Monday, 5 September 2011


They say love conquers it all, how true is this? Can love really silence the needs and expectations of family members and loved ones? Can it suppress society demands? Can it shun the basic necessities of our personal being?

Have you ever wondered why some relationships don't get past the second date despite the first date was so romantic? Have you ever wondered  why two perfect beautiful couples suddenly go separate ways even when they seem so happy?

Trust me, it is never intentional but there are just some factors that people tend to overlook or perhaps,  believe that love can conquer it all. While some have survived the storm, others have been drowned. Others however just chicken out. Whichever way, it boils down to the ugly truth that love is never enough to make a stable relationship. While it is the strongest rudiment, it is also the most ignored fact when other factors show up.

These factors if not confronted usually result to misunderstanding which eventually leads to break-ups.

When in love, it's so easy to ignore some salient issues such as career choice, family opinions, social class, etc. This usually occurs in the first date.

At first meeting, we are  attracted to the opposite sex based on our romantic needs.
We are swooned by the strong waves of love and nothing else matters at the moment apart from love. All you want to do is support him/her, you dismiss other priorities in your life but focus in love.

I would like to call this the first stage in a relationship. It is characterized by one's focus on romantic and sexual needs that can be derived from the other partner. One tends to focus on the short-term gains such as sexual gratification, fantasy marriage, emotional support and physical attraction.

When this first stage finally takes a bow, and the curtains drawn, one  begins  to ponder if the audience actually enjoyed the show. Other relevant issues begins to rear up.

Suppose he comes from a very poor background and you are from a rich background, you begin to wonder, what will be the reaction of your family when you bring him/her home. Will they accept him/her like you did or probably knock your head until you regain your senses back?

If you are lucky, your parents could be supportive and lend a helping hand, but do be on the lookout for some insults at the slightest confrontation.

You may decide to be stubborn and go ahead with the relationship. You really don't mind paying the rent and other utility  bills. Then all of a sudden, while hanging out with your girlfriends, they ask you about your man, what is he doing, why is he always hanging out at the salon, where is he taking you this holiday, oh can you bring him over to the new joint(and we all know the man ends up paying for the drinks and chips). Worse, they babble about the exotic places their man has taken them to, show you the lovely presents they bought for them.

You go home feeling so miserable and annoyed especially if you meet him in the sitting room watching football, dishes undone and tap running in the bathroom. You will scream the hell out of him, remind him of how you work your butt off just to take care of the bills. On and on you rant while he looks at you quizzically. And  poor him, he doesn't have a clue of what the problem really is.

You finally succeed in driving him out of the house to a bar and though he hopes to meet you in a lighter mood when he gets back but he will be very devastated when he returns because you will still be sulky. In fact, the "I'm tired of this" mode has just being activated.

The ladies suffer the same. When he goes on social functions and his colleagues keep talking about how their wives help financially or their latest jobs, he keeps mute or excuse himself to use the gents. God help you if you decide to ask for a new trinket or blanket that night. He will definitely remind you of your pathetic state. Even the tears you cry won't help out. Tonight, he is done with the burden of catering for you alone. He needs your support and you just have to start taking care of your demands. He storms out of the house angrily.
After much sobbing and reflection, you wash up, dress up in your best lingerie, hoping that your seduction plan will work because you really need that trinket to show off in the next women's meeting in the church or your neighbourhood.

At the creaking sound of the door, you quickly jump into bed, poise in a seductive way, exposing a bit of some juicy apples, brush your hair one more time to ensure it has that sexy allure, lastly apply Victoria Secret lipstick to give your lips that sweet and juicy taste. You count how many minutes it will take him to get to the bedroom.

Minutes turn to hours, yet no sign of him, no sound either. You keep on waiting until the air-conditioned room suddenly becomes too hot.

In your frustration, you set out to look for him only to find him in the sitting room slumped in couch snoring loudly. And there goes your well-laid plan.

While we wish to fall in love and marry that perfect man or woman of our dreams, one cannot drown social expectations from our loved ones and the society at large.

It is very easy to fall in love and shun society demands but, and this is a big BUT....can you survive the storm in the long run? Can you really not care when you can't visit home during long vacations or take your children to see your parents because you are afraid one of them will snort and tell your children that their parents was a match made in hell?

Can you avoid the nosy neighbor in the supermarket who tells everyone that you are such a disgusting excuse for being a man because your wife works while you lay in bed all day?
Can you ignore the embarrassing looks and whispers of your girlfriends when your man can't pay for their drinks in a bar?

