Why are Women So Pressed to be Married?


I was at a social gathering last night with a group of young, black women. Most were in this group called “Pinky Promise,” a new movement out there to stay pure before God in EVERY single way. The purpose of this movement and the different groups that have formed because of it seem like a good idea from what I could see. Yet, there was something that kind of threw me off.

During the evening’s discussion, the subject of men (of course) arose. One of the women looked around the room and asked, “Does everyone in here pretty much desire to be married?” Mostly every girl nodded yes (besides me and another girl who said, “Not anytime soon.”). And as the conversation continued, the topics of husbands, and “the man God has for you,” and waiting and being patient were on full blast. As I observed those in the room, I got an overwhelming sense of “I want to be married!” Even as I talked one-on-one with one of the ladies, she also noted how the focus seemed to be on getting a husband, which was not what she expected.

After telling my older (and married) cousin about my experience, she asked me a very good question: “Did you ask these ladies why they desire to be married so much?”

And although it was in my head (and obviously influenced this post), I never thought to simply ask the women why?

Why is it that women desire to be married so much? The entire group was black, and this also made me wonder, is this more of a focus for black women? Or does every woman have such a strong desire to be married?

Take me, for instance; I certainly want to be married one day because, as a Christian, I do believe this is just one aspect of God’s plan and purpose for my life. He designed marriage and I do believe in the long run He created men and women to ultimately enter into a marriage covenant (for multiple reasons). Like any other gal, I want a life-long partner and a beautiful relationship, but it’s not a pressing desire for me. It doesn’t consume my thoughts nor do I focus on it day in and day out.

Now, we should take into consideration that I’m currently in a relationship, and these women, from what they were saying, are not. So, in fairness, I thought, “Well, perhaps I’m not as focused on being married now or getting a husband because I have someone.” Yet, I think about my close friend who is single. She also desires to be married one day, but unlike the women last night, she doesn’t have this sense of urgency or feel like she needs and wants to meet her hubby-to-be right now. Even when I was single, which was FOREVER, this wasn’t my sole focus.

The topic made me think about something my pastor’s wife said one day. She said, “99.9 percent of women want to be married, yet only 50 percent want to be a wife.” That’s real.

I wonder if, in their longings for husbands and wife titles, women really take the time to consider what it means to be married? What it really means to be a wife?

I know God checked me about this very same thing awhile ago. My friend pointed out to me that whenever I’d talk about marriage, I’d usually only talk about my wedding. “It’s going to be this” and “I want to have that” yet I rarely spoke about actual marriage. And the Lord quickly opened my eyes to the true definition of marriage and being a wife—cause it’s not at all about a special day or a title. For so long, I didn’t know what being a wife and entering into a marriage covenant really meant, and I wonder if the same is true for so many women who are searching for husbands right now.

No one wants to be lonely; I get that. Yet, marriage is (and will be) so much more. Do we think about commitment? Do we think about serving our husbands, even when we don’t feel like it? Do we think about making sacrifices and being selfless? Even seemingly small things like visiting relatives on holidays. Perhaps you really enjoy being with your family on Christmas, but in marriage, you may have to spend plenty of Christmases away from your loved ones and be with your husband’s side, especially if they live in different states. Do we consider that? Do we think about permanently sharing our space with someone else? Learning to live and interact with another person EVERY DAY? Mixing different living styles, likes and dislikes, ideas and opinions, backgrounds and upbringings: Do we think about these things?

Even more, what about when the lovey-dovey stage fades away? What about when you can’t stand your spouse? Or things start to feel routine? Or, God forbid, offenses come (and they will come)? Do we think about forgiveness? And moving past hurts and pains?

I think that in a society filled with slim pickings—men who don’t date black women, are on the DL, bisexual, playing games, are immature, and/or don’t have any goals or ambition—we as women can start to feel desperate, even at such young ages (the women in this group were 24-25). We see a lack of quality “good men” and it creates this sense of urgency in us to have something we 1) truly don’t understand enough about and 2) most often times are not even ready for. I mean, if when referring to marriage all I used to focus on was my wedding dress or venue, it’s clear to see I had no idea what marriage truly is and wasn’t ready.

No one will ever be 100 percent ready for marriage because, obviously, there are some things about marriage one can only learn in marriage. To every woman that longs to be married and snag that husband, I think you should take the time to make sure you fully understand what you think you desire. As they say, be careful what you wish for, and you don’t want to wish for a role your mindset, maturity level and character aren’t fully developed for yet.

Service is her passion, writing is her platform, uplifting women and the Black Community is her purpose. Shala Marks is a writer, editor and soon-to-be author. Through her work, Marks aspires to demonstrate “The Craft of Writing, and the Art of Efficacy.” She has a B.A. in journalism from Arizona State University. Connect with her at: http://shalamarks.com/.


  1. Well, after you’re done with your education, the prime years for mating and reproduction are somewhere between 25-35. I had my baby when I was 26, had him off to college at 44, and I could be a fancy free kid again. Sold my house, moved to Florida and bought me a red convertible!

