Challenges Positive thoughts

Single Life

Leading an active life, being a useful member of society is essential.

It used to be my dream to live a single life. This means I’m living my dream life now.  As a teenager, I had left a window in my life, to get married by twenty-four, (in those days, to be unmarried at twenty-four was as if you were getting too old to marry!) Anyhow, I planned a lovely single life after twenty-four years of age. But, my cousin Najib Khan expressed his wish to marry me, and his parents were keen too, and I liked him, and we both loved travelling, and I loved our life in the forces.  So, I got married to him at twenty-three years. Once married, I loved married life too. We planned not to have children immediately, and had our first kid after two years.

Landing with a bang to single life:

Fast forward thirty-one years – almost thirty-two years, and three lovely daughters – and now I find myself single again. Least to say, it was a very bumpy landing. However, I’ve settled myself well into my single life. In fact, I love it. Best thing about it is to be in charge of ones’ self and one’s decisions and all the control.  If I make a financial mistake I’ll learn from it and do better next time. Otherwise, I’m good.

Why am I talking about single life?

So, what brought me to sharing this aspect of my life with you? It was a follower asking me to please write about it. Why do parents keep pushing their daughters into marriage with any Tom, Dick or Harry, rather than remain single? I mean any Taimoor, Danish or Haaris.

Here it is the blog post on her request.

Many single girls in thirties:

These days, many girls find themselves unmarried in their mid and late thirties. Most of them are doing jobs and living with their parents. One of them I know did get married after her parents pushed her into a marriage, which didn’t work out. So, she ended up back with them after a divorce.

Let’s call her Beenish, (naturally, I won’t take her real name here.) So, all the time her parents were busy trying to push her into another marriage, where as she had had enough of it. She also received taunts from other members in her parent’s home about her divorced state. She wanted time on her own for now. Finally, she got so fed up, she got a place of her own secretly, and is staying on her own there and goes home to her parents every three to four days, saying she had to go outstation due to her job. Why should a girl have to lie about it? Why can’t she say she wants a single life, and wants to live on her own?

Single by choice:

In 2004, during a trip to Chitral I became friends with a German girl from the German Embassy. She never wanted to marry. She said, ‘I didn’t want to wash a man’s socks!’ (I told her you can get married without having to wash his socks too!) Anyhow, she said she was very finicky about everything, and knew living with anyone else wouldn’t be pleasant. So she didn’t. We became great friends, and to date our friendship has continued. She is now in her late seventies, living in Berlin.

Birgit Weisser is contented with her life, and lives by her own rules. Most of her life she would travel a lot. South Africa being her most favorite place to go. She would spend two to three months of her retired life in Cape Town in the pre-Covid19 days. Now, that too had to be stopped. However, whenever she can, she has gone to those health spas and places for tranquil mindful living. She often went for concerts, and loves her music. Does not keep a television in her home, nor uses a smart phone. She believes these things invade one’s privacy and peace of mind. ? So, I’m giving you a glimpse into what single life can be.

Rising trend of singlehood:

When I went to Halifax two and a half years ago, in 2019, there too one found several girls and young men leading single lives. One of them actually lived in her car! So, it is a new world now. Each to his or her own. Live the way you want and be at peace with it.

Is marriage a symbol of security?

In our parts of the world, still we have parents pushing a girl to get married. Marriage being a symbol of security. Whereas the young men of today can leave a girl at her parent’s doorstep at the drop of a hat! Or, he may die, or shift his interest to another girl. Then what? No. A man is no longer a symbol of security today. That is what parents need to understand.

This friend Ambereen lives on her own in Islamabad having a busy life which is active and productive. Living independently, she faced her battle of cancer. Her children did visit her, along with her brother, mother and siblings. However, she chooses to live independently.

First, give your daughter a qualification so she can have a job of her own, or the ability to start her own business. Make her financially independent. So, if she gets married, fine. But that need not be the ultimate goal of life. It can be the cherry on the top. Marriage is definitely a wonderful option when it is with the right man.

Single life is possible in Pakistan:

If the right man isn’t found, then it is better to be alone, and be happy with one’s life. There are girls who live alone by sharing an apartment. Each girl doing her own job. And sharing the bills and expenses. This too is a good option these days for girls who can’t afford to live alone. I know of three or four girls staying together in a flat or portion of house which they have rented together. They earn well, and sharing the apartment makes up for loneliness, and bills. So, together they can make a pleasant life for each other and themselves. In this way, they aren’t dependent on their parents either.

It can be the same for young men too. In our country there is no issue for them. They can happily live independently or with parents, as they please. However, they too are harassed about their single state.

Prominent single Pakistani women:

Maleeha Lodhi has led a life of grace and great value. Recipient of highest awards, and worked in prominent national and international positions.

Maleeha Lodhi is one such woman who is successfully leading a single life. Hadeeqa Qiyani, Muneeba Mazari are two other personalities who handle fame and fortune along with their single status. Bano Qudsia, after death of her husband Ashfaque Ahmad, led a single life with grace. Many young girls in the field of stardom are also living their single lives. They are pursuing their careers and leading full lives, while living independently.

Muniba Mazari is a successful motivational speaker and tv host.
Hadiqa Kiyani is a popular singer and now a successful actor.

Many girls left Pakistan, to live abroad just because our ‘culture’ does not allow such things. Now, time has come for us all to accept our young, middle aged and older ladies to live independently alone within our society with grace and respect.

A new and better world today:

It is a new world now, and a better world in many ways. There is plenty of room for all of us to live and let live. Let us now allow young girls to live independently doing their own jobs and living their own lives the way they want.

I’d suggest the girls to find good jobs and live independently whether they are single, divorced or widowed. Do not be dependent on anyone. Live independently, with other girls like yourself.

 Same goes for young or older men too. Many of them have decided to stay single, and lead successful lives of their own choice. I have a cousin who is a brilliant artist, and an uncle living in USA, both are bachelors by choice. One can see they are happy. Jimmy Engineer is also one such person, who didn’t remarry after death of his wife. He is a successful artist exhibiting his work all over the world.

Jimmy Engineer is a well known Pakistani artist.

Stay blessed my dear Reader. You certainly rock! ?

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  1. Aisha says:

    A very great and thorough perspective into single livelihood. The reason women are hesitant in getting married is because the main element of trust is lacking. Men these days don’t offer a sense of security and dependency to wives. And if one demands these simple things they think it’s too much to be asked. Those who end up getting married anyhow against their wish and due to society pressure, many of them live their married life with a sense of insecurity and fear which disturb their mental peace and depreive them of the pleasure and fulfilment which the institution of marriage is supposed to offer

    1. Shireen Gheba Najib says:

      Thank you Aisha, for this in depth clarification of the reasons for single life, and why many marriages aren’t successful. I guess we all need to live and let live. Each to his or her own. Meanwhile, stay blessed. 🙂

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