Mid-morning, the following day, we took a drive in Bartholomew’s car. We reached the edge of a forest. He stepped out of the car, opened the passenger door and waited for me to get out. Fear engulfed me. ‘What if I got lost and was kidnapped again?’ I thought.
“I do not want to be here,” my voice trembled, “Let us go back,”
|I tried to stay on the path…. |
The wild flowers enticed me…
I laughed and chased butterflies….
Became entangled by a spider’s web….
Behind a thicket I rested….
Overlooking a cascading waterfall….
There are some people who would have killed the deer….
But I only stared….
I saw his magnificence….
~ Janet Marie Bingham ~
“Why?” Bartholomew turned and looked at me. There was sadness in his eyes. I felt sorry for him, but I knew it was a waste of time; I would not be happy. My eyes dropped. I wrung my hands. “Okay,” he said softly. “I am sorry I brought you here without asking. I have missed the forest.” We went back to the house.
It was four weeks since we visited the forest. My leg was better.
“Do not be afraid.” Bartholomew said. “There are guards placed every few meters of the forest, but you cannot see them. No one will hurt you…. besides you are a strong woman.”
I agreed to visit the forest. Bartholomew carried his bow and arrow, a fishing rod and a bag. ‘I will not be afraid.’ I told myself a thousand times during the drive. ‘No one will come for me, Bartholomew is here.’ We arrived at the forest. We walked down a narrow track that branched off the main path. Surprisingly, I was calm.
|Romance is the glamour which turns the dust of everyday life into a golden haze. |
~ Elinor Glyn ~
It is when we are lost in life, that we begin to appreciate the little things. I loved the trees. I loved the different sounds in the forest. The rustling of leaves, the birds singing. My steps on the dry leaves. The air smelled of trees, the cypress especially, it smelled of rotting branches and leaves. The butterflies were beautiful. The unique wild fruits, strange taste, but interesting. I was there, then…. This was a different world. I would have enjoyed myself fully If I wasn’t in sandals. Crawling insects were not something I wanted to see or feel, and I was glad I did not see any. One thing was missing though, the sunshine behind the trees that did not penetrate the forest….
“What is the name of this forest?” I turned 45 degrees towards Bartholomew who walked a metre behind me and only moved closer when he removed cobwebs from my path. Dogs barked on the other side of the forest.
“Chinko forest. They call it Chinko…. The dogs you hear barking, belong to the security firm that guards the forest.” Bartholomew said. “They are well trained and will not attack you unless, you are a crime suspect, like visitors that stay in the forest past closing hours, or if you steal my arrows, attempt to shoot me and run,” I suppressed the urge to laugh, “they also search for missing persons, and those that run away from people who love them deeply.” Bartholomew bent and said that to my ear. They catch poachers, and criminals who hide in the forest,” he paused, then laughed. “I almost forgot, they also attack ladies who are healing from a wound on their foot.” I smiled and turned to look at him. The corners of his mouth twitched and the laugh lines from his nose to both sides of the lips began to form, then disappeared as fast as they had appeared.
Bartholomew opened his bag and took out a bottle of lemon juice and a handful of groundnuts. He handed them to me. I tried to scan his eyes, but he had this look that did not allow me to read his heart. I munched on the groundnuts.
“River Nguvo is on the other side of the forest, not far from here.” Bartholomew said.
“Are there any boats on the river?” I was curious. “Can we see them?”
“No, the river is not big and deep enough for boats,” Bartholomew was amused, “but there are many fishermen and other villagers who bring cows to drink water and graze at the banks of the river.”
“Is that where we are going for fishing?” I asked.
“Yes,” Bartholomew nodded.
There was a patch in the forest where some trees had been felled. We sat on one of the trunks… I took a sip of the lemon juice…. Bartholomew took a sip too. I was surprised that we were drinking from the same bottle.
“You said you were in a hospital?” he began. Every time this subject came up, my head felt heavy and my heart sank. “Why were you on the side of the road when I found you?”
A twig snapped behind us, leaves crackled. We turned. “Stay here,” Bartholomew whispered. He walked swiftly and quietly to the direction of the sound. He took out his bow and arrow, aimed…. He looked good, in a black, long sleeved T-shirt, with buttons from the neckline to the chest, an army green trouser with side pockets at the thigh and black hiking shoes. His hands were large and strong, and bore the evidence of hard manual labour. His body upright, he aimed and released the arrow…. missed.
