We need to start being specific about the Mr Right we want, says Radio producer, author and our resident columnist Msizi E Nkosi.
I’ve worked as a TV scriptwriter and was part of the story team in different drama shows. One of the exciting parts of developing the story from scratch is creating characters. You have to give the character a name. Then the more exciting part begins. What are our character’s vulnerabilities and weaknesses? What drives him? What are his fears? What does he love? Who does he love? What does he do differently from other guys? What are his rare strengths? What are his past heartbreaks? What is his favourite football club? Which countries has he visited and why? How old is he? How much does he earn? What was his childhood like? What books does he read and love? What is his relationship with people close to him? What are his past victories and failures? The love who got away? Who believed in him? What is one big dream?
We’ll even go as far as articulating little idiosyncrasies like which words he overuses. By the time we are done we’ve painted a vivid picture of a three-dimensional character not without flaws.
You’ll be shocked how thin are the details when you ask many women to describe the man they are praying for. They’ll stutter, laugh nervously but won’t paint a clear picture of the human being they hope to spend the rest of their days with.
This could be the problem right there because if you are not sure what you are looking for then it’s going to be next to impossible to find it.
Where does he live? What does he do for a living and how much does he earn? What car does he drive? How does he dress? How many children does he have?
These are some of the question some may answer in drawing up their ideal person. But those are narrow and not enough. You need to accept that we are talking about human beings here, so he will certainly have weaknesses and vulnerabilities. The most attractive people with perfect Instagram pictures have their own thorns that hurt when you get too close to them. Everyone does. We hardly ever consciously consider this whenever we hallucinate about future-husbands and future-wives.
Your future-bae is not only not perfect but he has flaws, physically, emotionally, psychologically and socially. Sometimes he has moments of sheer stupidity in spite of his apparent intelligence. He’s human. He has character flaws just like you, just like your mom, just like your sister, your father, your brother, just like your pastor.
Maybe it would be interesting and will teach us a lot about ourselves if we engaged in an exercise where we drew a list of weaknesses we can tolerate from our future-baes. Weaknesses should be divided into three categories – minor (he screams like a girl when watching a horror movie), medium (he snores) and big weaknesses (he has sex with you only once every two weeks).
Let’s do this – it can reveal so much about ourselves and make us accept there is no perfection waiting for us in the paradise of love.