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?
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