Guide in the Maze

I must begin this with a disclaimer – I am not a relationship expert. Trust me, I am like a hydrophobic monkey trying to teach fish how to swim – there is no life jacket, just jump in and go with the flow…


1. Believe everything you read – Don’t get daunted by the sheer number of dating and relationship book/movie titles out there. At least you can take comfort in knowing that you are not alone. This is a global phenomenon that cuts across race, religion and creed. Thousands of women across the planet (you included) are dealing with endless relationship issues every single day. The trick of course is not to fall into the trap – not one of these titles will likely reveal to you some mysterious truths you did not already know about you, him or the rest of the world. “He’s Just Not That Into You”? Of course, you already knew that! (Why you still went out with him for two years is an entirely different matter that will not be covered in this forum ;)). So go on, humour yourself – buy the book, read it, but use your own brain to figure out your own life issues. Just because it worked for Ivana, acting like a tramp may not necessarily land you a billionaire hubby (ok that’s mean… but it just fit so well – Trump, tramp ;)).

2. Lower your standards (and drop those raised eyebrows) – the reason why you have not yet encountered your Mr. Right could be because he’s on Mars – and doesn’t exist on earth! Every one of us has a list of desirable qualities that we look for in Adam. He has to be smart, and strong, and confident, and tall, and handsome and charming and funny and sensitive, and successful, and… The good news about this is that he does exist! The bad news however – sorry love, Obama’s already taken :(). Learn to work upwards rather than downwards from your absolute non-negotiables (ANN) list. These are the most basic qualities without which you would not be caught dead with a particular Adam. For instance if you want him smart and tall and focused, you may want to give up tall and go with the smart and focused. Your dream mate may be the guy you bump into in the lift every day, but because your mind is clouded by delusions of chivalrous knights, you will miss your opportunity (and the realization will only dawn on you when you hear he’s getting married to that pretty Wangeci from 3rd floor, dang!). As you grow older you may realize that you have already been doing this. Be cautious though, otherwise you’ll end up a very short list with only four entries: “1. Breathing 2. Adult 3. Male 4. Sane”!

3. Date Mr. Wrong – And no, I don’t mean that no good pesky street punk who’s been pestering you for a date. Sometimes you want to only go out with “the one” who will gaze deeply into our eyes and send tingles down your spine. Such encounters are so rare that you may want to apply a little creativity to get things moving along. About 9 out of 10 people in relationships will tell you they met someone through someone else, either at a wedding, meeting, event etc. Nobody is going to come and knock on your door and say, ‘We understand you’re in there and you’re lonely’. Do accept to go out with a guy who fits your ANN list even if you are certain that he is not your soul-mate. Chances are that his friends and acquaintances may be what you’re looking for. But be careful to only to go to an event or social where there’ll be other people. And by all means avoid going on a date, where the two of you will be seated at a table facing each other in awkward silence (him with high expectations, you with no idea how to get yourself out of this sticky situation). The best thing to know about how to meet a good man is to invest your time in events that would get you access to making this happen. However unless you’re outrageously outgoing, showing up alone at a social may not be a very good idea. Remember, never miss out on a chance to go out – it might just turn out to be it, or may just lead to it :).

4. Change – And I don’t mean the person that you are. Change something that you’re currently doing – it hasn’t worked for you so far… It might not get you an instant catch but may well increase your odds of encountering potential Adams. I’m talking about habits, places you go, things you do. If you are a routine person, break that cycle. From as simple as taking a different route home, going to a new restaurant, enrolling in a class, changing your hairdo or just learning whatever new thing that brings you into contact with new people, or gets people to begin looking at you (as in check you out :)). There are over 6 billion people on the planet so there is no doubt that real flesh and blood Adams abound. So darling please get that broomstick from up your *** and try not to be so uptight about meeting new people. But remember to relax, be yourself, and just enjoy life. A lot of happy, lasting relationships started out as friendly encounters between people who never intended it, but were subconsciously drawn to their each other by simply radiating positive energy!

