After a powerful sermon in church one day, the pastor jokingly said: “As you leave church today, watch the people that pass by in their cars and try to guess if they are married. Here’s a hint, single people will be laughing and talking; maybe even touching each other. The married people…will be facing opposite directions!”
It’s funny right? Actually it’s not funny because in a lot of cases, this is the case. The couple, who just a few years ago couldn’t get enough of each other; who couldn’t find enough things to talk about, is the same couple that can barely stand one another’s company now. They have nothing to talk about except it’s about the bills, the kids and such. As for touching each other…when ‘Oga’ nudges ‘Madam’, she obligingly rolls over, half asleep while she goes over the grocery list in her head.
That ‘deep fire’ love can turn to ‘cold water’ indifference is one of the things that scares singles – the thought that after experiencing the dizzying heights of hot love, one is to be plunged into the indescribable lows of cold indifference for the rest of one’s life!
But surely it’s possible to keep the fire burning? They say love fades, but we see some (mostly on TV) who are still kissing and hugging; deeply in love many years later. So how do you keep the fire burning?
When reality has taken over and cured you of the lovingitis, you stop seeing Mr. Perfect, and suddenly you see your partner as they really are, with all their faults. In fact you live with some major ones such as enduring his farts and burps and having to clean up after him all the time, till you almost feel your name is Ekaete (no disrespect to any Ekaete reading this).
And how do you keep the fire burning when you have to endure her shrill voice (which used to be melodious), calling you every second? As if waking up to her early morning ‘Oprah pre-make up’ face is not bad enough!
Love changes over time. The flame goes down ever so slowly and when it no longer burns brightly, you can imagine that it is dead. But just as it is with fire, love smolders, and all you have to do to revive it is to breathe on it. It keeps its spark, but can easily be fanned back to life (my grandmother used to say “na old firewood dey catch pass”).
But here’s the catch – you need to manage it with a smart and interested determination. It takes time, effort and commitment.
First, know that getting the girl is not the end of the road for the relationship.
I’m talking to the men here – the heads and the leaders. Lead in this aspect as well. Treat your partner as that woman whose love and trust keep you going. Remember the things that hooked you in the first place and continue to admire them. But how can you admire something that is covered up by the wahala of everyday life, housekeeping and perhaps even children? You, Oga, make time to go away together on retreats for refreshing, spend a night alone, utter those three magic words every day. And touch your woman! Remain the gentleman who loves her and cherishes her.
Madam, you have to maintain those things about you that hooked him. Your mind, your looks, your gentleness and the way you always made him feel like a king…even moreso now that he’s king of your heart and your house!
It takes effort and determination to keep the fire burning, but it is doable. And the result? You can enjoy your lovingitis as much as you like for as long as you like.