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The 5 Things Love is NOT



“I don’t believe in Love”

Coming from a level-headed, intelligent and passionate young female, that revelation came as a shock to those of us who were privy to the confession.

I mean really, how possible is it for anyone who was born in the Mills & Boon, Sound of Music, Jerry Maguire ‘you complete me’ generation, to not believe in love.

It’s almost like a five year old sweet-toothed child saying he or she does not believe in Santa Claus.

We grew up loving love. Love was heralded to us as the end result of all life’s pursuits in all the fairytales and romantic novels we would have done anything to exchange for our own realities.

Even in adulthood, beaten down by disappointments and cynicism, we still on some level, believe that our very own ‘happily ever after’ might be lurking somewhere in the relationship with the next guy or lady.

Centuries and now even millennia have passed, and the one thing that has never gone out of Fashion is Love.

Oh Love, how lovely thou art!!

I know at the end of this article, some of the more hard-headed readers will drop brash, realistic comments about how the Unbeliever in love is in a better position than those of us Love hard or die trying fanatics; nevertheless, I shall not relent, and will go ahead to tell you, my fellow Disciple of Love, the 5 things that Love is not, to help us in our noble quest.

However, before I proceed, I want to give you this one Pre-tip for FREE: Love is NOT confined to the romantic mould we have believed all our lives that it can only be found in. Love is everywhere, in every type of relationship, waiting patiently to be discovered by those who are open to it.

Alright, now here we go:

Love is not Demanding

Giving is at the very core of all that Love is. Whether or not you are getting compensated, in any form of physical or emotional return, the Lover does not relent in loving. All of humanity is wired to ‘want’ something from the next person, but a Lover’s nature seeks to give of himself to another. So if you find yourself constantly complaining or feeling a lack of fulfillment because you are not receiving a desired expectation from someone you claim to ‘love’, then I’d suggest that you dig deep within, and ask yourself the really tough questions.

Love is not a Feeling

Oh the mushy feeling that we have been conditioned to believe is Love. How many times have you felt the ‘I’m woozy enough to jump over a cliff for you’ feeling, and then six months down the line, you experience a horrified or disgusted tremor when you see the same person? True love is eternal. It is intangible; it cannot be grasped, felt or captured. It is a willful decision, followed by actions, in which one commits himself to the uplifting of another, even in spite of your own self.  Love doesn’t begin when two people whisper ‘I love you’ to each other in a dark enclave. No, love is more likely to be present in a situation where a woman is looking at the man who has been feeding her garri for the past year and it doesn’t seem like the situation is even going to change, yet she strokes his cheek and lets him know that she’s in this for the long haul. Yeah, love can kinda look unattractive like that.

Love is not Controlling

Being aware of the fact that you have another person completely under your influence does not give you the moral right to manipulate them in whatever way that suits you. Emotional blackmail and all those other tactics do not exist in true love.  A Lover genuinely desires the best for who he(or she) loves, whether or not it is convenient for his own comfort or not. A Lover sees an opportunity to have his way, but instead chooses to do what’s best for the other person. He gives himself up for who he loves.

Love is not Complacent

Love always seeks to bring out the best in another person. It doesn’t get comfortable in the mediocre, but challenges the innate potential which is resident in the heart of the person being loved. Love does not tell you you’re right when you’re wrong. Or remain silent when he should speak up, for fear of the possible outcome on the relationship. The motives of love are always rooted in the goodness which birthed love in the first place. Love inspires another to be all that they can be and more.

Love is not Be-Grudging

Love accepts everyday as brand new. It forgets the wrongs of yesterday, and joyfully anticipates the rights of today. It looks upon the one who is loved with the hope that his goodness will shine through. There is no Love without Faith. It’s impossible to love someone and yet have absolutely no faith in the good that is in them. You can’t love someone and yet be constantly suspicious of them and expecting only the worst from them at all times. Yes, Love will accept the weaknesses of another, but be committed by Faith, to helping the person find strength in their weaknesses. Love forgives even before an offense has been committed.

So to all my fellow Love Disciples, I stand shamelessly on this platform and holla the war cry of Love. We shall be beat down, we shall be bruised; we shall be scorned, we shall be shamed. Yet through our hurts, through our pain; the Love in our hearts will be our Desert rain.

