"He wants to be with me. He loves me. It's just that he can't leave the woman he lives with because he doesn't want to upset his family. He is with me most of the day anyway. He only goes home to sleep," I listened as this woman who has been dating a man who is clearly in a relationship with someone else tried to justify something to herself.
Kenyans are an optimistic lot. The recent global survey put our optimism levels at 70 percent. I am not sure whether our hopeful outlook towards life has something to do with it, but the Kenyan woman clearly has a problem seeing or believing that her relationship is a sunken boat.
She will give excuses about why she imagines that man she likes hasn't gotten into her DM which is apparently the new way of courtship – we are too lazy for the good old phone calls or physical visits with flower bouquets. She will blame his busy job, will be convinced that he just hasn't found the right time yet and if she can't find an excuse, she will decide that she must be intimidating, this man wants her but must be scared of her. Even when a man out rightly breaks up with her, she will pore over the things he says. Oh, he said that the timing is bad, does this mean that he will come back later?
I think we need to tone down on the optimism and be a little realistic. If there is anything I have learnt about men these past few years, other than the fact that we are all not as different as we like to think, it is that if a man wants to be with you, he will make a move. If he wants you, you will hear about it. It doesn't matter that dating him is something that would never cross your mind. I spoke to a high profile corporate woman recently who was shocked when a gateman who has been showing what she thought was a fatherly concern for a while, suddenly asked her if he could take her on a coffee date.
If he wants to date you, he will try. So if he isn't trying to date you, he doesn't want you. Stop looking for excuses for his disinterest.
It's the same thing with cheating. A man that wants to cheat, will. It doesn't matter how good you look or how many gourmet meals you can whip up.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with a woman desiring to be fit, be made up all the time or become domesticated. The only problem is if her motivation to want these things is to keep a man.
Nothing can keep someone that doesn't want to be kept. Not a handful of babies, not hot meals, not even being the best looking woman in every room. Just ask Beyoncé.
Part of growing up is seeing the men you get into relationships with as adults whose actions and decisions you have no control over. Not babies who can be manipulated or semi-adults who do not really know what they want.