Posted Thursday, May 27 2010 at 14:23
If you’re single, and wondering why you just cannot get someone to love you, maybe you should read this.
“Today’s singles are just not proactive enough, they’re unwilling to look beyond the traditional boundaries of dating, yet it is obvious that this isn’t working for them,” begins Pastor David Muriithi of House of Grace, when asked why he thinks there is an increasing number of single people, especially in the Church, today.
Pastor Muriithi sees nothing wrong with searching for a life partner through the internet, and in fact encouraged the singles in his church a few Sundays ago to take advantage of the limitless opportunities for meeting new people that technology presents.
“If you think that your future husband will miraculously float through the church window near you or knock on your front door and ask you to marry him, you’re living in a fool’s paradise,” he adds.
Now, don’t get him wrong, he does agree that one can meet the person they’re destined to spend the rest of their lives with in church because he knows many who have, but, he argues, if you have been looking in your local church for years and haven’t found ‘the one’ yet, maybe it is time you expanded your horizon.
His advice to Christian singles who are keen on settling down, is to look beyond the gates of the Church for a partner if they haven’t found one there yet.
Obviously, Pastor Muriithi is not your typical man of cloth, and as we engage him further, the more we’re convinced that maybe, his unconventional approach to dating is what singles who, for whatever reason, are unable to find love, need to consider.
This Sunday, (tomorrow) Pastor Muriithi will conclude a series of talks targeting single people, which has been running since the beginning of this month at House of Grace Church, where he ministers.
“The number of men and women in their 30s and 40s who are single is rising, therefore being single is no longer a transitional period,” he notes, explaining that this is what motivated him to come up with month-long sermons tailor-made for the single group that is searching.
Interestingly, he believes that many who fall within this bracket are alone because of what he calls self-imposed roadblocks.
Here are 10 dating myths which he believes are the main stumbling blocks in your search for a life-partner.
Myth 1: There must be something wrong with me
There’s nothing wrong with you, the problem is that you have set your standards too high. Pastor Muriithi is convinced that many women are single because their expectations of the ideal man are totally unrealistic.
They want a man who lives in Runda and drives a Mercedes Benz. This man, he says, does exist, but he already belongs to someone else, so he will never be yours.
His advice? Go for that man who lives in a rented house and takes a matatu to work and mold him into the kind of man you envision sharing your life with.
The problem with today’s single woman, Pastor Muriithi says, is that she wants to take the shortcut by going for a man who has been nurtured and polished by another woman instead of travelling the entire road and finding herself her own man.
“When I met my wife, I was a broke college boy, but she loved me anyway, and would gladly pay for the coffee when we went out because she had a job.”
His wife, he points out, saw beyond the ‘broke’ image and helped nurture him into the man he is today.
“Single women keen on settling down should have the courage to give a chance to that man with little or nothing but who shows potential to succeed – the answer doesn’t lie in another woman’s man,” he says.
Myth 2: Only ‘loose’ women ask men out
Pastor Muriithi says that gone are the days when a man made all the moves.
“Come on, this is the 21st century and the truth is that some men need help when it comes to courting!”
Asking a man you’re interested in out for a cup of tea, he feels, does not mean you’re desperate or ‘easy’, if anything, what you have done is take your future into your own hands.
What most women don’t know, the pastor explains, is that most men are afraid of rejection and therefore keep their distance rather than be rejected by a woman they fancy.
Go on then, be proactive and ask that man you have been admiring out for a date; he might just turn out to be ‘the one.’
Myth 3: Only desperate people use the internet to search for mates
Meeting your soulmate the traditional way seems romantic, but if your expectations aren’t being met, then it only makes sense to cast your net wider, reasons the pastor.
“If it is true that women outnumber men by a considerable percentage in Kenya, why would a woman want to limit herself to a village with 200 men where 150 are already married anyway?” he wonders.
Love transcends boarders, so dare to go beyond your comfort zone and you might just be pleasantly surprised.
Myth 4: Older women shouldn’t date or get married to younger men
“I have married couples where the woman was significantly older than the man and they’re still happy together,” says Pastor Muriithi, noting that the Bible does not condemn such relationships.
He explains that the success of a marriage has a lot to do with intellectual maturity of those involved, as opposed to age, and adds that some younger men are much more mature than their older counterparts and would therefore make better husbands.
“It is time society got rid of the double standards – no one complains when a man marries a woman young enough to be his daughter yet we’re quick to pass judgment when the tables are turned.”
Myth 4: Only thin, beautiful and rich women get all the good things (partners) in life
Though Pastor Muriithi agrees that people tend to be drawn to others more by their looks when meeting for the first time, he says that looks alone cannot sustain a relationship. Other more important characteristics such as personality, he says, define a good and fulfilling relationship.
“The fact is that there a lot of thin, beautiful and rich people who are in unhappy relationships.”
Myth 5: God chooses your mate
“Many singles, especially Christians, have been misled by this one. God can direct and guide you to the right person, but he does not impose on you who to marry, neither is there a specific person he has set aside for you.”
At the end of the day, only you can decide who to settle down with. While on this subject, the single Christian should also know that nobody, not even your pastor, has the authority to single out the person you should spend the rest of your life with.
Myth 6: As long as you have faith, you will eventually get someone to marry
The truth is that faith without action is useless. This is what Pastor Muriithi calls the ‘Heavenly Error’, where one “Sits back and waits upon the Lord.”
“Trusting in God to make your dreams come true is okay, but it’s unrealistic to lock yourself up in the house and hope that you will somehow get someone to love you.”
His advice is to get out more often, to socialise and show an interest in other people.
“Of course as a Christian, you know the places to avoid, so propping yourself on a bar stool in a pub and smiling suggestively at every man in the vicinity is out of the question,” he says.
There are many decent places where you can meet interesting people. Look for such places and show genuine interest in the people you meet.
Myth 7: Dating is pointless if it doesn’t lead to marriage
The fact is that the whole point of dating is to find out whether you’re compatible with him or her.
“Don’t go for a date with marriage in mind because you will most probably get disappointed, instead, be open-minded and enjoy yourself as you get to know the other person.”
If the date leads somewhere, well and good, if it doesn’t, at least you have had some fun.
Myth 8: You should never date a friend
This is an often peddled myth which has cost many single people a viable relationship. Pastor Muriithi sees nothing wrong with dating someone you are well-acquainted with be it your brother’s friend or a general family friend, (read platonic friend) pointing out that romantic relationships based on friendship have a much higher success rate than those based on anything less.
“Before making a decision to get married, ensure that you and your partner are best of friends, because you will enjoy your marriage more that way.”
Myth 9: You have to kiss many frogs before you get to your prince charming
Dating need not be hard work – your first date might turn out to be the man or woman you spend the rest of your life with.
To spare yourself pointless dates, Pastor Muriithi advises that you list down the qualities you’re looking for in a mate and stick to them. This will help you to eliminate those people you’re unlikely to click with before you get to the dating stage.
Myth 10: A long courtship is the best because it gives you enough time to get to know the other person
“Long courtships are mere time-wasters – the fact is that you only get to really know your partner once you get married and start living together. As long as you are still dating, you will never get to know the real person,” he adds.