BFFs

Cross-sex friendships are based on attraction and quest for chemistry. A number of them survive devoid of lust but only for a limited period of time before one party develops a crush on the other. World over, the best selling romantic novels and movie series are based on long-time best friends falling in love. Platonic friendships are based on exuding a mutual connection without worrying of judgments, however, they travel along a very slippery path that could beat the whole purpose of the relationship. So, are platonic friendships sustainable in the long run? Do you have a friend of the opposite sex who portends a harmless and too-caring demeanor?

Would you allow your girlfriend or wife and vice versa to have an all-time best friend from the other gender? And the role of a best friend would include advising and acting as a trustee and confidant to your significant other. He or she would be narrated all your weaknesses and advise your partner accordingly on how he or she would react, including having the rights to lend a shoulder to lean on when your relationship hits a snag. In other words, you’d be reported to him or her whenever you disappoint. He or she will also tend to grasp so much of your spouse’s secrets than you’ll ever know. If that’s the case, how far should best friends go and where should you draw the line?

Something is for a fact though – Relationships that rely on third parties to iron out their issues run into a lot of troubles and vulnerabilities. As a matter of fact, couples that engage in infidelity have best friends being their first line of target. Bffs offer the very first grounds for luring couples into cheating if not putting the relationship into jeopardy. And it starts with emotional cheating before progressing to the physical one. Speaking of which, who provides the best fodder and fertile land to cheat on, than a bff who is more than ready and available to suck up all your emotional baggage? That’s where the chicken come home to roost, warming up to his/her emotional attachment which includes subtle flirting.

When you get into a long-term relationship that is likely to lead to marriage, the first agenda should be to identify all his/her bffs and run through their specific roles. Get to know the unique purpose they play and this vacuum they tend to fill. Of course, this should be done at the courtship stage in a very diplomatic way that requires a lot of delicate balancing.  The thing is, you must reign on bffs from the opposite sex no matter how good they are or assumed to be before they reign on you. It’s a question of who brinks fast and whose interests are being served. If it’s to secure your territory in the long run, it will so much depend on how you relate to your partner’s bff on the onset. If they imagine they are unchallenged or it’s business as usual, then they will gradually amass enough guts to even casually tease around your man/woman in your vicinity. You and I know too well where this can lead to. If you make your bed, so must you lie on it.

So, how do bffs come about? How do we find ourselves in these circumstances?

In my opinion, there are four avenues that provide the necessary ingredients and breeding ground for bffs to germinate, prosper and eventually shadow your introspection.

Way-back EXs

An Ex is a dangerous card if shuffled around. They are hazardous and infect like plagues hence why by all means possible, they should be completely shut off from one’s life. If that’s not the case, they have a way of making very calculated risks and scoring long balls from half the pitch. If given a chance, they have a way of warming up to bffs where they will camp for a while as they gather sufficient intelligence and devising ways to disarm and arm-twist you and finally recharge when you least expect.

Friendzone

Friendzone is a situationship where potential boyfriends/girlfriends are sort of locked in for god-knows how long. These are friends who, unfortunately, are not very appealing to being somebody’s partner even when they show the interest and flair of it hence given a soft landing so to speak, in the friend zone arena. There’s usually one or two traits about them that rather doesn’t convince or encourage you to jump into dating them. It could be that they neither have that charm and the wow-factor nor a substantial level of fire that is required for the relationship to bear legs. But they are good keeps for friends though. They end up being very entertaining friends, loyal and dependable since they are always ready to please you.

Familiarity

Familiarity is slightly different from being friendzoned in the following aspect – The person in this context could possess all the qualities of a person you could date but your connection tends to go overboard to an extent both of you develop a sibling-like kind of attachment. If it’s the dude, he sort of fails to give the aroma that comes with dating and you end up becoming too close at the wrong stage of the friendship. Or the person becomes too nice, too genuine and too available. Sometimes that alone holds back someone’s feelings. You see, to be attracted to someone, there should be that element of working hard to clinch it. When the person is too available, too willing to bend over to your terms and too submissive, it kills the magical oomph that is cognisant to keeping the two hearts dazzling and synchronized. Eventually, one can be friendzoned.  You could think of a deskmate or classmate or a girl/boy next door relationship.

