‘Love requires discipline and understanding, physical attraction is fleeting’
Today is Valentine’s Day. Of course, you don’t have to wait for a day to be in love. Yet, even lovers take this day as a festival.
The culture of Valentine’s Day, which has been introduced from western countries, has also spread in Nepal. However, there are plenty of people who take it negatively. Whether Valentine’s Day is right or wrong, love can never be wrong. This is an eternal and universal truth, without which the continuity of life cannot be imagined.
In recent times, the widespread use of the Internet and mobile phones has made it easier for young people to find love. However, the easier it is to connect, the harder it is to sustain. Many relationships seem to be failing. Why?
We have talked to famous RJ Sabina Karki on various aspects related to love. Below is an interview with Sabina, who has created the image of ‘Love Guru’ among young men and women.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced people to live and be at physical distances from each other. How do you see love affairs between men and women moving forward in the upcoming days?
Just two days, ago I received a message from someone asking to meet and consult me. The sender was a divorced woman. However, she is living with her husband again for the sake of her children.
She was so frustrated that she said, “I am ready even to kill my husband.” I was shocked and very concerned at her statement.
During the COVID period, I received other such messages about stress too. The joy of being close to someone you love is different and is also enjoyed in equal spaces. However, when an otherwise working woman stays at home, the workload increases, she does not have her own space, and conflict with her partner increases.
Meanwhile, beautiful sides of love and relationships were also seen. Those who would usually be busy and had no contact with anyone now had ample amount of time. Misunderstandings and communication gaps were also seen to be removed when people were able to spend time together. This really depends on the individuals and the couple.
An international study has found that physical touch is reduced as a result of epidemics, making people feel lonely. How might this affect Nepal?
Touch plays a big role in relationships. The sixth sense is such that it can identify the intention of the touch. If parents put their hands on their children’s shoulders, it provides energy. Physical intimacy is more than just sexual intercourse. Intercourse is a secondary thing. If you hug someone lovingly and caress their cheek, that is primary. Such kind of sweet touch is very important in love.
Sometimes there may not be any touch, but technology has largely taken over. You may have seen the movie ‘Her’. I think, gradually, that film will come to reality. It is a technology related film where it is shown that such a reality will come about at some point. There is an app and a voice. Millions fall in love with that voice. It is said that this kind of technology is coming. When you press a button in one corner of the world, you feel its vibration in another corner. Thus, it can be said that the aspect of touch is changing now.
Of course, this is a matter of perpetual debate. But which do you think is more reliable, Arranged Marriage or Love Marriage?
It is not about which is better. The question is what kind of couple is involved in love and marriage. Technology has taken over us so much that people across seven seas have a lot to talk about, but nobody talks to whoever is right next to them. People are looking for more space. The Internet has not allowed people to focus. There are more distractions and challenges in relationships. However, technology also plays a role in improvement and adjustment in relationships. It has improved long distance relationships. People are just one click away.
What is the difference between the trends of love twenty years ago and now? How was love then?
There were very few places to go on dates twenty years ago. There were so many problems to go out together. It was thought that only boys or men should propose. Much has changed now.
The questions of love that are asked to me have become so different now. In the past, people used to ask me how to love. Now, they ask questions like “I am in love with a married man, what should I do?”, “I love two people”. It seems that the challenge of finding pure love is greater than ever.
So can someone truly love more than one person at one time?
This can be a matter of debate. How to measure whether you can do it or not? Integrity, ethics and morality are a big part of life. It is the human heart. There must be a certain discipline in love too. There may or may not be love. But what is the mechanism to measure if one loves equally? You have to have scales and instruments to measure it. How can anyone really say?
How important do you think physical attraction is in love?
Only momentarily. It is natural to expect good looks and personality. We are attracted to it, but this is not enough for a relationship to last or to be happy. Other things become more important later. This is not to say that attraction is needed only in the beginning. Who doesn’t want to be attracted to their partner? However, love is about understanding. If my partner understands me, I think love will continue to grow.
At what age should young men and women be in a relationship?
The law stipulates 20 years for both. Young age is an investment in one’s life. What you invest in today is what you will reap tomorrow. It is more about priority than about age. You just have to focus on work, career and responsibilities. I have seen many trends in love. Youth is about age, companionship and trends. It is more important to prioritize wisely in life and keep it balanced in all aspects.
In your experience, what are the reasons for failure in love?
The first factor here is expecting people to be what you want them to be. Relationships fail when expectations turn to despair. Understanding is the key to relationships. Relationships are not run by remote control, they are run by understanding. It is run by mutual love, harmony and understanding. When these things are not there, relationships will fail.
What role does sex play in love? Will sex along with love strengthen or weaken the relationship?
Physical satisfaction really works in love. Sex in love is fragrance added to gold. It is also said that some express suppressed love through physical intimacy. Men want physical intimacy. If you consent and are of the appropriate age, are wise, and love and trust each other, then physical satisfaction will definitely work in your favor.
What are the sorrows in love?
