Vital Signs

In medicine, one of the things that medics look out for when managing a patient are Vital signs. Just like in medicine, a relationship has ‘vital signs’. In other words, signs to look out for in order to know that the relationship is alive or is in the ‘ICU’ or it died and therefore need to remove ‘life support’ :(. So how is Eve supposed to know that an Adam is into her? This is one question is that is asked over and over again and often times, Eves come up with all sort of reasons why he isn’t calling or why she don’t hear from him anymore. Adams speak volumes by their actions or inaction; they are not good at laying it out in words (that’s why I LOVE YOU is three words short!).

So Eves, there is nothing new really, just an attempt to put down some signs that may help demystify that area. Of course all signs depend on how long the relationship has been going on because if it you met last week and you have a list of demands and endless questions,then you are the one who needs a reality check ;). Sometimes it can be hard to read the signs, so even these signs must be taken with a big dose of wisdom :).

Vital sign no. 1 is communication. If a guy calls you regularly and randomly, he is into you – This means that you have taken up a large part of his grey matter 😀 (PS. a guy who calls you hourly is likely to be a stalker or lunatic). If he doesn’t call you when he says he will or at all, and you probably think that the reason why he is not calling or texting is that he dislocated his finger; his 10 fingers are still intact but chances are he’s not that into you. If it turns out that you are the one who is keeping communication going in the relationship or initiating chat all the time, there is cause for alarm. For example, if at times he is still online but tells you that he is busy, busy? And still online? Does he work for yahoo? The line ‘I lost my phone and therefore could not remember your phone number’ has outlived its shelf life; does he have a good reason why he cannot recite your phone number backwards :)?

Vital sign no. 2: If he wants to spend time with you and makes time for you, it’s a sign that he is into you and he enjoys your company. Everyone will agree that spending time together is vital in any relationship- it is the only way to ensure that you continue to know each other and do not become strangers. In this fast paced life sometimes it can be hard to get time to spend together .So people have to get creative. Making time includes for example; driving you home, braving the traffic jams just to have some time with you. Big smile on your face if he takes time out of his favourite pastime to be with you. So you now know that if he told you he is busy almost every weekend-weekend! because he is discussing business deals with his boys, unless they are discussing how to export souls, there is no discussion happening!

Vital sign no. 3: A man who is into you and who is ready to commit will introduce you to his ring of friends and more specifically,’ the boys’ (hoping you are not dating a lone ranger); he will not only be telling them that the ‘territory’ is marked, not much unlike how territorial animals pass the word around the herds and prides but it shows that he is interested and is looking for the opinion of people who matter to him. The boys will know to respect you as the ‘queen’. If he introduces you as a friend, or simply as ‘Wangeci’ then that is just who you are to him. This of course depends on how long you have known each other.

Vital sign no. 4: Is physical and the way he treats you. No, fondling your assets in public is not what we are talking about here, think more intimate stuff such as looking into your eyes and holding that gaze (eye contact, not staring at the ‘twins’); holding your hand in public etc. All the ‘nots’ on physical vital signs indicate that the man probably just wants to have a taste of ‘your cookie jar’. As one blogger told us here the other day, “there is PDA and there is PDA”. The way he treats is all about making you feel wanted and appreciated. People communicate love differently, so it is hard to give examples here but this includes valuing your opinion, respecting your feeling and being considerate.

Vital sign no. 5: If you have been seeing a guy for a couple of months now, you are of age, are stable in your jobs, and all you do is go on coffee dates, think again if you want to drink coffee for another 2 years. Either he sees the angel in you and can’t wait to make you his (depending on if you are the tie the knot type and if this is what you are looking for in a relationship or dating), or he has not seen it in you and he is still searching. Any aloofness, unexplained silence, unanswered questions or other forms of ‘incoherence’ are signs that do not need to be elaborated on.

Vital sign no. 6: is family. No, not of the pair you (yeah you are probably feeling ‘broody’), but his family. If you are in the same country and he talks about his mum and family as if they are in Guantanamo bay and therefore you cannot meet them, then it is time to send yourself packing before he does. Yes, you meet the boys before you meet family.

