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Wanted: Real & True Love



I am envious of my cousin. She’s a twenty-seven year old lawyer who, despite the ugliness of humanity she encounters everyday, still has a positive outlook on love and life. She is a hopeless romantic, you see. We have these conversations where she tries to pick my brain and get me to voice my thoughts on a number of man-woman issues; she says she’s trying to get an insight into the male mind. I don’t mind really, but sometimes I get a bit uncomfortable as I start to see myself as a guinea pig, whose words might be over-analysed, and who might get psychoanalysed as well. Although my intentions are usually to set her straight on these issues and be as truthful as possible, I fear I might be overly cynical, clinical and pessimistic in my opinions and ideas. This is because I try to keep it real, open and honest in my assessment of the girl-guy relationship dynamics. But despite this, she still has a very positive outlook on love and men. She is of the opinion that some guys are just annoying and messed-up and that good guys, like me, are very hard to come by, because either they are married, hooked up or just not available. Good guy like me, ke? Yeah, right! I tell her that I’m as cynical as the best of them, and as annoying as the worst of them. I tell her that there is no such thing as real love and that all male-female relationships are just partnerships of convenience.

The first time I said this she seemed shocked and tried to get me to elaborate, given the fact that she knows I am in a very committed relationship. I refused to cooperate. The second time I hinted at this, she waved it aside and said that I was just forming cynical, but deep down inside she suspected that I was a hopeless romantic! Now that got me thinking, “Is it possible that my years of active cynicism were nothing but a sham? Am I still that hopeless romantic that I was ten to fifteen years ago?” No way! I am far too practical, sensible, and smart for that. I mean I have seen men and women at their best and their worst and it was not pretty, I tell you.

She goes on and talks about wanting the kind of love that she sees in the movies and the novels. I shake my head and tell her that it is all make believe and that’s why it is in the pages of a book or on the big screen. She refuses to be daunted. She proceeds to tell me about the Bridges of Madison County, starring Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood, where Meryl Streep’s character meets and falls in love with another man while her husband is away. My cousin says she doesn’t want to be like Meryl Streep’s character who finds her true love, years into her marriage. I laugh at this, with nothing to say. She then mentions the romantic movies cash cow of the last couple of years, the Twilight saga. Cringe! She can’t get enough of Bella and Edward! She has the four books and has seen all the movies. She’s a big fan and a secret groupie! Every chance she gets she brings them up in conversation and cites how theirs is a “perfect” relationship. I raise an eyebrow; she changes it to “near-perfect”. I tell her that I have my doubts that such love, in its entirety, exists in this day and age. She gives me a dirty look and wonders again how come I am in a committed relationship. Hmm…how come?

But really, why isn’t a girl like her in a true and loving relationship? Why is she still of the view that real and perfect love exists? I ask her if she had actually been in a relationship before, she replies in the negative. I probe further enquiring as to the men in her life. She says she has not found the ideal man. Why ever not? I fear she has moulded her ideal man after what she has seen in the world of make believe. Also, in its first advent, romantic love as we know it is often the idealised version; pure, full of hope, and innocent. We often experience this while we are still young and innocent, say in our late teens to early twenties. The euphoria, the feelings and the emotions are akin to what Bella and Edward express in Twilight. We commit ourselves to the other fully and without reservation. We promise our fidelity and undying love to our idealised man or woman, perhaps imitating what we see in the Mills & Boons novels and in those movies. We are in love and love is in us, with the world revolving around us! Then somehow, for a number of different reasons, this perfect love goes sour; couples who had pledged ‘love until death’ break up. More often than not, it is one party that wants the break up. The other pleads and begs for forgiveness in the case of wrong doing and sometimes in the absence of it. One or both get tired, the love gets old, or pressures and external forces come along to upset the boat. If the relationship is irreconcilable, we learn from our mistakes and move on, hoping that things will work out the next time. But do they? We wear our hearts on our sleeves again and again only for us to get burnt again and again. Over time we learn to toughen up, harden our hearts and build walls.

I take another look at my cousin and see the spark in her eye, full of hope, as she yearns for that kind of love. I then take an inward look and realise that at some level I yearn to have that kind of innocent, care-free, non-cynical view of love again. Then she looks at me with a look that says “What do I do?” Do I tell her to say yes to the first guy that comes along? Do I tell her to settle for that near-perfect guy that treats her ever so nicely? Or do I tell her emphatically to wait for that man that is ideal for her, that perfect guy that makes her happy, that is her soul mate and friend? I envy her innocence; I envy her love; but I do not envy her – the pain, yet experienced.

