It was one of those days where she spent her day with her family and a couple of close friends. Her fiancé” was there too. At the spare of a moment, as they were all sitting on the porch of their garden. He knelt down on one knee and brought out the Tiffany blue gift box from his pocket. She was all shy and surprised, couldn’t resist herself and kept on screaming, crying, laughing all at once. He asked her those four lettered question; that every girl longs for.
Would you marry me?
Now, this is one of the so called “scenarios” I have been seeing or hearing for the past what, TWO YEARS! Whenever I click the refresh button of my Facebook page, I find posts of couples, newly engaged couples, newlyweds or newlyweds with their newborn baby! Now it’s great to share and post with your closest friends and family but I just think that marriage has become of a ripple effect.
One might think that in the 21st century, things should be a bit different and people would start to think otherwise about love, commitment and marriage, but here in Egypt this isn’t the case really. Acknowledging all the reasons why commitment in Egypt in particular has been an extreme struggle, the groom needs to present a super-colossal dowry, have a luxurious house in a known place and buy a show-offing shabka! How materialistic and complicated can marriage be? As if the decision of being with one person for eternity isn’t terrifying-ly scary enough! But to be fair, despite all those struggles, you do find some that are together for better or worse and are “happily” married despite marriage protocols. To me, those are living heroes.
One also needs to take in to consideration the increased marriages nowadays in numbers. To exemplify, Egypt’s statistical agency CAPMAS, Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics, noted that the divorce rate increased to 2.2 % in 2.7 % of the marriages in the year of 2012 alone. Can you imagine the actual increased rate of marriage and divorces now in 2015?
Just thinking about that again, stresses every nerve of my body. Yeah, you might be saying that I have a divorce phobia or that I’m just too anxious but I can’t resist being with the wrong person or even worse, being with someone that might not appreciate my being.
Let’s talk about pressure! As a 22 year old woman, I have never been more pressured and haven’t heard less of “ليه ماتجوزتيش لغايه دلوقتي؟” or “why aren’t you married yet?” I agree marriage should be accomplished down the line but I think being single also is essential for a while. I have learned so many things that I wouldn’t have learned if I was in a relationship. I understand that love, compassion and devotion are extremely important but why shouldn’t we, women, take a step back, relax and focus on ourselves and only ourselves for a change, before being with the one.
As a woman, before marriage there are so many things you can do to build yourself. Marriage is the coming together of two people who grow and build together but to build you should have a foundation too. Lets see how we build that foundation:
I’ve learned to know myself. Yes, you should love being single now because you should explore yourself and get to know what you like, and why you like it.Its going to help a lot when you are married. Take the time to relax and reflect on your life or discover your dream and run after it. Focus on every little detail, where and how you plan your future. Create a short-term and long term to do list. Explore yourself by knowing your strengths and knowing how to take care of yourself first. Succeed by being yourself. No one should make you feel more happy nor content than yourself, FIRST.
Travel. I’ve learned to take every opportunity I can to explore new places. You have the time now, so why not use it well? One of the best things of being single, is to not worry about time. You learn qualities about yourself you haven’t ever thought about having. If you have a hectic life scheduled this could be a chance for you to reconnect with your family, especially your father. You also learn to adapt to change and you learn from different experiences. You learn to love your imperfections in all cases. Lastly, you don’t have to worry about anyone else but YOU.
Learn Something New
Enjoy your own company by learning something you have wanted to learn for so long. Your talents might be hidden somewhere, so seize the opportunity to discover them. Cook your favorite meal. Learn to paint or create art. Bake mini cupcakes. Tone your body and revive some six packs, if you want to! Get to know why you are here and start making a difference. If we slowly discover the hidden talents within us life would be so much more different. I’ve learned my own talent and it’s the ability to write. Get to know yours. It is “your” time.
Focus on your “Other” Relationships
I have learned that I should speak my thoughts out in relationships. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. There are so many single ladies out there that are having the same thoughts. It is normal. You will feel so much better if you share it with the people that know you well. Have a ladies’ night, enjoy their company. Get close to your family. They know you best and are there for you no matter what. Not only will you speak your heart out, but they will understand you.
Lastly, but most importantly, talk to Allah, The Knower of All, العليم. He knows you the MOST. He is your ultimate person. He is الودود , The Loving One, which means He cares for you and your happiness. He is The Hearer of All, السميع , which means if you feel something amazing, he knows it but mention it to him. He will not only listen to your happy moments but also your sad ones too. He is The All-Compassionate الرحمن, which means He is the most sympathetic and warm. You can tell Him your thoughts, what you are feeling, why you are stressed, sad or lonely every single time. When you are lying in bed at night, speak to yourself.
Don’t you know Allah is closer than your jugular vein.
وَلَقَدۡ خَلَقۡنَا ٱلۡإِنسَـٰنَ وَنَعۡلَمُ مَا تُوَسۡوِسُ بِهِۦ نَفۡسُهُ ۥۖ وَنَحۡنُ أَقۡرَبُ إِلَيۡهِ مِنۡ حَبۡلِ ٱلۡوَرِيدِ
The ‘closeness’ in the verse, by consensus of scholars, refers to “nearness in terms of all-encompassing knowledge” not in terms of physical closeness. In this manner, the verse means that Allah’s power and knowledge has so encompassed man from within and without that His power and knowledge is nearer to him than his own jugular vein.
Observe from Past Experiences
Having your close buddies in a relationship is a good sign. I have learned from their mistakes and understood how long term relationships work and how difficult it might get. Observe and take mental notes but please don’t get in to a relationship just for the sake of it. Take the chance to deal with being single and instead of going to a rebound. Or even worse! Being in a relationship just to fit in like your friends! Learn to be single and learn how to LOVE it. Most importantly, learn to trust yourself and to forgive.
Trust Allah, and know that .
والطيبات للطيبين والطيبون للطيبات
This means that the pure woman is meant to be with a pure man and vice versa. So focus on being the optimum spiritually, mentally and physically now. We are all insecure at times, don’t let it get to you. Define yourself and be the ultimate, content, self-actualized person you can be then, think of being with someone. But for now, just now, learn to be single. Learn to love yourself. Learn to love your imperfections. Learn to be you.
– Monica ElShazzly