L.O.V.E

I have heard a lot of people say that there is no such thing as true love. I completely disagree.

Quite evidently, there is a lot of falsehood and deceit everywhere. In many cases, counterfeits are usually produced in larger quantities than the original because they are cheaper and easier to make; but the existence of fakes isn’t disproof of the existence and reality of an original, as a matter of fact, it proves it.

When Jesus hung on a tree on our behalf, he proved and preached 1 Corinthians 13 in its truest and purest form. No greater love than this, than a man should die for another, and Jesus did die for us. Even in fairy tales, the greatest expression of true love is painted as when a man sacrifices his life for his lover.

How then does this relate with your search for true love or the existence of it.

In several places, the bible relates the love Christ has exemplified for the church with the same a man should have for his wife. A husband is required to love his bride as purely, deeply and intimately as Christ loves the church. That love should be so strong that it makes him one with his wife such that he loves her no less than he loves himself.

This Christ-like love is God’s expectation and requirement of us as men. We are not expected to give anything less. God won’t ask us to give something we are not able to afford. For every expectation God places on a man, he accompanies with it the capacity to fulfill it.4199531-you-are-in-love-normal

photo credit: Google

I therefore have no doubt about man’s ability to love his spouse truly and deeply, or on the existence of pure and true love.

We all just need to come to that point where we decide that we won’t give anything less nor settle for anything not true.

It is equally important that we don’t succumb to the idea of the non-existence of true love as claimed by several people who have probably had bad episodes in their lives’ drama.

It’s a lie you and I shouldn’t believe nor accept. Because our beliefs are simply thought patterns we have dwelt on for so long and have accepted as truth. As a result, they become self-fulfilling prophecies of our fate. The realities of our thoughts soon become the realities of our lives. If we choose to join the band wagon of people who claim and believe that only fake love is obtainable, then fake love would be all you can attract to yourself and give to others.

We must come to terms that true love isn’t just a fairy tale fantasy that is possible only in Disney movies, but rather a present day reality of a wise few who dared to believe in its possibility. We must believe that pure love is attainable even in this degenerated generation of ours.

We must believe that love is indeed beautiful and that we have the capacity to give and receive it in its whole, pure and best form; and that even if the true love doesn’t become everybody’s reality, it can and will be ours especially if we commit ourselves to giving it.

When you think this, that’s just what you’d get.

#IBelieveInLove

Soaga Afolabi

IWrite, ISpeak, IINspire

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friends, lovers, and the friendzone.

It’s another season of love. Saturday Fe-buhari 14, couples all over the world celebrated Valentine’s Day.

Love is a serious thing and romance is deep. Although some say it’s overrated……but I guess it’s probably because they haven’t experienced it yet. Love is so serious that it was been the motivating factor behind several success stories or fairy tales and at the same time it has also been behind some tragedies. Love has been the reason why people have died for others and has also been the reason why some have killed people as well (at least that’s what they claim in their defence).

Love makes us vulnerable. It makes us soft. Even the strongest of men like Solomon can be defeated by the weakest of things when they are in ‘love’. But love is a good thing. Because despite the vulnerability involved, inside weakness sometimes lies the greatest strength. A man in love and alone is weak, but when he finds a right partner, together they are stronger.images (4)

Love as the world knows it however is not enough reason to start a relationship (see proverbs7). The fact that you are single and sooooo attracted to another single person doesn’t mean you both have to mingle. A friend of mine usually says that although love could be a commandment, relationship is a choice. And if you are going to make that choice, make sure it’s the right one.

So before one gives himself into a romantic commitment, it is always wise that one gets a full or at least a good idea of what he is going into and build the relationship on strong foundations so it would last and stand the storms that always rock the ship called relationship.

Many people have gone into relationships very ignorant of things and those relationships have ended up in heartbreaks, abuses, breakups and worse still divorces. Leaving the contributing parties heart broken and incomplete……which they carry over into their next relationship and thus creating a self-sustained cycle of Hook ups and breakups for both parties. Such is the reality we see in Hollywood.

