It is true that the meaning of love has been bastardised and that people often confuse love for other things. Having participated in a lot of conversations about this man-woman issue, I pity how love has been abused. A man buys a woman a BlackBerry and then she is thinking, “Oh, he loves me”. To that, I’d say Duh! Similarly, a man that thinks a woman loves him because she keeps sending love messages to his phone and always returns his phone calls like a tennis ball thrown against the wall makes me wonder what the heck?

Except of course, there is something clearly unique about the relationship, you two had better sit tight and talk reality to yourselves. When the words “I love you” are used, only those who mean it know the gravity involved. Yet, it is not uncommon to hear the words “I love you” in between extra-cool giggles and from across tables in fast-food restaurants. To some of these ones, who mistake other feelings for love, less serious words ought to be used. And here are some ideas, though they may sound odd: words like lust, infatuation and erotic hunch are what many “lovers” should use if the truth would be told. If they were to observe absolute honesty and not tell sweet lies to each other, the word “love” would be forbidden in their conversations.

The ladies who don’t really know what it means to stick to a man when the bills are high and the income is low and guys who do not know what it means to remain faithful to one woman all the days of their lives do not know what it means to love. When they say “I love you” and actually mean things like, “Baby, I lust you”, “I am really infatuated about you” and “I have an erotic hunch for you”, they abuse love. The twenty-first century definition of love is a bastardised version for if it were not, many women would not marry money instead of men. And, many men would not call themselves “married” at home and still behave like sex-hungry creatures in secret places. Even ladies who do not know what love is say things like, “All men are the same. You can never find a real man these days.” Well, I am afraid to shock you but if that is your belief, your partner probably thinks the same about you. He is most likely telling his friends, “She seems like a home girl but I know my money is all she wants. So when I marry her, I’ll provide her with everything that’s within my responsibility and keep the game on outside.” Sometimes, these words are not even spoken to anyone before they are acted out in reality. Many times, the actors or lovers themselves do not even know they’ll do what they eventually do: moving from one relationship to the other, breaking and making up, finally settling with someone on the vaguely wrong basis, eventually fighting wrestlemania in marriage, considering divorce and the shameful other side or choosing to endure and regretting your past choices with the consolation that your friends too are going through the same. It is true but unnecessary.

Love is beyond a feeling. It is a strong liking that is independent of exploitation. It is beyond attraction. It is passionate and selfless to the degree of wanting to make a solemn promise. It is not based on what you can get. It has basis in a commitment to another, to hold oneself bound to them and seek their good on the platform of a pure conscience. Love is not abridgeable because it is supremely indescribable. You can only describe it the way you truly feel it; if indeed you know it is “it”. Love is not dependent on what happens on February 14 because when you’re in love, you try to make many February fourteens out of a single year. So, if it is truly love, the guy will not bother brainstorming for funny excuses or seeking how to recoup his compulsory investment from the girl’s body or scheming a forced break-up. The girl too would not start gossiping around or finding out whether friends are asking their boyfriends or making a wish list that only loot-rich polithiefcians can easily approve. If you are in love, know that your love depends on you and the other person and not on those who did not do the asking or “YESing”. Even if you’re in the wrong “ship”, it is ultimately your responsibility to decide because I have no business breaking your relationship. I can only warn you about the valentine feeling; the wish to run with the crowd; with those who may not even know why they are doing what they do. This valentine, many things will happen. Many will make more mistakes and the errors will multiply in their lives. Some others will get it right and smile when they look back in future. You will decide but whichever you choose, be reminded that love is not money or sex.

They are only elements for kindling your passion and renewing your commitment. And, they are best observed within the right context. What is right? Well, it’s your job to decide that. Happy Valentine!

By James Lisandro Jnr. wrote in from Lagos

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