Photo Credit: Foto Search
Tari’s blog is; also follow TariEkiyor on Twitter


  1. Rosie

    September 8, 2010 at 8:39 am


  2. Rosie

    September 8, 2010 at 9:08 am

    Just read thru this and really, i must commend u. Love is beautiful when u set ur heart on it. Though not always smooth, it does not fade and its eternal. Those who deny it are selfish, unwilling to give it!

  3. Ronnie

    September 8, 2010 at 9:38 am

    Most people who think they’re in love..Really aren’t!Love is unconditional, no strings attached.Now that ain’t easy but it’s Love!~

  4. gwen

    September 8, 2010 at 11:36 am


  5. mike

    September 8, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    wow…thanks for the write up

  6. motuns

    September 8, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    Tari I love and enjoy your article. You are a bundle of talent.


  7. kemi

    September 8, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    yes o, we were brought up on the idea of love; breakfast,lunch & dinner. hmmmmn, wen i av my kids i wud steer them clear of all the “fairy-tale” love stories. i think it just sets them up for disappointment! i will improvise my own bedtime stories o.

  8. There i said it....Rant over

    September 8, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    Great stuff

    Also check out this blog

    Could not stop laughing

  9. chuchu

    September 8, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    Love!!!! does exist, only GOD i know has shown me utter and unimaginable LoVe. as for US humans this issue is closed

    • Tina

      September 9, 2010 at 4:54 pm

      As a therapist (counsellor) I can clearly hear that you have been hurt, Love exist, and I pray you find some1 to show that one day, you parents, friends and family may not have but there is still hope.

  10. oladips

    September 8, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    A friend once said ” Love is a Verb ” to love is in action

  11. adenike

    September 8, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    Tari,you’re amazing!
    Love is not begrudging…… That’s the most important part….

  12. omo-yankee

    September 8, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    u can’t define Love!! b cos love has its own meaning to each and every person!!

  13. jen

    September 8, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    dis article is interesting…But everyone has their own idea about love..So I think this list should act as a suggestion rather than “What love is not”.. It is simple when you are in love, you will know it… 😀

  14. onthesubject

    September 8, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    pls this is a very amateur/naive take on love…we do not live in utopia, neither are we God…we r human, and human love is not what u have described…u write very well but u r too much of an idealist…in the world we live in, whoever loves in d way u have described is inviting others to walk-all over them and bound to be taken advantage of, and why willingly let others take advantage of u if u r not desperate?

    Like omo-yankee said, YOU, Tari, cannot define what love is or shud be for everyone cos as much as it is universal, it is personal too!

    Love begins with self-love…if u love urself n someone u luv offends u, it is not by force to forgive just bcos u luv them…and who is to say that one who is unable to forgive their beloved, does not truly love?

    pls u need to be very careful the way u write n what u write…u r just a buddiing writer not a psychiatrist, psychologist, sociologist, therapist, relationship-expert etc, so when u write, try to make it clear that u r not sure what you are saying is true in the vast majority of cases, but this is what you think…then proceed…You shudn’t ever present ur subject-matter like its proven fact e.g:5 Things love is NOT.

    Thanks 😉

    • Ronnie

      September 8, 2010 at 6:25 pm

      Calm down love…!lol.SMH

    • niyoo

      September 8, 2010 at 7:32 pm

      ish ….. u need to get laid. 2 much gra gra

    • kokoletnumberone

      September 8, 2010 at 11:33 pm


    • onthesubject

      September 9, 2010 at 2:19 pm

      LMAO! i luv that word – gra gra 😉

    • Copina

      September 8, 2010 at 10:31 pm

      She can write whatever she wants to write…its now up to you to use your brain to decipher, extract or reject what you want. Na by force?kpshewwwwwwwww

    • Tina

      September 9, 2010 at 5:22 pm

      This is my 1st tym of hearing and reading the writers work,and i do nt agree wit all but she is on the ryt track, love ois what purpleicious says it is To chuchu:As a therapist (counsellor) I can clearly hear that you have been hurt, Love exist, and I pray you find some1 to show u that one day, you parents, friends and family may not have but there is still hope.
      To onthesubject: I am a therapist and I do not totally agree with the writer but if u can nt 4giv others their wrng then it is bcus u do nt truly lov urself, and there r things u can nt 4giv urself of that u hav done in the past, love needs to be able to 4giv, lik children 4giv, a parent will beat their child and minutes later the child is back hugging mum or dad, but as we grow up the spirit of 4giveness leaves us, it should not, and u should be asking God to tak away the spirit in u that thinks we should choose 2 forgiv or nt. As the bible says in Psalm – 4give me lord as I 4giv those that sin against me. To kokoletnumberone: R U COMPARING UR SELF 2 GOD? GOD GIVES AND TAKES SO DOES THAT MEAN U HAV THE RYT 2TAK N GIVE LIK GOD, DOES THAT MEAN U HAVE THE RYT 2KILL LIK GOD DOES THAT MEAN U HAV THE POWER 2BLESS LIKE GOD, DNT GET ME UPSET BY COMPARING URSELF TO THE GOD ALMIGHTY THE ALPHA AND THE OMEGA, GREATER OF HEAVEN N EARTH, may God 4giv u. to ego:

