Temmy was shattered.
Her world was torn to shreds by a piece of paper. All the flush of excitement displaced by pain, tears, and a deep sense of depression. Hers was not a case of love turned sour per se – their incompatible genotype cleaved them apart.
Chris had been a friend for a couple of years before they started dating. The pure pleasure of their platonic relationship quickly blossomed into a heart-melting romance and after a few blissful months of exclusive courtship, came the ring.
Life couldn’t be any better. They were lost in love.
As wedding plans commenced, the church marriage committee requested a number of medical tests prior to the mandatory marriage counselling sessions. “Nothing serious”, they were told, “just standard church protocol for intending couples.”
With locked fingers and teenage-like giggles, the perfectly matched lovebirds strolled through the car park at the medical complex, negotiated a few corridors and settled in in the scientist’s office to pick up their test results. They had talked about seeing the new movie at the theater scheduled to start in less than an hour.
Then came the bombshell. The results showed they were both sickle cell carriers (AS)!
That was impossible! They were made for each other and bent on proving that there had been a mixup somewhere, they proceeded to another laboratory.
All returned the same verdict – Temmy and Chris were genetically imcompatibile.
The shocking news blazed through their network of friends and family members. Every one including the church advised an immediate breakup for the sake of their unborn children and the unimaginable hardship that would come with having children with sickle cell anaemia. But it was easier said than done.
The emotional pain was hellish. They were locked in on each other as man and wife. It was too much to imagine life apart – but blood was thicker than love. It had to end. They had to end.
Reluctantly, Temmy returned the engagement ring with a tear streaked note that read:
“Let’s save them the pain, they deserve the best”
The engagement ended but with pieces of their hearts left with each other. All the ‘best friends forever’ promise, the unending conversations, knowing smiles and holding hands had come to a sudden stop.
It hurt more to realise that they never talked about it. Not once. They were both very fortunate to be blessed with impeccable health so there were no obvious signs. Each one simply believed the other was not a carrier – a sad case of hopelessly hoping on hope.
This leads me to a very important matter, when should the genotype question come up between dating couples? How early do you ask – when you are just friends? When you start dating? Or when you get engaged?
My take on this is, at the point your heart starts getting involved, when you mentally begin to involve the other person in your future, it’s safer to find out before you proceed with other plans.
Another pertinent question is who does the asking -the guy or the lady? Some ladies may shy away from asking because they feel that may send a signal that she’s already rehearsing how his last name sounds with her first (like we don’t know that already..loll – Editor’s comment), so they sit back and wait for him to pop the question.
[Editor’s comment : I spoke with a few ladies on this subject. While they all agreed it is very important to ascertain genetic compatability, only one had actually discussed the issue straight up with the guy she was dating. The others had either assumed compatibility or had “never really got around to talk about it with him”]
So what happens when he has not asked and your emotional attachment to him is growing stronger by the day?
Sweetheart, find a way to bring up the topic so in the end, you are not left with a bleeding heart and a soaked pillow. Genotype to a large extent can affect how far a romantic relationship can go so to protect our hearts, it is wise to find out.
That leads right back to my question – when? who and how? Let the comments roll in as you share your thoughts with me on this subject in the comments section. I’d love to hear from you.
Live by Design.
BBM : 514C3DD7
P.S: Action Point: If you’re in a committed relationship and you’ve never discussed this subject with your partner, bring it up and see where the conversation leads.