Sawabona Shikoba

Take a look at this beautiful text about love and relationships by Flávio Gikovate, a psychoanalyst. It reminded me of a line from an Alanis Morissette song which says “I don't want to be your other half cos I believe that one and one make two”. Portuguese version.

It is not only technological advances that have marked the start of this millennium. Affectionate relationships are also going through profound transformations and revolutionising the concept of love.

What we search for today is a relationship compatible with the modern times, in which exists individuality, respect, happiness and pleasure to be together, and no longer a relationship of dependence, in which one person is responsible for the well-being of the other.

The idea of one person being the remedy for our happiness, which was born with romanticism, is destined to disappear at the start of this century. Romantic love is based on the assumption that we are a mere fraction and that we need to meet our other half to feel complete. Often it happens even as a process of depersonalisation that historically, has affected women more. She abandons her characteristics to amalgamate herself with the male project.

The theory of “opposites attract” also comes from the same root: the other has to know what I do not know. If I am gentle, he should be aggressive, and so forth. A practical idea of survival, hardly romantic by the sounds of it.

The word to look out for this century is partnership. We are changing the love of necessity for the love of desire. I like and desire company, but I do not need it - this is very different.

With technological advances, that demand more individual time, people are losing the fear of living alone, and are learning to live better with themselves. They are starting to realise that they feel a fraction, but are whole. The other, with whom you create a link, also feels a fraction. He is not the prince or the saviour of anything. He is only a companion on a journey.

Man is an animal who will go on changing the world, and afterwards has to keep reinventing himself to adapt to the world that he created. We are entering an era of individuality, that has nothing to do with egoism. The egoist does not have his own energy, he feeds himself on the energy of others, be it financial or moral.

A new form of love, or more love, has a new features and meaning. It aims for the coming together of two wholes, and not the union of two halves. And this is only possible for those who manage to work on their individuality. The more an individual is capable to live alone, the more prepared s/he will be for an affectionate relationship.

Solitude is good, to be alone is not shameful. On the contrary, it gives dignity to a person. Good affectionate relations are great, they are very similar to being alone, nobody demands nothing of nobody and both grow. Relationships of domination and exaggerated concessions are things of last century.

Every brain is unique. Our way of thinking and acting do not serve as a reference to evaluate anyone. Many times, we think that the other is our soul mate and, actually, what we did was to reinvent him/her to our taste.

Everyone should spend some time alone every now and again, to establish an inner dialogue and discover your personal force. In solitude, the individual understands that harmony and peace of the spirit can only be found inside him/her and not from the other person. To realise this, s/he becomes less critical and more understanding of differences, respecting the way of each person.

The love of two whole people is more healthy. In this type of connection, there is the coziness, the pleasure of company and the respect of being loved. It is not always enough to be forgiven by another, sometimes you need to learn to forgive yourself...

In case you are curious to know the meaning of SAWABONA, it is a greeting used in the south of Africa that means: “I respect you, I value you, you are important to me”. In response, people say SHIKOBA which is: “Therefore, I exist for you”.