5. Be a blonde – I know he’s supposed to love you for you. No doubt you have a beautiful soul, and a wonderful mind. He wants you for your brains (and time will stand still for the both of you as you engage for hours on end in intellectual discourse) – right? Wrong! First impressions matter, a lot – if you’re trying to get past hello. Why do you think the pretty blonde always land the guy? Men are very visual – so ditch those scraggly looks. I know it’s just so comfortable to be “miss mannish” and wear those drab jeans all the time, but you might want to be a tad bit more feminine. Once you have landed a date then you can go on and wow him with your superior intellect and exceptional scholarly abilities :).

6. Lastly if you have tried all these tricks and read all the “bestsellers’ and nothing is forthcoming, it is time for you to get in touch with Reverend Moon! Don’t let the thumping of your bio-clock give you sleepless nights – at least there you’re guaranteed an Adam (of what ilk, I cannot say)!

Finally if that doesn’t work, then ni be ni me ni cucurigu (Not Me, Not You, Not Cock-a-Doodle-Doo) can help!

Whilst this piece is mainly targeting Eves, we welcome comments from Adams……are we on or off track here?

Have your say.

By I.A – guest writer

Younger Adam

Most Eves have been socialized to date Adams who are at least age mates or older. Enter the younger Adam and the scene gets a tad complicated. Of the many reasons that have been put across for not dating a

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younger Adam, the one that stands out is the old dictum that girls mature faster than boys, and therefore it follows that in a relationship, Adam should be older. It remains a grey area whether this refers to physical, mental maturity or to both – I hope this does not open a can of worms.

Based on the above, a number of Eves have been reinforced to believe that it is better to date an older Adam in order to cover for a perceived lag in maturity in men. Conversations revolving around dating younger Adam are often punctuated by declarations that dating a younger man is tantamount to courting disaster and these relationships are usually temporal and often done out of desperation to bag an Adam – do not joke with the social order, societal judgment can be harsh.

So it is not uncommon to see an Eve dating a younger Adam and guarding the news as though it were a nuclear code not to be let out. Something that is supposed to be all exciting or worth a toast even, ends up being something that Eve is either ashamed of or has to defend at every turn. Picture the following conversation between two Eves during a catch-up session.

Eve 1: “I am dating”, she informs her best friend.

Eve2: “Oh, great! I was not aware you were dating; I thought that the ‘Ukame’ (drought and it

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does not mean rain) 🙂 is everywhere but it does not seem to be the case. I assume he must be a hunk, otherwise you would not have dated him; in that case I will not ask you to describe him so let’s go to the main points. So, what does he do?”

Eve1: “He is an aeronautical engineer, astronautics branch” she says proudly.

Eve2 frowns because she is not exactly sure what that means but based on the complex space-age terminologies, she can decipher that this is no small career so Eve 1 scores points for it. This is followed by questions in quick succession about where he lives and what machine he pushes etc, and then finally falling on the contentious issue:

Eve2”How old is he?”

Eve1 does not want to talk about the age difference and therefore she hesitates, before saying that the astronaut is one year younger. Her friend gives her a look which makes her realize that she needs to mount up a defense about how this Adam is mature and responsible beyond his years and that when they are paired, one can hardly tell that he is younger.

Eve2: “You mean this guy came into this planet after you and you are actually deluded that he is dating material for you?” This is then followed by a whole lecture about how, whilst this Adam may have the energy of a stallion :), men mature late, that he will eventually find a younger Eve and that she thinks it is ill-advised to date this guy. All this is based on a one year age difference, she has not met him, does not know what he stands for , neither is she sensitive to what her best friend feels about this judgment.

Mixed feelings well up inside Eve1 and although she might not break up with him, a new task has been handed to her – she will now be looking out for all signs that he still needs to ‘ripen’ or that he is eyeing younger women. Even a little unproven hint could make Eve1 decide that after all, she was not ‘oozing’ feelings for this Adam and calls it quits. (Yeah! It is called peer pressure and it can send even the most stable relationships downhill).

