Mirror Magazine
28th May 2000
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Kaushalya Weeraratne

What a catch!

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First depressions

By Kesara Ratnatunga
So you girls think you have it easy? You think guys will chase anything in a skirt? Let me enlighten you, this is NOT the case. With regards to women, guys are portrayed as testosterone drunk Neander-thals with the intellects of earthworms. Albeit a generalization made by the ladies themselves. 

Admittedly guys do seem to fall into a vulnerable state after a date. Especially after being subjected to the 'postmortem' by their female counterparts. However, the actual process by which guys choose potential dates or partners, is where a lot of girls seem to crash and burn.

First impressions have a major impact on a guy's reaction to a girl. 'Looks are definitely very important,' says Vajira (23). 'Certainly I would always be attracted to a girl who was good looking and who projected sophistication. Though good looks and sophistication don't necessarily go together,' he adds.

The very first interaction between two people is always a key moment where they will size each other up and form their first impression. Guys are most often initially attracted to a girl by her appearance alone. 'Appearance does not only mean a pretty face and a good figure but mainly the way in which a girl carries and presents herself,' says Vajira.

The next, most crucial moment is that of first communication. When a guy's initial physical attraction is either reinforced or completely lost. It's a sort of 'all or nothing' situation. ' A potential partner should be positive and outgoing,' says Sahan (20). Those first few exchanges of ideas are essential in how a guy classifies a girl. Fun, intelligent, confident, reserved and studious are some of the pigeon-holes frequently used by guys. 

'Being fun and outgoing does not mean being overly talkative,' says Gihan (22). Talking fast and in a loud voice are two attributes guys intensely dislike. Attentiveness and sensitivity are definite plus points. Also guys love a great sense of humour. Everything depends on the type of girl the guy prefers. The battle is either won or lost at this stage. 

Most guys go for girls with fun and extrovert personalities. Some guys consider intelligence and maturity crucial. 'I would go for looks, but would also want an intelligence to go with it,' says Vajira. Sahan on the other hand says, 'well, I definitely wouldn't mind looks and intelligence, but to me genuineness is much more important.' A forthright character among females is rare, which most guys would find out, and most girls would grudgingly admit. However, guys concede that on a long-term scale, a genuine and honest character would be the pick of the lot.

When it comes to looks, guys who deny that it plays a major role in their first impression are downright liars. 'The way a girl dresses, the way she wears her hair, the way she walks, should always complement her form,' says Gihan. Clothes that do not suit a girl's figure and skin colour, heavy make-up that does not flatter her features are definite turn-offs. 'It indicates bad taste,' says Duminda (19). A captivating smile and a hearty laugh go a long way with guys.

A majority of girls seem to conform to stereotype fashions. Girls wearing multi-coloured versions of the same standard outfits are a common sight in shopping malls and other popular hang-outs. This may be keeping up with the trend, but, 'it's always refreshing to see someone who is dressed differently but is still being stylish', says Gihan. 'It shows originality. Such a girl would be more than likely to grab attention, he says.

All things considered, guys seem to be a peculiar and rather choosy lot. It seems the game of love isn't so one-sided after all. If you thought the Juliets had the upper hand, the Romeos are giving them a run for their money. 
Sharing that precious baby

Sometimes a baby can create a rift between husband and wife. A young couple who thought the world was exclusively their own, suddenly finds that there is another who now has to be given priority over their own needs and desires. 

It is no longer possible to go out together for the late night parties or dances, especially today in our society where baby-sitting by members outside the family circle is not accepted, grandparents are either too far away or have their own commitments and domestic help is rare, the young mother would feel that the baby is tying her down. Her life, she will think, is only that of looking after the baby, washing and cleaning up is a chore that is cast on her while the father can yet continue his life in the way he wants to. 

It is here that husband and wife must think of the child as belonging to both of them, and each must help the other, especially in those first difficult months, when the baby, totally unaware of the problems he creates screams his head off in the night wanting to be changed, refuses to sleep or decides that he just does not want to be alone. True enough a wife who is at home at least during the first few months should not expect her husband to cope with the baby as soon as he comes home tired after work, but adjustments could be made, weekends could be a time when the young father gets to know his baby and leaves his wife to rest, read, watch TV or do whatever she wants. If he takes the attitude which is often very common among our eastern men, that looking after the baby is solely the wife's prerogative, then there is bound to be trouble in the marriage. 

A father's role is not that of an outsider, he is intimately involved in not only the process of creating a new life but in caring and nurturing that life. As I said to Anoja a husband and wife must regard the child as the fruit of their joint love, it is not just the fulfillment of the love they have for one another but also the continuation of that love. A wife should be able to tell the husband her need for him in caring for the baby and he should understand. 

Sometimes it happens that the young mother in her anxiety to give everything to her baby excludes the husband from the world she makes only for herself and the baby. 'That is true', said Anoja, 'look at Raja. Mala won't even let him carry the baby, she is always with the baby, and when Raja comes home Mala does not even have the time to talk to him, she is so involved with the baby that' added Anoja in her characteristic outspokenness, 'I would not be surprised if Raja finds someone else just to listen to him especially when he has problems at work'. I think Anoja is right. A baby should unite, not divide and it is up to both parents to create that unity. 

The mother should not think that the baby is hers exclusively. It is she who can ultimately make her husband feel that he is essential to her and the child. 

Her love for him should not be superseded by her instinctive love for the baby, for often a husband feels threatened and sometimes even jealous of the child, so it is up to the mother to make him feel that he is loved and needed and she can do so by sharing with him the wonder and the miracle of the child they both have created. 


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