Can you gladly pose with your wretched husband for a classic magazine cover?
Can you still say "I love you" after all these?

It is advisable that before one makes a lifetime commitment, the couple should endeavor that they have the necessary capacity to cushion these social expectations. While romance and all its eccentricities can make you jump into the marriage wagon, be sure that you have enough fuel to keep it burning.

On a more specific basis, love is never enough to make a relationship work or last. One need to be witty as well when making decisions in relationships, especially those leading to marriages.

One has to weigh the pros and cons to ensure that they are on the right track.
It is wiser to end a date before it develops into a real relationship than to grumble and wallow in self-pity in marriage.

Love can only be complete when two individuals decide to stay together, stronger and tougher when the storm blows.

The writer is a graduate of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism in Lagos, a blogger and freelance writer.


  1. Girl, I am impressed with your choice of grammar. Our school fees was never in vain. However, I tend to disagree a bit with your stand on love.

    The problem we have is that people don't place their priorities right when they claim they are in love. True love and material love are different. True love covers all feasible inadequacies. Material love centers on a particular thing and idolizes it. When that thing looses form then the basis of the love becomes threatened. What we have today is infatuations ruled by one or two fantasies.A true man who could not afford the pleasantries that lubricates the wheels of love and romance most times feels a sense of guilt. A fake man who relishes in his inability to care for his woman nor his responsibilities is what even the bible referred to as 'worse than infidel'. Most men want to to take charge: responsibilities and romance. When he finds true love and she gives him time to grow, he surely will live up to it. However, first ensure that what he feels is true love.

    Check out all the personal emails you got on facebook from guys. Most of them tells you your sexxy , your hot, your this, your that. All are atomic and pointed in nature as described by a feature they perceive in you. They are not real. The day you go ahead and meet the guy, sensual desires and infatuations driven underground by the sunami of 'bodi-no-be-fire-wood' will obliterates ones judgement of the basic relationship fundamentals. That makes first dates excellent.

    Another thing i want to make you understand is that relationship, just like success is a journey not a destination. Along the journey you pick new ideas and drop old ones. Along the journey you meet new challenges, fight different wars and get different bruises. The joy of a soldier is just the pendant. The joy for one which fuels his/her desire to climb over mountains and leap over walls all because of love is that thing called commitment. When you exhibit true love. You show real commitment. You are ready to go the full hug. Commitment is that thing that makes a believer die in the course of what he believes in. If you believe in true love, search out a fellow true lover. Both of you should get committed and all those fears will be over.

  2. Lol! thanks for your contribution. however, be it material love or true love, we can't deny these social expectations. at one point or the other we will have to confront these issues and the only way we can conquer it is to address them at the initial stage and decide if we are strong enough to survive the storm or not.

    Like you rightly said, love is not a destination, but a journey, thus the need to ensure that we have the necessary requirements to survive this journey.

    You do realise that in an African setting, love cannot be enough because there is much at stake. Unlike the Westerners whose culture differ from ours in various ways, true love is based on the decision of two consenting adults who want to share their lives together, with little or no concern about society or parental expectations.

    However in Africa, true love cannot be based on that because so much is expected from the couples.

  3. I must start by congratulating you on this piece. I enjoyed reading it and the comments as well. I beg to differ a little though from some of your points. I think true love conquers it all and is always enough. If others have been able to sail through the storm then it is possible for the rest to do same. I believe that when the love being expressed is not true but just ordinary then along the way, road bumps become road blocks. When the love is real, your eyes are always on the prize which is your joy and happiness. Material things are good but they don't matter to you that much when you have met your true love(soulmate) and your family and friends utterances won't get to you in any way. I think the question we should ask is "does true love exist in our times?". Because what do u call love if all we want to be with those who are on the same social and economic stance as we are or those who are better than us at a certain point in time. I personally say that when you want to love me, don't tell it to me but show it in your actions. How do u tell someone loves and cares about you when you have all you need and u meet their standards? Again I thought the definition of culture is a way of life of a group of people so if this definition is right then I guess we can also decide to live like the westners if we want to, afterall we copy their ways in other things. I will end by saying love is enough if it is true, Don't others call infatuation and lust love? Tnx...kay

  4. Thanks Kay for your contribution. Anyway, my article was inspired by a couple who claim to be in love and yet, they can't help to worry or regret why they can't meet some social or parental expectations. This in turn affected their relationship, thus, the main theme of this article is to advise couples to make sure that what they feel is real and strong enough to carry on despite the challenges or confrontations they might encounter in their journey of love. Like you pointed out, people feel different things and call it love, thus, any couple who want to go the extra mile should be able to address these issues before saying "Yes I do" to any serious commitment which is why i stated in my last paragraph that "Love can only be complete when two individuals decide to stay together, stronger and tougher when the storm blows."