The beautiful deer vanished into the woods. I was not sure I wanted him to hit it. Was I relieved it escaped…? I tried very hard not to show. Bartholomew walked to my side and sat. “It is long since I came here to hunt,” He spoke with disappointment. “We are out of deer meat…. and soup,”
“That was deer soup?” I was surprised.
He nodded, smiling. “I am sure you did not see any goats in the compound, did you?” Bartholomew responded. I shook my head.
“People never get out of that place,” I began where we had left, “from what I grasped, I think they harvest human organs and blood,” Bartholomew stared at me mouth agape. “They let me go because they were afraid they might be caught. Your search for me…. saved my life,” Bartholomew was sad. “Thank you for everything.” ….
“Not at all” Bartholomew said quickly. I told him every detail of the kidnap that I could remember.
“I don’t know where to start looking.” Bartholomew began. “Maybe, from where they got you or….”
“No!” I interrupted. “You can’t. They are dangerous people. They kill and make people disappear.”
“What do you mean?” Bartholomew asked…. “Disappear? How?”
“They burn the bodies, nobody can find them,” I realized I liked Bartholomew, he was my best friend. I met someone who gave me the attention I needed. I did not want him to get hurt. “Let’s forget about it,” I urged him. “I think it would be safer for both of us.”.
Without saying anything, Bartholomew picked up the bow and arrows, and walked towards the car. I picked up the fishing rod and followed him slowly. My wounded leg was swollen and heavier, but without pain. We were quiet on our way back. It was drizzling. The grass was slippery. I tried to keep up with Bartholomew’s pace. I slipped. “Ah!” Bartholomew turned around and caught me before I hit the ground. The fishing rod broke. He looked at it for a second, then took my hand and held it till we reached the car. We were wet.
We entered the gate. Someone sat on my bathing stool. Bartholomew had brought it out to dry, that morning. ‘Maybe the doctor had come to check on me….’ I thought… ’Maybe the gentleman that brought me the blanket on my first night decided to report early today.’ We got closer.
|Heart shattered by deceptive words…. |
Tandem lies, misconceptions….
A sharp tongue and a vague mind, tear apart what was once sanity….
Reality lost in a wave of denial….
Anger, rage and explanations fall into the hollows of a shattered heart….
Watered by tears of sorrow and regret…
~ T.James Becker ~
It was Zagorody! “Oooooh!” I whispered. I felt sick. He stood up and almost fell backwards. He got his balance. “They are back!” he shouted. “The king of village and his limping bride.” He staggered towards us. I stepped behind Bartholomew. “You are going with me.” he pointed at me swaying on his feet. “I am not leaving you here.” He tried to go round Bartholomew, but Bartholomew shielded me. Zagorody stopped. He looked at Bartholomew for a minute….
“Do you know your bride is a prostitute?” he asked sneering, “or you think she is a virgin?” he said pointing at me again. “Let’s go into the house, I’ll show you…” Bartholomew threw a punch that landed on the side of Zagorody’s face. I thought his head was going to rotate. He fell on his back, and passed out. Someone opened the gate.
“Musa,” Bartholomew turned. I turned too, and realized it was the gentleman who brought the blanket to me that night. I did not know how much he had seen. He walked to where Zagorody lay, took hold of his left arm and dragged him towards the gate, he regained consciousness. Hurt from the punch Bartholomew rubbed his hand as he watched.
“You are mine!” Zagorody shouted from the gate, trying to stand. Musa struggled to hold him back. “You are mine! No one will take you away from me!”.
“No! I shouted. I limbed towards the gate. My leg hurt. Bartholomew followed. “I don’t love you anymore, you lied to me…. you lied to me! You never came.” Tears flowed down my face. Don’t ever come back. Leave me alone!”
Bartholomew placed his hands on my shoulders, turned me to face him, put his hand around my waist and walked me to the house. More tears flowed. He sat on one stool and I the other… He took my hands in his. He was silent for the longest time.