Vital sign no. 7: Mention of ‘us’ and ‘we’ this is only manifested by an Adam who knows for sure he has found the Eve he has been looking for. He will ask you what your future plans are with the hope of trying to synchronise his plans with yours and refers to the pair of you as ‘us’/‘we’. When the guy talks like this, you need to find a gown !

To Adams, any other signs out there Eves can look out for? 🙂

By Fridah


Foreplay After 30

You’re probably wondering if Project 44 is going to advice you on how to get your groove on……………and yes, we’ll attempt to do that but not in the kamasutra sense!

Let’s face it, by the time you hit 30 and you are still single, most Eves and some Adams have war stories to tell! They say that all is fair in love and war, hence the search goes on but the ‘battlefield’ is far from level.

Big Ben

For one, Eves who are 30 and over begin to be labeled as if they are goods whose sell-by-date is just round the corner but not yet confirmed. There is no end to the labels hanging over the single-30-plus Eves: Ms. Super Independent, Ms. Too Cute in Her Twenties but now 30 and Desperate, Ms. Domineering, Ms. Career Woman, Ms. Ticking Biological Clock, etc (these may be used in combination) and there is a list of warnings that come with these labels.
Adams, on the other hand, are just Adams. Ripening in their time and waiting to pluck the Eves of their choice. Or so we have been led to think. Luckily for them, there is no Big Ben pounding loudly in the background reminding them of the fragility of their fertility (their swimmers are safe for life unless otherwise advised by a certified physician!)

I recently paid a lot of attention to a ‘relationship expert’ talk about and compare dating in your 20s and after 30. I was interested, but with a raised eyebrow as I thought the doctor was treading on glass here ;): how could he? For example, if we look at matters beauty for Eves in their 20s, everything is ‘in place’. There is no need for rubbing those creams here and there, the youthfulness of the 20s just glows on. For Eves in their 30s, it is hard to simply ignore those adverts and shops stands selling all manner of lifting, age-defying, wrinkle-elimination creams; they acquire a whole new meaning as gravity becomes an entire phenomenon :). Anyway, according to the great doctor, dating in the 30s is very different from dating in the 20s (except for those who ended up tying the knot or making other forms of commitment). In the 20s, life is less complicated and you are carrying less baggage. You are likely to have a more carefree attitude.

In the 30s, life is busier, it is likely that you have some baggage, are looking for long-term compatibility and have little time for ‘incoherence’ (Project 44 jargon for all manner of incomprehensible confusion in relationships 🙂 ). You are likely to know exactly or more or less what you want, be more self assured and based on your experiences before 30, you are better skilled to discern people. In or past the third decade, you have most likely been disappointed and hurt and therefore, in essence, you feel there is more at risk. You don’t want to waste time with the wrong person never mind kissing more frogs and toads.

Skilled at discerning

The only similarity that the great doctor put between dating in your 20s and dating after 30 is that you still have to have a pool of possible suitors and then choose from there. In your 20s of course, you have aeons to sort out the riff raff and try to find the jewel; they can come and go. In your 30s and later, for Eves, you will have to shorten the sorting time out – considerably! It is at this point that the doctor ceased being great and I wanted to scream out at the television at levels that the national environmental agency would be less than impressed with! Does he know that there are Eves and (an unquantifiable but lesser number of Adams) who don’t even meet impossible suitors…….? What did he mean by a ‘pool’, because all I heard was ‘ocean’ ;)!

After calming down much later, I thought about what he had said. The truth is that, Eve or Adam, you still have to put yourself out there. The risk with being self assured in your 30s is you are likely to fall into the comfort zone. You are established in your ways and have less patience if the shoe begins not to fit. But, if you are not in the game, how can expect to play and ‘ponyoka na pick up’ (take off with the prize for those not versed in Swahili)? Relax and enjoy the ride; you may be under pressure but, Eves, consider that it’s very difficult for men to fall in love and envision a future while the woman is acting urgent and figuratively looking at the huge clock on her wrist? It’s also time to open your mind; you’re going to meet people who have a different set of issues than people dating in their 20s; most people will have a fair share of issues to deal with based on previous experiences, assuming they were not just lone rangers waiting to hit 30 and get into a frantic search for a special someone. In other words, in their search, they have experiences, some good and some not very good.