That I can say has been one of the reasons why it is advised that we build friendships before starting relationships. By starting from the foundation of a friendship, you get to see the person you are interested in for who he/she is and your choice of either moving on to a more serious relationship would be better informed and the risk of things turning bad reduced.

But then, initiating the friendship phase does have its own challenge and threat. One is the likelihood of being locked in the friend zone. I speak from experience! download (1)

When you stay too long in the zone, you become a friend that is now like a brother. And any attempt to woo the girl could be graced with disappointment from her and further tear you two apart and ruin even the pleasant friendship which you have successfully built which also although was at the beginning only a side quest.

The Friendzone could also prevent you from making a move when due. This is because at times the friendship becomes so sweet you don’t want to risk losing it by asking her out.

There is also the issue of ‘assuming the role’. The zone comes with some benefits- Tight hugs, daylong texting, week long hangouts, frequent phone calls, and many more privileges that come with being a couple (I’m talking about a church endorsed kind of couple-hood of course. From what we’ve been told, you don’t go beyond this point). And so you could get so comfortable in the friendzone that you just begin to assume the role. Somewhere in your heart because of all those privileges, you begin to think and feel like you are the man when you are not. Voicing out further interest becomes unnecessary or at least that’s how you feel.

But the tragedy is that when someone else comes with a stronger and more direct approach and steals the love of your life away, there is usually little you can do about it.

images (3)So how do we avoid being condemned to the friendzone.

My approach is this…..while we are building the friendship, as early as possible, I start suggesting to the person that I could be wanting more. I look out for their response to what I say. Does she welcome it, or does she despise the idea? I use jokes to suggest that I want more and sometimes I just bring up discussions that will put me in positions to tell them about my strategy of ‘building friendships into relationships’ and then indirectly suggest it to them using tactics such as using them as direct examples. I highlight their qualities that make them not just good friends but potential girlfriends/spouses. From there on you can start building the Mo. till it climaxes into a serious proposal.

Has it worked so far? Well I just started this technique and you’d have to give me a little more time to know. If it doesn’t, I’d definitely let you know.

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PS: This article was originally written in September 2014….strategy execution has been poor from my side….so I’ll just say that I am still building my Mo. lol

I am old and single and this is why

Its another Sunday and It’s a privilege to be here sharing a little of what life has taught me with you again. Last Tuesday was my birthday. Days like that are good for reflecting on your life. Where you are, where you were and where you are going to. At times like this, we tend to also count those things we’ve achieved and the ones we are yet to. Unfortunately For me, one of those things I did count is the fact that I am still very single. Fortunately, I was also able to discover the reason why.

This is also probably the reason why you are still single. And if you don’t do something about this, you will most likely remain single for a long while. And if you are lucky enough to have gotten someone already, its probably why you are heading for a separation now or eventually.

And there is a danger attached to being single for too long. when time expires like it will eventually, most people get frustrated with their singleness and in such broken and frustrated state, drift towards the wrong person, get frustrated in such relationship, and later frustrated out of the relationship and thus begin and continue a cycle of Hollywood-type of multiple make-up’s and break-ups. I don’t want this at all plus where I come from, this is simply not cool. You can indeed have a fairy tale kind of relationship of happily ever after with this principle I am about to share. 

So what’s the big secret? I discovered that a lot of people are single simply because they are selfish. Simple as it may sound, it is very true and just hang on a little while and I’ll tell you why. Yes, people are not single because they are poor (many rich people are seriously still searching), nor because they are ugly (I am the cutest guy I know and like earlier pointed, I am still very single; ladies please take note), neither is it because they are not intelligent, excellent or neat, all these seem like good reasons but I believe one major reason which is mostly undetected is because they are selfish.