“Don’t worry,” he was concerned. “What happened will not change anything. Don’t be upset. Nothing bad will happen to you. I will always be here,” I wiped the tears with the back of my hand. I was not crying because I thought I was going to lose Bartholomew, I cried because Zagorody had not realized how much he had hurt me. I regretted wasting my time with him. Bartholomew left and came back with dry clothes and a mug of coffee, Kahawa No 1… “Things will get better.” He said as he handed it over to me…
While taking a shower that night, I noticed that there were two soaps. The one I had accidentally thrown out and the one we used every day. Bartholomew found the other soap. I was embarrassed. The cat was always around, but never again on the bathroom window.
One day Musa found my suitcase near the fence. Zagorody had thrown it over. Seemed it had been there for quite some time. It was still wet from the rain. My dresses were a mess, some with mildew. I was sad, but tried very hard not to let it ruin my day.
|Love like a river, will cut a new path wherever it meets an obstacle…. |
~ Love quotes very romantic ~
After completing the house chores, one morning, we walked to the shamba. It was big. There were beautiful rows of green. Three different types of plants. Some with flowers. The smell of the soil was refreshing. The drizzle and recent weeding made it more beautiful. I wanted to run from one end of the shamba to the other, barefoot, with my arms raised in the air. It took all my strength not to do that. I was afraid of hurting my leg and him, thinking I am mad. It was only a few days since the pain disappeared completely.
Bartholomew tried to hold my hand, every time we went for a walk, but I’d pull it back. ‘Why should I hold his hand? He had never told me how he felt about me. He had not told me he loved me. How could I let him touch me like that, to only hurt me later, like Zagorody? I would not fall for it. Many people I knew stayed in their marriages without love and it worked, somehow. If I would never get another place to go to, that is the kind of relationship I would have with Bartholomew, I would be married, my heart would be shut to emotion, and love locked out. The key thrown away. Buried, with all my feelings.
Today, when he took my hand, I did not resist. I had been hard on him enough times. I looked up at him. There was a pleasant expression on his face. He smiled and swung our arms back and forth. He even smiled at a yellow and grey bird that flew by with a piece of grass in its beak. It settled on a tree. Bartholomew let go of my hand, picked a small stone and tried to hit it. The bird flew away for a few seconds then back. He held my hand again. “That’s a weaver bird,” he said as we sat under a tree. I smiled.
|I sometimes wonder if there’s something inside each of us…. |
that longs to carry out God’s original instruction to humans…
God explicitly commanded the first man to till the soil….
and to care for the earth:
“The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden….
to work it and keep it” (Genesis 2:15).
We’re never closer to the heart of that command….
than when we’re up to our elbows in dirt, planting, pruning, tending.
~ Tim Challies ~
“This is how I live,” he looked around, I followed his eyes. ‘It is simple; I have done this for many years.” Bartholomew said proudly. “This shamba,” he spread his hands, “is my life. I also fish, and hunt a lot… Nothing will change that.” He looked at me. I frowned. “You will get used to it,” he took a handful of soil and let it run through his fingers to the ground.
“This is not the life I want,” I retorted, “I cannot live like this, touching soil every day, full of dust, scaling smelly fish and slaughtering deer. This is slavery!”
“It will not be every day.” Bartholomew explained. “Besides, there will be workers to help you, and nobody will order you around, when you are here.”
“You are lying,” I cried. “There are no workers here, except for the guard.”
“I sent them away, I wanted have some time alone, with you.” Bartholomew explained.
“No! I want to go home!” I insisted. “Look at me! See what I have become since I came here!”
The look on Bartholomew’s face made me wish I’d take back my words. He stood and paced up and down between the rows of plants, for a long time, he stopped briefly to uproot a weed here, a weed there. I sat under the tree, almost frozen. I stared at him. We did not talk. We did not have lunch, he forgot…. or ignored?
“As you are aware,” he began before we left the shamba. “No one cares about you, has anyone looked for you since you came here?” he continued after an awkward pause. “Zagorody, the confused man, is the only one who tried and I am sure he will not come back…. If I wanted to, I would have tied you to the bed and mistreated you as much as I wanted, as long as I wished, because I know no none would come looking for you…. but I haven’t,” In dismay, he turned and looked at the bird that was still building its nest, “because, force is not what relationships are built upon.”
