Sounds like having to choose between the extremes of two sides. You don’t have to be married to know marriage is no joke; not a pill commended for boys and girls to swallow because they will choke on it for sure. Neither is it a ‘lived-happily-after affair’; those are just the endings we read in our favorite fairy tales to keep us happy. No matter how well planned a marriage can be, one can never tell how the cards will play out after ‘I Do’ falls out of the lips.
Being single is fun as long as your society allows it. When there’s no pressure streaming from family, friends, family friends, colleagues, church folks and even ‘concerned neighbors’, being of age and unattached could be described as the image of ‘youthful freedom’. You are free to live your life the way you please (not so much if you hail from my culture); your money is yours to spend, save and invest as you deem fit, mingle and explore the world to your heart’s satisfaction. It only begins to feel like a weight when society tells you your fun time is up and it’s time to ‘get serious’.
I stand to be corrected but arranged marriage doesn’t necessarily mean ‘forced’. India is known for arranged marriages and interestingly, has the lowest divorce statistics in the whole world according to one Aditya Mahajan. This could be because most Indian cultures disallow divorce. But nonetheless, I find it intriguing that the western cultures which advocate for love and free will to choose can’t seem to hold their marriages together. If you claim to love someone, then it should be relatively easier to endure the storms together and come out the end still strong, right? But modern marriage seems to rather be the exception to the rule.
I am enjoying my single life; I get to plan my life without having to consider someone else in the equation for the meantime. But I don’t think I can spend the rest of my life by myself. I do appreciate companionship and everything that comes along with it; and I can’t wait to experience that phase of life with someone. Life doesn’t get any easier with age and definitely won’t be less stressful living it alone. Others may argue that living ‘single’ doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the ‘goodies’ that married people do. What do they call it, spouse equivalent? Well, I don’t buy that.
I won’t call myself an advocate for arranged marriages. I prefer to meet someone and make the choice myself with the approval of people whose opinion matter to me, of course. So that when things get tough, I can hold myself accountable for the choice I made and thus forge ahead to make it work.
But when push gets to shove, I might choose the former over the latter.
Because after all, love is a decision and a conscious effort to care for and stand by someone regardless of the person’s shortcomings. One huge minus of an arranged marriage is not having to assess the person yourself to see if you can deal with his/her ‘baggage’. The discovery of certain habits of people we know and love can be shocking; how much more someone we might have no inkling of? Could be traumatizing.
But if one’s mind is made up to stick together come what may and not always consider taking the exit when there’s a clash, then it is more than probable to work. India has proven to be a success story of that more or less.
What about you? If it boils down to these two choices, which one would you make? Can’t wait to find out!
Josephine Amoako © 2016