I have always been fascinated by the story of how my dad and mum met. It almost feels magical and sometimes unreal – like it was an excerpt copy-pasted out of a fairytale. Their story begins with how my great-grandparents met. They were both farmers who came from totally different parts of the country but somehow happened to be working for the same person on a very big farm. They had both travelled long distances to find work and after months and months of tilling the land, they finally met and started talking.
None of them had ever met, and none of them had been strategically placed on that land but after a short dialogue, both of them swore to their gods that their great-grandchildren would meet and fall in love. The two old men died shortly after – without having shared their desire of seeing their great-grandchildren get married – but sure enough, after 30 years, my dad and mum met, fell in love and got married and I got to hear the story when I turned 27 just as I was about to give up on dating.
I know what you’re thinking, 27 is such an early age, why give up too soon?
See, dating in the 21st century is complicated. In a world where we are ruled by technology and life cannot run smoothly without having a certain app to help us out, I almost wish to have lived in the age of my parents. Life was simpler then. There was no Netflix and chill, no one-night stands and men who only pursue you for sex, no WhatsApp screenshots that could end marriages and lives & there was certainly no Tinder.
My mother always told me that I have the mentality of a man when it comes to dating. I honestly love the chase; that pursuit is a real turn-on for me. But after several failed almost relationships where most of the time the man couldn’t make up his mind on whether he was chasing me or 20 other women, I gave up on the whole dating scene – until I heard of my friend Christine’s story.
Christine and I were friends since high school. We had done hundreds of punishments with her, ‘fell in love’ with boys from different schools and talked about how we’d someday get married to some of these boys in the future. Yes, we were hopeful romantics. Christine then moved to Canada immediately after high school.
After moving back from Canada after 10 years, Christine was lamenting to me how hard it was/is to get a good decent and a gentlemanly guy to date, especially in Kenya. She had been given stories of how most of her friends had been searching for partners to settle down with but they only seemed to be falling for the wrong guy. I have been in Kenya all my life and I am still single so I pretty much shared her sentiments. Christine had however tried out a dating app, Tinder, and was happily married after 2 years after joining the app.
A week after the endless amazing stories about how she and her husband were forever grateful for joining Tinder, she bounded up to my desk at work one afternoon and went on and on about how amazing the application is. I was naturally curious so later that night I downloaded the app, signed up and my world changed.
It took me a while to understand how the app works so let me give you a brief introduction. Tinder is an online dating app that matches couples based on their physical attraction to one another. It also alerts you to other Tinder users who fall within a specified age range and gender and their distance from your location. It’s up to you to decide whether or not you like the person and whether or not you’d like to keep the conversation going. There’s actually a heart icon and a cross below the picture where you tap the heart if you like them and the cross I you don’t. It’s kind of like when your drunk friend introduces you to a hot guy in a club without the cringe of the awkwardness of saying hi to him since your friend (and the alcohol in their system) has already done it for you.
One thing about Tinder is you can find anyone on tinder and I mean ANYONE. From good-looking rich men to guys only there looking for nudes to guys who look nothing like their pictures. I went on 3 Tinder dates. The first guy swept me off my feet. He was not only very good-looking, he was also very respectful and had a pretty good idea of where his life was heading – it’s very hard to find men like that these days. We clicked from the word go and I honestly thought that I would end up spending the rest of my life with this guy but I’ll get back to his story later.
The second guy was some weird pervert who only talked about how he would like to put me in some never heard before Kamasutra positions and do things to me that I only assume would be done in pornography videos. Thank God I hadn’t given this guy my number yet.
The third one was a complete gentleman. I happened to meet him at a time when I lost a close relative of mine and he chose to stick with me through it all. He didn’t even bring up the idea of sex during the time I knew him. He, unfortunately, happened to go MIA on me and I silently suspect that he might have been gay.
So, get your glass of wine or popcorn if you prefer and let me take you back to guy number 1 – the guy who swept me off my feet. He was completely different from other guys I had met and that’s not a cliché. His mannerisms and how he carried himself were not at all what I was used to. Turns out he had studied abroad for a few years, and got married but the marriage went south and he got a divorce. We would spend hours on the phone, we went on mini-vacations out of town and the sex was nothing short of steamy and mind-blowing. It was just magic.
A month after I had made up my mind to give up on Tinder to focus on this guy, he changed. One minute he was hot, the next he was cold. One minute he would be loving, sweet and tender and the next he would blow me off for close to a week. He started saying how ‘we’re just in the right place’ and we should keep seeing each other but only for the sex, which I almost said yes to.
His problem was he just didn’t want to commit just like most guys on these dating apps. Most of them are there for some action with random people to blow off some steam. After four months of an amazing adventure with the hot steamy sex guy, I regretted why I even joined the app thinking it would lead to something serious. I mean it happened for Christine and her husband but I still long to have something that my parents have. Some old-school, non-complicated love isn’t found through apps. Is that so hard to find in this day and age?
The singlehood series is a collection of real-life stories and opinions from different people. It looks at the current world of dating around the world and the experiences that people have gone through.