  15. africanchikito no.1

    September 8, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    OMG!.Tari has done it again!..after reading afraid to think i may be a culprit..i shall learn,henceforth to love UNCONDITIONALLY cos that’s d key to true happiness..So help me Jah!

  16. onthesubject

    September 8, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    PS: a 5 yr-old sweet tooth child who doesnt believe in santa claus is above his peers in terms of intelligence….santa claus doesnt exist, just a commercial creation like valentine…so poor analogy there….and the fact that we all grew up watching silly love stories written for pure cash n entertainment purposes does not prove that love like that exists in real life…bcos superman can fly and spiderman climb skyscrapers in minutes, doesnt mean we shud try it too or encourage others to try.

  17. Seun O

    September 8, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    Where did Tari copy this from? Mills & Boon? Hisssss. Please lets be realistic here. Wait till you meet the spouse from Hell and then lets see how all this “LOVE” plays out.

  18. Reallaw

    September 8, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    Thanks for brightening my day! Your articles are wonderful. Check out Elizabeth Gilbert speech(A new way to think about creativity) on TED (download it on YouTube)

    • LeighJoy

      September 11, 2010 at 6:42 am

      yes that was a good TED talk

  19. gbegborun

    September 8, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    @Onthe subject – Haters are out again oh! Psheewwww.

    Tari does not claim to be any of those things you mentioned…..she is not trying to direct your life just giving her musings on life. Why should she have to follow your orders on how to present her work?

    @ Tari, great article….and I love that you stress that the kind of love you are talking about is not necessarily boy/girl love. I see this kind of love with my friends and family. Nice one again.

  20. Reallaw

    September 8, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    Thanks for brightening my day! Your articles are wonderful. Check out Elizabeth Gilbert’s speech(A new way to think about creativity) on TED (download it on YouTube)

  21. off the subject

    September 8, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    Love Rocks, and Tari is an expert in her own relationship. Dont like, dont read

    And i hate it when peeps say mean stuff then say thanks ,

    Meanies…No thank You

    • kokoletnumberone

      September 8, 2010 at 11:53 pm

      lol….but Tari d relationship expert is not in a relationship….i guess at the end of the day, there r different kinds of love n the kind of love she describes is what we call Agape…d dynamics of eros n agape are different…put simply, you cannot love your partner/spouse the way you love a parent/close friend, even if your partner/spouse is also your bestfriend (as everyone declares)….

      i agree that love is not begrudging…even God keeps a record of our wrongs and He is LOVE itself…and we are told the ‘mansions’ in Heaven vary in sizes n spec and allocation wud be based on how much we pleased Him when we were alive….. the same God that still keeps us according to the Bible, under the Adam and Eve curse, considering the fact that that was about 200,000 yrs ago?

      so how can someone here say love doesnt keep a record of wrongdoings and say that matter-of-factly?

      Can we aspire to be better than The One who is also called Perfect Love? Are we now better than God?

    • Cheech

      October 1, 2013 at 11:46 pm

      1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NIV): 4 Love is patient, love is
      kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It
      does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily
      angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in
      evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always
      trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. But
      where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are
      tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will
      pass away.

    • Cheech

      October 1, 2013 at 11:59 pm

      So your description of God’s love is very wrong. There is a
      difference between consequences of your action (sin) and God
      keeping records of your wrong. So if this article is going by Bible
      standards or definitions as it were, then its valid. Except thats
      not case. So a criticism to the article based on the bible is wrong
      and contradicting what’s in the bible. Verses to back up what I
      said earlier are: Hebrews 8:12 (NIV): For I will forgive their
      wickedness and will remember their sins no more. Isaiah 43:25: “I,
      even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake,
      and remembers your sins no more. The devil though keeps a long
      record of your sins, to be able to accuse you and make you feel
      guilty, after all he is the accuser of the brethren……

    • kokoletnumberone

      September 8, 2010 at 11:57 pm

      * i meant to say i dont agree that love is not begrudging

    • Rachael

      September 11, 2010 at 5:22 pm

      True that!!!

