I was staring at my screen for the umpteenth time in over 21 days, desperately trying to overcome the block that held me in its vice tighter than a woman in labour grips the hand holding her so I went on Twitter to tweet pictures of food I have/would cook see if I would stumble on something that would help, when someone on my timeline asked me this:
“Cavey, ever wondered how this recession is affecting relationships?”
I immediately began to type my reply; “No I haven’t wondered about it because I don’t think it’s a major game changer to the dynamics of a relationship” but before I sent it, I paused to actually ‘wonder’. I considered my words carefully, not just because I have a small but amazing followership who actually think I have sense but because I wanted to make sure I was being totally honest in my reply. So I sat down and I asked myself some questions.
I know, I know. On top ordinary tweet.
But that simple question led to a host of others: “Would recession affect relationships”? “Why”? “What do I know about ‘dynamics of relationships’”? “What do I even know about relationships??” And which one is ‘game changer’ again???”
Then Beautiful Birds || Passenger ft Birdy started to play.
I’m an engineer, not an economist so my explanation may be a bit rudimentary, but here goes. A recession is a slow down of economic growth. This has knock on effects like a drop in the value of the Naira, which affects the costs of imports and in turn makes things more expensive. In short, everyone’s pocket is being pinched, and there isn’t enough cash around to pay for expensive goods and services. Translation: probable reduction in number of dinner dates, boat rides, photoshoots, pizza/ice cream & chill dates, flowers just because, SocialLiga (maybe even FaceTime calls because data) and all the other things people in relationships do.
The thing is, I believe while relationships may be exciting because of these activities, they are not defined by them. Unfortunately, a number of people question a relationship if it lacks flair and glamor. Maybe I’m old fashioned but isn’t a relationship about finding someone who believes in you and drives you to step out of your comfort zone and ultimately be the best version of you possible? Oh and who loves you too and prioritizes your happiness? Yes, sometimes that means fancy dinners, concerts and whatever works for you but those things are what engineers/developers call ‘add-ons’.
I mean, a car with inbuilt aux feature, cup holders and even an automated temperature regulator is nice but it’s still a car without all those; the dynamics of having a mechanism that aids your movement from point A to B is what makes it a car. Focus on the ‘add-ons’ and you just may miss out on the fact that your car has great acceleration or variable valve timing or w- *chuckle* forgive the mechanical talk. What I’m trying to say is, rather than tailgating bae/boo when times are hard, the period should be used to reiterate and strengthen the dynamics of relationships. Stuff like ‘sacrifice’ and ‘understanding’ and ‘being there’ and ‘selflessness’ and ‘being stripped bare with nothing covering/masking each other’s imperfections and still loving each other irrespective’. So what if I can’t afford to uber to hers every other weekend? Or I can’t do more than I did for her birthday, even though I promised her a fancy dinner at some restaurant somewhere on Adeola Odeku? Or I have to live off her for a bit because I’ve been in between jobs since I got retrenched from where I worked before? The recession could make us more frugal in our relationships and we have to review our priorities before we make decisions but that’s all it should do: make us more ijebu and not be the determinant in the success/failure of the relationship. Silly maybe, but it should even make the relationship better of because you get to think more about what you both want and what’s better for both of you and that (at least in theory) makes the relationship stronger.
The truth is, yes, the recession may affect relationships but I think, only in the workings and not the very fabric of the relationship. These are just the thoughts of someone that isn’t even in a relationship so please, tell me what you think by leaving a comment. How do you think the recession affects relationships?