May 23, 2014 - submitted by Daisy, Indonesia

I'm so sad, very sad. What do you feel when somebody look down on you just because you never had boyfriend. Now you are 23 years old. They asked when will you get married, and I answered I don't know and they insist to get the answer. I have not thinking about marriage and more. I don't care but I feel so sad.

The Oracle replies:

Are you sad because you're single or sad because of the way people treat you being single? If it's the former, don't worry. Love will come but it doesn't matter whether that's at 23, 33 or 83 - if you're happy. You don't need to be in a relationship to have a wonderful life.
If it's the latter, don't worry. What's it got to do with anyone else? NOTHING! People do expect people to couple off and put pressure on anyone not doing that. When you're in a relationship they ask when you're getting married. When you're married they ask when you're having children. It's intrusive and nobody's business but yours.
You answer "I don't know" and you don't, so what else are you supposed to say? NOTHING!
You don't have a crystal ball so it's an impossible question to answer however, as people are making you sad, maybe you could add that their questioning makes you uncomfortable and you'd prefer them not to ask. Or simply ignore them!
It's your life, live it your way and take things at your pace regardless of people's expectations and questions.
Over to you.

I'm only 17 but I surely can give you an advise. My friends also has the same problem as you but on a different situation. They're still young and still on their college years like me. But one thing I tell them every time they nag me about having a boyfriend. I just tell them to "Let love find you." I find this appropriate to you because you don't need to rush things because you know rushing just leads to heartbreak and mistakes in life. So yeah just tell 'them' you haven't found your true love yet and he will come soon. Very soon.
Princess, Philippines.

Tell them you don't know when you'll get married. When will we get married is our destiny and no one knows anyone's destiny. But believe that you will get married someday because everyone will meet their partner of life even if it feels like forever and remember that everyone's is unique and important in their own way. Khansa.

I lived in Indonesia for 10 years, and understand how difficult it can be for Indonesian women who feel pressured with the social and cultural expectations on marriage. Only you know what is truly best for you, Daisy. Your feelings and opinions may differ from family and friends, yet it is "sancta penting" that you believe in your own decisions and do what you know reflects your truth. Percaya diri sendiri, saying. Nothing true and lasting can be forced. Know that you have support. Alia I. from Oregon, U.S.

I know in your culture getting married is more important then in mine. But what I also know is that everyone should marry when he/she is ready, not earlier. It's your marriage and your life, after all. Your friends/family should respect that.

I'm from Indonesia too! *waves at you*
I think you shouldn't be worry about you being single. I had been in relationship once, and it was good, but it wasn't as good as being single. Actually, you can do more when you're single than when you're in relationship. You wanna know the perks of being single?
1. It is a great time to do your hobby explore your passion.
2. You can save more money. Believe me, dating costs a lot of money that should've been spent on our favourite things, such as a nice backless dress, a John Green novel, or even a Coldplay vinyl album!
3. We have more time on our beloved family and friends.
4. No boundaries and limitation.
5. You can focus more on your education and career.
6. And most importantly, you have more time for you to love yourself and know yourself more, because you can't love someone else before you can love yourself.

There's a quote I remember, "Fall in love when you're ready, not when you're lonely." So, don't listen to those who look down on you, just enjoy when you're still single. The right person will come on the right time.
Love, Ira.

I know how it feels, but let me tell you this: we all have our own way to fall in love, I mean, there isn't any rule on love. If your first love is at the age of 40, who cares? The idea of having a boyfriend at a young age is just an idea society has, because, seriously, who wrote rules on love? who said you have to get a boyfriend at an early age? NOBODY, absolutely nobody. Some people may have their first love at the age of 13, others at the age of 20; we are all different, and we all have our ways to live life. Some may think it is not okay, some may think it is, but hey, you live your life for you, not for others. Let love come, don't make it come. The wait, is worthless.
Sofia, Argentina.

Don't be sad, You're ONLY 23 years old and when you meet Mr. Right, you'll have the rest of your lifetime to be a married couple. Besides there's nothing wrong with being single either. There'll always be people that talk down to you for one reason or another, but please don't listen to them, be yourself and live your life at your own pace. Maybe you just haven't met the right guy yet or maybe you you prefer to stay single for the rest of your life. Everything is possible just as long as you are happy! Good luck. Amanda.

The world is full of people, and they all need love. You may love them all. Just and some action to your love and you will be amazed. It is in giving we find joy. Britta.

No wonder you are sad. You are misunderstood. No one has the right to judge or condemn you. You are not a criminal! You may be a shy person. You are an honest person. You may be a meek person. There is nothing wrong with you! Is there a law in Indonesia that obligates you to marriage? There are economic and financial realities that impose the necessity to making a family, because it is hard to support yourself alone. Maybe they are looking down on you because they don't want to support you forever. Every generation has a maiden Auntie who is never courted, who never marries, who never leaves her father's house. She serves her father and her elders; she helps with her nieces and nephews. She has self respect; she deserves a place in this world. Some of them tell their father; "Use my dowry, or the funds that will not be spent for I will not have a wedding, and invest in my education so I may have a career and contribute to my father's house." Your depression is serious and you must get turned toward living happily. Ishtar.

I think Daisy shouldn't think too much about what other people said. She can have her own opinions and people must respect her for that. And also I think not having any boyfriends when you're 23 years old is a bad thing, I mean there's so much things in life you can look forward to! Your source of happiness is not from what people told you to do or what they think of you. So I suggest for Daisy to just hold her head up high and put a smile on! Hope everything's alright.
Syifa, Indonesia.

