The Love Hypocrisy
“While we are young, lust is indistinguishable from love.”
A girlfriend of mine once said that young people love with their eyes and old people with their hearts. However, what she doesn’t realise is that she has just highlighted the fact that romance is inherently rife with a certain type of hypocrisy that has completely maligned the way we understand true love.
Hypocrisy #1: That Love is a feeling
Do you think you’re in love? What would your response be if someone asked you why you’re in love with someone? That she’s smart? That he’s funny? That she’s affectionate? That he’s sensitive? Don’t kid yourself. You’re misdirecting. Love is nothing more than a chemical that makes us say and do stupid things.
The flood of oxytocin in our brain that results after the onset of physical attraction tends to give the impression that we’re in love – especially after having sex. This is especially true in women who’ve had an orgasm. The intensity of the chemical onslaught brings about powerful new feelings.
That’s the “Chemistry” that people often refer to that they can’t otherwise describe when they meet someone. These things are all chemical reactions in the brain. It tends to fade away with time – only to be replaced by something else entirely. That’s why this “something else” had better be really good.
The trouble is that young people don’t realise that what they feel is a pleasurable sensation designed specifically to engender a desire for procreation. While we are young, lust is indistinguishable from love. That’s why young people tend to not know what true love is until they’ve gotten old.
This will last for as long as the power of the lust is alive. However, given time, boredom sets in, and the chemical production facilities in the brain dry up. The human mind has no capacity for what we call “true love”. We fall in love with novelty – not with each other. That’s why people cheat in relationships.
So in the absence of lust, couples then try to find something else to complement the lust – but never to replace it. In fact, you can always tell if a marriage has problems if the sex is bad or has completely gone AWOL altogether. If sex seems to have a way of fixing a lot of your relationship problems (if only temporarily), then rest assured; it’s the chemicals at it again.
You ever wonder why make up sex is so good? It’s because anger produces an over abundance of coiled up muscle tension that can become explosive in any number of ways. That’s why anger can so easily lead to physical violence.
However, if sex follows immediately after a falling out, the incredible sensation running down your spine is the result of the tension releasing endorphins into your blood. The angrier you are, the more endorphins are released.
Once that coil of built up angry tension is sprung using the positive act of sex, *BOOM* – you get the most powerful, mind altering, toe curling, epileptic seizure inducing, quantum tunnelling, god smacked, spinal tap of an orgasm that your central nervous system has the capacity to handle. That’s when you die happy and go to whatever heaven you’ve been raised to believe in.
The rest of it is cognitive dissonance – rationale we invent to comfort ourselves after the flames have long died. I’m not saying that sex is a silver bullet for relationship problems. Rather, the chemical reactions in your brain (which also produces sex), are the single most powerful driving force behind “love”.
Am I saying that there’s no such thing as “love at first sight”? Precisely. There is only lust at first sight. Love is a hyperbolic idea (like ‘justice‘ and ‘perfection‘) that exists only in our minds. We are nothing more than bio-electric machines run by chemical reactions that have a profound effect on our behaviour.
Between the time when you just met your girlfriend/boyfriend and the time you got married, there is a very strong production of these electro chemical reactions in your brain. However, when you are forced to live together in a social construct that introduces other chemical reactions, you will quickly realise that the concept of romance is not so much about love as it is about tolerance.
Love is not enough. It was never enough. While there are ways to chemically induce the feeling of love over a life time, it is probably not worth the risk of chronic depression. The point however, is that there had better be something else there other than love. Love is only a fleeting feeling. It’s not a reason.
So the next time someone tells you that they are in love, look closely at their pupils and see if it dilates, or listen for an inflection in their voice at the end of their sentence when they talk about the person they’re in love with. If you notice either of these occurrences, they’re only victims of Oxytocin poisoning.
