A friend of recently sent me a text that said ‘We broke up! Imagine!’ She had been dating this big guy who, as it turned out, was just full of himself. But I didn’t immediately assume that they’d broken up because this girl has a warped sense of humour and could have been referring to her hairdresser who when we first met, I had advised her to sue(we became friends when she didn’t acknowledge that compliment with hot water). Her hairdresser was hadn’t gone anywhere she confirmed but the guy had. I called her some to see if she was ok and to ask what happened because the turn of events was unexpected. She was obviously heartbroken but mostly, she insisted, she was disappointed.
They’d been going out for Seven months. Not enough to warrant a spot on the Guinness Book of Records but seven months of anybody’s life is a long time. What I didn’t get was why she was disappointed. I couldn’t get it because at the very beginning, she had doubts but eventually she decided to take a chance on a brother. Now it’s over and she is disappointed. Disappointed because she believed that it was headed somewhere and that somewhere, if I can take a wild guess, a very wild guess, would be down the aisle. That got me thinking(something I should do less) about relationships. I realize that this post should have been a letter addressed to June. June, to jog your memory, used to be Prof. Pogrey Fox Kiogothe’s neighbour at Young Nation back in the day. She was like a pen pal only she knew stuff; a pen therapist. A teenage boy would write to her saying he was worried about his beards and she would calmly tell him to relax because with time, they’d grow on him. So I figure June would have some equally smart answers to some of my queries.
My main query was about that hope. What makes someone hope there is more to it than what it is? What gives them that idea that the relationship is headed somewhere? I have been in relationships and I know that one question that men dread, apart from ‘Do I look fat in these jeans?’ of course, is ‘where is this heading?’ A smart chap immediately pulls out a pen and paper and proceeds to show, with the help of diagrams, where ‘it’ is headed. A map with the exact aisle is even better. But who is talking about smart? But at what point does a guy decide that It is headed somewhere? Do you wait until she can complete your sentences? Do you wait until you both give the same answers in unison like a choir? Do you wait till she moves in and re-arranges your things such that if she is not around, you have to go to the office in you pyjamas? Do you wait till her brother is comfortable enough to ask you for a loan? Do you wait till she knows where you buried the body? Or do you just hope, believe and trust? Is there a formula with a lot of Xs and Ys that shows why it is headed somewhere? Or why you should make her an ex? Or do you go with what your gut is feeling at the time?
I then wondered whether people whose relationships are shorter than the London marathon see that it is not heading somewhere and check out early before disappointment sets in. I asked a few people and everyone gave a vague answer. No one had it down to a science. In fact, it was pretty much rocket science to most people. But any one worth their salt knows that the jury is out there so I’m putting this one out there; At what point is it headed somewhere?