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The pressure to get married: Focus on the biological clock factor

29 October 2015, 11:23 Anne Muigai

Ever get the sense that your family or friends are pressuring you to either get married or have children? There’s no denying the pressure many women and men face to get married and have kids, especially when they hit their late 20s and early 30s. After my interactions with several people, it seems as though females get pressured more than their male counterparts. Sadly, the infamous biological clock is not determined by genetics as much as it is by your parent’s want for grandkids.

My close friend Lily, for example, is the ideal example of victims of marriage pressure. She remembers her younger years when her parents didn’t even want her dating until she graduated from college. After graduation, she was always on the run looking for a job and a purpose in life. A year in her new job, the pressure made a way into her life. Her parents were always asking, “When are you going to find someone, marry them, and have kids?”

Lily is just one among hundreds of women who face pressure from peers, family and society to get into marriage and have children. Today, the pressure comes almost immediately after college or after landing a job. For my poor sisters who are not lucky enough to get job placements, the pressure is titanic as their parents fear they might get old and finally lack partners. I keep thinking to myself about what happened to finding a job first and falling in love, or being emotionally and financially ready for a lifelong commitment?

There are many reasons that cause marriage pressure including cultural, religious and biological factors. But mostly, pressure emanates from the infamous biological clock that spells doom for women when they hit the late 20s.

Unfortunately, the biological reasons that limit chances of bearing children as age advances are highly driven by societal pressure to grow their future generations. The society dictates what age is biologically right or beyond limits for women and men to marry and have children. Believe it or not, many people have succumbed to the pressure after clocking 30. Countless women pick and marry anything that comes their way in a bid to meet family and societal expectations, and out of fear of the biological clock.

Read Also: The rare condition that masculinises women

And it’s not just women under this pressure, men too continue to suffer. If current research is correct, a man’s baby-making alarm may start to ring not too long after women, usually at around age 40. But should that implicate that we should rush into marriage and have kids? No. I’m a fervent believer of moving at my pace, devoid of any peer or family pressure.

When family or a society decides to time warp itself back to the archaic days when people married to conform to societal expectations, I believe it slows or worse, pulls down civilization.

In post-modernity, the rule of the game has changed and our outlook ought to change too.  It is important to allow our children and peers to make decisions about certain aspects of their lives like marriage. Someone questions: “What if we don’t ever fall in love or that someone who we are in love with doesn’t want to have kids or marry? Should we force ourselves to submit in order to satisfy society or our parents?" My answer to this is NO.

Having a child or marrying the wrong person can be the beginning of long-suffering and thus we ought to have the capacity to choose the timing and the right partners. I say, “Never ever, ever conform to other people’s expectations of you; life is too short to live in someone else’s shadow.”

Life should be just fine, married, with kids or not. It’s essential to take the time to seek out a partner that you will want for the rest of your life. That said, family and society should divorce itself from exerting pressure on young people. It is not just unfair but also passed by time. The rule here is to let it happen naturally. You know, fall in love, date, marry and have children.  Don’t rush or conform. There’s no reason to be phased by your age either, everything has its own time.

- MyNews24

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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