REBOUND

Jumping back into the dating game

In Summary

Thou shall not be desperate no matter how old you get or how many babies you birth. You are not here for everybody. Wait for you man/men, they are there

Dating in Nairobi is like walking in a room of live wires in wet clothes, barefoot. This is especially so if you are an older woman, with kids and getting back in the dating game. Allow me to offer some words of wisdom.

First, there is the false belief amongst a retarded few that if you are single, older and with children, you are desperate. If you are not, you should be. Why? Your ‘market’ has decreased. Can I take a moment to bind that rubbish and throw it to the pits of hell where it belongs. Hallelujah! Thou shall not be desperate no matter how old you get or how many babies you birth. You are not here for everybody. Wait for you man/men, they are there.

Remember when you first dated, pre kids? You were able to have male friends over to your place and they could spend the night? (I cannot, I got married straight from my mother’s house!) Well, now you cannot involve yourself in such nocturnal activities in your house because you have children.

I cannot stress this enough, protect your children. Remember these tiny humans have gone through a separation or divorce with you. To children it looks like abandonment or rejection. You then bring different men or women and pretend to be a happy family for a day or week. Children do not know when it is pretend or real. So you keep breaking their hearts. There is also the risk of someone molesting your children.

You have kids, or not, but you are definitely older. When you started dating before your first, maybe second, marriage, everything sat where it was supposed to sit. And if it was supposed to bounce it did, quietly. Now, not so much. Some things are softer, longer, even limp, and some others crackle when you take certain positions. This can be a challenge if you are getting into an intimate relationship. You need to have your head on right and have the emotional intelligence to date a mature person who knows bodies change. All bodies, not just yours.

Then there is the challenge of not understanding what is said. You know the lingo changes a lot. So if you have been in a long relationship, you come out here to find people say one thing that means something different. I remember a lady telling us that she met this really great guy who told her he wanted to spend money on her. She thought he meant they could go shopping. He just wanted to buy her drinks and have sex. You can imagine her disappointment. I say ask for things to be made clear. Very important to be on the same page and that everyone can read.

What shocked me most though was what people consider a date. Yes, I am old school. A date to me is dinner or lunch at a quiet restaurant where we can hear and see each other. Where we talk and want to find out about each other. These days, it is going to a rugby game, where you stand around looking like a groupie while the ‘date’ discusses important rugby politics. He occasionally asks if you are ok while handing you a drink, or going to the nyama choma joint where you compete for meat on one platter with his 12 friends and some hang-abouts. Remember we are making things clear, what you consider a date should be clear as well.

Actually, do not be afraid to set expectations. If they are not met, do not be afraid to move on. That is the beauty of dating when you're all grown. Also, because you will be setting expectations and vocalising them, of course, your well-meaning friends will have friends who are just right for you. Do not be upset when the ‘just right’ person is a dirty old man who just learnt he can send porn on WhatsApp. Limit the blind dates and hook-ups from friends. It is neater.

Now that you have started dating, your married friends will be worried that their husbands are on the menu. While you know that that is far from the truth, do not bother trying to convince them otherwise, it is best to stay away or limit the interaction where their better halves are involved. Same applies to situations where maybe you had planned a girls’ night and a husband appears, leave. The devil works well when there is alcohol, darkness, a single woman, a married woman and her husband. Trust me.

Finally, have fun, but remember to protect your body and mind.

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