By Sue Buku

When I wasn’t dating there was a song I used to sing almost daily: I Am Ready For Love by India Arie with the lyrics “…I am ready for love, all of the joy and the pain…”. Little did I know that yes, love does have its joys and pains. It was my theme song, along with a poem called ‘I Will Wait for you by Janette P4CM’. This was ofcourse along with fervent prayers for a partner.

So the day came when Love came knocking and boy, was I swept off my feet!! He was Force Majeure as my best friend and I called him and I loved every minute of it. I must say this relationship has taught me so so much and I felt that I would like to share with my fellow ladies (and gents) in relationships or those hoping to be in one. Some of the things I’ve learnt have also been from other people’s experiences, people around me or stories I’ve heard. I pray that what I have learnt will help you as we continue in this journey of life.

First Date

I have this book entitled ‘He’s Just Not That Into You’ and the first Chapter talks about He’s Not That Into You if He’s Not Asking You Out. Many of us women (in Kenya), experience a lot of uncertainty when we meet a guy we like, or we think likes us. We spend a lot of time “pulling rose petals saying ‘He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not’” – figuratively speaking. You find yourself waiting by the phone for his call, and when he texts, you hope he will ask what you are doing on Friday and setup a date. Unfortunately many of the men we have around (some I’ve met and from stories I’ve heard) do not do this and instead, will call you on Friday at 7pm and ask what you’re upto. Most unfortunate is that we tend to quickly say we are doing NOTHING and happily get dressed to meet him and his friends at a bar somewhere. Mind you despite the fact that he drives, you will jav or spend your hard earned cash to pay for a cab or drive there. Kindly note ladies, This Is Not A Date! “A date is when he asks you out for dinner/coffee/porridge or whatever other function, picks you up from home or a central point and you go to the location together, or meet there if it’s extremely inconvenient for him to pick you up. He will pick the tab on the first date and will see you to your doorstep at a godly hour or worst case scenario to your bus stop (if you live in Mwiki or other life-threatening neighbourhoods. ;-D Just kidding). He will not keep you out until the wee hours of the morning and will at all times be a gentleman should you decide to go clubbing (I don’t really advise clubbing on a first date but that’s just me).” So, back to our scenario, this is either a booty call or … a booty call. That Is All. Do not be surprised at the requests that will follow this ‘date’.

Other scenarios are where a guy will set a date with you and on the material day will not call to confirm the details. And after a lot of nail-biting and stomach butterflies/knots, you decide to call him, and he asks for a raincheck coz something ‘came up’. On Monday morning, he will be online chatting with you like nothing happened. The other scenario is when you bump into each other at a function and talk for a while and he says he will call you ‘Tomorrow’ or ‘Next Week’ but never does. And what do we do? We go on and call first and try to be sweet about it and say ‘umenitupa…{insert other small talk}’.

Ladies, this is nothing but Mixed Signals and we women need to learn that This Is Not how it should be. He is just not that into you, that is all. He’s either looking for someone who he will have fun with and toss, or he doesn’t find you attractive enough to put on his A list, or his hands are full. I have learnt, if he wants to be with you, nothing will stop him from calling you every single day and especially on the material day just so that you do not change your mind about the date. He will keep time and take you home or make sure you got home safe before he sleeps. If he says he will call you, he will not forget and will keep time about it. You will not have to watch your phone because before you know it, it will be ringing off the hook. It’s that simple. And YES, there are Kenyan men who do this.

So what I have also learnt is that, don’t get mad at guys who give mixed signals. First, it’s not you, it’s who they are. Common courtesy doesn’t fall in their personality trait, because honestly, why would you do that to a friend. Secondly, it’s not a must that anyone you fancy fancies you back, it’s a fact of life. So what do you do? Move on swiftly and stop hoping that he will eventually wake up and realize what a beauty you are and how foolish he’s been. This only happens in the movies. When the guy who likes you shows up, you will Not be in doubt. And when he shows up, ladies, please…keep time. Respect that he has made the effort to come and pick you up. Make an effort and dress up, look and smell nice. He will definitely appreciate it. Smile. Make it a fun evening and not an interview process. If the first date turns into a second and a third, remember, you can also pick the tab sometimes.

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