Tall Dark & Handsome

Recently, I had a conversation with a certain Adam, who was telling me the fears that he has when it comes to committed relationships (this is a story for another day). This got me thinking about the expectations that we have of the opposite sex, especially when are looking for that special Eve or Adam. Even as we continue with the dialogue here on Project 44, exploring the dynamics that shape relationships between Eve and Adam, I think there is need for a reality check about the things that we long for and yearn for in our quest for a mate.

In her book titled soul mates, Carolyne Miller says that our ego is what leads us to look for an extraordinary partner. She goes ahead to say that “when soul mates describe their early impressions of each other, “nice” is the adjective that crops up most frequently. “Nice feels awfully good, but it is of no use whatsoever to our ego in its quest for glory”. According to Carolyne, it is our ego that leads us to look for a head turner, not necessarily the Eve or Adam who makes us feel good and warm on the inside, not the mate who we are in sync with, our ego leads us to look for an extraordinary guy. So while I was reading this book, I thought about back in the high school days (before getting to the maze and deciding that all that is vanity) when all we could talk about was TDH.

Many are aware of the (in)famous tall, dark and handsome (TDH) benchmark. Height is a ‘hot topic’ and to many Eves, it falls among the ‘A. N. N.’ – absolute non-negotiable (thanks IAA for that post ;)). Many of them will swear that they cannot be caught dead with a short Adam, even if he is one inch shorter!; but the reality is that Adams come in various heights, that’s how the Maker created us. It is hard to tell why Eves are very passionate about height, but many argue that a tall man looks nicer than a short one. No research out there can tell us if there is any link between how high a man towers over Eve and his ability to respect, love, and trust or exhibit responsible behavior.

The second part of this benchmark is the ‘dark and handsome’ cliché. In reference to this phrase, dark usually refers to the color of hair and eyes. Whether we are talking about people of color or not, and regardless of what dark refers to in our world, color is not an attribute that makes a good man and neither would it bring home the bacon. It is all about the outward look. If the statistics doing the rounds out there are anything to go by (Kenyan’s last Census results not included :)), it does no good to dismiss a guy based on the perception that ‘he is not dark enough’.

‘T.D.H’ is relative and it goes without saying that one cannot be in a relationship with someone they are not physically attracted to; especially in a long term relationship. The problem is that sometimes, Eves are looking for a ‘universally attractive’ guy. Does it need to be said that you do not need the universe to validate his looks, and if that were so, he would be running for Mr. Universe? Consequently, the reality is that a man is as handsome as you want to believe he is (O.K., maybe not ;)) but look around and see some beautiful women paired with not-the-most-universally handsome, dark or tall Adams. While some Eves may have made the decision based on Adam’s height when he stands on his wallet, the fact is they are paired, and they are not the ones cuddling Zenika (the cat) :), probably refusing to take cognizance of the fact that the pursuit for the elusive ‘T.D.H’ is bearing no fruit.

Relationships pundits say that when it comes to the fundamental things that matter most in a relationship, looks are not ranked way up on the list. There is only one Hill Harper in this world (insert the name of your celebrity eye candy here), and no, he does not have a 30 inch chest ;). So maybe Eves need to get over it; the choice pool is not exploding with numbers .The infamous stampede of about 10,000 mostly single women in Nairobi rushing to have a spiritual revelation on how to find a husband left many with the question: “where have the men gone?” One is left to wonder if this has anything do with the A.N.N or is it really true that most Eves cannot find suitors and it has nothing to do with unrealistic expectations?

Hill Harper 😉

Have your say!

By Fridah


15 thoughts on “Tall Dark & Handsome

  1. I think we only use the TDH benchmark early on when we’re young & still newbies in dating. As time passes on (I’ve learnt that some handsome men can be shallow & dastardly, an older guy doesn’t always mean he’s mature, a younger guy can be sure footed & the most together person you know & a guy who’s two inches shorter than you can turn out to be great fun esp if height is not his hang up…as for dark, that’s rather too limiting in my books), we change the benchmarks…my dealbreaking benchmark when it comes to relationships is; ‘How do I feel when I’m with him? What kind of person I’m I around him?’

    • @ Nyambura,I agree with you totally! When we are young,we have all these illusions about falling in and out love and all these qualities,attributes and capabilities that Adam must have. With time,we realise( sometimes only too late) these mean little and play a very small part when it comes to committed relationship.

      However,TDH will not go away quickly because even now,when i tell my friends that i have met a guy,the first question is usually about his looks and what he does.So Eves,Egos aside and let us be real

      I have to say thought that those picture of Hill Harper has given me ideas………..that is a creation

  2. You stop looking for a perfect man the day you realize you are not a perfect woman. Unfortunately, not too many of us are willing to have that talk with the mirror, now are we? Ha!

    Nicely written Fridah, you’re almost forgiven for disappearing on us. Almost….

  3. I’m amazed that you know about the negative role of the ego in relationships. You are on to something. It’s like everything I read about relationships these days is saying you are better off minus your ego if you want your relationship to succeed. I will do an extensive post on this when I return from my brief hiatus.

    Excellent read!

  4. I agree with Nyambura…age really gets the “he must be TDH” obsession off the list. but as they say, the follies of youth are numerous so one can be forgiven. Even if i was given this to read when i was young, i would still brush it off as just another piece, but reading it at my advanced age now, it does make realise how i have “matured” in perception about Adams 🙂

    As always, nice read Friday…no Fridah (monday blues 🙂 )

  5. ‘No research out there can tell us if there is any link between how high a man towers over Eve and his ability to respect, love, and trust or exhibit responsible behavior.’ Spot on, end of story.

  6. This is so true, with age eyes are opened and things are seen under a different light…. this is a very good read and it is true- we should leave the ego out of it all… for real. Thank you for this.

  7. How tall a man is when he stands on his wallet! Fridah you’ve kilt me!!! And ahem at Hill Harper though I prefer dark skinned men.

    My two cents – find someone you have lots to talk about with. This for me I’ve learnt through experience. Never ever date someone if 3 mins on the phone ends up being a ‘so eeerm ‘ (painful) conversation. Sex seals or puts a stamp on our relationships. If sex is what we do best, that relationship won’t last.

    The Project is the place to be on a Monday in my case Wednesday 🙂 you doing a brilliant job here!

  8. Lovely piece! That line about standing on a wallet just made me laugh out loud. I agree with Danas and Alex.

    ps. nice photo of Hill Harper but is he TALL ;)? Just kidding! or am I?

  9. She wanted a tall, rich, dark handsome man, she ended up with short, stout potbellied bully who loved her to dearly and they live a good life now…true story

  10. im not saying i like Tall, im just saying if you are busted by a Tall thug and your man is short, its hard for him to throw a punch..im just saying..

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