Lowering your dating standards

06 February 2015

There’s a lump in your throat, tears are swelling just behind your eyelids and you feel you are about to cry.

You look to the sky, frantically trying to find something to distract yourself as you hopelessly fight the tears.

“Why me dear God, why me? I am a good Christian, I pay my tithe and volunteer at the church so why is this happening to me?” you whisper under your breath.

Then the answer hits you like brick over the head. This is happening to you because your cousin told you one too many times that you are too picky and snobbish when it comes to dating.

You scrutinise every little thing about your “potential”. From the way he chews his food, down to the way he breathes.

If his nose flares too violently or it resembles Connie Ferguson’s when she starred as cocaine hooked Karabo Moroka in Generations, then he’s gone.

Sometimes you go on a horrible date that you would not even wish on your worst enemy because you would have lowered your standard to date an uncultured person.

The person who chews loudly with their mouth open, occasionally smacking their lips and chewing on bones in your favourite posh restaurant as their way of saying “compliments to the chef”.

Or the girl who wears fishnet stockings, thigh-high boots and a sheer top when you take her to dinner with your business partners.

She will loudly chew gum all through your conversation, wrap it around her finger and somehow get it stuck in her oversized earrings.

The guy who you invite to meet your friends, and can’t hold a conversation unless it has to do with his aspirations to become the next John Cena or how thugs stabbed his friend the day before over a bottle of Monis Granada.

Just before they bring the bill, he will instigate a silly argument and storm off, and leave you red-faced with the bill.

In all honesty, he never said he was a gentleman and he strongly believes chivalry is a type of car only wealthy people drive.

At the parking lot he will fight you for the coins that you want to give to the car guard. He will wrestle you to the ground, take the N$5 you have in your hand, give the guard a single dollar and keep the rest for himself even though it wasn’t his money to begin with.

For some people, these may sound as insignificant scenarios and not enough to be a deal breaker. If anything, it’s the kind of story you laugh about on your honeymoon and tell your grandchildren about one day.

But that is only if you date someone who meets all your requirements. Whether you care to admit it or not, everyone has a checklist, and it doesn’t have to be a physical list but you also know what you are looking for in a partner mentally.

That is not necessarily a bad thing, which is until you start listening to your relatives who try to put the fear of God in you by saying you will die alone Out of fear of ending up like Hedviga Golik, who lay dead for 41 years in her flat, you lower your standards to date someone you know is clearly beneath you.

Depending on your priorities, your compromise could be finances, education or just their etiquette in public.

Some people refuse to shoulder the burden of being the sole provider in the relationship, while others want to hold their heads high as they boast about their partners’ academic accomplishments at a cocktail party.

Other people just want someone who opens the door, pulls out a chair or boosts their ego when they are out in public.

If your new potential checks out 3 out of 10 on your ideal partner list, you should walk away because that tiny scab will soon become a gaping wound that will never heal as long as you remain together.

It is better to be alone, than to be in an unhappy relationship just to prove a point to the rest of the world.

Therefore, the next time a manager at your company decides to give your number to a street vendor with cracked heels that will not stop bleeding, think very hard whether it’s worth it.

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The Windhoek Observer is an English-language weekly newspaper, published in Namibia by Paragon Investment Holding. It is the country's oldest and largest circulating weekly.

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