It’s Saturday evening and today was full of weddings (I guess I’m not alone on that), I attended two weddings. Lots of couples have their wedding today, in a bid to be romantic. My commitment to them made me spend a large part of today shuttling Lagos’ busy streets. In the midst of all that, I couldn’t get to see Martha, the one lady who has made all that I’ve learnt and known about relationships a glorious reality. Over the years, our relationship had been pure bliss. . . . .
I must warn, I’m not a fan of Valentine’s day. I believe more unlovable acts occur more on this day than any other day in the year. In fact, I believe the people in need of love are more ignored this day than the rest. I also believe one day is not enough to express our love to the person we truly love. But then, It’s okay to take out a day to celebrate our partner, it is only smart to be sure it’s coming from a heart flowing with love and affection.
So today on vals’day, I bring a couple so wonderful. Knowing them for more than five years, I’ve been inspired and motivated by the element of teamwork and friendship wired into the marriage. Friendship is one factor that will sustain any relationship or marriage. I believe they are one example we can learn from in handling relationships and ultimately marriage.
Getting them interviewed was not easy I must confess. I even wanted both posted on the same day but schedules were tight, so I’ll get to, and interview Deolu later. But then, I present Tope Akinyemi, wife, friend, sister and business partner of Deolu Akinyemi. She is also one powerful blogger you cannot afford to ignore..www.topeakinyemi.com
Deola Kayode: are we ready?
Tope Akinyemi: lol
Tope Akinyemi: Yeah
Tope Akinyemi: Let’s hit the ground running…
Tope Akinyemi: I won’t like it too formal….lol
Tope Akinyemi: ok….
Deola Kayode: Ok then how does it feel and how is been married to an ever busy Deolu Akinyemi like?
Tope Akinyemi: That question does not have a straight forward answer….
Tope Akinyemi: but I’ll say, in the midst of being busy, he has his value based priorities, so it’s fine by me
Deola Kayode: really most of my questions won’t be straight forward, I must warn ahead, but then, just how is your typical day like?
Tope Akinyemi: I and Deolu work together, so we leave the house together in the mornings when he’s in town, and he’s mostly in town
Tope Akinyemi: I’m either at work or attending meetings and set appointments….
Deola Kayode: so you are accountable for the smooth running of the office?
Tope Akinyemi: majorly, yes
Deola Kayode: now I must ask at what point did pharmacy stop being the way 2 go? Because of him or you just followed your passion
Tope Akinyemi: No, it was not because of him. I had actually done tests with the KPMGs and co, but didn’t pass, so I had known shortly after leaving school that pharmacy wasn’t the way anymore
Deola Kayode: you know it just seamlessly flowed that the two of your found each other working together.
Tope Akinyemi: I had worked in different areas of pharmacy which weren’t “just it” so I knew it was a no, no
Tope Akinyemi: Is that a question?
Deola Kayode: do you think it’s easier when couples pursue the same career, as against when they are in different industries 2geda? How has it helped you/
Tope Akinyemi: cos you seem so sure of that statement…lol
Deola Kayode: I was well trained…
Deola Kayode: so?
Yahoo Messenger had issues so we moved over to Skype
[13/02/2009 21:01:08] Deola Kayode says: calling calling
[13/02/2009 22:35:27] Temitope Akinyemi says: you there?
[13/02/2009 22:35:51] Deola Kayode says: the yahoo just started working
[13/02/2009 22:36:11] Deola Kayode says: but then I think I’ll work with this
[13/02/2009 22:36:15] Temitope Akinyemi says: Let’s just stick to this…
[13/02/2009 22:36:20] Temitope Akinyemi says: yep
[13/02/2009 22:36:26] Temitope Akinyemi says: I was saying….
[13/02/2009 22:37:39] Temitope Akinyemi says: Definitely, some things are easier because we work together. We see each other almost all day. That in itself can be either an advantage or otherwise depending on how it’s handled. So, the bottom-line is that working together has helped us to bring out the best in each other for the good of the business, we’re business partners.
