THE DIVA: Woman, let the man make the first move!

Saturday June 2 2018


By Karimi Gatimi

Call me old school if you must, but I still believe that a man should make the first move in matters of commitment.

Women are brilliant -- they can see the answer to a man’s problems.

We know that his chronic back pain will disappear if he can lead a more active lifestyle, for example taking those long romantic walks with us.

We know his gastritis issues will be a thing of the past if he regularly joined us for our healthy dinners, instead of going out with the boys.

And most importantly, we know that his grouchy mood and cloudy attitude will be a thing of the past if he faithfully stuck to our warm beds.

But despite all this brilliance, women still get into seriously dumb situations.

Take for example: Juma meets Mwajuma, the chemistry is palpable. After a few months of dating, Mwajuma feels that Juma needs a wife. Juma, on the other hand, has not figured this bit yet. In fact, it has not even occurred to him that they are dating. While Mwajuma has edited her contact and now renamed him hubby or bae, Juma’s phone listing for her remains Mwajuma Sinza.

By month four of this relationship, Mwajuma has already moved her basic essentials into Juma’s house – toothbrush, towel, half of her inner wear, clothes and, strangely, a comb. She is blind to the fact that Juma is careful not to leave even his threadbare socks behind when he visits her.

So, she deliberately takes his jacket and keeps it in her closet. She makes a dozen other Delilah moves, including firing his cleaning lady and taking charge of his bachelor pad. Meanwhile, she barely knows his surname. Then she becomes pregnant. This suddenly jolts him out of his stupor. He wants his space. He is not and was never ready for a serious relationship, leave alone a wife and baby; at least not in the near future, he says. She screams murder but he feels caged in, manipulated into something bigger than he ever bargained for.

Choices: From this point, Juma finally takes charge of this situation. It can go a thousand different ways. If he was raised well, he might take responsibility and even hastily, albeit resentfully, arrange to officially make it known that he is now a husband. How that marriage will pan out will be the stuff that thrilling soap operas are made of. There is a responsibility of taking lead in a romantic relationship that we should let the man handle. Period. Stop forcing him, stop manipulating him, and stop taking charge of his life. If he can’t manage his diet, morals and dishes, what makes you think that he can take care of a wife and children? A responsible man will make his intentions clear and follow them with clear and definite actions, such as introducing you to his mother and setting a date to meet your father. He will also be careful about who moves into his space. And most definitely, he will be the one who makes the decision of when and who to ask for their hand in marriage. When you pack and move in with Juma and start calling him your husband, soon enough you will be seeking help from social media. Rushing a man to make a marriage commitment to you only leads to heartbreak. As women, we have the unfortunate propensity to do what the Swahili call shida za kujiletea (looking for problems). We walk into a problem with our eyes wide open.