Family friends

Any typical family has a tradition of cultivating and maintaining a special relationship with another family sharing the same values.  It happens that under these occasional encounters, children belonging to these two families are compelled to be friends, right from childhood all the way to adulthood and observe the requisite level of diplomacy to their counterparts. Normally, these friendships may lead to lifetime friends if not marriage. These kind of relationships are clouded by a lot of commonalities and history hence forming an ideal basis for bff friendships to blossom.

Couples should be very careful about how they navigate the whole idea of engaging third parties in their marriages/relationships to administer solutions to their marital flaws. The more one engages third parties the more they become vulnerable to infidelity. You see, cheating is cancerous and breeds very aggressively the moment third parties, especially from the opposite gender, get privy to privileged information about the struggles of a so-called best friend in a committed relationship.

More often than not, bff friendships that work around underneath marriage and stable relationship establishments, have a way of draining the enthusiasm and energy from the primary relationship hence deflating these solid relationships to empty shells that risk capsizing.

 

 

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TET A TET WITH DAD

Dad & Son When a friend narrated to me how once in a while he teams up with his dad to cultivate some men talk in a bar, it took me back. It baffled and fascinated me at the same time. If my dad was alive today, would he call me at one of those lazy Saturday afternoons and be like –  “Hey, are you free, can we meet in town?” And I’d respond from the other end; “Oh sure, why not?” Why I’d be baffled is because my dad wouldn’t dare drink, smoke or act drank right in front of his children. If he was alive today and his sons having grown beards and clocking three decades, he’d perhaps be tempted to surprise us with one of those pep talks.

I’d meet him in a bar that has dignity and manners where old folks mostly retirees drink diligently listening to permeating country road music that would soothe even their bone marrow. Certainly, it would not be the same us listening to Man Not Hot lyrics as all they do is prick the ears – Pap, pap, ka-ka-ka! Skindiki screw pap-pap And a pu-pi-drrr-boom! Skya Du-du-ku-ku-pun-pun Poom-poom.  And it would be a man’s exclusive club kind of thing, not a dodgy, stuffy bar with half-naked lasses dancing exotically. By the way, such a rendezvous encounter would be next to rare to ever happen since normally the two of us would only have such talks when I visit home or during family meetings.  Anyway, back to the bar stuff. Here, the waiters would be decently dressed buttoning up their shirts to the last button and crowing it with a bow-tie and their skirts length being at the knee. This would be in sharp contrast to the usual ones we are used to, who parade their cleavages and upper thighs for whoever is interested in devouring them and wear high heals taller than their reputes. They’d also have different varieties of brandy and torts hedged along their handkerchief-long skirts to seductively convince you to sample them.

We’d sit in one of those isolated corners and delve in man to man talk as we pour down our throats some cold stuff after savouring on a fish fillet fingers meal served with tartar sauce and frozen wedged Nyandarua potatoes for late lunch. The only thing that would eavesdrop our conversation would be the cold breeze permeating through the elegant one – way glass window, doing a lot of justice to the soaring temperatures of the so-called month of love and romance.

We would dig into self-employment and how it has been like close to a year after I made the decision to quit my employment where I’d worked for 5 solid years with an assured salary and job security.  I’d make dad understand how tough the decision was but a turnaround to how I viewed life going forward. The fact that my conscious, soul, spirituality, family and body language were all for it, I was more than ready to explore the world I hadn’t, having been confined for five years doing the same thing day in day out in the same environment so to speak. He’d nod as his hands tore apart the finger-licking meal. I’ll be like; “Dad, self-employment is very very tough, challenging, risky, unpredictable but very fulfilling. This is because I found it very unfair working all my prime years for someone under his terms. I have always desired to do what I love most. Trading my skills at the highest reasonable price and having time to nurture my writing career and enough for my family. Enough to visit you and mum upcountry and initiate projects that I will have the free-will to monitor without requesting permission from my damn boss. Being flexible and relying on my hard work instead of the mercy of someone, was what was burning inside me before I quit my job.”

Dad would interject and be like; “Andrew, that was exceedingly profound of you. Since success is all about transformation. In other words, it’s an enemy of stagnation and comfort zone. It’s the continuous disruption of your comforts. You know when you are employed an 8-5 job, somebody tends to program your destiny. However, self-employment is not for the faint-hearted, it must be done at the right time when one is well prepared.”

