She showed up at my desk without informing me and asked that she speaks with me personally for ten minutes. She was thirty-two and has never been married. She had dated several men through the years, one for nine years, another for six months, and several others for shorter periods of time. From time to time, she had made appointments with me to discuss a particular difficulty in one of her relationships.
She was by nature very disciplined, conscientious, organized, thoughtful, loving, and caring person. She’s got one of the biggest hearts I know. It was completely out of character for her to show up at my place of work unannounced. “This must be important, I said to myself”.
She virtually skipped out of my office, beaming with excitement and caring less who was watching…
” How are you today, Ola?” I asked.
” Great!” she said. I’ve never been better in my life. I’m getting married! He proposed!”
“You are?” I said, revealing my shock. “To whom and when?”
“To Femi Adesina”, she exclaimed, in August”.
” That’s exciting. How long have you been dating?”
” Four weeks. I know it’s crazy, Whit (like she fondly calls me), after all the people I have dated and the number of times I came so close to getting married. I can’t believe it myself, but I know Femi is the one for me. From the first date, we both knew it. Of course, we didn’t talk about it on the first night, but a few weeks later, he asked me to marry him. I knew he was going to ask me and I already knew I was going to say yes. I have never felt this way before, Whit.
You know the relationships that I have had through the years and the struggles I have had. In every relationship, something was not right. I never felt at peace about marrying any of them, but I know that Femi is the right one”.
By this time, Ola was pacing back and forth leaving me to follow her with my gaze and catch up with her. “I know it’s crazy, but I am so happy. I have never been this happy in my life” She said.
” I have nothing more to say to this lovely lady, for now, I said to myself”. Wearing this huge smile on my face as she hugs me.
What has happened to Ola? She has fallen in love. In her mind, Femi is the most wonderful man she has ever met. He is perfect in every way. He will make the ideal husband. She thinks about him night and day. She doesn’t care that he is Yoruba and she is Igbo. She has also forgotten that her dad dislikes the Yorubas for reasons best known to him.
The fact that Femi has also been married twice before, has a son, are trivial to Ola. She’s happy, and she is convinced that she is going to be happy forever with him. She is in love.
Today, many of us enter into marriage by way of the “in love” experience. We meet someone who’s physical characteristics and personality traits create enough electrical shock to trigger our “love alert” system.
The bells go off, and we set in motion the process of getting to know the person. The first step may be going to see a movie, depending on your budget, but our real interest is not in the movie. We are on a quest to discover love.
“Could this warm, tingly feeling I have inside be the ” real” thing?” we constantly ask ourselves…
Sometimes we lose the tingles on the first date. We find out that she cries at every romantic scene; we don’t want any more movies with her. Other times, however, the tingles are stronger after the movie than before. We arrange for a few more “together” experiences and before long the level of intensity has increased to the point where we find ourselves saying, “I think I’m falling in love”.
Before long we are convinced that this is the ” real thing” and we tell another person, hoping the feeling is reciprocal. If it isn’t, things cool off a bit or we redouble our efforts to impress, and eventually win the love, of our beloved. When it is reciprocal, we start talking about marriage, because everyone agrees that being “in love” is the necessary foundation for a good marriage.
Unfortunately, the eternality of the “in love” experience is fiction, not fact. The person who is “in love” has the illusion that his beloved is perfect. Her mother can see the flaws but she can’t. Her mother says, ” Darling, have you considered that there may be so many things about him that you don’t know yet?” But she replies, “Oh, Mother, give me a break. I already know all I need to know”.
Her friends also can see the flaws but are not likely to tell her unless she asks and chances are she won’t because in her mind he is perfect and what anyone else thinks doesn’t matter. Our dreams before marriage are always of marital bliss. We believe we are going to make each other extremely happy.
Other couples may argue and fight, but not us. We love each other. ” Of course, we are not totally naive. We know intellectually that we will eventually have differences. But we are certain that we will discuss those differences openly; one of us will always be willing to make concessions, and we will reach agreements sooner.
“It’s hard to believe anything else when you’re in love”
We have been led to believe that if we are really in love, it will last forever. But is that always the case? Why is there a rapid increase in divorces, separation, violence, and abuses in the home? Once upon a time, many were “in love”. What then happened to the love?
We are enamored and caught up in the beauty and charm of the other person personality. We believe our love is the most wonderful thing we have experienced. We observe that some married couples seem to have lost that feeling but we tell ourselves, ” it will never happen to us”. ” Maybe they did not have the real thing “. We tell ourselves.
” Never say never”
Falling in love is beautiful but remaining in love when we descend from the clouds and plant our feet on earth again is heavenly and everything We must know that the “in love” needs more than fantasy to sustain it. It requires maturity, honesty, tolerance, forgiveness, empathy, communication, vision, discipline, and so on.
We must recognize the in-love experience as a temporal emotional status and embrace “real love ” with our partners. With real love comes the test of life, health issues, differences, sacrifices, tears, and so on. No one prays for them but they are inevitable.
So, when next you discover you’re falling “in love” with him or her, ask yourself, “Am I truly in love or infatuated with his/her personality?”
Love and Happiness
Photo Credit: Google Pics