Singlehood, Self Esteem, Garri Ijebu, And Everything In Between

Demilade Olafisoye
3 min readNov 1, 2020

By Tolu Okunade

“God when?”

“God when?”

“God when?”

This has become the anthem for single people today. You honestly can fault them — Society tends to support the notion that people become more valuable when they are dating or married, thus placing more importance on romantic relationships over a platonic one. Worst of all, being raised in a patriarchal nation like Nigeria as a single unmarried woman further compounds your woes.

There’s the pressure to be with someone, especially when you’re of marriageable age. We all know them — Those “aunties” who taunt you with talks like “at your age, I had three children” or “look at your friends getting married, aren’t you ashamed?”

Social media isn’t even helping matters, because, at every opportunity, people are always looking for a chance to tell their “How it started vs How it is going” stories with their partners. There’s also the pressure to be able to show off to your friends when you catch up on small talk.

So like a Nigerian desperate to move to Canada, you jump at the next available man who asks for a relationship or woman who seems single. And while in it, you’re not getting the love you deserve. You’re being treated worse than a bad habit. You’re being tolerated. And deep down, you know this.

Your self-esteem is dwindling you don’t even know who you are anymore. But you remain in it, saying to yourself like Martin Luther King “I have a dream that one day he would change.” Your self-esteem is dwindling. And you know it. You no longer feel confident in your own skin. Alaye Joor Joor Joor!

In a world of monumental distraction, it’s easy to lose sight of who you are. It’s easy to go through your days forgetting the magic you carry. Worst off, being with the wrong person would only compound your woes. One thing to remember is that a relationship isn’t going to fix your many self-worth issues. It’s easy to feel worthless. And it’s absolutely okay. But what isn’t, is you wallowing in the pit of abject pity and hopelessness.

So, first, know yourself. There’s nothing wrong with you. You’re normal. In fact, studies have shown that a whopping 51% of millennials between ages 18–35 aren’t in a committed relationship. So you see?

Now that you know, embrace this, with open arms. Leave that abusive relationship. Abuse, either physical or emotional isn’t one of the many ‘ups and downs’ of a relationship. Life is transient.

Being with a ‘partner’ who stifles your creativity and steals your joy isn’t love. So, it’s okay to be single again regardless of how long you’ve been dating. It’s alright to disappoint your ‘social media in-laws. Being single isn’t a disease. It isn’t contagious like the CoronaVirus, and it certainly isn’t terminal like Cancer. It’s a beautiful phase.

So, laugh at your single self. Stop tightening the world to your chest. Go to parties alone. Take yourself on fancy dates. Not being able to enjoy your company alone is a big issue. Be your own person. Be comfortable in your own skin.

One important point to note about being single is that perspective matters. Much more than you think it does. Instead of having the negative mindset that you are single because no one wants you, how about you imbibe the perspective that you are single clearly of your own volition?

How about you see it as getting ready, building yourself not for your next relationship, but yourself. Just a reminder, because it seems you’ve forgotten who you are: You are someone special, and whoever would win your heart, in the end, hit the jackpot!

So I say to you today “From the ashes, like Garri Ijebu, rise!”

Have you read my book, 100 Adventures to Enjoy in Singlehood, yet?

Oh boy! If you haven’t, you’re missing out on an adventurous singlehood journey. Get it here and learn how to enjoy this phase, RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW.