Complete…

Comments 2 Standard

See, a relationship is not the type of thing we go window shopping, see something that catches your eye and voila-it’s a happily ever after sort of tale. It’s more like a gamble, or better yet, a trade of common interests and values.

For those of us who love, have loved or are still holding on to the promise of love … It’s February and I feel extra on this love topic- call me cupid (ess)*. Anywho, as you all know, I recently became an advocate of the high court. Did I just lose you there? I am referring to the high court of relationships folks.. ( oopsy, looks like a failed attempt to be funny there😂). Nonetheless, welcome to my small relationship ted talk today.

 ***

We do not look for partners to complete us; rather to complement us. How true, and yet how false at the same time. The younger me would object… I would say that we choose partners (whether for relationships or occasional trysts) who make us whole; in the sense that with and around them, we feel ‘more of what we are’, more complete, more accomplished, happier, more alive and everything admirable. The me (now) would concur. I would say that before you know who you wholly are outside of someone else, you will never find any form of completeness from another. That being in any relationship will not make you any happier if you are not already happy with yourself. My point here is that it is only when we are comfortable with who we are that we can truly function independently and in a healthy way in our relationships.

I digress…It’s a year or so ago.Not really, just a couple of months ago, when my elated friend walks over tome.

 ‘Kim, with whom am I my best version’-she asks.

Aren’t you always at your best, I tease. But deep down I get what she means and the answer she is hoping to get.

‘I ask because for this, I want to be at my best version…I need to be at my best version. She adds.  

That was then, and I felt really proud her for acknowledging that she may not always be at her best but she was ready to take the challenge to consciously bring out the best version of her.

But since then, I have thought about the question with much more seriousness. Not in the sense of my best version really: more like the feelings that other people elicit in me- whether or not they bring out the best of me. (And this is not me throwing the burden of bringing the best version of myself to the people around me. Okay that looks like it). Am I excited to be around them or am I am I weary of the idea of spending time with them. Do I feel energized after a meeting with them or do I feel drained. Am I at naturally and unapologetically myself or do I feel the need to keep a certain image. This way, I can choose where and on what to spend my time and invest in relationships and activities that make me a better person.

That is besides the point. In my ted today I ask, so what makes the perfect union? For sure, nothing; because perfection is out of this world. But I do know of elements that comprise healthy unions. Here we go!

  • Self- awareness.  There is more to self-awareness that understanding your strengths and weaknesses and embracing your flaws. It goes to being aware of the stimuli around you and taking charge of your proactive and reactive manner. It’s learning how to give yourself the ‘I know this has offended me, and I need to let my partner know about it in a constructive way. So rather than giving them the silent treatment or getting distructive, I will let my annoyed-self calm down and pick it up from there. It is being aware of the consequence of your actions and words to the people you love and being conscious of their human nature as much as your own.

  • Empathy…. Stepping into their shoes and letting yourself experience the situation from their frame of reference. Easier said than done. Like how many times have you looked at your partner in absolute dismay thinking to yourself >>>‘who does that’<<< 😏😏or …>>>’you are beyond redemption you, I can’t even’<<<… 🤨But at the end of the day, you come to the realization that you are two separate individuals, and your point of view is not necessarily the right or accepted point of view.
  • Adaptability… Any great relationship has a degree of compromise and deliberate effort to adapt to your partner’s needs without losing your individualism. The simplest case scenario is tuning yourself to your partners love language and consequently getting to love them the way they would like to be loved. Adaptability is much of finding a fair balance between blending your similarities while respecting your differences.
  • Consistency. In my opinion, there is no bigger challenge than consistency. One, because we demand consistency from people who are not even consistent with their own selves. (neither are we consistent with ourselves- how many resolutions have you already broken since the year started?!)….and two, because we do not live in isolation. We meet partners in the course of our ordinary life, probably with running relationships, maybe dealing with previous relationship baggage, mostly in the midst of the chase and the dating haze. At a time when you barely know what you want with your own self, let alone with another. (Btw, in this relationship life, there is no bigger challenge than a third party/divided interest. Yaani, mashida hutokea tu mahali and suddenly you feel like this type of problems cannot be solved…naona tu tuachane). Piece of advice, take your time! No one is chasing you into a relationship, or is there? But once you make that choice, accord them the loyalty that they deserve.
  • Check in- fully. Be wary of the ‘almost relationship’ trap. You may or may not be familiar with the almost relationship zone…It could be that you are there, with a partner that you see no future with. Or in that grey area where the relationship never moves to the next level. Or most commonly,  either of you wants to keep the options open while the other wants exclusivity…
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is images.jpg
  • Now here, I honestly cannot say much because the balance between a good relationship taking time and the danger of sitting on the unsure edge too long  is a concept I personally struggle with. That notwithstanding, be sure to communicate your expectations; and have the grace to know when to hang on or walk on.

That’s all from cupid-ess’ desk today. Ps. There is no greater calling than to love and to be loved-unconditionally…

The lady drivers’ corner

Comments 8 Standard

carrr

The news that I had decided to buy a car caught Mom Tina more by disbelief than delight. She looked at me disapprovingly and asked if I was ready, already😏. ‘Is that how someone, your own mother, should react to big news like this?’ I thought in disappointment.

“I think I am, I have been planning for it for some time now”. I said cautiously, with a considerable emphasis on planning- to pass the message that I had thought about it; and slightly less emphasis on think- to leave some room for her opinion. But Tina is not a woman to leave you in the ‘I think’ zone. In an attempt to convince me otherwise, she tabled all the other options where I could use my money, challenged me to consider investing the cash instead and maybe get the car when I had a stream of other incomes, presented the challenges that come with owning a car and started telling me the story of how her own husband had only gotten his yellow Peugeot when they were at a comfortable place financially. I zoned out; with my left palm unable to make a choice between presenting itself to my mouth for nail-biting or scratching my now itchy forehead. They say that the two types of people that you cannot advise are 1. ‘A woman in love’ and 2. ‘a man with his money’…But have they met a woman with money who thinks she is already in love with how she intends to spend that money? I doubt it!

th (8)

Eventually, when I could not pretend anymore, I took a long breath and cut her short…”Moooom, I was just telling you that I am buying a car…not asking you if I can buy it’! And that ended there- with a shocked mother who had just discovered that it is like she had lost a daughter to financial shortsightedness and a daughter who felt that she knew better.

***

Continue reading

The coulda boyfriend

Comments 10 Standard

realIn a world of perfection, the idea would have been to meet, greet, click, date, marry, live happily ever after. But we live in an imperfect world, marred with flawed people and flawed situations.  Between the meet and  happily ever after, we swing between coulda, woulda and  shoulda circumstances. Am I sure? Can I stand this? Who does that? What kind of girls has he been dating? He is so clueless it hurts…

So the magnifying lens is prominently on the coulda boyfriend today. This is that one boy who could have been your boyfriend if he behaved right; better than he does.

He puts in just enough effort to keep you coming back, he forgets just enough times to keep your patience, he lies just enough times in the pretext that he is ‘protecting you’ to make you remotely believe that he pro’lly cares about your emotions…he keeps just enough mystery to keep you curious: to make you want to unravel the mystery for your own satisfaction. He has mastered the art of keeping his options open perfectly enough to trigger you to put in work to try close the other options. Continue reading

Diaries…of social media

Comments 8 Standard

socialWhat had started  as a casual relationship with social media became something serious when I started stopping by at least one social media platform once every day at a bare minimum. I was hooked, still am. 

***

In my daily visits, I made a world of virtual friends and idols. I took interest in what they were upto, and I selectively let them know what I was doing too. I liked them and they liked me too; I double tapped, and they double tapped right back. They reacted to my status and posts and I unfailingly returned the favor. I developed a special connection and interest with people I met in this virtual world and I enjoyed popularity in the virtual space. It follows that I developed a  shallow understanding of people’s circumstances that I so blindly believed.

love this girlIt is of such visits that I discovered one trophy couple: Daniel and Dannieller. But then one day I woke up to the news that they had broken up! How? Why? I felt cheated. I had looked at their life and admired it in every way. They looked happy, they went on holidays and publicly displayed their affection. He took time to appreciate her and confess his love for this woman who had taken his heart to a captivity he would gladly live  in for a lifetime. And she said he was loyal, smart, her dream come true and all the sappy sentiments a girl in love possibly could…. Continue reading

Dear current or future pursuer…

Comments 16 Standard

I salute you in utmost reverence!

Until I say yes, until I have that ring on my finger, there are basic rules I feel that you need to know. You are free to contest and amend a few clauses here and there, but this, my beloved one, is the blueprint. The apple shall not fall too far from the tree.

  1. Asking me out!Image result for How to ask a girl out

Your predecessors did a painfully amazing job in asking me out. They would text me and ask if I was in the house, or if I was in town. As time went by, I met the cream that dropped one liners… ‘Hey pretty, I wanna see you: Your place or my place?’ After exchanging notes with my girls, I realized that this was the new way of asking a woman out. Decent dates for who? Let’s bow for all such predecessors. In fact, let us do a small chant in recognition, a few hearty claps as we sing : “Well played all ye such men , well played*2”

But I know you are not one of those. In the unfortunate case that you are, however, here are a few guidelines:
a) Asking me if I am at home is not synonymous to asking me out.

Until we have had a proper date, even if it’s a walk in the park, or at central park under the quixotic shade of a tree, I will neither invite you nor come over to your place.
b) Plan!

If you ask me out, I expect you to run with it to the end… Do not ask me what my suggestion is. If you do, I will look at you with delight, with all the admiration a girl could ever have for a man… and ask you if we can fly to Miami that very moment. I will tune my head to my bucket list and pull out all the places I have ever dreamt of, all that I ever wished for in a date; and I will expect you to be able to step up and make my dreams come true. If you are not ready to match the bill, (and I know you most likely will not,) allow me to buy into your vision or definition of a proper date.
c) And finally charming one, learn how to follow up. Never ask me on a date and then go silent. I will not follow up on dates you initiated. I will not call you on the material day to ask you if we are still meeting, and where and at what time. I can’t and I won’t. You either pursue me 100% or stay away from me

2. Communicate!

I feel that I should highlight to you what could possibly go wrong with communication. What used to happen is that we would meet: potentials. And then the calls would start, soon drift to late night calls. All good, all fine.New flames burning all hot! And then, the calls would come to an untimely death. Sooner than expected, they would be reborn in the form of WhatsApp messages. From there, WhatsApp would solely become the mode of communication. You know how it goes, chat all day, all excited, all sprung….until such a time when they would discover that they could actually blue-tick zone you. They would learn how to read and close the chat without responding, they would swipe left and ignore your message. Life would go on. Later, approximately 36,000 seconds later, they would text you as though there was no problem at all. Besides being good at lying that they had not seen the message, they would also be good at saying that they had lost their phones. On their desks! HOW?! For the love of me, do not play this card on me charming one. Thanks in advance for listening.

Before we leave the whatsapp topic, let’s agree that forwarding me messages, videos, or what you think are funny whatsapp images does not amount to communication, and thus does not warrant my response. If you cannot start a meaningful conversation with me, I’d rather you maintain the silence.

Finally, whether you spend three months checking on me every hour, every second, trying to get me to smile on good and bad days…without communicating with clarity what your objective is, without telling me what you really want from me…you will forever be just another boy! You cannot start accusing me of neglecting you or taking you for granted if I do not even know what you want with me. With all material respect for your intelligence for picking up fights like these, I beg to advise you to pick useful fights! (Fights which I will look back and realize that they actually have made me a better person). Also, if I do you wrong, tell me! The queendom of sulking without a good reason is mine, it’s a womans territory.

image

If I call or text you, I expect you to to treat it with the same importance you would treat an emergency. (Okay, not necessarily an emergency, but give it the importance it deserves). If I start a conversation, I expect you to keep it going. You do not expect me to keep talking to you if you give me one word answers, or do not even respond in a manner that prompts me answer you. I expect you to be interested in my day and in my business. If you have done me wrong, I expect you to apologize. I am one of those girls who accept flowers and small gifts as apologies, or as kind gestures. (I thought you should know). Pretending that you do not know that you wronged me and talking to me as though nothing has happened is just very wrong. In fact, this behaviour will provoke the lioness in me. I will not act as though all is fine when I am mad at you. And baibe,kindly initiate conversations.

3. 50/50% rule

I will not lie to you, this does not sit well with me. It’s now an open secret that I will have to work extra hard for our relationship once I say that yes. That men will forever want to have their cake and eat it. They will want to have you stay loyal to them, while they look out for possibly greener pastures. Only a man can ask you why you are being territorial while you watch them flirt to your face! Or openly tell you that there are younger prettier, less nagging women out there. I see girls who threaten their boyfriends, and then they leave. But afterwards, after realizing that this man of theirs is not about to make any effort to woe them back, they bring themselves back to the box they had tried to escape. They take the initiative to tell the man that they have actually forgiven him already even before he apologizes… A man can be as slippery as a toad when he wants to be, and I already know that…. and Woe unto you if you bore him a child before he married you because he will conveniently make it look like marrying you will be a favor! Story for another day. But you, loving future pursuer will be cut from a different cloth.

Image result for Role of men in a relationship

My womanly instinct tells me that you might join the table of men, sooner or later. Before that point comes when you will join the table men, before you go back to the very cloth of your fellow men, I refuse to switch roles. If you take me out on a date, I will truly appreciate. I will look entertained and laugh to your jokes, corny, dry and meaningful jokes alike. I will enjoy your company or appear to enjoy it. I will make people think you are one of the rare men who know how to keep a woman happy. But then, this does not mean that you have met your 50% part of the deal, and now I am obliged to start looking for you, waking you up to house deliveries of breakfast, showering you with gifts and checking up on you whenever my eyes blink…it does not mean that next time ati I should come to your place with pretested recipes so that I can win your love through the stomach. I am not one of those women with an extra dose of masculinity, those who know how hunt. I refuse to run after you before you even catch me.

For purposes of this post, we shall take a quick jump and assume that I am now your girlfriend. Officially. Let’s say you have given me a commitment ring, or popped the big question…or whatever traditional ritual you plan to perform to make me your girlfriend.

*** *** ***

I am psychologically prepared that the graph of attention will drop at a steep slope. But charming one, I beseech you to smoothen it a little bit. We will have busy days sometimes, we will have days we will have almost had enough of each others, there are days you will face my tantrums and days you will feed me with the bitter side of your tongue…and I will bear it. You are allowed to go rant to your boy. (Just one boy, not all of them.) PAUSE! You are forbidden from sending your friends to talk to me, you cannot bitch about me to your friends and further send them to me. That is called disrespect.

Dating you, my heartgonger, does not mean that I will not go out on a dates with other people. Let’s be realistic, you and I will not live in a bubble. We are bound to meet other people, we are bound to catch up with long lost friends and we bound to look at and appreciate eye candies here and there. But I promise to stay true to you. Our relationship will be based on loyalty and the trust that even in the absence of each other, we will be mature enough to know and respect our boundaries.

Secondly, if you will be jealous, be jealous of things you have done.

Image result for gift your woman

Grapevine tells me that nowadays, men throw tantrums when a woman is gifted. You think it’s a joke until you realize that the veins on the man’s forehead are pounding visibly. Then they threaten you that they will never get you a gift because other men are gifting you. Mark you, this is a man who has never bought you any tangible thing. The most thoughtful thing he ever did was take you for dinner, most likely in one of these fast food joints. This is a man who buys you gifts mentally and with every word that comes out of his mouth. KEY word is mouth. So now he is mad because so and so gifted you… a choker or some priceless jewelry. Something tangible, something longlasting. I can tell you for free that if you don’t buy, someone else will/might. (this is the female version of ‘if you don’t cook or submit to your man, another woman will😬). Us women love gifts, they solve all problems that words have failed to and men know it!…But who am I kidding? Men were not born to naturally buy women gifts, it’s something they learn. I expect you to be a normal man, my beloved. If I talk about gifts, thou shall take it as a hint. And thou shall act on the hint and surprise me. Fullstop. Threatening that you will now never gift me will be met by an arrogant answer that you can as well threaten to stop talking to me because others are also talking to me too.

Friends. The same way I will not ask you to drop your boys is the same way I will not expect you to ask me to drop any of my girlfriends. My life will not be centred around you, and I expect you to know that before I met you, I did have a life. My friends are my chattels, to be guarded with my heart and soul.

As a woman, darling one, I am naturally not easy to satisfy. We always want more. However , I will try very hard to stay content and not to compare you with other men. I will try to be patient, to grow, and to watch you mature, just like wine. To bring out your best as your life partner. But if you are comfortable in the average zone, we will disagree. The problem with us women is that we walk into relationships with our expectations, plus those of our unborn babies…and the ones our mothers have for us! I might tolerate an average beginning, but not forever. You cannot afford to be comfortable there when other men are working hard and smart.

Above all, I promise to respect and dedicate my life to bringing out the best in you..in madness and in happiness. In poverty, and in wealth. In tantrums and in joys. And for you, I promise to be the best person that I possibly can.

Signed

With love..
Current/Future babe 😃