As for Adams, stop sitting on the ‘ruracio’ (the dowry) and find your Eve, won’t you :)?

Have your say ! 🙂

By Joyce

Relationships are like road signs

Relationships can be likened to the entire process of taking a driving test, at least the part that you must understand what each sign means. If you sat with a driving instructor and as you drive there is a sign showing ‘rocks falling’, you might want to be extra careful. But how often do we fail to see these signs in our own lives and even more so in our relationships?

 It really is never true that one day you wake up and find that the love of your life is cold and indifferent; so many Adams and Eves struggle to understand their significant other but fail to take into account the glaring signs in front of their eyes…even when the sign clearly says “STOP” in red. Let me illustrate.

Eve knew she had found the love of her life, when her eyes looked into Adam, everything about him seemed perfect. A few months after they had bumped into each other at a mutual friend’s party, they had hit off as if their genetic makeup had similar codes. His interests seemed to shadow what she adored; he proved her wrong many times like the first time he had asked for her number, in her mind she was thinking “who ever really calls back?” with such doubts in mind, she was sure her number would be amongst the hundreds of contacts in his phone book that just had first names like ‘Liz pretty’ or ‘ Pauline gorgeous’ but whose face he could hardly remember….but shock on her, this Adam actually did call back. Adams distinctive voice rang in her ears.

Six months on, her face radiated – who said you needed anti-aging cream to smooth out the wrinkles and bring the glow on? Adam was her prescription fair and square! And so Eve went on to update her status on face book proclaiming she ‘met an angel’ and that miracles really never ended with the Ascension. Her life had just been upgraded and as far as she was concerned, there was no speed limit on this highway, things were on cruise control.

 Here is the twist…….

 By nature Adams tend to dominate in relationships and often will communicate very well with signs rather than words unlike Eves whose heartfelt feelings will always be verbally expressed; many words!

 When her friends asked her why she had ‘switched them off’, she thought to herself that they were ‘haters’, jealous that her love life had taken a right turn; but this is really where her first test fail began for friends at times serve as rear view mirrors, pointing out things you could be blind to, when your efforts are focused on the road and the how heavenly the ride feels; you fail to notice such little things which friends would kindly point out that could give you food for thought.

Adams have mastered the art of using signs, and some, just like road signs are easy to ignore, after all who really slows down if a sign ahead says ‘trade winds ahead’ – what the hell are ‘trade winds’ anyway? Or a sign ahead says ‘slippery road’ or ‘sharp bend ahead’ – don’t we usually think that we can take the risk and navigate?

It is strange but the same could be said of relationships, it is never about whether you have missed the sign but how many signs have you ignored and moved ahead and what risk waits you. Let’s get back to Eve.

For Eve, her perfect picture was her ‘knight in shining armor’ bended on one knee. Adam had gone to great lengths to show her that his life was now with her in the picture and in her mind she could not wait to say ‘I do’; she had pictured that moment a thousand times and each time her heart pounded harder and louder, she was not sure her legs would hold. For Adam, he knew his time was slowly closing in on him: the look his parents gave him every time he went home for Christmas shouted one word a million times – ‘grandchildren!’ His father was convinced that it was the money and the car he drove that he valued more than their wish! He was on a mission – maybe just like Eve but for different reasons.

Eve announced to the whole world thanks to a send button on her page. Soon her mailbox kept flashing red; she had only used five words and a picture of Adam on one knee…’He proposed…I said yes!’

Who knew how many people kept their fingers on their phones…it was like a keypad fire had been lit. Eve was so focused on the moment she did not notice that Adam’s face did not exactly seem to glow as hers did. Eve chose to drown in the moment, the excitement almost palpable and her blood seemed to have been turbo charged. After all, her dream of a white wedding and horse carriage with a Victorian theme was right in her palms.

Not even the red lights that kept flashing wildly could stop her. Adam’s routine did not change and it was almost as if she was going to wed herself as she scrambled to plan and diarising all important commitments that needed to be seen to. It’s funny that when you are on the road, signs only seem like statues, erected to add glamor to the road and break the monotony of the ride; we forget that they actually can save a life.