[13/02/2009 22:38:04] Deola Kayode says: beautiful…
[13/02/2009 22:38:17] Temitope Akinyemi says: He has some strengths and I have some too….so we quickly identified them and assigned roles
[13/02/2009 22:38:37] Temitope Akinyemi says: and we’ve been working with that model
[13/02/2009 22:39:12] Deola Kayode says: ok so without actually understanding how the person works, thinks and acts.. it’s a dangerous model
[13/02/2009 22:40:00] Temitope Akinyemi says: sure, it’s going to be dangerous
[13/02/2009 22:40:18] Temitope Akinyemi says: even with employees, we use the same model
[13/02/2009 22:40:44] Deola Kayode says: understanding each other must have taken a while. When did u first set eyes on each other (it’s getting interesting?)
[13/02/2009 22:40:57] Temitope Akinyemi says: Everyone has the opportunity to choose where they think their strengths and or interests lie…
[13/02/2009 22:41:11] Deola Kayode says: k
[13/02/2009 22:42:01] Temitope Akinyemi says: Well, he was the first to notice me, we were in JSS 2
[13/02/2009 22:42:11] Temitope Akinyemi says: FGCIlorin
[13/02/2009 22:42:31] Temitope Akinyemi says: I didn’t know him then, we were in different arms of the same class
[13/02/2009 22:43:13] Deola Kayode says: lol. JSS2… sustaining the friendship and love must have taken a lot. When did he actually request for your partnership in a relationship
[13/02/2009 22:44:13] Temitope Akinyemi says: partnership….lol
[13/02/2009 22:44:38] Temitope Akinyemi says: That was Part II going to III in the University.
[13/02/2009 22:44:48] Temitope Akinyemi says: I was in UI and him, in OAU
[13/02/2009 22:45:26] Deola Kayode says: ok that’s another record. a distanr relationship, But let me take them 1 by 1.
[13/02/2009 22:45:43] Deola Kayode says: being successful with a relationship means bringing out the best in that partner and ensuring that the partner is well prepared for future challenges . . .then getting to marry that partner; you both succeeded @ all these…
[13/02/2009 22:47:29] Temitope Akinyemi says: hmmm…
[13/02/2009 22:48:31] Deola Kayode says: what must you have known, learnt or attained to begin to tell yourself you are ready for a relationship, because, if just any Part II student jumps into a relationship..We might be looking at a ship-wreck.
[13/02/2009 22:49:09] Deola Kayode says: if not age, class and money what minimum criteria tells us we are ready 4 a relationship?
[13/02/2009 22:49:13] Temitope Akinyemi says: Attained, NO
[13/02/2009 22:49:39] Temitope Akinyemi says: Learnt/Known, yes
[13/02/2009 22:49:42] Deola Kayode says: teach me…
[13/02/2009 22:50:38] Temitope Akinyemi says: The foundation we had was a healthy friendship and that was the basis of our relationship.
[13/02/2009 22:51:21] Temitope Akinyemi says: I didn’t have goose pimples or butterflies in my tummy whenever i saw him, but we were real with each other, very real….
[13/02/2009 22:51:51] Deola Kayode says: how long was the courtship
[13/02/2009 22:52:14] Temitope Akinyemi says: Over 5years
[13/02/2009 22:52:25] Deola Kayode says: wow
[13/02/2009 22:53:50] Temitope Akinyemi says: To the last question, the minimum criteria for a relationship is a whole person, who has value and can add value to a relationship
[13/02/2009 22:54:56] Temitope Akinyemi says: not a hurting/needy person who just wants affection
[13/02/2009 22:55:05] Deola Kayode says: value . . . it means means things, being fine, able to express themselves, bold
[13/02/2009 22:55:47] Temitope Akinyemi says: the most important part of a person is the core….what is within
[13/02/2009 22:56:16] Deola Kayode says: So then a relationship might not be a solution for a needy or someone in need of a lover
[13/02/2009 22:56:25] Temitope Akinyemi says: a person doesn’t have to be bold initially, that can be helped
[13/02/2009 22:56:33] Temitope Akinyemi says: Content is key
[13/02/2009 22:57:02] Temitope Akinyemi says: It’s definitely not the way to go for a needy person
[13/02/2009 22:57:09] Temitope Akinyemi says: or hurting
[13/02/2009 22:58:02] Temitope Akinyemi says: That’s why a lot of ladies get into trouble…looking for love
[13/02/2009 22:58:03] Deola Kayode says: So what can be done to the person likes the container first, and has not discovered the content, is a relationship a way to find out if they are compatible? This is a bait
[13/02/2009 22:59:50] Temitope Akinyemi says: You have to take time to know what the person’s made of. I don’t think you need to go so far to have a good idea of a person’s stance about a number of things….
