Where is the love? The bible defines love as patient, kind, not envious, not proud, amongst others (1 cor 13:1-8). How many relationships apply this definition in reality? Today, most relationships use love as a justification for sex instead of the words lust or infatuation. How easy it is to say ‘I love you’ when in fact it should be ‘I lust for you’.
One day I was being driven back from the mall by Jide, my boyfriend at the time and there was this talk on the radio about relationships and we kind of got into an argument about it and about love. The next thing I knew, he said “I love you”. I looked at him as if to ask where that came from and he just looked back at me. Still perplexed as we have only been dating two weeks, I replied with a ‘thank you.’ I could have easily said ‘I love you too’ but I didn’t as I knew that would have been a lie, although I liked and cared for him. He made an issue out of my not saying I love you back and refused to talk to me till the next day. Two months later, the relationship was over without any notice. We just parted ways. Thank God I still had my pride and honor intact. So what happened to this love he had for me?
How do you know you are really in love? “It is when you can’t sleep at night because of thoughts of him, you wake up after about 2 hours of sleep with thoughts of him, you wonder if he’s ok every time, you want to do everything to make him happy” my best friend Claudia told me. At this time, she was infatuated with a co-worker and although he had a girlfriend who was out of the country, he claimed he was ‘head over heels in love’ with her . Where is he now? He is married to his girlfriend and they have a daughter together. So what happened to this earth shattering love he had for her?
“Girlie, when you fall in love ehn, you go just de kolo for the guy. Its only natural” says Kole a guy friend of mine. “Well no problem as long as the guy de kolomental for me. If it is going to be one sided and on my part, I refuse to fall in love, unless he is the one doing the loving. After all it was said in the bible that a man should love his partner as he loves himself and she should submit to him” I replied. Kole laughed “you are just being pigheaded and stiff. Let go”. Let go ke? And have this my tender heart trampled on? No way o..biko. There is no rule in any relationship handbook that says a girl shouldn’t guard her heart and be cautious.
Someone once told me to make sure not to fall in love but rather walk in love because when you fall, it might take a while for you to be picked up, that is if you get picked as you may be too traumatized to even ask for a helping hand. But when you walk in love, and you see a bad path ahead, you can easily turn and take the next path. As the poet, Archibald Macleish once said “love, like light, grows dearer towards the dark.” He calls it the “late, last wisdom of the afternoon.” It is the kind of love that grows dearer as we age, survives all disappointments, misunderstandings, quarrels.
I may sound like I’ve been through a lot of heartaches and from being in love but the reverse is the case. I’ve never experienced what is it to be ‘in love’ with a man but I’m waiting expectantly to experience this “ late, last wisdom of the afternoon”, the self denying love that is deeply rooted in God, a life long commitment that never gives up or fails.