Freud was so right when he observed that the main motivator was sex all within the perameters of the field of pleasure and pain. We are in a box divided into 2 halves, we try to stay in the pleasure half and avoid the pain half. That is one way to sum up human behavior. Marshall Rosenberg, the founder of non violent communication (cnvc.org) described human behavior as simply trying to satisfy needs. Both work for me.
When you are young you try to have sex with whoever attracts you and is open to you. If you are a beautiful woman or handsome man, you can be more picky. Of course it helps to have a charming way about you as well, or to become skillful at seduction. Then, after sampling, sampling, sampling, you find someone who you really enjoy being with along with the sex, and now you are “in love”. Romantic love is something that cannot be measured. It is a more than just a feeling. Sex usually has to be a part of it or it won’t last. Devotion or fidelity are sometimes seen as indicators as to how “true” it is. If your loved one suffers a disfiguring accident or other devastating tragedy, will the partner continue with the beloved or abandon ship? This could be a test of the depth of the love, but not really a good one, for someone may stay with their “lessened” partner out of a sense of obligation or other lesser reasons than “love”.
There is a difference in romantic love and unconditional love. Uncondional love is exemplified by the love of a mother for her baby. Romantic love is usually conditional. Romantic love lasts when both partners feel that they have met their best match possible, though there will always be infinite other possibilities, this one has such a high degree of satisfaction, that it is more than “good enough”, depending where you are on the scale of attractiveness has to do with the likelihood of realizing some of those other possibilities. So for many, there is a degree of compromise inherent in the spoken or unspoken love “contract”. And the “purity” of the love can be questionable.
Hence, romantic love is very complicated. It could be so simple. You just love someone so much. You love who they are. You have a strong sense of who they are. Some people have very defined character, and over time, people’s characters will become more clear. After one is very clear about the other’s character is when they stay together or part. A love relationship can become a habit or a crutch and people stay together because of that. These are the mediocre relationships at best.
As soon as a relationship loses its “funness”, its excitement, the relationship is in jeapardy of falling apart. After all relationships should bring pleasure and if not, it loses its reason to be, no? assuming that there are no children yet. Often women will be with a man both for sex, for “love”, and for security. Sometimes it comes down to security. This is when “love” is reduced to a kind of prostitution. After all we are living in insane times, where you have to pay just to live on the planet, and obviously that can be a burden and a threat. In a dog eat dog world where competition is the common denominator as opposed to cooperation, where men are physically stronger usually, women need security.
In a world such as this, a woman will use her “allure” as a means to satisfy her needs. A man will use his abilities, his strenghs, to secure a desirable woman. To legitimize the “relation” we have the concept of “love”. This is a consequence of the commercialization of our lives.
I don’t wish to scare you off with what might seem to some like perhaps a very cynical understanding of “love”. As I am someone who likes to think that everything is really coming from “love”. But I also am someone who appreciates “radical honesty”. I don’t wish to get into the trap of fooling myself unconsciously, and having a false understanding of the complicated subject we call “love”. After all, I have reached the age where i no longer attract the kind of woman that I am attracted to. And that this just might be a “sour grapes” kind of reaction. It is usually very difficult to know what is actually “true”. This is only my opinion at this moment.
I would love to hear what other people might think about romantic “love”.