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The Shamefulness of Single Women Living Alone.

So some nights ago I listened to Sharing Life Issues and the topic was single women of the age of 29 and above living alone, and how society/men perceive them. The general consensus was that any woman who lives on her own at that age, especially if her parents live in the same state is usually seen as wayward, indecent and loose. Men will therefore shy away from marrying her. 

I thought this was a huge joke till I listened to some of the callers. One man, an Igbo man, called in and said it is completely unacceptable for a woman of that age to live alone; it is indecent and men will run away from marrying such a woman. When the presenter asked him what he would do if his daughter wanted to live alone at that age, his response was; "God forbid that my daughter will still be single at 29 or 30 years. But if it should happen, hmmm, then she will still stay at home with us. I can never allow her to live alone, it is not done". Wow!

Another caller expressed similar sentiments when the presenter asked once again what he would do if his daughter finds herself in those shoes. He said it is completely irresponsible for a single woman to live alone. The presenter then asked; what if her workplace is very far from home, if for instance she works in (Ajah) while her parents live in (Berger), then would she be allowed to get a place closer to work? The caller responded saying that if that's the case then she would have to quit the job. 

Double wow!

I was also surprised to hear a few female callers express some disapproval at a single lady staying on her own. 

I honestly thought that the days when people frowned at young single women living alone were extinct. Thankfully a few men called and said that a woman living alone would not affect their decisions to take her to the altar. Above, I deliberately stated that the caller is Igbo because what I could get from a lot of the calls was that this is taboo particularly to Igbo men. 

I didn't bother making a post out of this until a blog reader mailed me this morning saying that she got a job offer in Lagos but she's very reluctant to make the move because of what people might say about someone of her age living alone. She says she would like to settle down soon and wouldn't want anything to ruin her chances. 

Hmmm. I'm speechless, I really don't know what to say. I know it was a bit of a battle before my sister was allowed to move out of the home several years ago, but if I remember correctly my dad didn't mind much, it was my mum who pushed against it (although I think her hesitation had more to do with empty nest syndrome), and I always made it clear to my parents that I don't intend to live with them past a certain age. My initial plan was to relocate to PH or Abuja so I can be alone and they don't mind at all. Basically my parents are among the few that don't have a problem with this so maybe that's why it's a bit hard for me to relate. 

Please guys, what is so wrong with a single lady of a certain age living alone? And why are they thought to be loose and uncouth? Answers anyone?

Men, will you hesitate to marry a lady who lives on her own? 


  1. Most Nigerian parents would want to have or feel like they have total control over their family especially their children, because in this part of the world it's all about what would people say.
    So I believe it's not just about the lady living alone making her loose and all sort, but about the average Nigerian parents' mentality that they are not in charge of their homes and can't call their children to order.
    Apart from this above I also feel it is the normal Nigerian culture for the husband to find the girl in her parents house, and ask the parents for permission for her hand in marriage.

    1. Nana Ama please where are you from?

  2. Thelma when you say "society/men", it's seems you particularly singled out the men in this issue. The women who see this as a taboo in igbo land are the worse culprits. Just do a proper stat. For instance 3 of my aunts were vehemently against my sister's decision to move out and live on her own even after she sweetly explained to them that she wouldn't be comfortable with some of her friends she planned to live with. There are some towns in igbo land were you shouldn't make the mistake of hinting that the woman their son intends to get married to lives alone. Some men will raise dust that can be settled, but the woman? Oh my GOD...infact if I begin to give gist here you'll "triple WOW" for days.

    On my own, I've decided not to let any archaic culture rule my life and my home, because preaching the liberation from this nonsense to our parents is just a waste of precious time. Imagine a culture instituted by teenagers in the 18th/19th century, will now be an obstacle to me? Were they gods when they set up these culture? No need flogging this issue ojare. When my time comes, let me hear any nincompoop tell me my daughters shouldn't be living alone and I'll ask them where they were when they were being raised.

  3. I lived alone for 4 awesome years. The commute from my parents house to my office daily almost killed me. My dad offered a driver and i declined. I told him if he didnt have faith in the child he raised then it was his problem. I married a man who was not in the least bothered by it.

    Women should live alone, it would help curb unrealistic expectations on bill paying by men. I dont believe you should go from your fathers house to your husband's house, there should be an independent middle.

  4. Total bullshit! So if I get a job smwhere, I shdnt go bcos I ll now be leaving alone?? Hian! As in tripple hian!

  5. Wow am so happy to b back. Missed all bvs and Thelma.

    1. Missed you too Opara, how I wished I could have helped you with a phone earlier. * sad face

  6. I just love my parent for dia simplicity...two of dem match.wetin concern dem with all dis cultural shits dat won't make u comfortable..abeg make dem park well jare.

  7. Funny enough my dad made this statement a few nights ago 'that a lady should stay in the father's house till they come ask for her hand in marriage' and in my mind i was like 'if I hear!'. But then I don't think it would get to the extent of him telling me to quit a job if it requires me moving out.

    I wonder why anyone would have this kind of mindset. You would be surprised that most of the people who vehemently said no to their daughters staying alone have girlfriends who stay alone.

    Whether or not it affects guys decision to marry such ladies,I don't think it does matter for some guy. So far they can't tell me that those who have all gotten married stayed in their parents house before then.

    Also 'pikin when won spoil go spoil' regardless of whether or not she stays with the parents or not. Staying alone gives one a level responsibility and independence which I think most men are scared of.


