As a single female professional, it is hard choosing the right partner and finding someone who compliments my goals and my views on life. Can you render some assistance in how to choose the right partner?
Single Professional Female
Dear Single Professional Female,
Thirty-five years ago, in Mona, Jamaica, my friend and fellow medical student Anil Warren and I, heard that some new students had arrived from Trinidad to enter medical school.
Being the curious Trinis that we are, we just had to check out these "fresh" new girls. Thank God that I was guided to do so, as it was here I first spotted, unknowingly to me at the time, my future wife. I confidently sprayed my best cologne, Jovan musk, ran my fingers through my hair and strutted over to Mary Seacole Hall.
Walking down the corridors of the hall, there she was an image of angelic beauty accompanied by her mother, two pieces of luggage and a small portable cassette/tv player.
Rushing to assist, I carried her bags to her room and found out from her mother that our mothers had attended the same school and my father grew up in the same area as her father and knew each other well. So we already had a familiar landscape, a connection.
Before her mother departed Jamaica she told me to take care of her daughter, and here I am 35 years later still keeping my promise to do so, though I must confess it really is the other way around with my wife and best friend taking care of me.
It was nine years after, while working as junior doctors in the hospital that we tied the knot.
As students studying together, touring Jamaica, working in the hospitals, we grew closer, shared similar values and were able to relate to each other.
We shared everything together: the excitement of shopping and furnishing our first home, our first patient at our office in San Juan, the joys of parenthood; all these etched common memories. Strangely, sometimes when out of the blue I am thinking about someone or something, it’s uncanny as my wife would sometimes mention the same as if she was reading my mind.
Statistics are showing that most marriages last four years. I have done 25 wonderful years and anytime I meet people married for more than ten years I feel a deep sense of happiness for them.
But what is the secret?
When I see patients who come in for relationship counseling, it is the same issues that occur and I look at all relationships as the six C’s: chemistry, communication, connection, criticism, commitment and consciousness.
Chemistry is the first part of the relationship. We all meet persons with different personalities. The first glance or eye contact may make your heart skip a beat or make you take a deep breath or sigh and say, wow. (As I did!) If the person gives you some encouragement, you feel so good, your brain actually releases a hormone called dopamine which we call the "love hormone", and this good feeling propels you to go forward in the relationship.
Sometimes the two personalities mesh and sometimes they don’t. You may meet people with different faults but there will never be a perfect partner. Compromise is the key. Learn to accept the faults and if you can live with them hold on, but do not try to change the person as we are creatures of habit and would often go back to being the same.
Communication is most important. Communicate during the day: send a text, give a call, just check in so that the other half looks forward to hearing from you. It becomes part of the relationship you look forward to. Never take each other for granted. Make each other feel special every moment. A loving touch, a hug, a kiss, expressions of love keeps the heart pumping.
Connection serves as a glue to a relationship. Be it the common memories of times spent together, a similar occupation or family and religious background.
Criticism can come from those you least expect. Your friends, your coworkers, family and intended in-laws can all throw words, find fault and try to fill your head with negativity, finding fault with the person, their job or even their family.
Commitment to someone opens the doorway to love. To devote yourself to the other, to promise to be their one and only is a responsible, mature decision to be able to take this life partner. To love and trust unconditionally, to lay yourself bare, to combine to help each other, to know someone is always watching your back and is there for you, to become one; are the next steps in the journey of love.
Closeness brings consciousness. With a true relationship we can sense when our partner is troubled or distracted. It is critical to treat this with urgency. If you sense something is wrong, seek help, tap in to friends, priests, or a counselor, to bring out the trouble and nip it in the bud. Don’t procrastinate.
For working women, building relationships and balancing it with your career can be immensely difficult.
While having similar educational and occupational levels may bring some commonality, a new societal trend seems to be emerging with the acceptance of the house husband who may stay and take care of the home while the wife is the main breadwinner.
Globally, males are falling behind in all educational fields. However, once this life partner gives you the peace, support, love and intimacy required, it creates a perfect bond.
But all relationships need care and attention. Just like a rose tree, we need to give care and attention to the tree to get the beautiful rose.
Just as we have to use manure to fertilise the plant there will be people throwing manure in your life, take their manure and the more they try to give you the more determined you must be to make your relationship blossom.
Thorns signify what can hurt a relationship. The thorns of temptation and infidelity must be avoided for they make a relationship bleed.
I say take the manure, manoeuvre around the thorns, nurture the relationship so in the end you would produce a beautiful relationship just as the tree produces a beautiful rose. Happy Valentine’s Day to all professional and hard-working women of TT especially to my dear wife and lifetime partner, Sherene.
For more insight on this topic, be sure to listen to Dr Varma Deyalsingh as he moderates AFETT’s podcast hosted by RPA director Jeane Warner: The Colour of Love, a three-part series that examines perspectives on love and relationships from a group of young women and men as they converse on how their values and experiences have shaped these concepts at: https://directory.libsyn.com/episode/index/id/7778393
Go with love.
AFETT is a not-for-profit organisation formed in 2002 with the goal of bringing together professional women and engaging in networking opportunities, professional training and business ideas. ASK AFETT is a column meant to address issues and concerns of professionals seeking advice to assist in progressing in their careers. Today's response was written by Senator Dr Varma Deyalsingh, family practitioner/psychiatrist and secretary of the Association of Psychiatrists of TT. Learn more about AFETT at www.afett.com, search for AFETT Events on Facebook, follow us @AFETTEXECS on Twitter or contact us at 343-2160. Email us your career-related questions at email@example.com.
The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors, meant strictly as advice and guidance, based upon their experience and expertise. In no way are they meant to be legally binding upon AFETT and or its members, servants nor agents.