We have daydreams and fantasies about winning a million-kwacha lottery in our lives. We would be able to buy a beautiful house, not worry about bills, pay college tuition, travel to any great destinations we have heard about, financially support our family members, buy the best presents for our most loved one, enjoy a worry-free life, and the list is endless. Instead of mere dreams and fantasies, there is something similar that fulfills our dreams that many of us have actually experienced or are looking to experience; madly being in romantic love.
Searching for that partner, and being romantically in love is one of the most memorable cherished events in most of our lives. Falling romantically in love cannot only be compared to winning the lottery but it can more accurately be compared to both partners having one romantic love-unlocking key. Both people separately begin searching the neighborhood, the school, workplace, church, college, and the world. They are looking and trying for the one lock which will unlock their romantic love with the right person while using their key. After trying dozens of locks, suddenly the one door unlocks; and voila the two partners meet. The mutual romantic feeling is so electric from that magical moment that it is seared in the minds of both partners for the rest of their lives.
The deep and overwhelming mutual symptoms of being in romantic love are that the couple can’t stop talking when together, they laugh easily at the same jokes, they French kiss, they smile as they gaze in each other’s misty eyes searching for each other’s deepest soul, they share dreams, the food they eat together has never been more delicious, a walk in the moonlight or the woods while holding trembling hands feels magical. They feel weak in their knees as they submit to their partner. In the old days when premarital sex was prohibited, the very unfulfilled desire to be together to completely physically enjoy their sexual union created the feeling of unimaginable tension and fantasies that catapulted the couple to marriage.
Romantic love cannot be fully appreciated unless you consider the obstacles that have often been desperately hurled between the couple, for thousands of years, in an attempt to block and end their romantic love. The society taboos for couples may be that they are from different religions, young and older, from a rich and a poor family, from different tribes, master and servant, being educated and uneducated, from different geographical regions, different social classes, and the couple are from different races especially black and white. One partner may be from the nobility and the other was a commoner. This is the case even today in the saga between Prince Harry and Megan in the British Royal family.
These obstacles present unimaginable pain, anguish, and misery in the couple. In extreme cases like in Romeo and Juliet the couple may commit suicide. This is often why the couple will defy the obstacle and elope, run away and sit together holding each other in their arms and weep uncontrollably while sitting on a bench in a flower garden, restaurant or in the car as they lament their tragic plight and plot strategy.
The couple deeply in romantic love with each other see their partner with a halo around their head. The very ground their partner walks on is hallowed. The power of romantic love is so overwhelming to most couples that it seems religiously magical, mysterious and supernatural. This is why individuals who might be meek and shy suddenly perform spectacular brave courageous actions in order to be with their romantic partner for the rest of their lives. The couples that are in romantic love cannot live without each other. Romantic love is not for the faint hearted. This is why some individuals may be so afraid that they may avoid being in deep romantic love.
These are some of the reasons why the cause of deep romantic love is mysterious. Those who study romantic love may identify some of the factors that may draw couples into romantic love. These may include physical beauty, desire to defy taboo, each of the partners looking for their parent look alike, sexual infatuation, natural biological and physiological needs for human reproduction. None of these reasons will ever completely explain why we experience the mysterious deep romantic love. When obstacles are placed between the romantic lovers that separate them forever, the couple may go on mournfully to meet and even marry another person. But both couples are banished to an eternal life of misery of torture of a broken heart and painful thoughts of what could have been if they had married and been together for the rest of their lives with their romantic lover.
If you are enjoying deep romantic love on this Valentine’s Day, be very grateful, enjoy, celebrate, and appreciate those deep feelings which are a blessing and a gift of life.
By Mwizenge S. Tembo, Ph. D.
Emeritus Professor of Sociology
This Doctor Mwizenge Tembo is really brainwashed. It would perhaps be alright if he kept his mental slavery to himself but Why does he want Zambians to join him in mental colonisation with stories of Valentine’s day as if it is a day we should religiously commemorate? These are Western cultural practices designed to create inferiority complexes among Africans. No educated African goes about promoting Silly symbols of cultural imperialism like Valentine Day unless he is not educated.
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