Hope all is good in these uncertain times. I for one, I am fair, just trying not to run mad. Sanity seems like a luxury these days – and that’s for me. Anyway, new week, new blog and this one hits home for me and for some of my friends hopefully you are able to relate to the blog.
And what is the topic for the blog today? Intentions! Are we intentional with the things in our lives. About 2 weeks ago, actually at the beginning of July around 3rd or 4th, a gentleman on the ugandan twitter aka the ‘uot’ posed a question about people going on dates. And funnily alot of people were triggered. Or rather alot of people said that they have never been on dates before and there was so much confusion about what a date is and how it should be. And so many things were brewing in that time and it set the whole ‘uot’ on fire with questions and advice coming in from all ends ( twitter puts on too many coats – one day we are mental health experts , the next larents, the next day body shaming. It is a lot). But some of the questions that came up were – Is a date even that important in a relationship, Does it only happen at the beginning etc but it was all drawing down to these 3 things listed below.
- The lack of romance
- Value // expectations
- And we are not intentional nor are we not clear on what we want to see in these relationships.
Now, these are just afew things that I picked out but there is more. And these are going to be my main discussions and they’ll all lead to one thing intentions. But before that let us start with what is a date?
According to Google ( which has multiple meanings ), a date is a stage of romantic relationships whereby two people meet socially with the aim of each assessing the other’s suitability as a prospective partner in a future intimate relationship (wikipedi) or it is a social meeting planned before it happens, especially one between two people who have or might want to get into a relationship or A date is where two people get together to get to know each other, to see if they’re compatible , often with the hopes of getting into a relationship ( this comes after the ‘talking stage’ ). Now all of these mean the same thing. It is something that takes place before people actually decide to get into a relationship. Its aim – is to see if people are compatible, if they can get along. This is a physical meeting. Now, you are wooing someone and trying to show them this great side of yours etcetera but is that all there is on dates. Now what caused turmoil, most men or women donot take their partners out on dates. And as I was reading people’s tweets, I realised that our idea of a date is all about fancy dressing and going out to eat a fancy meal at a fancy place. Yet there are various forms of dates like going to the movies, brunch, picnic, taking walks, indoor meals etc. But then again in today’s dating scene, alot of people ask and demand for people to come to their place – the first time. What if I am a murderer. I think it should be proper for the party that is trying to woo to take the other party on a date or the person who is demanding for a face to face interaction should push and schedule the date. Depending on how you two want to handle things, for me even if a gentleman is asking me out and I front the ‘let us meet’ then I pick a public place. Why are we meeting in your hostel room? I think that it is proper for this to be done this way. A date for me is a ground given for two people to get to know each other more. So, after the phone calls and the texts, can you tolerate each other. This is also ground to finding out if they actually meet your expectations and match your intentions ( this is alittle bit tricky but you get it ). Does she or he look like the photos, how does he or she chew, how does he treat the passerbys, the waiters etc. Depending on what you are looking for, this might give you grounds to do it. Now, I also think it is proper that one takes their time, have multiple dates. Be in charge of what you want, do not rush. Thus we conclude that the dates are necessary. And as I conclude this paragraph we have to agree that there is no formula to doing things thats why I often use the word ‘proper’ not ‘should’ not ‘must’ but ‘proper’.
But are the dates only done at the start? No, no they are not. There was an interview I saw about this 60 year old talking about how he saw so much change in his wife over the years. They have been together for over 20 years. And given the challenges and the multiple changes – getting know her only when she came to his bed wasn’t enough. He invested more in getting to know her allover again during their relationship and she too reciprocated. This is not exceptional to when you are still dating or to the first initial talking stages. People think that this is only done when you get married and I beg to differ, dating isn’t something that you just jump in and just lay back. It isn’t just a matter of seeing a pretty girl and wanting them by your side without expecting afew changes that only suite you. Which gets back to Intentions. What do you want? Much as we might not want to invest the thought, it greatly matters. But with so many other factors in play like trauma from bad break ups, expectations, money etc – we seem reluctant to invest anything in relationships Anyway, my point is life is continuous, the steps you take be it in career or family wise or for any other aspect in your life sparks growth, change and difference which you must analyse and act on it too. Keep the spark going, the friendship in the relationship going. And also, this helps one to know that someone might not be good for them which means it is time to let go. Anyway, now that we have the date definition down, let us dig in to the main body of the blog.
