What to do before you say “I do”

SINGLES MATTER with ChinyereDistinguishe

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As a Single lady or young man, you have probably envisaged walking down the aisle with that special someone to exchange your marital vows and live happily ever after. That’s natural for anyone who desires to get married someday. However, many focus on and prepare for only the wedding day, rather than the marriage itself. I was once in this category until I received sense. And I am committed to save you from falling into the same trap.

Marriage is God’s good plan for you and I; it is the oldest institution since the history of mankind; and it is the only institution where:

  • You are given your certificate on the day of admission.
  • You enter the classroom partnering with another student; and you both are required to function as one.
  • You are required to remain a student till death separates you and your partner.
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These show that marriage is not an institution to be dabbled into unplanned or with your head in the skies. Despite all these known facts about marriage, it is unsettling that most people still prepare better for their admission into short-term institutions which last for an average of five years, than for this critical lifelong institution. What an irony!

Dear Single, if you want to have a happy and sustainable home that will stand the test of time through various seasons, then you must be willing to BUILD that home. And the foundation for that home starts now that you are Single.

Let me use the words of one of my mentors, Sir Chris Nwabueze Ndu: “Marriage, contrary to the views of many young people, is actually a journey and not a destination. Marriage does not solve all your problems. It is a journey, it is work, and how you start determines largely how it goes. Being single is not something to be worried about, what you do at this time is what counts.”

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Again, if you desire to have a solid marriage/home that will stand the test of time through various seasons, then you MUST make conscious efforts and investments to design and build that home. This does not start after the nuptials are tied; it starts way before you get to that bridge where you are required to say “I DO”.

Essential Things To Do Before You Say “I Do”

  1. Define what being Single means to you.

The definition you have about anything: a word, a person, a place, etc., determines the meaning you attach to it. The definition you have for the word ‘Single’, will determine how you see and treat a single, even if that single is yourself. Yes.

I have talked about who a single truly is, and what true singlehood is about, in my previous posts. Do well to read them.

  1. Take responsibility for your life.

As an adult, one of the critical things you need to understand is this: you are RESPONSIBLE for your life and how it turns out.

I know, I know, our default nature as humans is to quickly cast the blame on others. It started with the first man in the Garden of Eden – Adam. However, did you notice that putting the blame on Eve didn’t spare him from the consequences of his actions and inactions? The same happened to Eve, too; even though she blamed the serpent for her action, she still received her punishment. The same thing happens and will continue to happen to you and I if we resort to blaming others rather than taking responsibility for our decisions, choices, actions and inactions.

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Of course, there is no denying that our parents or guardians, the environment, and other external factors, contribute to or influence where we are in life. Nonetheless, it is folly and self-deceit to absolve ourselves of any form of responsibility to that effect. I love the way Marie Forleo puts it. She said, “No matter what happened in your past or what is happening right now, when you blame others, when you don’t willingly take a hundred percent responsibility for the quality of your life. You give up the power to change it.”

So my dear Single, I understand that what happened in your past may not have been your fault. However, henceforth, you need to step up to the plate and take responsibility for how you want the rest of your life to play out.

When I come your way again next week, I’ll tell you some specific areas where you need to take responsibility for your life. In the meantime, don’t forget to stay safe and stay connected to the one and only source of true love – God.


CHINYEREDISTINGUISHED CHIMEZIE (nee ANOKE) is an Award-Winning Author of three fast-selling books: SINGLE, FRUITFUL, FULFILLED, TURNING 28 and 29 LESSONS AT 29.

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