Thursday, December 6, 2012

When That Lovin' Feeling Fades

It's a favorite topic of mine. I've done far too much research on it. From the Diplozoon paradoxum, parasites who smush themselves together until nothing of one exists that isn’t at least in part part of the other--sadly the only proven monogamous creature in existence--to evolutionary biological theories on the size and shape of the human "plunger penis" that claims we're designed to cheat.

It's a reality that's very hard to deny, that the love and romance that stories have promised us since our Disney-filled childhoods...don't last forever after. That love too often ends. That passion inevitably fades. That we aren't built or wired for the kind of love so many of us long for.

Do enough research and it's hard to remember why one would seek love at all, given marriage failure rates and the rise of the cheating culture. Somewhere between our days of playing princess and adulthood, the dream of monogamy, marriage, and love have become such depressing topics. So often it feels as if, as Kate McKay said, that "maybe that whole love thing is just a grown-up version of Santa Claus; just a myth we've been fed since childhood. So, we keep buying magazines, joining clubs, and doing therapy and watching movies with hit pop songs played over love montages all in a pathetic attempt to explain why our love Santa keeps getting caught in the chimney."

So, yes, it was nice to read an article about the topic that didn't seem defeatist, didn't seem to roll over and accept the death of the dream. Didn't just assume that we're creatures of impluse and hormones without will over our biological wiring. That instead offered hope strengthened by hard work and dedication. That threw out the thought that a dream held since childhood is a dream worth at least a little effort before calling it quits.

New Love - A Short Shelf Life


  1. I think a person can be in love with others even if married. Especially if it involves a caring relationship, enjoying time together, respect and communication. Maybe it fads in a marriage and the person seeks to rekindle something that is not overt any longer in the form of another person. is that wrong? I guess it should be, but what is wrong with having opposite sex friends that may form a loving bond. Lust I think leads to love or if not to enjoyable time together as long as each party can handle the heartbreak when or if it comes to an end. Sharing intimacy with others is erotic and pleasurable. Just a few thoughts.

    1. It's not that I'm opposed to poly, open, or (one of my favorite terms) monogamish relationships--if they work for all involved, power to you all. Rather what I lament is something, I assume, that monogamous, mongamish, open, and poly people all face. The inevitable rut of routine. The end of the chase. The tedium of everyday. Even those in poly relationships, I'm sure, eventually feel that with their given partners, they simply have more partners to feel that way with--and perhaps more of an outlet in which to avoid that feeling, given that they have more leeway to find a new chase in a new relationship.

      However, that's kind of my point. The idea that so often the cure recommended to this love ennui is to abandon the stable, rewarding, proven love to roll the dice on something new, untested, untried, and unknown. Be that the on-the-side affair or the serially monogamous relationship-hop or getting a new polyamorous partner. We're all so quick to jump ship, to expect the answer and our relationship savior to come from without rather than within, and then we wonder at high divorce rates and the rise in couple's therapy.

      It was nice to read an article that recommended to divert that need for excitement and newness inward, into the flailing--if not yet failing--relationship in an effort to save it rather than accepting its demise and moving on. To recommend not abandoning something already built and functional, something sure and surely worthy (otherwise, why did you stay long enough to build it?), because one got bored with it like a child with a Christmas toy in May.

      We so often think of love as simply a feeling--a noun--and forget that it is also a verb. Something that one does. That requires action. And work. And effort. And that its value is determined by how much we're willing to give it and not just on what it give us.

      That's all.