image1Are you burning through the guys on dating apps at a rapid pace? Maybe it’s time for a bit of portion control – some quality over quantity. Here’s writer and poet Nyasha Paragon Langley (pictured) on the best recipe for heart health…

I have just started a 30-day fat loss programme at my local gym. Part of what they teach us about food is that when you are cooking, think about quality control, not portion control. For instance: 300g of home grilled chicken breast is better that 100g of processed chicken nuggets.

This got me thinking about the way many of us seem to date today. We almost treat dating like ordering a Big Mac at McDonalds: “I’ll Have a 6’2” with a side of muscles and green eyes”. The problem is that just like fast food, once your order arrives and you’ve devoured him, you’ll be satisfied for about 10 minutes until the hunger sets in again. Back you go on to your ‘Just Eat’ app looking for something else to sate your appetite. You can soon get full and get a bellyache.

That’s all fine if you’re just looking for something quick and easy – but ultimately, I don’t think most of are. Quite a few of us are looking for real companionship, I think. Clearly dating apps have changed the game, as all possible suitors are judged so strongly on aesthetics. Sometimes a glossy picture of a ready-made meal can seem more appealing than staring at a stack of basic ingredients that need some effort to put them together.

Now, I’m not saying that dating before apps was perfect, but at least back then there was an effort to meet up for a drink first. That’s no longer the case with apps like Scruff and Grindr. If it’s not ‘fun now,’ it’s conversations with picture-less profiles who often ask you for more pictures. I don’t think I would have such a problem if Mr Headless wanted to have an actual chat, but the conversation normally goes like this:

Mr Headless: Hi
Me: Hi
Mr Headless: Show me your BBC (This isn’t short for British Broadcasting Corporation in case you were wondering)
Me: *hits block button*

I’ll admit, every now and then I bite. I’m human (and by the way not all black people have a BBC – the same as not all black people can dance or jump). I seem to be surprised when this happens which is odd because we are advertising ourselves on these apps the way… well, Burger King does its food. And like most fast food joints, the pictures they use are always flattering, to say the least. I can’t be the only one that has received their order and almost not recognised it.

That’s just it. Perhaps we need to look at relationships like a good home cooked meal. First, you need to know what you want. Then, what ingredients you really need for a properly nourishing meal. Always go for the best quality and think about buying organic/drug free. I’m not slating those that do drugs, but solid foundations involve the possibility of them loving me more than they do 2 grams of M, G, C or T. The preparation is very important. Take your time. Season well with openness and honesty, not lies. Everyone makes mistakes but lies definitely spoil a dish. Lastly the cooking is probably the most important part. It’s all about timing, knowing how to bring all those ingredients together. Being fearless and experimental all at the same time. Sometimes we think we can just leave the relationship ticking along and it will roast perfectly, but you need to constantly check on it, baste it with attention, consideration and time. Never just leave it and expect it to cook itself. The likelihood is it will burn.

Don’t get me wrong: even with all the best ingredients, preparation and cooking, you can miss something and it goes wrong. If you can salvage it, then do. If you can’t that’s okay. Learn from your mistakes, don’t give up, try to make something different. We may all crave that naughty bit of fried chicken and that’s OK sometimes, but ultimately our body needs that good grilled chicken. If that ain’t a recipe for heart health, then I don’t know what is.

WORDS BY NYASHA PARAGON LANGLEY

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