  22. shade

    September 8, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    Funny enough, that’s what i love about Tari: the fact that she is an idealist. I feel like Idealists have a real understanding of what the world should be and are not willing to settle for less. They hold on to such “naivete” and eventually get what they want, albeit not without a few beatdowns and hurt. But hey, such is life.

    Also, just because a person chooses to love “Tari’s way” or the “world’s way” does not mean no one will not take advantage or walk all over you. Besides, being the scarred humans that we are, we will sometimes be tempted to take advantage of others. It’s left to us to do the right thing.

    While love may start with self-love, true love/real love keeps no record of wrong doing. So if someone you love hurts you, as painful and angry as one may feel, you do have to forgive the person. Holding on to stuff never helps the offended. It’s not easy, but forgiveness is necessary. I do see your point though. I guess Tari should have put the caveat “What love is to me” or whatever. Then again, i don’t think Tari tried to appear like a professional or what she said about love is untrue… Do you really think Love is complacent, demanding, controlling, etc.?

    • nuella

      September 9, 2010 at 1:33 pm

      GBAM!!! thank you very much!

    • onthesubject

      September 9, 2010 at 2:24 pm

      Pls read what kokoletnumberone wrote and explain how we can love better than God.

  23. Molicious

    September 8, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    Nice one Tari, I like it, a nice reminder

    @on the subject: I hear you but chill now.
    The first thing that actually came to mind when I read it was, chai! Love must be blinder than they say it is cause dang, if you trying to love keeping all the 5 points in mind, reality is people will take advantage of you.
    That said, I don’t think Tari is implying that this is how things are or that even she is able to practice all those five points flawlessly. I think she’s just reminding us of things to keep in mind when we say we love one another. It’s not that we’ll never be demanding or never hold grudges but to be able to take a step back and consciously attempt to correct those wrongs if we claim that we love someone.
    Yes love is personal and every situation is different and to each is own but I think the points she has made here are universal standards for us all to strive for in our very different and personal realities of love.

    • onthesubject

      September 9, 2010 at 2:43 pm

      Thank you very much…but until Tari is in a proper relationship where she can practise this, she shud not come here n say it like she is a walking-talking example…ppl who r not/hav not been in serious relationships hold on to this fairytale notion of love…all she knows is theory and she presents it like it is established fact. The piece is lacking in objectivity bcos she is lacks experience…d universal relationship expert is not in a relationship… an expert on love without a beloved

      and pls can one not dissent without being labelled a ‘hater’ ‘beefer’ etc on this forum? Must we all applaud and commend? If so, my apologies…..a notice shud be posted at the top of the page drawing our attention to the requirement

    • blackberry

      September 9, 2010 at 5:18 pm

      You can disagree but not in such a harsh and rude way..goshhhh…I love Tari’s writing as it gives me a different viewpoint on issues…..:-)

    • ego

      September 9, 2010 at 5:48 pm

      my dear, you are so right. It is her friends ansd those who are easily pleased that will keep applauding this unrealistic piece. Even Tari can’t claim to live by what she has written.
      But we come from a country were anyone gets up and says rubbish and we believe. It is what they call poverty of the mind. Their brains are starved.

    • Bbola

      September 11, 2010 at 3:56 pm

      Ummmm . . . how do you know she has never been in a steady relationship?

  24. D.O.T.M.H.

    September 9, 2010 at 12:31 am

    Tari me I love you, not because of this article o but because you still come back here week after week with all the things some people throw at you. I was just thinkin that if I were you, I would have resigned from Bella Naija siiiince, called Uche, Glory and the rest of the crew to say, “my people, we meet to part and part to meet, goodbye”. Simple! Thumbs up for the courage sha. His grace is sufficient for you.

  25. Uchechi

    September 9, 2010 at 12:37 am

    I tire for bad belle people like “on the subject” o! I support the view that love means different things to different people, however I’m certain that there are some aspects of it that are universal which tari has shed light on… well tari I have learnt from this article and will evaluate how I define love.

    I always look forward to your articles, keep doing your thing, you definitely will face criticisms, but it only makes you better and better as you deliver your articles.

