What do retired sportspersons do? They hit ‘constant replay’. I may be guilty of having ‘played the field’ and now, resting my aching limbs (and heart-fragments!), I will now proceed to outline the dos and don’ts of the love game.

The ‘Trust me’ syndrome: Never trust a man who says ‘Trust me’. Don’t ask me the logic behind that….I’ve had enough reason to regret it so I’m saying it. A man who tries to convince you to trust him, does not deserve your trust!

But if he agrees that you shouldn’t trust men, then perhaps you can trust him after all. Then again, he might be one of those specimens that actually learns something from all the women he’s dated and he’s just playing you. Ohh!!! Just don’t trust anything with with multiple heads!

The Ex-factor: This is loaded. You may like the, you may not. You may be the friendly, ‘one big happy family’ type or you may be the ‘burn-your-past-out-with-acid’ sort. There are patterns anyway. If you like his ex-girlfriends, chances are the relationship won’t last. Why? Its simple. If they are anything like you, you’ll be achieving ex- status soon enough.

Caveating: One guy I dated was a master caveater. We even listed our respective caveats on our early dates. His first one was, (oh, of course!), “I’m committment-phobic”. Yeaarrrggghh….run like your hair is on fire when you meet one who says this. Trouble is practically ALL of them say it so you’re effectively running from frying pan to…umm…another frying pan. Okay, lets focus on the other ridiculous caveats I’ve heard:

My mama doesn’t like perfume, so I don’t date girls who use strong perfumes. (err….has this child been weaned off, please to check, you don’t want to be arrested for child molestation)

I don’t like to over-analyse or think too much. (Please dump this one IMMEDIATELY! This effectively means I will hide behind this whenever you ask me for something I don’t want to do)

I was a fool in love once. Now I don’t take things too intensely. (Do I need to spell out why this man is a bad investment of time, energy and emotion? No, I need to be reminded of it. Often.)

I’m saying if he is telling you all that, its because he knows beforehand what he wants to give you and what he doesn’t. Don’t waste time trying to get him to change his mind. Do him and yourself a favour and find someone who’s willing to take a chance on making something happen without laying down rigid conditions beforehand.

Recycling: Its just plain bad policy to recycle boyfriends. There are enough of men out there, go find someone else to civilize and make into a human being. The failed results can be cleaned up by someone else. Besides, if it didn’t work the first time, why on earth would it work the second time round? Give it up, “cut your losses” as one ex- told me. Yes, I’m taking his advice very seriously indeed.

Note: This is an old draft post that’s been in progress for a long time. I’m publishing it as it is. This guide will (like The Hitch-hiker’s guide to the galaxy) continue to be updated periodically.

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