Posted by: heartsleeve | November 16, 2007

Science v. Romance

So I believe that “The One” exists. I believe that somewhere out there, there is a guy who was made to be compatible with me, that we were made to find each other, love each other, and die old and gray in each others’ arms. Granted, I’ve always been kind of a retardedly hopeless romantic, and it’s entirely possible I was overexposed to Disney movies, romantic comedies, and fairy tales as a child, making the entire script of finding Prince Charming and Happily Ever After as real to me as Grow Up and Get A Job is for most people.

At the same time, I have to acknowledge that there have to be multiple people out there that we can be compatible with, that we could potentially find, love, and make it to old age with. If that weren’t the case, then we have nowhere to go if our lovers die and leave us all alone. I don’t really hold with the notion, though, that we could be compatible with just anyone, that love is more or less just a matter of randomly meeting someone, having a reasonable degree of compatibility (shared experiences, values, etc.), and being sexually attracted to each other…at least at first.

This morning I found this article, The Science of Love, and found myself going, “Yeah, yeah, that all makes sense and sounds rational and all, but…” Basically, this article argues that love is lust, with a certain degree of emotional bonding that, after x amount of time becomes so much habit that you can’t imagine yourself functioning without that person. To me, that just sounds like love based in fear of being without someone you’ve gotten used to having around. Not really love at all…

I don’t know. I’ve never really been the type to confuse lust with love, or even long term commitment and a certain degree of emotional bonding and sexual attraction with love. I’ve always been very careful with saying the L-word because to me, it’s a big deal, and it is way more than just finding someone you could be reasonably happy with for an extended period time. Love is more than that, and from personal experience…I think I’m right. Love is more than lust turned into a habit. And love may not be more than chemical reactions in my brain, but I’ve always believed that science is the result of the workings of something bigger than just science.

I don’t know if any of this is making sense. But. *shrugs*

(And, no, I didn’t miss the part of the article where they discuss how people who are in love often think they are experiencing something special. I don’t think I’m in anything special — well, maybe it’s a little special ;), but nothing like a cosmically pre-ordained soulmate explosion. I think I’ve just been lucky enough to find one of those very, very few people that I am more than just compatible with. And I think that a lot of people can find real love…it’s just that most people get so distracted by the lust thing, or by mediocre long-term relationships that people are so accustomed to they don’t leave, they never find it.)

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Responses

  1. Hmm. I definitely think that people are just compatible depending on their personalities. But that’s me. I think I’m more of an atheist than you.

    I also kinda think that some of the modern notions of “romantic love” were invited by greeting card companies and Disney 😛 Like the concept that there is absolutely only one person out there for everyone. A major falsity purported by pop culture is that if it’s “meant to be” than it won’t take much or any work.

    Anyway, as I’ve said before in a previous comment on this blog I think, I’m really all about taking things one day at a time. I think the decision to stay with someone should be an ongoing thing. Making the decision once shouldn’t be enough. It’s a very personal decision about what will make you the happiest, what you think is the best for you, what you want the most.

  2. So I’m actually reading the article now. I really think that it’s true that guys fall first in many cases.

    I find the 4 year remark interesting personally. But I think that a lot of my personal experience had to do with the uncertainty of where we’d end up job/school wise.

  3. I would say it was invented by Halmark and Disney, but alas, most of the Disney stories are based on fairy tales that predate Halmark. 😉 Of course, a lot of those are a lot more twisted than the watered down Disney versions, but… For thousands of years, in almost every culture, there have been ideas circulated about notions of true love and finding the person you were meant for. I have to think that comes from somewhere.

    And I agree that it’s an every day decision, but…I also don’t think you should make a decision based on how you feel right here, right now all the time. There has to be a look at the long-term. I don’t know. I also believe in once you make a commitment, you have to see it through. :-p Granted, that could be like 60 years in this case, but…

  4. Well, yes. Everyone has bad days. But when I’m having one, I generally recognize it as such.

    And I agree that it’s important to keep commitments you make. I guess that’s one of the reasons that I’m not the biggest marriage advocate. I think such things should be personal, ongoing decisions.

  5. I advocate marriage, because I want some guarantee that someone’s going to be there when I’m old and incontinent and need someone to change my diapers, because I’m pretty sure any sane person isn’t going to want to do that on a daily basis. 😉 (That and I like the idea of still being in love when I am old and incontinent. Hehe.)

  6. haha. eww, old people diapers.


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