Did you know that there is a huge group of Muslim women out there in the wild who are single and over 30?! Yes you may well gasp! What are they thinking, roaming around our major world cities being all beautiful and successful and single and stuff. Haven't you heard they are dangerous??
OK enough sarcasm (for now)!
The point is I am so fed up of hearing single Muslim women vilified and shoved into ridiculous stereotypes created by myths that have somehow morphed into truths and perpetrated by those who have zero idea of what it takes to be a single Muslim woman over 30 in this day and age.
So before you go out and purchase your official Cat Lady Starter Kit, take a look at these 5 ridiculous myths you've been fed and why they are utter BS!...
1. Your only option is to become a second wife.
Ok hold on! At what point did we start to rank each other according to their reason for being single? There seems to be this bizarre hierarchy of marriage desirability whereby those who are divorced, have children or men who are already married rank right at the bottom whilst those who have never married, are under 30 and have no children rank at the top. When others suggest that your only option is to become a second wife they are assigning you what they perceive to be the lowest quality spouse you can get purely because of your age.
Of course you might consider being a second wife if it appeals to you the same way you might consider marrying a guy who's never been married before. Personal preference. And they are all equally valid options and all open to you. Any one of those lovely guys could make you happy.
Don't believe people when they touch you lovingly on the arm, tilt their smug heads to one side and suggest you become wife number 2 purely because you have "no other options".
2. You’ve missed the boat
I’m sorry I didn’t realise the last boat left at 25 years old o’clock. This seems to rely on an assumption that you will be exposed to a set number of men during your lifetime (i.e. before you hit 30) and that once you have worked your through them and not made a commitment, you have officially run out of men and therefore missed your opportunity. People get married at all ages. Yes there may be age by which you want to be married or you feel is the right age for you to marry but these things are not always in our control. Rest assured though that the right guy for you will appear when the time is right and you are in the right place to receive him. Single men are in abundance and new ones appear everyday. There are plenty of "boats" out there sister!
3. You have to settle for the next guy who comes along
Again this alludes to a sense of panic and the idea that you are "running out" of guys to chose from. Why? Because some guys are looking for someone younger or taller or thinner than you? You don’t have to settle for anything or anyone who does not give you the happiness and deserve in a marriage. You've waited this long because you know there is that something you just haven’t found yet but you know it’s out there. Don’t give up. I woke up single one morning and by the time I went to bed I had met the man who became my husband 7 months later. It could happen any day. Your job is to be emotionally, mentally and spiritually prepared to receive him and to continue living your fabulous life in the meantime.
4. You’ve missed your opportunity to have children
Here’s where biology and common sense often forget to cross paths. A lot of women (though not all) do desire greatly to have children and raise a family. However, we forget that children are actually a bonus part of marriage. You could get married at 21 when everyone considers you most fertile and not be able to conceive purely because biology isn’t working for both of you. Or you could get married in your 30s and have your first child at 39 and more after that. The thing is you won’t know until after marriage whether or not kids are possible so avoid placing too much importance on marriage as a means to have children and focus instead of finding the right guy with whom you can already feel fulfilled so that if children arrive yayyyy and if they don't, it won’t spell the end of your marriage and being returned in disgrace to your parental home so he can marry his cousin from back home who is 18!!
5. You will die old and alone
I have a neighbour who is 79 and she has never married. She is lonely, has very few friends and no visitors. Why? Because she is a cranky, bitter and aggressive woman (not to mention racist), not because she never married.
Even if, like my neighbour, you never get married it doesn’t necessarily spell your destiny to die alone in a rocking chair, halfway through your knitting, being eaten by your cats for 3 months before anyone follows the putrid scent to your corpse. If you currently have a loving and supportive network of family and friends that you nurture and grow, they will be there when you are old too. Human relationships go beyond marriage and even if you did get married you may outlive your spouse anyway. Cultivate your familial bonds and friendships and don’t be like my neighbour (although I do love how she smacks people with her walking stick when they get in her way!).
So sister, breathe, unclench and relax.
Know that you are exactly where you need to be right now and that nothing and no one can stop you from being with the person who has been destined for you.
(...P.S: Take control today and stop going on first dates that lead nowhere! Click here to discover how to do the 7 things that takes a first meeting from just another coffee date to the first step towards your dream marriage!)