  26. Garnetcore "Boss"

    September 9, 2010 at 12:43 am

    Interesting piece here Tari! I like…

  27. purpleicious babe

    September 9, 2010 at 6:06 am

    I like the article…. it lines very well with 1st Corinthians Ch 13…. which is exactly what true love is….

    • ego

      September 9, 2010 at 11:16 am

      Well i suppose she should have just quoted 1st Corithians 13 instead of wasting her time and our time writing the above article. As it is clear that what she has written is modelled on that chapter. Nothing perspective, new or original.

      I agree with everything onthesubject said. Why are we so easily pleased? i suspect most of her supporters are her friends. This is not bad belle, we don’t need to love blindly to show support, sometimes criticism is needed to improve another. It does not mean we are hating. Why should i hate? when i can see she knows not what she talks about. Welcome to the real world Tari, false adulation never turned man to God ask the celebrities e.g Michael Jackson.

    • Rachael

      September 11, 2010 at 5:32 pm

      @ ego no one begged u to come here. You are free to criticise but not be vindictive in your criticism. Criticise Tari work not her person…

  28. Agabalagbi Araparegangan

    September 9, 2010 at 11:09 am

    Sorry o all you ‘beefers’, we know your type but that person wey break ur heart no try

  29. VA

    September 10, 2010 at 8:44 am

    I agree, love has become a convenient set up and I also think that people are not passionate enough to work through the hardships of a relationship. Good article.

  30. a mon avis

    September 10, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    nice article but please people don’t go and measure up yourself or boyfriend/girlfriend against this article. Love is a subjective feeling and if what you have in your relationship is none of the above but works for you, glory be to God, keep it that way. For those who aren’t in a relationship, to be realistic there’s no perfect man or woman and it’s only by the grace of God and our own efforts that relationships work out.

  31. nala234

    September 11, 2010 at 4:36 am

    on the subject.
    You didn’t critize constructively. One can feel the harshnees in ur words. If everyone is disagreeing then why don’t you all disagree with Corinth 13 because the write up is in line with that passage.
    Whoever said God keep a record of our wrongs…true but he also forgives when we ask.

  32. iphiechuks

    September 11, 2010 at 9:38 am

    Tari thanks, against every odds, love is a beautiful thing, dont get it twisted.

  33. dami

    September 11, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    Like i said on my Facebook who ever says they don’t need love needs to wake up to reality as LOVE is the most precious gift given to us all like the bible says ‘love your neighbour as your self’ and also the bible also speaks about love even our creator himself is love … though i don’t think there is such thing as TRUE LOVE when it comes to Human beings the only First love i know is my GOD he is my true love …..

  34. Rachael

    September 11, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    @ onthesubject; u bitter no be small… Ur epistle fit form school of thought…

  35. vixengirl

    September 13, 2010 at 1:35 am

    Tari i guess this is what makes u grow week after else can u be better on what u do if u dont have people criticizing ur work.abeg abeg abeg abegggggggggggggggg…..big up urself girl. even though i dont absolutely agree with u on thiss topic,i guess u only wrote this piece from ur own point of view which im sure everybody is entitled [email protected] Rachael…..abi o

  36. Mariamah

    September 30, 2010 at 7:36 pm

    Tari, people don t hav 2 agree wit u, but i love this piece. Most if this pple hatin do not know what luv is even of it hit them in the face.

  37. BRENDA

    October 22, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    GO GIRL!!! u got every right to air ur view….but i dont really agree with u..a little bit of tough love is neede to survive any kind of love..God is love and he still reprimands us when we go wrong…i had a relationship with a guy a few years back and was as selfless as any human can be..but he just interpreted all of my selflessness as desperation to be with him..and wen i realised it was a one way thing..i had to back out of it. the only true love i can vouch for is God almighty’s..humans r incapable of such love..

  38. alexis

    August 8, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    Love is action, the things you are supposed to do,ought to do and strive to do and things you should not do and ought not to do.

  39. unizik

    October 3, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    Love cost not. I want to commend your nice work here. Keep it up.

  40. unizik

    October 3, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    Love cost not. I want to commend your nice work here. Keep it u

  41. unizik

    October 3, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    I want to commend your nice work here. Keep it up.

  42. meme

    October 2, 2013 at 2:17 am

    hmmm..all I know is there’s no love like the first love. I
    mean,the first relationship and you love that person thats just a
    good feeling..second, third time loving someone, one isn’t
    “innocent”. You have learnt and you have all your guards up.. your
    love now wears “coke bottle” lol. Love is precious, I do hope it
    finds me soon 🙂

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