True love is about commitment and kindness.

Once upon a time, I was younger and so in love. I met a young man in the church – he was late for church and was ushered to sit next to me. He also didn’t have a hymn book – like who does that? – so I did the only Christian thing to do and shared my hymn book with him. That sparked the beginning of one of the most beautiful journeys of love I would live to experience.

After about 4 years, that same young man who used to dazzle my eyes like I was a mesmerized rabbit zapped by the colours of a python, impregnated someone else. My world fell apart. I mean how could I live without him right? Well, wrong, I did live to tell the tale and now I am way wiser, happily married for 15 years to a man I love dearly and whom I believe loves me equally deeply. Two kids later am grateful and looking forward to what life has to offer. If only I knew then what I know now!

Love is a commitment
When I was younger and enjoying the butterflies in my tummy and all the drunken emotions that come with love, I thought my world only needed those feelings. Indeed I couldn’t imagine life without my beloved. It almost bordered on obsession. But that is toxic. True love is about commitment. It is deciding to love someone with everything that represents them.

It is understanding their dark days and embracing their warts even when running away seems the easiest option. It is allowing myself to hold space in a healthy manner that allows both me and my beloved a chance to grow and become the best versions of who we are created to become. True love is a choice and not a blind notion of living life. It is a commitment to choose each other at all costs. It is being there for each other and holding each other accountable.

I remember when I met my husband in college, we were not where we are now, we choose to share whatever we had because we had a life to live. Choose to commit and not let emotions cloud your judgement.

Love is kind
Have you ever looked at the one you love and wondered what the hell they were thinking, as a result, something they had done that caused you pain.

It’s very disappointing. It hurts and makes you feel upset. It is in those moments that the choice to be kind needs to be made. Is it easy? Not at all but knowing that the heat of the moment can result in you making permanent decisions based on temporary emotions. Take time to cool off – go for a walk, drink a glass of water or beer or whatever cools you off!

What you do, choose kindness because your relationship depends so much on you being kind. Remember it is not about the other person but it is about you choosing to act kind. Be kind for that’s will fuel your relationship to flourish.

Love each day like it’s the last
After 15 years of marriage, it is clear for me that in order to keep experiencing newness, it is critical to creating fun moments. Each and every day, always choose to live each day like it is the last.

A relationship is not a prison sentence and it ought to be filled with lots of fun and fulfilment. As you and your loved one walk this journey of love, choose to enjoy each moment for you never know how long you have each other.

Create sweet memories. Take selfies. Vacation. Go for walks. Do whatever excites you both and yes, also do things separately so you maintain that individual aliveness. When you then get together, that newness is upheld. Be responsible and accountable in your living. Have fun.

I hope this supports your love journey. As we celebrate February as a month or love, may we each celebrate our becoming the lovers that we ought to be! Let’s do this!

Writer: Grace Ruvimbo Chirenje, Development Consultant

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Frank Byaruhanga is a human rights activist with years of experience in community dialogues, digital communication, advocacy and digital campaigns. He specializes in Media Relation Work, Management and Training with sufficient knowledge in Governance, Accountability, Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights, Youth-led research, Content developer, Creative Activism, Social Media Management and documentary photography.

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