If you are indeed concerned about a single somebody around you, who by societal standard is due for marriage, below are ways to show you are genuinely interested in their well-being:
• While this might not be common, be certain the person you are concerned about is interested in ever getting married. There is no point getting worried over someone who is not interested in marriage. Mark you, everyone doesn’t have to be married in this world.
• If whatever you want to say to a single person on maritals is out of pity, bite your tongue and choke back the words. No one likes to be pitied plus being single is not a disease.
• Don’t advise single people to just look for someone and marry. Did you just marry anyone? And if you did, everyone else doesn’t have to follow your footstep so please keep that opinion to yourself.
A woman once advised a person close to me to just find any man and marry, she reasoned that since this person is educated, she can fend for her family even if the husband is irresponsible. Quite appalling, right? The so called adviser also has a daughter that is much younger and I am sure she would never wish her such.
• Don’t assume that the reason a single friend or acquaintance is yet unmarried is because (s)he is too picky. This is one of the assumptions that get single people piqued at CCMs (CCM stands for Concerned Committee Member). It is actually easy to make unreasonable conclusions and assumptions about others. Maybe you should try to step into their shoes to see if indeed they are being picky or not. You see, we all have this silly tendency to think we can wear other people’s shoes better than they are doing, forgetting that our shoe sizes differ.
• Keep your go-and-marry jokes and teasing to your self. If you are not someone’s personal person, I mean close pal, some jokes are inconvenient. It’s a different case if single people crack such jokes among themselves or involves a married person who is a friend (and who has not being a pain in the buttocks trying to pressure them into marrying).
• Before you open your mouth to say anything to a single person, out of concern, about getting married, check to see how you will feel being told such a thing if you are in the person’s shoes.
• Don’t give a suggestion you will never give your own children (or won’t be pleased when others do) to another person’s son or daughter just because in your own estimate, they are late for marriage.
Unfortunately though, some parents also push and pressure their children into entering hellish marriages. If you are such a parent, today is the day of salvation. It is high time you repented and stop being your child(ren)’s enemy via your actions.
• Don’t be a jerk and a monitoring spirit, mind your own business. Someone posted a flier for a program, bearing her picture and two other guys’ somewhere, an older CCM called to ask what she was still doing on marriage and if any of the guys on the flier hasn’t proposed to her. Can you imagine?
• If a single person tells you (s)he would rather not have a discussion with you on marriage, please respect their wish. Don’t push it. Otherwise, you are being a pest.
• Don’t advise a single person to pretend to be what they are not so they could attract a partner. For instance, “counseling” an outspoken single lady to pretend to be reserved because men don’t like “lousy” women or telling an intelligent lady to tone down her brilliance so she can attract a man. Like really? When you do that, it shows that you are really not concerned but an enemy. Do you know what you are trying to do? Teaching the person to be deceitful and thereby destroying them! A pretender will attract a partner who wants someone with the same personality (s)he is trying to affect. We all know that pretense can only last for a while.
• If your favourite hobby is matchmaking singles, do well to seek the consent of the people you want to matchmake before distributing their contact details around. Not everyone is interested in being matchmade, so be sure your intended good doesn’t end up being interpreted as evil. Má lọ kanra ẹ lábùkù lọ́dọ̀ àwọn èèyàn. Don’t end up making yourself an object of contempt because you refuse to balance your zeal to see people marry with knowledge.
• If you have a troubled marriage, don’t stylishly advise single people to prepare for the kind of adversity you are experiencing in your marriage. If you are truly concerned, you will try all your possible best to warn and guide them so they don’t end up like you.
• Don’t pester single people with who-is-the-lucky-guy-or-lady kind of questions. If they think you deserve to know who they are marrying, they will let you know when it happens. Don’t be pesky, it is exasperating.
• Don’t assume a person is yet to marry because (s)he has not been praying well or has not visited certain prayer mountains. How do you know that, are you God? By the way, some people never prayed any serious prayer, yet they are very happily married and will continue to be till death do them part. So, stop being like Job’s friends in the Bible who opinionated that their friend’s troubles were because he sinned.
• Genuinely care for other areas of the lives of singles you know. Life isn’t all about getting married, having children and dying. Encourage them to maximise their potentials and be the best versions of themselves. Be a spur to them in pursuing their God-given goals and dreams.
• Pray! Pray!! Pray!!! The best way to be truly anxious for eligible bachelors and bachelorettes around you is to intercede. If you claim to be bothered a person close to you is yet to marry and you don’t ever pray for him/her, I don’t think you are really concerned, because if you truly are, you will pray for them.
©2019, Ayobami Temitope Kehinde