Set expectations and intentions for your relationship

Couple

All women should learn to state, at the onset of a relationship, their expectations, and intentions.

Photo credit: Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • When I joined university all my estrogen, progesterone, heck, even serotonin came awake in the presence of hundreds of young men.
  • How was it that other girls remained calm and collected and carried on relationships with these weird species?

Rain harvesting is the way to go if we are to ensure sustainable food security and prosperity for our continent. Folks, that first sentence was purely to put off the underage. There are some adult themes here that I do not want my editor to knock out.

Way back while in high school, I liked a boy. But I had been warned severally about boys, so I completely ignored his attempts to get my attention. Having experienced sexual abuse as a child, I had deep mistrust of men and was painfully awkward in the presence of boys. That boy moved on to another girl, and I thought my sun went out.

Then I joined university and all my estrogen, progesterone, heck, even serotonin came awake in the presence of hundreds of young men, equally hot blooded. I was totally confused about how to react when they approached me. I played hard to get, disinterested, even when everything in me screamed, say yes! I was, once again, heartbroken when they moved on, to pursue other girls.

How was it that other girls remained calm and collected and carried on relationships with these weird species? Their rough stubble, their muscled arms, their deep voices, their propensity for occasional ineptitude intrigued and attracted me.

Much later, as I worried that I would turn 90 without dating, I shared my concerns with an older woman.

“With men, simply tell them your expectations and intentions. Be very open, ask them questions about their intentions,” she told me. “Listen carefully to their response and watch their reactions.”

Greatest advice I ever got about men because it filtered off the chaff. There are those who took off as soon as I asked them what it was that they wanted from me. Instead of playing hard to get, I now tell women to state, at the onset of a relationship, their expectations, and intentions.

Some hard lessons

“It will put off a lot of men, but it will spare you ambiguity and a lot of heartbreak.”

As I write this, I recall a reader here asking me what to do about a woman who had his two children, but he did not consider her his wife.

“She moved in, got pregnant and continued getting pregnant, but I have never married her, not even paid dowry for her.”

He had written, asking me what he should do about his children, since he had found someone that he wanted to marry. I shudder for the someone else that he wanted to marry.

Back to expectations and intentions. That is what I kept in mind when I met Hubby for our third date. As soon as I sat down, I asked him: “What exactly do you want from me?”

He had looked visibly shocked. I had not realised that, while I had had ample time to mule over him, he was just floating, like a guy, going with the flow. But not this woman. She had learned some hard lessons along the way.

“Look, if you want a casual, sexual relationship, we can agree to that. It should be clear what we want from this, at the onset, so that no one feels used…”

When he found his voice, he said: “Well, I want more than that.”

“Fine, we take time, hang out, get to know each other. I am currently not keen on a sexual relationship.”

Intentions and expectations

I also added that I was keen on connection, and I wanted a ring and babies and a present dad to my children.

“I want a married life, church wedding, babies, three of them, the whole works, plus some.”

With the intentions and expectations crystal clear, we had room to enjoy our dating life, without second guessing. By the fourth month, of course his big eyes gave me unholy ideas and his voice suddenly seemed huskier.

He respected my boundaries, which were wearing thin as the chemical reactions of love and lust played a number on us. The other day, I told him that we need to set our intentions and expectations of our marriage relationship, otherwise we will grow bored and get mediocre, with each other.

“As long as there are no rules about sex, I am happy with what you come up with,” he said.

I thought hard and long.

“That’s the thing... it must happen regularly, but not just in the bedroom, other places, variety is the spice of life.”

He is still deciphering this.

Karimi is a wife who believes in marriage. [email protected]

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