Not even faithfulness, honesty and loyalty are as important as commitment in a relationship.
What are your biggest relationship goals? Which relationship traits would you tag as your most desired ideals?
Throw this question to the average Nigerian millennial, and the list each will provide, after little or no thought at all, will most likely include the normals – faithfulness, good humour, loyalty, godliness, great looks, maturity – hell, some will even include deep pockets in this list [not judging].
Narrow down the question, and ask these same people to choose just one thing which a partner must have, one particular trait, which in their opinion is key to every great relationship and the response will very likely be faithfulness – a response totally expected, totally understandable.
Goals in Nigerian relationships
The average Nigerian above 16 has heard, read, seen and maybe experienced how unfaithfulness rips the soul out of relationships and how it has brought the comfortable walls of several happy marriages crashing down like the biblical tower of babel.
Stories abound, evidence is in the overabundance of cheating girlfriends and philandering husbands with tongues easily pliable towards effortless lies, and eyes quick to send false remorse cascading down their cheeks.
Much like the way a blacksmith tirelessly hammers metal to shape, stories like the hurtbae episode, or the one about the lady who left her fiancée on the eve of their wedding have bent opinions towards the resignation to the idea that faithfulness, because of its scarcity and rarity, has to be the most treasured of all relationship goals, and that when you find it, you've found it all and nothing can possibly go wrong with your relationship that can't be fixed.
For others who do not rate faithfulness that highly, their idea of the ultimate relationship goal would probably be to get a partner who is loyal, totally mature or, given the present economic situation in Nigeria, and the ever-present aspiration to a better life, one who has really deep pockets.
While all these aren't entirely wrong, there is a greater ideal, something of a holy grail of relationship goals, an erroneously underrated trait in relationships – commitment.
Commitment is the best relationship goal
A logical explanation for why commitment is not as seriously sought as faithfulness can be found in the common idea in the relationship sphere that a Nigerian guy [and babe] is theoretically always likely to fuck you over and do you dirty [especially if he's yoruba].
This has contributed to the frenzy for seeking faithfulness above every other trait, because, as numerous twitter tales and divorce files show, lack of it is what ruins relationships more than all other reasons.
Commitment is what makes you stay with someone, and actively do all it takes to make your relationship with them work, no matter how difficult it seems, or how much sacrifice it requires of you.
Words that bear very close similarity are dedication and devotion.
This is how commitment trumps other desirable relationship traits – it's encompassing, an omnibus trait which has others as its components.
Being truly committed to a relationship will, of course, cause you to stay faithful, loyal, honest, act mature, give all you have and basically apply yourself to making sure that the relationship works.
Finding a partner who is only mature, or possesses just one of these traits to the detriment of others, is like rejecting a balanced meal in favour of one heavy on carbs, fat or protein.
Why clamour for a partner who has eyes for only you, stays 'faithful', but doesn't create time for you and treats you like shit?
Why look out for a partner who has just a part of what you need to thrive in a relationship when you can have the whole package?
To the question of what you need most in a relationship, commitment is the only true, perfect, ideal answer – and not only should you seek this in a partner, be ready to give it too, because to whom the ultimate is given, the ultimate is expected.