What Is Love? (2)

Aidy Thomas

Aidy Thomas

You may describe the subject- ‘love’ as being vague and mushy because of its affiliation to lust, romance, emotional attachment and the rest of them but I see it from the ‘commitment’ angle.


Feelings wane with time and circumstances; you may hardly believe it’s the same you who was literally swept off by the mere appearance of him/her with butterflies and goose bumps-‘cutis anserina’ giving an overwhelming sense of desire for closeness and touch.


Endless time went into dreaming and looking forward to when that phone call would come through, an evening together or just a few moment of silent gaze into the eyes that speak directly to your heart.


Trust me, with time, sooner than expected, all of that come crumbling flat, leaving you with the real substance to work with —love.


I mentioned previously that staying in love is a choice. You must make this choice and be committed to it. Gone are the days men used to say “I am going to marry a very pretty babe; this will make me not to look at other women at all”. Is this true? I have seen guys who married ‘beauty queens’ but were soon found on the street either hunting for commercial partners or ‘ordinary women’ that cannot be compared with their status. Why does this happen? The answer is simple; they have not found what it takes to live together ‘happily ever after’. There is no point then feeling cool that your looks are enough to bring you marital fulfilment. Looks may attract but character attaches. The real ‘you’ is how you behave, talk, respond to others/things and manage/handle situations. Once your spouse does not feel you are competent enough to give the necessary support; attention begins to shift but let’s hope you are able to salvage the situation and bring back joy.


Some women/men expend so much energy trying to be who they are not just to impress and attract an opposite sex. That’s fine but the big question is: Can you do that all your life? The day you stop being who they thought you were marks the beginning of trouble in the union. Relationship requires a lot more than physical attraction. Emphasis unconsciously shifts to personality— intelligence, productivity and ability to complement— covering the weaknesses of the other with your strength, showing leadership when the path is bleak would make you appreciate the presence of your lover in your life.


Agape is good but to build a gorgeous relationship, you need a little more of working on yourself to be able to offer a quality union. Give your spouse value for his/her choice of marriage. Relevance is the secret of continuous attachment; nobody wants to hang out with a fellow who has nothing to add to his/her life. This might be far from financial contribution but find a need to fill in his/her life and you’ll forever be needed. Even in a work setting, companies only lay off staff who they think are not contributing to the growth of the organisation. Alfred was offered a job in London at the peak of the UK recession. While attending his induction, he asked his boss why they employed him when others were asked to resign. The answer was: “we were told of your contributions in your company-relevance” simple.


Having talked about doing your bit to help the other party love you more easily, I want to also say in my own words that ‘Love is showing your heart through the things you do’. Show me a man/woman who treats the spouse with respect and care; I’ll show you where love resides. It’s almost impossible to say you love someone but do terrible things to him/her including cheating. I’m in the habit of telling couples “Your spouse is not a mind reader; show them what you think- they want action not thought”.


Expressing love openly could mean different things to diverse people but let’s for the sake of my point, draw a line between romance and ‘showing love’. Romance involves gentle moves of contact but showing love is purely action based —things you do to make life sweeter/easier for him/her. It could be offering help at home, showing concern about his/her own people, being supportive in difficult times at work, spending time, soft answers, etc.


Love is when our actions tend toward the good of others. This is a tricky one for me because sometimes you do things to/for people with good intentions but they totally misinterpret it. How does it feel? Painful: very painful indeed.


I can recall the case of a man who offered to stay home with his sick child for two days but the wife came up with the accusation that he wanted to catch a fling with the nanny. He felt terribly bad and disappointed at his wife’s line of suspicion. Love would have propelled him to make this offer so the wife could concentrate on her new job knowing someone the child knows closely would be there to keep her company but it turned out the other way round —quite a pity.


There’s also been so much confusion about parental discipline. Some folks feel their parents do not love them simply because they wouldn’t say yes to all their requests. The truth of all is: decision of parents might be painful but if they do it with a good heart of love, following them may pay off later.


Whether you’re relating with a lover, child, siblings, colleagues or mere acquaintances, it is important to let them know why you do certain things and keep life simply so you are not always misunderstood. Love should be clear —working for the good of others not only your selfish end. Good to hear is the fact that the more you love others, the more fulfilment you find in life. It’s a worthy cause, let’s give it a go.

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