Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Girl Whisperer

as published by the Sunday Guardian

August 19

Fear Factor

I have a friend, let’s call him walexy, whom I’ve known many years back now. One day, as we sat talking, he showed a list of the 10 things he wanted in a partner. According to him, if the candidate possessed most of the traits he’d put down, then a relationship could be worked out.

Even though I am older now, it is still one of the most sound bits of advice I can give another, about relationships. Rule number one is that you write your list so you know exactly what you want and you don’t settle for less.

It’s interesting that when we go to a shopping mall, we often have a list of the things we want. We might deviate a bit, but more often than not, we clear the list and then get a bit more, a bonus if you would, if we still have money left. It’s much the same when we go car hunting. In this case, we’ve usually spoken to a car mechanic or two, a driver of the same model, and taken opinions, far and wide. Some might consider this clinical, but even now, in our minds, we all have a list of sorts. The purpose of a physical list is to concretise the things we yearn for.

There’s nothing too trivial to put on the list, if it matters to you. There are girls who insist that the man of their dreams must be over six feet tall, humorous and muscular. Some want patience and kindness and others, a man who has a healthy bank account. In all the cases in times past when the Whisperer ignored “the list”, there was hell to pay. As the saying goes, “if you won’t stand for something, you’ll settle for anything”.

If you’re not into skinny people, don’t digress from your list, and if it’s the very slim type that makes you happy, stay true to yourself. A preparation of a list before falling into the hands of the wrong person will prevent you from learning the true meaning of fear. There are many who will not take “no” for an answer if you are to inform them you made a mistake in choosing them as partners. I met a female once who told me she tried to leave a man she’d mistaken for the real McCoy. The “gentleman” thereafter tried to use a door to smash her legs to pieces as she lay on the ground, inert from a tumble she took as he pursued her. However, the “scorned” partners who would go to extreme lengths to hurt you physically, emotionally or in other ways, could be of either gender as there are women who will issue death threats if you think of leaving them. Having a list beforehand, almost always protects you from being dazzled by surface sheen, and mistaking it for gold.

There are ways you might know you’re in for trouble if you're thinking of forging ahead. A potential partner who blames all of his or her problems on a former relationship, is sending a signal you must take seriously. If anything happens to you both, you will, in turn, have to bear the entirety of the blame. If your partner exhibits a vindictive nature, expressing a burning desire that misfortune falls on other people who pulled out of relationships with him or her, it might also be a good idea for you to watch your step.

Then there are people who have been deserted by every single person they’ve been with, perpetual victims. Never feel charitable and assume yourself a messiah in this instance. You must look to the root of this problem before you agree to start a relationship with such a person.

However, if you are already entangled with someone whom you know is totally unsuitable for you, don’t be afraid to let go. It’s your life, your future, your happiness, and no one can live it for you. Christiane Amanpour, the CNN reporter waited till she was 41 years old before marrying because according to her, she wouldn’t be short-changed. Why hastily enter into an arrangement you might never be able to escape from?


Naija Vixen said...

Well written's the fear of being alone or the fear of time restraints that usually causes people to deviate from their lists...

kokolette said...

True that!

Ms. Catwalq said...

no additions
u said alot that is true.
I have tried not tobe too rigid in my lists cos I have this idea that sometimes, you have relationships/ experiences to build somethingin you and u might just findyourself happy with someone that had you not given him/her a chance you might have missed out greatly.
Notwithstanding, traits like honesty, cleanliness, respect, dilligence, hardwork...etc are a must. Also, I do need some height. I am short. I would like to imagine that should the relationship become a permanent thing, I give my kids a chance...

Uzo said...

Well said. I will say however, that lists can be discarded. We all have this image of what the perfect person will be like when in actuality, the one meant for you might be absolutely nothing like that. Suddenly that list become laughable...

Lola said...

you know, i was reading this and thinking, how come i've never written down a list?!?! and then i tried to go over it in my head but realized that everything was too general you know, the funny, charming, ambitious blah blah blah. that probably signals a problem no?

someone told me something once that I always remember after asking me what qualities i wanted he now said, "what is it about YOU that would attract such a person", not in a bad way but he's like many women (and men) say these things but then they forget to fix their own "home" first.

Idemili said...

And sometimes the fear of the unknown causes people to stay in totally rubbish relationships.

People would rather stay in a bad, but well known relationship than risk a possibly good one. A case of 'Better the devil you know'. Not a lot of people realise that the response to that does not have to be 'Than the devil you don't know.' There doesn't have to be a devil involved at all.

I don't know if I make sense.

laspapi said...

"rethots comments on "fear factor"

....definitely support a list (though, mine isn't written down, 'tis in my minds i). 'tis definitely not worth short changing one's self on ones list, 'cos one can always get what one wants."

laspapi said...

@ vixen- I agree with you, dami. Yet, time is relative.

@ k- thanks kokolette

@ catwalq- that was honest, catwalq. You appear to have a clear picture of what you want.

@ uzo- do you think you could completely discard the list? I think there'll still be some basic core issues you won't compromise. Hygiene, Hard work etc

@ lola- your comment was 2-pronged. The fact that you want 'general' things doesn't make them less important.

I agree with your friend's thoughts too. Some people desire the very best, which is fine, but as people, they are undeveloped.

@ idemili- There doesn't have to be a 'devil' at any time, goddess. Having a sense of self-worth can save anyone from the wrong hands.

@rethots- patience is the key, I reckon. Sometimes, we're in a rush and the results aren't always pleasant

Sherri said...

sounds supeficial and mighty flighty to me.
do you stop loving when outward beauty wanes,body shapes change with age and childbirth?
i agree u have to know what u like and dislike, why and how strongly or important to u these traits all boils down to knowing and accepting oneself fully before entangling with a third or fourth party (he he)i have found that,when one is comfortable in one's skin one tend to attract people like oneself(both sexes)

i can expound on this later( my brains still on vacation)

ps:i take grrrreat offense to likening a relationship to shopping


laspapi said...

@ sherri- ok, I'm sorry for the shopping comparison. Stipulations on the list can be much deeper than "good looks" though.
How've you been?

Sherri said...

hey papi,
i dey o, thanks for asking.
i was ubber depressed about the indecent dressing hoopla, u see i was still reeling from an incident where a friend and colleague disrupted a board meeting with her cleavage, another friend took me out to take my mind off things. we left the first club because i assumed there were too many ladies of the night then the next, and the next,we finally agreed to stay a while at the 5th(partly cos we were tired and i felt sorry for his insistence on paying)long tori short, i came to find out that young women now dress half naked and engage in casual sex all in the name of fashion and liberation. don't get me wrong, i have no problem with cleavage it's putting the twins out in the heat or cold i have a problem with.
i was dealing with two extremes and i just couldnt cope, so i took a much needed vacation. i have now being able to put it all in the right pespective.
are u glad u asked?
how have u been?

laspapi said...

@ emi- ok, you've had a culture clash thing with the MTV generation.
"it's putting the twins out in the heat or cold i have a problem with"- this made me smile. I think the world's going back to the "swinging sixties" if that's possible.
I'm fine, sherri