There were no words to express how I felt at that moment. I wanted to hug him and tell him that one day he would get the kind of woman he wanted, but after I saw the disgust on his face, I did not move.
“The first time I saw you, I loved you. I enquired about you and learnt that your parents had brought you up fine. I was surprised and glad to know that your Baba was my longtime friend, I thought it would be easy.” With a face full of sorrow, he gazed into my eyes. “I have risked my life for you, risked losing my workers for you, sacrificed my daily adventures for you, done things I never thought I would do for a woman…. and still, you resist….” He shrugged, “I give up.”
The bird’s nest fell to the ground. We turned to look.
Bartholomew walked away from me. I followed him to the house. He did not look at me at all. He did not talk to me.
|The key with girls is just acting like you don’t care…. |
It drives them nuts….
Some girls, they want you to be aggressive….
You know, strong, hot and heavy, like a lion….
But others, you gotta be slow, you gotta be stealthy, like a ninja….
Some girls are different than others….
the one you love is usually more special….
Sometimes even the special ones break your heart….
~ Stranger things ~
I woke up early, the next day and made chapati. I wanted to make up for upsetting Bartholomew. I had seen him climb up a ladder into a hole in the wooden ceiling to get ingredients. I climbed and looked for some dried meat to make stew, there was none. I sat on the ceiling for some time wondering what to cook. I thought of getting some spinach from the shamba, but I was not sure if it was ready to be picked. I got some carrots, onion and tomatoes. I fried them. I laid the table, and hoped that would bring a smile on Bartholomew’s face.
Bartholomew came in, with milk. “Hallo,” his voice was as cold as a rock in the north pole. He looked straight ahead as he walked to the kitchen.
“Breakfast is ready” I said following him.
He paused for a moment, without turning, then walked on. I was uneasy. A meal tastes better when eaten in company. Bartholomew did not eat. I no longer had the appetite. Thank goodness, I had eaten the first chapati while cooking…. I went to my room, packed my new suitcase and walked out. I waited for Bartholomew to call me back like they do in the movies…. He did not…. Baba had hurt me, Zagorody had hurt me and now Bartholomew! I felt a knot in my throat.
‘He does not love me,’ My steps were slow. ‘He never did,’ My heart was heavy. I dragged the suitcase slowly through the drizzle, towards the gate. I turned to look at the compound for the last time. Bartholomew was standing at the door, his hands in the pocket. His face expressionless. I wanted to rush back, hug him, and beg him to forgive me, but I walked on. ‘It would not have worked….’ I thought, ‘never!’
It was Sunday. It rained. The bus station was empty, except for one person. I sat a few feet away from him. He waved at me. I stared ahead. Travelers went away, others arrived. I wanted to go back to Baba, but could not. What would I tell him? That I did not want to get dirty. Bartholomew had not chased me away. I thought of going back to Zagorody, but the thought of Zagorody made my stomach churn.
|There are millions of people out there…. |
But in the end, it all comes down to one….
~ Crazy/Beautiful ~
Bartholomew was kind, but my rebellious heart wanted to go back to the city. I was torn apart. I knew it would be hard to find another man like him. I tried to think of a way I could convince him to start a new life in the city with me…. my thoughts hit a wall. He had made that very clear to me.
I felt sorry for him. He had been disappointed before. One time, during our walks, he told me, in the past, he had been afraid he would be too old to marry. He rushed. His first woman had many demands. He realized he had tried too hard to please her, hoping that one day she would agree to stay in the village. He took her to clubs, he bought her nice clothes, and took her to expensive hotels, drove her everywhere she wanted, but she never stopped. When Bartholomew knew she was not the one, most of his money was gone. He did not blame her totally, because he knew he had been bribing her to stay with him, and bribery is immoral.
“Why have you never done those things for me?” I had asked him.
“Because I realized,” Bartholomew explained. “That is not how things are done. Love cannot be bought. It is natured, it grows. Everything else comes afterwards.”