  5. hi!!! hey!!! u have poured the gist of life... whats essential... n whats real.. u have put across life as it is sugar coating... stark naked.. blunt... n yes... there is big if... n big but also.. it is also ones individual.. decision... n individual choice... that whatever there is ... inspite of knowing.. whatever.. post marriage things r in store for u.. u still go ahead... n give it a try.. n u have be a wall together for all the calamities... epidemics which r hitting u ... u may stagger ..hit hard ... n may fall.. but together u can rise n be a wall ... to all the negatives.. life is always a litmus test...n always be .. so be there together .. n come what may.. let love be above all.. n it always bind.. u.. keep u in each others arms..

  6. Well said Almas, thanks for your contribution.

  7. Your piece is great but still one sided and not enough objectivity overall. Love is situational and what we humans call love is very fluid at best. It seems, you concentrate mostly on material and artificial love and things (yes, essential) family, friends, and neighbors' approval. It seems you are loving for the opinions of others and not for yourself and your partner. Sometimes, good love does not fit perfectly into the norm, or tradition, or what others think for you about perfect love..the so called onlookers thoughts. It seems, love by definition has many definitions. You just have to choose which definition of it you want to adopt, cherish, improve, and respect. If your choice ends up okay, you are lucky and then, you had chosen the right definition. No one fit all definition. To ask for a perfect love is just one definition.

  8. Thanks Wright for your contribution.

    I think the presentation of my article does not really portray the theme of the article. Anyway, for a clarity sake,I'm not advocating for material love. I'm only advising couples to make sure that whatever they feel for each other is 'TRUE LOVE' and not just an infatuation.

    After all, what is true love, if not when it has survived such issues and challenges. One does not feel true love at first sight. Let's face it, we are humans, at one point or the other you will reflect on your actions and wonder if you made the right decisions.

    In order to make sure you are really in love, you should have made up your mind that if these issues show up later in your relationship or marriage, you can conquer it.

    Thanks again for your contribution.

  9. Very well said Vanessa. This is a fantastic post. I believe love is a very beautiful thing, but that beauty could easily be marred by just about anything, like you rightly discussed up there.

    It's a known fact that physical looks fade away with time, we are all going to get old some day, the hair will be thinner and gray, the breast will go south, bellies will start protruding, a little weight gained here and there, and our skin will wrinkle up. But if you're a good person spiritually and otherwise, then love in its purest form ought to be enough to last forever.

    In an ideal world it is nice to have someone who is a great lover, a 'genius' in bed, and all that, but therein lies the problem, there are a few people on earth who are both attractive on the inside and out. So as I have learned over the years, one always have to go deeper than the surface, and should you come across a gem,and then love eventually comes your way, just grab on to it and run with it.

    On the external pangs of trouble that can affect love or a relationship, I think the African setting factor you mentioned is spot on.

    In Ghana for example marriages are not just borne out of the mere love a couple share, like we see in many parts of the western world, but of families and all others who matter most is what we practice here.

    Sadly, the evil of tribalism and ethnocentric tendencies almost always gets in the way, one family of a particular tribe would do anything and everything on earth just to destroy a beautiful relationship between two consenting,dating young adults who want to take things to the next level, all because of careless prejudice, bias and hatred. The contempt and open animosity can be very sickening I tell you.

    Sometimes, I ask myslf that, is it just ingnorance, fear or hatred, or all of the above that seem to be the root cause. They say love has no boundary, but in Ghana, and elsewhere in many parts of Africa, this is not the case.

    So I ask, why is it OK for a Ghanaian to marry or go out with a foreigner, but very difficult to love and marry a sister, or brother next door. A Ghanaian can marry say a Nigerian, Ivorian, Haitian, South African, or a white man from a completely different race, but when it comes to certain tribes at home it's a big NO NO.

    A lot of people have been brainwashed to believe in so much stereotype and it's high time we dealt with it in our own little ways as the up and coming generation of enlightened minds.

    In the name of LOVE let's try everything in our power to fight this cheap canker,tribalism.

    LOVE should be enough to conquer all.

    My opinion.

  10. Thanks Precious for this awesome contribution. you said it all.