The beginning part of most relationships between a man and a woman is usually the “sweetest”. The desire to talk with one another is usually at the peak. The excitement at the mere thought of each other is often second to none.
Phone calls are usually long. Both just want to talk even if it will cost them their sleeps, nobody will actually feel it or even complain. When they talk, little joke usually excites. Even what could pass as an insult is usually sexy.
At this stage, they discuss everything and anything. They are usually naked before each other. . .nothing to keep back.
This is when the world-record for pet names are broken. “She is my world”, he will say; “he is my planet”, she will reply. “You are fresh like tomatoes”, one will say, and the other will reply, “you are hot like pepper.” And they will laugh. . .Ha ha ha ha!!!. . .ki ki ki ki!!! And fall on each others’ body as though they have broken the world record on the use of pepper in a sentence.
At this stage, what this “lovers” are passing through is not love in the strict sense of it. This is because there is a mixture of obsession, with drops of infatuation, half bag of lust, a little dose of love and a full bowl of stupidity.
Before what they share could get to that point of love, it must go through one or more separation techniques. The stupidity, obsession, lust, and infatuation will need to give way so we can see what is left of the love. It is like science where different separation techniques like chromatography, distillation, evaporation or filtration are used to separate mixtures.
But in our case here, to separate love from all those mixtures of obsession, lust, infatuation, and stupidity, it will need the combination of TIME, CONFLICTS, and CHALLENGES as separation techniques. What I call TCC: Time, conflicts, challenges.
WITH TIME, the excitement begins to fade off. All the pet names no longer carry the initial chemistry. This is why at the beginning she was called “sugar pie”, but now she is called “Mama Agiii”, what is remaining is to call her “Mama Kpof kpof.”
WITH CONFLICTS or misunderstanding, the true personality of each of them will begin to come out. The way he or she reasons when there are quarrels will give you a clue of the person’s true nature. Some people break up during conflicts, they accuse the woman of being disrespectful or not being submissive simply because she has an opinion of her own. The woman on the other hand, will also accuse the man of anger problem and not being understanding. And that is how all the midnight calls they have had will amount to useless waste of sleeping time.
WITH CHALLENGES, they will come down to the reality of the world they are living in. Things are not often smooth. Their eyes, like Adam and Eve, will become open. If the man use to be very rich and there is no more money, the way the woman will treat him will differ. If there is love, it will be known. If the woman is not as beautiful as before, or maybe she had an accident or there is some issues with family, her health or so, the way the man will see her will differ. If there is love, it will be seen. If their stupidity led them to become pregnant while they are not married, the challenge of abortion or not aborting will hit them. Realities like this, can break them or make them stronger. If there is love, everyone will see it.
Why this long epistle?
Simple! Love is not merely about Nengi’s back nor is it just about Dorathy’s front. Love is not merely about Ozo’s yellow skin or Kiddwaya’s broad shoulders. It is not about Dangote’s money, or Fr Kelvin’s beard. Love is choice, a conscious choice.
Until you come to that point where you can look at your spouse, having seen their weaknesses in abundance and also their strength, their ugliness when they are inside the room and their beauty when they are outside, and then choose that person. . . You have not started loving. That ability to choose, to stick with that person despite being conscious of who they are should never be tied towards what you will gain, but more of what you will give to better that person even when in some situations your giving is not reciprocated. Often, you don’t feel broken, because it is a decision you made.
It is that desire to make the beloved better that pushes the lover to give even if it requires the gift of their entire self. For this is what it means when the bible said, “For God so love the world”. . . (despite the sins and faults in the world) . . .”that he GAVE his only son”. . .why? For the betterment of anyone who believes.