People who have dealt with unfaithful lovers, dirty kitchens, messy bedrooms, vomit, mood swings, blood in the pool, flaring tempers and other assorted portions of crap from each other have a far better idea of what love is. In fact, I think it’s fair to say that any decent relationship worth having needs to have a really strong bullsh*t filter, since Oxytocin is known to impair judgement.
…just like weed, mushrooms and alcohol.
But you never hear anyone talking about these things when they claim to be in love or run to the alter to say “I do”. There are so many different expressions, both in song and prose which attempt to glorify the treachery of monogamy. Yet, none of them will tell you what happens when the chemicals wear off.
Hypocrisy #2: That looks aren’t everything
A lot of people keep saying that looks don’t matter. But the only people saying that are those who are being politically correct. The only people who actually believe it are the ones who aren’t very attractive to begin with. So in essence, we have two opposing schools of thought perpetuating this fantastic fallacy.
I suppose this is yet another one of those things that demonstrate the innate human propensity to think more highly of themselves than they rightfully deserve. But let’s not kid ourselves. As animals, we are driven by lust.
The truth of the matter is that lust (as in carnal lust) plays a very critical role in romance. It’s what gets the ball rolling. It’s quite literally that important. 9/10 times, lust is what originally incited interest in couples that decide to get together. In fact, one’s attractiveness is directly proportional to their lustfulness. Pretty people get more attention and lots more hot sex.
Also, because they know that they attract a lot of attention, pretty people get to choose from the best genetic stock on the market. This is perfectly rational, since there’s little point in wooing a sweet hearted ugly duckling when you can get an obnoxious swan right out of the box – no cognitive dissonance needed.
Either way, this is the reason why pretty people prefer pretty people (irrespective of whether or not they’re nice) and why ugly ducklings tend to settle for other ugly ducklings (because nobody else wants to love them). The only known exception is where an ugly duckling is both male and quite rich.
I’m not saying that chicks are gold diggers. It’s just that you’re not likely to find a hot chick dating an ugly dude unless he’s rolling in it or he knows how to make her feel good between her legs. It almost never fails. When questioned, they will give you all kinds of pre-rendered cognitive dissonance to justify the obvious aesthetic mismatch that is their romantic relationship.
Ugly ducklings in particular have to make some kind of compensation for their aesthetic deficit in order to guarantee their chance at securing their genetic immortality. They have to be really smart, rich, or otherwise endearing to score any tail. That’s one side of this massive hypocrisy we call “love“.
The other side is of this particular hypocrisy is that this double standard is ridiculously and unfairly stacked in favour of men… not that I’m complaining. Men can get away with this B.S. largely because of how women think.
Men and women both approach romance differently. Women are subconsciously looking for an alpha male and proceed to grade the men they encounter according to their net worth. If he’s good looking, then that tends to trump most of the other requirements – even if she’s already with an alpha.
Concordantly, Alpha males beware; the résumé is not enough.
This is why you’ll see a lot of marriages with balding, pot bellied billionaires having their trophy wives cheat on them with the hot Mexican gardener. But it’s not that hot chicks are hard to please. It’s just that carnal desire beats “love” any day of the week. Your body is a biological machine that doesn’t care about high minded concepts like “true love” that have no intrinsic meaning.
But if you think women are bad, men are worse. Men tend to not give any woman the time of day unless she’s at least sexy. At least women have the capacity to “love” a man who isn’t terribly attractive, since women are biologically engineered to want masculine affection more than raw masculinity.
Well… that depends on which phase of their cycle they’re on. Psychologists have shown that women tend to prefer men who are more masculine in appearance as they approach their menstrual period, but then desire men who are less masculine in appearance after their period passes. I kid thee not.
So if you’re a muscle bound football player, don’t be surprised if she wants you like hot sex between slices of bread before the cycle begins, but suddenly shows an interest in Peter Parker and the nerds from IT after her period passes. You’ll want to keep the geek squad at bay post menstrual cycle.
On the other hand, if you’re a scrawny quantum physicist or a pot bellied Texas oil magnate, don’t be surprised if she keeps telling you she has a headache before her menstrual cycle, but wants to rape you like a rag doll after. Either way, keep those muscle bound steroid effigies at bay pre-cycle.
