Where is The Love?

Woah! This ended up being a lot longer than I intended and it is truly a minefield, but here goes…

I had what turned out to be a rather heated, if brief, debate with another blogger over this article here regarding the contention that there is frequently something wrong with a relationship between an older, wealthier man and a young, beautiful woman. Maybe I was tactless and even unintentionally a bit rude and for that I apologise, but I still don’t think that attitude is valid and it pisses me off!

In some eyes, it would seem that, if there is no real love between a couple, then it’s all wrong and it’s also all the guy’s fault (for some strange reason). That was not said in so many words in this instance, but to me, it is the implication of the attitude I came up against and, to my way of thinking, it does feminism one heck of a disservice! The fact is, it’s my genuinely held belief that what many would regard as love (and who truly knows what love is? The great philosophers can’t agree!) is much rarer between a couple than most of us tend to think. Respect, caring and lust plus a whole raft of other emotions are much more common and, for most of us, I suspect they may sometimes even be more desirable. In my view, we undoubtedly make them sufficient, even though we are not always aware of it.

There are even many disparate forms of love – brotherly love, sisterly love, parental love, passionate head over heels love, steady long term love and so on. Then again, they may all be different aspects of the one state of humanity, since love is still undefined. Equally, is it solely the prerogative of the human species? Is the selfless love of a dog that will vainly try to protect  it’s owner, even unto death, any less love just the same?

Certainly the totally irrational love of a young couple is the most easily recognisable form, but is it really two or more emotions mixed together? Nature dictates that men and women (generally) seek and usually find another of the opposite gender with whom they have “sexual chemistry” and that may be a perfect description, because that’s what the whole pheromone thing is – chemistry, plain and simple. Mix that sexual desire with an irrational caring, or obsessive need, for one person to be with another morning, noon and night and you’ll find you have something very like what many people regard as love. Some call it infatuation, but still think of it as a sort of “fledgling” love. Yet that drive to find a mate and the blind passion that results when the chemistry is right, is probably nothing more than nature’s way of propagating the species. It can be compared to the rutting of stags and similar events seen throughout the animal kingdom, where males compete to impress females in a bid to copulate at the most propitious time of year for that species. There are numerous versions and there may be other possibilities, but here on Earth, for most mammals at least, it’s what makes nature work and none of us would be here without it!

People often say that love deepens over time and becomes something they describe as “more substantial” and long lasting. However, what they are usually describing is caring, partnership, raising a family, companionship, sharing, supporting each other and many similar emotions, states of being and services that couples feel and provide for each other. I don’t mean in any way to make light of the value and importance of this, but it is also, as it turns out, highly desirable to nature. Nature may also encourage the idea of fidelity too since, at its most basic, animal level, to strengthen the desire of a male to remain with a female and raise his children, it is ideal if he believes that the offspring are truly his. Equally, from nature’s point of view, the female wants to know that the male will stay around and not go off and start a new family with another before his job with her is finished.

I don’t actually think any of that describes what I regard as love. Love is something special and the majority (probably) of couples don’t really find themselves in that joint, genuinely selfless state – one may feel it for the other, but much more rarely do both feel it for each other. Which is one of the reasons why I think, personally, that gay love can be just as powerful as heterosexual love – sometimes greater – for, in such a case, the sex is incidental to what is clearly an overriding, all consuming love for another person, regardless of their gender. In any such circumstances, when one woman, or man, loves another and it is not entirely reciprocated, that person will be at a huge disadvantage, because they will often do anything for the other – even sometimes allow themselves to be entirely subjugated (possibly sickeningly so) to them, if that other person is unscrupulous, or unkind and uncaring.

How is that worse than a man who has made his money (often at the expense of not finding this sought after state of “love”) and then wants a wife – a partner? He usually wants the companionship, sex, emotional support and caring from that significant other without all the emotional baggage that most conventional couples have to go through and often carry to the grave, but particularly experience during the earlier years before the passion dies and they become comfortable (some might say complacent) with each other.

She probably wants much the same thing, but for different reasons. She wants all that her man’s wealth will bring her – the comfort, the lifestyle, the ease of much of her life and she too may enjoy the sex and the companionship with a like minded person who doesn’t see “love” as the be-all and end-all of human existence. Of course the woman will be beautiful! Love is said to be blind – logic is not – ever! He on the other hand has to be wealthy, or at least very well off and he knows he must probably remain so to keep her with him!

Each partner, though, in such a relationship, gets something they want and who the hell is any one of us to criticise that? Yes, there will be good and bad relationships of that type, just as there will be of any other kind, but at least the ground rules are usually pretty much known and understood by each party at the outset – if they’re not, then that person is frankly stupid! She usually has to remain attractive, well dressed, physically desirable, not get in the way of his work life and maybe keep herself educated and up to date with world affairs etc., if that’s what appeals to him, or not, as the case may be. He, though, has to stay “acceptable” in her eyes and usually treat her right (in whatever terms she sees that). Above all, he has to pay for everything! And he’s got to be able to keep on paying – whatever pressure that might put on him! She is not blindly in love either, so there will be a point at which she will leave (she’s going to still be beautiful and able to easily find another), if he oversteps that mark – and the bar for that will be likely to be set a lot lower than it would be for some more conventional male with a doting wife who’ll frequently put up with one hell of a lot, sometimes including physical abuse.

And then there are the couples who are just desperately in love with each other to the exclusion of all others. They are, though, in my opinion, much rarer than most of us believe.

There is, however, one thing that is always constant throughout all the couples who are genuinely, totally, utterly in love with each other: their partner’s sex, race, creed, colour and everything else about them, including age, doesn’t matter a damn to them! They are truly in love with that individual – and relatively few people find that absolutely unconditional love from one that they feel exactly the same way about themselves in return. I wouldn’t ever knock that! It’s special!

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