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  1. Temiloluwa Adebayo

    January 3, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    I really don’t believe there’s a perfect person because even I, am not perfect but please don’t tell her to settle for the first guy that comes along oh, at all!

    Whilst I don’t believe in ‘ideal’ man, I do believe in having certain standards such as moral standing, character etc so maybe she just hasn’t found a person who matches her set standards. Just advise her that she should keep her criteria reasonable and have her priorities straight. Those things that would not matter in another 10 years should not even be on the list. I’m sure she’ll be fine.

  2. beebee

    January 3, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    abeg the gramma is too much jor

    • Friend of Zara

      January 4, 2011 at 7:38 am


    • anon

      January 9, 2011 at 1:10 am

      hahahahaha, I was thinking the same thing. Gosh, I love good writers(sigh). Mehn, I was paying attention to the writing style than the story itself. TJ O’karo, you are such a captivating writer.

      Another human being can NOT complete you, so basically for women and men, don’t you ever go into a relationship thinking your happiness is based on your spouse because you are in for a great disappointment.

      Just the way, I am not perfect, I am not looking for a perfect someone either. My thing is know what you are looking for first,based on reality, then you pick out your main standards or likes, then see if you guys are compatable, then you are get to go. For example, you have to find someone that you know you can tolerate her/his flaws and if you can’t, but do not settle.

      Even the celebrities that will try to emulate, they are always in and out of relationship, which comes to show that the novels, movies are just fictional.


    • Ntui Goodness E

      June 13, 2011 at 6:47 pm

      Good one

  3. Karizma

    January 3, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    i like dat she’s optimstic, but it’d be good for her to ‘experience’ things…true, wait for truelove, but someone once said dat if u don’t hv a bad guy/girl u may neva know wat a good guy/girl feels like. she should be grateful for her mistakes & experiences… 🙂

  4. Jack

    January 3, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    Carl Thomas’ “Emotional” tells us a bit about what happens to most near perfect relationships at some point

    “Very deeply
    Love lived within
    But somehow we got loose
    From what was oh so tight
    Somewhere we went wrong
    When we were oh so right”

  5. Timma

    January 3, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    Hmmm, interesting topic! Yes I do agree with Gbemi that there is no perfect man and I do believe the term ideal man is relative to the individual. One thing I do know though; there is true love and we do have good guys that will go out of their way to show they love you and stick by you, no matter the opposition or challenge but saddly they are few. I went through some sratches before i found one but its not an out of the world term, your cousin should keep her hope alive, she will get there, soon enough.

  6. Timma

    January 3, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    sorry Temiloluwa

  7. wonkomije

    January 3, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    have a friend who has a terribly high standard: tall handsome rich dude! wel she is getting close to her mid 30s and desperately wanting to settle down with the one available at her reach.her fiance is a financially stable responsible and God fearing selflesss man but not handsome and tall!reading crappy novels does not help your IQ and would not solve your day to day problems, young girls should stop reading those books!expect to find at least 60% of what u want from a man and let God complete the rest.cheers

  8. Naijamum

    January 3, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    Never settle….That’s a recipe for disaster
    While there is no ideal man, a woman should have a ‘benchmark’….that is the minimum criteria a guy should fulfil to even be considered for a relationship.
    The worst kind of loneliness is loneliness within a relationship.
    She should never settle…but should remember we all have faults.
    Its up to her to decide what faults are acceptable.

  9. Attentively curious me!

    January 3, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    My question is this; is it a most for the princess to kiss a couple of frogs before she finds her frog-prince?!

    • Omoyele

      January 3, 2011 at 11:04 pm

      It is not a must for a Princess to “kiss couple of frogs” before finding her “frog” .Remember the bible says the bed must be kept undefiled.

    • Kuku

      January 5, 2011 at 11:14 am

      my dear, u clearly do not understand the saying bout ‘kissing frogs’, in which case u should have just skipped it n kept on reading instead of answering in the wrong direction….ah!!!!!

    • Attentively curious me!

      January 5, 2011 at 5:30 pm

      @Kuku, you failed to mention what the right direction is?


    January 3, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    It’s important to look at what you bring to the relationship not just what’s coming to you. I agree. Young women should have standards, yes, but too much on the list means you’re looking for God not a mate.

