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Omonike Odi: First Impressions Are Just That

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I find it alarming when people remark that they don’t think so and so, who is on their case is their type. I look at them alarmed because I used to think precisely the same way, until I met my type. He checked out on everything on my list. Love. Religion. Looks. Job. Interests. Tribe. But it turned out that my Mr Right wasn’t right for me!

Like the old me, proponents of this mind-set without fail always have a ready list of what their type looks like.

1. Mutual Attraction
Love or chemistry usually comes up on the list unsurprisingly, but love spells c-o-m-p-a-t-i-b-i-l-i-t-y. It is that thing that means both of you are very comfortable and behave the closest thing to yourselves without feeling like you are stretching outside of your individual comfort zones. One of the ways you know you are compatible with someone is if it isn’t hard for you to please them. If when you do your hardest they aren’t impressed, and it takes more and more out of you to make them happy, there isn’t much of a fit between both of you, and that’s not something you want to manage.

2. We have to share the same religion
Beyond having the same faith, is having a common application of faith; one person might interpret the other person’s level of faith by church activities – how many tongues one speaks and what department in church one belongs to, but the fruits of faith like respect towards all class of people, a tempered appetite for wealth, or a kind acceptance of people for instance, may be absent.

3. He has to have a good job
Earning an income is important but beyond that is how the income is earned and spent.  Does the person incur debt and you find this uncomfortable? Is their car, home or furniture on credit? Are they accountable with money? Generous? Are they in any commitment where certain amounts of their income are unavailable to them e.g. dependents, loan repayments e.t.c. Is this person splashing money around town without a kobo in his bank account? As they say, it is not what you earn but what you save.

4. He has to be good looking
I used to say, and I stand to be corrected… but for a woman, looks begin to pale where there is chemistry, humour and understanding and all those things she needs from her man. When these things are absent even good looks aren’t enough to console a woman who lacks her man’s attention and affection.

5. He has to be of a certain tribe.
Whenever this sentiment comes up I always say better to say “I love you” to each other in the language you both do not understand than “I hate you” in a language you both understand.

6. He has to come from a good family
This is very important but we need to be careful with our definition of a ‘good family, because families are not perfect; neither are ours so we need to keep a level and realistic perspective. Family cultures and personalities are different making it is easy to find irritable behaviours or traits even in the most ideal families so the assessment of a partner based on family background should be fair and in keeping with the golden rule to do unto others what you want them to do to you.

Now, I find it amusing when people remark at how unawares they were taken in love with someone least like their “type”. I look at them bemused because I think precisely the same way now having met my significant other. I didn’t have much of an impression when I first met him but while I can’t remember what I thought of him at first impression, I certainly didn’t think he would mean more to me at the time.

First impressions are just that!  There will be second, third and one hundred impressions after. So why play judge and pass judgement without the possibility of bail, when the jury of future impressions haven’t sent their verdict in? When all the facts you need to make a decision are in, then you can decide if someone is your type, but not before and certainly not on first impression!

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Michael Zhang

Omonaikee creates media content on print, online, tv, radio, social media and for events. Her work has been published in Cosmo, Bella Naija, Ynaija, Imbue Magazine, Metropole, +234Next magazine and True love west Africa. She blogs at www.omonaikee.blogspot.com.

21 Comments

  1. *Real* Nice Anon

    April 17, 2015 at 12:42 am

    We all have that ideal guy in our heads but eh those who like me na them I like. I only check for those who check for me.

  2. Gampan Haggai

    April 17, 2015 at 2:34 am

    Nice write-up. However, assuming the author is anonymous, one wouldn’t need to work very hard to know it was written by a lady. The author may wish to come up with a male version of the article to portray a more masculine view point. Thanks.

    • Kharis

      April 17, 2015 at 9:32 pm

      You do not have to wait for the writer to write a masculine version of the article. You could do that 🙂

  3. Open Sesame

    April 17, 2015 at 4:33 am

    I like the general gist of this post. Esp the one about finances. Omonike, you totally hit the nail on the head about the fact that making money is not all there is to it; there’s also how it’s being spent, invested or wasted. What’s the point of earning millions if you have no financial discipline or wealth management skills?

    Or being a tongue talking, bible bashing, church worker when you’re cruel as the devil?

    So cheers to taking another look and then another and forming impressions & taking decisions based on facts not some airy fairy idea we’ve built in our heads from time immemorial about what our ideal man/woman should be like.

  4. Egusi soup

    April 17, 2015 at 7:11 am

    This is so lame. This person (woman) should get a life. Dont you have anything better to do. Tired of reading mediocre & typical write ups.

    • Simsi

      April 17, 2015 at 8:35 am

      This is not a mediocre writeup, its a great one. And no one is forcing you to read it. You even took time to comment again. If you don’t have anything better to say, shut up and move on to the next article. And don’t say someone should get a life, I bet your own life is not so great. GTFOH

    • Temitayo

      April 17, 2015 at 11:30 am

      What’s your definition of lame?

    • D

      April 17, 2015 at 1:47 pm

      @ Egusi soup, you know you might want to look up constructive criticism. I personally I’m not against people offering criticism on articles but yours just comes across as someone having a bad day and deciding to take it out on anyone and everyone. Your called the article lame for no particular reason, at least none given, and then you told the author (who you know nothing about) to get a life. Well she has enough going on in her life to at least write something that is published as opposed to…well you. What makes the article “mediocre & typical”? if you had said why you thought that is the case then, maybe you would not come across as being angry and just down right rude.