I am not sure if Bartholomew would have mentioned the lady to me, if she had not tried to come back. Musa had stopped her at the gate, and called Bartholomew to speak to her, before she caused trouble. I was curious and watched them through the kitchen window. The lady was shouting at the top of her voice, a little drunk. She tried to destroy the lock on the gate with a big piece of wood, it was too strong for her. I did not hear what Bartholomew told her. She went away crying.
|The heart of the jealous knows the best and most satisfying love…. |
that of the other’s bed….
Where the rival perfects the lover’s imperfections.
~ Djuna Barnes ~
I tried not to think of how jealous the idea of another woman made me. What was making me jealous when I had no reason to be? I guess love changed everything. I wanted to own Bartholomew. I felt a tight knot around my heart. I was helpless. My emotions were in turmoil. It was insane. He had already given his all to me. What else did I want?
He had made me love him. Would he make my life better and I his? Would he help me discover qualities that I did not know I had? He had taught me many lessons, one of them being, never to give up easily. He lifted me up every time I fell. He was calm and easy, and it warmed my heart.
The rain had reduced to a gentle drizzle that soothed my broken heart.
“Did you miss your bus?” the gentleman I found at the station in the morning asked, bringing me back to the present. He sat. “Are you not the one I left here in the morning?”
“I am okay,” I murmured.
“You do not look okay,” the gentleman insisted. “Can I help?”
“No, you can’t” I shook my head, the tears I had held back the whole day rolled down my cheeks.
“Try me.” he said sitting next to me.
“I left a man this morning,” My voice trembled. “I do not want to get married in the village,” He shifted on the seat to face me. “This man,” he frowned, “is a good man; but- but- I don’t think I can live in the village.”
The gentleman coughed, then cleared his throat. “The human being will always seek something complete….” he said, “something perfect… We find it difficult to make sacrifices, difficult to make changes in our lives, but without change…. without sacrifice life cannot go on, and we miss out on many good things,” he paused. I wiped the tears off my cheeks with the back of my hand, raised my head and turned to look at him. I nodded.
“I know you have read many fairy tales,” he went on, “and many romantic western books, where love explodes out of fireworks. It is the same on the screens. The perfect love stories…. We find true love, but throw it away, then, we suffer forever, without knowing that every romantic relationship starts differently… and grows differently…” he was thoughtful. His eyes grew moist with tears of sympathy.
Sometimes we are selfish. We fight to bend everything to our side. Remember he is also human; you must meet him halfway. I am sure he has gone out of his way to do things for you.” I nodded. “He must be a good man, otherwise…. you would not still be here trying to figure out your next step. Think about it carefully, will you?” He smiled. I nodded, sniffed and swallowed hard. “If we had met under different circumstances, I would marry you.” That sounded familiar and those words….
He stood and walked, stopped and turned, “Is he more handsome than I?” I laughed amidst tears, “Yes, be happy.” he waved goodbye and left.
Where had I met this gentleman? …….. My kidnapper! The realization almost made me jump out of my skin. Was he stalking me all this time? Would I choose him over Bartholomew? He was another kind, loving man, but there was no doubt in my mind that Bartholomew, it was. My mind jolted back to the present.
‘We cannot have everything,’ I sighed. I missed Bartholomew…. Every time someone appeared from the corner of the stage, I thought Bartholomew had come for me…. Seconds turned into minutes, minutes turned into hours. I watched the sun go down. It was night. I was afraid. He did not come. I was alone. Tears stung my eyes and spilled down my cheeks. I was so overwhelmed with grief, I could die. For the first time in many days I wept.
|I will return…. |
I will find you…
And live without shame….
~ Atonement ~
The sun had been down for some hours. I opened the side pocket of my suitcase, took out a hairband and held my hair up. I wheeled my suitcase onto the path. The night was quiet, except for the suitcase that made the loudest, dragging noise. The drizzle had stopped. The sky was clear. The moon was brighter than any night before. I pushed all the fear out of my overloaded heart. ‘I will not be afraid of the dark,’ I walked confidently. I was not ashamed to go back. I walked in the dark, reliving what had happened to me since I left my parents’ house. “This is where I should be,” I whispered. The trees on the path seemed to bow in the darkness. I reached the wooden gate….
