The right to love and be loved

Society & Culture | By Pfungwa Nyamukachi, Writer | 04 April 2013

We are all familiar with the bill of rights, human rights for all people of all nations, creed and colour that make up this earth. I believe in love we have rights too! I believe one of these ‘rights’ is the right to love and be loved the way you love to be loved. All too often when you have passed the ‘sell by date’ in singles ‘perishable aisle’, which differs from culture to culture, women and I am sure some men too are made to believe that what they seek is too high to reach, too lofty, unrealistic and delusional. That the man or woman they want doesn’t exist in the real world and the love they seek is only found in the movies.

The unwarranted advice that usually follows, goes along the lines of ‘be realistic’, ‘all men cheat’ and a conversation on one of the most quoted and perhaps misquoted concepts – compromise is often confused with settling. Compromise is a way of finding a middle ground from which all parties concerned walk away with something and a general happy feeling. Settling on the other hand isn’t as fair as it often leaves just one party happy and the other left to sulk and swallow the bitter taste of defeat, unfulfilled needs and expectations. We all know when we have just been cheated because we know we have just parted with something valuable but are now left with a bag of nothing.

Undoubtedly in a relationship there will be a lot of compromise and hopefully less of or none of settling. But what i know for sure is that you can’t settle, negotiate or compromise your way into love, neither can you earn or buy it. Love simply is. That is why I believe that we all have a right to love and be loved the way we love to love and be loved. 

We are all unique and will have varying definitions of love. However, each and every one of us, all know how love feels and should feel for us. We all know how love should greet us and present itself, how love should behave and manifest itself beyond reasonable doubt. When you start bending over a little too much that it becomes painful and at breaking point, that is settling. When you start changing yourself a little too much so love can love you back, you are settling and will be left empty and heart sore. You know you are settling when you start doubting what you have long desired, that which you have always known, your spirit song, that which your soul sings and dances its happy feet so naturally to, your spirit song that your heart knows so well.

We have a right to love and be loved the way we love to love and be loved. It’s your truth, a truth you owe yourself and your beloved otherwise what’s the point of it all? In the words of the great sage Maya Angelou ‘love liberates the lover and the beloved’. Live your truth and may you find the love you love!