This week we get a Single Black Mail message where a reader asks a poignant question about love and relationships:

This is a subject I would like your opinions on: I watched Love Jones over the weekend and a scene that I never paid much attention to stood out to me for the first time, (and I’ve seen Love Jones literally 10 times). The scene was the one at the party where Larenz Tate’s friend Isaiah Washington who plays Savon is questioned and looked at sideways for not bringing his wife but another woman instead to Sheila’s party. Savon says to Darius “anybody can fall in love, falling in love ain’t sh**. But somebody please tell me how to stay there. Do I love my wife? Hell yes. Is she here? Hell no!” I realized that what he said is absolutely true. Unfortunately relationships (and marriages) nowadays don’t have much staying power and can’t withstand the test of time. So what’s your opinion on this? Can you comment on how to “stay in love”?

A few things concerned me when reading this letter. First off, is this the first time that you’ve watched Love Jones?! Seriously, if you are of African-American descent, we may have to place you under probation. That has to be at least 6 points on your black card! Seriously though, this raises a great question. To understand how to stay in love,  you would first have to understand love. What is love? To some it’s steak and blow job. To others, it’s money. Some find love in the confines of family. Even a few people have this pop into their head when they think of love’s definition:

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I make these points to say that the definition of love is a post in itself, and we would be here until the cows come home. So let’s assume we all deal with a general definition of love for the sake of this post. So how do you stay in love? Let me talk through this and see if I can make a case to you, the readers and to myself.

Remember how you got here.

Sometimes in the whole courting game, dating game, and relationship game, we forget what attracted us to our significant others in the first place. We forget those qualities that we hold necessary in a boyfriend or girlfriend, which our current SO/Spouse exhibited throughout the life of our unions. Life happens, and, we get caught up, so it isn’t a problem. We just have to learn to re-appreciate our SO’s. It’s Human to forget, but it’s a better practice to refresh your memory.

Keep the relationship fresh.

Nothing stales feelings between 2 people more than monotony. We’ve all heard stories from couples who used to live exciting lives and now abhor the predictability of their relationships. I’m not saying that you need to visit Morocco every month to spice up your relationship, but you should always make it interesting. Plan to have new experiences periodically. Go to different restaurants. Travel together! You owe it to each other to keep the fire burning, and you have no one to blame but yourselves if that fire burns dimly.

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If you have to force yourself to stay in love, you have a major issue.

This was my first thought when I read the question. Why do you have to look for a way to stay in love? Why isn’t it coming natural to you anymore? Are you looking for the nostalgia of yesteryear or are you scared of the unknown and unwilling to face your circumstances? These are tough questions you have to ask yourself and answer honestly before you look for ways to stay in love. Love is complicated, but love never forces you to stay anywhere you don’t need to be. You still have a choice, and whether or not you let love cloud your vision, is what will determine your relationship future. Will you dwell in the mediocrity of comfort, or liberate yourself from a familiar evil? Proper analysis of the life cycle of your relationship is necessary in order to determine whether the love is shrouded, or gone altogether. Once you do that, then staying in love shouldn’t be an issue. If you still have questions about the love, then maybe you question your current status more than how to retain an emotion

Readers, chime in and lend the reader a helping hand. Feel free to critique my assessment (like I had to ask you)

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