There are many sorrows in love. Because people think love is all roses and sunshine, like romances shown in movies. In novels, we read sweet stories of our beloved characters. People believe in that kind of love, which may not be the reality.
People have many expectations. What you get is not always what you expect. People expect the people they love to do certain things for them, but they don’t get what they want. They become frustrated with their own hopes.
Respect is also a big thing in a relationship. Another name for love is respect. You may have expressed a lot of your emotions, but you don’t always know what state of mind the other person is in. They may not perceive your expressions the way you want them to. It is in such kinds of mess that people feel upset in love.
They say that after having children, the love between husband and wife decreases. How true is this in your experience?
I have seen some friends whose deteriorating family has improved after adding children. I have also seen that after having children, people say ‘We are no longer lovers like before, we are just parents.’
Rather than my own experience, I have seen through others that romance is a priority when there are only two. After the birth of the child, the focus of the two is on the future of the child. I do think that you should prioritize love and romance. Having children with you is for a few years. Then, they leave the nest. Life is lived together with your spouse. Let’s create and maintain balance rather than putting every bit of energy on your children, after which it will be more beautiful.
Looking at the statistics of a marriage bureau in Kathmandu, it was found that the priority while looking for a partner should be property and a house in Kathmandu. What does this indicate?
In our country, political instability has increased to such an extent that women’s security, health and employment are now in question. We also saw incidents of people jumping into the river from neighboring India to return home. After all, people are people.
People are very temperamental. Our first priority is to survive. Thus, I think it seems natural for this to affect the relationship. Let people find a good family, PR and a good person in arranged marriages. In love marriage, however, you have to accept the person you love the way they are. I have also met rich couples and friends. Let’s not forget that we should not seek love in money, status and education. Love is found more in huts than in big palaces.
I have interviewed thousands of people who have reached great positions and have great achievements in life. Just because they are in mansions and great positions does not mean that there is love. It is appropriate to move forward with understanding that is shared among people who connect.
What problems do your listeners/viewers present?
Lately, there have been a lot of problems with long-distance relationships. This involves questions related to trust. Questions like ‘how to trust,’ ‘we have a lot of fights’, ‘I am in a relationship but not happy’ and ‘problem of one-sided love’ are asked. What should be increased to be happy, what is wrong? There are a lot of questions about why the relationship isn’t how people wanted it to be.
Who are the ideal couples you have seen?
My ideal couple for me are my own parents. How our parents define love, what kind of expectations they have from us after we are born, are important things. My dad and mom are seven years apart. Daddy and Mommy seem to complement each other. When one is angry, the other calms them down. When one is sad, the other fills them with energy.
Sometimes it is fun to see parents arguing. Today, I talk a lot about the knowledge I have when it comes to love, but I think my relationship is beautiful because of the learning that comes from the behavior of my parents towards each other.
What are your favorite love movies and books?
I have a book from which I have shared many stories in my podcasts. My favorite book is Chicken Soup for the Couples Soul, which I received as a wedding gift. There are countless good things in this book.
I also really enjoyed ‘Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus’. This book is great for finding out how boys and girls think differently about love. In movies, I loved the English drama ‘The Notebook’.
Please tell us about your experience in love too.
How can I describe my first love in words? I am happy about what I have read and said about love. It has been two decades since I started talked about love. Let us consider it a grace of God that I am in a relationship. Ours is a love marriage. We got married after three years of being in a relationship. We have been married for nine years.
I have experienced the same kind of relationship that I explain. I am happy. Of course we have fights. There are arguments between us. Yet, we have been able to move the relationship forward with understanding. Thus, I am very grateful to the Creator.
What could be the best way to make a love proposal on Valentine’s Day?
Whatever the style, it doesn’t matter. I watched a video a few days ago. The paragliding pilot took his girlfriend up to fly and set up a beautiful proposal. He landed and proposed. Whether it’s paragliding, giving a diamond ring, or singing at a restaurant; whichever way you choose, propose with a deep feeling that comes from the bottom of your heart. When you do it this way, it will be very beautiful. It cannot be compared to anything else. This is the kind of relationship I want. Whichever way you choose, love from the heart and propose when you feel like ‘He/She is the one’.
What could be a good Valentine’s Day gift?
There are two types of presents. One is a practical gift. The type that will always come of use to them, such as airpods. Every time I put it in my ear, it feels like a dear gift given by my husband. It may be a pair of socks and a towel, it may be a bedsheet.
A practical gift is one that reminds them of you every day. Sometimes, it can be an exclusive gift. It can be a smartphone, diamond ring or perfume that they want. Or it can even be a vehicle. Everyone becomes happy when they receive gifts.
What do you want to say to those that say Valentine’s Day is a foreign culture?
We talked about COVID in the beginning. What a virus has proved is that it has reached far beyond China’s Wuhan. It left no corner of the world untouched. Hence, it is all interconnected. The human race is interconnected. Let’s not talk about indigenous and foreign. There are Mother’s Day and Father’s Day for parents. For brothers, there is Bhaitika. In 365 days, one day was set aside for love. So celebrate love – it is an evergreen and beautiful thing.