So you have to seat back and think that this world is hard to comprehend. At some point, we have a hall packed with Eves, all with arms outstretched waiting for a pastor to breathe life into their dead dating lives. Then the same women will dismiss a dude based on the fact that he is one year younger than her, among other basis for summary dismissals:). Mind you the man is not complaining, he is aware of that fact and it is not a deterrent for him. Why then for the life of me should it be deterrent to Eve?

There are Adams out there (yeah somewhere on this planet) who act way above their age; they are responsible, can hold up their own and know exactly what they want. In the same breath, there are older Adams who act way below their chronological age.

Is it therefore fair, realistic or even strategic:)to place all guys in one group, label them ‘young’ and therefore immature and not deserving a chance? OK!  – Someone might ask if there is an age limit or variance within which people should be consider dating mates. Well, that varies from person to person but my imagination tells me that everyone wants to be around someone who makes them look and feel great, not with someone who will make people think you just turned up to a party with little brother!

Have your say!

By Fridah

Knight in Custom Armour

He looked so pitiful and tormented as he stared at the window. It was a look of discomfiture, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for him, but again, I couldn’t understand it.

“Let me get this straight,” I interrupted the silence, “You made a two-thousand kilometer return journey by bus, across the border, spent a full weekend with your love interest, and you couldn’t gather the courage to tell her how you feel about her or make her see how she fits in your grand scheme of things?”

“Yes,” he replied meekly. I was wondering if the fact that he had gone all the way was not enough to make this Eve realize that he was keen on her. But according to my buddy, he seemed to be convinced that she was not fully aware of what he feels for her and he was hoping that he would set the record straight during the visit ;letting her hear him say that he want to be king :).

OK, here is the thing. My buddy belongs to that category of guys who are challenged when it comes to getting lyrical with Eve. This 30-year old shy friend is constantly put in the same spotlight as the lyrical assassins. He’s heard it all before; ‘you’ve got to man up, women want a confident man, who will go up to them and say what he wants’.

In relationships, it’s a game of survival for the fittest. Anyone who stands out from the crowd is more likely to get the choicest of girls to pick from. Part of standing out in the crowd is not only looks based, it goes hand in hand with confidence and eloquence. Anyone who is shy and timid will most likely be the last in the dating race. It does not matter how much a decent human being he is. But should it be? I ask because sometimes a guy cannot help but feel like he is a sheep in a slaughter house. We live in a world of differences, no matter the similarities. That’s what makes this place interesting. I think that often times in relationships, instead of noting the differences in people; we use the similarity principle in dating. And this is what I have an issue with.

Just like in the corporate world, the interviewee who wows the most with articulate communication and impressive words often times ends up getting hired but we all know that this does not necessarily translate into being up for the job.

In the dating game, a man is supposed to pursue and state his intentions. He spots the ‘prey’, makes a move and goes for the ‘jugular’. He’ll shower the chic with all kinds of lyrics, compliments and anything that is more speech than action oriented; anything to woo his ‘prey’. But what happened to actions speaking louder than words? This man travelled to see his love interest and now feels as if he lost his chance to ‘close the deal’ because he was just not able to state his claim face to face or use those sweet words that ladies want to hear. And, sadly, that’s what he’s been rated on.

And yet, the most noble of characters, that a lady is looking for, is under immense pressure because he’s not been able to wow a chic with his talk, he’s slowly becoming a laughing stock. Because of his feelings for the lady, he’ll think that in the dating game, the rule is also ‘fake it till you make it’. So one cannot be real, cannot be himself, because if he is, he won’t get the Eve that he wants. But the danger with faking it for this Adam is that he might get lyrical in order to get Eve’s attention and afterwards, when Eve notices that he is not that good in terms of expressing himself in words, she might bolt!

I could be wrong but I think that when Eves make their wish list about the type of Adam that they want, it is full of character traits that one is looking for looking for, not the kind of approach and entrance he makes. That’s for Hollywood and soap operas. You have a sixth sense, for intuition. Use it to know that the shy man who is doing everything but tell you, could be the best man for you.