We’d talk about the boy child and how he has been the laughing stock; receiving all the ridicule and sideshows the world has got. I’d indulge dad of how and when we lost it as poor sons of the soil. Dad would gulp his wine glass and take his time fetching for a perfect answer. “You know Andrew, we no longer have credible role models for the boys out there and gentlemen to identify with. Many dads, no longer care about legacies they are passing on to their sons. There is no mentorship at all. Look at the many forums available for women to empower themselves. We forgot about traditions and our culture. How many of your peers for instance have joined the association of Kiama kia Ma where young Gikuyu men are nurtured and comprehensively introduced to the cultures of a typical Gikuyu man and endowed with a responsibility to not only be a custodian of our heritage but to protect and abide by it and help it flourish to the rest who are not in the know. Again, conventional men have become too emotional and fluid. They are too insecure, sensitive and seeking lots of validation from social media and a world that, in fact, is exerting its energy in demasculinising them.

We’d explore on how marriage institution is being fought left, right and centre and how weak-man-syndrome has grossly contributed in tainting it. “You know your generation has an immense problem with commitment. You have no patience over anything. And again, you want it all. You can’t have your cake and eat it. You must learn to live with your wife no matter what…not unless a life is threatened. Your generation must have the balls to confront life even when the situation doesn’t favour you. You must demonstrate the character of not giving up easily,…holding on and believing it will eventually work out.  It’s important for the married to learn how to fuse their characters with those of their spouses and compromising on areas that would otherwise trigger issues.” He would quip.

“Dad, have we over glorified success and got it all wrong?” I’d ask him. “Seemingly so! Young people aren’t shy from quick stuff, instant gratification, eeeh and quick success that has no foundation nor grace.”

We’d talk about his passion for livestock keeping and how he’s carrying on with it. “Zero grazing is awesome. I’m enjoying it but it’s a bit dry now though I’ve stocked enough hay for the next 8 months and lots of nappier grass in the shamba. Interestingly, the bull rearing business is really picking up. I’m buying young ones soon after the weaning stage and reselling them at a substantial profit 2 – 3 years down the line. I have clients from as far as Isiolo and Makueni.”

Occasionally our thoughts would be lost in the moment a while longer. We’d gaze at the silhouettes of birds flying home across the sky as dusky darkness would intensify giving way to thousands of stars littered all over the place. At such a moment, it would beckon to both of us that it’s time to leave.

WHY MARRIAGE IS STRUGGLING

Ladies and gentlemen, sad to let you know we are in deep sh*t. As we speak, marriage institution in Kenya is under assassination and serious siege. In other words, it’s half frozen, its nostrils dangling in deep waters, legs upside down, wobbling for help. It has been forcibly captured and capsized by the evil, bloody spirits full of venom and where Samanthas, Slay queens, Side dishes, Strippers, Socialites, Seducers, Sponsorees, Serial Killers, Slanderers and did they say Sh*tholes…call the shots and rule with impunity in this game of musical chairs.  It’s not even a question of broken vows or dishonoured promises but who is behind strangling marriage and oiling the evil spirits that are getting into people’s heads only to unleash terror, horror, violence, bloodshed and premature deaths to the very core of society – Family. Here, we are gazed by a shocking reality pondering on what may have warranted such horrible, painful, cold, bloody and untimely deaths of precious loved ones.

Deaths that have left behind traces of gaping voids that depict a nation badly wounded and bleeding from within. Desperation, ill mental health, lack of stress management mechanisms and moral rot can only be assumed as the obvious causes of such dire calamities that have befallen today’s society. What is left behind is a community picking up the pieces and trying to make sense of these wild patterns that have rendered many orphans, single parents, divorcees, or empty shells of debris after an entire family lineage has been wiped off.

Marriage has been ransacked and tore apart by hungry carnivores in the name of Alcoholism, Cheating and Infidelity, Finances, Low libido, Mistrust and a society struggling with debauchery addiction. Speaking of finances – They say money and marriage is an age-old problem. Many married couples face tests that threaten to crumble down their marriages whenever they fail to come clean on their financial status and worth. In fact, a myriad of conflicts in marriage has been attributed to couples mistrusting one another on money issues and undisclosing how much they own. Some go to an extent of operating secret bank accounts or registering their assets with the names of their children and not their spouses. Couples that tend to show an unusual appetite for materialism desires at the expense of cultivating authentic happiness are much vulnerable to money-related conflicts regardless of how rich or poor they are.