This selfishness has nothing to do with their willingness to share of their wealth or time or any other thing they possess, but rather their unwillingness to compromise on their standards or bend to the the needs and standards of their intended spouse or partner. Most of us approach romance majorly with thoughts of what we want and require in others and not what they can give or what they need. My dictionary defines selfishness as concerned with your own interests, needs, and wishes while ignoring those of others

 

 

Many people obviously think that the opposite of love is hate. Wrong! The opposite of love isn’t hate but self-centeredness. And since love is what we all look for in romance, its opposite is the number enemy of romance. It is the reason many can find ‘suitable’ partners and also the main reson for most breakups and divorces.

Most people approach relationships with certain set/ expected standards. But more often than not, reality doesn’t present us with perfect matches of round pegs inside round holes. People are not like dresses in which you can always find a perfect match whenever you go to the dress shop. More often than not, with people you’d have to make adjustments for the sake of love. Those that are not willing to compromise willingly and knowledgeably are forced to compromise to even more debased standards eventually or remain single for very long period of time because there are simple no perfect people or perfect matches anywhere. Only of course in Hollywood and that’s probably why they have so many breakups.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with having standards and check lists of what you want in a potential partner. You should know what you want and go for it. Someone rightly said once that if you make up your mind to settle for nothing less than the best at all times, you’d get it very often; however you need to come to terms that in relationships with people, and romance in particular, it’s not all about you. It takes two to tango. So for a real relationship, there can’t just be one check list, there has to be two and those boxes must match. And you may not always find a perfect match and so you have to sometimes compromise by removing some boxes from your list and meeting the requirements of the boxes of someone else’s. 

Personally, I have always wanted a fantastic partner who my friends will tell me I am really lucky to have. Everybody wants that and so does the person I want to be with. What this implies is that as much as I expect her to satisfy some conditions so also does she expect same from me. If I am then only concerned about her meeting my standards and have no plans of meeting hers there would be clashes and mismatches. It is often said that you can’t find a 100% spouse anywhere but many men while chasing such fantasies have missed out on their 90% best. Don’t be like them, be wise.

The great apostle paul of the bible said that he became a jew to the jews and greek to the greeks so that he can gain something. I like to explain that he was simply measuring up to the standards of where he found himself so as to obtain desired results. This is a general law of relationships. Its either you measure up and sometimes down like this or you’ll get left out. There are certain places you go to where wearing anything other than a black suit would be simply ludicrous and there are also places where wearing that would make people not take you seriously. That’s how people are; that’s how relationships are too. It is what life’s variety entail.

But in explaining this concept of the variety of life and our ability to measure up/down by intelligent compromise, I like to always emphasize that no matter how considerate a man chooses to be, excellence at any level should not be compromised upon. So whether you are greek or jew, be an excellent one. So don’t just accept just anything for the sake of compromise that will eventually still make you end up single. Like earlier said, if you won’t settle for less, you can get the the best. But nonetheless, intelligent compromise is usually needed for relationships to start and work. Let me give this example to buttress this point. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder; but there are certain beauties that are in the eye of every beholder. Permit me to use this example, but take a look at beyonce; even a blind man knows she’s hot! She might not be the most beautiful woman in the world but if beauty is on your checklist, theen she passes for an excellent score and thus a worthy compromise to accept.

I’ll conclude with a profound thought my lecturer shared in class recently, he said “in the game of love, conditions shouldn’t come first”. You can always disprove that but always remember, people will always have flaws; after all you have yours too. As long as they are willing to change and improve, you sometimes might need to be tolerant of their flaws just as much as you need people to be tolerant of yours. Stop being selfish and start being considerate. I the end, if you remain selfish, its your own loss not anybody else. Be willing to adjust when you have to and I assure you that sooner or later, you find that one imperfect human (just like you are) that is perfect for you.

Well let me answer a likely question of your heart. Since I made my own adjustment, have I found anybody? Well, the truthful answer is no. but one thing I am very certain about is that I am at least I’m a step closer to being more than single and you would too if you join me on this cruise off selfishness into the island of true love. I’ll keep trying to find out other possible reaImagesons and I’ll keep sharing too. When it eventually happens I’ll let you all know. Till then…………….

I remain me.

Love.