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My dear Jack, Valentine is coming up. You spoke about taking her to dinner. Is that still on? It’s the opportunity you have to re-sit that exam she conducted when she asked what made you convinced she was the one. Like I told you, in my mail she’s not looking for a narration of the sequence of your conviction. She just wanted you to give her words of assurance. It was a security question.

Well, as per Valentine, the young lady obviously likes words. Words actually mean a lot to women. So what are you going to say to her this Valentine? And it’s your opportunity to resolve those issues you have, the things causing incessant quarrels.

For starters, don’t buy cards with words you don’t mean or can’t say from your heart. There’s an artificiality to that, an insincerity, even a lie. If you can’t find a card that conveys your affection, write your own words. It’s not difficult. Write from your heart. Say what you mean, mean what you say. A narrative is sometimes the best approach – tell her how you felt when you first saw her. And then proceed to your feelings – your true feelings. It’s not about catching the perfect words. It’s about sincerity of heart, about nakedness and honesty. If you can simply express yourself, you’ll have achieved more than all those cards put together. Just express your feelings to her. And it need not be long. Something short and meaningful that is coming from your heart is more powerful than a long treatise with no truth. If you want to write a poem, ok, but you don’t have to write a poem. If you choose to write a poem and you’re struggling, deprecate yourself with a commentary.

You see, if you lay a foundation of sincerity in your relationship, you’ll both be richer for it. It’s about trust. Trust is important. It’s very hard to trust an insincere person. You know you’re being manipulated. Focus on sincerity of heart. Sincerity of heart is why we say some people are good people. They’re sincere people. You both have to be sincere with each other. No withholding of affection, else you’ll turn your relationship into a bargaining correspondence.

There are always things to work on in a relationship, partly because we need to keep working on ourselves. A relationship succeeds more when we work on ourselves. You have to work on yourself, she has to work on herself. The reason you keep fighting is because no one wants to give in to the other. You get into these fights because both of you have the privilege of youth. What I’m actually saying is that both of you have to grow up.

Love is accommodating, love is tolerant. Love is understanding. Love has to be understanding. Or there’ll be no relationship. None of us is perfect. But we must all strive to be better versions of ourselves.  The poor version of ourselves can actually be episodic. If in the midst of your episode, pull back. You’ll both need maturity if you want to make a success of your proposed marriage. You can’t afford the constant fight. In marriage there’ll be too much tension. And you’ll condition yourselves into fight mode. You’ll be defensive, snap at simple questions. And she’ll deploy mood as a layer of conversation. Monosyllabic answers will be the order of the day. Which will get you angry and which will make you want to ignore her in retaliation. But she’s going to hate being ignored. Women hate being ignored. Then there’ll be another fight. And the marriage becomes a cycle of fight, mood and ignominy. Both of you need to sit down to resolve whatever issues you have. It’s important for couples to discuss. There must be communication. Have a civil discussion on the issues. The reason such discussions fail many times is because the other party is not allowed to talk. Which of course angers the party and he or she falls into silent mood. At that point the talk is officially broken down. As boyfriend/girlfriend, it’s good to make a habit of discussing issues so conflict resolution is easy in marriage.

The other problem is that both of you are trying to control each other. Relationships don’t work that way, can’t work that way. You’re both trying to have your way. You can’t keep insisting on having your way in a relationship. You’ll shut the other party up, or there’ll be a flare up. Such a relationship can easily descend into virtue-signalling autocracy, especially by the man. Though I must admit there are women who emasculate their men.

So why don’t you have a fresh start on Valentine’s Day. Try and be accommodating of each other. Go out of your way to be nice. Find a way to address her fears and concerns. Do so in positive terms, otherwise you’ll spoil the dinner. Tell her nice things, what you love about her. Remind each other. In your bickering, you’ve said terrible stuff to each other. Time to heal. You both need to tame your tongues. Words can’t be taken back even though we say, “I take that back”. Words can be like darts. Once they sink into the fleshly membrane of the heart the pain can endure in anguished silence.

Funny thing is, both of you are irrevocably committed to marriage. It’s kind of fait accompli. You’re never going to leave each other. Since there’s an inevitability to your relationship why don’t you both make it an enjoyable ride? And you’re going to be together for life. Too much fighting and couples get impatient with each other. There’ll be programmed expectation and response. Reset by making the evening memorable for her. Let her be reminded of why she agreed to date you in the first place. Don’t discuss negative stuff at your Valentine dinner. Don’t rehash offences. You’ll spoil the mood and waste your money. Just decide to have one nice evening. And follow up the next day. Tell her how much you enjoyed the dinner. Then you can tell her, “Let’s work out our differences.” Next evening go over and see her. Both of you make each other see the other’s point of view. Don’t argue, just work things out.

Relationships are not meant to be tendentious. If so what’s the point of relationship? And like I told you, marriage is too proximate for things like constant fight. You’ll be beating each other up. It can only lead to escalation. Mature couples forbear. They work things out in a spirit of meekness. They’re disposed to peaceableness. The more peaceable your relationship the more the joy. But if it’s full of acrimony, there’ll be pain and anger. Work things out, ok?

Your mentor, LA

© Leke Alder |

If you lay a foundation of sincerity in your relationship, you’ll both be richer for it. Click To Tweet


Tags : Peace, Emotional, expressiveness

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