Wholesome conversations is an activity that Singaporeans are not doing enough of.
Do you notice sometimes when we sit together, we so easily run out of things to talk about? The hand then silently, automatically fishes out the iPhone… flip, and it’s Facebook or Candy Crush. Nobody talks anymore and next thing you know, someone says something it would be along the lines of, “eh, later go where ah? Supper ah?”
Talking is very cheap. But it makes for edifying entertainment.
We don’t always have to go, do, eat or watch something in order to have a good time. And it is a shame when we do have something to say, it will almost surely be fleeting conversations about business ideas (that will never happen), reminiscing National Service, covert bragging (i know this and this famous person, i bought this expensive bag, i’m travelling to this exotic place…*yawn*) and of course, all varieties of complaining.
But anyway, I was here at Starbucks having a nice latte with a few friends and someone soon started a gossip about how her friend broke-up with a would-have-been wife, just two weeks before the wedding.
Now this is not the first story I have heard of last minute call-offs. I empathise with the guy and would like to believe that it was a sensible thing he had done, a quick amputation rather than suffer a prolonged and painful cancer of love.
In my opinion, when you’re on an emotional high (which could last for months), it’s all too easy to fantasise all the romantic, couple-couple things that new lovebirds long to do. Travel together, eat together, watch tv wrapped under blankets, set-up a home and grow old together. In this love drunk stupor, it is easy to have false confidence in the strength of your relationship.
When people get together, be it two or more people, you have these different phases: Forming, Storming, Norming and then Performing.
If you look at a romantic relationship through the optics of this unromantic corporate framework, you’ll begin to see why you cannot hurry things between two people.
In love, the forming stage is also known as the honeymoon period – and this is precisely what you should be feeling, honeymoon-ey. If there is no sweetness, desire and maybe even physical intimacy… then perhaps something might be wrong already. This phase could last for a few months, and to a couple in love… this is almost an eternity. Perhaps it is for this reason why many decide to make risky long term commitments at this stage. Nothing could go wrong, everything is fine in this world of two
Then comes the storming stage. My good friend Edmund once said, “Don’t consider getting married until at least your first few serious arguments, or when you find out what you don’t like about her.” At the honeymoon stage, you establish if you’re right for each other. At the storming stage, you establish you can tolerate each other.
I would like to add another thought worth considering – that men should not get married before 30. In “The Alchemist”, author Paulo Coleho’s character said that “Men must find their pot of gold, before which he will never be at ease.” (or something to that effect lah, its been a long time since I read that book). Ask around… with no specific number, almost every man will tell you that he’ll want to hoard up some cash first, or at least have property, before he’s ready to commit. You see, as males, it is hardwired into our heads to want to provide for the family. If a man’s financial muscle still needs some gym work, he needs to clock in the work until he has the confidence to walk into Tiffany’s.
Money and wealth is but one of the reasons, the other stronger reason, I believe, is that… well, men are men – they must experience what other women are like before they can safely say that they can commit. And I will leave it up to you to interpret the words”..what other women are like“. Cognitive dissonance, have you ever bought something and then after that regretted it? Women feel the same too and sometimes their sense of insecurity is a little higher. There is always this voice at the back of their pretty little heads that say “How can he be so sure I’m the one?” Well guys, if you’re unable to answer this question perfectly, you can be sure this woman won’t be with you for very long.
A man will find that there is a lot to do and experience in life. Some things are dangerous, some things need to be done in solitude. Maybe he needs to travel and explore. Maybe he needs to be naughty and bad. But definitely he needs to fight, he needs to get into trouble and he needs to learn by falling down, cutting himself and spitting on his wounds. These are all the things that must happen in an environment not conducive for relationship building.