Push factors are those that encourage someone to get into a relationship. PHOTO| FILE
Rural to urban migration is one of the key problems facing developing countries like ours.
In understanding its causes, researchers identified two sets of factors, namely, push and pull.
Simply put, the push factors are motivators that prod people out of the rural areas, while pull factors are those ideals in the urban areas that attract people to them. Well, relationships too are a form of migration, and I believe these factors apply here.
Here is food for thought.
Push factors are those that encourage someone to get into a relationship.
In traditional African settings, the push factors played a big role because people were programmed to get into a relationship at a certain stage.
This is why even today, in spite of adopting modern ways of doing things, people still feel under pressure to get married at a certain age.
Another push factor is loneliness;
This is when a person feels that he/she needs to have a partner for companionship, someone to spend time with.
Yet another factor is financial, an important one among the urban poor and some rural communities.
It is well documented that poverty forces quite a number of girls into early marriage, voluntary or forced.
The reverse is happening now as young men get into relationships with older but financially stable women.
Close to that is the unfortunate situation where parents are considered so harsh and difficult to live with, that young people, especially girls, get married to escape the tense environment at home.
On the other hand, pull factors have everything to do with the other person. The question to answer here is; what is pulling you towards the other person? It could be their looks, their level of maturity, their character: the list could go on. Money could also play a role here, making it both a push, as well as a pull factor.
Some factors more important than others
It is obvious that both of these catalysts play a role at the beginning of a relationship. However, listening to people explain why they got into a relationship, you will find that one factor might have been more important than the other. For example, you might hear someone declare:
“I did not care much about him/her, I just needed a partner,” suggesting that the push factors were more prominent than the pull factors.
Other relationships however, begin almost solely on the pull factors. For example, a young man may be completely besotted by a woman’s beauty, and goes on to form a relationship without considering any other factor. This, I think, is the wrong approach. What then, is the correct one?
In my opinion, both factors are important in helping us to get into, as well as stay in a relationship.
The push factors point us to our need for the other person and the relationship, and this should help us to have the correct perspective when dealing with difficult issues.
On their part, pull factors remind us of the beautiful things about our partners that drew us to them, so that even when things are not as rosy, we know what we value in them.
The important thing is therefore to strike a proper balance by asking ourselves which factors are influencing us most, and how and why they are influencing us thus.
This will ensure that none of the factors are blinding us from doing due diligence before saying yes.
Let me use the example of money, which is both a push and pull factor.
Whether it is your ‘poverty’ that pushes you to the other person, or it is the ‘wealth’ of the other person that attracts you, you must consider that a relationship cannot be built on one factor alone, that you have to consider several aspects before you make a decision.
Above all, whether pushed or pulled, true love must be present if you are going to nurture a happy and lasting relationship.