We live in a filthy city, and no I don’t mean the actual place itself, it’s not there yet. I’m talking about the people. There’s a saying that in Gaborone “go bechitswe phamo” when it comes to relationships, which basically means “it’s grab and keep, and every man for himself.” Every other girl is a sidechick, knowingly or unknowingly. Every other chap is either juggling or being juggled. The couples that stay together are usually either pretending to be happy, stuck together because of all the time they feel they’ve put in, or fighting tooth and nail to maintain their genuine happiness and keep it from the vultures that are always looming around our social circles.
But I know nothing of long term commitments.
So here Othata, having been with her partner Mdu for 4 years and seven months this Saturday [He wanted you to know he remembers these things] shares her story and her insight on what it takes to keep a relationship going in Sodom and Gomorrah.
People have been asking for almost 5 years now, “How do you guys do it?” It’s a question that should have a simple answer, one assumes, and yet I fail to come up with one. For the first time in 5 years, however, I will try to give you my side.
People assume we have a movie screen romance, “love at first sight” type of thing, but that’s nowhere close to the truth. I actually used to dislike this Prince Charming of mine, before I even got to know him! He has always been popular, and at some point I couldn’t seem to breathe without hearing his name. My best friend would tell me “Dude, there’s this guy called Pops at GSS [Gaborone Secondary School], wa [of] ‘Hotboys'”. They had to be semi attractive if they were arrogant enough to call themselves such a name, but chances were, they weren’t. I’d never liked people who were hyped up all the time, 9 out of 10 times I was always disappointed.
School would end and I’d get home, time to catch up with my cousin Epe (we lived together, the inseparable twins). I’d ask her, “So how was school?” as she put down her GSS blazer and the first words out of her mouth would be “So today Pops did this…” I had to hear about him everywhere I went!
Fast forward a while later, because of Epe I got to know almost half of GSS, made a lot of friends too, some people even thought I schooled there, but I never once met the infamous Pops! God does work in mysterious ways! New friendships were made, we completed High School and applied for Varsity [seems like ages ago]. During this time we were bums, the only thing we would do was go out, where we got all that money still beats me but it happened. And I’d still see everyone, except this Pops person.
We were officially introduced by my friend in ’09 when we were finally being accepted into Varsity, and my goodness, had somebody grown! He was sexy as hell. Spiked dreadlocks, and like *counts on fingers* 10 piercings [we are grown now, I forgot] and yeah, did I mention he was sexy?
Long story short, I forgot I never liked him in the first place. The start of our relationship began to write itself.
Getting to know each other, first kiss, making it official, etc. Since I’m not trying to write a book here [I think] let me focus on how we make it work.
For the most part, it just happened, I believe it was meant to be and there was no running from it. If you believe in Destiny, you’ll relate. I thought I had the option of being single in Varsity, what I thought would be the true meaning of “living life”, but God/The Universe laughed and said “Look at this one!”
I don’t think you can plan when you’re going to fall in love. How or where you’re going to meet that person etc. We clicked, became the best of friends, easy as pie! But that’s the easy bit, everything else you have to work for. Hard. There has to be effort in everything you do: communicating, trusting, loving, caring, being there for your loved one, and although it sounds like work to many, the beauty of it is doing all this (and more) and not feeling like it’s hard work.
Whenever a couple is fighting a lot of single people think to themselves “Thank God I don’t have to deal with all that”, but in reality, people fight all the time: family, friends, etc. In my opinion it’s healthy for a relationship because after said fight you have a better understanding of each other’s points of view. The other person’s opinion can actually better you (if you can take criticism), which results in you growing together.
The key is to form a bond with someone who betters you.
Respect is integral too. You have to learn to respect your other half, that’s the only way you can have a fight and still manage to move past it. The only way you can actualize your potential and support one another.
Another important thing you need is focus, and it has to be from both parties. You need to understand what it is you want in life, [I could give tonnes of examples here].
Does being with one person make you feel complete?
Are you in a relationship but still envy your single friends?
Are you easily influenced or do you trust and understand yourself?
Once you know the kind of focus you both have, you can determine how far your relationship goes, and if you guys share the same goals, it will probably work.
Last but not least is trust. If you understand each other it’s easy to trust one another and you’ll realize how unnecessary it is to question everything.
What is mean to be, will be.