My friends and I were at a bar recently, when Tolu, who is going through a rough-patch with her boyfriend started to lament about being unmarried at twenty seven. It was hilarious watching her complain, because I am a year older than she is and I am yet to feel the pressure to settle down. “ehhhn, you already have Isabella so even if you never get married, you won’t be lonely when we are old”. I laughed out loud before retorting “so Isabella won’t marry and have her own family ehn? She would leave her life to babysit her old mama”. We laughed before she said “On a serious note though, don’t you girls think we ought to be married by now?” Zinny chipped in a sad “we are supposed to be married, but when we no find Mr. Right nkor? Na how we for do am?” I was like “please oh, why do you girls think we ought to married by now? I mean, is there an ideal age to settle down?”
Tolu is of the school of thought that a woman should get married when she is between 20 and 24. She says when you are that young, it is easy to find a man who loves you for who you are, because you have no gold, and thus, need not worry about gold diggers. When you are older, living well and doing good on the job, there is a higher tendency for you to meet wolves in sheep’s clothing. She says it is best for a woman to marry early and then grow her career from her husband’s house. The issue of whether to change name or retain father’s name hardly arises to cause confusion, because you haven’t yet made any brandname out of your father’s name. She uses Omotola Jalade Ekeinde as an example, telling us how she got married at eighteen, and went on to achieve greatness in her chosen field from there. Now, she is in her thirties; happily married with grown up children and having a successful career. Her mates that are probably just getting married would still be changing diapers and going for immunization while Omotola is busy attending conferences and movie premieres. Tolu also believes that because two heads are better than one; a woman is bound to have an easier career break when she gets married early. Hubby can pull in favors from his contacts that would help the wife’s business or career. Hubby can buy her a car, so she doesn’t have to save up on the first year of the job to do so. She doesn’t pay rent in hubby’s house, so she can use her salary to pay for conferences or professional exams.
Zinny believes a woman ought to settle down between the ages of 23 and 25. Her reasons are manifold. First, she says at that age, a woman has most likely graduated from college and is done with college romance and its attendant heartbreaks. She is mature enough to be ready for a serious relationship such as marriage. She is also just starting out in her career so she doesn’t have egoistic tendencies, as her husband most likely earns way more than her; so issues of pride and arrogance wouldn’t surface in the marriage. She also says getting married between 23 and 25 makes it possible for a woman to have completed childbirth before thirty, and she can focus on her career happily, without needing any more maternity leaves. Zinny also says she believes the ideal age to settle down is between 23 and 25 because, according to biology, a woman’s body can snap right back after childbirth if she is in her early twenties. With wicked humour, she adds that a woman that gets married early and realizes that that marriage is wrong, as enough time to get out, dust herself up and get married again, because age is still on her side. She cited Kim Kardashian in her argument here, as the American reality show star is just in her early thirties, and yet she is in her third marriage. She also talked about Stephanie Linus who is also in her thirties, and yet in her second marriage. She ended with “Imagine if they were in their thirties when they first got married, fear go catch them to walk away, even if the guy is no good”.
lol. Mine seems to be the most unrealistic right? Like, in what society is getting married between 25 and 35 ideal? Well, I believe that a woman should get married between these ages because at this point, she most likely has a good idea of what she wants from life and is better able to find a partner that fits into her life’s purposes. For example, in our early twenties, we are still discovering ourselves and it would be counter productive to embark on a life’s journey with someone, when we are not yet sure of what we want. Marrying earlier than 25 is a gamble to me, and marriage should not not be gambled with. A woman marrying at 21 runs the risk of discovering her life’s purpose when she is older, and then realizing that her husband doesn’t fit into what she wants in life. Also, when you are much younger, you are most likely interested in the physical and financial aspects of a man’s life because you are still vain and naive. Being older refines your view on life, and you are more prone to placing emphasis on the spiritual, character and moral aspects of his life. This is even better, because you are most likely working and taking care of yourself. Like I tell my friends; I am not a princess that needs saving, I am a queen waiting for a King that needs help in running his kingdom. When you do not have money problems, you are not looking deep into a man’s pocket to be sure he can fly you abroad and take you to fancy restaurants.
I have seen women in their forties having babies effortlessly so do not even get me started on biological clock. When it comes to getting maternity leave, I believe that if I get married and have another baby now, I can get six months maternity leave from my company. This is because I have worked with them for long, I have contributed immensely to the gross profit of the company and I can bargain for an extended maternity leave if need be. The boss would probably only beg for me to work from home on stuff that no one else in the office can handle. You wouldn’t dare ask for such favor if you are 21 or 22, because you are most likely an entry-level employee, with no immense contributions and, easily replaceable. Omotola is going to conferences round the world, not because her kids are grown, but because her career has being built to that level. Trust me, if she had a toddler when she was to attend the Times’ 100 most influential people in the world dinner, she would have asked her mother or mother-in-law to babysit and get on the plane without delay!
As much as I believe the ideal age a woman should settle is between 25 and 35, I am an advocate of going with the flow. Whenever you know in your heart, that you have found your soulmate and he proposes? Please say yes and walk down that aisle! No matter what age you get married, make the most of it and let your marriage and career compliment each other. As the saying goes…whenever one wakes up is morning for that person.
Take care guys!