The New Times (Kigali)

28 November 2012

Rwanda: Forbidden Love ? What a Load of Tripe!

opinion

I refuse to believe that two grown people can be forbidden from seeing each other. Who does that? I know that the Bible says honour your mum and dad, literally suggesting we follow their every word, but in this day and age, I just don't see how that is possible.

Lucky for me, my mum would never force me to love another person (is that even possible?), let alone forbid me from seeing the guy of my choice- unless my choice had an incest vibe to it and he was a relative, or simply had some creepy traits - if so, she would be well within reason!

When you fall deeply in love with someone, you want to share the joy, love and excitement with those closest to you - your family. Naturally, you want your parents to embrace your love interest explicitly and to applaud him as he poses on the pedestal you put him on.

But, what if your prince looks more like a toad to them and they refuse to warm up to the idea of the two of you together? Instead of celebrating your love, they air their disapproval and resentment towards the poor chap, making your relationship an impossible one.

Centuries ago, in other words, the Stone Age or something similar to it, people rarely married outside of their culture, race, religious persuasion or class. The choice of a life mate was dictated more by family values and station in life than by the passionate connection (read silly butterflies) felt in the hearts of the two people who believed they were meant for each other.

I'm sorry, but unless your parents are over a hundred years old, they really have no business telling you whom to marry in this 21st century! I'm just saying independence does not stop with getting a job and moving out of the house.

Parental authority can sound diplomatic, practical, and sensible and parents who rely on a 'Dr. Phil-like' approach consider themselves the voice of reason. Their platform is that they are saving you from a big mistake. In their eyes, you are still a child even though you lost your virginity a considerable number of years back. Yes, some parents almost make you want to spell it out for them, lest they assume your innocence is still intact when some Shaggy look alike comes to ask you out.

While on your date with 'Shaggy', think of ways to make things easier for everyone. Invite your guy over for dinner and let them see the funnier, more considerate side of him, the things not so clear about him but waiting to burst out if only he is given the chance.

If your parents suddenly go dumb every time you mention your sweetheart, do not lash out. Tell them how much you'd appreciate their opinion, although do not stress the point too much lest they tell you more than you want to hear.

Even if your parents aren't exactly ready to embrace the idea, they can still learn tolerance. In the end, this man - the one who almost puts you at risk of cardiac arrest because of all the beats your heart skips every time you see him - is your true divine complement, it is his love you will naturally covet. Your parents will always love you...even when they think you are dating the greatest hoax in history!

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