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William Ifeanyi Moore: Functionality vs Companionship

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So…I was reading up on some history (as you do over the weekend because it’s super fun), when I stumbled upon how marriage was viewed in 17th century France (which wasn’t very different from how the rest of the world viewed it). Back then the whole point of marriage was for functionality. Of course in Africa polygamy was still the order of the day considering the Missionaries had not come to convince us otherwise. Needless to say, marriage then was primarily about functionality. For men it was permissible to keep concubines, and as for women…well women have always been sexually and emotionally restricted. But the point is that people married for reasons like expanding family wealth, strengthening tribal ties, and other such ideas. Today, no one would admit that the wealth present in their spouse’s life of family plays even the slightest role in our decision to marry them. In fact, it is seen as ‘uncool’ to say you want to marry someone for any reason besides being absolutely in love with them. We are supposed to deny all functional advantage of the arrangement so as not to come off as gold diggers or luxury seekers.

Unfortunately no one has ever paid a bill with love, and even more unfortunately, love is not the drug we think it is. Ask any married person and they will tell you, the high doesn’t last forever. Instead it is cyclical in nature. It rises and dips like an oscillation graph (see Google or your secondary school physics textbook). When it is at the high point (we’ve all been there), all is rosy like paradise found its way to earth, and then it dips are like a cold gust of wind a strange reality dawns of you that no human can ever fill that void of existential loneliness (forgive my big grammar, I didn’t know what other phrase to use). At this point the functionality of the relationship will be put to test. This is where someone will tell you something like ‘I know you love me, but love won’t put our children through school’. You get the picture.

Regardless of how much we try to deny it in the name of political correctness or whatever term you choose to use, there is a functional part of relationship that cannot be filled with love and we have to start facing up to this. Yes, companionship is important. It is good to have shared interests and ideas as they make for wonderful conversation, but denying a need to be functional in the name of love is just setting yourself up for something bad. Though gender roles might be blurring as we progress as a culture, they roles still exist even if they aren’t gender specific anymore. Take cooking for example: a woman’s place might no longer be in the kitchen, but someone has to cook because the family isn’t gonna survive on solar energy. A man’s role might have moved on from provider, but until manna starts falling from heaven again, somebody has to put food on the table.

You will be shocked to see the amount of people going into marriages without the slightest clue to how they will get through the most functional tasks of living, only to get into domestic wars later over whose turn it is to wash the dishes. The fact that co-habitation is still very much frowned upon before marriage also rules out the opportunity to simulate what living with someone would feel like. Sometimes it’s all perfect from a distance and then people move in together and all hell breaks loose.

In this age of extreme romanticism it has never been more important to step back and look at the more functional parts of our relationship before we commit to something we cannot sustain.

So next time you find yourself love stoned over a girl/guy, ask yourself: If I actually wasn’t in love with this person, would I be able to live with them. If the answer is no…well…the answer is no.

P.S Love is never enough.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime |  Matthias Ziegler 

William Ifeanyi Moore is an MPharm graduate from the University of Portsmouth, UK. His true passion is in novels and poetry but he cheats on them with movies, plays, and music. He believes sacrifice and compromise is the bedrock of any healthy relationship. His debut novel Lonely Roads is out on 10/12/2015. Blog: www.soulsyrup.space Twitter: @willifmoore Instagram: willifmoore

26 Comments

  1. dior

    May 12, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    I alwys say this……..love is never enough but trust boo to misinterpret it as i dnt love u.

    • NEWSCRIB.NET

      May 12, 2015 at 1:06 pm

      You are right

    • theo

      May 12, 2015 at 3:11 pm

      He must be really funny. I think he loves u too much tho..

  2. Chioma

    May 12, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    wise words.

  3. Enobong

    May 12, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    What he said!

  4. jennifer

    May 12, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    This is a great write up. My future bf needs to see this so that everytime i want to talk about roles he understands. Love is good but you cant eat love biko.