[13/02/2009 23:00:28] Temitope Akinyemi says: Container ain’t bad, but when marriage happens, content is what you’ll be living with….it’s key
[13/02/2009 23:02:04] Deola Kayode says: k. so to the point. A relationship is with someone you intend to marry, and not finding out if you can marry?
[13/02/2009 23:04:10] Temitope Akinyemi says: If a relationship is for finding out if you can marry someone, then you will have to do that many times…….but yeah, a relationship should be with someone you intend to marry
[13/02/2009 23:06:20] Deola Kayode says: but most people actually do that. . .I mean getting into a relationship to see how it goes…. my next shot..
[13/02/2009 23:06:48] Deola Kayode says: how do you handle conflicts and disagreements issues et al.
[13/02/2009 23:10:29] Temitope Akinyemi says: By COMMUNICATING….that’s the only thing that works
[13/02/2009 23:11:13] Temitope Akinyemi says: we both say our perspectives and settle the difference
[13/02/2009 23:11:28] Deola Kayode says: there’s communicating and COMMUNICATING O! From which stand point does that take place…
[13/02/2009 23:11:39] Temitope Akinyemi says: yesssso
[13/02/2009 23:16:15] Deola Kayode says: because I think the problems come with the kind of communicating. Can I say communication to understand and not to prove a point.
[13/02/2009 23:17:01] Temitope Akinyemi says: Communication to first seek to understand. This involves majorly listening
[13/02/2009 23:17:15] Temitope Akinyemi says: before you seek to be understood
[13/02/2009 23:18:05] Temitope Akinyemi says: Proving a point never helps, even if you’re correct…
[13/02/2009 23:18:13] Temitope Akinyemi says: Listen, and then speak
[13/02/2009 23:18:37] Temitope Akinyemi says: I’m not forcy, but I’ve learnt that….
[13/02/2009 23:20:05] Deola Kayode says: let me come to your distant relationship. What gave you the peace of mind to leave this guy in Ife, and you in Ilorin, most relationships don’t not survive that
[13/02/2009 23:20:57] Temitope Akinyemi says: Point of correction, I was in University of Ibadan, premier Uni 😎
[13/02/2009 23:21:48] Deola Kayode says: so sorry… UI vs. OAU
[13/02/2009 23:22:22] Temitope Akinyemi says: On a more serious note, I had as much peace about him as I had in myself; I never doubted for a second that he would misbehave…
[13/02/2009 23:22:49] Temitope Akinyemi says: We had a relationship with God that had defined our ways of life….
[13/02/2009 23:23:37] Temitope Akinyemi says: There’re certain things that have no RAM space in our minds, our convictions and values were intact
[13/02/2009 23:23:43] Deola Kayode says: ok, so your confidence in “the God he believes” reassured you
[13/02/2009 23:24:31] Deola Kayode says: that will drag you into handling sexual pressures, how did u manage that. . .5 yrs+
[13/02/2009 23:26:18] Temitope Akinyemi says: By restating what we knew we must not do
[13/02/2009 23:26:52] Temitope Akinyemi says: and giving ourselves reason to see that too much was at stake if we messed up
[13/02/2009 23:27:06] Deola Kayode says: before the relationship began . . . or when the signs were becoming obvious
[13/02/2009 23:27:12] Temitope Akinyemi says: It was enough to keep us focused…
[13/02/2009 23:28:16] Temitope Akinyemi says: Moreso, too many people were looking up to us, especially him, and you should never preach what you don’t practice, and too much was at stake
[13/02/2009 23:28:47] Temitope Akinyemi says: Before the relationship began, and during as well
[13/02/2009 23:32:20] Deola Kayode says: if there was one quality about him you’ll never want to see missing which would it be?
