is not sure of what her future husband’s stand on the issue would be. She asked for my advice.

My advice to her and indeed to any single woman is this; please do not put your life on hold for when you might or might not get married. Live your life to the fullest in whatever situation you find yourself. In her case, bricks and mortar will be her investment. If she does eventually get married and she and her husband decide that they both don't want to live in Nigeria, she can sell the house. But what if on the other hand, she does not meet a good man and does not get married? She would also be without an investment. There is a certain feeling of pride and fulfilment one gets from being a property owner and I believe one should not deny oneself this pride and fulfilment if there is an opportunity to own property.

Believe me, such opportunities are not usually always available and so, when they come it makes sense to grab them with both hands. In any case, any property a spouse acquired before marriage is totally his or hers to decide what to do with it which is not usually the case once marriage has become part of the mix. Therefore, while hoping for the best in life, one should also prepare for the worst. If you have money to invest in property before getting married, girl, please do it! Just do it!

Another lady also asked me for advice in box.  In her own case, she is AS and I think her fiancé is also AS. She wanted to know whether it was a good idea for her to marry him considering the odds of them having a SS child or more than one SS children. Currently she lives with her father and the reason she wants to get married immediately is because her father asks her about when she is getting married and people keep asking her the same question. I asked her if her father was chasing her from his home and she said no. So, where then is the problem? Of course, her father would ask how far.  After all, he is her father who loves her and therefore, wants the best for her. Should that then be the reason to rush into an ill thought out marriage? I told her that I thought it was a very bad idea to make such an important life changing decision because of what people were saying. People will always talk! It does not mean we should let their talks cause us to make grave errors in life.

Let me digress a bit. My Mother died young; on her 46th birthday. So, my father remarried a few years later. Till he died, he regretted getting married to that lady. Being married to the right person can take your life on a success drive while being married to the wrong person can take your life on a failure drive. My father lived a good life when my mother was around. He ate well, dressed well, drove well, lived well and we, their children were brought up as Ajebutter children. Then my father married this woman who did not give two hoots about him and his wellbeing. My father ate badly, dressed badly, drove badly and lived badly. His life was miserable. This woman severely maltreated my father and my sisters. Marriage to this woman pulled my father and us down.

But coming back to this lady, I hope she heeds it.

My advice to you, dear single lady and even single man is this – please, don't put your life on hold waiting for ‘the one’. Live your life to the fullest. Being single has its advantages one of which is freedom. You are free to do whatever you want to do, free to take whatever decisions you feel is best for you, free to go wherever you want to go. This freedom gets sacrificed on the altar of compromise when you get married! Trust me, there will be times you will want to do something that you know is for your own good or progress, but you might not be able to do them lest you are accused of being selfish in marriage! You will have to always discuss important issues and reach compromises with your partner.

Please don't hold your breath, ‘waiting to exhale'. Breath. Live. Love will find you when it will.

 

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