True love lasts a lifetime | Sunday Observer

True love lasts a lifetime

24 January, 2021

A cynic may ask: “Is there a thing called true love?” True love has to be viewed against fake love which is greatly present in modern times. There are men and women who seek the company of the opposite sex for temporary satisfaction. The relationship may be purely a deal. In economic terms, there is an offer and an acceptance. The partners to the contract do not wish to live together for a lifetime. They go their own ways after a day, a month, or a few years. They live in a house not as a married couple but as two independent souls who have no obligations. In the West, this way of living together is quite common. In the East, however, people raise their eyebrows when they see such a couple.

Average people

As a young man I raised my eyes to watch girls passing by. There were plenty of them attending girls’ schools. Today, I am not concentrating on girls but on married couples. I particularly look at women. Most of them are not glamorous. I do not see any Marilyn Monroes or Sophia Lorens. Some are pretty to look at twice but many are plain Janes. Since they are on their way to work I assume that they are above average in cultural literacy. In other respects, they are average people. But to the man whose hand or arm she is holding, she is not an average woman. She is the whole world to him.

The Book of Genesis in the Bible says, “And the Lord God said: It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” And God made a woman. However, we do not know whether God created a pretty or witty woman. He must have created an ordinary woman who became invaluable to man. Man needed a woman for human contact, not so much for sexual activity. Babies do not cry for spring-beds or air-conditioners. They want to be held and petted. Even adults need that physical contact. They need to cuddle together for warmth and comfort in an indifferent world. That is why almost every man needs a woman.


When a man returns home from work, he needs someone to converse with. Couples may have been talking to each other for 50 years or more. You might wonder whether they have anything more to talk about. Strangely, they can still talk to each other in ways they cannot talk to anyone else. The man will tell her funny incidents that took place at his workplace. She will listen to him earnestly without the slightest feeling that he is bragging. He will always count on her abiding interest and undying understanding. The primary purpose of such a conversation is not to convey information but to say, “I am here and you are here.”

When once you retire from work, no one will need your services. A few former employees, colleagues, friends and well-wishers may call you occasionally. But they know that you are a spent force.

However, your wife will always need you as long as you live. Although I am writing these words from a man’s point of view, I am sure it is reciprocal. You might say, “You’re only a journalist.” That is true, but my wife and I walked up that street for many years.

After marriage what happens to the fireworks of romantic love? Husbands and wives who have lived together for many decades will discover the depth of intimacy, which can increase forever. Although people say familiarity breeds contempt, it does not happen in a stable marriage. You learn to trust each other and handle your bodies and emotions quite intimately. More than that spouses can have a shared history first as lovers and then as partners in a marriage. When you grow old sexual feelings will subside. But you have everything else to hold you together.


In the early stages of love there is an obsessive desire for each other. After many years of marriage you begin to take in all the other facets of life. In times of illness you need the help of your partner. The core of intimacy is a profound knowledge of each other. Intimacy becomes a steadily increasing element of marriage. Sometimes, the fluctuation of passion within a long-time intimacy may urge one partner to seek fresh excitement elsewhere. In order to make marriage work during such times, each partner has to be faithful to the person they know almost as themselves.

When wrinkles appear on the face and the hair turns grey, what will happen to married couples? They are natural phenomena over which you have no control. Therefore, partners in a long-lasting marriage have to accept such less agreeable facts. What binds them together is not their looks, but what or who they are.

Men, you may have noticed, do not talk much about what they really like about married life. This is partly because men do not talk much. When they do, it is usually to communicate a piece of information, like what will happen to Donald Trump. The fact is, were men capable of talking endlessly like some women, they would reel off a long list of things they secretly love about marriage.

Life preserver

Marriage is not simply about having a warm body next you. It is also about having a life preserver. Many a time a man will wake in the night with fear of failure, fear of weakness, fear of no longer being the great hero in the drama of life. In such a moment he will reach out and touch his wife, put his arm around her, breathe her in and from that find strength.

There are certain things in life no one wants to admit. Having too much freedom is one such thing. As a bachelor you will live in a society with endless options. Single people constantly decide what fabulous things they can do in life. However, a married man has no such options because he knows precisely what he has to do. He has to go home after work, hug his wife and children, sit in a chair and sip a cup of coffee. An unmarried person will never enjoy such simple pleasures of life.

Old age

Old age is something you cannot postpone or avoid. One of the greatest advantages of our later years is that we no longer have to scream because we can talk. We need not run because we can walk. We have enough time to examine the quality of life and to work for ourselves on its improvement. We need no longer feel driven by idols and fantasies. In the corner of your heart you will have a nagging feeling that true love would last a lifetime.

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