Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

The 7 Hurdles

I just heard someone’s voice for the very first time in my life, after having had a good conversation earlier today. We have also just connected in social media. I just wrote to her that the second hurdle has been taken. That remark to her made we wonder about the stages in a relationship. At least from my perspective. My male perspective may however be quite interesting to women.

For me communication is essential. If there is nothing to say to each other then why even bother continuing with that person?? If that person has nothing to say to you now then why would it be different in a week, month, or year?? Let alone a marriage of 40 years. In my view, communication is the 1st hurdle in any relationship.

The 2nd hurdle is a “2D” physical attraction which is usually only based on pictures or a Skype call. Obviously, these pictures represent a favourable selection and may therefore not give a complete image of that person. Only one unfavourable picture may even be adequate to become a showstopper (e.g., alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, nose ring, tattoos).

Once the second hurdle has been passed then hurdle #3 – the voice – gets important. A voice can be a major turn on or a turn off. I have encountered both situations. I still recall hearing the voice of a certain woman for the first time and getting totally intoxicated and overwhelmed by it. Yet, she used two types of voices for two kinds of situations: ice cold and sizzling hot. Impossible to deal with.

The 4th hurdle is meeting each other. Either it confirms our assumptions, beliefs, and emotions, or it becomes a deception as that person’s “3D” behaviour does not match our expectations. The differences that we perceive between images and reality may be subtle or even gross, depending on the honesty in self representation by that person.

If a meeting does not create a longing for touching and kissing then something is fundamentally wrong and the 5th hurdle becomes an exit. In such a case, there’s no physical chemistry. The bonding hormone – oxytocin – does not activate an advancement to the next – sixth – hurdle. In fact, this exit is like a “better safe than sorry” as a new relationship should not be like brother & sister.

Unfortunately, sexual intimacy tends to come in quite late into new relationships. It is however far from sure that this 6th hurdle can be taken successfully. Sometimes there’s an immediate match, sometimes there is a potential but it clearly needs further effort, and sometimes there is just no match. Latter is quite painful as both persons had already completed five earlier hurdles and their mutual expectations and emotional investment had been mounting.

The 7th hurdle is the most important one of all: making it work on a daily basis. Seeing a person 24/7 rather than some stolen hours takes mutual adjustment. I think and feel that it is much easier to accept someone’s flaws at a young(er) age. I notice that people of my age (55) are not willing to make much compromises when it comes to a new partner. Obviously, the (non) existence of Love makes a huge difference in accepting compromises and flaws.

Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses. Ann Landers, American journalist, 1918-2002


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