opinionBy Helen Chebet
HAPPILY MARRIED: Men's desperation becomes more evident when they realise that their friends are already married with kids, or when pressure from their relatives keeps increasing.
Mention the word 'desperate' and 'marriage' in the same sentence and most people automatically think of women. Little do they know that men also get desperate to marry.
There are men who are ready to pick up any woman who is willing to walk down the aisle on short notice. Their desperation becomes more evident when they realise that their friends are already married with kids, or when pressure from their relatives keeps increasing, "Marry now before people start thinking that you do not 'like' women!"
Sometimes, the man is one of those hopeless romantics who watch all the soap operas and romantic comedy flicks on television and pirated DVDs that go at Sh50.
This man believes that everything he watches can be translated into reality and that a relationship that lasts one hour and fifteen minutes on screen can be attained with another human being in the real world.
How then do you spot these desperate men? Which obvious signs and hints of desperation will they drop on your lap? Well, these are the telltale clues:
He is constantly fishing for compliments
A desperate man has low self-esteem. For this reason, he constantly needs to be told how good he is at everything and nothing. His ego must be stroked and the faster you stroke it the stronger his conviction that you are wife material.
He will need validation on very trivial things. While it may be okay to indulge such a man for awhile, women are advised to get tired of him before he decides to pop the big question. Stroking a man's ego till death does you part is no mean task.
Beryl Achieng', a 27-year-old woman who was dating a man she met on Facebook says, "I had enough of him. I am the woman but I complimented him more than he did me."
She adds that she did not think much of it in the beginning, but it soon got out of hand. "He wanted me to compliment everything he had or did. And it seemed that the love increased or decreased depending on the number of compliments I gave. "
He calls and sends SMS incessantly
If he calls three times, sends five SMS in succession and emails you two times within half an hour, then you are dating a desperate man. That tally may seem exaggerated but it happens.
If you are on social media, and he responds to any and every update you post either on Twitter or Facebook, get your feet out of that relationship. That man is more or less behaving like a dog, marking and sealing his territory.
Mina Kanini, 36, admits that she was in the market for a man who would marry her, only to end up with Jackson who made her think twice about her need to get married.
"It was fun that he was checking up on me every so often, even my friends thought it was endearing but then after five weeks, it became too much," she says.
"Every Facebook update he commented on and every SMS he sent just pushed me away from him. He kept sending me messages by the hour. If I did not respond immediately, he would call to find out why and any attempt to reason with him would place him in a weepy mood."
He is always available, bordering on invasive
Desperate men will never come up with a weekend plan; they will always leave it to you, only to butt in at the last minute. Worse still, they do not seem to have a life of their own.
They will always be game to anything, even when you do not want them near you. They forget that you have a life beyond your relationship. They will cut into your social life and bleed your independence dry. After all, the two of you are meant only for each other.
"I was touched that Francis wanted to spend more time with me early in our relationship. I did not have a problem with it, until the day he wanted to hang around me and my girls."
"That's when I realised something was not right. On top of that he developed the habit of coming to my house unannounced and even suggested that he move in with me to make the relationship easier and more intimate. I had to let him go. Where I come from, men do not behave like that, neither do they move into a woman's house," Karen Wanjeri says.
She went as far as moving house and changing her mobile phone service provider to get Francis off her trail.
The relationship is moving too fast
You just had your second date, and the next thing you know; you've met all his friends and relatives. He grandly tells them that you are already a couple and are making plans to get married.
In such a case, he wants you to feel obliged to get married as soon as possible just because 'everyone' knows about you. Alice Mutheu, 28, was almost ensnared by her supposed friend, Peter.
He asked her to accompany him to his cousin's wedding, unbeknown to her; the man had other plans in mind. "By the end of the day, all his relatives were welcoming me to the family." The one thing Peter had not considered is whether she was ready for marriage after only two dates.
Christine Amadi, on the same wave, remembers how her dates with 50 year old Tony whizzed by. "Tony seemed to be in a rush that I could not understand, I even suspected that he was one of those men in old housewife tales, men who were HIV positive and looking to spread the disease by marrying innocent girls." she says.
"Yes, his madness was so absurd that I relied on ignorant tales to make my decision to dump him."
He is in constant agreement with you
Consider it a red flag when a man keeps agreeing with everything you say. Even best friends have disagreements. A desperate man will always agree with you, thinking that he is pleasing you because he is giving you what you want and soon enough you will appreciate his kindness by marrying him. This is a man who does not understand that women look for men that will stimulate their minds.
Jackie Waithera, had a trip with one of this kind.
"He just said yes to everything I said. If I chose to go to a different restaurant, he would say yes, even when he couldn't stand the food there." When they broke up, she asked him why he kept agreeing with her and he told her that it was because he did not want to lose her.
He says the 'L' word too soon
If after the first few dates he says that he loves you, be cautious. At this stage, you haven't known each other well enough to really determine whether what you are feeling is love.
It is a bit creepy to be the apple of the eye of a man who you have had five dates with. Poke that eye and run. You are not meant to be his apple.
"I was shocked when he told me he loved me just after three dates," says Pascalina Chemutai. "How surprised was he when I ended things? Apparently he could not understand why I was leaving a person who loved me so much."
He becomes your slave
A man who wants you to marry him as soon as yesterday, will do anything you ask of him. If you want him to carry your handbag and open your pack of sanitary towels while he is holding the handbag, he will do it. He will be at your beck and call: a doormat for you to step on, together with his backbone.
Rodah Mokeira recalls her short relationship with Mark. "He was always waiting for a chance to do something for me: he even accompanied me to the salon, and sat there the whole time giving the hairdresser ideas on how to style my hair."
He talks too much
All he does is talk about himself and his achievements. It seems like he is on a quest to summarise his life in a single seating in order to make you interested in him.
He is convinced that his bank account and his academic 'mileage' are guarantees that he will make a good hubby. He is trying to show you that he has everything, but a wife. While it is not bad for the man to 'market' himself, moderation is key.
"I met this relatively handsome guy on a bank queue and by the time I got to the till, I knew how much money he had, where he lived, what he was depositing money for and what he planned to do in future including finding a good woman to marry," says Patricia. "As I walked out he asked for my number and all of a sudden he was not even remotely handsome!"
He pressures you
A desperate man does not take no for an answer. He will constantly mount the pressure with every rejection, hoping that you yield to him. He will send friends and relatives over to convince you to get with him after you have asked him to give you time to think things over.
Zaineb Njeri dated such a man. "Eric would show up on my doorstep asking me if I've made up my mind already. It was exasperating." She could not take the pressure and opted to give him a straight no, which made things worse.
"He sent his sister to convince me that he is the man for me, and he would die if I did not say yes. This was too much bearing in mind the fact that I had the weight of our religious differences to consider before even deciding to marry him and here he was threatening suicide."
He settles for less
A man is desperate for marriage when he settles for any woman, whether she is his type or not. The more women reject a desperate man, the faster he'll lower his standards.
Wendy Mulama, had to end her relationship with Xavier because she was not ready to settle down while Xavier was. A few months down the line she was told that Xavier was already engaged.
"I could not believe it when I saw his fiancée: a young girl who looked like she had just completed high school the other day."