[13/02/2009 23:33:10] Temitope Akinyemi says: that’s a veeeery tough question o
[13/02/2009 23:34:32] Deola Kayode says: I take that as him being full of compliments
[13/02/2009 23:34:50] Temitope Akinyemi says: abi o
[13/02/2009 23:35:23] Temitope Akinyemi says: because if I mention one, I will feel like mentioning another
[13/02/2009 23:35:42] Deola Kayode says: k lemme give u five
[13/02/2009 23:36:18] Temitope Akinyemi says: that’s generous!
[13/02/2009 23:36:49] Temitope Akinyemi says: In no particular order….
[13/02/2009 23:38:05] Deola Kayode says: anyone would guess that
[13/02/2009 23:39:54] Temitope Akinyemi says: He’s a man of wisdom; he’s passionate, got great sense of humour
[13/02/2009 23:40:46] Deola Kayode says: ok…
[13/02/2009 23:41:39] Temitope Akinyemi says: and he’s got integrity and creative
[13/02/2009 23:42:41] Deola Kayode says: on two counts I want 2 messages on building relationships for
1. Those in relationships
2. Those in marriage . . . one more question and I’ll let you rest, you have a busy day tomrrow
[13/02/2009 23:45:29] Temitope Akinyemi says: For those in relationships, I’ll say, this period is the best opportunity to build a fantastic foundation of friendship, don’t waste it doing irrelevant things….talk and talk, ask questions, know each other as much as possible
[13/02/2009 23:47:21] Temitope Akinyemi says: Two, use this period to become friends with each other’s friends, colleagues, etc; move into each other’s world, become involved, it helps you even see what others think about your partner. This really helped me
[13/02/2009 23:50:09] Deola Kayode says: this is my valentine edition; in one final note sister, I want you to send him a message from here (he might as well be reading your “typings” anyway)
[13/02/2009 23:50:52] Temitope Akinyemi says: For those in marriage, don’t stop talking. On the day that happens, the marriage begins to dwindle. Also, a successful home is about a conscious decision to have it so, let every selfish decision be checked by the mutual vision of having a model home
[13/02/2009 23:51:17] Temitope Akinyemi says: Yessso, he’s peeping on and off, beside me here
[13/02/2009 23:53:40] Deola Kayode says: you just gave a powerful one on marriage there… thanks!
[13/02/2009 23:56:53] Deola Kayode says: u dere…
[13/02/2009 23:57:30] Temitope Akinyemi says: Adeolu Babawale Adigun Akinyemi, you’re too many things rolled in one. You’re God’s perfect gift to me and I’m ever grateful. Thank God I said “YES”. This season is not sufficient to express my love and affection towards you, my husband, lover, business partner and best friend. I celebrate you and will always love you. Your baby….
[13/02/2009 23:57:40] Temitope Akinyemi says: I could go on and on….lol
[13/02/2009 23:58:53] Deola Kayode says: should I be surprised?
[13/02/2009 23:59:03] Temitope Akinyemi says: Are we done?
[13/02/2009 23:59:33] Deola Kayode says: yes
[13/02/2009 23:59:53] Deola Kayode says: I must thank you for such a splendid moment, and have a pleasant val’s day.
[13/02/2009 23:59:57] Temitope Akinyemi says: it’s a pleasure
(this interview started some hours into val). The same foundations and principles that make relationships last and marriage blissful are core principles of friendship. Is he/she your best friend?, how do you relate? Do you spend more time appreciating her strengths, or complaining about his weaknesses.
Intimacy + commitment = friendship
Intimacy + commitment + passion= Love
Finally, do you have a vision of what your relationship should be? that is responsible for the way it is today. Commit youself to making your partner happy and you’ll be surprised at the results. Really what we give, sow, express, project and communicate ( by action and words) will ultimately come back to us as a reward – – Good or Bad.
A capsule of wisdom in a season of watering love.
Happy Valentines day. watch out for part II with Deolu Akinyemi