By Tymmarah Anderson
I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t imagined my wedding over a million times. What song I’d walk in on, who’d my bridesmaids be, and how lit the reception would be afterwards. But never once did I consider who I would marry; that part of the dream just never felt real.
As young as I am, marriage just didn’t seem attainable for me. Not that I was ever in a rush, but the dating scene is nothing like the movies tell us. It’s not as simple as we thought.
Not to mention, as a Black woman, I felt so much intense pressure to get married and start a family that eventually I became completely closed off to the idea. I opted out of most marriage conversations with friends and family because ultimately, I had no stake in them. All the things I had once imagined about marriage, I rejected, all because there was a chance I wouldn’t and couldn’t live up to the expectation of it all. That I’d somehow be less of a woman if I didn’t become someone’s wife.
Then suddenly, everything changed. I met someone that made me feel like marriage wouldn’t be just a tick mark on my checklist, but would be one of the most life-changing, life-saving things I could do. It wouldn’t feel like an accomplishment that I “worked” for, but more like a true act of love, as cliche as it sounds.
The sense of failure that lingers in Black women as the years of being single go by is daunting.
Sure, everyone wants love – arguably, you need it (Alexa, play “Girls Need Love” by Summer Walker). However, it often feels like it’s the expectation that drives us; at least that was my truth. I wanted to get married because it felt like my womanhood depended on it and thinking about it that way always sucked the fun out of dating. Once I took a step back, I realized there’s so much more to the Black woman than marriage and children. I separated my worth from my ability to get married and I felt so much more open to life – to people, to love.
Tymmarah Anderson is a contributing writer for the Pedestal Project, LLC.