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Love, Again…

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My dear Jil, it’s a brand new year, and the year is so full of promise. Sorry I couldn’t answer your mail over the hols. I was away. Trying to catch up on my mails. There’s a ton in my box. Here’s the thing: you have to set YOUR dating parameters this year so you don’t repeat the mistakes of the past. If you don’t learn from your mistakes, there’ll be resit sometime in the future. Life imagines itself an examination council. We pray bad things don’t happen but things do happen. We learn and move on.

Now, I know you value two things in a relationship and you’re right on point with those two things. Security and happiness are critical to a woman in a relationship. By happiness I don’t mean triggered giddiness. That’s a euphoric state captured in a moment in time. I’m talking about what makes a relationship existentially enjoyable, what makes us want to be with our partner always. The facilitator of such happiness is the quality and character of the person. It’s about personage.

As per security, it goes to the issue of the fidelity of your partner, his dedication and the quality of his love. You want to make sure he’s really into you, not that you’re just a designated interim pleasure administrator. Realizing that can be painful and lead to bitterness. Especially when he goes off to marry another woman. Such realization can hurt so much – that feeling of feeling used. And it’s not just men who use women. Women use men too. There’s a mismatch of investments and intendments. The dawn of realization that a relationship has no long-term potential can be saddening. Trying to tie a guy down with preemptive pregnancy will only lead to bitterness and alienation. Don’t do it. That pregnancy will achieve short-term goals but it will lead to long-term pain and resentment. It is hoping against hope however to stay in a relationship with no long-term potential. These things are often obvious.

You’ll know he’s committed to you from the way he treats you, and whether your relationship is open-source. If he’s avoiding introducing you to his friends, or avoiding being seen with you, you have to wonder. Without a VERY cogent basis for such course of action you must as a woman wonder why he’s hiding your relationship. The tide can turn on a dime on any given excuse in a relationship without security. A simple irritation or quarrel can become an excuse for breakup. It’s an excuse. It means the breakup had been contemplated but there was no basis for it. Now he has a trigger. Though we must also acknowledge that such breakup can come from exasperation over a repeated course of action. Security is only in dedicated love. You can’t find security in someone who sees you as a menu option. There’ll be emotional distancing and dissociation in such relationship. There can’t be commitment. He won’t want things mingled and mixed up. He’ll seek demarcation of identities. The relationship will be lop-sided ­– you wanting unrequited affection and thereby losing bargaining edge. It can be humiliating wanting someone who doesn’t particularly want you, only just tolerating you. It can also be humiliating being with someone who doesn’t want to marry you but is using you to fill a pleasure vacuum.

Now, there’s all that baby, baby stuff and it’s important. But that’s hardly the definition of love, it’s just an expression. Love is sacrificial. Love without sacrifice is meaningless. The idea of love without sacrifice can’t hold. The very definition of love is sacrifice. It’s why you forbear. It’s why you put up with one another. It’s why you’re patient with each other. Love sacrifices. You know he loves you by the quality of sacrifice. That’s a fundamental principle of life. Selfish love is an oxymoron. Of course he can also measure your love for him by what you’re willing to sacrifice. Love puts the other person first. In love there’s giving. In love there’s accommodation. In love there’s acceptance. These are attributes of sacrifice. A selfish relationship can’t endure, even if it persists chronologically. The degraded essence robs it of essential value. It’s for this reason the ability to give is a demonstration of love. You can’t love without giving. And giving in a relationship includes the giving of emotion, attention and time. That’s not saying we must be unreasonable in our expectation of our partner, but there can’t be love without giving. And everyone has something to give in a relationship. Care is contemplative.

When a relationship is DEFINED as a one-sided equation someone’s going to feel cheated at some point. A selfish relationship soon takes on the hue of bargaining in a commercial affair. It will become an either nothing-goes-for-nothing relationship or something-gets-you-nothing relationship. You want to avoid a nothing-goes-for-nothing relationship or something-gets-you-nothing relationship. Bottomline, don’t make the mistakes of last year. You paid heavy tuition. You need to take that critical decision. Critical decisions dictate the logic of progression. Hope for the best not the worst. You can’t go through the year pessimistic. The past wants to sneak up on us to make us pessimistic. Approach the year with all the hope you can muster. Hope is the raw material of faith. Maintain a positive outlook. Pessimism in a relationship is full of unspoken and intoned accusation. It’s cynical. No one wants to be in an accusatory relationship. It’s debilitating. Be focused this year. Be clear about what you want. That’s a guidance system. Don’t forget to live. Don’t forget to breathe!

Your mentor, LA

© Leke Alder |


Tags : Relationship, Love
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