The Lie of Romance

If there is one thing I completely agree with Alain de Botton about is that Romanticism needs to ummmm end.

But before I even go into that, let me say that we mostly like love the feeling and not love the reality of it all. We like the butterflies in the stomach nonsense. What Hollywood (and the philosophy of romanticism) has made us believe love should be.


I was watching a True Crime documentary where the girlfriend of a convicted sex offender calls that man “romantic” because he wrote her letters. A SEXUAL DEVIANT. As if the fact that he is romantic should somehow mean something. He killed people Kayleigh, we don’t care what he wrote to you while in JAIL.

Romanticism is why we think in these romantic relationships, one has made amends because they brought flowers and chocolate instead of watching someone’s behaviour. It is why we think responding to texts is a bigger deal than it really should be. It is why we believe someone sharing inane details about their daily lives means they are emotionally open. It is why we put credence to ridiculous things like diamond rings and weddings. And most often than not, heterosexual relationships are better books than in real life, and that’s because women write romance books.

PS: I don’t care about your token good relationship, calm down.

Even astrology apps when talking about relationships focus on romantic over others which COME FUCKING ON!

And that is just part of the lie, isn’t it?

That focus on firstly, romantic relationships and secondly things that further capitalism (buying things to show affection for example).

I keep saying that I do not say all this to minimise the significance of romantic and/or sexual relationships but I do think we must think of the messaging out there a bit differently. I also want to be clear that companionship and marriage are not synonymous despite people wanting to act like it is.

And so let’s talk marriage because most often, the expectation is that a romantic relationship will lead to marriage. We must continue to ask ourselves why we are taught to look forward to marriage, to desire it even and also to want happiness and yet the two are at constant odds (especially women). And also, let’s not forgot the fact that a marriage is a government institution -which we don’t talk about enough.

And you know, despite years of seeing that this institution done one way doesn’t work but somehow we think we are the feneratjon that’s gonna do it better. And then we find ourselves in that cycle of deep hatred, discontent and anguish. A whole reimagination is needed.

I think beyond self awareness we have to accept how society and expectations thereof are ingrained in us. There are things we do thinking they are being done in self awareness but really, we are just doing what’s expected of us.

Are we valid, worthy if we aren’t “chosen“?

Is it what you desire or is it social conditioning?

Is it who you are or are you performing a role?


Ask Ciiku: I am confused about my marriage

Hi Ciiku

In a few weeks time, my husband and I will be celebrating our tenth wedding anniversary, and much as it should be exciting, it’s not. Hubby and I met when we were quite young and still in uni and we had a lot in common including friends and interests, in many ways we still do. Over time I took it upon myself to work on myself and how I understand the world, this had been something we did together, we read together, shared ideas and grew together. In my quest to grow I studied feminism among other things and found a community of people who supported me and helped. When I broached the subject with hubby, he would shrug it off and go on about some obscure white philosophers. I didn’t care much since I thought he would eventually see things my way but in this whole time he has stayed the same.

He hangs out with the same guys from uni and high school, he has become complacent and I feel he is stuck. You honestly can’t believe what it feels like to have a #notallmen person as a partner even after repeated talks about patriarchy and it’s effects. It’s soul draining. I feel ignored and I feel resentment welling up slowly.

Here is the issue, over the past two years, I met a colleague with whom I feel a strong emotional and intellectual connection. We discuss almost everything, except my marriage, and he is good listener and willing to learn. We have no sexual tension and it makes it a great blessing. In the recent weeks I have felt a change in my relationship with my friend, I am not sexually attracted to him but I have considered what it would be like to have him. I know the bond I have to hubby but I also know that it would be only once. I actually don’t think it would have to be my friend for fear of ruining something good, I just want an experience out of this tepid relationship. I love my husband and despite his shortcomings, he is a very good person, he loves me, undeniably. We have tried talking and even talked about counselling but we are in this situation. I’m confused.


Dear Tee,

What a dilemma you find yourself in. You and your husband are drifting apart, you have a close friend with whom you say there is no sexual tension but you are considering a one time thing with him or even a stranger.

I have a couple of questions: What does it mean for your marriage that you and your husband seem to be drifting apart? Is your marriage sexually monogamous? If it is what does wanting an experience outside of this “tepid relationship” mean? Is there an issue with the sex in your marriage? Have you spoken to your husband about all this? Including the wanting the experience outside of the marriage? What realisation have you come to that you are trying to ignore? What do you want at the end of the day? Do you know?

People over the years develop as human beings and I get wanting to understand more about the world and acquiring the tools you need to survive in this world. In my opinion, everyone should continously endeavour to grow and develop as human beings. This is a personal process and ideally we hope that people we are in intimate relationships in will join us on the journey. Sometimes that doesn’t happen and then you drift apart. As with your case.

Love is more than feelings. I feel I need to reiterate that there is more to staying together with someone outside of love. Also, even though someone is good, this does not always mean that they are good for you. You have admitted to feeling like your soul is being drained and that you are resenting your husband. Saying you are considering counselling indicates that you are trying to work something out. And I think you should. If possible you might also consider therapy by yourself as well to figure out what it is that you want.

Above all else, remain true to yourself.