ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday April 13, 2008
Vol. 42 - No 46

Eyes wide open

By Rukshani Weerasooriya

I was channel surfing the other day when I stumbled on a perfectly splendid new reality TV series called How to find a husband on Discovery Travel and Living (an excellent channel, which I highly recommend). It was an hour wonderfully spent, and I say this with no shame. How to find a husband was so enjoyable that I found myself diligently following the series, stressing out if I missed an episode and going online to see if I could catch it up, every chance I got.

I know nobody has the guts to openly agree with me about the virtues of this show, but I also know certain people (some more than others) secretly wish they had caught the show themselves and maybe even took down notes! There were some great tips, which I should have taken down myself so I could flaunt them in the face of the gutless. But then, if I did that, I'd probably be hiding under a rock by now. My shamelessness does have limits. Nevertheless, finding the right partner in life is a tad more important than the average pop culture 'issue' we stress about as young people. So why be so shy about it? We might as well be clued in.

Now don't get me wrong. I am not on a manhunt (even though I was recently told to produce a child ASAP) and I don't plan to be on one in the near future. But I do think the issue of keeping one's eyes open is important. There are a lot of fish in the sea. So many, that it is often quite possible to let them all swim by, to get stuck with a boring slimy rock, or worse still, to get eaten by a shark!

Here are some useful pointers I have gleaned from the show and otherwise:

  1. Mom and dad know best: Believe it or not, your parents have a better idea as to what's good for you than you currently do. Notwithstanding the generation gap and the computer illiteracy, they've lived longer, and therefore know better. Take the time to listen to them and ponder the advice they offer.

  2. There are no perfect people in the world: I hate to break it to you, but you aren't perfect (I know I certainly am not) and no one is about to find the perfect partner and be in the perfect relationship. So don't look for an ideal. Be open to types and people who are outside your normal tastes and preferences. You can't expect to be totally loved if you aren't willing to love people, complete with their flaws and shortcomings.

  3. Honesty is the best policy: Be honest about how you think and feel about your certain someone. He or she may fit the job description on paper but be a whole different issue in person. Think long and hard before taking the plunge. The world would be a happier place if less people plunged in and out of romance.

  4. Friendship should always be the foundation of your relationship: Friendship, and the same sense of direction in life. If you want to go two separate ways and neither one knows or cares for the other enough to give an inch, there will be some serious relationship issues down the road.

  5. Be in the growth process: If you have the courage to own up to your flaws and recognize the need to grow as a person, you will find yourself drawn to others for healthier reasons than boredom, loneliness or peer pressure.

  6. Generosity: when assessing a potential's character, look for generosity. If they are stingy with their time, money and praise they are probably also stingy with their love and affection, willing only to give just enough to get what they want. Don't date a miser. Date someone who knows how to lavish.

  7. How do you treat this thing called Love? Take your love-life seriously. It is not worth playing around with. No doubt it will be fun for a while, but eventually it will catch up on you and you'll end up having to carry a bunch of baggage with you, possibly for the rest of your life. Date someone who treats love the same way you do.

  8. Common ground: Sometimes opposites attract. And that's okay. You may not have a lot of things in common on a realistic level. But there are certain fundamentals you should. Among them is the ability to laugh at the same things. This may sound trivial, but think about it for a moment…

  9. People vs Things: As clichéd as this may sound, date someone who looks beyond the physical, material aspect of life. Beauty is fleeting. Money is here today, and it is gone tomorrow. Make sure you're with someone who knows the importance of people as opposed to things.

  10. Actions speak louder than words: This last point is my favorite and is especially for all you girls out there: when you're trying to figure out if Mr. Wonderful is for real, one of the simplest and most effective things you can do is to just forget everything he says and instead pay very careful attention to what he does. You will find that actions do speak louder than words. It can be shockingly revealing!

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