A quick Google search of the term Power Couple will immediately open documents and images of the likes of Barack and Michele Obama, Jay Z and Beyoncé, Kim and Kanye and others. For now we put a question mark on one couple that also pops up – Angelina and Brad Pitt. At home, we have the likes of Monica and Hage Geingob, Penehupifo and Hifikepunye Pohamba and others.
With the above names, what is a power couple then? It has become a term used in our everyday life and now almost everyone with a significant other calls themselves a power couple in their own right. However, what we learn from the popular names draws an abstract definition of what this establishment may be.
What makes a power couple today then? Marriage is no prerequisite it seems, nor, certainly, is being straight. Having longstanding ties to the media and appearing frequently in the media helps, it seems. But what also sinks in the abstract definition is the presence of couples where the two halves had independently, or at least through their own merits, been successful and created seats of influence and had an impact on society, through work or philanthropy.
For people like Beyoncé and Jay Z, they are powerful as a couple and as individuals. They are people of influence.
Bonus points if the influence of the couple, when combined, is arguably greater than what either could have achieved alone. From Barack and Michelle to the Pohambas, the hottest duos in entertainment, politics, fashion and other fraternities should have relationship goals many aspire to have.
However, relationship advisor Ngamane Karuaihe-Upi says the credibitlity of the so called power couples is only limited to what the naked eye sees and what the observer has learned over some time in the media.
“Most of the time when we refer to people as a power couple, it is usually people who are prominent or popular. But sometimes, it may reflect on the type of relationship people have according to what we see,” said the relationship advisor.
Today, Ngamane is of the opinion that power couples are define on the merits of their visibility and prominence in the public eye. These to him are the couples who are seen to love one another, take care of each other, have their heads up high for each other, they say good things of each other in public and the public actually looks up to them as relationship idols. However, their reality may not reciprocate who they are when no one is watching and as such, we can place question marks on the merits on which one is considered as a power couple.
“Known power couples where the likes of Angelina Jolie and Bratt Pit but look where they are today. They appeared to be well together in public but little did we know that there are a few things that led them to their current divorce.
Love is a good thing and is even greater when invested in a happy relationship. Couples with the taste of making their affairs public have gone even to the extent of wearing complimentary attire. Not only the print and style but strong love quotes written on shirts say it all. ‘I belong to him’ and I belong to her’ are one of the few classical examples. An adoring picture indeed.
Ngamane however believes that if power couples are just to be described on what the public sees, then it should just be to that extent. This is because what the eye sees may not reflect on what the real relationship is like, regardless of what they wear and treat each other in public.
“People who are seen around are mostly referred to as a power couple but in reality, there could be issues of abuse at home, issues of power struggles at home, even though in public they look like they are together, they do things together – they spend much of their time at home fighting like cats and dogs.”
With this loophole, should we then redefine the term such that even those who have more successful relationships than the camera favourites are also called power couples? “Most definitely.”
“So when defining power couples, we should define whether it is based on reality or only on the short-sightedness of the eye. In reality, my power couple would be people who stick with each other through thick and thin, tolerate each other, endure problems together, support each other and it is evident how they treat each other before the public and in the eyes of the public” says Ngamane.
The chances of someone who is secretive about their relationship to be called a power couple are slim because they are not seen compared to people one would read in newspapers almost every weekend.
With such merits, Ngamane believes that there are so many couples out there who are doing pretty much well but are not known to the media and public. While he maintains that many couples prefer keeping their affairs confined to their circles, they still qualify to be called power couples.
His redefined definition of a power couple goes as follows. “A power couple will be the type of couple that gives the dream of gender equality, people who do things right, care for each other, a solid couple, people take care of each other, people we can even approach as role models and we can go to for marriage advice because they are the ‘together couple’. People who hold up their marriage vows and are loyal,” said Ngamane.
Regardless of how people view and define Power Couples, the essence remains what is only available to the eye. When it comes to a deeper intervention, one should also look at the life of the couple when they are not in public.