Birds do it. Bees do it. But what exactly is it that we humans do? Do we choose to fall in love? The latest research asserts romantic love is not so much a swelling of emotions, but a physical drive as powerful as hunger.
Biologically the chemistry involved in “love” is nothing more than a set of hormonal responses geared toward the procreation and survival of the species. Humans are not naturally monogamous although many cultures arrived at the conclusion that monogamy was more conducive to long term success. Other cultures disagree.
Emotionally/philosophically we love from a sense of needing to belong. We need acceptance and affirmation from our own kind. Humans find that affirmation in the intimacy that is love. Please understand that marrying for love, permanent partnerships forged from love, was not always the rule. Marraige was primarily a financial arrangement for most of the history of mankind. This “financial” aspect of marraige holds true across cultures from childhood betrothels in India to the European mandate to “marry within your station” and do so advantageously for the family. With the comparative dissolution of class structures in some societies things began to loosen up a bit.
So what kind of love? Even if humans have not always partnered for love there are many kinds of love which feed our sense of belonging. There is the love of our parents and families. There is the love of our children. We seek the love of friends as well as partners. We even seek the love of pets. Love in all of these senses feeds our self image. We seek the love and acceptance of the creator. It feeds the need to belong and transcend what we see in ourselves. When we see ourselves in a loving partner’s eyes we are more than what we see in the mirror. When others have faith in us we feel we can do so much more than we did before.
Some would argue that we should not depend on others for our self worth and motivation to achieve. Perhaps we shouldn’t but the fact is that most of us do. Whether our motivation is our children, our partners or acceptance from God we care what others see in us. We need that love. Humans live, die, kill and perform apparent miracles for love. Pure or twisted it still motivates.
But love hurt too. Love wounds and mars. Love is like a cloud that holds a lot of rain. Love is like a flame, it burns you when it’s hot.Love is just a lie,
made to make you blue. Love hurts, ooh ooh love hurts
But after all, we still look for love. We logging for the one for the one who actually love us, look for the one who actually can hold us carefully with his hand. And, to fulfill our emptiness.