“Helah,” Musa said with a slight bow that could hardly be seen. I smiled. “Musa,” He opened the gate. Bartholomew had not drawn the curtains. ‘Maybe he was not around,’ I entered the house. I wheeled the suitcase slowly to my room… and tiptoed to Bartholomew’s door. I stood, listening, for about a minute, wondering whether to knock, open or go back to my room.
“Are you coming in or not?” Bartholomew sounded tired.
|Come sleep with me: we won’t make love; |
love will make us.
~ Julo Cortazar ~
I opened the door, the moon cast its pale glow through the window onto Bartholomew’s bed. Bartholomew opened his eyes and raised his head. I walked slowly towards the bed, pulled back the covers and slid into his arms. I looked at him, tears in my eyes, begging for forgiveness…. then love.
His breath was warm on my forehead…. I felt the rhythm of his heartbeat. My heart was beating too. I knew then, that sometimes it is not love at first sight…. it is not the flowers, chocolates and drinks…. not a trip to Mombasa or Zanzibar…. but invisible waves, from one heart to another, getting stronger, one day at a time.
|Moments like this…… |
I can feel your heart beating as clearly as I feel my own….
And I know that separation is an illusion…
My life extends far beyond limitations of me….
~ Cloud Atlas ~
|“Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm, |
for love is strong as death, jealousy is fierce as the grave.
Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the LORD. Many waters cannot quench love; neither can floods drown it.
If a man offered for love all the wealth of his house, \
he would be utterly despised.”
Song of Solomon 8:6-7
Art by Berina Ogega
Editor by: behance.com/KenOmollo
BEAUTY OF THE SUN
She loved the sunrise….
All the light and warmth it brought along….
She loved the sunset too….
And all the beauty it magnified….
But all that gradually changed….
See, it got in her head that every sunrise….
would forever represent another boring beginning….
And each sunset would always….
Find her all cold and alone….
With Scars that stripped her wordless….
A hopeless romantic she was….
Kissing temporary lips with permanence….
Hoping that she could train them to stay….
She loved temporary people with permanence….
Hoping she could train them not to leave….
But tired she was from too many heartbreaks….
And so with the broken pieces of her heart….
She built a wall around whatever was left of it….
With the memories as reminders….
No one would bring down that wall….
She taught her heart restraint too….
Out of fear or wisdom it cannot be said….
She knew not to look directly into eyes….
For they can be blinding…
That way she believed she would be safe….
Till he came along….
Turned her world upside down….
Willing to climb any mountain for her….
And ride any wave with her….
Extending his arms like roots to always hold her down….
Remolding her broken heart, piece by piece….
He restored her belief in the beauty of the sun….
By: Stephanie Kwamboka
Love is an intense feeling of deep affection
Love is a sacred emotion. Stories have been told of married couples where, when one of them dies, their partner passes on too. This is proof that not just love, but true love exists and it has a huge effect on our thoughts, feelings and actions. When people are truly in love with each other, they dedicate themselves to a life-long journey. They gauge their love based on its quality rather than being independent on each other.
Most people want to experience love. This is because it is believed to give purpose and meaning to life as we know it. We feel more alive when in love as well as inspired to complete tasks. This inspiration comes from having a companion at our side who pushes us into action especially where there is a difficult situation at hand. Being loved also increases the worth we attach to ourselves and reduces the fears we may experience concerning loneliness.
In modern day, people are encouraged to show independence from relationships and in relationships. However, there is a certain joy to be found in knowing that we have a companion and we can rely on someone when we are troubled. This is not to say that we should be clingy. We should try to respect boundaries set by our partners, as well as set reasonable boundaries.
Humans are imperfect beings and as such there is no perfect relationship…. but if we do not consider what is important in love, we may end up learning from our mistakes in a painful lesson.
WHY PEOPLE FALL IN LOVE
- Similarities in personality traits, beliefs and ways of thinking.
- Desirable characteristics especially in the case physical attributes as well as personality traits.
- Being liked by someone that we are attracted to or also like.
- Love has a greater likelihood of developing between people, that are familiar with each other, than in individuals who are strangers.
- Social influences lead to development of love, where a union between people satisfies social norms and expectations.
- Uncertainty surrounding a person can lead to feelings of attraction, as one seeks to solve the mystery surrounding that person, and also inability to predict their actions.
