Young couples in Kenya hardly date – just hang out.
Lovebirds hang out over a drink at the local, watch a soccer match and before long – an extended stay gets stamped a marriage.
- Yes, he pays the rent and buys fancy crop tops and stilettos – but, is there any chemistry betwixt you? If he has to get sloshed or high for a resounding romp in the sack, well…. Have you suggested anything beyond the usual, normal and boring in bed? His response?
- You both had bosom opposite-gender friends. What are the boundaries? Is kissing, hugging or hanging out alright? What’s right and what’s not about your relationship that worth sharing with them? Are you comfortable with this lot? DEFINE BOUNDARIES!
- No matter how trivial this seems, alliances make or break. Who’s elder? Does it affect decision-making when together? Do you get an edgy feel – akin to trudging on egg shells – whenever the topic crops up?
- This is an offshoot of the backgrounds, childhoods. A practicing Catholic paired up with an atheist need to reach an amicable middle ground. The Daddy-Mummy evangelist churches – do you both adore your favorite pulpit couple? Tithing, time spent in fellowships, counselling sessions – DEFINE THE BASICS!
The Ambition Curve
- After the first few (and, furious) romps in the sack, pillow talk gradually drifts away from the heady soap-opera themes. Take the moment, and ask: “Babe, where do you see us in the next 5 years?” If he stutters – if she takes the moment to hit the bathroom – take the cue. Do not be left high and dry if the cock crows the third time.
- Everyone in this millennia has a random ‘Boo’, ‘Bae’, Swits’ et al – on social media. How serious is it? To what level will you allow this flirting? Do you post photos of each other on your handles? It’s important to keep some aspects of your relationship private, as the Wata Achana Tu Brigade runs on free mode and doesn’t hesitate to troll at the slightest sign of cracks!
- This should be the first major talk, but it’s as uncomfortable as hell. Who pays the household bills? Are you in debt? Will we save as a couple – ama ni kila mtu ajipange? Whose other-habit eats into the overall finances, like drinking, gambling, shopping …….
- Some people want kids, others do not. Someone wants to adopt, another wants to breed a netball litter. If a guy wants a picture-perfect family but the partner wants to slay, rave and road-trip for ‘a couple more years’, well, the end is nigh. FIND A BALANCE!
- Some tribes (no, offense), have disgusting social habits. If you date a Giriama lady, for instance, expect a couple more shemejis’ seeking entitlement to live and thrive in your household. Their culture serves no chills in matters privacy, or the extent. This, too, should feature when the Money-talk issue is on the table.
The Commitment Curve
- One day, just for fun, drop the What If question: What if I got a terminal disease today, what would you do? It sucks big time – but, it’s a perfect soul opener for your partner. The key here is timing. It’s not something to drop on him in the middle of dinner, or God forbid – when his Arsenal is losing. BE CRAFTY!
Oh, something else:
Kenyan men do not formally propose. They just give the girl a spare key to their cribs.
Congratulations. You are now engaged.