What does love mean to you? By Joy Ehonwa

What does love mean to you? By Joy Ehonwa

I’ve had One Republic’s ‘I Lived’ playing on all my devices and in my head, on repeat, for over a week now, and the question I’ve asked myself is, “How do I make sure that at the end of it all, I have truly lived?” More importantly, how do I make sure I have truly loved?


In the midst of all our efforts to excel at what we do, to make a name for ourselves, to build a career we can be proud of, we forget that loving is a vital part of living. How well am I loving? I know for sure that in the end I will not look back and wish that I had edited one more book, proofread one more proposal, written one more article, or spoken before one more audience. The love that I did not share with loved ones will be on my mind, and I’m pretty certain, on yours too.

This is especially true for marriage. I was discussing a book with a single friend, and she said of the couple in it, “Mehn, if this is how marriage really is then I want it now! What am I doing here?”

The couple’s love is sweet, I will not lie. It’s the sweetest love I’ve ever read of in my life, and believe me I have read many (I started Mills & Boon and HINTS magazine when I was 9, before “graduating “ to other romances- awful, I know). Yet, I knew we needed a good dose of reality, so I took up my pin to burst her bubble. I pointed out to her the difference between that couple, and real life couples. First off, our hero has inherited MAD money, wealth that cannot be exhausted in 10 lifetimes. He’s not waking up early to spend hours in traffic, he’s not worrying about meeting targets, they’re not arguing over budgets and bills. Our heroine does not have any chores; she doesn’t scrub toilets, go to market, cook, mop the mansion or do laundry. They have constant electricity and minimal in-law wahala. How will the love not be sweet?

We laughed over this reality – that life does choke passion in marriage – but in my heart I knew there was more. I may never have a love like theirs, but I know the love I have can be better than it is now. Inside, I’ve always known I’m capable of even more, and I have decided to challenge myself.

I want to challenge you too. That loving massage session you’ve been putting off, that delicious move you’ve always wanted to try in bed, those heartfelt words you’ve thought about saying, that note you’ve been planning to write, the multiple orgasms you’ve been thinking just could be possible if you had enough time and stamina, that weekend getaway you’ve been dreaming of…now is the time! I read an UberFacts tweet that said, “People in the most successful marriages spend 5 more hours a week being together and talking.”

I was not surprised. Good relationships thrive on togetherness and intimate conversations, and those are the very things we are too busy for…until it is too late. This is why there are so many emotional affairs.

At the end of my life, will I truly be able to say I poured out all the love I carried in me? No, seriously, I can love o, I know. Have I really, really, loved this man of mine? It’s not easy to find the time and energy, but with planning and effort you can take things to the next level.

Here’s some extra motivation: You know there’s sex, and there’s lovemaking. And then there’s really intense lovemaking, a sublime union, the kind that happens when two people are truly one; the kind that you feel deep inside your core, the kind God intended for us to savour? It doesn’t exist only in great romance novels. It comes from a connection that goes beyond erections and wetness, from a place of raw emotions and openness; it comes from a bond that is quite a challenge to build and sustain, but is totally possible to attain. Add it to your list. It’s already on mine.

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