Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane Widler Wenzel co-author Rainy Day Thought. Diane generally posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments are always welcome and appreciated as it turns an article into a discussion.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

One true love... or not

One of the greatest mysteries in life to me is love between a man and a woman or a man and a man or a woman and a woman. There is no logical explaining of sexual love as it's not just about sex even though sexuality is clearly a part of it. Writers have tried but in the end it defies words or logic. This particular article inspired me to think about it once again.

If you read the story, you see a woman who could have had anything in terms of men but the one man she could not have apparently was the one whom she could not emotionally release. She could not go on. How do you explain that?

What makes it possible for some to go from love relationship to love relationship (think Coco Chanel) and others cling to one that is lost to them forever (think Elizabeth Custer) or wait for that one perfect love that never comes?

For that matter, what makes people want that 'soul mate' love at all? Does everyone? I came across this review of a book which is being discussed by other writers:

Will it? The argument is made by author Lori Gottleib that women should settle rather than hold out for mr. perfect. They should opt for mr. good enough which some women agree is the right approach-- Just Marry Him.

My question is more (and it's not the first time I have asked it): What makes us want this at all? Is it that we are not tribal? Would being tribal change anything? Is there something written in the DNA of humans to make them desire the perfect love, the mated relationship that lasts a lifetime or is it taught? It is not about sex. That's lust and more temporary in its nature.

It's also not new. You know that from reading Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Elizabeth Gaskell type romances from the 1800s or even Shakespeare from further back. In women's case, as soon as they had the ability to choose for themselves, they apparently wanted this dream relationship which a few got and many spend a lifetime lamenting. Do men want the same thing? We do all seem to desire that two hands coming together with a perfect fit kind of mated relationship that lasts forever.


robin andrea said...

I think that humans are not biologically scripted to be monogamous, and many cultures evolved different social arrangements (polygamy - whether multiple husbands or multiple wives). We are taught to desire romantic love in our culture and to look for the perfect soul mate. It is a story we've told ourselves for centuries, and we've attempted to make it true. I actually think we've done a pretty good job of it too, even if half of all marriage end in divorce, half don't. A lifelong love takes a lifetime to perfect, and a commitment from both parties to keep at it. I don't think it comes naturally to stay with one partner forever, but it's what we do.

Darlene said...

I don't think anyone has ever defined the real meaning of love. It has been tried many times, but romantic love is as varied as the people who experience it.

In spite of having a happy marriage some women still dream of that lost love of their youth. Like Anna, the star crossed lover in the story, there is only one person she can ever truly love. I think that 'forbidden fruit' might account for her obsessive love for just one man. Perhaps, if he had left his wife and married Anna, she might have become bored with him. The unattainable is tantalizing and keeps the flame alive.

I guess to me, romantic love is a mystery.

Rain said...

But staying with one partner forever doesn't mean it worked. It just means the people stuck it out. This question of 'one true love' isn't really about lifelong mating but about an emotion that lasts that lifetime. You can see marriages like say John and Elizabeth Edwards who are better off they do divorce.

mandt said...

Perfect love is commitment to compassion and the deepest friendship, once hormones have settled down. Wisdom comes in spades through the pain of loyalty and caring. "Where's my Valentine?" LOL

Kay Dennison said...

I settled once. I won't do it again which means I'll die alone.

Annotated Margins said...

I think love and sexuality are two different things. I've never figured out marriage; it doesn't seem to make sense, 'cause my wife married whatever came along, and I married her 'cause she said "yes", and here we are thirty years later.

mandt said...

Can help but be haunted by this story---Anna is captivating. She still makes lovely art. m

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Personally, I don't understand settling for "less" than anything you want, wherever it is---Relationships, creativity, work-in-greneral, etc......But that is me.
I remember, back-in-the-day---Looking for a house for three years, On & Off...and my sister said to me.."You are never going to find what you want...", and I said..."Well, then I don't want it...!" She was all about compromising and my feeling was, if I cannot find the house that I truly love--I'm happy to just stay where I am in my apartment.
(I found my house and have been here 46 years....!)
And for me, it's the same thing in a relationship. There has to be some very basic things that truly suit you and that you feel you will be happy with for the long haul...Without that, well....what's the point?
Again, that is me....And I have never married. And I'm okay with that. Do I wish I had met the "right" one? Of course. but, it did not happen. Am I sorry I did not compromise? Not for a moment!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I didn't mention this and I meant to: As to "true love"...well, I have loved and I certainly felt I had found my "true love"....but that wasn't acrually so.
Do I still love that person? Yes, I do.

TaraDharma said...

I think MandT says it perfectly. I've been married 3 times, and I know I love my wife because even when she annoys me I adore her. Not all the time, but enough of the time for me to say, "hmmm....yes, I think she's the one!" And yes, the practice of compassion and friendship to one's love after the frenzy of sex has waned. To be a true friend, to dance in this life together, always swaying to a new tune.

The whole settling thing is complicated: there is a difference between settling and being accepting and understanding that none of us are perfect, and no one will ever meet all my needs. To me, to 'settle' means you agree to be with someone who is fundamentally not right for you. No one should do that, for the sake of their soul.