Don’t let someone go because he didn’t say those sweet things that you wanted to hear, but in their actions, they show you how they feel about you. All knights coming in their own type of custom armour; it may not be shining, but that doesn’t mean it’s not good enough. The best may not be the loudest is all I am saying

By Brian – Guest writer

In Eves/Adams We Trust…….?

Sometime last year, an Eve met an Adam, sparks were present and they both decided to get to know each other better. Months later into the relationship, Adam asked Eve, “Can I trust you? I mean, can I trust you not to let me down?” Eve was surprised by the question from what she perceived was ‘out of the blues’. She replied in the affirmative, but she was left with lingering doubt of where that came from.

Dissecting it further, she found out that Adam had always been suspicious of her. Whenever she would arrive late, even if it was just a few minutes late, or if she did not answer his call, never mind what the reasons were – his mind would race to suspicions, especially ‘cheating’ suspicions. And yet the truth was; she had nothing to hide. Eve felt that he was not being fair to her, that there was very little margin of error left for her and this was straining their relationship.

Feeling down about it, Eve went for what all relationship experts prescribe: talk it out. She managed to get Adam to do the ‘dreaded’ thing: they talked and when they discussed their last relationships, the root cause of Adam’s suspicion emerged. Adam had come out of a long relationship where his ex had lied to him a lot and eventually left him (yes, Eves lie too :)). Adam was laden with a Samsonite tagged “Heavy baggage – Every Eve Lies” and he’d dragged into the new relationship. Everyone comes with baggage and just like many, Adam needed to deal with his, may be even needed some help to do so but Eve had now developed a ‘victim mentality’ and was finding it difficult to deal with the issue.

A relationship that takes a beating from trust issues, like this one, can be a bit like having an elephant in the bedroom. If either Eve or Adam doesn’t want to talk about the giant animal in the room, they will spend monumental amounts of energy craning over the elephant to see the other side, skirting around it to get to the other side of the room and soon someone may need physiotherapy! Sometimes the issues can be real (there is an elephant in the room for Pete’s sake!) and need to be dealt with, although in some instances, it is a case of anthills turned into mountains.

Whilst trust issues arise a lot from a person’s past experiences, there is behaviour that causes mistrust to develop in a relationship. When you notice a change in the pattern of behaviour in your partner, then sirens go off in your head (sometimes very loudly and flashing wildly). Have you ever heard of the quote “I would rather trust a woman’s instinct than a man’s reason”? Eves are known to follow their intuition and can go to great lengths to see if they can trust Adam.

Relationship experts argue that one way of tackling trust issues in relationships is by being consistent and by being ‘predictable’ (please read predictable, not boring!). When an Eve or Adam promises to do something, it is best to keep promises. Broken promises, even simple ones, point to unreliability and can build mistrust in a relationship.

Another piece of advice is to be accepting of your partner. Of course, there is some behaviour that is not to be accepted but you may find that your partner has some traits that identify a lot with your pet peeves (in which case you need to weigh which are the small things you can sweat out and which ones are the baby elephants). May be you expect him/her to change but ‘Change’ only happened once in America (OK, may be more than one :)) and it had nothing to do with matters of the heart and soul ;)! Change in others is an uphill if not impossible task.

The other basic is to be open and volunteer information. This is of course debatable since some people argue that what you don’t know won’t hurt you or are of the opinion that ‘secrets’ which have been buried in the past need to stay right there – in Pandora’s Box. But maybe you would want to ask: how secret is your secret?

The Eve in this case eventually decided that it was not in her interests to pursue the relationship with her ‘love-interest-turned-detective’ and shoved it into the dustbin of history (for the hopeful types, read recycle bin :)).

Eves, Adams, how do we deal with trust issues in relationships? Can they be worked on and relationships salvaged or do some just issue a death sentence to relationships?

Have your say!

By Joyce