This is an open letter to all elders who find joy in forcing the unmarried to ‘settle down’.

Dear elder,

To answer the question you so enjoy asking me, I don’t want to get married now.

Before you attack me with your numerous experiences in your long life, let me say that this is my life. And I would like some experiences of my own.

You have raised me on many such ‘rules’ based on your experiences. “Don’t get wet in the rain, or you’ll get a fever,” “Bathe immediately after sweating, or you will fall sick,” “Better save all your money, or you will become bankrupt,”

I appreciate your love and concern for me, I really do. But it might be helpful to remember that all of your experiences were unique to you, and while they may have valid lessons, you cannot impose everything on me.

all of your experiences were unique to you, and while they may have valid lessons, you cannot impose everything on me.

I am living my life, trying to figure things out one at a time. It is hard enough watching my peers find love and take the next step into matrimony, while I am clearly unsure of what lies ahead for me.

Honestly, I am so grateful to be able to turn to you for advice, and I would appreciate it if we could discuss issues, instead of our conversations ending with you telling me what to do. It hurts, every time you jump to the negative outcome of things without even listening to me.

When you were my age, you did not have access to as much information as I did. You did not speak to as many people as I do. To say that yours was a different world would be a severe understatement.

Perhaps you got married when you were in your early twenties. Your parents probably got married when they were younger. Does that make you late? Not at all. It is just how generations change with time. And that’s okay.

To say that yours was a different world would be a severe understatement.

Tardiness aside, marriage may have been a necessity when you were my age. It is not anymore. That does not mean that I will never get married. I may, or I may not. But by emotionally blackmailing me, you are pushing me to make a decision that I am just not ready for.

Yes, you have sacrificed lots for me, all of which I am deeply grateful for. But please don’t taint those sacrifices by demanding a wedding in return. Can you really expect me to rush into the biggest milestone of my life simply because you are bored and need something to look forward to?

Can you really expect me to rush into the biggest milestone of my life simply because you are bored and need something to look forward to?

I don’t need to remind you of that Aunty’s son who is now divorced after rushing into marriage. Or the other young lady we knew who is separated from her husband after finding out that he couldn’t consummate the marriage. Surely, you don’t want my marital life to reach such an end.

What you also don’t realize is that by forcing me to do something i don’t want, you are putting undue stress on our relationship. In due time, I will begin to resent you for pressuring me. And if I do get married because of said pressure, and heavens forbid, end up like that Aunty’s son, I will subconsciously blame you for getting me into the mess in the first place.

by forcing me to do something i don’t want, you are putting undue stress on our relationship.

By constantly threatening me with your impending death, you are making your whole life sound worthless. It is as if you have lived only to see me get married, and you wish to drop dead the next day.

In reality, it is not going to end there, is it? Today it will be marriage, tomorrow you will pressure me to bear children, and then it will be the next child, and so on. This never ending pressure you put on me will lead me to do things that i might not really want to do. You are denying me the opportunity to explore things that might appeal to me.

Today it will be marriage, tomorrow you will pressure me to bear children, and then it will be the next child, and so on.

In this day and age, there are many ways to live one’s life. Marriage and kids may be the way that you are most familiar with, but it isn’t the only way.

Marriage and kids may be the way that you are most familiar with, but it isn’t the only way.

Elder, when you chose to have children, did you do it because you wanted clones of yourself walking the earth? Or did you do it because you want to create individuals who are their own beings, independent, smart and able to contribute to society?

I love you. And I cannot imagine my life without you in it. In your eyes, I may always be your little one, but the reality is, I’m a fully functional adult. So please, let me be an adult and make my own decisions.

when you chose to have children, did you do it because you wanted clones of yourself walking the earth?

I may be looking for a partner now, or I may have a partner already. Whichever the situation is, I would be happy if you just supported my decision and respected me as an adult.

Let me explore, let me fall and get back up. Whether I plan to get married or not, trust that you will be the first person I share that with, other than my partner of course.

Love,

Your youngin