Again, I kid thee not.
So let’s get real here. Physical attraction is a VERY big deal. It is a key factor. If you see a woman who is well past her 30’s or a man well past his 40’s who have still not found love, you can bet the bank that there’s something wrong with their capacity to either attract or keep the attention of the opposite sex.
Don’t believe any of that horse crap B.S. they feed you. Everybody wants to be loved by someone.
Some women will tell you that “they just don’t want to be tied down“. Rubbish. They just haven’t met someone that they would like to be tied down to who likes them back. The same goes for average or less than average looking men. The really good looking people out there are the only ones who can use this excuse with impunity. With their libido, it’s not altogether inexplicable.
This is why concepts like monogamy (however useful) can be ultimately defeated by the raw unbridled power of physical attraction. Nobody who gets involved with someone looses their ability to become attracted to someone else. Marriage doesn’t take away the ability to cheat. Rather, it enables it.
This is why some male pastors try to avoid counselling young women in their church, or why some people who are genetically blessed never bother to get married. So let’s not fool ourselves. True Love only becomes meaningful to the two people who have found a unique kinship in each other’s eyes that they can find in none other. Everything else is sex, lies and blatant hypocrisy.
Hypocrisy #3: Compromise, the understated requirement
Some people have convinced themselves (albeit, through cognitive dissonance) that they were meant to be alone and that they enjoy their own company more than they do that of others. This is mostly rubbish. If they managed to meet that one person out there who would be a perfect complement of their personality, they would recant every last word.
Nobody wants to be alone.
Everybody wants to have somebody to love and to be loved in return – even people who prefer to be alone. If you do not have this feature turned on in your brain, you’re quite probably quite dangerously sociopathic and need help.
I say all that to underscore something very primitive: True Love is all about compromise – and the only people who don’t want love (or have had really hard time at it) are those who have failed to understand the necessity of compromise. Lust and Oxytocin may start a relationship, but compromise is what sustains it. That’s why love is mostly about tolerance – not feelings.
With that said, most of the people who encourage relationships never underscore the necessity of compromise. You largely only hear about all the great things about love and being in love. In fact, based on my very limited observation of female behaviour, I get the distinct impression that most of them live for the wedding day, but never for the marriage that follows.
This explains with great clarity the prominence of female wedding planners who aren’t themselves married. They get to live the thrills of the wedding day over and over again and get paid for it, without having to deal with the ugly necessity of compromise. I can probably imagine that it’s certainly a very appealing thing for a woman – not that I get any of it, being a man and all.
This is concordantly why most romance oriented websites are a sham. The one or two rare exceptions are sites like eHarmony.com that actually go to great lengths to factor in the little things that piss people off when they’re trying to match them up. The others only care about three things: age, sex & location.
…and then they take your money.
What many people who get into relationships fail to understand is that for the hyperbolic idea of “true love” to work, you have to become a little less of who you really are, to become a little more of who the other person may like. In so doing, both parties create the necessary half of the circle to make each other whole. This is a symbiotic process and it cannot work any other way.
That’s why those who are too self centered can’t (or shouldn’t) get married. They tend to have little oddities about them, like women who don’t desire children, men who are very easily bored or people who are obsessed with their careers – that would make a long term relationship largely impractical.
There are some rare exceptions, but they’re rare…
This is why I don’t understand people who get divorced shortly after getting married. They’re like children who ask for toys made in China and are completely oblivious to the warranty period, care and maintenance guidelines, the quality of customer service, health and toxicity and other legal fine print.
But marriage isn’t a toy, is it?
Let’s not fool ourselves. For any kind of relationship to work, you have to be prepared to sacrifice a part of yourself in order to facilitate romance. That’s one of the reasons why humans are functionally different from other animals. It doesn’t matter how compatible you and your lover think you are, love is all about compromise and sacrifice. There’s positively no getting away from it.
