A good marriage has many amazing benefits. Studies clearly indicate that married partners are healthier and live longer. They are more productive and richer.

They have lesser depression and express higher levels of happiness than singles. The main reason God made male and female is marriage.

Marriage is a popular choice. Over 95 per cent of all adults in the world marry and 85 per cent of those who divorce marry at least once. It is, however, not everyone who wants to marry. Today, single life is fast increasing. The population of singles has, in fact, doubled in the last 15 years.

Why single life?
Life is hard and many men can hardly afford to take care of themselves. Bringing in an extra mouth will worsen their situation.

Some stay single out of convenience. They focus on life goals and put marriage on the hold. Some have tasted the baptism of fire in marriage and have vowed never to go near it again.

They do not find anything exciting about an institution that has only 20 per cent success rating. The baseline question is simple: How many people are really happy in their marriage?

Today, due to equal opportunities and many interventions, many women have made it big but sometimes to their undoing. Most men want to marry "down" to protect their ego. There are simply insufficient qualified and interested men around.

Some remain single for selfish reasons. They know they can get almost everything marriage offers - sex, children, companionship and support without marrying. If they can get free milk, they will not buy a cow and worry about how to maintain it.

Some are born celibate. They have emotional problems and have no desire to marry. Some stay single to devote their lives to the services of mankind and God.

Advantages of single life

You have your freedom and independence. You go where you want and come in at your own time. You make your own decisions without worrying about opposing ideas.

You do not have to put up with annoying or unacceptable behaviours. It is, therefore, easier to stabilise your emotions. You have ample time to use your talents and chances. This explains why women who remain single are more likely to be higher achievers than married women.

Coping with single life v

Have a positive self-esteem and believe you can do everything yourself. This makes it easy for you not to depend on others to make you happy.

Pamper yourself because like all others, you deserve the nice things of life to enhance your physical, emotional and spiritual life.

Go out often. Do what you enjoy and avoid isolating yourself. You are single but not lonely or sad. Place emphasis on what brings you peace.

Keep in close touch with your family members because they provide you good support. You are linked to them for life. Work hard but work smart so that you donít overwork to cover your single. Stress could predispose you to physical and mental hazards. Decorate your house so that it becomes a comfortable nest.

Be single and proud
Single life is legitimate. You alone must decide to stay married or single. Never allow anyone or society to force to marry. You must, however, avoid being single out of selfishness, fear, resentment inordinate ambition. Your decision to marry must be an honourable choice but not by default.

If it is your honest intention to stay single, do so. Happiness is a state of mind. You can lead a positive and fulfilling life as a single. If you are not happy with yourself, being single or married does not count.

Many years ago, when the black race was marginalised, a black American came up with a song entitled "I am black and proud" to enhance the image of the black race.

Today, when singles in our society are stereotyped and treated unfairly, be an instrument to champion the cause of singles. Say it loud: "I am single and proud."

Prove it by your personal accomplishments and contribution to the society. It may not be your fault that you are single but it is your fault if you put your life on hold because of marriage. Single life can just be as joyful, exciting and fulfilling as married life.

Credit: John Boakye,E-mail: jydboakye@yahoo.com