The twenties are tapering off. You are in the best shape of your life; have a steady job, a tastefully furnished apartment, a new car so why are all the men treating you like some side chick? You have attended one baby shower too many and your peers keep wondering why a girl of your means and looks keeps attracting losers. Why doesn’t anyone consider you wife material? Guys will run away from commitment for 101 reasons but they are some behaviour traits displayed by Kenyan women that simply read bumps ahead.
1. You are act like a groupie.
Perpetually star struck, wallowing in a celebrity bubble and the man knows he only got snapped up because her friends claim you look kinda like Idris Elba. It does not take long before the man realizes that he could never live up to your ideal fantasy boyfriend.
2. He feels like a third wheel.
He trails a distant second after your parents, your friends, your pet (also known as the vetting committee) and is regularly reminded of the weight of their approval if he hopes to take relationship to the next level.
3. You hate men.
Some pitiful male from your past screwed up royally and left you scarred. It does not make all men guilty. Some women get into the lazy habit of holding men as the source of all their problems and refuse to take personal responsibility for their woes and that is a yawn.
4. Treating him like a sperm donor.
You can’t stop talking about babies. He has voiced aversion towards having a child but you still refuse to take safe sex measures, hoping to be ‘accidentally’ knocked up. Turning a man into a parent without his consent and dragging him through court for abdicating responsibility leaves such residual bitterness and it only ends up punishing innocent kids.
5. Using your success as a crutch.
You made the top list of inspiring women under 40. Not all men have a problem playing second fiddle in a relationship but not when you treat him like he is warming the seat for a worthier candidate.
6. Using the promise of sex as a pawn.
A man can take a tease and we understand the training. If we behave, we get to taste the bone. But don’t be flirtatious then get offended when he springs a woody and gets fidgety.
7. You have a reputation but play the pious nun.
Guys gossip too when you develop a reputation as an easy lay they won’t be fooled when you play hard to get. Women known to keep multiple partners are considered high risk. Men will stick around for the regular romp but will seek their keeper elsewhere.
8. Thinking your time is his time.
One of your affirmations was to get married by 25. You have fallen in love and the poor bastard has to keep to a schedule. He doesn’t even know your middle name yet and she is considering locations. He may love you but when marriage is not a top priority, he will run for the hills.
9. It takes two to tango.
There are very few naturally gifted lovers. Most guys learn through trial and error and rely heavily on positive feedback. At the very least you must be able to tell a man what works for you in bed. Women become very unattractive when they make lovemaking a chore.
10. You think it is sexy to be vain.
Men fall for divas all the time because they dazzle. But when a woman remains continually entitled, attached to their looks or position in society, the fascination soon turns to boredom and a man realizes that your ego leaves no room for a relationship.
11. He is objectified as a success symbol
Day into night, you play gentleman, and the unexpected happens, your bank goes offline, rendering you cash strapped before a special night treat. Any woman who does not immediately respond, “Darling, let’s make this my treat for a change” just comes out looking like a leech. He knows he has to keep spending to receive ‘love’.
12. Keeping up with the Joneses.
You knew her as a naive college student from the country. Now she is one of those people who talk big without the benefit of finesse. She will order the most exotic item on the menu only to realize that sushi doesn’t taste like tilapia. She is playing out of her league. Any woman who is too busy trying to make the celebrity watch list won’t be investing much time in a nurturing a relationship.
13. Subjecting a man to some rules you read in a book
Despite the denial, she fancies you so she plays ‘The Rules’. Every time you make a move, she reaches out for a restraining clause from the great book for ‘date protocols’ amongst a host of other absurd strategies that only aid in sending men off in the opposite direction.
14. Damsel in perpetual distress
Some women are needy and emotional vulnerable all the time. A man feels like he is always trying to defuse a crisis that is not of his making. Playing damsel in distress to get a man’s attention works. Initially, it may make a man feel good as the chivalrous knight to the rescue. But sustained distress can drive even the most loyal knight off in frustration.
15. When you think smoking makes you look sophisticated
Flaunting your reckless lifestyle is plain ignorant. You like to get high but you don’t know your limits and every time you go out, there is a scene. Besides being a regular source of embarrassment, you are unlikely to fit any first lady role.
PS: This article first appeared in True Love East Africa magazine, June 2013 issue.