- Isolation, where a person spends time with a certain person in particular, can lead to the development of feelings of love.
- Readiness to be in a relationship increases chances of falling in love, as one is open to the idea of meeting someone new, or starting a relationship with someone that they are already familiar with.
- If a person can fulfill needs for companionship, love, sex or mating, there is a greater chance that someone desiring these qualities in a partner will fall in love with them.
WHY PEOPLE DO NOT BELIEVE IN TRUE LOVE
- There is unwillingness to agree in issues, which leads to arguments that may cause break-up. The inability of people to put their partner’s wants above their own leads people to doubt the existence of true love.
- Attachment to wealth, leads people to wonder if true love really exists. People have been known to put more value on possessions they can gain, than on really loving their partner.
- People avoid the responsibilities that come with serious relationships preferring casual relationships where they do not feel tied down by the duties expected by their loved ones leading these partners to doubt that true love really exists.
- People are becoming increasingly selfish and competitive of each other in the modern world. This creates the image that one cannot be trusted for companionship and support in a relationship, because they only care about themselves.
- The need for perfection creates doubts concerning true love. People are so obsessed with perfection that they cannot tolerate imperfections in their partners. The flawed individuals that are rejected end up believing that true love does not exist since no one will accept them along with their flaws.
- Partners in relationships put a lot of high expectations on each other, which may be unrealistic and cannot be met. This leads to disappointment and feeling of not being valued if the expectations are not met. In turn, those who expectations are placed on, end up being resentful and with the opinion that true love does not exist if they need to meet certain expectations for it.
There are four common types of Love: –
Eros refers to romantic love or passionate love. It is a passionate, physical and emotional state of wanting to satisfy, bring sexual fulfillment, security and enjoying beautiful moments with each other. Romantic love is guided by intuition (a knowing that cannot be explained by fact or thought} or common feeling between two people. At times, this kind of love may become unrealistic where one thinks their partner is perfect, and criticism from them results in hurt or psychological pain. The advantage of erotic love is that it creates a strong bond between partners, as well as a feeling of security in a relationship. Its disadvantage is that it may fade with the passage of time.
Ludus is a form of love where there is a desire to have fun, rather than to be serious and committed to each other such as in a stable relationship.
Mania is an obsessive type of love where one holds their actual or perceived partner in high regard and wish for their feelings to be reciprocated by this partner. This type of love features possessiveness and unrealistic expectations. It can result in stalking, causing harm or even end in the murder of the object of obsession if advances are unreciprocated.
Pragma refers to love that is practical. It may not necessarily be romantic in nature rather it is based on convenience. It tends to be realistic as well as wise or reasonable. Partners have expectations that they expect to be met. They seek compatible traits that will increase the chances of a successful relationship. These kinds of partners usually work towards a common goal. However, the relationship can end up being toxic if one partner views the other as a burden.
Sometimes a person is not loved back. This may be as a result of simple dislike of one’s traits or because the one who is loved, loves someone else. It may result in feelings of despair or agony for the one having the experience.
Biologically, we are designed to fall in love. This is as a result of hormones and chemical messengers present in our bodies which influence our emotions positively or negatively. These chemicals create feeling of lust, attraction and attachment in human beings. Dopamine is responsible for the ‘high’ feeling associated with being in love while oxytocin is responsible for the bond that exists between individuals that love each other.
This is a condition where abductors develop sympathy for their captives. This may be as a result of the kidnapper(s) not agreeing with the plan or not willing to harm innocents. They may not have the heart to keep their victims in captivity, or may feel guilty for being forced to act in such a manner, due to unavoidable circumstances.
The bond may be as a result of constant contact between the abductor(s) and captive(s) leading to genuine want to care for the captive(s). It may also be because the prisoner inspires sympathy.
This is a condition that occurs when hostages develop positive feelings towards their captors. This occurs due to the time spent with each other.
It is an instinct that develops with the need for survival. The bond is established when the captor shows kindness to the victim or when threats of harm or death are not carried out. The victim sees these unfulfilled threats as acts of mercy or kindness, leading to a sense of gratitude towards the captors.
