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You owe nobody forever; date for fun, not marriage

By Diana Makokha | November 30th 2021

It is time we normalised casual relationships, more like contractual agreements, rather than tying ourselves to each other forever. Times have changed, and more and more relationships have totally refused to work our way. So why would someone be lonely for days on end, for years in the name of waiting for a forever partner when they can casually date for fun and social status, for sex and other benefits as they juggle to see if it can last or not? 

Happily ever after isn’t a joke! Let’s have people in our lives when we want to, and when the time comes that one feels they’ve had enough of their person, they can drop them and pick on the next available one that makes them tick. Whenever, wherever. I know moral cops will yawn as they read this, but, don’t we all agree that there comes a time when relationships and marriages become more like prisons, and could easily break into small pieces? 

Look, it doesn’t have to last. You don’t owe anyone forever. You’re human, not a robot. Feelings grow, and like mathematical curves, there are high and low moments. It’s human nature to grow out of love, for whichever reason. It reaches a time when the love of your life becomes a stranger in the night! Sigh. So what happens when you grow out of love but you’re tied up to this person by the vows and covenants you made to each other? You remember your pastor, your family, friends and online in-laws and start asking yourself what they think of you if you decided to walk out. Then you decide to stay in the marriage, reason? Because we are watching. Society is on your neck, and internet never forgets!

Yaani, the whole relationship idea has gotten to your nerves, it has become total bullshit, isn’t making any sense to you, but you’re stuck in there. Societal morals won’t allow you to drop and pick. But really, if you love yourself, walk!

We should beware of succumbing to the debilitating feeling that because it didn’t last forever, it wasn’t worth it. In other areas of life, we know that ‘going on for ever’ isn’t the deal (even when something is very good). For example, we don’t have to stay in the same house all our lives even though we might really like it; we’re not betraying it or destroying it when we recognise that for a number of reasons it would be wise to go elsewhere.

Everyone needs to have an account of love, which allows that a relationship can end without anyone killing it prematurely. How we see the endings of love depends on what our societies tell us is ‘normal’. If it was meant to last forever, every ending would be described as a horrifying failure! But if we allow space for short-term love, then an ending may signal a deeper loyalty, deeper and genuine love, not setting up of a home and domestic routines, but a deep appreciation and admiration one felt for someone for the period they were together. We need to learn to walk away with a fair and generous sense of all that has been preserved and enhanced by the relationship, not being forced to last forever.

There are those moments when it becomes overwhelming. You’re obliged to be transparent and truthful to your significant other. You need to be accountable in all spheres – financially, emotionally and socially. You need to report back to your person what is happening where and why. Slavery, sort of. You have no time for yourself because two became one, as the holy book says.

Because you promised to love and to hold, to kiss and lie with, to cry and laugh, for better for worse till death do you apart, you’re supposed to stomach any bullshit that comes with the union. You’ll be reminded of your vows in the middle of the night when the love of your life is having an annoying cough and you need to cut short your sweet sleep and go get them drinking water to ease the effing irritating cough. For worse, for worse.

You’ll meet nicer persons on the streets, in the office and inside the lift but you’re not supposed to admire them or smile and say ‘thank you’ when you’re told how smart you are. Loyalty and fidelity buana! You’re not supposed to flirt, nah! Or go for lunch dates, brunch or those hearty nyamchom parties, and if you do, then be accompanied by your other significant. Eeih!

We owe no one forever. If you notice any untruths, darling, walk on. If you just feel like it should end, end it and start all over again. You owe yourself calm, peace and happiness.

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