Being single is no fun when people around you nag. Many times, family members believe that all people should get married and that nagging will “encourage” singles to find a partner. In fact, this is the same whatever you nag your kids to do.
I think that in the past, nagging was a way of life. I think my parents grew up in the nagging era. If you wanted kids to do something, you nagged and, believe it or not, even marrying someone worked if you nagged enough.
You may be wondering, “Are you saying we have so many divorces because nagging has increased?” No, I do not think so. I am just joking, but I do think we have more people who stay single because of nagging.
For years, my two younger sisters were single. Both of them are wonderful, great looking women, successful and gorgeous. From a young age, my mother nagged them to get married. Oh boy, how much she nagged. She nagged them, she nagged me to nag them and she nagged my older siblings to nag them. I always said they were single because she nagged, but she just kept on nagging.
This is how nagging makes people stay single
Divorce is not fun. It is painful. Everyone knows that, which makes people more careful when choosing a partner. My sisters were surrounded by many divorced people and they were very careful.
Everyone feels a bit of pressure when someone around them gets divorced. So many of people we know/knew around the world are divorced, it is scary, I admit. Many times, people say, “I knew they would not stay together for long “, “They’ve always had problems”, “They weren’t suitable for each other”, “Her/his parents pushed her/him into this marriage” and, if they are in their late 30s, the usual statement, “They only wanted to have kids” or “She only wanted to have kids”. All of them wise statements issued after the separation! I believe my sisters were so afraid of people saying these things about them, they were even more careful.
They were having fun, being single and happy, and then people around them starts getting into pressure that they may be missing something. Of course, every choice we make forces us to miss something in life. When we choose to have a partner, we miss freedom. When we choose to have kids, we miss night clubbing or lazy weekend in bed and so no. This only makes singles think of what married people are missing and makes them doubt the marriage institute altogether.
And then, when my sisters finally met someone, the nagging continued, gradually becoming more intense, yet it did exactly the opposite of its intention. Every time my sisters got involved with a partner, they asked themselves, “Am I with him because I want to be or is it because of the pressure?” This is the worst doubt in the world!
The art of nagging a single
My mom is the master of all naggers. She wanted my sisters to get married so much, she would use all the nagging techniques she had up her sleeves.
- Time is running out
(Of course, time runs out at the same speed, whether you are married or single)
- You’ll miss the boat
(Can you imagine what it meant to her not to have grandchildren? It would be so devastating, she once said she did not mind if we hated her for nagging, as long as we had our own kids)
- You’ll end up old and single
(As if married people stay young)
- Just go and find someone
(I wanted to say to her, “Mom, it does not work like that. You do not walk around with a sign saying ‘I am single and I’m looking for a husband’. But I said nothing, because she would say ‘Why not?'”)
- It’s about time
(As if there is such a thing as the right time)
- I went to a wedding last week … (long silence) … When is it your turn?”
(As if we take turns getting married)
- Uncle David has someone for you
(This is when things get out of hand and uncle David, who is 75 years old, suggests potential partners and takes it very hard if my sisters think his taste in men is not the same as theirs)
- What’s wrong with you?
(Nothing, Mom, nothing. What is wrong with the other 50% of people who do get married, then get divorced and make their kids’ life hell?)
- Fun is not the only important thing in life
(What? Do you mean that after you get married you do not have fun? Mom, come on, you give marriage a bad reputation and you want them to get married?)
- Why can’t you be just like everyone else?
(Mom, they are your daughters. They are not just like everyone else. Lucky you! Or maybe it is because of you they are not like everyone else…)
Well, my mom is the ultimate nagging artist. I love her dearly, but I was lucky to have had a partner from an early stage, so she saved it for my sisters. It was only when she promised to get off their backs and let them take their own journey for a whole year that both found partners (the most wonderful partners) and are now both pregnant with their first children.
If you are a parent and you want your kids to find partners, let them be. They will find partners faster that way and will be happier with them later.
What can you do to help your kids find (good) partners
- Have a good relationship with your own partner
- Advertise the marriage institute and tell them how happy you are with your own choices
- Do not talk to your kids about missing boats, trains or buses – it only creates pressure they do not need
- Compliment your kids by saying, “You are the dream of every girl” or “You are so wonderful, every man would love to have you as a partner” – it will give them the belief they are a good match
- If your kids tell you about their love life, listen and understand – do not give advice if not asked. When you give advice, you risk being treated as someone from a different generation
- Do not tell your kids divorce stories – this is the wrong focus (pink elephant). Divorce should not be an option until it is
- Make sure your kids are looking for a partner – if it is not something they want, all your talks and actions are pressure. Let them be! When the time comes, it comes
- If you want to help your kids, say, “Let me know if there is something I can do to help” – allow them to come to you. If you push, they will run away
- Do not embarrass your kids about it in front of others – nobody should be closer to you than your kids (only your partner)
- If other people nag, tell them, “We will invite you to the wedding” – if you show your kids you are on their side, they will be more likely to share their feelings, thoughts and fears with you, which will allow you to help them when the time comes
- Ask your kids how they feel about introducing them to someone – if they say “no”, respect that and do not attempt to do it. If they say “yes”, ask what kind of person they would like and aim to find a good match. If you introduce them to people that are not in their style, they will not trust your judgment
- If you are afraid your kids are stressed about being single, make sure you are not the source of the stress – say, “I will love you no matter what. If you’re happy, I’m happy”. This will instill confidence in them, which is exactly what single people need to look for a partner
- When your kids meet someone, do not question them about it and definitely do not ask about marriage right away
- When your kids find someone, allow them to get to know the person and avoid getting yourself in the middle – many times, parents are a cause of relationship breakdown. They will make mistakes, but so have you! It is part of life. Do not try to protect them from something you are afraid of
Remember, nagging keeps your kids stuck! It is also incurable. Both my sisters are now in strong relationships and pregnant, but my mom always finds other things to nag about…