She says… Ladies, love thyself first

| March 1, 2013 - 12.22UTC

Another 14 February has been and gone, and the patron saint of love doesn’t seem to be doing his job, laments Rose Odengo.

If St Valentine were alive and keeping a tally on his success at spreading romance, he’d find that Kenya is where he’s crashed and burned. Here, he and Cupid need to seek serious reinforcements.

That’s clear from a phenomenon that’s really popular right now: radio hosts either hooking people up or busting cheating couples live on air – from freaky 60-something women looking for the next 20-year-old playboy, to married men who can’t keep it zipped up. As far as I’m concerned, Valentine’s Day is a waste of time: if you can’t show your love for your beloved on the other 364 days in a year, why should that one day count?

Recently I was listening as a friend of mine hosted one of these talkshows. Lo and behold, Kenyans are a genuinely jaded people! According to Kenyan women, our men rank lowest in the chart of ‘ideal African men to date’. (Nigerians top the rankings, thanks largely to Nollywood and male songbirds 2Face Idibia and P-Square.) On the show, women referred to men as dogs, egomaniacs, misers and man-whores. And the men referred to women as unsubmissive, ungrateful, materialistic and deluded ‘soap-opera romantics’. The negative energy spewed endlessly.

To resolve all these personal bad experiences, I suggest that each sex should seek to understand the other. I come from a school of thought that reckons men and women are not the same, and were never meant to be. Life would be boring if we were. We were made to complement each other – that is what makes life, and love, beautiful.

First, every woman should read Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man by Steve Harvey. It helps you understand how men think, and the power you have as a woman. To understand even better, read He-Motions by TD Jakes – really insightful. It makes you more aware of how men and women are ‘wired’ differently.

Once you do that, you gain a more realistic approach to love and life. Because – let’s face it, ladies – not all that goes wrong in relationships is the man’s fault. At times we all walk into relationships with irrational expectations.

If there’s one thing life and love have taught me, it is that we must manage our expectations. Know your man. If he is not a romantic type, don’t script a fairy-tale-style dream-date in your mind that you know darn well he won’t deliver.

No, be realistic about romance – and learn to love yourself first. Once you can do that, you’ll be able to show any man who comes your way just how well you deserve to be treated. Because from what I have learned, men need to be shown.

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