It is surprising that as women, we are able to climb the career ladder fast by applying simple but great principles, yet these principles do not feature anywhere in our love lives.
Here are some simple but profound principles that are applied in career and in business that, if applied to your love life, could see you bagging that man of your dreams.
1.Those who have found love are willing to be friends first. Those who haven’t will rush into things.
Women who go from one relationship to the other tend to have ‘Damsel in Distress’ syndrome, in that they are looking for a Prince Charming to come along and whisk them out of life’s problems.
They rarely, if ever, look at their boyfriends as real people with problems and deficiencies of their own, and should they ever see those deficiencies, then they would rather break it off than be with a ‘real’ human being.
On the contrary, women who are successful at relationships are willing to be friends first with their partners, and to support them when they need propping up.
Alfred Nyutu who has been married to his wife Pauline for four years, gets just that from her.
“Apart from her extreme beauty and respect, she has a heart of gold. She is my life’s complement,” he says.
They have known each other for 22 years, and Pauline offers this advice to women who would like to be in successful marriages: “Take time to know each other and be each other’s best friend.”
Erick Kibuga, a marketer in his 20s, has known his wife Kari for six years although they have been married for one.
“We were friends before we started dating and got to know each other very well. I found my match in that she was, and is, everything that I had been praying for. It’s not every day that you come across someone who challenges you and makes you a better person,” he says.
Kari adds, “I was there for him through the highs and the lows and most of all, I was me. I did not put up a front. I taught him how to loosen up, laugh and play, enjoy each day as it comes.”
2. Those who have found love continually learn and grow each day. Those who haven’t believe learning ended when the last school bell rang.
Most ladies think it is cool to shout from the rooftops that they cannot cook, that they don’t love the kitchen and babies are just not their thing.
What you forget is that most men are looking for stability in their homes; they want to be able to go out there to catch the fish knowing that when they come back there will be someone to fry it up and they can have a decent meal.
This is the exact principle Liz, a 32-year-old advertising sales executive, applied.
“On my first date with Godi I realised I had messed it all up by telling him just how much the kitchen was not my thing. After our first date I realised he wasn’t into me. I analysed it all and wondered where I could have gone wrong – I was pretty, I had dressed decently, I had a great career going on, and it hit me hard on how I had marketed myself with all these qualities except where it mattered, the kitchen. I really liked this man and wanted a second chance at making a good impression. For one week I spent my evenings looking through the internet for chicken recipes. I found a brilliant one and invited Godi over to my house for dinner. He was shocked and impressed at the same time,” beams Liz.
“After that date, he started looking at me differently. That was the beginning of a great relationship that led to marriage three years ago,” she says.
3. Those who’ve found love think big. Those who haven’t think small.
Most women are the ones shooting themselves in the foot when it comes to finding love. The long list of Mr. Tall, Dark, Rich, Handsome, etc is unrealistic because no one man will ever possess all of these qualities.
Sarah Odhiambo had been one of those women with the long list until she observed some of her friends, and reality hit her.
“I always had this long list of the qualities I looked for in a man, and some were just petty. I had always said I wanted a man who dresses well, smells nice, has the biggest business, but it hit me I could just date a man with his small business who had potential. As for how he dressed, I could easily change that. Just striking out some of these items from my list helped me stop thinking small but think bigger and it bagged me the current man in my life who I have been going steady with for the last year and a half. His business has grown tremendously and he dresses better thanks to my taste. My family has met his and his mine so we are pretty serious. I would not have been here had it not been for me seeing the bigger picture and not that small list of mine,” she says.
Erik Kibuga adds, “Don’t have ridiculous expectations. You won’t find the perfect man who is tall, dark, handsome, doesn’t smoke, doesn’t drink, is rich, and so on. We all have our faults and imperfections. That’s what makes us unique.”