  8. Intresting, marrying you from your parents home doesnt necesarily make you a good wife or best cook. In Ghana i don't think it's a big deal for a lady living alone.. Gosh Some African Cultures though.

  9. Wait o, The ladies in question lived alone at the University level abi? What are we talking about ? A man with such mentality is the exact man you don't want to marry.

    Parents will always be parents and it will take a while to convince them that their "baby " is no longer a baby and can fend for herself, that also goes with the protective nature of parents... But for a grown man ready for marriage to be looking at such things is funny because a girl that wants to mess around will mess around regardless.J

    1. No need to type. I'm adding my "period" to Memphis's own....
      Me that lived alone for 5 years in Uniport.. after that I should pack to my parents house? My parents even allowed me rent a one bedroom flat after Graduation & I took my kid sister along! Thumbs up mom & Dad!

      Na only bible I dey listen to. No culture or rubbish tradition!

  10. @miss pynk, awesome comment, "there should be an independent middle".

    *sigh*, this is why I miss jand, started living alone when I was like 17 over there and really its not a big deal. in fact, when youre 18, oyinbo parents will push you out of the house+force you to be independent. I don't get this Nigerian mentality. Like someone said, if u wanna be bad, you'll be bad.

    I am sooo thankful for my parents because even here in Lagos, they got so uncomfortable with the 6hr drive daily to and fro work that they pushed me to get my own place and even when I was stalling, my mum kept asking ''when are you moving'' e.g last night I got home about 10pm and the first thing she asked was that how come I haven't moved even though I have a place near work. I cant even imagine my parents telling me to quit my job, like wow that caller! foril?

    so that's that, I really don't think its a big deal, living alone shouldn't change one, I thought I'd become wild when I had that freedom at such a young age, but I remained myself. nothing changed. maybe some parents are just scared that their daughters would become wild once they live alone and then gain a reputation and then nobody would want to marry them. Truth is, even if you live alone, you can still maintain your values. oh well.

  11. No wonder Linda Ikeji still lives with her parents. There is no hard and fast rule for landing a husband, some even say a single lady should not own a flashy car or a car at all. I love my Dad for the mental liberation he gave his children, we do what is right and most importantly what makes us happy, not what society or culture thinks, that only amounts to mental slavery.

    1. Iv heard the flashy car ish before too! I was shocked! I said ehn! "They" said It shows you're "high" maintenance and you have the tendency to be proud and to not submit to your husband. Like it intimidates the men. So till you're married, even if you can afford it, don't buy a car or a flashy one! Na so my mouth open gbagada!

  12. I know this family friend... she's over 40(mid or late 40s). she's not married.... she's an actress.. has a very busy schedule. but she lives with her mom. Now her mom is very difficult, overbearing, hurts her feelings... She(the family friend) pays the rent o... she can just tell the woman to go back to the village... but no! she sticks her because of the above reasons... I just could not understand then but now I do. Sooo... thelma.. u see? it isn't a small matter... memphis and the rest... na oyinbo ona dey speak o! lol! When a woman factors all of these in, she'll rather quit her job, do whatever she has to just so she can get married. C'est la "africa"... lol! french people abeg noh vex!

  13. I had this long epistle typed out but then I cancelled it.

    Its not bad for a lady to live alone especially if its because of proximity to her office.
    Its stupid to think that all women who live alone are sleeping around
    Its archaic to think that a woman who lives alone, drives her own car and is successful is not marriageable

    That said, Living independent of your parents is not all its cranked up to be.There are lots of responsibilities attached to it, utility bills, feeding, rent, etc. So unless you are ready to take up these responsibilities, you have no business clamouring to leave your parents' house.

  14. I'd lyk 2 live on my own afta sch(God pls bless me with a nice job),my parents(my dad actually) won't av a problem wit dat jes my aunties n uncles buh my mind z already made up(lemme hv d money n job 1st)......if dey no gree,then I'm runnin 2 PH or Abuja 2 get work(lemme see hw I'll b goin 2 work@PH/Abuja frm Lag every mornin)

  15. Nothing like living alone jor. Who will be bad will be bad. My parents frowned at it initially o, every time they will tel you to go stay with an uncle just cos they don't want you to be alone. When the so called uncles show you pepper no be him clear eye he give me money go rent house.
    Staying alone gives you some sense of responsibility and maturity. Any man that wants your hand in marriage will still come for you parents house or not.

  16. Hmmn. This is probably two separate issues:
    1/ women of any marriageable age (like 18 or so and above) living alone is an issue
    2/ unmarried women up to a certain age (28? 30?) is an issue, whether or not they are living alone

    I would worry about the man that does not get to know the woman, and find out her character for himself, but waits to determine her level of fidelity from her living arrangement. What happens to girls who live at home who do unthinkable things, even against their parents wishes and better judgement? What about the girls who live with their parents, and their parents ENCOURAGE them to do unthinkable things?
    It just seems like a rather narrow yardstick by which to determine a lady's character, and a man who does so may be short-changing himself, and a woman who loses out on a man like that may find herself fortunate enough to end up with a man who appreciates her person, and what she represents, more.

  17. I think this is relative depending on the surrounding factors and how it works for each alone makes things more easier and better for some ladies while for some its the obstacle to settling down, if it works for you as a person...fine...if you try it and its not working for you please change....barb me as you barb John, e go fit you as e fit John?..dats just how I see it sha....#JoyDaNuGirl

  18. Poverty mentality. If you have a daughter going places in her career, please allow her to use available resources to maximize her career growth. How does spending six hours in traffic make anyone useful or effective at work or home?


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