Love is never free!

jbWhen I was a boy (not so long ago) I used to believe in and live by those Disney-movie theories of “loving me for who I am”. I wanted people to “love me for me” and I used to kid myself that I loved people for who they were. I had this kind of hippie mind-set where I did whatever pleased me… I was a marginal, kind of a weird kid… Well, I still am; but I’d say that my craziness is now somewhat under control…

Back then I didn’t understand that I (my personality, character, value system and beliefs which I wanted people to love me for) was a product of my upbringing, my education, my experiences, my environment and my possessions; and that my being reflected all these things whether I wanted it or not. For example I have this friend who tries all he can to look and act “normal” but whose language (his expressions and his excellent English and French accents) always betray the fact that he didn’t grow up in Burundi. People pick on these things, and people who are interested by these things will automatically get attracted to you when they see them in you. That’s how we work. That’s how I work; but it took me some time to realise it.

Recently I was trying to figure out what most (if not all) of my friends have in common: other than being genuine loving people (I think everybody thinks this of their friends… the real ones, that is), they are people who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty if a job needs to be done; regardless of their position or social class. They are not the kind of people to just sit, wait and feel/act helpless or important – I don’t get along with such people; I really don’t. Do I go around checking if people have this trait before I befriend them? No, our friendships just happen naturally… but I think there has to be at least one thing that attracts us to each other in the first place… and that thing doesn’t have to be as “deep” as honesty or responsibility; it can be something as shallow as beauty, perceived wealth, perceived influence or perceived intelligence… Like how many genuine romantic relationships started because a guy thought a girl was “hot” but still developed into real love?

Life has helped me understand that shallow things can form the basis of a solid relationship (platonic or romantic). Ever since I started writing, I have developed so many relationships with people who may have otherwise walked past me if they saw me dying on the street. Many came to me saying that they loved my “way of thinking”. Eti I’m intelligent. Did writing make me intelligent? No; it just put my “intelligence” out there for the World to see, and since some people like intelligence, instant-attraction! Does this mean that these people are shallow? No; they just needed a connecting point. Even God didn’t just go around liking random people; throughout the Bible we see that He connected with people who sought after Him (or were dedicated to Him)! It’s the law of attraction: there has to be something attractive at first… then what follows is what will tell the difference between the fake and the genuine people…

The genuine (those interested in genuine relationships) will seek to learn more about you; they’ll understand that you’re not just all shine-bright-like-a-diamond. They’ll try to go further than the thing that pulled them to you, and they won’t run when they see the ugly stuff. The fake will take off as soon as they’ve used you (or your ‘talent’ – the thing that attracted them) or when they find better. I was telling my friend the other day about a time when our family had everything going for us – we were “IT”; and naturally we had a lot of friends. A few years down the line we weren’t that much of an item anymore, and more than half our “friends” retreated. I may have been small at the time but I understood what had happened and it affected me… a lot. It kind of encouraged my marginal behaviour actually…

But thank God for healing me through showing me that I’m no different. I’m a human being and human beings have expectations; sometimes these expectations may be selfish but they are there nevertheless. Our relationships depend on how well or bad we meet each other’s expectations; otherwise God wouldn’t have said “men love your wives and women respect your husbands”. God knew that men value respect more than anything else and that women want to be loved. Respect and love can be understood in many ways, depending on the recipient. For instance, Lady X may “feel the love” through presents; meaning that she’s more likely to get attracted to a guy who has the wallet that suits her needs… and poor guys like me will go unnoticed, regardless of our opinions; or how many blogs we fill per day. A blog can’t feed a woman can it?

Anyway, that was just a corny example (I heard you saying “argh, you just spoilt everything with that last paragraph”) to warn you (in case you don’t already know) that love is never free… okay, attraction is never free (it makes more sense like this, doesn’t it?)… as in there is something (or many things) pulling people to you, so you better figure out what (before it’s used against you?). And everybody is attracted to something, consciously or not; so if you like that girl/guy over there, find out what s/he likes and give it to her/him. But be warned: if you fake it, s/he will realise after some time. People aren’t daft; people are smart and they are busy reading each other… and that is how mind games start, Hah! Gosh I hate mind games… SMH

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