To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

A time to love….

Someone asked the question, why are there so many mature and nubile ladies (and men) UNMARRIED these days. Or, at least marrying very late? .

The reasons (for both sides of the divide) are intertwined. Obviously no one would marry himself / herself. For every human that doesn’t marry, there is one or more human(s) of different (or same!) sex that is left unmarried. The more men don’t marry early enough, the more you have women who are left on the shelf longer (or, forever) , and vice versa.

photo courtesy -

photo courtesy –

The reasons for old men with greying beards not marrying (on time) are slightly different from the reasons for women of marital age (with biological clocks ticking loudly!) remaining single (for) longer, or forever.

For both sexes, the reason for not marrying at all, or marrying late could be for religious reasons. Reverend Fathers, nuns, monks in monasteries. This is a minor contributory factor. Also, for people who are very busy (say a banker who goes to work six times in a week, from morning till night and sometimes on Sundays, or an oil worker who is shuttling offshore responsibilities ) may find themselves ‘settling down’ later than would ordinarily be the case.

Let’s examine the case of the men first . From my viewpoint, it appears the reasons for this could be narrowed to one or two. First, finance. Raising a family in Nigeria of today is tough, tougher than ever before. Therefore, men without fairly good / stable income would understandably be cautious about running into Marriage. In some cultures, getting married is prohibitively expensive. This would be the first stumbling block for a man with wobbly income.

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Photo courtesy –

Second, education. Gaining admission late into higher institutions almost automatically translates to settling down later in life, because you finish schooling later. While this is not always true, it is generally so. The number of years spent in school these days is quite long. Hence, by the time a (wo) man does his/her schooling, (s) he is likely to be advanced in age. This is particularly true for university courses that span five, six or seven years (and which could easily extend to far more as a result of unending disruptions to academic activities by way of numerous strikes) . Also many people are forced to pursue their schooling to doctorate level because they couldn’t secure an appropriate job fast enough after concluding their first degrees . By the time they finish schooling, with all the systemic hiccups, they are likely to be far advanced in age. (Conversely, with you would find uneducated folks (like artisans) generally marry and start a family far earlier).


By the time they start working, and gather enough funds to want to raise a family, we could have a forty-year old on our hands!

While the situation above also applies to the females, somewhat it affects the male more.

For the women, the issue of a lengthy academic career is a major factor too. A laser focus on career could also not give enough room for thinking about settling down with a man and raising a family. Associated with that is the strange correlation between a lady being very successful in her professional career but having problems hooking a man (or keeping him after hooking him!). This could be attributable to the fact that many men would be intimidated with a financially independent lady , drastically reducing the scope of the husband selection pool , or the women find it difficult being submissive enough, or taking the ego of the men in their stride, in their. Interactions with them.

Photo Courtesy -

Photo Courtesy –

All in all, marrying late, or not at all has far reaching effects on the populace. Apart from medical reasons (a younger couple would have more virile offsprings, a younger woman would more likely have problem free births than her older counterpart, all other things held equal ) , marrying early would allow you raise kids during your most youthful and productive years, allowing you enjoy your twilight years better.

Who wants to still be paying school fees and attending PTA meetings, when his colleagues already have grandsons / granddaughters?

What’s your take here? Would you support late marriages (and use that freedom from responsibilities to build your career and lay a solid financial foundation, or would you advocate very early marriages (like I would)? What would be the appropriate age for marriage (male/female)?

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