1. Lack of romance
I would like to introduce to you the Sternberg’s Triangular Theory of Love. Quite interesting but it made alot of sense. I first encountered this theory on shaboodram’s youtube channel and I was amazed. Now there is no linear path to how love works but this theory suggest that there are three basic styles of love; commitment, passion and intimacy. Now a relationship that has all these is a consummate relationship – the ideal kind of relationship. But when one combines two from each end we end up having 3kinds of relationships that is;
- Commitment x passion – fatuous love
- Passion x intimacy – romantic love
- Intimacy x commitment – companionate love
Now you must be wondering why this, what is the use. We are getting to know how other people including me and you perceive love and this theory explains it so well. Also these components or styles of love donot isolate each other rather they compliment each other for example passion might lead to intimacy. And these can change over time in relationships. But I’d like to focus on passion × intimacy. Why? Cause most times there is less of commitment at the start, it is more of passion and intimacy which builds up to commitment.
Passion is a strong // ardent feeling of enthusiasm or excitement to do something or for something e.g love and sexual attraction. Now for most people, there is no passion but rather lust and this pushes for certain actions that might demand for satisfaction of this urgent need. Now intimacy is about the closeness, familiar and affection one has with their partner. I feel like these two fuel the growth of a relationship and equate to the romance. If there is passion then there is a push to make the relationship work, for the love to grow, each party is eager to know and finding find out more. To connect in depth. It is a crucial step that requires one to be intentional but to also go with the flow. You know what is funny about relatiobship advice is that it doesn’t work for everyone and I want to emphasise that a person must know what works for them and act towards it. Once the passion is there, it ignites the intimacy. You are getting familiar, , getting closer. This might entail calling each other names, holding hands, sleep overs, meeting friends – things that get you closer to each other; could even be about doing the same activities, or hanging out more. More feelings are involved . For me this is romance. Something that is part and parcel of the relationship. And yes, most of us cannot relate. But also the companionate love – intimacy × commitment tends to yield into a relatiinship. It is almost similar to frienship – you compliment each other, enjoy each other’s company, you like this person as a friend – and can actually be with this person. Relatiinships built on this normally have a strong friendship element which can easily cement a beautiful bond and it is easier to build up the passion.
3. Value // expectations.
I thought it best to merge these two. I think they compliment each other. Value! – what is value to you? For me, value is like putting a price on something or something that is of great importance because it benefits you at some point. Now what does this have to with dating and relationship. I don’t want to give a back story on how society has framed how we think etcetera but I think we have put a price on the relationship. Value – it is something that is meant to benefit us. We get sex, money, comfort etc. Now I am sure that there is someone that isn’t entirely on board with me. Value is tricky, sometimes we donot even gain from things that we value but most times we do. For example, your phone is valuable why? It has your contacts, social media accounts, emails, school work, music, games etcetera. How do you gain from it? A phone stores alot of these things that you use in your everyday life – no phone, no connection, no communjcation. The value is greatly attached to what it can give. ‘Transactional’ in some way. You might not give back but you gain. When we look at relationships, we are so focused on what we gain indirectly or directly. For some people they might not think of it but the value we attach to our relationships greatly affects our expectations and vice versa. How we envision what we want in a relationship puts a tag on the relationship. Does this benefit me. And yes, even in relationships, our interests need to be matched and fulfilled. Is it a casual relationship then how is the sex experience, if it is romantic relationship, are you loved, are you listened too etcetera. How are you gaining? Alot of people might call me selfish and try to be ‘holy’ and ‘neutral’ but you know that it is true. And to be honest, we cannot push out these two much as we would love to go with ‘the flow’, value or the price tag and expectations still come up even when you are already in a relationship. People in a relationship expect the other party to support them, love them, communicate which afew people think is entitlement and with this, one sees the value one gets from the relationship.
Are we intentional when it comes to relationships? I will always root for living and loving in the present. One of the hardest thing to do is to live in love not living for love. We yearn, we want, we crave and sometimes fall and push more of what we dreamt of. The reality is loving someone is making yourself present in that moment is hard. Now when I say ‘are we intentional’ – I know that alot of people are thinking about the future. And thinking about all these possibilities and pushing them down on what they have currently – which is another tricky and suffocating situation. What do I mean by being intentional – it is a fuse of sorts between trying to let it flow and putting in effort to see something you love bloom. Intentions are what we want to see in something, what we seek to get and to experience, what we seek to give or rather offer. You want a beautiful relationship, kind, loving – are you giving these? Are your intentions clear cause they are later reflected in our actions, in our communications. And by the way there are alot of factors in play like trauma, fear that most times put us on hold from sharing the love and the hope. And rising above this is hard honestly. But I often want to think that when we hope to give love, we rise above the shame – ‘people who were cruel and unjust to your love are never and will never be your fault. And if one loves you and the feeling is mutual then why not. And love isn’t all roses and sunshine whether it is platonic or parental or relationship, its just never easy. Anyway, are we intentional in these relationships or do we keep wanting to receive all the time.
Thats all I had to share. One of the hardest blogs, I have ever had to write. I was lookingfor the right words, words that might not be all that perfectbut they would make sense. There is so much to say about love, but funnily there are no rules to it. We just ride through.
Till then – ☄ Ferrister.M ♥