  11. Purpleicious babe

    January 3, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    Wow…. this is a very interesting story. I can relate to her on so many levels. I have also had that mentality and secretly I still do. Guess what, the guy came, not perfect but extremly lovely, absolutly spiritual, kind, compassionate, tall, cute, handsome. Basically, everything a woman would dare dream to have. It was a romantic few months of us being together with a view of marriage. However, things did not turn out the way I expected and believed in God for. It has been a hard journey but I am getting through it each day.

    I do believe that they are great guys out there that have a godly heart. I say godly heart because everything outside that I question it. But, my motto is, to get a great guy that is extremly geniune, I believe the woman has to be as well. I would advise you to tell her that she should focus on herself, develop her God given character and improver her inner beauty. She should not envy anyone in a committed relationship because she does not know what each spouse go through. However, she should believe that all things will work together for good those that love God and she can find her soul mate that will make her happy. But she should not dwell on that and focus on the things that God has placed in her heart and with time, he will come.

    I know the trials and tribulations of this world over clouds our mind that we cannot find true love or there is not one. There is but it only happens when the two understand the concept behind love… I believe God is love. Thus, if u truly have God am sure we will have a great idea on loving someone. I believe in love, I believe that we all deserve happiness not from man but from God, I believe we should exprience life because it expands our ideas and scope. It challanges us to better and do the right thing. Above all, honesty is always the best policy. But apply wisdom all that we intend to do. Occasionally, wisdom does not come with exprience,but knowledge tends to come with exprience. Wisdom comes with asking from God, waiting on God and applying basic essential principles.

  12. Nubian Queen

    January 3, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    I agree with Temiloluwa,the perfect Man is still a myth….!but TJ,try not to turn your Cousin into a hard core Cynic just yet,cos i am of the belief that every self professed cynic is just a hopeless Romantic at heart that got his or her fingers burnt the first time around and are really holding out in the hope that someone somewhere will come along and break that ‘i really dont care about love’fence they have built around is a beautiful thing when found!my advice….let her have her list,yes a list does help especially in this day and age of wolves in sheep’s clothing!but keep the list realistic and be open minded too!i did so too and boy!did it work for me!

  13. FrankBezzle

    January 3, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    Getting married is a not a case of “how early” but of “how well.” However girls of today get carried away making unreasonable demands or phantom lists of what an ideal partner should look like or be like.

    Truth be told, no matter how perfect a guy looks, once you get married, you will discover a million other attributes you never knew about – some good, many terrible. This is when tolerance and maturity comes into play.

    If you look at the words “Fall in love”, you notice the word “Fall”. You dont fall on purpose, it happens by accident or involuntarily. A lot of girls today are looking for a prince charming who may not exist in today’s economic realities.

    In Nigeria today, there is a demographic of women born between the years 1975 and 1985 who are single and searching. In a country of 150million, single women born within the age bracket (1975-1985) form a good amount of the population. Many are educated, smart and may have good careers but most of them are looking for the same type of guy – rich or well-to-do, tall, dark, handsome (yawn). The types of guys these girls want to marry (listed above) are very few in number, are either married or do not want to get married or in a relationship any time soon. why should they want to get married or comitted? They are at an advantage, and have scores of desperate or single girls at their beck and call.

    The educated but struggling young men are scared of marriage or committments too. Girlfriends or wives cost money and time. Besides many men are growing up in a society where sex and easy girls are easily available; why should they then commit to a relationship or marry?

    Read the below excerpt from an excellent article on a blog I visit regularly. The link is also indicated below. It sums everything up perfectly:

    There is no doubt that our attitudes are changing. Respect for women and female-folk is slowly ebbing away in our society today. Many men believe that woman exist just for sexual gratification. It is hard to blame them, though they deserve a reprimand, because everywhere you turn in Nigeria, especially in the metropolis of Lagos and Abuja, cheap girls are like a dime a dozen.

    You drive into the mall; there are girls in skimpy outfit looking for mugus to buy them popcorn in exchange for popping their coochie. How can you barter some creamie pie for some ice cream? Not even for Haggen Daas. Never for Walls. I know diamonds and bling-bling are a girl’s best friend, but please don’t trade your maiden-head for Fan Ice…..

    • bcgeorge

      January 4, 2011 at 8:51 am

      good and hilarious one… @ looking for mugus to buy them popcorn in exchange for popping their coochie

  14. Ready

    January 4, 2011 at 2:03 am

    How are you in a “very committed” relationship with these thoughts you’ve expressed? I’m not knocking your ideology (do you my guy), but unless the chick you’re with feels the same way or knows what you think of your relationship…there’s some trickery going on and yawa fit gas.
    Having said that, while I agree romance novels and drivel-filled romantic comedies do a lot to mess with young girls’ psyche, I’m not as cynical as you…real love does exist, you just gotta work to keep it.

