Loyalty is Not “Not Cheating”

loy·al·ty
ˈloiəltē/
noun
  1. the quality of being loyal to someone or something.
    “her loyalty to her husband of 34 years”
    • a strong feeling of support or allegiance.
      plural noun: loyalties
      “fights with in-laws are distressing because they cause divided loyalties

“I pledge to Nigeria my country. To be faithful, loyal…”

I am loyal to Nigeria but I am not in Her. I have not, and will never, renounce Her as my home country, or do anything to hurt Her, but again, I am not in Her. I’m going to use this as an analogy for what I’m about to discuss- the concept of loyalty in relationships.

The term “loyal” or “loyalty” doesn’t really do justice to what people expect in relationships, in the sense that, they expect their partner or significant other to show them firm and constant support- which is as far as the dictionary meaning of “loyalty” goes, but they do not expect that partner to show firm and constant support to anyone else that is marriageable (especially), whether or not the support their partner is offering involves activities that are sexual.

So, even if you feel your* lady is talking too much with a man, or your* man is spending too much time with a woman, whether or not it conflicts with the love that she has for you, how much he cares for you, and how fast her heart beats for you, the term that comes to your mind is “disloyalty”, although it really isn’t, because nothing has changed about how much she or he is dedicated to the relationship that you share.

You can be loyal to a country you don’t live in. You can be loyal to a friend and still have other friends. You wouldn’t chat your friend’s private business to the other friend(s) or leave the first friendship, or withdraw your support, and that would be loyalty.

Family

I don’t know if you’re following me here, but what I’m saying is, there has to be a firmer word, something stricter than “loyalty” or “faithfulness”, because they do not insist that the qualities they contain have to be restricted to one person, and one person alone. 

Even “cheating” is meh, because a love relationship is not a game or an examination. It’s an (ideally) voluntary union of two people. They don’t get marks for it or win medals for it, so even the term “cheating” is “reaching”.

Now, before you think of me as the advocate of everything you detest, I am only stating that the words are not powerful enough to encompass the STRICT BINDING, which would be more accurate, that most people expect in relationships. Even asides religious and cultural expectations, does love come with sole possession? Does “I love you” automatically equal “I love only you” to you? What exactly is it that leads to hurt feelings when a third party is involved? My best guess is that when we get vulnerable, since true love (requited or not) makes us somewhat vulnerable, we want a kind of “ownership”, possession of sorts, to whoever it is we’ve gotten vulnerable with. 

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Test Your Love on Yourself First

Portrait of a Girl by Akinola Lasekan

Painted by A. Lasekan

Test your love on yourself first
before you offer it to someone else.
How can your body and soul
completely give out something that
they don’t even really have?

Are you saving all your love for someone,
for someone else,
that is not you,
without saving some of your love,
not even some,
for yourself?

Let’s Give the Sky a Show

I bet the members of the firmament 
always wonder what we do indoors
after we leave the courtyard each night.
Let me make love to you here tonight
before their very eyes.
Let’s make the moon shine brighter in shock,
and give the stars something different to twinkle about.

You’re My Love

If love had a taste,
it would taste like you.
If love had a smell,
it would smell like you.
If love could smile,
it would, like you.
If love could laugh,
it would, like you.
If love could cry,
it would, like you.
The shape of your eyes
is the shape of love.
I love you because
you are Love;
my heart chose you.

You’re My Home

I breathe easier when I think of you.
I feel better when I talk to you.
I beam all day when I dream of you.
I find refuge and strength in you.

Out of Reach

The stars have remained special
because they live in the sky,
far away from our touch.
If they lived in the sand,
we would mistreat them 
and kick them around,
and they would mean nothing to us-
nothing more than mere stones.
We would get too used to them,
and we would not appreciate them.

I should have stayed out of your reach.

Unre-QUIT-ed IX

Love is a Cave:
I am in love,
but I am in it alone,
I am not in love with you,
and it hurts me to the soul
each time you remind me
that I am in love,
but you are not in it with me.

Protect Your Love

Love is a beautiful spirit
that we get possessed by.
We don’t just feel it,
like happiness or sadness,
it becomes a part of us.

But,

spirits get possessed by other spirits.

Love could get possessed by obsession,
and obsession by jealousy,
and jealousy by violence,
and violence by pain,
and pain by regret,
and regret by hatred,
in no specific order.

Guard your love from the other spirits,
for it can be protected.
Guard it consciously,
before it gets suffocated.
Guard it internally;
guard it gently.

Let your love live.

Healing Touch

And when we held each other,
I felt like we had joined
our hearts with our hands,
like we had been dead all our lives,
and because our palms touched,
we had both come alive.
We had,
for the very first time,
taken real breaths.
We were both excited
because we had finally found each other;
we had both found sweet peace.
I was afraid to release his hand,
as though,
if I did,
I would drop dead again.

When Death Loves You

She married Death so she would not die.
She gave him her love,
everything she had,
everything she was,
and Death loved her very much,
so much so that he wanted
to please her completely;
he wanted to be with her
for the rest of his death.
So, he let her come first;
he put her on top of his list.