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Love Ain't Nothin' But Sex Misspelled
I'd enjoy taking credit for the wonderful title of this Hub, but it was written by Harlan Ellison in one of his acerbic essays from quite a few years ago.
The last time I checked, Ellison was pretty damn old, as hyperbolic as in his youth and seemed to be happily married. In his younger years, he had a kind of persona to project -- a kind of tough guy who spoke hard truths -- spit them in your face, as it were. I wonder if he still believes his own comments. Well, even if he doesn't, I'm sure he'd find a way of screaming so loud you wouldn't care one way or the other.
Things are going well enough in a marriage when neither partner has to think about the relationship very much -- that's my observation. The sex may have disappeared or become intermittent, but primarily the couple has gotten used to whatever the status quo may be. The opposite is true as well. If things seem really troublesome in a marriage -- one or both partners tend to think about the arrangement a lot more often.
Thinking about anything too much or too often usually spells out some kind of a problem. By design I don't believe we're supposed to dwell on matters overlong. It affects our health, makes us cranky and gives us disturbing thoughts.
It's kind of like cigarette smoke -- it stinks up an incredibly large area -- to the benefit of no one. The question remains: Was Ellison right? Is love nothing more than sexual attraction?
I'm not a psychiatrist, but I have a sense about the answer. I think, for the most part, Ellison was correct, and I regard this as unfortunate.
There are many types of love, and I'm not going to get into them all here. Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung spent their lifetimes on subjects like this, and it doesn't fascinate me to the same degree to shell out the same amount of time and effort.
A novice at these observations, I've witnessed many couples feeling trapped in their lives together -- and it's not a joke, because if your home life is miserable, it pretty much means your entire existence is intolerable. When life become intolerable, even the most noble of souls is ready to do almost anything to alter the situation.
The first thought may be divorce, but this might not be as easy an out as it seems. Your spouse can bankrupt you, or maybe you just need the insurance coverage.
This stuff about sticking it out "for the kids" is a bunch of crap. Anyone who hands out that line is nothing but a frightened liar. For all you know the kids may be aching for you to separate.
Earlier, I said that if Ellison was right then this was unfortunate. I say that because we all have aspirations, dreams and wishes -- especially when it comes to finding a potential life-long mate. Before the Renaissance, the idea of romantic love was an alien notion. Most marriages were arranged -- primarily to make a social advancement for one partner or the other or both.
The point of marriage was to have children. Fidelity was something promised but more of a bonus in most cases.
During the Renaissance the idea of romantic love took root, and one's significant other was not just a partner in a social situation, he/she took on a symbolic significance -- an archetypal significance that was completely out of proportion with reality. Somehow or other this idea of marital nirvana leeched down through the ages and is alive and well to this very day.
An analysis of the emotions couples invest in mating reveals that their expectations are doomed from the onset. Human beings are hardly angels (or even Playboy Bunnies) and the thought of finding one on earth to ease your every discomfort and doubt is not only unlikely, it's absurd.
We dream to be with an angel. We somehow feel as if we deserve it, and that in receiving this gift, we shall become better individuals -- more noble, more honest, more thoughtful and loving.
Well, some portion of that may be true or the whole thing may be an elaborate self-deception, but it doesn't really matter because angels are not advertising for dates.
The only picks we get are flawed, flesh-and-blood human beings. Talk to a doctor about what is occurring to you during your period of exultation, and he will tell you that your judgment/reasoning is being overwhelmed by endorphins -- powerful metabolic excretions into your blood that make everything seem to glow in a rosy light.
If Coke or Pepsi could can the stuff, I think we'd arrive at world peace in about four days. So, young lad, you may be asking, "Is that all it is?" And I'm here to tell you, "Yep, that pretty much sizes it up." Once the endorphins start to fade, man, you'll be surprised if not shocked at what you failed to notice, what you failed to observe. But, of course by then it will be too late.
Try to imagine marrying yourself. Could you stand all of your uncomplimentary habits? Why would anyone else? Are you getting married because you have a gold-plated trophy girlfriend (without a doubt, and who could pass that up)? Well, that's swell for you, but what's she going to get out of the match-up? Are you willing to have children? Are you willing to help ease the baby's head out between her legs? Have you got the stomach for that? Have you got the stamina for countless midnight milk feedings and changing poopy diapers? Leave that to the wife? Good luck, chump.
You wanted an angel on earth and you ended up with a Ridley Scott "Alien." Surprise. Surprise.No, once those endorphins dissolve into your blood stream then cease to be excreted, the world will look very different -- and that rosy glow will seem like a mirage then (possibly) like something beyond your comprehension.
No dad, brother, best friend, counselor, priest, rabbi, or floating Buddha in your room can talk you down from your endorphin high -- it just can't happen. So, all you can do is cope with the consequences. Love means a lot more than hot sex. It means those poopy diapers on an endless basis, and your wife telling you to cook your own god damn breakfast.
I'm not advising you against getting married. Not at all. I think every young, able-bodied man should go through the experience at least once.