A comic video from Uganda has been doing the rounds recently in Kenya. The hilarious comedienne asks her fiancé a series of questions about their relationship: how long they have been going out for (7 years) and jokes about how her friends think she is crazy to be dating someone for that long without walking down the aisle; how old she is (and jokes about how close to the national menopausal age she is); reminds him of how she really liked it when she visited with his family (to which he replies that his family liked her too) but the guy doesn’t seem to be getting the drift of where she is steering this conversation to. In exasperation, she goes ahead to practically propose to him with a somewhat humongous, scary looking ring. Needless to say, the guy is in shock but all is done quite comically.
Now, this video is about an Eve who gets tired of courtship but Adam doesn’t seem to be asking the big question she expects him to. As I chatted with a friend about this, we got to talking about whether and how Eves ask the questions they ought to ask in relationships. As evidenced by the comic video, sometimes people stay in what turn out to be long term relationships without necessarily having questions answered especially those about where the relationship is headed.
Whilst we are all different people with our own personalities, many of us have grown up in very similar cultures where there is some veiled teaching that women are not meant to raise too many questions especially when they are trying looking for a potential partner to settle down with. (Sometimes, I wonder how in the end all this works out because the number of times I have heard men complaining about their nagging wives are uncountable – is it that the ‘nagging Watergate’ is unleashed after the knot has been tied?).
Getting back to the gist of this post, it does depend of course on what types of questions are being asked. There are questions of gravity, questions of significance to relationships and then there are just questions. Just questions are such as: ‘do I look fat in this?’, ‘what are you thinking about?’, ‘is she prettier than me?’ – these are questions that mostly have no direction other than for things to head south but it is surprising how many internet pages are dedicated to advising men on what the right answers are so that they do not end up in hot soup with access restrictions to the cookie jar.
Now there are those questions that Adam and Eve ask each other when they are in the dating phase as they get to know one another and to gauge how compatible they could be as a couple. According to a well-known writer and relationship guru, questions from Eve to Adam at this stage should be: what his short-term goals are, what his long-term goals are, what his views on relationships are, what he thinks about her and what he feels about her. According to this guru, these questions will help Eve determine whether Adam is a keeper or a player and will also help to keep his intentions (and Eve’s too) clear.
Then as time passes and the relationship grows (although that is not always a given ;)), there comes a time when questions of gravity and significance need to be asked. Now, round about the time of the AFCON or any other major events may not be considered the appropriate time to ask these questions, but sometimes it is important for answers to be sought. When Eve has invested time, energy, emotions, etc in a relationship over months and years but some significant question still hangs in the air, getting an answer out of Adam can be a daunting affair for some Eves. Eve may be afraid of change, a grand negative shift in the relationship; she may be afraid that her question may lead to a clash of minds and exchange of words. One other factor that determines whether Eve will ask a significant question is how she will be perceived – if she is looking for answers about where the relationship is going, she may not want Adam to feel like she is pressurizing him to pop the question – after all, she may been brought up with the thought that she must be the demure damsel in waiting who waits for him to propose and thus may not want to seem to needy or eager.
Among us, there are those Eves who are not afraid to ask – it is in their nature to go ahead and seek answers because living with the festering uncertainty is something they just can’t bear. Kudos to them.
Suffice to say that any relationship with a lot of questions and few answers is akin to a boat in stormy waters and hence the need to clear the air as much as possible. The truth is that sometimes Eves are not ready to hear the answers to the questions, because they fear what the answers may be. However, asking the questions just means that you are ready to face the truth of your relationship, whatever that truth may be and all one has to do is to prepare to embrace it – it could be positive, it could be negative but that’s just part of the mystery of life unraveled.