In fact, if you find that you and your love partner have everything in common, like all the same things, hate all the same things, love to do all the same things or have never had an argument, I’d recommend that you two get DNA tested to ensure that you aren’t related. I’m not kidding. It’s happened before.
When it comes to romance, humans seem to have become more obsessed with the process as opposed to its intended function. I wish more people would get their heads out of the clouds and say what love really is instead of perpetuating ad nauseum the idea that the feelings somehow embody the whole thing as opposed to being merely an instigator for procreation.
That’s why most people don’t understand the curious feelings they have to battle with when in and out of “love”. Then they go on to write these god awful songs, poems etc., or behave in a way that is unbecoming of a rational adult when their animal side wages war with their super-ego. I find the whole thing to be frightfully nauseating and predictable – sobbing females and all.
To make matters worse, I’ve found that the prominence of political correctness when it comes to relationships can prove to be more damaging than managing the psychological fallout that follows when people are rejected. I find that people tend to do far better when they have more realistic expectations.
I’m not trying to pour cold water on people’s feelings or to somehow trivialize what people felt when they claim to be in love. Rather, I’m merely trying to get people to understand why they tend to do stupid things when under the influence. And please, don’t tell me about “over analysing” anything. Relationships tend to do far better with more reason and less magic.
This doesn’t mean that magic isn’t important. Rather, it is by no means the definition of what love really is. Most of what people think they know about love is steeped in fallacies propagated by commercialism and pop culture.
For example, the kind of marriage counselling people get when their marriage has problems should happen before they get married – not after they say ‘I do‘. However, I suspect if more counsellors told people what they don’t want to hear, they’re not likely to get paid. No wonder I can’t help thinking that this practice of putting the cart before the horse has some commercial value.
Gentle people, love is not a feeling. It is a process. The feeling you have is highly contingent on trivial factors – no matter how profoundly attracted to a person you are. While I fully appreciate the fact that you can’t control the way you feel, you can control the way you behave. Feelings don’t justify anything.
Ergo, if you find that you’re:
- Attracted to someone who is already involved with someone else
- Drawn to a person other than your significant other
- Find someone very attractive that you KNOW is bad for you
- Tempted to engage in a relationship that would endanger the stability of your life
- Have sexual feelings that would get you in trouble with the law
OR more tamely that:
- The ‘fire’ has gone out of your current relationship
- You are heart broken by someone who you were never “in love” with
- You’re in “love” with two people – with the same intensity (yes, it’s VERY possible)
- You feel terrible after being rejected (or unacknowledged) and want revenge
- You are tempted to romantically pacify the pain of someone you know you’re not attracted to
- You love someone so intensely, that you want to marry them.
…then STOP and remember this: No feeling lasts forever, and any action taken on that feeling can become potentially regrettable. This applies to both positive and negative circumstances. While the repercussions of the negative circumstances tend to be more plainly obvious, the positive ones aren’t.
For example, lots of people get married without doing the necessary due diligence. I know men who’ve married women before they realised they didn’t want children. I know women who’ve become involved with men who are either already married or otherwise involved even though they know there’s no future in the relationship. It happens all the time and without ceasing.
The fascinating thing with the latter circumstance is that most of these women actually believe that a man who is willing to leave his current lover for them will somehow be any more loyal to them than they were to their estranged lover!
Why do people do this? The answer is simple: People are more obsessed with gratifying their short term sexual desires than they are about realising their long term relational needs. We live in a culture that is more obsessed with the doctrine of instant gratification at any cost, as opposed to rational behaviour.
The hypocrisy of love is seated in the fact that the very concept has become interchangeable with that of lust, such that people are no longer capable of telling the difference between incendiary passion and long suffering.
Then when women sit and watch daytime soap operas about people living rotten lives and men indulge in dirty magazines that objectify women, we wonder why some of us are so lost when it comes to understanding true love.
You silly humans. You amuse me.