Further, many married women are living lonely and unhappy lives due to men forsaking to honour their cardinal responsibility of providing for their families. On the other hand, legions of women too, are triggering lots of pressure to their husbands to live up to the expectations of the social class they perceive to be in. Consequently, if such men don’t honour such expectations, they are denied respect and dignity in their homes and gradually become way unpopular even to their children. Much propaganda is fed to the kids thereby poisoning their souls to abhor cold feelings towards their dads.

Marriages that have no common goals or priorities tend to weaken their financial growth and capacity. While everybody should be allowed to pursue their individual goals in life, in marriage, major decisions that affect a huge chunk of the family budget should be smoothly harmonised to avoid future conflicts. It’s a fact that, spendthrift is the number one financial cause for divorce be it in gambling, alcohol or impulse buying. While it may be smooth sailing for ordinary relationships, clearly, marriage has never been a bed of roses and as it demands disclosure and transparency for fewer conflicts to occur. Those who defy this rule find the going quite unbearable and tough.

Infidelity in marriages has contributed to many bloody separations if not leading to death. No one time hasn’t the media reported of cases of love-triangles oscillating around married people and side women. Many marriages have come to a grand halt due to cheating or realising their marriages have been rocked by secret concubines. Majority of men are very much vulnerable to keeping side women for selfish desires. Concubines use soft power strategy which usually involves massaging man’s ego and tending to depict submissive demeanour to win over them. What many men don’t realise or only do it in hindsight when it’s too late, is that concubines’ end game is to eliminate man’s wife from her territory and ending up inheriting what the wife or children would have stood to gain. Broadly, we have two types of cheaters. People who cheat because it’s in their DNA and character to cheat. These are fellows who can’t control themselves whenever an alluring skirt wearer is in their vicinity. They are controlled by lust and tend to cover up their insecurities by breeding as many cheats in their lives. Indeed, it’s a question of seeking validation and feeding their life inadequacies. The other lot of marriage cheats happen due to prolonged dissatisfaction or unresolved issues in marriage. While this is not an excuse, it’s important for couples to address issues timely instead of shelving them under the carpet where they build up only to choke them later on.

Does it bother you how many young ladies in their twenties and early thirties that find it attractive to date married men? While this is done perhaps to boost their narcissistic ego and feed their hypersexuality, many more practice it out of peer pressure for financial breakthroughs. And with all due respect to single mums, there are a number of them who chest thump on social media how they are able to provide for their kids if not playing the role of father and mum which by the way is a credit to them, BUT end up being laid by married men not once, not twice, not thrice but regularly. Woman, that’s double standards!

Clearly, we are a generation that due to its insatiable desire to live-large, exude instant gratification or clueless on coping with life’s demands and dynamism are unable to manage our stress levels. Unfortunately, we’ve left poorly lit and ill-funded mental facilities and very few number of counsellors and unaffordable psychiatrists to address the issue of depression. Surely, Mathare Mental Hospital is a drop in the ocean if we will ever successfully address stress-related deaths in the society. Mental health needs to be well funded and devolved. As a matter of fact, we need well equipped mental hospitals in every County in Kenya.

Be it as it may, we need to indulge further as a nation on the need to preserve family heritage by reclaiming it from the jaws of domestic violence and unfounded deaths. Worse still, the fact that innocent children are being killed in the melee of unresolved issues is an invitation for God’s wrath on us. Moreover, bloodshed is a direct curse. No one has the mandate to terminate another person’s life regardless of the situation.

More fundamentally, couples should take their time in dating to learn more about each other. And while it’s naive to imagine you can exhaust getting to know somebody, usually, there are red signs and no go zones traits you can observe while still dating someone. Besides, getting to know one’s family, their values and reputation is equally as important. By the way, successful marriages are not about marrying the most curvaceous woman or the tallest and richest man, it’s about investing in discipline, authentic friendship, teamwork and sacrificing for one another for the greater good of family accomplishment.

 

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