“There are three things which are too wonderful for me,
Yes four which I do not understand:
The way of an eagle in the air
The way of a serpent on a rock
The way of a ship in the midst of the sea
And the way of a man with a maiden” (Proverbs 30:18-19)
Whoever coined that word, love must have thought deeply to have known it’s an all pervasive word. Like they say, “love makes the world go round” and little wonder an ancient sage called Agur (quoted above), could not fathom the mystery surrounding the love between a man and a woman.
Agur’s headache bothered on “Man meets Woman”, but the subject of my contemplation for quite some time is rather the mystery of “Woman Meets Man”. When a man loves a woman, his love sometimes gets tainted and subsumed by his base instincts. He becomes consumed by what he wants out of the relationship over and above the needs of the woman. And once his base interests and desires are satiated at the expense of the woman’s, he smiles at his luck and moves on unperturbed. Rather than have a symbiotic give and take situation, it becomes a winner takes it all scenario.
And who ends up hurting? Your guess may be as right as mine. He leaves hurting hearts in his wake most times and the victim usually is, the “woman that he once loved”. But when a guy loves a woman and the love is unrequited, hell is let lose. He’d mock and deride the object of his love, and God save her soul if he’s not the type that is short tempered. After all, it’s a masculine world though feminists have made some progress in their fight for gender equality.
Many a male chauvinist are wont to hit back and quip, “Do you know how many countless men that went the way of Death and Hades because of the women they loved?” I never trained as an attorney and wouldn’t vouchsafe any defense for the male folks. My little bit is to zero in on how I’ve perceived Daughters of Eve and the little insight I have gained from their version of love, not necessarily contrasted to Adam’s Sons that we are! It’s been a fascinating experience as I thought about the Love a Woman has for a Man: the emotional dynamics, the travails and triumphs, the vagaries and mysteries, the joys and the pains etc!
Ego became engaged as a teenager to Emeka, the President of her Youth Fellowship in church. Upon entering the university, she realized she had been naïve about her decision, but she hung on till after graduation. She couldn’t continue anymore and her fiancé unleashed his emotional armory against her. It was a major battle for her during her NYSC until she met Jide who became her friend and was a big brother figure to her. Jide was her counselor and confidant with whom she shared her emotional turmoils. He didn’t know he’d so much touched her until it was time for her to go back to base after the NYSC. Upon her request, he came to bid her goodbye. So they chatted and reminisced on the past year. Thereafter he stood up to leave…Ego began to sulk and her tear sac burst as she cried,” Jide will I ever meet a trusted friend like you in Lagos?” She clung unto him like a child that is scared-stiff and wouldn’t let him go. He was stunned to say the least for he had never seen such an unrestrained emotional side of his born again fellowship friend. Their friendship was purely platonic and devoid of romance and all the pecks in it.
Nkiru, the daughter of a rich Ibo business man, and red-capped chief stunned her parents when she opted to marry her heartthrob, Ike, who hailed from a very poor and obscure background. Prior to the wedding, he had lost his bank job and was not a man of means. But she stuck to him at the risk of being disowned by her parents, and reasoned that life would be so bland and loathe-some if she married someone else. She couldn’t literally think of ever falling in love with another man. Rather than a society wedding which her parents dreamt of, she had no other option than a quiet one at the registry. Her mum sneaked out to witness her daughters wedding which had no guests let alone a reception. Her love for Ike triumphed!
Amaka who works with an Oil Company was engaged to Dipo, whom she met in her local church. He was a struggling guy who had no much economic base, but she loved him dearly and was ready to help him achieve his dreams. She introduced him to some of her friends who’re into business and ploughed much of her savings into the business. Soon the fruits began to yield and Dipo became a Lagos Big Boy, riding the latest Porsche car in town. No sooner, his gaze changed, and he lost interest in Amaka. The deed was done and he left Amaka’s heart in shreds when he took the exit door.
Ugochi was a shy teenager when she met Chisom, her elder brother’s friend, whom she had a crush for. They were in Med School while she was in secondary school. She’d blush each time he visits their home, and her heart often missed its beat. She felt what she’s never felt before and she secretly wished he’d know about how she felt about him. Just before she entered the University, Chisom asked her out and the love affair blossomed and being her first, she lost her innocence in the bid to prove her love for him. Now married 4 years down the line to her former coursemate/boyfriend, she still would not forget Chisom, her first love!