  5. Baby

    May 12, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    This is very true, love is never enough. you could love someone but if you keep clashing especially because of not enough finance the love would fly away

  6. Alem

    May 12, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    True, love is not enough, but I still believe it is important as no matter how your spouse is ‘functional’ there are still some characteristics about him/her that will piss you off and it is that love that would be able to see past those faults. At the same time, the faults should by no means surpass the good qualities.

  7. Hmmmm

    May 12, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    Nice write up. Altho it makes me feel lik its time to break up with my bf. He can be soooo childish at times i just wanna punch him(nt a violent person). Love is great but it isnt gonna get you 2ru the extremely low points

    • anonymous

      May 12, 2015 at 7:29 pm

      LOL!!! i just about laughed out loud at my work station.

  8. sugarintheplum

    May 12, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    ” It rises and dips like an oscillation graph (see Google or your secondary school physics textbook).”
    “…no human can ever fill that void of existential loneliness (forgive my big grammar, I didn’t know what other phrase to use).”

    Dear William Moore, next time you write a piece for general consumption, try not to condescend to your reader, it’s highly nauseating.

  9. babs

    May 12, 2015 at 2:40 pm

    True…feel some watch too many home videos and do not know the background work involved in sustaining a relationship.

  10. kristin

    May 12, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    All the things he said

  11. Grown Woman

    May 12, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    Lovely article…absolutely true, love is never enough i think as adults we should look for partners who are smart,hardworking n responsible 🙂

  12. Niola

    May 12, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    I like this your article, you seem like a smart guy except the responding to your critics bit. Well i guess you are trying to be an interactive writer. Anyway back to the matter; I have always believed that marriage is a factual and heady decision and not some butterfly in the tummy, hearty one . Marriage for us was definitely a deliberate decision, we put all the oooh and ahhhs aside and went for the loves God, has a good job, small change lol (imporant mara ooo),not a liability, disciplined, hardworking,nice family, etc you know then looked at the physical attributes and said oh well lets give it a go

  13. Rose

    May 12, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    Thanks for you’re view William, however for me

    LOVE is always enough!

    The question really is, what are you defining as LOVE!!. As I tell my baby nieces and nephews all the time. Love is an ‘action’ not an emotion. At the ages of 4 and 5 I find myself asking them questions like how do you know aunty Loves you? How do you know you love Uncle L? Yes I am slightly obsessive, but I am determined to ensure they understand the full meaning of love.

    Emotions are the expressive results of feelings. What you referred to as ‘it ‘rises and dips’ is merely human emotions. They change daily because of life, and what life throws at us. That is not Love. What, might also change up and down are the ‘happy’ emotions we have towards showing that person LOVE.

    What is missing for many of us is the simplicity of WISDOM. For many of us we struggle in that area. My friend always say what LOVE can not see WISDOM will cover.

    It is important in relationships and building towards a marriage that we ask questions. Many of us whilst dating ( I HAVE DONE THE SAME IN THE PAST) spend too much time ‘looking into each other’s eyes. We get engaged and before you know it the discussions are focused on the wedding. You have no clue about what the other person expects in the relationship. You get married and then life hits you. And then it becomes ‘she isn’t the person I thought she was’ Well did you ask her who she was?

    Questions to ask whilst considering he/she for marriage

    What would our family devotions look like? Who leads in this?
    How important is it to be part of a small accountability/support group
    What is you’re interpretation of headship and submission in Marriage?
    What are the expectations of togetherness?
    How are tasks shared in the home (cleaning, cooking, washing dishes, laundry,shopping for food)
    How do you understand who initiates sex and how often?
    Who does the finances in the home and how often?
    If and when should we have children? Why
    How many?
    How far apart?
    Would we consider adoption if we couldn’t have children?
    What are the appropriate ways to discipline our future children.
    Is beating or time out discipline permissible?
    What are you expectations on how much time we spend with our children?
    What type of emotional affections will you show them?
    What about school? Private, public, home school?
    What makes you angry?
    How do you handle frustration or anger?
    Who should bring up an issue that is bothersome?
    What if we disagree both about what should be done and whether it is serious?
    What is our view of getting help from friends and counsellors?
    Should the wife work outside the home? before kids? With kids? After kids?
    What kind of vacations are appropriate and helpful for us?
    How do you think about exercise and healthy eating?

