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Read Letter

Love Is Sacrifice

It’s amazing, but what usually defines a relationship is just one event, only one. There’s an ultimacy to such events, an invisible ultimacy. Life is full of such ultimatenesses. Men are different from women in decision-making. Men rationalize their decision, seek justification for choice AFTER the event. Whereas for women, justification is BEFORE the event. Everything is settled based on that. They hardly second-guess themselves thereafter. Everything is settled. A woman just knows. Men need conviction, even of their emotions and feelings. A man needs to KNOW he took the right decision, or that he got the best deal in the circumstances.

These rationalisations can determine his fidelity in the relationship. And he even rationalizes his infidelity, justifies it. It’s why men revolt when they feel trapped by pregnancy or feel compelled to go into marriage by reason of pregnancy. If the only basis for the marriage is the pregnancy, the man will struggle in the marriage. You could argue of course that if he didn’t want to marry her, why was he then sleeping with her? But as you’ve seen over and over again, men don’t think that way, though it’s a simple and obvious logic. It’s because he’s asking himself, Would I marry her if there was no pregnancy? A pregnancy-induced marriage has a huge resentment potential. Can lead to emotional abandonment. Even AFTER marriage men still keep examining their justification for marriage. He can’t be thankful otherwise. Beauty is enough justification for a man by the way. But it has to be accompanied by some other factor to be qualitative. The thing that gets men the most surprisingly is kindness.

One major act of kindness is enough to push a man to take a marriage decision. It’s powerful justification. Good men value sacrifices. If you sacrifice for a man he will replay it over and over again in his head and just hold on to it. And the sacrifice doesn’t necessarily have to be something grand. It’s always relative to his need or trouble. I know a man who was emotionally down at one time. One day he made a call to a lady friend that he needed company. He just needed a friend at that very moment, someone to just gist with. It was a dragged out low point in his life. The lady in question had closed from work, was indeed almost home. She was at least ten kilometres far from him. She explained to him she was almost home, to which he replied she shouldn’t then bother. He was considerate. It would be highly inconvenient for her to turn back, and he understood. He resigned himself to that fact, and wished he had called her an hour earlier. But life doesn’t give us the privilege of rewinding history and re-taping segments. It’s why we have regrets. Anyway he thanked her, but the lady insisted on turning back. And she turned back to go and spend time with him. They spoke some, walked round the block and that was it. But he was able to take his mind off his troubles. She was his palliative. There was nothing romantic in that encounter. It didn’t cross either mind. It was just a situation in which a friend sacrificed her comfort to be with another friend who was down. But that event remained indelible in the man’s heart. It became that ONE event. It was for him a singular proof she genuinely loved him and cared for him. That she’d be there for him. Of course they are now married. No one else came close when it came to time for choice. ONE EVENT. And he keeps remembering THAT particular event, replaying the video. It somehow meant a lot to him. Of course this lady has so many wonderful qualities. For one, she is beautiful. And she’s simple. But what stood out for the man was the fact she sacrificed and inconvenienced herself by turning around. She probably never saw it as a big deal. And that’s the thing about life. We never know what a big deal is.

There are so many stories like this, that I’ve curated in my mind, and I see a consistent pattern – kindness. Solomon was indeed right – kindness makes a person attractive. Be kind. You may be showing kindness to your future spouse. Life has these potent permutations. There’s a huge probabilistic play by life. It’s what Solomon was talking about when he said time and chance happen to all. It’s called chance because we never know. You can’t determine it. But one act of kindness can determine your future. When a man is down, what he needs is kindness. A hug will go places. Sometimes companionship is all that matters. Relationships require sacrifice. Love will not always be convenient. If you set a date with someone, don’t at the last minute cancel the date based on a simple inconvenience. And it’s worse if you cancel a date without giving notice. Some dates have been flimsily cancelled while the other party was ALREADY enroute. That’s not fair! A casual attitude towards other people’s feelings will lose you many friends, even future spouse. Selflessness is what ultimately determines the value of a relationship. Selfishness corrodes value. Imagine a man setting a movie date with someone, and whilst he’s approaching he makes a call to his date. Only for her to tell him, oh, sorry. She needs to make some extra bucks on an opportunity that just walked in. That’s a true story by the way. Of course the lady lost the potential boyfriend. She has no regard for people’s feelings. Till today she keeps wondering why no man will marry her. But she keeps being selfish and self-centred. She’s invented excuses of course – “Oh, men can’t handle strong independent women…” But the truth is, the singular reason she remains unmarried is because she’s extremely selfish. It’s that simple. Add one or two other character flaws like temperament and you have an emotional crisis.

Sacrifice means a lot to men, especially when they’re in trouble. If a man is in trouble and you abandon him, you can’t claim to be his friend. A friend is born for adversity. If a man is in trouble and you abandon him, and he finally sorts himself out, how can you hope to inherit a ring from him? Love is not always going to be convenient. It’s why it’s called love.

Your mentor, LA

© Leke Alder |

Tags : Relationship, Sacrifice

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