Like Agur the sage, I am still benumbed each time I contemplate on the love women have for men. Why do women love with all their being? Why would a woman who has been cheated by her boyfriend/fiancé, or husband always make excuses for him, while accusing his partner in crime, i.e. the other woman? Why would a young girl date an older man just to make enough money to groom her younger lover? Why would a teenage girl slip out of her parents’ morale walls just to laugh and be cuddle by her boyfriend at the dark alley at night? Why would a woman laugh over, yet believe all the lies and bragging heroics of her “pauper” boyfriend when a serious-minded guy wants her badly?
I am all the more amused than miffed at this “sisters act” which many a woman premiere each time a new guy waltz into her life. She may have been brooding over a failed relationship and promised “not to love another man again”. What with the many heart breaks she had suffered in the hands of guys she thought had loved her deeply. Without warning, another bloke; tall, handsome, well built and with a soothing baritone voice comes her way. No sooner had he bestrode her path than her heart begins to skip and reel in love again. She throws her 2 or 3-year old resolution aboard and allows the rhythm of love to grip her again. Once subsumed in love, she offers and gives her best as a memento of her love. Oftentimes, her best is all she’s got; her precious body! She may struggle with guilt feelings but what else would she offer? For her, sex is more than a trip to Pleasure Land; it’s a part of her sacredness hence she gives it to her man at will.
While the wait for the engagement ring lingers, she hears of his “exploits” and the news that he’s engaged to another woman, who swept him off his feet. She hopes against hope that her beloved will come back for her riding on his White Horse. She keeps hope alive even as the flickering flames of love whimper towards being extinguished. And if she loved him so much, she won’t give another man a chance until he slips in the “Mrs. Ring” into the other woman’s left ring finger. She may end up marrying a man whom she never really loved for her love had gone with her ex!
The downsides notwithstanding, one of the greatest motivations a guy can experience is th
e assurance of a woman’s love. It can inspire poems of the avante garde genre. She may hide it as long as she can but her voice, her eyes and actions would betray her no sooner. She may not understand why she picks her phone to call him before she sleeps at night. She laughs at his dry jokes, sends him tender texts and loves to hang out and peer into his riveting eyes. And when he doesn’t reply her calls and texts, she tells herself, “ He must have been too busy at work, or that his wicked boss may be on his neck again”. But how could men be so clueless!!!
She is very religious, resolute and strict and won’t let any guy mess around with her. Her moral codes and bye-laws are etched on the marble of her heart; no hugs, pecks or a lingering touch! No male visitors are allowed beyond 9pm in her apartment. Yet she’d so much relish the company of her man that he would actually sleep over till the next day. Her love for God fights a lost battle with the enthralling love for her man. With him, there is no act or scene with the toga of sin!
He may have even ditched her many months back. She had cried and “moved on” with her life. Then someday she bumps into him at a bank. She braces up to forget he ever existed. After her cries at night, she picks up her phone and dials a number. Alas!, it’s the voice of her ex- that bellows across. She pinches herself again wondering why she blew her cool resolve again. She had sworn not to call him again, but she just did…and it’s not so much of his fault as much as it’s hers. Because she had fought the idea of deleting his number when he dumped her. But would her love for him not fight her?
By weekend, he shows up by her apartment looking contrite and sullen. On bent knees he reels out his flowery regrets and apologies of how he became captive to another woman’s love. He reminds her of the joy and sweet memories of the past they shared together. How they built an enviable relationship that had a future, before tragedy struck. She knew he must be lying but her bowels of love begins to simmer, and soon overwhelms her. Amidst sobs and tears, she welcomes him because she has never loved another man like him, not even those who genuinely loved her…
This kind of love is one that I am yet to fathom. A love often without reason, save the usual “he’s nice and caring”. A love that gives more than it takes from a man; the object of her love. A love that is patient and believes the best for her man. A love that doubts rumor mongers, and forgives even when the rumor is proven as veritable moral sin against her by her man. The love that a widow has that wont let her marry another man, unlike a widower would. A love that loves, in spite of…
As I reflect on this, I now reckon that in Women did God leave a semblance of His Love for Man. A love that wipes away the goriness of sin, in all its manifestations. A love that gives without measure. A love so re-assuring to not take vengeance against unrequited love….and much more. When love becomes sacrificial and “self imploding” like God’s, then we can attest to the fact that it is divine; not an offspring of mere mortals!
It is when a woman loves a man, that we see vestiges of God’s love in action .For in spite of the frailties and imperfection of human love, God’s love shines in all its sublimity. How could the earth be revolving on its axis with all the evil and injustice perpetrated by man against man, and women against women. With all the volatile hatred that abounds, God’s wrath has not consumed us all. I am as guilty as the nest trap guy or villain.
Still, I willingly submit that this kind of “womanic love” has bewildered and overwhelmed my intellectual capacity till date. In surrender…I bow out!