I have started seeing the valentines memes already. Mff. Here we go again. Another season of extortion, high expectations, high profits for the liquor, flowers, chocolate, and candle industries; broken dreams, liver abuse, and mutilated hearts.
This will be swiftly followed by broken relationships, more profits for breweries as men sear their grief with 42% v/v alcohol, and name-calling from disappointed women as they come up with new adjectives to trash the male species for being… well trash.
Those of us who are single will hide in the deepest caves we can find on earth until Valentines is over. In fact, the prices of such caves are going up as we speak.
We will then re-emerge from our hibernation to two very different realities. The ladies will have to put up with tales from other ladies of who took them where and bought them what for valentines. We men will gather around the fireplace and console our taken brethren after another season of robbery without violence. Fun times.
I am getting tired of this narrative though. I am not here to attack the holiday. I have a bone to chew with the spirit behind the holiday. It is a big old bone and my canines can’t wait to make contact. We intend to crush this stale, tasteless, amalgamation of fables into pieces. Pieces so small it will be deemed to be nonexistent. Let’s start chomping, shall we?
Why in the name of all things intelligent is love considered an emotion? From experience as well as logic, emotions are very volatile. If love was an emotion, it would never stand the stern test of time.
One day we wake up loving beef, the next day we decide we want to be healthy and look away. Next week a friend invites us to lunch and we are friends with meat again. Then you meet my article abusing meat and you join in.
I have used food as an example to show how fleeting our emotions can be. You meet a girl or a boy. They behave like an angel. You decide that because you like their looks and behavior, you love him/her. Except no human is an angel. We succumb to selfishness every now and then. You know, do what our heart desires, even at the expense of another person. That’s called selfishness. We have all been there.
Emotions are built on the foundation of perfection. Perfection is not yet within our reach as humans. That means the foundation is shaky from the start. Collapse is a matter of when and not if.
Sooner or later we discover that the perfect person we fell in love with is not perfect after all. We start to get disappointed. What’s more, time reveals the fact that you actually don’t agree on several crucial subjects if you are going to be living together. A breakup and the subsequent insults are inevitable.
Then the cycle repeats itself, this time we promise ourselves that things will be different. But we end up heartbroken again. We start again with another new catch and end up broken again.
Let us grow a pair of… wings and get a bird’s eye view for a moment. What has been happening is that we have simply been changing problems. But whoever we land as a partner always comes with problems of their own.
The problems might not be the same, but they are still problems. You know doing the same thing and expecting different results is… You know what it is. But Daktari, I hear you say, I have not been doing the same things. I have been dating different people. I have just not been successful.
Well, clever person, you pinnacle of the 8-4-4 system, primary science said that members of the same species behave alike. We are all humans so our behavior is not that different from one another.
That’s why I said dating different people is simply exchanging problems. The problems might not be the same but they will still be problems. And that’s why all the relationships we have attempted have had a similar end, even though the people were different. They were all humans.
Now I am not advocating for us to start dating gorillas to get different results. But let us take a moment and weep for our brothers and sisters who stay in toxic relationships, thinking that the person will change. You can try to teach a lion cub to eat cooked meat only. You may even succeed.
But try teaching an adult lion to eat cooked meat only. You will be eaten raw without any seasoning. Changing the behavior of a species is not easy.
Such behavior has taken years to train and perfect. It has provided solutions to the problems the animal faces. Who are you to think that the lion will spontaneously change a behavior that it knows works, a behavior that it is comfortable with?
And that is just a creature with a small brain. What of a human being now? If changing the behavior of an animal takes years, training, and expertise with no guarantee of success, what makes you think a human being, a far more complex creature, can change behavior just because you wished or said so?
All behaviors are solutions to problems we face and we don’t exactly like seeking new solutions when we have something that works. If it works, it stays.
Let me pick a line people use to break up with and turn it upside down. Titrate it and make a solution out of it. Because why not. We are in that season, aren’t we? The problem is not you, it’s me.
In our context, that sentence reads, the problem is not them, it’s us. Our definition of love is skewed and incorrect. When we look for love we are looking for perfection. We fall in love with perfection. But perfection issa lie, issa farce, issa fallacy.
Love is not about us. It never has been and never will be. When you love someone you want to see them happy. Here is another forgotten rule of how things work on earth. You derive your happiness from seeing them happy, not from making yourself happy.
You cannot make yourself happy and make your better half happy at the same time. That’s like having your cake and eating it. You either have the cake and admire looking at it or you eat it and now you don’t have it. You either make them happy and be happy by seeing them happy or you make yourself happy at their expense. Tongue twister right there.
It might seem like you can do both but many painful and sad relationships have been borne out of people thinking that they can do both. Don’t be part of the negative statistic. You can be different.
And if you want to make yourself happy then what do you need another person for. You would achieve a lot of success making yourself happy if you are single because no one would ever interfere. You would get to do what you want.
Love is for people who have matured enough mentally to realize that true, long-lasting, and evergreen happiness comes from caring about others and making them fulfill their dreams. If you have not yet realized this then don’t rush it. It will come at its own time. Rushing is what has got us into all this misery in the first place.
But Daktari, I hear you say. What about me? Who is going to take care of me? Who is going to be worried about making me happy? I get it that there is some joy in seeing my significant other happy and making his or her wishes come true, but what about the things I want? What about my wishes?