    • Theo

      May 13, 2015 at 6:26 pm

      Do you have sons of marriageable please?

  14. Theurbanegirl

    May 12, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    Do not marry for money but nne biko go to where money is and marry for love.

  15. chi-e-z

    May 12, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    Love is enough since I’ll be providing 4 myself thank you very much… Says this single madam here -_-

  16. Smallz

    May 12, 2015 at 10:01 pm

    Love is like Salt. Salt makes a dish delicious, but you can’t eat a plate of salt. You can love someone but be inherently incompatible in other areas.

  17. nene

    May 13, 2015 at 12:02 am

    i don’t agree with this article. some people who truly believe in love will get through whatever circumstance. everyone is differnt.it’s like leaving your parents because they don’t have dangote’s money. when i’m in love, i damn all consequences to be with who i love, that is true love, but some might call it foolishness.

  18. Sky

    May 13, 2015 at 6:24 am

    @Rose thank you ooo! all these people here trying to play it chill on love are funny.
    I am one of the most practical people you’ll ever meet, EVER, and even I can tell you that as much as functionality is important in relationships and marriage, YOU BETTER HAVE SOME OF THOSE BUTTERFLEIS IN YOUR TUMMY for the person you marry or date for a long time sef , at least at the beginning.
    They say the ‘butterflies’ die down after a while, like some months or years abi? and then friendship, affection, respect and the love of God will carry you through the rest, right? so wouldn’t you have short-changed yourself by setting out to not having and enjoying the initial butterfly phase, which is arguably one of the sweetest-feeling phases of a person’s life?
    if you never have, enjoy and stretch that phase, then where is the ‘sugar’ you can get in sharing your life with someone? where is the ‘spice’ in life that makes our mostly-stressful & painful human existence bearable? What’s the special thing then?
    If you’ve not experienced and built memories of the ‘sweet fantasy butterfly’ aspects, how will there be a balance with the bad/ugly, basic and functional aspects?
    Where would be the sweet spot that will console you in this life of pain?
    By the grace of God, I am and will continue to be able to provide my basic living requirements for myself, including children if push comes to shove, and one can get companionship without marrying, so why marry?
    When you get hit with bills, child-rearing, extended family/in-law issues, insurance, mortgage, college funds, hospital runs, school runs and PTA meetings, what else will you have to ease your burden???
    True love as God perfects, including the butterflies PLUS functionality is actually what we should pray and work towards. And the questions Rose outlined are the smart things one should look out and ask for in/of their life partners. My opinion.

  19. Tosin

    May 13, 2015 at 9:13 am

    omo, i agree. nowadays marriage is about too many things. i don’t believe one person can be everything abeg. not even my perfect self loool is enough, let alone another person. even twins ma sef need other relationships. whatever.

  20. true talk

    May 13, 2015 at 9:29 am

    Great write up but this brings to mind a Myles Monroe video I saw a while ago. I don’t remember much from it but I remember this much: ‘Love is a choice’. You don’t fall into it, you choose to love another person and in its truest form, there are no expectations of reciprocation.

    Essentially, when you love someone, you care for then without any expectations. It might sound unrealistic and impractical but think about it, if the 2 people in a relationship take that approach then both their needs will be met.

    I say love is enough.

  21. Bol Gur

    May 15, 2015 at 8:42 pm

    Wow, never read anything this concise, precise, apt, insightful, complete, I dont know. My spirit shifted to every punchline in this write-up. It is true.
    I’d like to congratulate those who believe love will be enough, I wish you all the best.
    I advise the rest of us, to remember these things. Building sustainable and successful relationships cum families is central to improving the quality of people who inhabit this world, and ultimately the quality of life we live.
    Weldone and thank you Ifeanyi.

  22. Francisco

    January 27, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    Great word, great inspiration….love can be understanding and real but the fact is we are not real when it comes to love…..I hope say we have heart?…….thanks bro

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