    When women wait too long to have children, and end up with teenagers in the house in their 50’s, at a time when most old age illnesses start to set in, and you need to be taking care of yourself, it is hard.

    Besides the urge to mate is strong. Very strong. Women need to mate to be in their best mental and physical health. Lack of a sex life can actually causes depression, and those toys cannot replace the warmth and feelings of security only a man can give.

    However, I am sickened by women who are OBSESSED with finding a man, to the point that they try to break up a friend’s marriage, or just stoop to any low down level to get one. I especially detest women who buy men, sit them up like boys and dont demand that they work or contribute. Way too many black women are in these kind of dirty marriage, that is not a marriage at all when it is dependent solely upon her income alone.


    However, I am sickened by women who are OBSESSED with finding a man, to the point that they try to break up a friend’s marriage, or just stoop to any low down level to get one. I especially detest women who buy men, sit them up like boys and dont demand that they work or contribute.

  3. Honestly, I think with today’s society it’s about status. We as women (especially African American women) have been beat down in every way possible. It’s almost like a lot of women feel like they are unworthy. That being said, now it’s all about being married (to say that I am wanted, needed, and desired). He liked it and he put a ring on it. Women want to flaunt that and use it as power over the single sista who doesn’t have a ring. It gives the image of superiority, which is now in a lot of women b/c they’ve been told all their lives that they wouldn’t grow up and amount to anything but a “baby mama”.

    If you know like I know, marriage is NOT all that it’s cracked up to be. I’m not jaded by it b/c I fully anticipate entering into the covenant again when the time is right, but your pastor’s wife is absolutely correct in her saying about not wanting to be wife!

    We all say we want things, “I want to be rich. I want to have good health. I want to be remembered.” etc. but we aren’t forth any real effort to make those things happen. And I’m going to put this out there as well, many of us aren’t being shown. That’s not an excuse, but it is true.

    Thankfully I had a phenomenal example of what it means to be a wife and mother. My parents showed me what I feel is the true essence of bieng married (not that BS that is told to us). I saw them love, I saw them fight. I saw them work together, I saw them blaze their own respective trails. I saw them rise, I saw them fall. Then I saw my father die and how much of my mother died with him. Marriage isn’t what most people these days think that it is and that’s a problem b/c they get into these situations and want to divorce after seeing that it’s not all “Marvin Gaye and lingerie”….

  4. This statement could not be more accurate….”No one will ever be 100 percent ready for marriage because, obviously, there are some things about marriage one can only learn in marriage.”-I had to learn this the hard way.

    Another thing that I’d like to add is the fact that society KEEPS feeding us this bull about slim pickings….I REFUSE to succumb to that nonsense. I feel that this is another reason for the desperation. When you start to feel that there won’t be anything left for you, you develop the desperate mentality and accept whatever comes your way. Uggggghhhh….I hate hearing, “Hey man, you need to move to Atlanta. You know it’s 250,568, 354,900, 013 to 1 ratio”….:(sorry about the large number, but you catch my drift).

    How do we determine what is actual quality? What because he has a job at Comcast as an Account Exec? Or because he finished his degree? Is that it? So a guy that works as an artist but doesn’t have a 9-5 isn’t? I digress…

  5. There is nothing wrong with the desire for marriage. If you believe what you said about it being God’s will, then there is everything right about it.

    My friend really desired a husband. Expressed this openly and within a few years, God has blessed her with a husband and baby boy.

    The bible says to make your requests known. If you are not in these women’s positions,then that’s cool but get off the high horse hunny! lol

    These women were in a place where they felt safe to express these desires without being judged. I pray that God grants them the desires of their hearts.

    Be blessed.

  6. wtf??? I agree with talulazoeapple…there is nothing wrong with having a desire for marriage. dont judge them.

  7. I also Had the same rational as most women of wanting to be married, but I wanted to be married for security, to have a strong male & female in the home as guidance for my children and to have a complete family. When my kids became adults and went into the world on their own, my desire for marriage quickly disappeared. I figured if it hadn’t happened in all this time, why the heck would I want to be married now.

  8. Have we ever pondered why marriage is such a conquest for most people? Why do most proclaim they want to be marriage? For one, they state they are looking for a mate to make them happy. And two, they don`t want to be lonely. Now to me, these reasons reveal a high amount of selfishness. It states that`s it`s all about the individual rather than a course for intimate friendship. And I use friendship in the deepest sense of the word. We all look outside ourselves for some grand of happiness not realizing that we`ll never obtain it in the conventional sense. Why do I say this? I say it because, I believe that true happiness comes from within. It`s not something that ANYONE outside yourself can provide you with. We are first and foremost spiritual beings and once we truly realize this we will then connect with our spirituality and not look to mundane ways to fill a void that we think we are in need of.