For example, if only this Eve had paid more attention, she would have noticed that Adam’s life had not exactly changed even though he was now engaged. He lived his football craze, late nights or even entire nights out, the hookups with the boys were still a routine and though occasionally she tagged along, it was never really that she’d been invited nor begged to come; but she had given ‘that look’ when he said they were going on a road trip with the boys and her Adam had merely replied, “you can come if you like” – very ironical because it meant that it wasn’t that he’d love to have her go…it was if she felt like… signs! On the trip, Eve only seemed like baggage, tagging along when the body language clearly said she was not wanted…but who cares about the signs?

 But there are signs that you cannot ignore. For instance, if the sign says ‘road closed’ or ‘no through way’, do you still drive hoping that whoever put the sign on the road was only joking? That maybe there is a through way that you’ll find all the same? It’s only when you realise that it was not a joke but the road actually does end that it hits you…but who is to blame?

 Relationships are full of signs, we only chose which ones to pay attention to, often ignoring some of the most critical ones. No matter what you do, finally it comes to pass, only that it may be too late when you have already covered so much mileage, you are already out of gas and the ‘fuel gauge is blinking red’ – ‘irreconcilable differences’.

 The signs are always right in front of us…some may be spoken but more often it is the unspoken that are the loudest. If only we could all open up not only our hearts, but minds too and read the signs. 

 Have your say!

 By Newton – guest writer

Hitting Nimbus

Life brings various changes, phases and experiences of which some are good and some bad. Such is life. Among all these, there is a phase in life, so special; I believe everyone should be given a chance to experience it; even if it is once in a lifetime. I am talking about that time when  you meet someone who makes you feel like your heart has been set ablaze – literally! When you meet someone and just the thought of him/her gives you a kick. Being with this person brings immense joy; even contentment and fulfillment.

Your heart flutters and is pregnant with thoughts about possibilities. On a higher  manifestation of this phase:)some Adams and Eves have reported all the above plus Goosebumps ……OK: maybe I should say some Eves.During this stage, you inform your friends, colleagues and basically anybody who cares to listen about your significant other. You feel as though both of you are one unstoppable force – you can take on the challenge that is life and come out strong.

You feel like you are in the clouds, everything seems so surreal. This is the way it is supposed to feel; and everybody should have a chance to experience it. They call it being on cloud nine. Here on Project 44 we call it ‘hitting nimbus ’. Nimbus in nephrology (the study of clouds) is the type cloud which hits the ground as precipitate in rain, hail or   snow 🙂 Nimbus brings new things, new beginnings, new realization, a new awakening.

The ‘nimbus stage’ is the stage in relationships where people dream; they day dream a lot, they dream together, they can’t get enough of each other. You receive a text message from him/her and it occurs to you that it was just about the time you were also about to text them. You give them a call and they tell you that they were also in the process of calling you- life is beautiful; – true ‘nimbus’ fashion.

Much as the ‘nimbus’ stage, feels great, sometimes it makes one seem as though the brain is functioning on half power (but your main body organ (the heart!) is in full gear); this is the stage where if for example Eve calls Adam to say she is stuck in some place and it is raining heavily, Adam might decide to go pick her up – a journey that could be more than one hour factoring in traffic jam time. Then half way through the journey, Adam realizes that is not realistic; he then requests Eve to just buy an umbrella or something more logical like getting into Java and having coffee till the rain subsides. But again this is ‘nimbus’ – you are allowed not to reason everything out at this stage.

The thing with ‘nimbus phase’ is that it does not last long. Just like the rain and snow that it brings, it soon comes to an end, giving rise to another season. The season where you leave the clouds and get back to the ground where we all live in the reality of life. This is not all together bad, it is normal; can you imagine being in ‘nimbus’ all through? – that would require loads of resources and  enormous amount of energy:). One does not notice it, but it generally believed that no one can ‘hack nimbus’ throughout. I guess that is why we have different seasons: of rain, heat and cold etc- variety.

