April 13, 2012
By The Cultural Communist
Well, quite a lot actually. Here I must admit a bit of influence as I take my ideals of love from a Russian novelist. The name she took in America was Ayn Rand and in her Magnum Opus Atlas Shrugged she espoused an egotistical view of love which has stuck with me in my life. To Rand, love is looking for someone you can be inspired by, someone you can call your highest reverence. In essence it is looking for someone on the same level as you. To her loving someone is something of a selfish act because by making them happy you make yourself happy.
Now the more traditional view of love is that of selflessness. I fell into this trap quite a few times in my life (and still do). You do everything for someone expecting nothing back because ‘that’s what you are supposed to do for someone you love’. Well I hate to be the one to break this to you, but that isn’t love. Love is an exchange, and if there is no fair trade things become unbalanced and eventually fall apart. This is a lesson I’ve learned a few times but I think it’s finally begun to sink it (maybe).
This is article is, of course, referring to romantic love and not the love between family members which is majorly selfless; although you can make an argument raising children is something of investment in being taken care of when you are older. As previously stated however, this article isn’t dealing with that type of love.
I must state that love can go beyond being egotistical and become downright selfish. It’s a problem that seems to be pervading the population lately as many people seek to be “free’ and avoid meaningful relationships. They do that at their own peril, as nature seems to be pointing us towards sexual and loving monogamy as sleeping with too many people will invariably lead to sexually transmitted diseases. But it is also a slippery slope to avoid emotional entanglement as you will probably pass up on some pretty fantastic romantic relationships (I know because I am one of those people who constantly get’s the “I wish I had realized how awesome you were back in the day” texts).
Now onto the Cultural Communist’s guide to relationships! In my mind, there has to be three components for a loving relationship to work and all of these things have to be more or less even between the couple. The first component is a mental connection. You can’t date someone who you can’t talk to! The second component is an emotional connection. If you can’t open up and discuss your inner most personal problems and feelings with someone, you probably shouldn’t be thinking about anything serious with them. Finally, you need a physical connection with whoever you choose to love. A relationship cannot work if you don’t like the way a person looks or how they act in the bedroom. Now relationships can last a long time with only two of these but I doubt the people within them will be truly happy, or that they will last forever if both people are honest with themselves. A lot of times people simply lie to themselves about another’s faults to the point of delusion. This is sad but happens more than any of us would like to admit.
My final point is this. I do not believe the notion of two people meant for each other from birth, the “soulmate” if you will. I think those who believe in soul mates are foolish and naïve. The truth is that we can each work hard on a relationship with someone we really truly like and make a life with that person.