    • SeyiOdus

      April 17, 2015 at 2:58 pm

      @Egusi soup. There is no ado about it, you’re clearly just a very rude person.. Sorry to be in ur face, u just strike me as a typical discontented person. Critics like you I’m sure can’t write jack!..&probably failed comphrension in school!…This is a well-put together article, won’t win the Pulizter prize, but still solidly put together none the less.. And if u must, critique not criticize! Too bad dim-wits like u will not still learn, even still presented with buffet to eat from. Life is damn too short to be powered by hate!

  5. Blessedandhighlyfavoured

    April 17, 2015 at 8:12 am

    Nice. My golden rule with love is keep an open mind different people meet and fall in love in different ways. When I first met my boyfriend I thought we had absolutely nothing in common. I had many misconceptions about him based on what I thought and not what I know. Somehow we became friends anyway and lost contact a couple of times two years later we are now together and I couldn’t imagine my life without him. Knowing what I know now I would’ve absolutely kicked myself had we not ended up together.

  6. tberry

    April 17, 2015 at 8:13 am

    Nice one here! and this goes out to the ladies. well i dont know about others in terms of a guys looks, but imperatively it matters the guy just has to be presentable physically. thats my view

  7. Simsi

    April 17, 2015 at 9:44 am

    Well, I’ve also met guys that ticked all my boxes, but they were not for me. I love tall guys but I recently started talking to a guy who’s not so tall, just a lil bit taller than me. He has a cute face tho and he’s a very caring person. Wants to make me happy every time. Which girl will refuse that. So I’m going to give him a chance. Thanks for this article

    • please wait some more

      April 17, 2015 at 12:40 pm

      please wait some more for that tall guy till you are 60yrs
      glad you woke up from your dream land,welcome to reality

  8. Rynyx

    April 17, 2015 at 10:10 am

    lol, being a victim of bad first impressions, I would say I agree that first impressions are just that. One example, I remember some years ago when I had just lost my father, I was on my way to go and break the news to our pastor when someone stopped me and wanted to chat about how my mum taught him in primary school, I tried in the most polite way to tell him it was the worst time for idle talk and then, the impression was that I was a snob and I was rude to people. its the same thing we do with guys, you cannot always have the accurate information if you work with only first impressions. I have met people who made very good first impressions but I didn’t even want to talk to them anymore after the second and third meetings. I think the write up basically tells us to be more open minded and drop the unrealistic list. its really not that serious. its ok to have standards but you don’t have to rub it in people’s faces.

  9. omoelle

    April 17, 2015 at 10:35 am

    OMG!!!

    YAWWNNNNN!!!

  10. ShineShineShine

    April 17, 2015 at 11:07 am

    First impressions – What’s dat? When l met this guy at my place of work, l didn’t think much of him at all. All l saw was how not so good looking he was. Every Lunch time bobo would come to my office to invite me for Lunch. Cos he wasn’t “my type”, l never gave him the light of day. But bobos sense of humor was fantastic! My colleague whom l shared an office with then (Edo babe gone bad & thoroughly corrupted by Warfi influences) said to me a few weeks later, “babe, free this boy, go chop free food burst im bubbles or date him choose your choice. Dis every lunch time church service don do. De bobo don worship tire hear im prayers” Those were her exact words. So, l went to lunch. Bobo was briiiiliiiant. Fast forward Sense of humor- tick. Values – tick. When “it” eventually happened which by the way was totally unplanned, his under garments were soooo clean. I was hooked. I hv bn told l hv OCD. I know how much he earns, though we are both salary earners money is not a problem. Does he love moi? Yes. Does he love God? Yes x 2. Has he suddenly become Mr. World in d looks department? Naaaa. I am still vain. But did the relationship go any further? Yes, l married him. Nine years later, we are still at it. First impression- wats dat?

    • Tkum

      April 17, 2015 at 1:04 pm

      awwwwwwnnnn… me likey

    • D

      April 17, 2015 at 1:52 pm

      love your story at least the way you told it…very entertaining…and for your colleague…all i can say is OMG!!! only a waffi person can say that and sound sexy saying it too.

    • Omonike Odi

      April 22, 2015 at 11:36 am

      Thank you for sharing this personal example. It certainly preached the gospel and buttressed the point. I also enjoyed reading other peoples personal experiences that made the message clearer as well. Thanks to everyone for sharing.

  11. myssmyss

    April 17, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    @shineshineshine…. Walahi, u cracked me up!!! Still lmao!!!!! I get the whole gist…. I think we should drop the list for real!!! U’ll meet some workers in church…very active ooo and if u see or hear what dey do outside church, u will be amazed! For me, u dont ve to be a worker but pls FEAR GOD!!!!

  12. Grace

    April 18, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    Totally love dis post…. am a victim of ‘first impression’, not with my bf…. cos with time I loved him but with his family,dey feel I will keep him away from dem wen I become his wife hence am a NO NO for dem and as I speak,my bf has gone mute according to him cos he’s got lots on his head concerning his late Dad’s people to talk to his family about d wrong impression they have about me and now I wanna believe my mum who is totally against getting married to someone who’s not from your tribe but what can I do when my hrt chose him??? The question now is ‘am I ready to v his family hate me now? What would happen to me wen we get married?’ Do I move on and forget I ever met him as I can’t correct d impression dey have about me not knowing they caused it all ….

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