Societal and cultural pressures can present many challenges for women in any country especially when marriage is intertwined with inheritance, family assignment, and value which is amplified as we age. You are at an age where external voices will affect the self-reflection of yourself no matter what the issues are, but this will dissipate as you get older if you learn to listen to what you want and need.
You could succumb to the external pressures, get married, and expose yourself to a live-time of unhappiness or abuse. However, if the external disapproval is the worst harm as a result of not getting married - I say wait.
I just turned 40 years old in March, and I have never married. I have friends on their second and third divorces, and they have the nerve to ask me whats wrong with me. I am waiting for that person that makes me feel like I don't want to run in the other direction. We all deserve to be in love and give love unconditionally at least once in our lives. Be Well, Daisy. DH.

Life has been socially designed so that individuals get married and procreate, and if somebody doesn't, it is seen as something unexpected or unusual. We, human beings, are without a doubt animals which seek survival like any other animal, and that's why our instinct tells us to pair up with another human being. However, thanks to discoveries made in the medical field, for example, the planet has now been overpopulated. Moreover, couples break up every day. As a consequence, my personal belief is that: as I have been born, and as I exist, I wish to bring happiness to this world, I wish to heal people's wounds, I want my life to be significant to others, not only to myself. I am a 21 year-old girl from Argentina who isn't very keen on marriage, at least not at the moment. Only God knows what will happen in the future. As cultures in our respective countries may be different, in Argentina there's no hurry to get married at a young age, so I don't feel pressured to "take action". To sum up, is it that important to get married and procreate? I don't think so, I think that it is important to contribute to this world ANYWAY, by being a good person. I recommend you to search on YouTube a Nigerian female writer called Chimamanda Gnozi Adichie, she's my role model, and in one of her speeches she mentions her opinion on marriage. Much love, Caro.

First of all, the only right time to start dating is the time that you want to start dating; no one can decide that for you. When you feel comfortable and ready to have a boyfriend, it will not matter at all that you are new to the dating scene. If you decide you never want to start dating, that's great too. It all comes down to what you feel comfortable with.
However, I don't want to simply give you the obvious "you'll find someone!" pep talk, because this issue seems to go deeper than that. If marriage is something you are not thinking about at all, try your best not to let other people bring you down with their negativity, and outright nosiness. How you handle your personal life is no one's business except for yours. If this person continues pestering you about the issue, try answering something along the lines of, "I don't know when I'm getting married, but I'm not worried; I'm happy with the way things are going for me right now." If this doesn't work, you can always go with the traditional "butt out!"
In general, try not to worry too much about the future, because what will happen is going to happen whether you torture yourself over it or not. Just enjoy the ride while you're on it and ignore anyone who tries to put their own obstacles in your way.
Rose (NY, USA).

I am also single and close to your age. At 21, people expect that I have been in relationships by this point, and are confused and sometimes combative when I tell them that marriage and children are simply not in the cards for me. People are going to ask why, and going to try to force answers from you, but this is what you must remember: your relationship status in no way affects your value as a person. The things that make you whole, and human, are your passions, your intelligence, and your ambitions, and these things do not have to include marriage. Your dreams are entirely your own to create and build and grow, and if there comes a time where another person is worthy of altering these plans to fit into your life, then that's wonderful, but if that time does not come, it does not make you a lesser person. Daisy, you are strong and beautiful and worthy of compassion exactly the way that you are. So next time someone asks you why you don't plan to be married anytime soon, you should ask them why you ought to be. There is no good reason for that question, and perhaps you can help the people asking it to reshape their perspectives.
With love from the United States, Melaney.

I've gone through the same situation with my family until I was 18. Maybe my relatives/friends didn't insist as much as yours do, but I felt all their expectations over me until I found my first boyfriend. He was perfect for them, exactly everything they desired for me, but I didn't like him: I wanted so badly to get rid of their expectations that I was dating someone I didn't like. I left him because I wasn't able to play that role, and 5 years have passed before I met my present boyfriend, whom I LOVE and CHOSE. The point is that, after trying to support my relatives' desires, I realized I couldn't sacrifice my happiness - and a boy's happiness - because my family couldn't understand I need my time! I was happy as well during those 5 years and I learnt that I can manage my life without a man beside me.
I know it's hard but don't give up fighting for your right to choose when and who to date, because it influences your whole life! Search for the company of those who can understand your feelings and find strength in their support, it will help you through this. And without even realizing it, you'll show to those who want you married with children that you can be happy in a different way.
Hold on! A big big hug! Giulia.

Often people look at marriage or being in a relationship as a status symbol. We should not believe this or give into pressure from others. Rushing into relationships is harmful to both us and our partners. There is plenty of time and Daisy, you are still very young.
There are many advantages to being single. It allows you the time and space you need to become a complete and happy person by focusing on your own interests and needs. You will also better understand what to look for in a partner when you have a fuller understanding of yourself. When you are ready to open your heart to someone, the opportunity will present itself. Until then, do what makes you happy. Continue to grow and learn about yourself. Be honest and true to yourself. Find ways to help others in need. In doing this, you will send out positive energy and attract the right kind of people to you. Being single or alone is not the same as being lonely. What other people feel they need is not necessarily what you need to be happy. Love is all around us every day. Take a deep breath, breathe it in, and take your time. You'll be glad you did. Tracey.

I am unclear as to whether you are sad because you don't have a boyfriend or just sad because people keep asking and making you feel sad about it. Since you stated that you don't care, I am assuming it's the latter.
If that is the case then know that there is nothing wrong with you just because you have not had a boyfriend. It is perfectly ok to be alone. Learn to be happy independently and then if you find someone you like then they can become part of your life and not become your whole life.
Wouldn't you rather be alone than be in a relationship, just to have a boyfriend, or to make other people happy?
Live your life on your own terms, because it's your life - not theirs.
Be well. Dawn.

Thanks to all those who replied to this week's question. Remember, Team Oracle is open to anyone so if you fancy replying, click to read this week's, and send us your answer.