Wednesday, May 28, 2008
The Girl Whisperer
as published by the Guardian on Sunday
THE LAWS OF ATTRACTION
There are three basic rules when it comes to attraction between the sexes. These rules are so simple, even children intuitively know to abide by them, yet some adults sometimes seem to have problems comprehending the universal truths of these rules and even when they do, cannot apply them to their own lives.
The first rule is that you must love someone. Now, that sounds simple and I bet some are wondering where I’m going with this. However, many of us enter relationships for varying reasons and these reasons are not always about love. We start relationships because it is convenient to do so, because we are lonely, because all our friends are in relationships, because we are growing older, because we do not want to wake up to an empty house, because we need to hear a comforting voice talking to us when we sit on park benches. Entering or remaining in a relationship out of pity might sound like the noble thing and what Sir Galahad or Lady what’s-her-name might have done in the good old days but it doesn’t help for relationships that will go the distance. The first law of attraction is that you must love the other. Sometimes even that is not enough, but a lack of love is a sure guaranty for failure.
The second rule is that the person must love you. Many of us are in relationships with people who can barely condone us, who will not walk with us in public, (we are always three paces behind like Prince Philip to Queen Elizabeth), who think we are not educated enough, are ashamed of our dress sizes, of our love handles, of our lack of a monetary background, of our accents (or the lack of it). The person you love must love you, (not love your family or the car your father gave you as a graduation present). If the person just loves your status, your job, your family, the advantages that can be obtained from associating with you, you’re not obeying the laws of attraction. It’s that simple.
The third rule deals with the unity of time, place and event. The two things, you loving the person and the person loving you, must be happening at the same time. It doesn’t show clear thinking when we believe the person we are ‘madly’ in love with will love us in future. “I’ll make him love me”, the girls say. If he’s not loving you at the beginning, it’ll be a miracle if he starts somewhere in between. What you have in this case is an aeroplane that’s propelled by only one engine. Chances are high that the plane will stall and drop out of the sky before your engineer can open the door in mid-air, climb on the wing of the plane and attempt to repair an engine that never worked in the first place. Plane, engineers, passengers....everyone will be dropping out of the skies. There might be nothing left to salvage after the crash.
I had a girlfriend in my later teen years (oh, for the days of innocent love again) but she left me for a young man who was already in university. I pleaded (not a very pretty picture, anyone who has to resort to pleading to hold on to a relationship is in the wrong one) but she told me she was sorry. One night, as I walked away from her home after the final dismissal, I looked up into the skies and had a moment of epiphany. I would rule my world, I thought, my horizons would be vast. The point here? She wasn’t loving me anymore and no amount of grovelling could make her change her mind. I went on with my own life but learnt a very valuable lesson. It’s not who you love, it’s who loves you. Years later, after several degrees (with hind sight, she might have been the reason I studied law, obtained a qualifying certificate from the law school as well as two masters’ degrees), I met her again. I’d become a man sure of himself and had discovered ‘the Whisperer’ in me. She flirted, showed herself available but I wasn’t having any of it. The loving and being loved must be happening at the same time. Unrequited love is a no-no. Waking up to pain, cold sweats and misery because another human refuses to love you is the road to permanent depression. And don’t tell me I don’t understand. I do, and perfectly. You’re branding yourself a loser and your brand will be visible once people see you.
There’s the fable about the fox that saw grapes on a tree and for hours, jumped, skipped and hopped in an attempt to reach them. He could not and after a while, walked away, thinking to himself that the grapes must have been sour anyway, giving rise to the ‘sour grapes’ complex. I’m an adherent of the sour grapes school of thought. If the target is unattainable, press delete, re-set your mind and cease being a nuisance to all the parties concerned. Salvage your pride (or whatever might be left of it) and walk away with as much dignity as you can muster even if the tears are streaming down your eyes as you do so. You will earn a great deal of respect from this. Rolling on the floor and threatening to commit suicide won’t help matters.
Look around, see how beautiful life is and tell yourself, ‘what a wonderful world’. And your time will come, when you will find someone who loves you at the same time as you love the person and as much. Trust the Whisperer; dreams come true; you may ask Kanu Nwankwo.