On Monday at our rotary meeting, we had Chris Hart as our guest. He was to give us a ‘relationship tutorial’ on “How to keep your relationship alive!”
In our great-grandmother’s times relationships lasted. There was no divorce or issues like that. In the past relationships lasted because our great-grandparents and older generations knew the family and the person that they were marrying all their lives. They probably lived in the same village or a few villages apart so there was time to get to know the person they ended up marrying.
Fast forward to society now and there are so many people in the city of Nairobi. Out of any thousand people, the chances are you don’t know that many people. It is hard to know where to start because you don’t know most of the people who should be in your dating pool.
In the last ten years or so something unprecedented has happened. The education of women. So now women are getting married later on in life on average at 33. The problem is that men marry 2-3 years into a career after college or university. So generally they get married at 27 ½ if they have a first degree, 29 if doing a master’s and 32 if they are doing a PhD. So here comes the dilemma. Men marry before women do. Society has changed but men still marry at the same age.
According to Chris any man who is 35 and not married has a loose screw or is very complicated. So for every woman over 30 the chances of getting a single man are very slim. The men available are either divorced married or have children from previous relationships.
After depressing the women, Chris said this.
You have to be incredibly choosy. It becomes hard to get Mr Right. You should always vet any man you meet in 15 mins. You should have a checklist and in the first 15 minutes decide if this man is worth getting to know further. If his character and attributes seem ok then you can chat some more. To find out if he is married or committed casually ask about his children. If he has children how he talks about the mother of his children can tell you a lot about his relationship with her. If he gets ticks in all the right boxes then chances are extremely high that this is a guy you could date or be compatible with.
The reason why relationships end badly within the first two years.
Starting with dating it’s because people don’t understand the timescale. They go out and they haven’t defined what they have. So for example a woman goes out with a man and in the first 6-8 weeks doesn’t have the critical discussion about whether they are an item and are planning to be in a monogamous relationship. It is critical that they discuss it and that the man agrees to it. If they don’t have this discussion then further down the line it becomes hard for the man to be monogamous.
Women usually make the decision to marry. If a woman is waiting for a man to make a proposal she may wait forever. Usually, she has to prod the man in the direction and ask where the relationship is going. Otherwise, you will leave together forever and he will never make a commitment.
If you want to know if you are compatible the first kiss is the most likely to stop the relationship. If you kiss somebody and it’s weird and you don’t like it your body is trying to tell you something. If you don’t like the kiss or the smell of that person then your DNA isn’t compatible. Imagine being married for 30 years to a guy whose kiss you can’t stand.
6 months is enough to know if you possibly get married. It’s enough to see if you can cope with the other person’s bad habits. It is important to lay out the money issue before you walk down the aisle. Then you are less likely to fight after marriage. Many married couples end up fighting over money.
The number one reason why people divorce shocked us. According to UN statistics, it is the number of children a couple has. The more children a couple has the less likely they are to divorce. And if a couple has not had children in around 2-3 years the more likely they are to divorce. So you better start working on getting that child soon after you get married was Chris’s advice.
The worst place to meet a potential spouse is in a bar. If you find a man drinks too much by the way the chances of changing him are very low. The best place to meet a potential spouse is through work. You spend a lot of time there. You also meet clients, suppliers etc. the good thing about your workplace is that with your HR recruitment policies you are likely to meet somebody who has the same background or education as you. So we were told to take another look at that accountant we thought was boring!
Chris said that if you are a lady and over 30 you had better get started on looking for a man immediately. There are fewer single men. The most likely man you will get is divorced with children. That was the downside. The good side according to Chris is that they have been well trained by another woman so they are better value for money.
Most career women rarely have a social life so they don’t have time to interview men. Chris also said that most single mums are usually lonely. He said that it is not good to be single. You will be lonely if you don’t have intimacy in your life and usually lonely people have a short life span.
Blended families. About stepchildren, he said it is very hard to love somebody’s children the way you love yours. Your mother no matter how bad you are will love you and defend you. You have even seen it with the evilest men on earth. Their mothers will defend them. It is very hard to love somebody who does not have your DNA the way you would love yours. So the best thing is to try to be their friend and hope that the love and friendship will grow. Don’t disciple your stepchildren. Take responsibility for your own children and your spouse takes responsibility for theirs.
It would be ideal if you could have your children early and they would leave home when you are still young and can do whatever you want. The paradox is the earlier you have children the less money you have when they have left home and the later you get children the more likely it is for you to have money. So you choose what option suits you.
We had a really heated discussion about some of the things he said. What do you think?