by Ore Fakorede
By nature, a relationship demands (some kind of) exposure to be. It requires a baring of souls and lives for the ones involved to learn about each other, grow into each other and become comfortable.
But with exposure comes familiarity, and familiarity breeds contempt.
Or complacency, that unfortunate dust that settles on things left to settle; like a house kept shut and without the benefit of sunlight for so long that the treasures within begin to tarnish.
We become fixtures in each other’s lives and then we begin to forget:
- The thrill of exploring a whole new world living and breathing in another person.
- How we went from uncertainty to certainty about this person, and the joy that came with that knowing.
- The simple pleasures of holding hands, wordless conversations, eating together and seeing each other after a long day apart.
- The love of God expressed in Him, by His grace, giving us a co-burden bearer and a partner to face down life with.
- Presence, that all-important thing that transcends being physically present.
Our phones begin to find their way out of our pockets when there are lulls in conversations, nimble fingers flying across screens as we swipe and tap our significant other into irrelevance.
“Sorry, what were you saying?”
Then they start living on the table, close enough to start a war.
They glow and beep and vibrate in plain sight, as if reminding us with a cold smugness that no human is truly indispensable, while precious things recede into the background.
The things created to bring us closer start us on paths that lead us apart.
Life away from this life we’re supposed to be building and enjoying together slowly becomes more urgent and notifications from strangers make the heart beat faster than the loving gaze of the people who know us well.
We arrive at see finish and the road is all downhill from there.
Affection will rust and lovely things will decay unless we stop:
- Acting like we can swap people with things, or even people with other people, whenever we please.
- Undervaluing moments just because we’ve had ‘too many’ of them.
- Settling into the ‘old married couple’ life after two weeks of dating. We don’t know each other that well yet.
- Needing our phones more than we need each other.
- Treating one another like stopgaps while we eagerly await the big thing.
- Leaving our patch of grass to die while we stare longingly at the seemingly greener patch on the other side of the fence. Grab that watering can.
- Forgetting to bear in mind how precious God’s human gifts are, and refusing to thank the Giver by treating them with high regard.
It’s not too late to pay attention.
Ore is a content strategist and self-professed feminist. He has previously written for YNaija and Y!. His literary work explores music, women’s rights and relationships