  15. Fran

    January 4, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    Nice write up. However, it’s a bit of an irony that you are in a committed relationship and yet have these views. What I understand is that you are in a partnership of convenience – right? In other words, there is no deep emotional feeling you have for your girlfriend just the fact that you are committed to her by not dating someone else. I hope she dumps your ass soon enough as you’ll most likely dump hers’ when you come across someone that you’re emotionally smitten with!

    • Elle

      January 6, 2011 at 1:03 am

      I think he’s married, Fran.. Cool down, TJ is all about drawing reactions with his articles

  16. lovely

    January 4, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    there may not be perfect love but there are genuine love where the guys wants you to be happy at all time,goes out of his way all the time to make you smile,i ve experienced that…. so pls tell her she will never find a perfect man but she can see her soul mate but definitely must have his own shortcomings but can be handled by her if she is realistic

  17. lovely

    January 4, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    there may not be perfect love but there are genuine love where the guys wants you to be happy at all time,goes out of his way all the time to make you smile,i ve experienced that…. so pls tell her she will never find a perfect man but she can see her soul mate but definitely must have his own shortcomings but can be handled by her if she is realistic..go girl and give a man a trial u can not be in your house and hoping for an angel perfect to meet you, most times the best men dont come in the best swagger

  18. obie

    January 4, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    I totally love the write-up..

  19. moxie

    January 4, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    i have your cousin’s mentality but with a twist:that kind of love is wishful thinking.blame it on romance novels that i have ingested since childhood that now make me sick because human beings are not that way(the tall dark handsome,rich as croseus,aloof ,not in touch with his sensitive side man is really an arrogant prig will not change because one damsel stood up to him and called his bluff. na lie he will just say forget u and move on to the next eager and more willing female) all around me, i see people who are willing to receive but not to give ,who are not honest with themselves about what they really want,where men mistake lust for love and women mistake romance for the real thing.where we settle for what is available or attainable.where marraige is viewed as the pinnacle of one’s achievement or the next step in evolutionary scale(like being single makes one sub-human!!).this is why i dont blame you for being cynical.

    despite my quite jaded opinion, i do believe real love emenates from GOD and yourself.if you have experienced GODs love , you would want nothing else.Also if you truly love yourself(not the narcissistic type), you wouldnt settle for less.not for a man/woman who makes you feel less, not for a person you genuinely cannot express that love cos u know they cant reciprocate.

    whatever the case we must always remember TRUE LOVE IS NOT A FEELING;IT IS AN EXPRESSION OF THE STATE OF YOUR INNER MAN.

    PS: dont believe in “falling” in you fell in ,you will climb out.Destiny’s child says it well- “it’s just emoooootions taking me over”

  20. misstee

    January 4, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    there’s no such thing as ‘the ideal/perfect man’..however there is a man out there who will love her as purely and deeply as she perfect man remember!

  21. Feelitx

    January 5, 2011 at 9:29 am

    How can real love exist when humans are so flawed? Every one will need/should be allowed to make their own mistakes, learn from them and correct them.

  22. jazmyne

    January 5, 2011 at 11:10 am

    well if d perfect guy’s out there,i avent found him…nd i’m nt lookin nymore.we dont av to be in a relationship with smone to feel complete..we av to look to ourselves sometimes,nd maybe wen we’re actually complete,we can find someone who fits…..

  23. Karen

    January 6, 2011 at 12:13 am

    @ FrankBezzle COSIGN! MORALS in Nigeria = ZERO, very very SAD!

  24. Jemimah

    January 6, 2011 at 11:59 am

    Love is greater than pain.

  25. TK

    January 6, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    thanks a lot jazmyne for your opinion…im with you on that one…….i havent found him (i tot i did one or two times but….)and i aint looking no more. i also want to plead with other women who are in a ‘relationship’ to calm down and stop calling every single gal out der ‘cheap’ they are doing all they can to be in a relationship like you….abeg abeg abeg…they want to be happy too…its not like they are interested in the ‘popcorn’ .babes are just hoping for relationship too o….God dey sha.

