It never ceases to amaze me how many young women and men, looking for love, end up with a total LOSER… including myself. I have, in fact, ended up with several losers, to my infinite embarrassment, and occasional bouts of torment.
I think I’m a nice person –hell, we all do. Unfortunately, it is a truth as yet not universally acknowledged that, in one’s lifetime:
1.25% of the people you meet will Love You Unconditionally. No matter what you do. No matter what you say, or how you say it. No matter how you look or smell or act. Everything you do will be “cool” to them –just because YOU are doing it.
2.25% of the people you meet will Hate You Unconditionally. On sight. Everything you do, say, decide, opine… will rub them up the wrong way. Everything you wear will be passé or ugly or uncool –even if, and especially if you’re wearing the exact same outfit! Just because, YOU are doing it.
3.25% of the people you meet will begin by disliking you, and end up one of your die-hard fans.
4.25% of the people you meet will begin by adoring you… and eventually go off you like three-day old milk.
In relationships, whilst dating, we’re shopping for numbers 1 and 3. So before we come back from our first meeting or date with what we believe is ‘The One’, stop the twinkle in your eye and contain the squeals of excitement in your throat. Likelihood is, the person you’ve met is a 4.
Chemistry is a funny thing –in fact, designed by Nature to trick us into mating. It needs only a certain mood, smell or state of mind in order to flourish… why do you think so many people believe that the person they met at that bar or club last night was ‘perfect’? Of COURSE you clicked! You were with friends, feeling good, a little (or a lot) tipsy, there was the music you liked –you SUFFUSED with feel-good factors, for Pete’s sake. ON PURPOSE –THAT’s how the club makes money! Meeting Chris or Christina in a completely different setting (say, stone cold sober on a bad, rainy day on the bus on the way from a short lunch) would have yielded completely different results!
Which is why it’s so VITAL, when you meet someone you like the look of… to DATE. Remember what that was? DATING? A euphemism for SHOPPINGFORAMATE?
In the days when this word was used properly, men asked women to join them for a drink, a meal, or an evening’s entertainment, in order to suss out the person beneath the veneer of the exquisite, interesting outside personality we all wear. After this, they went home –separately. If they were intrigued, or more than satisfied with the way the evening had gone, the man would ask the woman out again. If she felt the same, she would accept. A series of these “window shopping” sessions would eventually lead to a solid position in the table above, and a solid liaison, destined for long-term commitment, and bliss. A couple of dates or three might leave one of them dissatisfied and or miffed –but a couple of dates never broke anyone’s heart, and quickly enough, there would be another “window shopping” excursion on the horizon.
Dating is what is missing from the Dating Scene these days. Trying on the glove, as it were and seeing how it fits, before going for anything more. Whilst in England, thank the Lord, a man asking a girl out is tantamount to asking her into a relationship (nice and clear-cut) after a couple of meetings, and a few outings in groups with mutual friends –in America and Africa, all is chaos. A man asking a girl on a date may already be married… AND/or dating five others –and won’t even deign to inform her, even, perhaps, should she ask. FURTHERMORE, the ‘Stud’ is intent on sleeping with all the girls he is dating… who, in turn, have began ‘playing the game’ and sleeping with whatever guy they date whom they take a (temporary) liking to. The result, in the 1980s, was the massive spread of HIV/AIDS. The result, in the 2000s, has been an sharp increase in the use of contraceptives, and an even more pointed lowering of society’s morals, as women become wise to men’s games, and begin to ‘own’ them. TOTAL, UTTER, CHAOS.
I thank God for Steve Harvey, the famous comedian, and his book, “Act Like a Woman, Think Like a Man.” Amongst many other treasures, he introduces another truth that should be universally acknowledged –the 90-day Rule of Sex. When you’ve met what you think is ‘The One’, take 90 days to DATE, and then, if all mutual criteria are met satisfactorily, you may have intimate relations. During the 90 days, take the time to:
·Be with each other –simply, genuinely and soberly
·Discuss important things with each other (standards, present and future plans, finances, religion, dreams, holidays, Bucket Lists, children, marriage, divorce, feelings, moods, movies, food, likes, dislikes, Obama, the Apocalypse… WHATEVER!)
·Laugh with each other
·Rag each other
·Argue with each other
·Kiss and hug and cuddle each other
·Introduce each other to your crews / family, in an informal setting
Just DON’T. GO. THERE. To the bedroom… or even the kitchen table! No matter HOW MUCH you want to. You KNOW how easy it is –therefore, wisely avoid tempting situations. TAKE the 90 days, and avoid what we in Kenya call ATM –Another Terrible Mistake. Shop for the qualities you want, and leave yourself the space to commit with a peaceful heart –and sound mind.