Now, when nimbus comes to an end, and you are back to normal gauge, no longer on the overdrive, your brain gains back its full functioning power and you  begin to see the other person in a new light – a more realistic light. To your shock or even horror, you might discover some things, minor or major that you do not like or stuff that gets to your nerves a little bit. (Well, it is not a discovery because it was always there only that you never saw it).  The ‘clouds’ had clouded your thinking. Then you remember they (the world that you left when you ‘hit nimbus’) told you that “no one is perfect” and this sobers you up a little bit.

So worry not that she laughs loudly for laughter is the medicine of the soul. He burps very loudly after he eats his food, so what? It is an appreciation that he enjoyed the meal ;). Such is life, embrace it; live it and be happy you ‘hit nimbus’ and buckle up for the next phases of the relationship (smile)

By Fridah.

The Eve/Adam in the Mirror

We are all different folks, and therefore what we look for in relationships is bound to be different but there are some fundamentals that are common. For those who watch wedding shows, you must be intrigued by the segment where the bride and groom are asked what made them choose each other as life partners; some answers are varied but you can be sure to hear things like ‘he is a nice, caring, loving and understanding man’ or ‘she has a nice smile and she makes me happy’…….., etc now, back to the dating scene.

Ask any Eve about what she would want in a soulmate; some Eves will give you the classic ‘tall, dark and handsome’ reply whilst others will have a script of qualities that could roll from here to Siberia and back. Ask Adam what he is looking for in Eve and whilst most Adams have their lists, they are arguably much shorter than Eves’.

The other day I was listening to Michael Jackson’s Man In The Mirror and I wondered what  the picture of things would be if cards were flipped and Eves and Adams were asked if they recognize these characteristics they look for in themselves; I bet there would be some hesitation here and there; some unchecked boxes and half ticks.

Enough said!

Whilst it is true that no Eve or Adam should end up with a carbon copy of herself/himself, it is also true that partners should have similar values and principles. Take for example the fact that most women have always said that they want a confident (not arrogant) man. However, Eves do not always exude confidence, especially when it comes to physical appearance. The reason why we wish to change the bits and bobs of our bodies to feel sexier, and hence more confident, is because that is the message that society bombards us with. Commercials tell us all the time that we don’t look good enough – our hair is not straight enough, we are not slim enough, we are too wrinkled, too short, too this, not that enough, etc. Apart from talk shows, there are no commercials trying to sell us confidence and love for ourselves – obviously, this kind of marketing does not rake in the millions for advertisers. Enter the self-motivation books and magazine articles.

Those who read self-motivation and actualisation books in search of the golden path to love and fulfillment will attest to the fact that most of these books start out with a chapter dedicated to loving yourself.  Arguably, the relationship you have between ‘you and yourself’ is what is referred to as a template for other relationships in your life. It would be nice for an Adam or Eve to come along and make you feel that you are worth all that and more, but really, they should/would only be reaffirming what you feel about yourself. Yes, he or she may come and ‘complete you’, but you must have some kind of life going on to be completed in the first place.

It is said that confidence is the sexiest any woman can wear. So if Eve wants Adam to be of a confident nature, it follows that Eve should exude some confidence too. Adam, if you are looking for a respectful type of Eve, it follows that you should carry this value and treat yourself with dignity and respect; only then can you treat Eve with the similar dignity and respect.

It is not possible to be happy in a relationship if you are not true to yourself. By focusing on yourself and being genuine, you will in a better position to be authentic to the values and commitments you want in a relationship. If you are true to yourself and present this to others, then you relieve yourself of the perceived obligation to be perfect. You just need to put your own good/best self forward. It will also relieve expectations that you may have on your partner that you may not even be able to step up to.

Many Adams and Eves will acknowledge that they are critical of their flaws, override many of their needs, take for granted their positive attributes and accomplishments, and generally devote little time or attention to connecting with their own hearts and spirits. The same people who are seeking true love and appreciation do not always know how to offer it to themselves.

Now if you are not happy with yourself, how will make you make your partner happy? You may think to yourself that it is not your job to be make another person happy – well, good point! Take your own advice and find your own happiness. Only then can you appreciate it or even recognise it when it comes your way dressed up as an eligible Adam or Eve.

Smile. Have your say.

By Joyce