I guess you are laughing and maybe curious as to the title for this post. Imagine saying that with my full chest—a Nigerian way of saying you do something with confidence—after all these years of wishing for a fairy tale kind of love story.
As a teen, I used to dream and fantasise a lot. I thought and wanted to be married before I was twenty-four and live happily ever after.
And I think I went into most of my past relationships and ‘situationships’, believing it was going to be the one that lasts.
No way, none of them did, and genotype issues shattered even the one that was promising.
So, I crossed twenty-five with no signs of a real relationship, and I'll be leaving this decade of my life in a few months. Isn't life amazing!
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But not as that girl who wanted love to happen before a particular age. Now, I look back at all the bad and good relationships I've had in the last few years. Instead of feeling like life played me, I'm so grateful and happy none of them led to the happily ever after I had imagined as a teen.
"Romance is beautiful; Instagram will teach you that cute babies and family photoshoots are lovely, sex is great, a happily ever after is the dream of anyone."
My reason for this new outlook
My reason for this profound joy and happiness is because, looking back, I was just a novice living in my made-up world. Looking at the growth that has gone into my life in the last five years, I just know that the ‘me’ five years ago was not so smart, confident or mentally prepared for the marriage institution.
If I had ended up being married at that time, it would have been a mismatch. It would have likely hindered my growth, plus sooner than later, all my fantasy would crumble in the face of the ups and downs of marriage.
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We live at a time when young people are under pressure to be this and that without any empathy and consideration for their ability to thrive in those this and that. We put an age tag, status tag, accomplishment tags, and so many other tags that make life unbearable.
"As a teen, I used to dream and fantasise a lot. I thought and wanted to be married before I was twenty-four and live happily ever after."
Marriage is beautiful, but only if one is adequately equipped to handle it. It's not about saying you are hitting menopause or you have money, so you have to marry or your mates are all married. Some of your mates are dead too. Do you wish to die just because they are your mates? No.
Are you emotionally sound, financially ready to care for a child in these difficult times, spiritually ready and open to making a space in your life for a stranger that will be your bedmate and life partner?
These and more are the questions you need to sort out before jumping into marriage.
Romance is beautiful; Instagram will teach you that cute babies and family photoshoots are lovely, sex is great, a happily ever after is the dream of anyone. Still, if you don't plan, you'll get hurt so bad you'll want to tell everyone who cares to listen to why they should never fall in love.
So, yeah, as I say, I’m single to stupor, doing the things that bring me intense happiness. Learning by reading and attending seminars to know about the world of marriage and hoping for a future of beautiful romance.
As happy and as contented as I am in this present season of my life, so shall I be when someone worth sharing it with comes along.
What about you?
Keep dazzling in your life.
Esther Okoloeze is a writer, editor and writing life coach. She has been writing for several years now and recently published her first novel, “Red Roses, Stained Glasses” —a contemporary African romance fiction.