4. Those who’ve found love are committed to finding love. Those who haven’t want to find love.
There is a big difference between wanting something and being committed to getting it. A distraction or hurdle can easily get in the way of a ‘want’. On the other hand when one is committed to finding love, then come what may, they stay true to their commitment to achieving what they want.
Take the example of Immaculate, 36.
“I promised myself that 2010 would not end without me finding the man I loved. Every other year for about three years I had been promising myself that it was my year, but I really never made a commitment to see it happen. 2010 was the year that I stayed true to my commitment. What I first did was to get that haircut that made me look younger and sexy. Then I committed myself to working out not less than four times a week, and lastly, I committed to being more sociable and open to adventure. Every Tuesday I would get in touch with my friends and remind them that I was looking for a serious man. My friends caught on and in no time I was receiving invitations to meet various friends of their boyfriends or husbands. I did not meet the man I felt would be my man in the first seven months, but I did not give up. Nine months into the year, I went for a friend’s wedding looking my best and not feeling dampened because I was still single and searching. At the wedding I met Eddy* who was not only my dream man but also my dream companion. To cut to the chase, we dated for a year. Eddy did not want to wait any longer and after a year he proposed, and last year December we tied the knot,” says Immaculate.
5. Those who’ve found love care about their integrity and reputation. Those who haven’t couldn’t care less.
It has been said it takes a man to tame a wild woman, and true to it, most women who were once upon a time wild and carefree suddenly turn into ladies when they find their man.
32-year-old Jenny*, a business-woman, says, “I used to be all wild, dressing skimpily, talking loudly, getting drunk to a stupor, and my thinking was if the right man came he would love me as I was. I waited and waited, and kissed many frogs along the way. My wake-up call was when my younger sister got her proposal and I was still hanging out with my frogs! This really got me to think about where I was going wrong. This was killing me inside and had to talk to my sisters about it. They were quick to point out that they have been trying to make me see the reality but I was too caught up in my own life; the short, short skirts had to go, the loud indecent talking had to go, the getting drunk had to go. I could still have fun like them without those traits. I wanted to protest that this was me and why did they want me to change, but decided that they were wiser, seeing as they had each bagged for themselves a decent dude. I gradually made my transformation and before my younger sister’s wedding day I was already in a seven-month-old relationship, the longest I had been in a relationship," says Jenny, who has now been in that relationship for 13 months.
6. Those who’ve found love admire those who have. Those who haven’t resent them.
“There was a point in my life when I resented all those women who keep talking about their men, their kids, the family activities. It made me sick hearing them brag,” says 28-year-old Tasha*, a Kenyan actress.
“I would shut down when my friends or colleagues went on and on about their love lives, feeling that they were showing off to those of us who hadn’t found love. But this had to change when my dear best friend found her man and went on to get a child. I couldn’t resent her. I started listening to her go on and on about her life, what she did for her man, what she planned to do for him and gradually, I started admiring her and listening intently to her speak. I found myself emulating some of her new characteristics and within no time, a man I had liked for a very long time (approached me). He suddenly noticed these changes about me which he liked. I didn’t know I had changed but I guess by admiring my friend I kind of borrowed a few of her characteristics. He proposed on Valentine’s Day this year, and we are hoping to tie the knot before the end of this year,” she says.
7. Those who have found love see their glass as half full. Those who haven’t see their glass as half empty.
34-year-old, successful manager in the corporate world, Miriam, had been unlucky in love for years, until her brother mentioned to her that she was not applying the same principles she applies at work in her personal life.
“In my career I always looked at my glass as half full but in my love life, it was the complete opposite; I would notice all my faults and all my boyfriends’ faults instead of seeing what was already great about him and our relationship. I would compare the fact that he didn’t buy me flowers to my friend whose husband used to buy her flowers; what I didn’t recognise was the fact that my boyfriend cooked for me and even did the dishes when most men would rather die than clean up. When this reality hit me, I stopped looking at my glass as half empty but looked at the contents and what I saw was enough to get me to appreciate my man. Two years down the line we have a wedding lined up for August this year.”