  26. onyinye

    January 6, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    as for me i think, lots of us girls have some very unrealistic expectations….you want a rich guy, good for you….but think about it- a normal young guy who`s a graduate with a job may not be as wealthy as you expect now….he is still trying to build himself up, at least let him be willing and able to work hard, and let women look beyond what guys are at the moment to the men they`ll become in the future. I have found love…yes i have! he may not be all i dreamed of as a girl but he adores me and i feel a certain peace when i`m with him and i see the same in his eyes when he looks at me, my family is even of a higher social class than his but i have faith in what he`ll become, as he is very hard working. He has a good heart and he loves God. I am also guilty of the long list of must-haves for guys , when i met my fiance what came to my mind was ~ Does this hungry small boy really believe i`ld setlle for him?. Girls we cant all be married to rich and handsome movie stars,come to think of it, most of these so called `perfect guys` are very arrogant as they are used to getting any girl they want, even when they`re married they treat their wives like doormats. Let`s get our priorities straight and get rid of some of our ridiculous standards cos most of the time these standards prevent us from having a feel of theat amazing guy who may be standing right before you and remember the BEE still goes to the FLOWER for HONEY. Be that beautiful flower and the right BEE will come along

  27. Cella

    January 7, 2011 at 6:37 am

    TJ O’Karo…you’re such a good writer, it’s such an impressive & captivating writing. I love the writing more than i love the story; kinda educating in a way! More grease to your elbow.

  28. Chibaby

    January 7, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    hmmmm…. interesting write-up and comments. I’m in the same shoes as your cousin but with experience. Meaning I’ve tasted frogs and still hopeless romantic.

    I can only advise you to tell your cousin to go out on dates. Anyone that asks her out, she should go out with him. Since she is single, she should have as much fun and experience as she can have. It will be the best way for her to pick other men’s brain other than yours; and get better understanding of the oppose sex. Staying stangnat and not mingling will not bring her dream man to her.

  29. kay

    January 9, 2011 at 8:20 am

    I actaully was just thinking about that today. I know since we are not perfect, wedon’t really have rights to look for a perfect person.But that does not mean we should not hope. I do not the the girl cousin said anything about tall dark and handsome, i think she is just looking for someone to sweep her off her feet. she just needs to open her eyes, guys like that still exist. She just has to try and find out.

  30. Kamasutra

    January 9, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    Hmm, you really need to buy your cousin THE ART OF SEDUCTION in order for her to re-invent herself into the woman that can create the romance she so desires. If not all but near to because if not she might end up a disappointed dreamer vulnerable to any horn-dog to jerk-off

  31. Ebila

    January 27, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    There’s no perfect person,but there’s a perfect person for you.There’s no perfect love,but there’s a perfect love for you.A person doesn’t have to be perfect to be seen as perfect by you,that is what love is there for.It blinds you from the imperfection of the other and sometimes when you see the imperfection,you even appreciate them.I’ve been heartbroken,i even still am right now,but i still don’t subscribe to the fact that there’s no perfect love.As to what to tell your cousin? Tell her she might get heartbroken over and over before she’ll find what she seeks,but it’s definitely out there.

    • my day

      February 23, 2011 at 11:23 am

      u just took that out of my mouth. Am not looking for a perfect man, but i want the perfect man for me.

  32. dee-zed

    March 30, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    I love that clause “partnership of convenience”, i call it “coincidence of infatuation”. true love does not exist my brother, please tell them.only the person that has not experienced the pain will not know what you’re talking about. you keep fantasizing about true love but when the scales fall off their eyes they then come to the reality of things and accept that TRUE LOVE DOES NOT EXIST(at-least not with humans, only with God i believe it does). the reason i say only with God, is a topic for another day.

  33. Dharani

    June 10, 2011 at 8:27 am


  34. shailaja

    June 10, 2011 at 8:29 am

    its ok but i love my dad very much

  35. mz. Marlyne

    June 13, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    Even after readin the act of seduction,ild prolly say iv ηєvєr met the right man,and I think its cos he has ηєvєr come ‎​M̲̅γ way…I really can say Its ‎​M̲̅γ fault,but iv got the image of whom I want in this little head of mine so whenever I met some1 and he doesnt have atleast 6of those qualities he is lined out,dont get me wrong,but iv tried to date some that didnt even have up to 3of these qualities,gues ў☺ΰ know how it ended…am still searching like Ɣ☺ΰя cousin…

  36. lamour

    June 20, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    though heartbroken at d moment,i still believe that there’s real love out there and u know anoda thin i’ve realised-its hard work. like almost evryone has said,ladies….pls lets not allow our fantasies keep us from seein d treasure dt lies within n around us.great job T.

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