Article by: Tracy Moraa
Bachelor of Arts (Psychology)
When someone first falls in love, their attraction is driven by changes in the brain chemicals, such as: –
- Increases in dopamine a chemical messenger involved in seeking and keeping a relationship with a preferred romantic partner. It -provides a natural high and ecstatic feelings that can be as addictive as cocaine
- When the level of norepinephrine in the body is higher. It gives us a rush of excitement, nervousness, energy and motivation to pursue our romantic partner. This also produces physical symptoms like a racing heart, flushed skin and sweaty palms.
We are made to love and our brains have been wired to fall in love, to feel the euphoria of romance, to enjoy pleasure, to bond and procreate. Feel-good neurochemicals flood the brain at each stage of lust, attraction, and attachment
and they feel that it will last for the long term, they are said to have reached the attachment stage. A longer-lasting commitment that we can also call companionate love. Attachments are strengthened due to the release of a hormone called oxytocin and vasopressin during intimacy and other affectionate behaviors. Oxytocin is also associated with the assisting of deeper feelings, and therefore is directly linked to bonding and increasing trust and loyalty in romantic attachments.
If you have just met your partner, you do not expect them to do any wrong and you tend to ignore his or her flaws or negative traits. In that sense, we can see why people say “love is blind.”
We confuse love and lust quite easily:
Lust – results in our sexual attraction and our need for sexual fulfillment. Our sex hormones kick in as soon as we are teenagers, thus our biological drives to reproduce, are driven by the need for sexual gratification (lust).
In a relationship, one may be “lusting,” while the other mistakes this attraction, for the desire to form and commit to a relationship. Even though at first we may be driven by our sex drive (the libido or lust), simply being sexually attracted to someone doesn’t mean that a romance or relationship will last very long.
Initially, we admire our beloved, are willing to explore our partner’s interests, and accept his or her ideas and opinions. Love may also bring out some parts of our personality that we didn’t know we had. We might feel more masculine or more feminine, more empathic, generous, hopeful, and more willing to try out new things.
When we are in love, we feel more alive, because we have access to another side of our ordinary personality. Additionally, in early dating, we tend to be more honest than later on in the relationship, where both parties usually have invested a lot in the relationship and fear that speaking the truth may lead to a breakup.
After the initial stage, take for instance after six months we learn more things about our partner that displease us. We notice habits and flaws we dislike and some ideas or beliefs that we may find unpleasant. As a matter of fact, some of the traits that attracted us then, could annoy us now.
We gradually start to go back to our ordinary personality, and so does our partner. Now that we’re attached, and fear losing, or upsetting our partner, we hold back feelings, wants, and needs. This restricts us from being intimate.
In order for a relationship to overcome major obstacles it requires: –
It necessitates the ability to honestly speak up about our needs and wants, to share feelings, agree, and resolve conflict. As opposed to trying to change our partner we should put effort into learning to accept him or her.
Stockholm syndrome develops when one is placed in a situation where they feel intense fear of physical harm, and believe all control is in the hands of the person who makes them suffer. The psychological response follows after a period of time and is a survival strategy for the victims.
It also includes sympathy and support for their captor’s unfortunate situation, and may eventually manifest in negative feelings toward authorities who are trying to help the victims. People exhibiting Stockholm syndrome become protective of their captors, even to the point of frustrating the efforts of their rescuers.
The syndrome is not classified as a disease but rather a description of people’s behaviors who’ve been traumatized over a period of time. While hostages and kidnapping victims can exhibit these behaviors, so can people in abusive relationships or members of cults.
Lima syndrome can be said to be the opposite of Stockholm syndrome. This is because it is a condition in which the tormentor (a person who inflicts severe mental or physical suffering on someone) develops an emotional bond with their victims. They begin to empathize with their victim. At some point, they even begin to worry about the needs and well-being of the hostages. Lima syndrome can be manifested in the following ways:
-The kidnapper avoids hurting the victim.
-They give the victim certain freedoms or even releases them.
-The kidnapper worries about the victim’s physical and emotional state.
-They have conversations with the victim.
-In some cases, the kidnapper goes ahead to share personal information with the victim.
-They can even make promises to the victim.
-In other cases, the kidnapper may even be attracted to the victim.
Article by: Gail Mwaniki
Bachelor of Arts (Psychology)