Wired For Love, Sustaining Love Story In Social Media Age
Aside from the positives, it is safe to say that the 21st century has brought a lot of challenges, most times, negatives. When looking at the world of the married in this period, you cannot help, but notice the breakdown of many unions due to the popular phrase “irreconcilable differences.”
The news of separations and divorces continue to hit the media worldwide at an alarming rate, as respected and adored unions crash. Some of these crashes have often been linked to social media pressure and the need to keep up a certain persona that finds a way of eating up the true essence of unions.
Well, sociologists say marriage is fundamentally broken, while historians say that marriage is outdated. On the other hand, the progressives say marriage is not even necessary, and unfortunately, statistics seem to say it is not even worth the headache and sacrifice.
The once cherished culture of marriage is, thus, becoming vastly threatened. On the other hand, we may have cracked the love code of social media influencers, whose marriages demonstrate that, contrary to popular belief, there are still marriages that make the heart grow fonder.
The Yusufs are a vibrant and zesty couple, they are the life of the party and each other’s audience, cheering themselves on. The love story of Odunayo Yusuf and Chiamaka, popularly known as Chiamaxsworld on Instagram, began in the defunct age of Blackberry phones. This social media-based love story began as chat buddies, who eventually needed that immediate human connection: they needed to meet one-on-one, and she described their meeting as one where ‘lightning struck’.
“We met during Blackberry days, but we did not see each other for about four years, because he was living in the UK and I was here in Nigeria. I think the time we saw each other when he came back was the moment lightning struck.”
Backing up his wife’s description, Odunayo said, “while I was trying to pack my things into the car, just by Airport Road, Lagos, she drove and parked her car just before the bridge, ‘Is this you?’ she asked, and began to rain kisses on me. At that point, I realised I had a woman, and that was the moment for me too.”
For the couple, their best time together is when they are in “each other’s company and it’s not tied to a particular time. It is a continuous thing. We are always happy with each other as long as we are together. It does not matter if we travel or not; our home, anywhere, is memorable. And our romantic get-together is when away from the children, away from the house; somewhere else.”
They said: “Relationships are sustained by a lot of things and this may vary from one couple to another. Being a ‘social media’ couple, there is the tendency to move with the social media train to uphold a certain ideal, but they insist “we owe nobody anything… we just do our things without pressure from anywhere.”
To keep your marriage in the 21st century, the power couple said, “boils down to being yourself, being true to yourself, and also making it clear to your partner what it is you want from the start.”
Chiamaka added: “I said to my husband, I do not like going to the market, I’m not a house chore kind of person, but if you want us to make money, that’s okay. So, he knows this part of me and he knows I’m entering this relationship and she might not cook, she might not do all this stuff.”
For Odunayo, people should not marry the opposite just because they want to marry, “marry your kind.”
The fact that she’s coming from a well-formed family, where mummy and daddy sit at the dining table to eat, while the other is coming from a home where if you do not quickly dive in, the meal is finished, should be understood.
So, based on this, “marry your kind of person. That way, the energy will match up, hence, the flow comes easily. So, marry your kind, not just the opposite sex,” he said.
On whether social media take a toll on their marriage, they both said no. “We are the ones influencing them not the other way round. So, the thing is, because we are true to ourselves. It is hard to influence us based on the fact that we do not act based on what we see or the demands of social media. A lot of people ask ‘how do you do all these and it’s working?’ It is because we are true to ourselves and that is why it is working.”
For the Yusufs, the secret to marriage sustenance is to “owe no one our memorable time together.”
The Bakres Love Story
The Bakres are equally social media couple. However, they are a pair of reserved couple, who exude calm and collectedness. This couple’s love story started when they were observing their mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
Describing how they met, Femi noted, “she just came back from America to do her NYSC in Nigeria. We realised that we knew the same person (her cousin), so, after she left camp, she came to see her cousin and came with a friend.”
He smiled, “my first impression of Morycoco was ‘This girl is fine’, but that was it. I had no idea I’d see her again.”
Being able to pin the time and when you know that someone is the right one is not a walk down the park, but for some, it takes time.
Morycoco said, “I honestly can’t say when, but we had some quality time together from when we started talking. There wasn’t that one moment.”
The Bakres, reflecting on their honeymoon, said it was one of their most memorable moments together.
“Our honeymoon was the best time ever. We first went to Dubai and stayed in a hotel and had breakfast; that was my first time in Dubai, but she had been there before. We went sightseeing and to different restaurants, so, it was a rollercoaster experience. It was our first time being together without having to worry about anything,” Femi said.
Like the Yusufs, they identified a holiday without the children as the perfect romantic get-together “on an Island somewhere.”
On maintaining their marriage as popular figures on social media, Morycoco said, “I don’t think we move to the social media standard of marriage. If it works for us, it works for us. We are generally not trying to please anybody, we just want what is best for us. There is never what are people going to think.”
Giving a nod to his wife’s assertion, Femi said he has always been true to himself. “Right from time, I’ve been a confident person. I am not competing with anyone, I’m just in my own lane doing my own thing, and I am lucky enough to have someone that shares similar views. So, it’s just us, we are not trying to impress anybody. I don’t want to go broke trying to please people that don’t care about me but just like my lifestyle.”
The reserved couples said, in terms of sustaining their relationship in this 21st century, they do not ascribe to giving antidotes, or relationship advice because “everything is God, it is easy too, so, we just honestly try our best not to be judgmental about and mind our business, praying to God.”
Femi went further, “find someone that you’re comfortable with and someone that you share the same views. Don’t try to please anyone.”
Love language is a concept that has to be mastered in relationships as that helps to strike a balance between couples. Femi said Morycoco’s love language is an act of service, which he uses to calm the storm when they are not in a good place like most couples are faced with.
“She’s really big on that sort of service, which is something I had to learn over time. Unlike my mom, for example, just give her money and buy her gifts and she is fine, anything after that she has moved on. But I had to learn that there are women that want you to do things for them.No amount of gifts I give to Maureen can replace the acts of service. I just try my best to make life easy.”
On her part, she noted peace of mind as his love language. “I just take cues from him, give him space so he is not annoyed the more.”
The Yusufs, on their part, avoid their differences lingering, as they ensure they are sorted out quickly. “At the end of the day, we both love each other, when we stay a little bit apart, like a system that is in sync, when one is faulty, the whole system collapse, hence why we need to get back to that source and make sure that we solve it,” Odunayo reflected.
Ultimately, one thing that has stood out in both couples, the Yusufs noted is to ‘follow your kind’. The Bakres revolve in the same mindset.
Beyond matching, perfectly, there is a synergy that makes them closely-knit couples that nothing can put asunder. And that’s understanding.
Trust is essential in keeping the bond in a relationship, the couples explained.
As social media personalities, they are aware that tabloids are bound to circulate false facts about them. You ask, how does she manage a piece of negative news about her husband? Chiamaka answered in the affirmative, “I am going to laugh. I will only believe whatever he says because we are very truthful to each other. I have said to him in the past that whatever happens let me hear it from him first.”