    If we would learn how to, and, connect with our spiritual side, I submit that we won`t put our hopes and dreams in any one individual to bring us that which lies in our own power. We are all flawed beings so, therefore to put our trust in anyone will only lead to mental instablity because there will be many occasion when that individual will not satisfy your mental picture. As it is, we are all mentally unstable to start with. Again, why do I say this? Well, just consider the things we are most concerned with and how frantic we become when we feel our limited world has been upset. Once we take the time to become meditative we will realize how the things that most engulf us are of the most superficial nature. And this only becomes about because, we have yet to embark upon a spiritual odyssey that will eventually take us to a place of destination whereby we will no longer be limited by worldly views that have been embedded in us and taken up root.

    No person needs to be married in order to be fulfilled. That is only a fallacy brought on by a lack of not coming into being with our higher selves. We let society set the standards whereby we must adhere and we then feel a sense of failure when we don`t reach said standards. Why would ANY SANE person llok to THIS society anyway as a template that we should all aspire to? THIS society is in a decadent state and anyone who has become bewitched by it has to be questioned. This refers back to when I stated, we are all mentally unstable.

    We are caught up in a labyrinth that leads to a turbulent state of mind. What we need to do is, find a place of solitude and study all that we have been taught by THIS society and ask ourselves, “what fruit have we beared?” I`m very iconoclastic. Society is not spiritual and will only therefore give temporal solutions for an illusory form of happiness. My mother has, on many occassion, stated to me that I should mingle more because I`m not gregarious. But, I`m one who feels so at peace within my own serenity.

    There`s no having to listen to others gossip about and tear others down, there`s no having to deal with pretentious folk, not dealing with fraudulent individuals, etc., etc. There`s only the tranquility of each moment. In a sense, I will even say that I don`t like people. Now some may say that is a very radical idea. But I ask you, what are most of our conversations based on?” They are nothing more than a bunch of jargon with no uplifting value, just think about it.

    I don`t rely on others, who like I, am both flawed and conflicted to bring me to a state of blissfulness. Why should I give ANY one that kind of power over me? It is my spirituality that I must become intimate with and in doing so I believe that I will reach a state of bliss by my own volition. No individual, be they psychiatrist, psychologist can rid me of the falsehoods of this society and heal me…they have their own illnesses. It`s something that we must do ourselves by seeking our spirituality that will bring us into contact with our higher selves.

    MJ & The GOLDEN 80S 4Eeva!!


  9. Say that Talulazoeapple!

    Black children deserve to come from two parent, married households too, damn it!

  10. Marriage is a beautiful thing. When two people love each other, are committed, and want to build a life together; marriage is the next step. I dont like our generations lack of respect for marriage. Of course you should have other goals and work on yourself, and be the best person possible. Marriage won’t take away your independence or personhood. Having a spouse just means you have one more person in your corner, who is going to support and be there for you.
    Marriage is more than a social status or title.

  11. It is better to be single than to pressure a man to marry you or trick him with a pregnancy. He’ll make you pay for it forever and he wont respect the forced union.

    But we do need to mate to live our best lives. All the positive spiritual talk in the world wont comfort you as much as the arms of a man you love.

    And most women dont feel like complete women if they havent given birth. It is your real passage into womanhood. All species have the need to procreate also.

    But we dont need women running around envious of other women, pulling dirty tricks, and obsessing on getting a mate. I know 2 who have been pulling every trick in the book, and it doesnt work.

    Just stay sweet, and give guys a chance even if they’re not that good looking.

    If I had it to do all over again, I would stay the heck away from them good looking ones. Ugly men treat you better.

    It’s not how a man looks BUT


    that is important.

  12. @ SMOOTH CRIMINAL you wrote: “Have we ever pondered why marriage is such a conquest for most people? Why do most proclaim they want to be marriage? For one, they state they are looking for a mate to make them happy. And two, they don`t want to be lonely.”

    These questions and possible answers are exactly what I was trying to convey in this article. I was in no way saying these women or any other who desire to be married are wrong or was trying to judge them. I WANT TO BE MARRIED, so who am I to judge? As I watched them talk over and over about how they want husbands NOW, it made me wonder why do we as women seem so pressed to get married? Like is it engrained in us from our youth? And why did it seem like such an urgency for women so young? And I also wondered if this sense of urgency and this desire is stronger and more of a focus for Black women than other races because I’ve noticed with family and friends the idea and desire for marriage is usually the same.

    I wanted to create a discussion on the topic and get behind the “why” and if women really understand what marriage is and want that as opposed to just wanting a title, not to be lonely, to feel loved and “claimed,” and/or to achieve this certain level of status society often associates with a married woman.

    I am in no way on a high horse and I absolutely believe and desire for every child (not just black) to come from two-parent homes. The point of the article was just to share my observations and get other sistas’ perspectives on the topic.

    Thanks for reading and commenting ladies!

  13. Women want to flaunt that and use it as power over the single sista who doesn’t have a ring. It gives the image of superiority, which is now in a lot of women b/c they’ve been told all their lives that they wouldn’t grow up and amount to anything but a “baby mama”.

    I cosign Sweet Serenity. Some of us have become so desperate to be married that it makes me gag.
    I mean really? If your not complete before you get married as a woman getting married will not make you whole.Especially if you have emotional baggage.

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