STAYING ALONE AS A YOUNG LADY; SO WHAT IS THE BIG DEAL?
I have always dreamt of having my own apartment, living alone and having friends come to visit me from time to time right from my secondary days.
Going to a private university, I did not have the opportunity of exploring this option, because we had hostel rooms which were very comfortable. Each room had a kitchenette, toilet and bathroom for its two occupants.
I mean there is so much joy in getting that freedom and privacy you have always wanted and as a young lady in my mid-twenties, I am starting to settle in with the realisation that my privacy is a lot more important to me now than ever.
Imagine getting back from work at 7pm, taking your pants off and dumping it in the living room, throwing your wig in your improvised dinning area, that satisfying feeling you get when you finally take off your bra or walking about in your undies because it’s your house.
I understand that staying alone comes with it’s own responsibilities and self-awareness but the beautiful thing about it, is that you are not liable to anyone, no curfew, no strict rules, you don’t have to eat what everyone is eating just to please the family housing you, watch TV programs you are not interested in or go for church programs you never planned on attending.
So imagine the shock on my face when I finally got a job far from home and I told my parents I would need their help in securing a place of my own. My Dad abruptly told me ‘ladies do not stay alone’ while my mum gently said ‘girls that stay alone are seen as wayward and wouldn’t find husbands to marry.’ LIKE IS THAT EVEN A REASON?
To say I was heartbroken Is the least expressive way to tell you how I felt. My stay alone dreams were shattered, the future girls sleepover I planned for were cancelled, my imaginary well furnished living room was gone.
I have heard people say ladies should not stay alone because we are fragile, we can’t protect ourselves from harm or men would run away from us. But my major concern is why is there a default assumption that a woman living alone in Nigeria is loose? Is this a cultural thing or societal belief? I am yet to find out.
BREAKING THE MYTH
Some of the MYTHS formed by our society includes:
Myth 1: You will not get be attractive for marriage: In the real sense, staying alone indirectly teaches you some important lessons needed in marriage.
Firstly, you become independent and financially conscious because you are now responsible for everything in your home e.g electricity bill, water bill and house rent. You learn how to budget, you begin to separate your wants from your needs and start to prioritise things that are necessary to you. This helps in marriage because you are no longer seen as a liability to your spouse.
Myth 2: Ladies who stay alone are seen as wayward: Staying alone helps you to become more disciplined in the sense that you are now accountable to yourself. This means that you come to a self-realisation that anything you do affects your future. A good way of handling this, is setting goals for yourself and working your way to achieving them.
Myth 3: You will not be secure: The best way to get around this is to get yourself familiar with your neighbourhood and get to know the people who stay around you. Another major point is something we have probably heard right from our childhood, which is ‘never open the door to your home for any stranger to come in.’ Always be sure that you know the person standing by the door before granting them access into your home.
Although the society we live in has succeeded in stereotyping young ladies who live alone, there is no doubt that staying alone helps most of us become independent, responsible and more self-aware of our environment.
Sadly, I still do not stay alone but hopefully, I will some day. A lady can dream right?
Let me know some of the funny reasons you’ve been told for why young ladies should not stay alone.