So, after reading some of these dating stories a girl termed me as the ‘Ranbir Kapoor of masses’. Now I don’t know whether it was a genuine compliment, mockery, or just ‘flattery to get into my pants’, but the validation definitely felt good. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to be a girl in such a world filled with effortless validation via compliments, doors being opened everywhere from swanky cars to happening clubs, and even complimentary drinks on the house to name a few. On a more serious note though, one needs to be the lead protagonist (Ranbir Kapoor) of at least their own life.

Anyhow, I did continue the conversation in a jovial tone and since I am not a big fan of texting suggested meeting up to “know each other better”. She got the hint but is looking for different things, and also was living at her parents’ house at that moment (no landing page) so I didn’t persuade her otherwise.

A few months later, I put a LinkedIn post of mine in my social media stories (validation enthusiast). She replied to it on Whatsapp complimenting it and even drawing insightful analogies in other domains of life. As we started talking, she enquired about my plans for that weekend. She had booked a room in a fancy 5-star hotel as she had some ceremony to attend and other tasks to do, over the next 2-3 days so just decided to do a change of scenery while being in the city. She inquired if I was free to meet.

Now, I am a JIT guy with no friends or substantial connections so obviously I had no plans. And even if I did, do you think I would have said no to such a rush of dopamine just from the anticipatory joy?

We decided to meet later that night and as I am not into the whole wine and dine ritual of the experience economy, decided to drop by her room with some liquor and Diet Coke.

I was on my way to her hotel around 10 and got a message from her. She said she needed my help in resolving an issue and I might have to wait in the hotel lobby for a few minutes. I got really curious.

As soon as she opened the door, I felt a gush of warmth in her presence. And it wasn’t just her effortless yet spectacular dressing sense or her gorgeous eyes or even her glowing skin. It was the entire vibe that was totally mesmerizing.

Also, the issue was that while she was combing her hair, the comb got entangled in them quite badly. She was all tensed up and was trying to get it out endlessly. The next few hours were some of the most spontaneously fun hours spent on a first date. From trying to figure out the right direction to move the comb to google ways to remove the comb to my suggestion of putting peanut butter on the hair (Office reference). While chatting over drinks we tried almost everything (except obviously the peanut butter). We even broke the comb’s bottom part to lessen the weight on her head. And finally, the quest ended when I decided to use my teeth and break apart the comb’s bristles stuck in the hair while she untangled the strands. Victory!

So needless to say, it was quite an unexpected rollercoaster of a start. She definitely felt thankful to me for actually even chewing the bristles of a comb out for her and felt that she would have most likely cried herself to sleep that night had the comb not been removed.

We next decided to have some dinner and post that watch something on Netflix. Choosing what to watch actually took us longer than actually watching it. Our attention got diverted by other matters. Anyway, as she had a long day so we ended up sleeping within a few hours. She also likes to cuddle like me. In fact, it is my favorite thing to do in bed, and she said that she’s a ‘cuddle monster’ who just loves it. She is quite a peaceful sleeper and although I got up from a 12-hour sleep just a few hours back, in her warm and cozy company I was fast asleep again.

Anyway, coming to the MBA concept of the ‘KF4D‘. After my MBA, I joined a consulting firm that specializes in the talent strategy domain. One of the insightful learning was the 4 parameters of gauging a person by the concept of KF4D (Korn Ferry 4 Dimensional Assessment). The four quadrants are competencies, experiences, traits, and drivers. It helps in sketching the archetype of an individual and drawing the reasoning for all the decisions made and actions taken by them.

The reason why someone senior at your firm or HR during an interview asks about family is a lot more than just small talk. Family ecosystem and childhood are the hypnosis stage of life (first 7 years)  and shape the drivers and traits majorly.

A number of useful insights can be gathered from KF4D in the modern-day dating context. Most of the dating decisions are being made on the basis of the top 2; competencies (education pedigree, job, etc) and experience (primarily age, previous relationship status). Be it the parents looking for matrimonial matches via an arranged marriage, or people swiping on dating platforms. The pedigree and salary are primary filters used to judge a potential partner.

That might be a big reason for a number of broken relationships. When it comes to a serious relationship, make sure that you spend a substantial amount of time (real, not virtual) with the other person before going into the relationship. Gauge the bottom two during that time spent together.

Figure out the traits of that person during that time by observing mundane activities like addressing a waiter at the restaurant, or offering to hold your bags when your hands are full. Also in the context of drivers, make sure they are not flaky in decision making or overambitious and able to enjoy the little things in life.

The tags don’t define people, not everyone going to a particular college would be similar.

For example, I had the privilege of going to some of the best schools in the country, despite that as a person/ romantic partner I am nowhere close to the ideal IIT-IIM stereotype propagated in the society. That is because my traits and drivers (bottom two quadrants) are vastly different from the mainstream. In fact, at IIM Ahmedabad I had no friends, and the person who I vented out my troubles was the counselor (shrink) working in the college, and that too because I didn’t need to pay for the sessions and she listened to me because well, she didn’t have an option.

Stop making decisions heavily based on such tags for gauging a potential romantic partner.

That brings me to the cuddle monster. So is this it? Has my love quest finally been ‘untangled’? Do I finally have my ‘ Alia’? Have the quadrants finally matched? Well, she is into self-made intellectual men. That is one of the reasons why she replied to my LinkedIn post story on Whatsapp. She places heavy importance on the top two quadrants and men who have risen from nothing while gauging a romantic partner. Now, while I might fit a particular archetype amazingly well on paper due to the top two quadrants, in reality, I am nowhere close to that archetype as a romantic partner due to the bottom two quadrants. I am nowhere close to a self-made man. I am a WIP man (‘man child’) at best so sadly it won’t work out. Though, my teeth did bite a lot more than just the comb that night. In fact, she got reminded of her thrills from the first time it had happened years back.



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