The English word “Lover” is ultimately useless. It is too vague, inaffective, carries no weight, a sore wound on the tongue. In choosing such a word, the Yorùbás—understanding that it was a matter of life and death—approached the topic with more trepidity. They understood that there was no Love without contest. That there would be wars—against yourself, against other people, against the one you claimed to love. That you would have to defeat distance, time, age, restlessness. That there was no love without light and darkness, hope and despair, faith and fear, chains and freedom. That only an image emerging peerless after these fires deserved such an appellation.
And what word would do such an image justice? Certainly, nothing as useless as "Lover."
Consider instead the Yorùbá word for "Lover"—Olólùfẹ́: "the possessor of one’s supreme love". I want you to know that you are, after my battle is done, the only flame that endures.