As a people we have far removed ourselves from the concept of relationship before intimacy. We have far removed ourselves from bearing our hearts in the form of poetry for a potential significant other. For the most part we have set different standards from those in the past, in the area of romance. In short, today, love is different.
The ancient Greeks categorised love in six different forms. They are: Eros or sexual passion, Philia or deep friendship, Ludus or playful love as among children and young lovers, Agape or selfless love, Pragma or mature longstanding love and Philautia or love of the self. I sincerely believe that all these facets of love are necessary. However the imbalance of these is what I believe is destroying us. To a large extent the issue is that Eros is being pursued without the accompanying aspects of love, and men have thus become lazy in their pursuit of women. In other words, sex has become the only objective leading to a string of one night stands and unresolved emotional issues for both sexes.
While our expressions of love may evolve, its very essence should never leave. And yes we have ‘evolved’. Now with the advent of social media, what were once soulful expressions are flippant, empty, recycled remarks. How did we get to such a place where sliding into a person’s dms is now a romantic gesture? How is it that lines like, “Baby dat booty fat” and “You have a man?” have become so widely acceptable and effective in initiating conversation with and attracting the opposite sex?
I may be old school but there seems to be something seriously wrong today with how individuals engage one another in the area of romance. There is a shallowness in both the speech employed as well as the overall effort that is put into what used to be a spirited chase. I am not saying that there should be no humour, and of course the use of slang should be incorporated, but as far as manners, respect and depth go, there has been a great falling off. This epidemic of failing love falls on the shoulders of both men and women, for the active and passive roles that we have played in the unwholesome development of the relational structure.
N.H. Kleinbaum wrote, “Language was invented for one reason, boys – to woo women – and, in that endeavour, laziness will not do.”
Men, use your words. Sweep that woman off of her feet with the gusts from of your lips. Let the bass of your voice or even the treble in your tone create a rhythm that synchronises her pulse with your heart. You need not use the Queen’s English in this venture, so long as you speak from your soul in a way that moves you both. And if the most a man’s soul can conjure up is “Aye baby lemme holla at you”, then may God have mercy on us all.
Honestly, I am far too inexperienced to offer any substantial guidance on this topic, and there is already an insane amount of literature on it. I do pray, however, that we do not limit ourselves, as primitive creatures do to a miniscule fragment of love but surrender to it in its fullness. I pray that men find the courage and passion to pursue more than the body but the eternal soul of a woman. I myself am guilty of such laziness and as I write to you all I write to myself.
What we need is a revival of love, not hearts and kissy faces, but love; pure, longstanding and all-encompassing.
“I will have poetry in my life. And adventure. And love. Love above all…not the artful postures of love, but love that overthrows life. Unbiddable, ungovernable, like a riot in the heart, and nothing to be done, come ruin or rapture. Love as there has never been in a play” – Viola De Lesseps, Shakespeare in Love.