WhaT haS loVE GOt To dO wiTh It?

Hasn’t love got everything, okay, something to do with feelings?

I could understand the beauty bit. That it wanes, that it doesn’t cook food let alone make jollof. That it’s inferior to character. So it obviously could be a wrong reason to be in love with someone. But how about feelings? That “I can’t wait to see you”, “can’t wait to call you”, talk to you, listen to you state of love induced madness.

A lot of the times, when people talk about choosing partners correctly, it means the person gotta have some domestic skills in keeping the home, have a good character, have a job of course, and a good family if you can help it. And all of these times beauty and feelings are kinda treated the same way; not really necessary. Yet, some if not many of these folks, married ones at that, would recount the days where they acted silly and behaved rather ludicrously just from the way they felt about the other person or how the other person made them feel.

Now if that “feeling” part isn’t necessary, why is it called up often like the only proof there is in showing haven fallen in love? And why would we be advised to look out for qualities than depending on these emotions?

This isn’t that feeling of being loved or appreciated. This is about how one or you feel so mad yet sane, lost but found, good and miserable about another person all at the same darn time. That state where you’d confess that something is “doing” you and all you know is this girl or boy but can’t tell what magic or miracle they’re operating by. That cloud nine feeling. That feeling of being swept off the feet. Of your whole world lighting up when you see this person. Where you shake and shiver when they touch you or call your name. Where your heart decides to also miss a beat because you saw their missed call.

Hasn’t love got something to do with these too?

I get it, that heart breaks accounts for why people would rather rationalise love than emotionalise it. And that accounts also for the advice in trotros, salons, barbering shops, whatsapp groups, on Facebook and everywhere the conversation of love comes up, to love with the head and not the heart. To not let all of oneself go. Is that what they mean by walking into love but not falling into it? Oh, but who can deny the enchanting and consuming and inflaming passions?

Still, “what’s love got to do, got to do with it? Who needs a heart when the heart can be broken?” (Ok. Hand over the mic now Tina) Noone, it seems. The head is a better bargain. So we are adviced to not give the heart a chance, at least not all of it. But aren’t there consequences to this choice?

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.” ― C.S. Lewis.

So, with the threat of heart break, I am advised to rationalise my way into marriage, to consider all the pros in a would-be partner with stuff like possessing good manners, being from a good and rich home etc. and don’t mind much how I feel about her (or him in the case of women). Should love be this strategic, profitable, calculated venture? And would that not hurt the marriage life? If love hasn’t got something to do with how I feel, wouldn’t the marriage life be drab and boring? Because then I’d be forced to rationalise all the time what I should do to keep love aflame, and that to me would become like a chore. Yet, love should drive me blindly, insanely, effortlessly.

If we are to look for qualities at all, I think they should be ones that corroborate with our feelings for that other person. Such qualities as explained by Professor William Rawlins, a professor of interpersonal communications at Ohio University who studies the way people interact over the course of their lives. He says that “satisfying friendships (and relationships) need three things: ‘Somebody to talk to, someone to depend on, and someone to enjoy.’”

I think we should stop in our relationship tracks and face our emotions square in the face, and even risk depending on it to build relationships into marriages. Bar all those “good” reasons, how true are one’s feelings. Is that not what unconditional love is all about? Loving without conditions (reasons)? Especially since “love doesn’t ask why?”

But then, this is just a bewildered gentleman knowing not what to make of modern love. What do you know?


Published by

Kwaku Feni Adow

Kwaku Feni Adow is a writer, poet and student from Ghana. He is a member of Africa Haiku Network, Ghana Haiku Society and UHTS (United Haiku and Tanka Society, America). He writes Haiku from his home country and has received publications in haiku journals the likes of The Mamba, Brass Bell, Under the Basho, Frameless Sky, Cattails, Failed Haiku, including Honourable Mentions in online haiku contests. He is the winner of Babishaiku 2016, Africa’s first haiku contest organised by Babishai Niwe Poetry Foundation, Uganda.

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