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By Esther Chidinma 

A woman generally faces lots of pressure while meeting her daily obligations as a mother, wife, sister, aunt or daughter. So much is envisaged of her and many times, she is on edge trying to meet everybody’s expectations. She is mindful of failure because she is an exemplary figure possessing leadership qualities and we all know the “Leadership by example” slogan.  She cannot afford that wrong step: everything must be in check. Narrowing it down, I have observed that the single woman endures the effects of the pressure of most of these expectations, (hei! that’s not because am single) but whichever way we look at it, she is faced with so much pressure. Liberalization and gender equality campaigns by women activists notwithstanding, there are still notions that a woman is not considered complete without a man, after all, a man is her glory. Do not get me wrong here, I love marriage, it is an institution ordained by God from the foundation of the earth. In fact, there are marriages that inspire me so much that I cannot wait to get settled. The big question is what happens while you wait? What transpires between the transitions from being single to getting married as a young woman? Experiences differ, while some have it rosy, an alarming number go through hell. There are societal pressures, family pressures, peer pressures (friends posting colourful Pre- wedding and wedding photos), married ones having kids and uploading lovely pictures on Facebook and Instagram of vacations, church attending and all sorts. The eager unmarried married woman sees all these things and comments, just for friends and comment’s sake anyway. Now on the topic of family, Oh!  That is sacred path that shouldn’t be treaded especially if her younger ones are all settling down. The home becomes a war zone, her mother and aunties begin asking “when are you bringing him, don’t you want to settle down? See Chiamaka who wedded last year she now has a baby boy in fact we are going for Ebere’s child dedication on Sunday. Are you not seeing the men or are they not seeing you?’’  This can be so demoralizing, but for sanities sake she might as well put up a placard on her forehead reading “please marry me I am frustrated and available.” She is not left out on societal pressure, which has secretly eaten deep into her system. Her married mates get preferences and respected in social gatherings, work places and community meetings. Did I just say community meetings? If you are unmarried, you had better save the shame and stay out of it, you would be told to get a life! In all of these circumstances, what is the unmarried woman’s fate? At work, she is expected to be the good staff bringing incentives and contributing immensely to the growth of the organization. Even when faced with advances from her bosses, no one cares. She is to maintain good moral standards and be the good aunt to nephews, nieces and little cousins around. There are many negative outcomes that can come from societies pressure on a woman if she hasn’t yet said ‘I do’.  Many women out of frustration, without a clear purpose of life and why they have to settle down, hurriedly find a man to marry in order to avoid stigmatization. It is no doubt that, “when the purpose of a thing is not known, abuse is inevitable” therefore we see so many abused marriages and homes today, which I term ‘marriage of necessity’. Many end up breaking people’s homes and justifying their actions with “ I’m trying to take my chance like every other married woman does” (sealed lips, I refuse to give credit) without thinking of what lies ahead. Most singles live meaningless lives while stretching their legs and waiting for ‘Prince charming’ to come sweep them off their feet. It does not always work that way and the few times it does, it land crashes! Why not get up, do something and add value to yourself, which will in turn multiply when your man shows up. Do not get into marriage out of desperation, by waiting, you might be better off; most single women are! Do not be deceived because you want the glory of a man who will end up using you as a shield for responsibility. Yes! It happens, I’m sure if we give one in every five women a chance to speak, your ears would tingle. In order to avoid bad marriages, we must take our time and not rush down the aisle into what will may rush out of. Finally, while you wait to cross over like my friend would say ‘dignify and work on yourself to be a better person’. Do not rely on anyone’s standards because it will bore you when you cannot beat their rules. Set your own standards and yardstick for living, harness those innate abilities and beauty you’ve got and I bet you will glow! See you at the next stage of womanhood!   chidinma   About the author; Esther Chidinma is an English graduate from the University of Nigeria Nsukka and has a diploma in Customer Service and Telemarketing from Telemarketing Diploma Houston Texas.  She is a writer, blogger and an ardent reader who has an interest in impacting youth. you can find her on Twitter @chidinmaesther2, and read more of her work at

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This article was first published on 16th April 2014

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